My New Word for 2017: Acceptance

A happier place to work.

Making New Year’s resolutions has never really worked for me, even when I manage to keep them.Then a few years ago I began coming up with a single word for the year, a word which would encompass everything that led to a particular goal or state of being. I don’t always choose “lofty” words, either. Last year’s word was Earn–earn more money, of course, but also in the sense of earning more readers. It was a successful year in both ways, as there was a solid uptick in both earnings and readership.

This year’s word also has more than one sense. At first, “Acceptance” might seem a bit passive, a bit too close to “resignation.” But there is a big difference between those two words. I have no intention of resigning myself to lowered hopes and expectations. But I do intend to accept certain parameters that cannot be avoided, so that they can be worked around rather than ignored until I crash into them. A good example of this is my age and health: I’ll turn 62 this summer, and I have learned the hard way that when I’m tired–I’m tired! I can use willpower all I want to stay the course, to keep on working, but when my brain and body have had enough, nothing good gets done. Willpower alone is no longer enough. I Accept that this is the current reality–and I Accept that I have to work smarter, not harder. My first action toward this was to take a well-deserved break, for the first time since I started writing the Charlotte mysteries almost five years ago. This was easier said than done, at least at first, because I had to Accept something else: I was an author, but not a book-writing machine.

Acceptance is also a two-way street. I not only want to Accept the way things are, both good and bad, but I also want to be Accepted–by still more readers, and by peers and professional organizations. Now that there are four books out in my series, it is easier to do some promotion and publicity, the marketing side of things. And if I want to keep improving my craft, it would be good to kick back and read some more OPS: Other People’s Stuff, their books, stories, and advice. I’m even going to try to meet other writers, both online and in person. I tend to be quite reclusive, so getting out there in all these ways is another form of Acceptance, that to be in the game, I have to get out there and play, at least a little bit.

The same reticence and tendency to be reclusive even applies to non-writing activities, and I talk myself out of doing things far too easily. So I need to Accept that no matter how much I’ve “been there, done that,” no two experiences are exactly alike. I also get just plain nervous about going out to do things, even when I shouldn’t be. I Accept that, too.

My introversion also led me to create an office that is more womb than workspace, quite dark and stuffy. I had to Accept that it was unhealthy, and that I needed to change it before I began the next book. Over the past few days I’ve done a basic feng shui analysis of my office, and have changed my desk, put it in a better place in the room, and changed the lighting, as well. The improvement is stunning. I’ve also tossed out ancient and unneeded files, and straightened up the bookcases. And yes, that’s a Lucky Bamboo plant in the Abundance and Prosperity area of the desk.

The proof is in the pudding, of course: did I then find it easier to write? Absolutely! I wrote this post and two other articles in just a few days, which is lightning-fast for me.

The word of the year works in mysterious ways. No matter: I Accept that, too. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “My New Word for 2017: Acceptance

  • Sandra Pawula

    I love how you look at your word of the year from different angles, Meg. Your office looks so light and spacious now even though I can tell it’s relatively small. I even had a flash of envy when I first glimpsed the photo. I don’t have an office, but a corner of our very large bedroom. I’ve grown more accustomed to that since moving here and generally it’s working fine now. And I can’t complain about looking our at bamboos, coconut palms, and banana plants. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • Meg Post author

      Hi Sandra–thank you! It is a very small room, about 8 x 8, I think. But it’s out of the way of the rest of the house and is big enough for my purpose. Right about now, though, I’d like to be in Hawaii 🙂

  • Sheila Noss

    Dear Meg, I love your office. (Mine is at the top of my list to minimalize and organize.) First time reading your book and I love the “middle age” female perspective. It speaks to me with love. I am an avid reader, so trying to minimize my books is leading me to Kindle more, which is how I found you. Thank you for choosing to include this form of publication.
    It is the middle of the year, how is the Acceptance going. I love the single word idea; so I am going to use that for the rest of this year and in the future. My word for the rest of this year is Freedom. Freedom from stuff, freedom from guilt, freedom from regrets, hopefully all leading to closer freedom from stress. It is time to stop reading about minimalism and finally put it into practice. Thank you.

    • Meg Post author

      Hi Sheila–thank you! The new office setup is working out very well, and I’ve fine-tuned it over the months. I’ve donated many books to the library, weeded out the closets even more, and tweaked the access to household paperwork. The view out the window now is of a tree and the top of a flowering hydrangea that is about to bloom.

      The Acceptance thing is still going strong, but in ways I didn’t plan. I had various engagements scheduled, both social and professional, when I caught a severe chest cold that flattened me for nearly two months. There was quite an epidemic of it around here. It put the kibosh on all those plans, and I even had to order my groceries online. It definitely slowed things down for getting out more, as well as slowed down my online presence. Things are better now, of course, and I’m well into the early stages of the next Charlotte mystery. The illness revealed an underlying health problem that I’ve begun to address successfully, which makes it easier to Accept the setback.

      Freedom is a good word, and I hope it works for you. Thanks so much for reading my work and for letting me know–it means a lot 🙂