Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 OLW

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. 


  1. I read your post and started thinking about an OLW for 2016 for myself. Then I saw this Incidental Cartoon. Enjoy it even though they are more like resolutions than OLWs. I'll keep you posted on my OLW.

  2. That's an amazing OLW! I'm not even fully sure what it means actually - but I know it will take you to amazing places in 2016!