2024 Word of the Year: Nourish

And making reasonable goals

2024 Word of the Year: Nourish
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash

📝 Notes from Jenn:

I’ve got a handful of Bluesky invites to share; reply to this email if you’d like one.

🛠 Current project: So close to being done organizing my linen closet aka utility, households, some linens, Zoey’s stuff closet.

🔏 Last week, paid subscribers received a short essay on burnout, which I discovered that I am fully, deeply in.

🍩 What I ate/drank/snacked on: my friend got me this non-alcoholic cider from Eric Bordelet! As described, it was pleasantly and lightly sparkling and tasted nothing like a random apple juice off the grocery store shelf.

Word of the year: Nourish

Did I take a full break from work for two weeks like I said I would? No.
Did I get my photo website up and running like I planned on? Also no.
But did I release a lot of stress, go on all the walks, and support my mental health? Absolutely not, are you kidding me here.

(meme borrowed from Bluesky & X)

I’m slightly exaggerating. I did sleep in a lot, so much so that I added an hour and a half to my average sleeping time. But I had an article to write about baking, and I was feverishly sourcing ingredients, baking (with multiple failures), and then writing all about it all the way to December 29 (last Friday). I am sugar-ed out. I don’t need any more sugar for a few months. I also don’t need any more coffee-flavored baked goods for a long while.

Except for 2021, I’ve picked a word theme for the year since 2017. I struggled to find a word that wasn’t already used and looking back, I am rather concerned about how every year has begun. I seem to purposefully start the year slow, acknowledge the prior year’s mental health and stress challenges, and have high hopes that this year will be the year that everything changes.

At the time of choosing the word and writing about it, I’m optimistic. Rationally optimistic. I don’t think any of the few goals I set are unattainable. In fact, last year, I set what I thought were reasonable goals and then followed them up with “reach” goals à la Kickstarter. I haven’t finished setting my goals for this year, but I guess I’ll lower the bars of success for them. They’ll be so attainable that I can step over them instead of jumping over them.

This year’s word is “nourish.” When I think of this word, I think of feeding my soul, my body, and my mind. I think about slowing down and paying attention to my surroundings. I imagine being careful of where I put my energy and mindful of what my gut tells me. Quoting a recent interviewee who relayed this piece of wisdom, “Does this decision bring you peace?” It doesn’t have to bring me joy. I don’t have to be happy about having to set up another website, but it does bring me peace, and I should’ve listened to my instinct on this one.

purple bracket, full-width, facing up

👀 interesting reads

There's the constant stream of laptop notifications, the faceless coworkers whose messages are hard to interpret, and the invisible clients she's trying to impress over email. "You can't tell the tone of how someone says something when you're working by yourself," she said. "You just spiral and think of every possible meaning when, the majority of the time, it probably means nothing at all."
When it comes to work tasks, if you notice yourself avoiding more and more items on your to-do list or avoiding important projects, it might be a sign that you’re starting to get overwhelmed to the point of burning out. In fact, in a 2019 study of more than 3,000 college faculty members, researchers found that burnout was associated with an increase in procrastination.
“Right now, we’re in one of those classic legal disputes in an area of new technology where parties are fighting over metaphors,” says James Grimmelmann, a professor of internet law at Cornell University. “It’s about telling a compelling story about how AI works.”
artful leaf outlines on left, "plant update" immediately to the right
I’ve always wanted an anthurium. I picked this up from a plant swap and it’s now happy under a grow light. This one is a seed-grown cross of the mag & crystal (I don’t know if it has an official cultivar name").