What Comes Next? YOLK Welcomes 2016

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you can.” (John Wesley) 

Attribution: Donna CameronOne of the big lessons of kindness I talked about last week was that kindness isn’t something that I can adopt for a single year and then move on. I’ve come to the conclusion that my #1 job is kindness. That’s what I’m here for. I may not be very good at it yet, but I want kindness to be my lifetime pursuit, and one about which I can say on my very last day, “Yes, I lived a kind life.”

So, no, dear husband, rest assured 2016 will not be “a year of living bitchy,” nor—to your great disappointment—will it be “a year of learning to dust and vacuum” (after all these years, it’s time to let that one go, Sweetie).

I want kindness to remain central to my life and I will continue to practice it and follow the path on which it leads me. I want to continue to write about kindness. I am one of those people who, like Joan Didion, write to find out what they are thinking.

So, I plan to keep the blog going, but I will certainly be less obsessive about posting every week at exactly the same time. I have truly enjoyed blogging, and the knowledge I’ve gained and the remarkable people I’ve connected with have exceeded any expectations I had a year ago. I will continue to write when I have something to say or share. I will also continue to compile the quotes and other resources that I’ve been collecting on the Resources page.

Since writing has always been a central passion in my life, I also plan to write about plenty of other things in 2016 and beyond.

A few people have very kindly asked me if I might turn these musings into a book, and that is something I would certainly love to do. I don’t know how to go about it…but I’m eager to learn. At this point I’ve written more than 62,000 words about kindness (can you say verbose?), so I hope there is something to work with here. I’d also like to speak about kindness and hope to make some opportunities to spread the word in an inspiring and enjoyable way.

The beginning of 2016 marks another big change in my life, as—after more than 30 years—I am stepping down from working day-to-day in association and non-profit management and opening myself to what comes next. I’m not calling it retirement—I still plan to consult with non-profits—but there are a boatload of other things I’m eager to try, as well. I may tell you about them here as I discover and explore what’s around the corner and waiting in the wings.

Even though I’m not going anywhere and I plan to continue blogging, I do want to take a moment to thank all of you who have been reading YOLK—whether you started with me way back in January of 2015 or you just came aboard this month. I can’t begin to tell you how I have appreciated your kind and thought-provoking comments and your encouragement. You often inspired me to think more critically or dive deeper into ideas. Some of you are my dear friends, and some have become friends—even though we’ve never actually ”met”—that’s one of many really cool things about blogging and the blogging community. Thank you all for your kindness.

For any of you who may have joined our kindness community later in the year, I invite you to read earlier posts. They are launched from this home page.

A closing thought about kindness for 2015: we always have the choice to interrupt the cycle of unkindness by letting it stop with us, and we have the choice to deliberately extend kindness wherever we can. Sometimes it’s hard, and we won’t always make the right choice. But if we do our best and keep our intention in front of us, we can—little-by-little—change the world. And that’s pretty awesome.

Finally, because I like symmetry, it feels most fitting to end this year of living kindly with the same Neil Gaiman quote I used to open the year. I hope you like it as much as I do, and I hope it will inspire you to make 2016 your year of living exactly the life you most want to live. My blessings and grateful thanks to you all. 

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.” (Neil Gaiman)

21 thoughts on “What Comes Next? YOLK Welcomes 2016

  1. Donna, I will miss your regular posts. Ha ha ha on the “year of living bitchy” and the “year of learning to dust and vacuum. ” I really love these quotes and I’m going to use them as seed pearls for upcoming articles myself.

    On the book, get Scrivener. Highlight, copy, and paste the blog post into it as sections. Decide what makes sense as chapters. Re-arrange as needed. Edit as needed. Compile. Send out to people to beta-read it for you. Edit it based on what they found. Compile again. Then decide if you want to go indie or traditional publishing. This is the process I’m in now on my first book. With Amazon and their Createspace Print On Demand partner, you could have your book published and available for purchase in ebook or print in one to three months, sooner if you work fast and if your beta-readers read fast.

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    • Thanks, Tim, for being such an enthusiastic and encouraging reader of my blog (and for finding my jokes funny!). I am so glad we connected this year and I look forward to continuing to follow your tremendous blog. Thank you for the recommendation about Scrivener—I have been looking into it and find it exciting (if overwhelming). I can see how it could manage and make easier this and other writing projects I have underway. One of my intentions for the coming year is to learn some new tricks (as every old dog should), so I believe Scrivener shall be one of them!


      • Yes, yes, Donna! I love the idea of a YOLK-inspired book and volunteer to be a beta-reader (which is a new term to me…in my poetry workshops of the past we always called ’em First Readers). Whatever you decide w/ regards to a book, though, I’m glad YOLK is here to stay. Your blog has helped me embrace my own tendencies toward kindness with acceptance & pride. I used to think that being labelled “nice” was something rather negative…that it meant being a pushover (as we’ve discussed previously), not to mention that “nice” is a horribly unoriginal & cliched word! I’m much more inclined these days to see a dedication to kindness as something that requires courage and that builds resilience.Thank you!

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        • Nancy, you have been so encouraging … not to mention thought-provoking in your comments! Thank you so much. And thanks for your kind offer to be a “beta” or “first” reader (the terms are new to me, too)—I will certainly take you up on that generous offer if, indeed, YOLK goes in that direction (and it is whispering to me that it wants to!). I’m so happy to hear that you found value in the blog and that we share a commitment to kindness—even though it’s not always easy. I look forward to staying connected through our blogs in the new year. Wishing you amazing things in 2016.

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    • Wow! Thanks so much for sharing that Neil Gaiman quote for a new year. Great and inspiring advice. He is a wise and witty man, not to mention a very good writer. I shall take his advice and make all the mistakes I can. Wishing a year of adventurous mistakes for you, too, Tim! The best to you in 2016.


  2. Donna,

    I am one of your latecomers, but I am so happy to have become one of your readers. i look forward to more of your posts and am inspired to think about what I want to try to live aloud in 2016! Happy New Year! Margy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Margy, so glad we’ve (re)connected, thanks to Lynn.Thanks so much for your comment and good wishes, and for joining this community. I hope 2016 brings you unimagined joy and abundant good health.


  3. Thank you, Kathi, for your kind wishes. I’m so glad we connected this year, and look forward to the “campers” continuing to support and share in 2016. Have a fabulous year!


  4. Hi Donna! Thank you for your consistency and generosity, sharing yourself and your reflections all year! Your blog has been a highlight of my year, I always look forward to reading it–like saving my time for dessert, so I can really enjoy it. 🙂 So glad to read you will stay around after today, and can’t wait to read what comes next for you!! Best wishes in 2016–may the kindness movement continue to sweep our lives together in peace and love, and may you find new and exciting avenues of expression and contribution!! 😀 xoxo

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    • Thanks so much, Catherine, for your kind words and good wishes. They certainly warmed my heart! I’m so glad we “met” this year and I look forward being fellow travelers on the path toward a kinder, more humanly connected world. Thank you for being such a positive force and an encourager! The best to you in the brand-new year ahead.

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    • Thank you so much, and welcome! Since my posts will be much more sporadic in the year ahead, you can always randomly visit a post from 2015 for a kindness “fix.” It was definitely a year of learning. I looked at your lovely site and plan to visit it whenever I’m in need of a change in scenery. You have made travel exciting and accessible. Here’s to a fabulous year! (I share your preference for the word “intentions” rather than “resolutions.”)

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