My 3 words for 2016


by Christine Kling

I know I have been a slacker when it comes to blogging the latter part of 2015. My fingers haven’t felt like dancing on the keyboard, and I haven’t been keeping folks up on the changes in my life. Currently, I am in Florida working on prepping our condo for either lease or sale, not sure which, and my husband Wayne is back on the boat in Fiji trying to get her ready to launch next month. We have made some big decisions about what we intend to do in 2016, and the short version is we are going to sail the 6-7,000 miles back to North America to sell our current boat in order to build a new one. So choosing my words for this new year has been a particularly interesting task.

2016 is my fourth year of selecting my 3 words for the new year. I have found this much more valuable than making New Year’s resolutions. In my case, the three words often work together by forming a triangulation to give direction to all my actions for that year. I view life as a long string of choices, and we are responsible for the choices we make. I pick words that will help guide my choices in the coming year. In the past three years, I have chosen these words, and if you are interested, you can click on the years to go to the blogs and read the reasons why:

2013 – Intend, Treasure, Stretch

2014   Awe, Tribe, Heart

2015 – Star, Brave, Connect

My 3 words for 2016

For 2016, I have chosen these three words, and each has a bit of a story to explain it:

Act  Okay, I admit it, I am a procrastinator. I have been since I was a little girl. But back when I was young, I thought I had all the time in the world to get things done. Today, I am 61 years old. (I know, how did that happen? I certainly don’t feel 61!) This past year, I put off calling friend. Wayne and I were traveling around Florida and Canada, and I thought I could do it later, after he was gone back to Fiji, and I was left alone here in Florida. Only tragedy struck and my dear friend was killed in a car accident, something that could have happened to someone at age 6 or 60. So this word is very important to me. Message to self: don’t put s*#t off. Live each day like it might be your last. If it matters, do it. Act now.

Believe  This word has so many ramifications for me given my avocation as a writer of fiction and our plans to build a new boat. But sometimes important lessons are revealed in small things. Wayne is always an optimist while I tend to be the catastrophizer. But a few days ago, I rode my bicycle to the grocery store here in Fort Lauderdale, and when I stopped at a picnic table in the store’s foyer to repack my backpack, I left my purse on the bench. I didn’t realize it until I got home and was unpacking my backpack. At first, I thought the worst. I began cursing myself for being so stupid. Then I thought of how Wayne would react, and I jumped back on my bike and rode back to the store with positive thoughts. When I arrived, a store manager greeted me by name and told me someone had turned in my purse. She pointed to the customer service desk and a young man handed me my bag. There had been about $100 in cash inside in addition to credit cards and cash, and it was all there. It’s not that I think that thinking positive thoughts made that happen. But good things do happen and there are really wonderful, kind people in the world. I choose to go through life believing the best of people. Sometimes I will be disappointed, for sure, but  for 2016, I choose to believe.

Tenacity  I started my search for a word here with the concept of “follow-through.” I feel as though sometimes I have very good intentions, but all too often I don’t follow them through to completion. I will get an idea, get all excited about it, and then let it fizzle. This is impacting all facets of my life. Then I looked at the concept of stick–to–itiveness which Mirriam Webster describes as dogged perseverance. That is what tenacity is.When you are tenacious, you don’t give up, don’t let go. I am soon going to turn 62 years old, and we have decided to build a new boat. At the same time, I have this career as a writer that I adore. I want to do both. It’s going to take a boatload of tenacity.

I challenge you to pick three words to guide you in your choices in 2016. I would love it if you would share them here in the comments. I look forward to reading them.

Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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5 Responses to My 3 words for 2016

  1. Betty Kish says:

    My life-long friend, Pat, would be SO PROUD!!!

  2. Amanda Goertz says:

    Inspired – love this word so much that I decided to name my new business, InspirED Education Consulting after it. Got tired of complaining about the work that others wanted me to do, and struck out on my own.
    Framily – My relationships with my blood relatives (“family”) is oddly formed, and I truly feel like this is the year to connect with my chosen family who are mostly friends who I have become closely knit with over the course of 30+years (framily).
    Mindfulness – Tired of feeling unhealthy, tired of being tired, and needing a reboot – or at least a kick in the boot, has prompted me to adopt the latest craze in mindfulness. I’ve never been very religious, nor spirited, but I’m really enjoying this mindfulness of living in the moment (something we share).

    Best to you, Wayne, and the fur-friends. Hoping to reconnect sometime in real life.
    -Amanda (aka motor mouth)

  3. Hey Betty – I’m so happy to see your name. I was a bit worried when I saw you had been ill. With mom, it goes both ways. I’m also so proud of her. Stay healthy!


  4. Hi Amanda,
    We spent only a few hours in Seattle last month. We came down on the train from Vancouver. One of these days we will try to stay long enough to connect with you. That would be so much fun! Your 3 words are outstanding and good job of explaining your choices.

  5. Your blog (which I love, as well as your books) inspired me to choose three words for 2016. I don’t make New Year resolutions but I felt that perhaps I should start reflecting on each year’s passage and not treat it as just another day as I usually do. The remaining years are just too precious to let slip by. I thought long and hard about what words I should choose to guide me through the new year. My first three words were: Purposefulness, Discipline and Understanding with lots of ‘to dos’ and ‘shoulds’ attached to them. Then I decided I would not make a rod for my back and set myself up to fail. Instead, my final words for 2016 are: Experience, Explore and Engage – the world and its people. Thanks for the inspiration.

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