2016 Word – Hustle


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

In the early part of 2016, I used One Word to frame the year and my intentions. The word that chose me was “hustle” after I’d done Jon Acuff’s “30 Days of Hustle” in January. Although I’d initially picked something else as my word, it became apparent that was to be my word this year. I can’t say I was too thrilled with it and I didn’t quite warm up to it until this fall.

I didn’t want to hustle anymore. I wanted down time, time with family and friends, time to have more fun, and to not be constantly striving.

However, due to an almost immediate change in my new job, hustle was it for this year. A long-time employee quit and I was the only one on the team that had done what she did for sales, use, and property taxes (and a few more things besides that). I did it twenty years ago, but no one on my team had ever done it. As I joked, the last time I’d used some of that software, it was still DOS.

So I stepped up and took it on. It was highly stressful, but also good for me to brush up on old skills. It got better as the year went on, but there were several meltdowns on my part when I was overwhelmed and saw no way out.

My hustle went like this:

  • January to April – my changed job
  • May – new grandson / helping my daughter & son-in-law with their second baby in two years
  • June – my health as I did a Whole 30
  • July – changing my exercise – I spent the month tired and achy
  • August – working on my breathing as it became apparent with my exercise that this was a problem
  • September & October – work
  • November – smoking on my Big Green Egg
  • December – work

So it wasn’t all about my job, but that definitely impacted everything. As for my exercise, in the heat of the summer I stopped walking during lunch. Instead, I started rowing and doing yoga. Both were good for me, but it was hard for a long time. I’m now rowing with more resistance and for a longer time. The yoga has given me a better range of motion, although my balance has not improved much yet. I struggled to breath normally as I exercised and spent several weeks figuring out how to tame it so that I wasn’t puffing so badly.

The Whole 30 was interesting. It’s a cleaning eating detox program for 30 days. I did two weeks before the baby was born, then 5 weeks after I got back. I actually felt worse at the end than the beginning, which is not the normal experience. It took several more months before I started to really see benefits from it. Although wheat and gluten are not good foods for me, dairy turned out to be the worst problem and I’ve now eliminated it completely from my diet except for grass fed butter. Even yogurt was a problem.

As for work, my bosses and I have made an effort to get me back to my part-time hours. I took off two weeks in May when my grandson was born and didn’t use vacation time for it because my hours were so high. My employer has now hired a new employee for me to transition this work to, so I can go back to state income taxes, which is what I was hired to do. He’s still new and very overwhelmed, but that will resolve itself in the next few months.

My grandsons are 22 months and 7 months. They’ve kept their mother’s blue eyes, or as I tease my son-in-law, him and his father-in-law have a very strong recessive gene for two guys with brown eyes. The boys are healthy but keeping their parents hopping. Neither my daughter or son-in-law are getting much sleep.


If you’re interested in trying One Word next year, Ali Edwards has just opened her class. I’ve taken it for a while now and it’s helped me get a lot out of my using my word and making it happen.

Prior Year Words With Links:

My words for the last few years have been:

2011 – Gratitude

2012 – Serene

2013 – Prepare (curiosity was the first choice, but not what I went with)

2014 – Remember (to smile)

2015 – Create