Exploring my Options #WBOYC

My Word of the Year for 2023 is EXPLORE

I’ve spent the month panicking that I won’t do my WOTY, Explore, justice as I have in other years – why do I put pressure on myself when really it’s such a small part of my life?

Anyway, I’ve moved on from those panicky moments and have decided I’ll just do the best I can and be happy with that 🙂 I’m trying to explore my inner thoughts!

I’m starting to Explore my Options

I started the month by exploring some new fashion, buying some new pieces from different shops. This sleeveless cotton beach dress is from West Indies Wear (thanks to co-host Sue’s recommendations). It’s cool and comfortable to wear although I’m not usually a fan of ‘no sleeves’, but see, I’m really starting to explore my options!

new summer dress
new summer dress

I’ve also had fun exploring photo apps (as in the above photo) and like the various focus they give and realise it can be a fun way to use photos too. If I hadn’t used the theme above all you would see is my messy bedroom behind me!

This photo is using an artistic filter and for some reason I like it – the Mathematician not so much!

What does EXPLORE mean?

I’ve chosen a word that can mean a lot of different things – I tend to do that each year! Some of my followers have commented that I choose words they would never think of and I then put my own spin on it, in ways they weren’t expecting! I like that and see it as a positive, I like to make myself think outside the box and challenge others 🙂

Explore can relate to creativity, food, ideas, travel, books, music, exercise, relationships, fun, fashion – it’s a word that exudes adventure and curiosity – and how I love these words! I’ll be exploring my options throughout the year.

Exploring Previous Words

My previous words all have their own pages on a brand new menu on my blog now as I’ve been busy doing behind the scenes work on the blog over summer. I’ve been exploring how my WOTY impacts on my year and it’s been cool to see just how much focus I put into my WOTY.

  • My WOTY in 2022 was GIFT – and it was another great word to focus on each month. My final post of the year summed it all up – The Gift of Age. I really took to finding the gift in everyday things, how I could be a gift to others and using my gifts in various ways. Everyone has a gift, they just need to realise it and make the most of it.
  • My word for 2021 was BOLD and each month I wrote a post using the letters B.O.L.D to spell out how I was bold during the month. It made me accountable and gave me a focus to live a bold-er life and it was great fun to work out how being bold was impacting on me and others! And apparently I was an inspiration to some people – who would have thought?!
  • Jump in 2020 – I jumped my way through most of the year, except when I couldn’t jump due to a sore knee!
  • Time in 2019 – I spent the whole year looking at time and it still went by too fast!

What’s Been on Your Calendar plus Word of the Year

Our new monthly linkup for the year, will focus on What’s Been on Your Calendar #WBOYC and allows for #WOTY (Word of the Year) updates as well as anything else you’ve been up to during the month. The linkup goes live today (Friday 27 January 2023 Aus time) and is open for seven days, so we do hope you will join us.

Exploring January

For me January has been a month for getting back into things and exploring my options after the Christmas holiday period, although thankfully there’s no return to work angst to look forward to anymore!

I’ve come up with some activities for each letter of Explore which also combines what’s been on my calendar – I hope you appreciate the effort this took on behalf of my poor brain!

Exercise-wise I’ve been exploring different ways of moving my body and have made a conscious decision to try a range of things – I’ve walked briskly in the forest; along the creek in town; I’ve ridden my bike on short trips to town rather than drive and longer rides along the rail trail with our Social Saturday riders; and I’ve enjoyed aqua aerobics sessions twice a week – the hot weather has made that a popular class! I’ve also regularly joined my online group for exercise sessions tailor-made for us and tuned in for some yoga sessions online to help stretch my muscles. I even took the plunge into gardening!

X – marks the spot. As Debor-ah the Explorer, each month I’m committing myself to finding somewhere I haven’t been and either going there in person or looking up as much information as I can about it for a future visit. This month it’s the O’Keefe Rail Trail in Bendigo as I’ve often talked about going there but not actually managed to do it! I’ll be reporting back on my explorations never fear (I’ve shared a few photos of our ride below) and spoiler alert – I met up with a blogging friend, Jen from nextphaseinfitness.com, and I’ll be sharing more in a future post. It was great to finally meet her!

Personal – I’ve finally had my hair trimmed and had a few foils put in as my appointment in December had to be cancelled due to me having Covid, it was long overdue! I’m back on track with other appointments now too – massage being one of them. I’m also back to healthier eating and trying to move more – hence the exercise and movement as outlined above.

Locally – I’ve met up with friends, chatted on the phone or online and enjoyed video calls from my daughters and grandchildren. Our Rotary Club has started back and we had the Australia Day Awards to organise, so planning got underway for this and other Rotary events. I’ll be taking over as President of the club in July so I have to get my head around my responsibilities again (again I say, as I was President in 2011/12).

On the family front – I’ve updated calendars with birthdays, anniversaries, bought some presents and started to plan a few explorations! After our rail trail explorations we went to Canberra for my grandson’s second birthday party which was lots of fun! I’ve already seen my mother and siblings this year and have plans to visit my sister in Melbourne before too long. We celebrated out 43rd Wedding Anniversary this month plus the Mathematician has a birthday coming up. This week it’s been 5 years since my Dad passed away – hard to believe as it’s gone by so fast, but so much has happened in those years too. He is missed.

Reading – My latest WOYBS post lists all my latest readings and what books I’ve enjoyed over the summer months. It’s a monthly challenge we invite anyone who has a love of reading and wants to share their reviews, or thoughts on books they’ve read , to join us in our link party. This linkup goes live on the third Friday of each month in the Southern Hemisphere or the third Thursday in the Northern part of the world.

Exploring my blogging world – I’ve updated my blog, summarised last year’s happenings; looked at the annual stats; started my new Blog diary and written in all my known dates for posts; and started looking at deleting older posts and photos. I’ve updated my books for the year that was and started a new page for 2023’s reading challenge. I’ve also been participating in the Bloganuary daily prompts but doing a weekly post instead of a daily one. I’ve just joined a new Blogging Challenge with Gail and others, with a monthly word prompt. This month the prompt was Time which I enjoyed writing about. You can read my post here and see links to the other co-hosts, and you can join in by writing a post and linking to mine or leaving a comment with your link. There are plans to share a link up in future. Next month the prompt is PLAY with posts going live on Thursday 16 February (3rd Thursday of the month).

Zachary turns 2
Zachary turns 2

Here are a few shots of our trip to Bendigo – more to come!

So there you have it, my first WOTY post and our first WBOYC linkup of the year.

Please consider joining my lovely co-hosts Donna, Jo and Sue and share whatever you’ve been up to over the past month or so.

Have a great week and try to do some exploring of your own 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Deb xx

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Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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58 Replies to “Exploring my Options #WBOYC”

  1. A fantastic start to your year Deb-the-Explorer and I can’t wait to read your monthly catch-up posts. You’ve certainly started on the front foot in all areas and I can feel your enthusiasm. We’ve booked two holidays for June and November so that’s a start and I’ve started to really appreciate using my TIME wisely. Have a wonderful February and thanks for being such dynamic co-host of #WBOYC xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sue, I really appreciate your kind words. I’m determined to explore many different things during the year and our #WBOYC linkup was a good way to start the year with my new WOTY. I’m glad it came over as positive! So happy to hear you’ve booked 2 holidays and you’re rocking your WOTY Time :). Thanks for being a fabulous co-host – we all work so well together. Off to read your post now xx


  2. Woo hoo, I love your word and your take on it…it’s so open ended and invites you to be a ‘risk taker’ (the sleeveless dress!!) and be curious. Wonderful read Deb, and you do have a lot ahead that looks both interesting and challenging. As Life Needs To Be, I reckon…thanks for the new link up and I will visit the others later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Denyse, I’m glad you have joined in for the linkup this month and look forward to your posts. My word is already proving to be helpful and interesting. I tend to look at things a bit differently when I have a focus and see lots of opportunities ahead as I explore things. I am curious and love an adventure :). The sleeveless dress was a good result!


    1. Thanks Carol, I felt a bit funny about the dress at first but now I love it and it makes me feel young which is always a good feeling 🙂 We women seem to find things wrong with many of our body parts and I’m going to show my arms off from now on I’ve decided!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Janis, I’m sure I’ll find enough things to explore during the year to make it fun! It’s up to me to make it a good one, so it will most likely be a combination of things. I love having a focus 🙂


  3. Hi, Debbie – I love how you took each letter from your WOTY to show us what’s been on your calendar. That is such an inspired and creative idea!
    I totally related to your question “why do I put pressure on myself when really it’s such a small part of my life?” It’s a constant theme of mine. If I ever find out my answer to this, I will definitely let you know. 😀
    And speaking of burning questions, how is Zachary already two?! That happened in a blink of the eye!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna! I’m glad you saw my creativity in action, I just thought it was a way of cheating my way through my word EXPLORE!!! We must be soul-sisters putting pressure on ourselves like we do 🙂 when you get the answer please tell me!
      Zachary is turning into his own little person and is super cute, even though I know I’m biased he really is clever, caring and sweet!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb, I absolutely LOVE your word ‘Explore’. It’s fabulous! I also love the way you’ve explained it and broken it down with each letter of the word. Your new dress looks fabulous on you. I usually don’t do sleeveless either but this looks great on you! I really like the photo of you with the artistic filter on it too! It looks like an art work! I hope you have a wonderful 2023 exploring in every possible way. I am sure that you will. Thanks for hosting and I will be trying my best to link up each month! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Min, I am hearing from many women our age who don’t do the sleeveless thing anymore but I’ve decided I’m now going to wear no sleeves and to hell with any social conventions I’m breaking about age, arms whatever – enough with it all I say!! I thought the photo was like a work of art too and loved the effect and colours, thanks for that as you are far more artistic than I am. Looking forward to reading your posts whenever you can manage to post, you have a lot going on so take care x


  5. Great start to a year of exploring Deb. I can see your word is going to be a great one for 2023. Catching up with you was a January highlight for me. We are currently on holidays so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get a post up for January. Decided to stop stressing about it, and like you, just do what I could. Thanks again for the linkup

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jen, it was great to catch up with you too and I’ll be featuring that in an upcoming post when I write up our ride. It’s easy to get stressed about all the things we want to get done but really we can only do what we can do. Thanks for linking up and enjoy your holidays.


  6. Using the anacronym format was a great way to cover your WOTY and to allow it some diversity Deb. I also really liked your new dress – you wear colour wonderfully – and I think that’s so much better than the beige fashion craze (google ‘beige babies’ – I just don’t get why you’d monochrome your littlie – I’m glad IG wasn’t around my kids were rocking coloured clothes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that Leanne, my new dress is very comfy and easy to wear on a hot day, I also love the colours. I can’t imagine why anyone would think beige was a good colour especially for a baby!! My kids, like yours, wore a range of bright colours! The acronym format was a good way to get my WOTY started and I’m glad you enjoyed it too.


  7. You’ve certainly started the year in an energetic way – you’ve definitely chosen a good word for your WOTY!
    The new dress looks lovely, while we here in the UK are bundled up in our comfy, warm clothes it seems strange to think that you are enjoying your summer. We should be proud to expose our arms, they have held our babies, and cuddle our grandchildren – show them off!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deb, that’s a lovely way of looking at our arms, they’ve sure carried a lot of love in them over the years haven’t they? It’s something I hadn’t thought of so really appreciate your comment. Yes summer here is going well and we’ll be back in UK in May so hopefully will get some more nice weather.


    1. Yes Suzanne Explore has lots of potential and I’m enjoying finding all the ways I can make it work for me. I’m glad you are enjoying the re-model of our link up and look forward to reading your posts.


    1. Thanks Gail I like being productive and busy to some extent but also slow when I want it to be. I’m so glad you’ve managed to join us and really enjoyed your post, thanks for the shout out.


  8. I love your WOTY. For a number of years now, I’ve tracked “new experiences”. It’s everything from new restaurants to trying new things or visiting new places. For me it’s one of the elements that brings me so much life satisfaction – when I get down, I look at my tracking list and it boosts me up. [And yes, it’s one of the elements of practicing positive psychology. ] That said, your first month of explore has me wondering if you have more than 31 days in a month! So much fun stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pat, your tracking of new experiences has been interesting to follow, when you post about them. It’s been a busy start to the year but things should settle down for us all soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am impressed with your dedication to blogging and how organized you are with it, Debbie! I could learn a thing or two from you. I don’t have a WOTY but gosh, I sure love yours. I am at a point in my life, and with my blog, where I’m really ready to EXPLORE! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rhonda, I like to be semi-organised and have fun with things, rather than take them too seriously. Thanks for your visit and for leaving me a comment, it’s great to have you join me and I’m very happy with Explore as my WOTY for 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was lovely to meet Jen and we hit it off as we’ve known each other for years, which in a way we have! Thanks for the comment on my new dress, it’s such an easy thing to wear and makes me feel good, so win/win 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Deb, Hi from one explorer to another 🙂 It seems you are off to a good start to 2023. How fun that you got to meet Jen. Thank you for co-hosting WBOYC with Donna, Sue and Jo. Have a fantastic February!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased to be exploring the year alongside you Natalie! I’ve had a good start to the year with more thoughts forming as my creative juices kick in!


  11. A little late to the party, but it was worth the wait, Debbie! Thanks for co-hosting WBOYC–what a great feature! I love your WOTY, maybe I will pocket that one for myself 😉 I love how you used EXPLORE to outline your busy life. and love that summer dress with the starfish–you’re a star!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Debbie,
    Lovely to meet you via the Weekend Coffee Share and to hook up with a fellow Australian. My word for 2023 in IMPLEMENTATION. It’s been action for a few years and I didn’t feel that had really had the desired results so I’m hoping to implement the work I’ve been doing and see some results, especially with my writing and historic research.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your word for the year – it conjures up so many positive images. And I also like how you combined describing what’s on your calendar with your word. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It will be an exciting year for you! So many good plans and I especially look forward to the exploring new places part.
    I’m impressed with how organised you are with your blog posts! I should try to do something like that too. The only regular post I’m planning enough is the fitness update on Sundays but many times I’m not able to make time for more than that although I’d like to write other posts too.
    I think you look fabulous in that sleeveless dress! I quite like sleeveless but I’ve always had trouble with it because of my body shape – they’re always too small around the shoulders. Perhaps this year with some more muscles, they’ll fit better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susanne, it was good to get my first WOTY post written and I’m happy with my direction for the year ahead. Travelling, even if only locally, can be a great adventure and I enjoy finding new things. Being organised even a little bit by using a blog diary helps me keep from feeling overwhelmed with everything that’s going on. The sleeveless dress is really nice and I appreciate your comment. I have small shoulders and often feel a bit ‘weird’ in some fashions. I’m sure your muscles are building up nicely!


      1. I realised I actually mistyped about the sleeveless – I also have small shoulders and sleeveless is always too large for my shoulders if I want it to look good around the midsection.
        And I’ll try to make a blog diary now!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I kind of thought I left a comment about the awesome dress and what a cool ap that is which fancies up the background. Like Grant I am not so keen on the other edited photo but I love the ones of your bike trip and the wee lad’s birthday! Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

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