I choose Desire for 2016. What will you invite into your life?

I choose Desire for 2016. What will you invite into your life?

For the last several years I’ve chosen a word to guide me through the year rather than making resolutions. Last year is was all about the YES. In order to get to this year’s word I need to meander a bit.

Earlier this week I decided it was time for me to be more vocal–to address a couple of things that felt dicey in my life. Voice has been important for me and popped up several times here and in my life. Voice as in ‘speaking up about what’s important for me’.

Not voice, as in singing. I’m a lousy singer. Though for a nanosecond I was singing some with a guitar-playing man who had popped into my life.

He was one of those letter receivers. I shared how I felt about the previous night’s events–he has yet to respond. His silence is his response. Story over. I don’t want people in my life who aren’t able to communicate–for whatever reason. I get that it’s hard to talk about certain things (*ahem* sex). And I understand the importance of making our voices heard. When it comes to relationships; familial, work, friendships, and intimate ones, our ability to speak and to be heard is vital.

It doesn’t have to be eloquent. In emotional moments I don’t always articulate well. But it’s the effort, the understanding that communication is important that matters.

When we clam up. When we let our fear get in the way. When we feel too unworthy to share our own feelings. When we want “this” or “that” too much to be honest about what we really need. They all get in our way and keep us from being ourselves.

The girlfriend I reached out to was able to share all the stuff that’s challenging in her life. And I got to offer support and get clarity on why she seemed distant. I understand now.

The third letter was me being direct about something I had only half-shared. I didn’t need to share more, but I felt that I needed to say it, for me. So I did. I imagine it was difficult to receive and I communicated that as well. It wasn’t about him; it was about me taking care of myself.

The fourth letter is still in edit mode.

I’m going to be 62 this year. It’s my turn (and yeah I probably said that last year, and it’s still my time). It is my job and I can’t expect anyone else to do it for me. If we’re not being honest with ourselves or we’ve given ourselves over to external forces, we can’t live as fully as we want. That part requires self-awareness and a willingness to trust that it will all work out.

Last year was full of ups and downs for me. I made some challenging decisions, like selling my house and reducing my living space by almost 50%. After two years we finally got some closure on the death of my ex-husband.

There were good things–I am debt-free. I’m a carefree renter. Through my travels, some for speaking engagements, others for sheer pleasure I met some fascinating people. A retired doctor who plays Naughty Santa each Christmas. Constance and Eric, the photographers who did my new headshots (see top of page). I met one of my editors for coffee at this cute pastry shop in Soho, Once Upon a Tart! Then there’s John, my new friend from England, who has become a dear friend. John and I have just written our first article together, The Big Senior Relationship Debate for Senior Planet.

A male reader from NYC has unexpectedly turned into someone significant in my life. New friendships are unfolding from my conferences attendances. I spoke at the Sexuality and Aging Institute, as part of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Conference, back in August and was subsequently invited to join the Leadership Committee for the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University.

It turns out that 2015 was a good year.

2016 promises to be full of new adventures–as long as I remain open to what comes along. To put oneself out there is a mix of exhilaration and missteps. We can’t have one without the other.

I’m eager to take risks and make a few mistakes, to make myself vulnerable to love and acceptance, rejection and hurt. I am willing to see what unfolds.

On the schedule for 2016:

  • A writing retreat with Jen Louden in Taos.
  • Trips to New York City, Chicago…and who knows where else.
  • Expanding my business.
  • Nurturing my relationships.
  • Finishing and publishing my book.
  • Speaking engagements.
  • Time with my sons and my grandchildren–which means a trip to the Northwest is on the list.


This new year is all about DESIRE for me. Following my heart’s desire… sexual desire…a desire to taste good food, see new places, meet new people, and experience new things. A desire to live the way I want to live–however messy or colorful that looks.

I am inviting all of these things into my life. 


What will you consciously create in 2016?


  • Jacqueline Wolven
    Posted at 12:40h, 01 January Reply

    Desire – what an interesting word. I often just think of it in the sexual terms, but it means so much more. Especially, as a woman, when we often put our own desires on the back burner until they are just blown out completely. Looking forward to seeing how this unfolds.

    • Walker
      Posted at 13:35h, 01 January Reply

      I do hope people will look deeper…there is a lot to ‘unpack’ from the word and how it might apply to one’s life. Part of it involves the steps we take to give ourselves those things we desire. Letting go, speaking up, getting clear on priorities, etc.

  • Laurel Regan
    Posted at 17:02h, 01 January Reply

    I love the phrase “invite into your life” – what a beautiful way to look at it! I wish you all the best for a desire-filled 2016. 🙂

    • Walker
      Posted at 22:42h, 01 January Reply

      Thanks Laurel. Don’t you agree that we can choose what to invite in, as a way of embracing certain things? It implies conscious decision which I think is pretty important.

  • barbarashallue
    Posted at 23:02h, 03 January Reply

    I think that’s a great word for you and encompasses so much. Last year my word was “Embrace” – very similar! This year “Love” jumped out at me… as in being sure I’m motivated by love no matter what I’m doing, whether selling a house or donating to my church. It will be motivating and challenging, that’s for sure! Wishing you a year full of blessings, Walker!

    • Walker
      Posted at 08:37h, 04 January Reply

      I like love and the way you’ve begun to interpret it…. that’s the key, right? Seeing how we can use words to inspire.
      Nice to ‘see’ you.

  • Truth telling. It's like unloosing the laces on your corset - Walker Thornton
    Posted at 08:12h, 04 January Reply

    […] ← I choose Desire for 2016. What will you invite into your life? […]

  • Dina Eisenberg
    Posted at 12:07h, 05 January Reply

    Honest and on point as usual, Walker. Like you, in the midst of tremendous transition, I had a fabulous 2015 and know that 2016 will only be better. My word is expansiveness. I want to see many opportunities and possibilities unfold before my eyes in a steady stream and chose only those that most delight and nourish me. I’m in serious creator mode because this is the year of the Fire Monkey when making a big leap is simple. Seems like you are, too, my friend. Thanks for calling me to attention

    • Walker
      Posted at 17:46h, 05 January Reply

      From my vantage point you look like you’re on fire. I’m in awe of your work ethic!

  • Editor (Retired)
    Posted at 23:53h, 27 January Reply

    Ah, Walker. In recent years, it’s occurred to me that a really significant difference between men and women is this: With few exceptions, nearly all women are aware, from their teenage years, that they are an object of desire. I’m not sure object is the right word; it might be offensive to some, but it gets my point across clearly. Most women know that, sometimes, maybe most of the time, they are desired, sometimes achingly desired, by at least some men. I wonder what this feels like. Except for the very rich or very handsome or very powerful, most men rarely or never know what it’s like to feel desired in the way that men desire women.

    It must be a great boost to a woman’s self-esteem to know that they have such a powerful effect on men, that they are considered valuable and desirable. I understand that many women don’t want to be defined in this way, and certainly want to be taken seriously for reasons other than sexual desire. But it’s reality. It’s there. Many women know how desirable they are and take it so for granted. It’s there for them all the time, every day, and I know it must sometimes be a burden. If the desire is not palpable all the time, most women know how to turn that desire on in the simplest of ways, such as showing a little cleavage, or even a smile. I would like to feel desired in that way for one day, but I don’t think it’s in the cards for most men. (Ironically, this desire effect all too often wears off for the most important man in a woman’s life, her husband! Is that a cruel joke that the universe plays on both men and women?)

    • Walker
      Posted at 09:26h, 28 January Reply

      Well…. I’m not sure that being desired, as a sex object (which is what it’s really like most of the time), is something most women strive for. I think it’s a burden to assume that men wants us when driven by desire. I want to be desired for all of me-and to have our mutual desire drive the intimate moments.
      I didn’t really understand this as a younger woman–I was sort of oblivious to the effect I might have had on men. I didn’t think of myself as attractive so I’m an exception to your thesis, thank heavens. What I’m pleased with at this point in life is if a man wants to connect with me for a myriad of reasons–and wants sex because of “me”–regardless of how I might look or whether I’m visually pleasing… I do understand that men often equate physical desire with caring about someone and that’s not easy for me to wrap my head around–tell me you love being with me; you like my smile or sense of humor, my brilliance is a turn-on, but don’t just say that I make you hard.

      So, in applying the kind of definition that you’re using, I agree–most men aren’t going to get that same sense of desire from a woman. I don’t think we’re wired that way to the degree that men are.

      • John
        Posted at 20:59h, 04 February Reply

        Right, you’ve clarified some things about desire, and I agree. I think that many women, especially younger women, do not fully understand the powerful magnetic attraction (desire) that they arouse in many men. But I think most women are aware to some extent of male desire.

        A second point: You as a woman want to be desired for “all of me.” I understand. I think it’s a misconception to assume that when a man desires a woman, it’s a one-dimensional desire. Certainly, physical sexuality plays a big role. But I’m sure you know that a woman doesn’t have to be a beauty queen to be desirable. In truth, women who are not beautiful or pretty or curvy in a conventional way can still be incredibly sexy! Maybe that is a revelation, or maybe I’m unusual in NOT basing attracted primarily on superficial beauty. Sexual attraction is not primarily about physical beauty for either men or women. Generally speaking, attraction (desire) is an inherent quality of gender. (Although there are many exceptions, and some people may not be attracted to the opposite gender.)

        Getting back to the “all of me” issue. Clearly, physical attractiveness is often a major factor in desire, but it’s not the ONLY factor. I think it’s possible for men to desire a woman for physical reasons alone. But I believe that generally speaking, men are far more discerning and selective than you give us credit for. Even from the earliest puppy-love crushes in high school, boys gravitate to girlfriends for a whole mix of reasons — her kindness, her smile, her athletic ability, her singing voice, her sense of humor, her A+ grade in English or math. As men mature, their attraction (desire) becomes ever more discerning when choosing a mate.

        Sadly, there are men (and women) who are attracted to the “wrong” type of woman or man, and will often make the same mistake in relationship after relationship. That’s a more complicated subject than I can claim to understand.

        • Walker
          Posted at 08:26h, 08 February Reply

          Thanks for your thoughts on the idea of desire–quite different from the article as I’m not really talking about desire and relationships.

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