My One Word for 2020

As I said last year, I’m not sure when I started doing this or who got me started. According to a few notes on Evernote from previous years, my one word for 2014 actually was two words: “Focus” and “equilibrium.” The equilibrium part of it was because I had just discovered that year that I have tinnitus. In 2016, the word was “Reinvigorate.” Last year’s word was “Breathe.”

Without further ado, this year’s word is:

“recuperate,” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recuperate. Accessed 12/14/2019.

I didn’t have to think much about this year’s word since it was obvious. In late March, I somehow injured my left knee. After several months of doctor appointments and physical therapy, in late October, I had arthroscopic surgery on the knee wherein a small mass of torn meniscus was removed and the cartilage around the knee was smoothed. While I am back to “normal duties” at my job at the library, I still have scar tissue that is in the process of healing.

To assist with that process, I want to walk daily. Also on the physical side, I want to eat and drink better than I have in the last several years. I am not setting a goal of how much weight to lose, but I know that any amount I can lose will lessen the burden on my knees in the future. Plus, of course, naturally it will help my health overall.

Beyond recuperating physically, I want to recuperate mentally and spiritually, in terms of regaining a former state or condition. I remember a time when I read, wrote, and prayed more…and felt more centered than I have within the last few years. To that end, I want to read a book a week (including one nonfiction book a month), journal daily, and re-incorporate devotions into my daily routine.

By journaling, I should clarify that I mean typing into an app called Journey on my laptop. Unfortunately, my printing and handwriting is atrocious (my wife blames my former job as a newspaper reporter where I had my own version of shorthand/”chicken scratches”) so I will not be using a physical journal.

For a while last year and the previous year, I had a regular devotion routine, which I used The Book of Common Prayer morning and evening. I want to develop that routine again, to help bookend my days.


I have five other goals for the year, that I have made as goals every year:

  1. Be quick to listen.
  2. Slow to speak.
  3. Slow to anger.
  4. Talk less.
  5. Smile more.

The first three are from various translations from The Book of James in The Bible, that my mother likes to quote often:

“Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

James 1:19

The last two are advice Aaron Burr gave Alexander Hamilton in the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” in the musical Hamilton.

Do you have One Word for 2020? Any goals or resolutions for the New Year?

All this month, I’ve been joining Tanya & Kimberly at Girlxoxo and Tamara at Traveling with T for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. Today’s post fit the topic Challenges and Goals, with the prompt “Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? Which was your favorite book read (and / or least favorite) for each challenge – or from all of them. Did you make New Years Resolutions? Did you get to all of them? Are you making any for next year … next month … next season?” In addition to the topic for this one and two others that I did earlier in the month, I will do one more, This is How We Read, next week. In that post, I also briefly will address my reading goals for 2020. To see the entire list, visit #AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement.

Spending the Holidays with Mr. Potter

No, not that Mr. Potter.

My wife hates that movie.

And I’m not a huge fan either, for the record.

I mean this Mr. Potter:

On Black Friday, we picked up all eight Harry Potter movies for an offer we couldn’t refuse and we are going to rewatch them all from Christmas through New Year’s. We’ll end New Year’s Eve with the seventh movie and start 2020 with the eighth movie.

On Christmas Eve, we also will be watching my wife’s favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Carol, the 1951 version with Alastair Sim.

Then I’ll watch my favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard, as my wife gets ready to work midnight to 8 p.m. Christmas Day and won’t be able to watch it all.

She is off the rest of the day, so later that evening, after our Christmas dinner, we’ll begin our Harry Potter marathon.

Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Hogwarts Express.

So for those of you who celebrate Christmas and/or Hanukkah and/or New Year’s this time of year, what are YOU doing for the holidays?

All this month, I’ve been joining Tanya & Kimberly at Girlxoxo and Tamara at Traveling with T for their annual  #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. Today’s topic is This is How We Holiday. To see the entire list of topics, visit #AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement.

#AMonthofFaves 2019: Winter Reading (Or In My Case, Last/First Books of the Year)

All this month, I’m joining Tanya & Kimberly at Girlxoxo and Tamara at Traveling with T for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. They had a schedule of topics planned out for 14 days and so far, I have participated in two: Popular Books Worth The Hype and On The Screen or In Your Ear. In addition to this one, I probably will do two more, Challenges and Goals, and This is How We Read. next week. To see the entire list, visit #AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement. Today’s topic is Winter Reading – Your fave reads from last Winter, or seasonal reads you love, or books on this year’s winter reading list.

For this prompt last year, I wrote specifically about Christmas books. This year, I think I’ll talk about the books I’ve read towards the start of new years. This seems apropos as I look once again toward choosing a book for my first book of the year and consider what I will be reading to end the year.

In late December of 2014, just before the start of 2015, I read Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World by Thich Nhat Hanh. Then to start the year 2016, I read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz. In early 2017, I read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Last year, I jumped off the self-improvement bandwagon to read The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Out of the self-improvement books, the best was The Four Agreements, with the other two fair to middling. The Library Book, despite a slow start for me, was one of my favorite books this year.

This year, I’m thinking about jumping back on the self-improvement bandwagon, but I don’t know yet which book I’ll choose. I have a couple of possibilities:

  • Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott
  • Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne W. Dyer

I remember trying to read one Lamott book years ago and not being able to get through it or it not catching me at the time. But I’m willing to try this since right now, like much of the country and indeed the world (I’m looking at you, Great Britain and India), I think we all need hope. The Dyer book, meanwhile, I’ve had on my Kindle for years, but just never had read although my wife has read several of his books and loves the late author’s work.

I’m leaning toward Lamott’s book, but I already started reading a little and enjoyed it, so it might be before then. I’ll let you know, of course.

Before my first book, though, I have to finish my last book or two this year. I’m in the middle of The Lord God Made Them All as I continue to make my way slowly (but enjoyably) through James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small series. I probably will finish it by year’s end, but to be honest, this one isn’t “grabbing” me like the others or maybe I’m a little weary of all the cow’s vaginas that he has explored.

In this latest one, he also put in interludes about a trip to Russia, which isn’t breaking up the book in a good way for me either. I’ll finish it, but will be taking a break before getting to Every Living Thing, the last in the series, probably some time in 2020. I can say for certain this final book of the series won’t be my first book of 2020.

So what are some of your favorite winter/seasonal reads? And/or what are you reading to end the year and/or what are you reading to start 2020?

#AMonthofFaves 2019: My Top 5 Books, TV Shows, Movies, and Albums of 2019

All this month, I’m joining Tanya & Kimberly at Girlxoxo and Tamara at Traveling with T for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. They have a schedule of topics planned out for 14 days and while I don’t plan to have a post for each topic, I do plan on having a post for several of them. To see the entire list, visit #AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement. Today’s topic is the fifth for the month: On the Screen or in Your Ear – What did you watch this year that you absolutely loved and did you see any movies inspired by books you’ve read – what did you think? Or, what are some of your favorite podcasts, audiobooks or songs / albums that you listened to and have on repeat?

I already covered my top 5 books in a previous post for A Month of Faves on Popular Books Worth The Hype, but I thought I’d include them here since it made the graphic below symmetrical:

A few caveats and explanations:

  • On Sunday, I also made a list of My Top 60 Albums of the 2010s, with the four of the five albums from 2019 included in that list. The only one I didn’t, i,i by Bon Iver, is because I chose 22, A Million instead for the decade.
  • I discovered four of the five TV shows through Hulu and found The Brokenwood Mysteries through Hoopla at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • I have not seen Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, The Irishman or Marriage Story yet, but my wife and I both want to see all three in the near future. I have a feeling at least one, if not all three, will change this list or at least be added to the list of my top movies for this year.
  • Powder in Space is technically not an album but a DJ mixtape by the Japanese DJ Momoko Goto, who produces and performs under the name “Powder.”
  • I had all five of the albums on heavy rotation this year and I anticipate that I will have one released last month, MAGDALENE by FKA Twigs, on heavy rotation in the coming year.
  • Four of my top five albums are on the The 50 Best Albums of 2019 list from Pitchfork The Father of the Bride, No. 25; Homecoming, No, 14; i, i, No. 16; Norman F***ing Rockwell!, No. 1, and that last one rightly so at No. 1, in my and my wife’s opinion. I like several of the other albums on the list including especially the ones at No. 2, MAGDALENE; Big Thief’s U.F.O.F. at No. 3 and Angel Olsen’s All Mirrors at No. 4, but I really haven’t listened to them a lot…yet, but I anticipate I will.
  • For all you bookish folks, the one movie on my list you need to see is Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which is based on the book of the same name by Lee Israel, portrayed brilliantly here by Melissa McCarthy. I have not read the book, but loved the movie (obviously, to include it in my top 5).

What were your favorite books read, TV shows and movies and/or albums read this year even if they weren’t released this year?