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For the past two years, I’ve spent the days between Christmas and January 1 working on Susannah Conway‘s wonderful Unraveling the Year Ahead workbook. It’s a great ritual, and I found it so helpful to check in with my plans and goals last year, especially when things felt muddy. My 2015 word, “lighten,” was a lens through which I could view my experiences, my feelings, my reactions.

This year, my word is “thrive.” As I said to a friend last week, this is the year for getting my roots in the ground, pruning back the less healthy branches and nurturing the healthiest ones. This time next year, I want to be strong and vibrant and confident again. I want to have a stronger spine.

David Bowie died yesterday, and the whole world is mourning. All I can think about is the sheer luck of being on the planet during the time that I’m on the planet. I shared the existing pool of oxygen with David Bowie, with Oliver Sacks, with so many brilliant, shining people. If that’s not a reason to grow where I’m planted, I don’t know what is.

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