Word of the Year 2018

“Tend your own garden: savor the blossoms, trim the weeds.”

~Ron Kaufman


For the last 5 years, I have thrown aside the idea of goal setting and resolutions in the New Year.  I found when I tried to set resolutions, I abandoned them early in the year and was depressed that it seemed I hadn’t accomplished anything I had set out to do.

Now I choose a word to guide my year.  It helps remind me of the theme for my year ahead based on challenges I know that I have worked through, and those still to come.  When I started this process, I chose the word, THRIVE, just after retiring.  I needed to work on starting to get my life back in order.  Then I moved to SOAR and INNOVATE. This past year my word was, ROAR, and it allowed me to finally step into my purpose, and reclaim my voice and soul’s purpose, long hidden.

Sometimes it takes silence and listening to our hearts to know what we need. And so I took time in December to listen earnestly for my new word to find me.  Though I considered EXPAND to move forward, my heart said take time to continue to heal and grow on this slow journey. It is time to TEND to your heart, your hearth, your home, your soul.

I really like how TEND feels so nurturing, and yet it still compels me to action.  And this decidedly feminine word feels perfect given the state of our world.  As a woman, I feel the need to TEND to my life and connections to help others TEND to theirs, and help us move from a fear-based world to a more loving, peaceful place.

And when I speak its name, TEND touches me deeply within my heart and soul….as though I were at home….at ease.  Breathing into complete serenity….soothing me.  And what better word for a gardener to select than TEND.
 So, I am happy to embrace this word, and see how TEND helps to guide me this year.

Do you have a guiding word or phrase for the year?  How have you decided to embrace the new year?



A Holiday Vase


For the holidays , I cut boxwood, evergreens, a bit of fern and added some winterberries to my holiday Belleek vase.  I wanted to create a vase that was holiday-themed, and would last for a long time.


I placed it on my bench next to a cute little Santa.



Then I moved it to my black cabinet under a wonderful Santa print….I used to collect Santas, and still have many scattered all year around the house.



I decided to add some red twig dogwood for a bit of height and more color.  This has turned out to be a wonderful vase that has lasted for weeks.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that this New Year brings you many blessings.

I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem about my Word of the Year here.


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


    • Donna says:

      So glad you liked the word Tend Kay…..I think it will be an important word for all of us this year! Happy Tend-er New Year!

    • Donna says:

      Oh do try it….it has helped me focus during the year…there are several free courses, and I use Susannah Conway’s which is on her website. Happy New Year!

  1. AlisonC says:

    A novel and excellent idea to choose a word instead of a resolution. Recently I have only made one per year and it has been a general trend idea rather than the ‘I will eat less chocolate’ sort. Which of course, I won’t! This works but I love your idea of Tend. Yourself, the garden and others.
    Your holiday vase is beautiful and cheerful. I still have my red and green creation from 2 weeks ago.

    • Donna says:

      It is amazing how long these vases last. I like your general theme intention for the year…very similar to the word theme. I wish you an abundant, wish filled , healthy New Year!

  2. Eliza says:

    I like your word of the year, Donna. It sounds gentle and kind, something we need a lot more of in the world. Best to you in the year ahead.

  3. Susan Clark says:

    If I have a resolution it is not to whine, I’m sick of listening to myself go on about my misfortunes. thinking more about what I’m going to say will be part of my tending this year. I have the word thrive on a banner across my kitchen window, the window gives me a view of my garden and the meadow, it reminds me to be grateful for what I have and put energy into enjoying it.

    • Donna says:

      I think if we can be kinder and gentler to ourselves, it will spill out to the world….at least I have high hopes for it…Happy New Year!

  4. Susie says:

    Nice that you used winterberries. They’re spectacular this time of year. “Tend” is a meaningful choice Donna. All the best to you in the new year.

    • Donna says:

      I was pleased to uncover a few. I wanted to leave some for the birds this time of year. All the best for a wonderful New Year Susie!

  5. Cathy says:

    What a gentle word and how well it can be applied to so many different aspects of your life – and as always you have used the photo editing apps to great advantage in highlighting your festive vase. All lovely – thanks for sharing

  6. Kris P says:

    Your painterly photos are as lovely as ever, Donna. I like your tradition of choosing a word to guide you over the course of the year rather than the more common throw-away resolutions – it offers a philosophy to assist in navigating the challenges and opportunities almost impossible to predict at the beginning of each year.

    Best wishes for a happy new year!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Kris….you have stated the wonders of a word of the year perfectly. Wishing you an abundant New Year in your life and garden.

  7. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    A very good word and a beautiful vase! It’s so interesting how the feminine in our culture has come to mean weak in some ways. And yet, to “tend” someone or something requires a great deal of strength, doesn’t it? Our country and our world call out for tending, don’t they? And this will be no small task to improve from our current situation. Hmmmm…you’ve inspired me to give this some thought. Happy New Year, Donna!

    • Donna says:

      I was thinking the same about feminine meaning weak yet the things we think of as feminine are so essential. I think the tide is turning and we will see a stronger presence and influence of women moving us to tending, caring and love. I love that my word has inspired you too! Happy New Year Beth!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Peter! Tend feels pretty good for 2018 so far….wishing you the same wonderful, healthy, abundant and peaceful New Year!

  8. Jason says:

    Those are all good words. With this weather and the state of the world, right now I think my guiding word is SURVIVE. Have a wonderful 2018!

  9. Kathy says:

    What a perfect word Donna! I like the idea of tending (a garden, a recipe, a painting). I believe my mantra this year is PAINT, PLANT, COOK. I haven’t yet sat down to do my usual New Year meditation as I started this New Year in a very different way this year by going to Nashville to see Jimmy Buffett! It was a blast! And I actually stayed up after midnight – wow!!! Now that I’m back on my little island I can get things in motion and TEND to my New Year. Thank you and Happy New Year to you!!!

    • Donna says:

      What a wonderful and playful way to start the year. And I love your mantra. So much creativity. Wishing you an abundant and happy New Year!

  10. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    Tend has connotations of tenderness and that sounds just right for a gardener’s resolution – tendencies are after all, not cast in stone and hence no castigation necessary for falling by the wayside
    All the best for 2018 Donna
    p.s. I like that Santa print

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Laura. I am working on catching up with you and your beautiful photos and words. Wishing you a most wonderful New Year filled with abundance.

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