Link love

New Year, New Link Love Volume III

January 27, 2023

Me after watching one too many animal videos online. Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

This edition of Link Love is kind of a mixed bag, including a little bit of inspiration, a piece to make you think, an article about a well-known figure who died recently. This is one of the strengths of the internet—something for everyone. Hope you enjoy this list of links I’ve loved recently (click on the lighter colored text to visit the link).

Here’s a round up of good news that took place in 2022.

It’s not too late to start: “52 Acts of Kindness: How to Spread Joy in Every Week of 2023.”

When I was a painfully shy teenager, I read Barbara Walters’ book How to Talk with Practically Anybody About Practically Anything. It helped. Since then, I’ve always admired her, and I enjoyed reading this remembrance after her recent death. 

After reading “We need boredom to lead better lives. But social media is destroying it,” I’m picking up my phone less frequently, and I’m planning at least one “internet fast” in 2023. (Click here for “15 Tips to Help You Spend Less Time on Your Phone.”) 

Yet another secret to happiness: a reverse bucket list—similar to my post, “Just (Don’t) Do It.”

I love Stephanie Hayes’ newsletter, and this opinion column in my local paper made me smile.

I want to drive the dog bus!

(Jake looks a lot like my dog, Luna!)

Have a very happy weekend!


When Choosing One Word Isn’t Enough

January 20, 2023

Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

The practice of choosing a word of the year is meaningful to me, probably because words are meaningful to me. Since 2010, I’ve chosen a one-word theme each year (except for 2013—I either didn’t choose one, or I didn’t write it down anywhere I can find it now). My word of the year is often something I aspire to (“flow”), or want to have more of (“delight”). I try to choose a word which will influence many areas of my life, one with layers of meaning I hope to discover over time. Some years I’ve found my word meaningful, while others I’ve barely thought of it, or it wound up being a mismatch for what the year turned out to hold (I’m looking at you, “Dare”/ 2021).

I also continue to incorporate previous years’ words in my life—I still try to work “deeper,” for example, and 2022’s “simpler” will continue to guide me for the foreseeable future.   

Life moves swiftly and is complicated, so having just one word/concept to guide me simplifies things when I’m making decisions or unsure of something. However, this year I couldn’t land on one word that resonated. I played with at least a dozen, until earlier this week, I realized 2023 needs three words.

1.      Flexible

As most of you know, I’m the main caregiver for my mother-in-law, Carol. At this point, she needs support more than actual physical care. I mostly coordinate with Hospice, manage her medications, and try to keep her supplied with foods she finds appealing. I’m able to leave the house when I need to, because mostly she takes care of herself (and our adult son is currently living with us and can keep a watchful eye on her). This situation could change at any time, and fast, so I don’t want to load myself with commitments and goals I might not be able to complete. I’m not actively seeking freelance work (though I’m still available!), but I have some writing projects I’ve been working on, off and on, for years, that have no deadlines. While this can sometimes be death to my productivity, this year, I appreciate the flexibility. I plan to use my writing time to explore them. (I’m hoping to spend more time with Catching Happiness, too.)  Which brings me to the word…

2.      Forward

Even before Carol’s health crisis, I’d been waffling about my way forward. Do I still want to write? If so, what types of writing do I want to do? If not, what meaningful work could I do instead? I don’t want a new career (I don’t think?!), but I still want to engage my mental faculties. I also want to earn money. I’ve been stuck for a while. I want to move forward.

3.      Fun

And last but not least, I want to have fun in 2023! The past three years have been decidedly un-fun. I want to be more proactive about finding and indulging in fun. I’ll write more about fun in future blog posts!

There you have them—2023’s words of the year: flexible, forward, and fun.

Do you have a word of the year? Please share in the comments below!

For more information on choosing your own word of the year:

Helen Keller


January 13, 2023

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble…. the world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
—Helen Keller


We’re Not Behind

January 06, 2023

I've seen this several places and it cracks me up!
Welcome back! I hope you’ve enjoyed a peaceful and happy start to 2023. It’s been about as peaceful around here as it ever is (except for a couple of home appliances giving up the ghost).

Ready or not, it’s a new year

I wanted to do a lot of reflection on 2022 and some looking ahead to 2023 during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but my husband was off work so we wound up doing some much-needed shopping (see: home appliance death, above) and hanging out together. I wouldn’t trade this, even though it briefly left me feeling behind. Here it is January 6th and I haven’t done any of the things I like to do before the start of a new year. I haven’t chosen a word of the year. I haven’t set any goals for the year, or even for the month. I haven’t made a vision board, or even added birthdays to my new planner.

And that’s OK. I’m not behind. And you’re not either, if you find yourself in the same position I’m in.

Even though the beginning of a new year is a natural starting point, it’s still just an arbitrary date. You can start (or stop) an activity, goal, or dream at any point, on any day.

I would rather be “behind” than rush the process.

I’m gong to continue working thoughtfully through my end-of-the year rituals until that process feels finished. (I’ve also been loving seeing and listening to the goals of some of my favorite bloggers and podcasters. Inspiration for my own.)

New year, new attitude

I spent a good portion of 2022 feeling overwhelmed and, often, depressed. I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to do much more than just what I needed to do to fulfill my commitments and responsibilities. But now I feel a small upwelling of energy and desire. There are things I want to accomplish, places I want to go, people I want to see. While I’m being cautious, it feels great to want to set goals and make changes.

The first week of January has started softly. I’m taking down everything pinned on my bulletin board and I’ve emptied out my Happiness Jar—and started refilling it. I’m listening to music while sitting in my office rocking chair and dreaming of what might be in 2023. I’m feeling happy. I hope you are, too.

How is your new year beginning?

A few fun resources for New Year dreaming and goal-setting:

Gretchen Rubin’s “23 for 23” printable

Best of Both Worlds podcast: 2023 Goals

Every January, Make Two Lists (a more practical alternative to resolutions)