Your word for 2012?

In just three hours, it will be 2012 in Istanbul. 2012. That sounds like a crazy number… like a number I’d never live to see. (Maybe it’s just me…)

In the last week or so, I have read a couple of posts (this one and the comments to this one) about choosing a word for 2012. I really like this concept… I dig the idea of recognizing and naming where you need to place more of your time and energy… you know, more of your eggs.

So my word for 2012 is hustle. (It’s actually the 2012 word for DP and me. Yes… he knows.)

It’s an interesting word-choice for both of us. As a good Protestant, Anglo-Saxon-descended girl growing up in the Ottawa Valley in the seventies and early eighties, I was not even vaguely familiar with the concept of hustle. My people have got no game. I was taught to do my best… and promised that if I worked hard, I would be rewarded. (The “how” of the reward is still a bit mysterious to me.) My dad’s favourite joke is that if he won a million dollars, he’d farm until it was all gone. (I love this joke… all farmers and their children do!)

Then there’s DP. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after they were married. They are from the Land of Hustle. If I could whistle here, I would. I’m talking about BIG hustle. DP, however, was raised to reject his hustle-roots; his parents’ dearest wish – one they worked hard to manifest – was that he would never, ever have to hustle in order to make his living.

Well… here we are in the twilight of 2011 and DP and I need to get our hustle on.

We are artists. We write and take photographs and make calendars and write books for little kids and we come up with really cool ideas. Ideas that rock. We connect the dots and we present those connected dots to others in a way that’s interesting, visually appealing and genuinely helpful.

It’s time to get paid for those things.

My inner twelve-year old thinks that this is not a nice thing to say out loud. She thinks I already get paid very well for my day job and that to want more is just plain greedy. (Really… she would say it just like that!) She is embarrassed about the hustle.

I say, “Settle down, inner twelve-year old. It’s time.”

What is your word for 2012?

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