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As we roll into 2015 we are surrounded by all kinds of encouraging words to get us off to a great start. This year I stayed home with my family to watch the Times Square ball drop on television and was struck by how many references there were to 2015 being the year of something.

In all the excitement and frenzy that can only be generated by standing out in the freezing cold with a million others for 12 hours, people were quick to make year-end declarations. The year of love, the year of fertility, the year of “fill in the blank “ with a singer or celebrity. What is great about a new year is that it can be a very different year for whoever is bestowing the label.

I have to admit that around the office at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, we started proclaiming a menu of things we wanted to assign to 2015. Most all of them correlated to our strategic plan for the year and we were using our “year of’s” as rallying cries to motivate us to move forward.

I have started to wonder if the “year of” might be as tough to keep up with as what now appears to be the outdated concept of resolutions, but then I noticed that most of the labels were accompanied by a hash tag (#).

If this is a concept you are not familiar with it probably means you don’t spend time on social media sites like Twitter where the hash tag serves as something of an identifier or cataloging system for words or concepts that are trending or interesting.

One search early New Years Day revealed there were no shortage of “year of “ hash tags. I could find others that had made similar proclamations to my own and actually got a few more ideas of what 2015 could be the year of for me and for Southwest Florida.

But I still wondered how to keep up with all of the newly formed expectations. As my good luck black eye peas simmered on the stove, I realized that most all resolutions and “year of “hash tags came down to one hash tag. #yearof giving.

Giving can take on so many forms. Giving ourselves what we need to be healthy content and fulfilled. Sometimes we spend so much time giving to others we forget to take care of ourselves. Giving our family and friends love and attention, giving others compassion and understanding when needed, and giving of ourselves with our time, talents and treasure. The possibilities are endless, which tempts me to go with #yearofpossibilites

Happy New Year no matter your hash tag!
I would love to hear what your “year of” would be for 2015. Email me at [email protected], or use the hashtag on Twitter @ListeninginSWFL.

Sarah Owen
Sarah Owen

Sarah Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to driving regional change for the common good. The Foundation is committed to engaging the community in conversations and action that creates sustainable positive change and provides the funding to make those changes a reality. More