Three years ago I bought one of those little 5-year diaries, you know the sort? The ones that allow a few lines per day and you update it every day for a year, then start again and so on for five years? I have this one. I've shown up every day since 1st Jan 2014, even though I must confess that, while the premise is to record 'events most worthy of consideration', in many places I slid into a veritable compendium of the boring and the mundane. Several days over this past summer were merely recorded as 'NALGO' [=web-speak for 'not a lot going on' if you don't know, but you know now] which is as far from the raison d'être of these diaries as one could possibly get. But still, now that I am filling in year three and already have two to compare, I am having quite a lot of fun in remembering where I was and what I was doing exactly on day X, including on 'NALGO' days, which mostly qualified as 'working from Nero, not much happening', a blur of sameness.
But there's another reason for 'NALGO'. 2015 has been a thorough disappointment. It's been more than a disappointment, it's been a total kick in the teeth, only topped by 2010 and 2012 [God, why so many ghastly years so close together!]. At the end of the year we are all on our blogs and sites, all celebrating the wonderful things we have and we do, and, up to a point, I do so myself by condensing the previous twelve months in a raft of meaningful meaningless statistics. But statistics aren't merely lies, they are also facts and we all know that facts are the enemy of truth. What those numbers don't reference is the abject restlessness, disappointment, anger and sadness I experienced throughout 2015.
My word of the year was then GROW and I know that when I chose it [not randomly, oh no, it was calling to me very specifically], I was thinking of growing my company, growing the business, getting more people, more clients, more of everything. In reality last year was a regression to a place I had yet to visit: I was thinking of GROWING in purely material terms while 2015 gifted me with GROWING as an individual and a managing director through a set of throughly scathing business lessons. Yet again I found myself thinking that it's a great blessing not to know what awaits us because if we did... if I had known in January 2015 what the year was going to look like, I would have run away screaming or hidden under a rock for the duration.
I learnt about double-facedness, and from multiple people too [what are the odds? Extremely high I tell you], I learned that I shouldn't even trust my own shadow [but how is that possible?], and that the more apt I am at taking charge and the faster things change, for the better. I must say I did surprise myself when I went to a solicitor and figured out that I did have rights and that I should have recovered an outstanding debt [which I did, in the end], but I only wish I had acted sooner, for my sanity in primis. So I did not GROW in 2015, but I did GROW UP immensely, in ways I never expected and, all in all, over a very short period of time because what's a year in the grand scheme of my life, right?
As I slid into the Christmas break, emotionally battered and bruised like never before, I started feeling an attraction to the word CALM. Exceptionally CALM, not just calm / calm. No, supremely CALM because CALM also suggests great control to me, the very opposite of being buffeted by the elements. I did not need a course and did not need to ask myself any question whatsoever; I knew that my word for 2016 was going to be CALM after the storm. And I can't wait for it.