Thursday, December 31, 2015
I've finally chosen my OLW for 2016, which will be my very first OLW ever! I'm giving it a go this year in place of my resolution-making, which is basically always the same and peters out by mid-March anyhow.
I have been searching for my word in earnest since only Tuesday. The universe was sending signs my way--or maybe it was just Two Writing Teachers slice-of-life participants--but whatever the case I had the idea that it was time for me to try this idea. I went through several words--trying them on, whispering them, stating them with conviction, letting them sink into me. I tried Breathe, and Enough, and even Magic (which came in a close 2nd.)
Yesterday I was contacted by a DNA cousin --I guess many of us have more time to work on our genealogy over the holidays--regarding my Armstrong line. After working with him for a bit--he was able to break down a wall he has been trying to break down for 20 years!--he gave me some leads, too. Following them, I found the most incredible story. History is a funny thing, y'all, and family history even more so because it relates directly to YOU.
I had never really gone too far back with my Armstrong line. My 2nd great-grandmother was an Armstrong who married a Shaw. I remember my own grandmother talking about her grandmother in my childhood, but only about her---not anything else in that family line, so I didn't know the history; the amazing, magical, bigger-than-life history of the Armstrong Clan. Yesterday my day quickly became all about chasing down this information.
The clan motto is Invictus Maneo- I remain Unvanquished. I love the strength in that; the absolute conviction. After learning this motto, it was clear what word was MINE for the year. It sings to me a powerful warrior song. And any clan motto that goes with a history that involves MacBeth, Danish kings, Vikings, and has an amazing poem by the same name has got to be a good match for this theatre-loving, Scottish-obsessed family historian librarian, right? If you happen to want a quick version of this family history, you can check it out here.
I'll leave you with the poem. In 2016, I will remember that I AM the Master of my Fate & the Captain of my Soul.
I hope you all have a fabulous New Year!
"Invictus" image made using Canva. "Invictus" poem first published in 1875 in Book of Verses.