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Melanie’s OLW for 2017


screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-4-20-02-pmThis will be the fifth year I have taken on one little word to remind me to reflect and grow more over the course of the entire year. I’ve loved this practice–it’s been much more effective than setting a series of resolutions that I forget by February. Three out of four of my words have stayed with me, well past their year of choosing.

While I loved present–it definitely made be a better person in 2013, kind was exactly what I needed in 2014. Acknowledge didn’t work as well for me word of 2015. Maybe because it was too complicated. Maybe it was just too long of a word. In any case, I had to work hard to just remember what my word was, let alone practice living within it. Wonder for 2016 was perfect, both professionally and personally, and I know present, kind, and wonder have braided themselves together within my humanness. As the years roll on, each little word turns into a growing collection of words that guide, stretch, and inspire me.


So what’s next?

I know many people who have been searching around for their OLW this year, and I’ve had that experience in past years. However, I’ve known that brave would be my word for 2017 for a while now. Since being brave means being scared, but still moving forward, I’m looking forward to brave nudging me out of my comfort zone, toward that magical zone of growth and learning.  I’ve caught myself leaning toward my comfort zone in the last few months, resisting risks because of my fear of failure or insecurities. My 2017 goal is to take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice–she is quoted as saying to do one thing every day that scares you. I’m not going on any looping roller coasters and I’m not jumping out of a plane or off of high cliffs, but I will work to grow as a writer, educator, parent, friend, and person, and I will take risks and try a little harder to embrace vulnerability–embrace might be a little strong, though…


Throughout 2017, and in the years beyond, I’m looking forward to winding brave into my growing tapestry of words. I’m looking forward to sharing this OLW practice with so many and reading about the words which will serve as other people’s beacons for the upcoming year. 

Melanie Meehan View All

I am the Writing and Social Studies Coordinator in Simsbury, CT, and I love what I do. I get to write and inspire others to write! Additionally, I am the mom to four fabulous daughters and the wife of a great husband.

16 thoughts on “Melanie’s OLW for 2017 Leave a comment

  1. I am having trouble this year, and maybe I need to stop reading other posts until I get a grip on my own word, but brave fits you so well. To me, you are already brave. You step out of your comfort zone daily. You meet each new task with a bravery I only wish I had. It’s a brave new world out there, and you are ready to face it.


  2. I spent much of yesterday pondering my OLW, but last night it found me! After trying a new chicken recipe that was barely edible, I realized Neil Gaiman was right there–Mistakes! This word will remind me of a lot of other little words–to keep trying, not apologize so much, be brave, take time to breath, calm is okay, and being a lifelong learner is not a silly cliché! Thanks Two Writing Teachers for pushing my thoughts forward!


  3. Brave is a great choice, and I like how you are thinking about it. I did not remember that wonder was your 2016 word, but it makes perfect sense. You are full of wonder. And I can think of many time when you used the words “I wonder” in a question or statement. Happy New Year, Melanie!


  4. I love how your past words are now part of the tapestry of your life! Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert? I just started it but feel it is the perfect book for being brave and going out of your comfort zone!! Great post!

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