happy I completed the New Year workbook and chose a word for the year. I don’t usually do that. Most people who do have words like “seeking” and “share” and “strength.” There is even a website where you can pick a suitable word. And the workbook I picked this year has several pages involving the word of the year. At first I ignored them, but as I went through the process, I kept meeting one concept, once word.

I surprised myself not only by choosing a word, but by choosing a word I’m not all that involved with: “beauty.”

But maybe I am. I think that beauty, like knowledge, is good in and of itself. If something is beautiful, that is sufficient reason for it to exist and take up time or space.

What’s more, I think that my work is not only about helping people make more money — though that was certainly the focus of 2013 — but also about using words and images and skill to make the virtual world, where we so largely live, more beautiful. Outside of work, much of my life includes making the physical world more beautiful in  very small ways by gardening and baking and singing and making things, helping to keep it as beautiful as it is by making environmentally friendly choices, and enjoying and appreciating its beauty.

It is easy to forget this.

Perhaps this year I will not forget it. I think I spent a lot of 2013 feeling worried, frustratred, and fearful. This is a stupid way to live. In 2014, I will enjoy the beauty of life, the beauty of my life, and remember that my work is supposed to be about creating beauty.

I met my dad for breakfast today, and then went to the grocery to stock up on lovely produce that will make it easy to do without the Evil 6. I did a little work, and now I am watching a beautiful movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I intend to clear and clean my house, make beautiful salads, complete the slippers which did not manage to become the sixth FO of 2013 but instead will become the first FO of 2014, and to relax and enjoy the day.

I feel the sense of failure from 2013 dissipating. A lot of my Facebook friends are saying things like, “I survived” and, “2013 was weird on so many levels,” so it wasn’t only me. The calendar’s gift to us of the illusion of a new start is a worthwhile gift, and I plan to accept it.

My youngest graduated in 2013, we had good revenue growth in the business, we tried arrangements with contractors that didn’t work out as well they could have but which still resulted in a great team, and there was plenty of beauty to appreciate… but perhaps I didn’t.

This year, I’ll change that.