2016 was less than sweet, right? We lost Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, George Michael. I lost my breasts and my fertility. We gained the host of Celebrity Apprentice as president. I’m going to enjoy this last week of the year, celebrate its ending, and fully embrace 2017.

A few years back my friend Amy introduced me to a tradition of starting the new year with, not a resolution, but a word to guide my choices for the next trip around the sun. This year I choose CREATE. I like this tradition because I thrive in nebulous, creative conditions; specific tasks tend to wear me down. In 2017, I plan to:

  • Create a body that’s best prepared to combat illness and aging (I think dance classes are the only way for me to get excited about physical activity; I just got the STLCC Continuing Education catalog–which I always get excited about (ooooh: a stained glass window-making class? beginning Arabic? Bellefontaine’s Mausoleums? yaaaaas!)–and the tap dancing and ballet 101 classes sound fun.
  • Create at least one meal from The Joy of Cooking every week in the month of January (in hopes that I find the joy of cooking; so far, I only know the joy of picking out pre-made meals at Trader Joe’s).
  • Create The Breast Dance Party Ever on Feb. 17 to bring in beaucoup bucks for Gateway to Hope. You should come because A) It’s going to be a HELLUVA party and B) it’s for a good cause. You can buy your tickets/donate here:
  • Create fond memories with friends; friends are awesome. I don’t know of anything more wonderful than belly-laughing with friends.
  • Create the life that best soothes my soul and fuels my fire. This is SO NOT a S.M.A.R.T. goal, but I need to let my intuition guide me. I often ignore it, but I need to abide by it. (Do non-teacher people have to write S.M.A.R.T. goals? (specific-measurable-achievable-realistic-timely) I think they’re dumb.
  • Create a mindset that allows me to not procrastinate grading. I hate with a passion grading stacks of essays, and I must figure out a way to power through this dreaded task.
  • Create a book. I want to write a book. I need to start my frigging book.
  • Create a financial plan that allows me to enjoy life and keep my credit card balance at a minimum (no more drinking champagne cocktails at The Plaza when I have 84 cents in my checking account).
  • Create nipples. Actually, I’ll let Dr. Maclin do that.

What will your word be?