Last January, I chose OPEN as my word for 2012. I wanted to be receptive to new experiences, new ideas, new possibilities. After I wrote it down, I never thought about it again, but looking back I can see some major changes in my life that reflect that word. Could it have unconsciously influenced my actions and drawn serendipitous events and surprising new people to me? I’m usually skeptical about such new-agey notions, but not in this case. I wish I could choose that word again because of the differences it made in my life, but new year, new word. In 2013,my word is NOW. I hope it will remind me to stop skipping ahead to obsess on what could happen or what should happen in the future. To notice my surroundings, like these stunning winter-bare trees in front of the White House or the delicate silver tracery of rivers and creeks that I could see from the airplane on my way home, the light making them shimmer like streams of mercury on the earth. To take each day on its on terms instead of wishing for more. To walk slower and look around instead of always fast-walking to wherever. To worry less about what I ought to do about my future and to let my intuition guide me more. To pay attention to the person I’m talking to instead of letting my mind wander like an untrained puppy. To stop postponing going after what I want because it might not be practical or realistic. To take a break from the relentless self-criticism that runs through my brain like a 24-hour CNN crawl. To remember that NOW is all I have, all any of us have, even though we’re constantly planning for the future, worrying about a 15-year mortgage versus a 30-year, putting off the trip of a lifetime because we think we have all the time in the world, staying in a bad job because it will give us a secure retirement, assuming we can say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” later. Of course, I will forget all this (probably before the first day of the year is over!) and get caught up in trying to control tomorrow before it gets here. I’ll do this over and over again. But maybe my word will flash on and off like a neon sign in my subconscious more frequently, too, luring me back into today, this hour, this minute, this second, this NOW.