Friday, January 2, 2009


So I've been thinking about this word thing.

Last year, JOY came right to me, without thought or consideration. I knew instantly it was the right word at the right time.

This year the same thing happened. The word popped into my head, and all those other might-have-beens (like HOPE, which turns out to be far too passive) sprouted wings and flew right away. Don't you love when that happens?

So, my one little word for 2009 is LISTEN.

This works for me on a whole bunch of levels. Writing, as you know, tends to be very visual. This word will encourage me to remember the sounds.

Also, it will help me to slow down. I have this niggling little character flaw... what shall we call it?? Okay, there's no other word for it: I can be really impetuous. I like to get things DONE, to move on to the next thing. And occasionally, to achieve that, I make a really bad (quick) decision.

This year I vow to listen longer to that little voice in my head. And to other voices as well. This year I just want to pay better attention (in general and in the specific) to the here and now.

And then there's music. I LOVE music. All sorts, but most especially Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and other dead guys who knew how to generate emotion out of woodwind and brass and strings. This year I will LISTEN to more music.

So that's MY word. What about yours?

"One must talk little and listen much."

- African proverb


  1. Oooo LOVE this post. Listen, huh?

    Great word!

  2. I like your choice, this a good reminder for me to do the same things...listen more.

  3. Yes... sounds so simple, doesn't it... I just get in such a HURRY sometimes...

  4. Irene,

    I remembered you saying that you might use the word "hope" for your word this year. I was wondering what word would end up speaking to you after a very difficult 2008. "Listen" is a very good one. There is also "hope" in "listening" because listening enables us to gather hope from the words and ideas that sometimes pass us by, unnoticed. Does that make any sense at all?

    As soon as I began reading your post, the word "patience" popped into my head. I sat with it for a moment to see if it would resonate with my heart. In some ways, I feel a need to control things so that they hurry up and turn out the way that I want them to. So, I suppose that "patience" might be a good word for 2009. Any thoughts?


  5. Yes, Debbie, PATIENCE... I get so impatient with myself and the world... I think LISTEN will mostly help me listen (honestly) to that voice inside me. Are you there, nodding your head? Love to you too.

  6. My word is CHOOSE. A verb always in our power.


  7. Anna! Happy to hear from you!! And yes, CHOOSE... it's so open-ended too. Full of possibility. Wishing you THAT kind of year!

  8. mine is....breathe

  9. I was curious to see what word u wuld choose and I LOVE IT! Almost prophetic how these words hit ya sometime... now we can wait and see what is gonna happen this year and WHY we need listen this year especially. Its an adventure for me! Thanks!

  10. Shelli - I LOVE Breathe! I definitely need that reminder sometimes. And Michelle, girl, I'm thinking your word is ADVENTURE??? Also, wanted to say I am sorry you stopped blogging! Miss you.

  11. An excellent mission statement for the new year!!

  12. I am amazed that you all could come up with your word so easily. I have to go off and think about it. When I come up with it I will come back and let you know. Really great idea.


Your thoughts?