Choosing a word of the year is popular. The Oxford Dictionaries chose ‘post-truth’ as their word in 2016, while Merriam-Webster settled on ‘surreal,’ and Dictionary.com tapped ‘xenophobia.’ All good choices given the year’s events.
A number of my friends choose a word that focuses them for the coming year. Serenity and Mindfulness are some examples. As friends shared their words for the 2017, I wondered how they do it. There are so many words that might apply.
Immediately, I recognized ‘wonder’ as a good word of the year for me. Wonder has many meanings so I am not trapped in one idea for the entire year. And my life circumstances already tell me this year will be full of moments that will cause me to pause.
Wonder encompasses curiosity, amazement, awe.
- I am in wonder at our granddaughters who bring such joy to our lives.
- I wonder if our neighbors who raise Percheron horses will let us ride them sometime?
- I wonder what it will be like to tour the ancient Greek monasteries, to stand in the middle of the 2500-year-old Parthenon, to ask the Oracle at Delphi my own questions?
- When I travel to Greece, I imagine I’ll be in wonder at finally fulfilling the very first travel desire I ever articulated, in eighth grade when we studied the Greek gods and goddesses, and again in college when I studied Greek theatre.
Wonder leaves room for doubt and uncertainty.
- I wonder what our country will be like under President Donald Trump?
- I wonder if any of the agents I pitch my novel to will like it enough to represent me?
- I wonder what I’ll do if they don’t?
- Now that I’ve finished the manuscript that occupied my time for two years, I wonder what will rise up as my next project? A question for the Oracle, no?
Wonder encourages emotion excited by what is strange and surprising.
- Standing in the midst of my prairie, I feel wonder that pioneers could actually cross through miles of tall grass.
- It is a wonder that I like ouzo. (If I actually said this, it truly would be a wonder. But who knows? I’m open to the possibility.)
Having latched onto Wonder, I imagine I’ll find even more reasons to experience all facets of the word. Having chosen the word, I’ll be reminded to appreciate more deeply each of these moments. An added value to choosing a word.
Do you chose a word of the year? If you have, please share. If you don’t have one but find that Wonder resonates for you, be my guest. I’m sure there’s plenty of wonder around for all of us.