Skip to content

My 2015 Word of the Year

Are you guys seeing all of those posts about picking a word for the new year? For the past handful of new years, I’ve noticed some writers and teachers posting about picking a word or mantra as a guidepost for the new year. Basically the idea is to use this word you’ve chosen as a reminder of your intention for the year.

I always want to do it, but then I look up and it’s already July and I figure that means my mantra for that year should just be something forgiving like:

Image credit: Maine Artist Jess LeClair

Image credit: Maine Artist Jess LeClair


This year I took 2 weeks off of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram in a desperate attempt to grab some actual real deal downtime. I’ve only broken my Facebook fast once so far and it was to post a link on the DINOS page.

This short time away from social media has been sweet. And good grief does it free up some serious thinking and doing time.

As you may of noticed, I haven’t been writing here very much these past few months. To say that I have been busy is like saying the Queen of England kind of likes Corgis.

Which is to say, I’ve been really, really overwhelmed. This year I went back to school to get my Masters in Adult Education and launched a new business teaching online and in person classes on compassion fatigue (and built a new website to hold all that fun).

Here’s the thing: I added a ton of awesomeness, but I didn’t stop doing anything. So I’m still dog walking part-time, still working for an animal welfare non-profit part-time, still managing the DINOS website.

I pretty much love everything I do and I feel awfully lucky that I get to spend my days doing things like teaching online, scratching dogs, and writing about it.

But because of all the stuff I’m doing, Notes from a Dog Walker and the DINOS Facebook page have been pretty quiet. It’s not that I don’t have a million things I want to share with y’all. I just don’t have enough hours in the day or functioning brain cells left to write it all down.

Back to the word for 2015.

I’ve been sitting with this one all day and I think my word for 2015 might be: Integrate

Integrate means to bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole. And the Latin roots of integrate mean to renew or restore.

I can get down with that.

Integrating all the different things I’m doing, so that I’m not spread thin and dropping the ball all over the place, sounds smart.

I’m just not sure what that actually means.

It might mean that I stop blogging here on NFADW and only write on my other blog over on my new website. That makes sense because I really don’t need two blogs. I’m just one person, with two hands (one wearing a poop bag as a glove), and a single, half-functioning brain after all.

So maybe I need to integrate and have one main blog. That seems like what a normal person with a good media plan would do.

But can I tell you something? I love NFADW. It’s me in all my goofy cheerleading, poop scooping, non-glory. I’m not sure my other blog – where I focus primarily on compassion fatigue, self-care, and resiliency ideas – is the right place to also talk about the time I shook out a dog blanket and an old turd fell on my head.

Or is it?

I don’t know.

Should I really discuss transforming our relationship with compassion fatigue-related stress AND crack jokes about nearly breaking my toe kicking a frozen #2 out of the snow on the same blog?

Uh, I’m not so sure.

But it does seems nuts for me to have two blogs. Especially since that means I’ll post on each of them less frequently than I’d like to, since I’ll be cheating on one by posting on the other half the time.

Oh god, am I one of those weird middle aged men that isn’t very attractive, but still manages to have two wives and two families who live across the country from each other and only find out about one another when one of his 11 kids discovers Dad’s receipt from a family dinner at Crackerbarrel in Ohio when he was supposed to be in Florida “on business”?

Does having two blogs mean I’m living two separate lives like one of those dudes? Someone call Dateline.

Besides possibly scoring a special on a Primetime news magazine program, here’s the real reason I’m writing this post: because I love this blog, even if I can’t spend as much time here as I’d like to these days. I don’t feel like ending it quite yet. Even if it would make me more integrated in 2015.

And the fact that you all read it makes me feel like this:

I Heart Bob's Burgers

I Heart Bob’s Burgers


So I guess I just wanted to share a little “behind the scenes” look at how wacky things have gotten this year with the full admission that they won’t get any less bonkers in 2015.

I’m not sure what my next move is. But I do really appreciate you all and am eternally grateful that I have this tiny sliver of the interwebz to talk with you.

If you like hearing from me, can I ask you a favor in the spirit of the Word of the Year? Will you subscribe to my monthly-ish e-letter?

It really is the most simple way I could think of to share all my stuff in one spot: DINOS, NFADW, and the compassion fatigue project. Plus I write stuff there that you can’t find anywhere else. Last month I shared my favorite simple ways to treat yourself (it included podcasts and an aromatherapy diffuser, if you must know).

If you don’t want to, I still heart you. Maybe your 2015 word is: Boundaries.

That’s my word of the day, every day. Love that one. Highly recommend it.

Anwayz, that’s why integrate might be my word for 2015. Except I’m starting to think that my fragmented, messy life is what makes me…me.

I am a dog walker/writer/teacher/non-profit content wrangler/student/cat puke cleaner upper. And all the websites and blogs and classes I take and create all come out of that jumble that I’ve already integrated.

So maybe my word should be something else – something so simple that doesn’t make me feel like I’m bungling it, like: Nap.

Or, judging by the word I used the most in the blog post: Poop.

Perhaps something celebratory like: Ta-dah!

Oy. This is too hard. Forget this whole 2015 word trend. I’m just gonna stick with what works for me every year:

Don’t Panic.


Happy New Year Everyone!



  1. Love ❤

    December 31, 2014
    • Happy New Year to you and Murphy! ❤

      January 2, 2015
  2. Anu #

    I think integrating NFADW into your new blog is a great idea. Reading about turds falling on your head is a hilarious balance to the serious discussion about compassion fatigue.

    Whatever you decide blog-wise, just don’t stop writing! All dog people know about poop and most of us appreciate a good turd story.

    Happy New Year!

    December 31, 2014
    • Aw, thank you for the encouragement. I’m going to play around with how/where I write and I appreciate the support! And now I feel like I can tell turd stories anywhere I darn please!

      January 2, 2015
  3. I love this idea! It sounds like you’ve been crazy busy but working your butt off!

    December 31, 2014
    • Do you pick a word for 2015? Happy New Year?

      January 2, 2015
  4. Don’t panic is pretty much my mantra every year, as it applies so well to dog training, shelter work, managing a store, and trying to keep a household in line.
    You should know that every time I get an email notification about a new NFADW post I get all giddy. Love to read what you write, it’s always something that makes me think, or laugh, or both.
    (Also, I love Bob’s Burgers.)

    December 31, 2014
    • Maybe we should get “Don’t Panic” tattoos in 2015? I feel like that could be a thing. Thank you for reading, for getting giddy, and for sharing my total love affair with Bob’s Burgers. That makes me all warm and fuzzy!

      January 2, 2015
      • Don’t tempt me with a Don’t Panic tattoo – it’s an idea that frequently floats through my brain! I got one recently of my OTHER mantra, ‘Courage, Dear Heart” surrounding my bite scar on my wrist.

        January 27, 2015
  5. Noelle #

    Not being directly involved in rescue, compassion fatigue isn’t really an interest for me right now, but I still think combining blogs is a great idea, if only for your own sanity. Just make it easy for us to figure out which posts are fatigue-related and which are DINOS-related, yes? I’ve missed you and the Boogster this year! But super proud of all you’re doing! Plus it makes me with my mere three jobs and constant failure to remember what I’m supposed to be doing on any given day feel like I’ve totally got it all together. So thanks for that. 😉

    Also? I am Tina. Tina is me. I need that on a poster for my bedroom.

    December 31, 2014
    • I like sanity. It’s real pretty. Maybe I will give it a shot – I appreciate your support as I fiddle with where/how I write! Boogie just told me he’s been texting Brewster all year and, though he’ll always be too scared to meet him, Boogie is really enjoying LOLing with him on my phone. Also…if you’re Tina, who does that make me? Oh no, not Gene??!!

      January 2, 2015
  6. Erica Stewart #

    Happy New Year to you. Thank you for your newsletters. Great to hear you this year at BADRAP. I think more now about compassion fatigue and learning to take breaks. Thank you. Erica

    January 1, 2015
    • Thanks Erica and happy new year to you too! I’m so glad that talk (in the hottest tent ever) stuck with you and that you’re beginning to take some time for yourself. Cheers to self-care in 2015!

      January 2, 2015
  7. Cindy and Perry #

    Happy New Year! A huge thank you for your amazing DINOS articles. I adopted a 100lb dog last year and quickly found that 30 years of having large dogs didn’t prepare me for this. The support and understanding from your blog and all the other readers was invaluable. I hardly have a DINO anymore but do share your wonderful site with many others.
    Thanks for sharing and hope you can take some time for yourself. It’s been an overwhelming year for most people I know. Cheers from Canada:)

    January 1, 2015
    • Thanks Cindy – I’m so happy to know the blog and the awesome community here was helpful with your XL DINOS! Happy New Year!

      January 2, 2015

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: