Cheers for a Playful 2014!

Hello and Happy New Year!

Have you ever chosen a word
just one single word
to guide you through the year?

For the last couple of years I’ve held the word balance close to my heart. It was the word that helped me to navigate a very busy life: teaching up to 5 dance classes per week, directing a dance troupe, choreographing and producing shows while managing to have a family life and working a 9-5 day job (phew!)


Balance was the word that got me through to the other side of menopausal depression. I was out of balance physically, emotionally and hormonally. Searching for and maintaining balance was the lifeline that I clung to and the rope I hauled myself up by. It kept me secure during the heartache of deciding to let go of my dance troupe and students. I kept it in the front of my mind during my weight loss journey (65 pounds!).  It was the word that taught me to put health and happiness above productivity.

Balance guided me through the waters of deciding to retire relatively young; to move to a new town and seek out new adventures.

1-CollinsBalance: what a beautiful word!

But now it’s time for a new word to live by. It’s time to get out of the box and…


This year I am going to play in my kitchen and learn to bake a cake from scratch. Specifically, some of the Chatelaine cakes. Yum!

…and I will experiment creating delicious meals from all over the globe: India, Japan, Italy, Thailand…! No fear in the kitchen will be my new motto – play with those spices, Nita! Try it out!

37-CollinsIn my Creativity room I will play in the sewing nook, on the yoga mat, in-front-of the dance mirror and with words at my laptop.

My body will become stronger as I play outdoors, exploring local walking and hiking trails with Kelly and Sammy. We’ll take our bikes out and explore some of the country roads.

I will play in the garden, discovering all the wonders of living in a zone 5 gardening region.

I vow to put myself “out there” and be open to meeting new friends, getting involved in the community somehow (music? theater? dance?)

32-CollinsMy friend Melissa at 100 Billion Stars puts it brilliantly (you can read her entire blog post here):

Play is a way of making room for our potential. It isn’t about pretending to be something we hope to be one day. It isn’t about presenting a different face to the world, trying on masks and personae. It’s about being authentic and true to ourselves in an atmosphere without judgment or rules. It’s from this place that growth begins, releasing the possibilities that have been lying dormant all our lives.

So here I am this morning, wishing you all a wonderful year of play and a hell of a good time doing it!

70-CollinsNo fear! Have fun!


(these wonderful family photos were taken by Heather Jones of hpj photography at our Fox Lake cabin last September. We had so much fun!)


  1. Yes….I think we may be soulsisters! (My previous word was balance also) I’m adding your blog to my blogroll under “inspirational reads!” So nice to meet ya!! We will have even more fun playing now that we met!!

  2. Love this post Nita. Congratulations on retiring and your new adventures that come with moving house. Hiking, baking and gardening (and of course creativity) sounds divine… Can I come too? 🙂

    You and I sound very similar – pushing too hard, doing too many things and burning ourselves out in the process. Love that you are taking the time out to play and experiment and try new things. Oh, if you want a recipe for banana bread or a lemon yoghurt cake, let me know 🙂

  3. I can’t tell you how many ways, and how many reasons, I love this post!

    I also love your snowflakes. How the heck did you do that?

    And who are those handsome men with you in your photos?

    What a creative blend to present this post. Starting my new year off right by reading it!

    Happy and Healthy 2014!

  4. I like your new word and it sounds fun. I have chosen Content. I realised this Christmas that was how I felt and after thinking about it the word has so many other connotations. Good luck with the tasty content.

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