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One Word. Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word.
Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

Last year, I joined reverb10 on a whim.  I had no idea what to expect of the project or of myself.

When it started, I was completely upside down.  We had just lost my dear grandmother and were preparing for her funeral.  I was in the throes of my grief, consumed by the guilt of not spending enough time with her at the end, and trying to stay strong for my family.

At the beginning, I didn’t have a blog.  I didn’t understand that the prompts would require extended answers.  I humorously thought that my long-winded self could respond to the prompts in 140 characters on Twitter.

Then, Day Two’s prompt hit my inbox.  That first Tweet is long gone, lost in the Twitter stream.  I have no idea what word I selected, but I suspect that it was “Peace” or “Hope.”

Peace is not necessarily what I got for this year.  There have been some incredible high points with my family, my job, meeting new friends, etc.  There have been some very low points, as well.  My cousin’s diagnosis of breast cancer has been a lesson in love, caring, support and fear.  Through it all, I was graced by the support of an incredible community that I found through social networking.

In addition, I’ve discovered an outlet through writing that I had never expected.  I’ve always been the reader.  I was an English major…I spent my college career reading some terrific books, while everyone else slaved away on econ papers or science lab reports.

As the year wore on and I spent more time writing, I found that it had gradually become necessary to me.  If too many days go by without at least putting pen to paper, I start to get antsy.

Throughout my life, perhaps the biggest fault that I’ve been accused of is that I am too closed off…I don’t share enough of myself.  I have to agree.  That is a very accurate description – or was.  I do hold my emotions close and rarely share, except with a trusted few.

This year has been one of sharing.  And surprise.  I haven’t died from embarrassment, haven’t spontaneously combusted or caused any great pain to the ones I love.  I’m still careful; but, I’m more apt to work through a worry or a problem through my writing more than ever before.

In the new year, I’ve chosen the word RISK.

There are new things on my horizon.  I want to try out for a roller derby team sometime in January.  I’ve been working out to get myself ready, and I need to make the attempt.  I’d like to do more drawing, and perhaps work on some ideas for a children’s book.   I want to keep writing.  I want to grow and expand what I’m doing here with my blogs.  There are many more new friends to make and more life to live.  My daughter will graduate from high school in 2012, and my son will start high school.  Their worlds will change and I need to be prepared to guide them.

For those of you that have been with me so far, I thank you.  For those of you that have just stepped onto this path with me, “Let’s DO this!”

In the month of December, I am participating in reverb11.  It is a chance to look back and reflect upon the year just passed, and to look forward to 2012.  Each day, a prompt is issued, and the reverb11 community interprets the prompt in accordance with their own experience.  Join us, won’t you?