Merriam-Webster defines it as "1. having a center, 2. having a center of curvature, and 3. emotionally stable and secure." The way I'm thinking of it for this year is a combination of definitions 1 and 3--a secure sense of place, of grounding. 2018 is going to be a big, bold, busy year for me--new books on the horizon, an additional teaching gig, and new adventures. I want to stay grounded, focused, firmly planted...centered.
image courtesy of NASA
Writing: I'll be launching two new books this year (LIGHTS, CAMERA, DISASTER comes out March 29, and CAPTAIN'S LOG: SNOWBOUND hits stores November 6). While I promote those, I need to stay centered on writing new work and maintaining my momentum. I'll be revising a 2019 middle grade, a 2019 picture book, and drafting a 2020 middle grade novel. Plus, I'm working on a super-fun project with a friend. So firmly centering on and stoking creativity is a must this year!
Reading: I'm centering my reading on writers of color and underrepresented narratives this year. Using Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge as my guide, I am aiming for more than 60% of books read to fall in these categories.
Health: This year I'm going to try meditation as a centering element. I've added an app on my phone (Stop, Breathe, & Think) and set a reminder to meditate 3 days a week. I'm also planning to keep up with the healthy eating of 2017.
Family: I've loved the "take the kids someplace new every month" that I've been doing for the past two years, so I'm carrying that over. I am also going to make sure that family is at the center of things as the demands on our time increase and days get busier.
Financial: I'm keeping our financial goals at the center of our planning. We're making great progress and I want that to continue.
And...adding this category, after, well...you know.
Politically: 2017 had me much more engaged politically than I've ever been. Our town is transitioning to a city, with a new form of government. I'm going to look for opportunities to participate locally, centered on community, as well as to continue doing the work I've done on the federal level (calls, writing, marching, etc).