You know the feeling when you choose something—a habit, a shirt, a dog—and it becomes a “thing”? Something in the global zeitgeist? Suddenly, it’s everywhere.
Yeah, I hate that.
Being a bit of a creative type, I choose things that make my soul sing. Or my eyes pop. Or my brain sizzle in the most amazing way. And then, when something I felt was unique or “mine” is taken up by the masses, it just feels like the lemming effect. (Lemmings are small rodents in the Arctic regions that exhibit herd behavior to the extreme—following each other even into situations so dangerous that they die.)
I don’t mean to sound entitled. It’s just I’ve never been one to buy into a trend—from Pandora jewelry to Uggs. Nothing looks more ridiculous to me than a bevy of suburban moms, each in her knee-high boots and vest—looking like a gang of Han Solos instead of grown-ass individuals capable of finding their own style.
So I get a little salty when trends usurp what I thought was beautiful on its own, without the fanfare. For instance, last night at a party I wore a favorite shirt. It was all fun and games until a fellow partygoer pointed out I matched the napkins. I did. Ugh. I guess that pattern can now be considered a trend—and it went into the back of my closet. We joked that I was channeling Scarlett O’Hara, only with table linens rather than curtains.
That very long-winded diatribe is solely an entrée to my main point—a word for the year. I’ve written about this before—here and here. I choose a word each year to hold as a sort of Patronus for me through the next 12 months. This is now a thing—I guess it’s been for some time now. But this is one trend I refuse to give up. It’s too inspiring to let myself poo-poo it for fear of appearing a lemming.
In 2019, my word is “wonder.” Not as in scratch-your-head, gee-whiz-I-wonder-what-I-should-do kind of wonder, but as in what Messrs. Merriam and Webster call wonder: “Rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience. The quality of exciting, amazed admiration.”
Mm hmmm. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Since my former life blew up and I emerged from the wreckage, I’ve chosen words for each year. I’ve gone from “smokin’ hot creator” to “open-hearted” to “allow” to “ease.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I published more than ever in my “smokin’ hot creator” year. That I had a lovely romance in my “open-hearted” year. That the year I allowed, I made peace with some chronic situations in life that are not easy for me—and I stopped giving them so much energy. And that last year, when I focused on ease, life did indeed become easier to handle.
If past experience is any indication, I am in for some heady stuff this year. Stuff that is “awesomely mysterious.” Perhaps this is why I’ve been so drawn to quantum physics of late, the realm of the unseen and ethereal. This right-brained gal has been consuming quantum physics books as if I actually had enjoyed a science class ever. Which I did not, in any way, shape or form. But, I’m drawn like a moth to a flame to books on particle and quantum physics at the moment, finding them fascinating. Don’t corner me at a cocktail party. You’ll rue the day, my friend. At least, until I’ve moved on to another current passion.
Coincidentally, signs have popped up all over my town saying, “We all wonder.” They’re from a church I don’t belong to, and I’m not sure what they mean—but I’ll take it as confirmation I’ve chosen the right word. If I truly believe the quantum physics I’m reading, this is no coincidence. It’s just part of a reality I’m co-creating. Mind. Blown.
I guess I better get used to that experience. After all, this is the year of wonder.
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There’s no wonder that you create your own trends, Kay!
I see what you did there😉.
Well, if you’re focusing on Wonder and are reading books about quantum physics, get ready for it! Much of the world of Energy Healing that I tend to gravitate towards is all about quantum physics. The one thing that so many people seem to miss in the world of “everything is vibration” is what we’re each vibrating at an unconscious level (that’s my jazz). Are there any quantum physics authors in particular who grab you? I recommend Lynn McTaggarts’s The Field. In any case, I can’t wait to see what forms of Wonder come to you this year. What a fantastic (wonderful) word for the year.
Thank you! I will definitely check the book out. I am soon to begin Gary Zukav’s “Dancing Wu Li Masters.” I am hoping that it ties in quantum physics with the new age side of things. If it’s just quantum physics, without potential effects to our energy and our world, it’s not of interest to me. Thanks for the tip! You’re always full of good ones :-).
This made me smile – I have always hated that feeling too ! But wonder is where I want to live – having been searching for meaning a lifetime – I know how you want to share it too – that’s how I cam to make my books – I wanted to create something meaningful and beautiful, capturing some of the received wisdom of sages and philosophers and artists who have all added to the wonder.
Here’s to creating wonder, and to living in it! May we step ourselves in it this year. And I know you mentioned in your other comment that you’ve been a bit quiet on your blog. I have been blogging less frequently also. I think we owe it to ourselves and our writing to be living at least as much as we are observing and commenting :-).
I am in agreement with you on the ‘lemming effect’ I do say ‘ah rats’ when I find that my creative inspiration or creation was not anything new or unique and that it has already been embraced by the masses! I loved this post. Creative and witty! Great word choice for this year. I look forward to seeing all of your wondrous discoveries!
Thank you for the kind words. And I hear you. Inspiration feels like it should be unique :-).
Wonder is a great word! but the one that popped into my mind as I read your piece was “healing.”
This might go hand in hand with an overused word: authenticity. Being honest about my feelings and desires (instead of seeking everyone’s approval). Last year made me feel like an open wound — because, despite knowing better, I still tend to take on everyone’s wounds along with my own.
I think my relationships will be better served if i take my hands off the wheel a little and concentrate on healing the people pleaser instead of controlling.
Oh, I find wonderful things happen when I take my hands off the virtual wheel! I hope you’ll find the same. I think the Universe plans for our welfare and joy so much better than we do ourselves.
“Wonder” I love that word. For the last six years I also have had a word and every year I love to see how the word unfolds for me. And for me too, this is one practice/habit I will never give up. Cheers to “wonder”
What’s your word this year, Masha? Or is it the phrase you wrote about? A sweeter life?
Thanks for asking. My word came to me towards the end of September of 2018 “Mindfulness” I didn’t choose it, it chose me, and when it appeared I knew it was it. And for the last couple of years I’ve also been getting one or two other words that follow my word. This year I also have “Joy” and “Expand” With these three words I am creating A Sweeter Life.
Such wonderful words! I love those. And I can see how they would add up to A Sweeter Life . . .
Maybe wonder can one day be followed by wonderful. That might be fun..:)
Now that I can buy into!
You have inspired me. I will be thinking up my word. Time comes to mind. I can hardly believe it is the last week of January.
I want to hear what it is!
Wonder is a great word. I distinguish it from the “gee I wonder” meaning by using “sense of wonder” (or “sensawonder” for the SFF enhanced folks out there). Some things just fill me with wonderment and fascinate me no end, like the color- and skin- changing capacity of cephalopods or the way math shows up in seed pods. I think a healthy sensawonder keeps us young.
Oh, you’re making me feel better about channeling my inner geek with the match in seed pods:). Does that have to do with the Fibonacci Sequence?
Yes. The whorls and numbers of seeds in, say, a sunflower, are related to Fibonacci’s sequence. A similar example is how the golden ratio fits with the shells of the nautilus. Math also plays in how bees make hexagonal honeycombs (as opposed to square or some other shape). It’s full of wonder.
I’m finding this fascinating. And am truly worried. Quantum physics. Fibonacci Sequence. I am really geeking out . . .
When you get to dark matter/energy, call me and I’ll talk you off the ledge.
Thought about spinning off your word of the year by picking “wander” to be mine. But fear of my own laziness caused me to reconsider. Afraid I can’t live up to the possibilities. So perhaps my word needs to be more along the lines of “bold,” or even “courageous.” Maybe just “bolder.” That makes it relative. Yeah. “Bolder” it is. thanks for your inspiration.
“Bolder” it is. And I’m wishing you whatever that means to you–because your bolder should have nothing to do with anyone else’s, right? I hope it’s a bold, magical year for you.
I love your word… a little similar to mine… exciting❤️ It really keeps me focused on the magic I remain open to experience. I had to giggle at your clothes, I had a similar experience with a favourite dress when someone said she’d seen it in the wallpaper shop🌈 and ugs… umm I fell in love with a pair and have been wearing them with great joy and warmth!
Maybe you’d love to read my true love story about my quantum journey beyond… Your Magnificent Self… A journey to Freedom? It would be great to hear how you found it❤️ much love and wonder, Barbara x
Wallpaper! Well, you have me beat:). Love your word and it suits you! At least the way I picture you:). Your story would be fascinating, I’m sure. I will add it to my list!
That would be so cool😎… love to you x
I had a favorite author and before I heard his name, or read any of his books, I “discovered” him in a book-shop, many many years ago. I mean he was already famous, but at that young age, I still had not heard of him. I liked what I read from the back cover of the book and bought it. It had blown my mind away. I read more of his books and started gifting his books to people. Many of my friends got to know about him that way. Then after almost 20 years he got the nobel prize of literature. Some friends with whom I lost touch over these years, contacted me again and told me after hearing the nobel announcements they first thought of me. Of course I was happy before I was sad that he is not “my guy” anymore, he is now a “thing”. Although to be realistic, the nobel prize shows that he has been a “thing” for quite sometime.
And “wonder” is a beautiful word to live by. I wish you many wonderful, exotic, heady experiences this year…..may the amazement you felt about wave-particle duality or quantum entanglement or uncertainty principle, enrich your life with many more similar experiences and events. I also wish you an ever-present sense of wonder at the miracles that take place around us in the simple moments of life.
Who was that author? Is he still alive? And I’m wondering what led you to pick up that first book . . . thank you for the kind wishes for my year. I wish you a year filled with wonder, even if it’s not your “thing” for the year. We could all use a bit of it about now, I think.
The author was Kazuo Ishiguro and the book I picked up was A pale view of hills. Yes Ishiguro is still alive.
Wow—you know how to pick them:).
After spending WAY too much money on travelling last year, and then subsequently having a poor earning year, my word for 2019 is “frugality”. However, I don’t plan to be mean…just to watch my spending and try to translate that word into a year in which simple pleasures reign, without having to cost too much. I’m sure you know what I mean. I too look forward to seeing how your Year of Wonder turns out.
That might be a tall order for some, Lee, but I see you doing it with flair. It could actually be fun–the books to read, the beaches to walk:). I can’t wait to hear about it!
Back in the eighties I didn’t bother to shave every day. My day old beard was part of my scruffy look, but I started to shave more diligently when Miami Vice actors started to sport the same look. Word of caution: your fascination with the world of quantum physics may lead to entanglements. 🙂
As long as my twin is experiencing phenomenal joy, I’m OK with that :-). https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/06/15/quantum-entanglement-sciences-spookiest-phenomenon-achieved-in-space/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4262f80cacaa
I can’t wait to read what happens this year based on your word! I love it. Mine is “vulnerable”.
Ooh. Now that is a very brave word.
Trying to be brave 🙂
Excited to see what this year of wonder will bring for you
Great pick and start to your year of wonder. I can’t seem to narrow it down to one word, and then I lose my focus completely. May it be a wondrous year for you Kristine!
Thank you! I bet if you stop trying to narrow it down, the word will choose you :-). That’s what happened to me. It kind of smacked me right in the face.
Good idea. I’m ready for a good word smack. 🙂
Kay! A word for the year!
“Wonder” is a great word. I’ve a friend who mentioned she does this every year, to help with productivity and being and all.
I never had a “word” to define or make sure that it would bring something new into my life that year. This year, well this year “I thought why not?” I kept thinking a “word” would leap out at me and say “HEY, You there!” (And I’d look around and noticed that its the “word” for me). Ah, nope.
So what happened is that I became aware of something more of wheat many would read into it as “negative”. So my word when it popped up…ha ha ha! was “impediment”. Yeah, right? sounds negative…let me explain.
I am using it to define that No impediment will hold me back this year. Sure, there will be things that cause me to be held up a bit, as would be expected. But I think of it as more of goal that will allow me to work around things I would normally avoid and yet instead work my way through. 🙂
Quite a challenge I’ve set for myself, eh? But it will be an interesting year and looking forward to what “Impediment” will help me uncover and accomplish.
I think the word does need to choose you. And if impediment is the word that has chosen you, then so be it :-). You go, girl.
A perfect word for the year and for life. I’m on a similar pathway this year. ‘Live fully in the mystery! ‘ I am open and ready to live this way, sick of trying to control it all! . Being led by intuition and spirit. So far it’s going well ha! Keep living in this perfect space Kristine 👏🙏🏻
Here’s to a year of discovery for both of us!
Maybe your embrace of wonder will start a trend around the world–one can only hope!
I can only hope that just as I am being inspired by the word, there are plenty of others who are being inspired by the same concept. Quantum physics would say there’s a strong possibility :-).
I love this, Kristine! With revisiting Mary Oliver’s work after her recent passing, I find myself similarly called. She concludes her poem “When Death Comes,” with:
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
And she certainly didn’t just visit, for sure. Such inspiration.
May this year–and all the rest–be wonder-full for you!
(And I felt the same about the “word for the year” trend even before I ever started it myself. Damn words keep finding me…and I’m glad for that.)
Oh, I love this Mary Oliver poem! But you just introduced me to it. Despite being a huge fan of hers, I feel like there is a lot of her work I haven’t read. Maybe in addition to quantum physics, I will have to order a Mary Oliver book.
As a certified (or certifiable?) Healing Touch Practitioner and Instructor (retired from teaching), I am familiar with (which does not presuppose total understanding) quantum physics as it applies to our connections to each other and to healing. It is truly a “field of wonder”. Congratulations on your 2019 word!
Ooh, I did not know this about you! I have at most a rudimentary, working knowledge of the quantum world–but the connections it points to just astound me. It resonates.
I love these times in life Kay…it is where we focus on something, be guided with rapt attention to something (like physics), and when we least expect it out of left field comes something that blows our socks off in ‘wonder’ 😀
I remember focusing on healing with my Remedial Massage Therapy, going to heal the world I was…until that first message come through. Knocked my socks of…and everything changed forever…but oh so pleasantly ‘wonderful’. It amazes as you begin something that you hadn’t realised you have been waiting for, where it all comes together in ‘wonder’ as your life suddenly seems to have purpose…real purpose, and you smile in anticipation as it leads you into the unknown ❤
I hope your wonder is a life changer too, that heartfelt knowing that your doing something for 'you' that is also a boon for those around you because of what's in your eyes ❤
Beautifully put and kind, as always, Mark. Thank you. It is very odd to be drawn to something so very much out of my wheelhouse. I’m just trusting and going along for the ride . . .
Ohhh I needed your words and positive affirmations today!
Somehow I feel you drive me just when I need the extra push!
I was thinking about how your inspiration last year lead me to Hope.. and the challenges so deep I had to step away from parts of me.
I may have to share this for looking forward in what some things I know will come I will need wonder in my life!
You’ve no idea how much I wish we were closer to just talk lol
Please keep being you!
Keep Hope Alive!
Aw, thank you, Kim. I am honored if anything I write inspires you. And I do hope that you have a year filled with wonder and all sorts of other phenomenal things. It would be fine if we lived closer, wouldn’t it? I think there would be lots of coffee klatches and philosophical discussions over wine 🙂
Yes it would!
I’m so far behind in this world I need it!
‘Bevies’ of suburban moms, each in her knee-high boots and vest—looking like a gang of Han Solos’, we have our own versions of this trend in the UK…………. but I shouldn’t be tooo snobby, I’ve followed dubious trends in my time omg the 1980s!!!
Ah yes. The 1980s. I will cop to black leggings and a long sweater with flats :-). Along with an admittedly bad perm and eyeshadow.
😀 you had THAT perm!!!
Oh yes. Ugh, A thousand times over.
Or, Steve, you’d be so fascinated that you would want to learn more :-). Just allowing for that possibility😉
I always go off things when they become a trend! I think that’s a great word for the year and I hope you experience lots of the mystery and magic that the world has to offer.
It must be a writer thing, Andrea. If we’re not channeling something new, it’s not worth the effort:). Thank you for the kind wishes–hoping you have a year filled with wonder also.
I know what you mean about wanting to discover something that is YOURS and yours alone and being annoyed when you find out you weren’t so original, after all…
Excellent word for this year, Kristine! WONDER – experiencing it all with a wide-eyed, open heart!
I somehow knew you’d get it, Dale:). Not one to follow the crowd . . .
Definitely not… 😉