My Word for 2013 – Ponder

“The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides.” Artur Schnabel

“The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes – ah, that is where the art resides.”
Artur Schnabel (Photo by Jeff Watkins)

Another year, another phone conversation with our son.

That’s how my word for 2012 came about; our son said it’d be helpful if I shared information incrementally instead of stockpiling. His request, as well as the word, stuck.

Too bad this year didn’t reap the same results.

He and I talked Sunday evening at length about becoming more disciplined, the perfect action word for 2013. I told him about choosing a word for the year, rather than making resolutions I never keep. He liked the idea and agreed we’d both benefit from self-discipline.

I hoped our talk was a sign to change words. When off the phone, I mentioned to my husband about switching words. He looked skeptical.

“You already have a word for 2013,” he said.  “You didn’t tell him?”

“I didn’t have the heart to share. Mine for this year sounds so, I don’t know, like a couch potato word. Anyway, I’ve pondered enough. I’m ready to get going,” I said.

I wanted a word like create, productive, gumption. Maybe a phrase like “get to work.” Or one like my husband’s – he chose deliberate.

That’s another thing; he got to pick his word. I felt stalked and trapped by the word ponder.

Don’t misunderstand; it’s a favorite of mine. I’ve cherished reading Luke 2:19 (NIV) about Mary pondering the news she was pregnant with Jesus. I mean, the word is perfect for Mary, but it seems a ridiculous one for me considering the productive year I had in mind.

Still, there was no denying how attached I felt when I read it in Christi McGuire’s blog post, “Treasure This Season.”

I gave in and looked up ponder.

Merriam-Webster’s definition is give serious and careful thought to. Synonyms include reflect, meditate, and contemplate. Related words are explore, muse, believe, and conceive.

There you go, my 2013 in a nutshell. I guess there’s hope since explore might allow me off the couch once in a while.

What are your resolutions for 2013? Or maybe you’re also being hounded by a word? Care to share?

Thanks for my one word button from Melanie @

Thanks for my One Word button, Melanie @

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Artur Schnabel’s quote came to mind as I struggled to write this post and reconcile with a word that is more about stillness than taking my year by storm. I’m trusting as I ponder (like with Artur’s pauses), my art will appear.

On the side: Photography by Jeff Watkins. The model in the photo is Mitch Wallace. Thanks to you both, Jeff and Mitch, for permission to use the photo.

A funny blog post about Carol Anne Wright Swett and her 2013 Word of the Year.

A blog post/haiku about ponder by Sylvia Jones at The Haiku Corner. Sylvia said the haiku was inspired by Well-Written Days. Thank you, Sylvia. You’re the inspirer.


22 responses »

  1. Ponder………….that is a good word. It has more meanings than I thought. On a comical note-I believe someone in your family did conceive…….fits into ponder for sure! Hmmmmm…will it be a girl or boy????????

    • That is funny, Sylvia. Yep, Kelly’s word for last year must have been ponder … hope I don’t get into it as much as she did. 🙂 Not sure about the sex of the baby, but they’re going to find out as soon as they can.

      Ponder is growing on me. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Ha! That is funny! Yeah-I know it’s too early to find out babies sex…..
        Looks like ponder will strike a lot of interest. Have a wonderful year!

  2. I think ponder is a wonderful word and certainly not inactive. Pondering can have such profound and life changing results. I’m looking forward to your ‘ponderings’ throughout the year 🙂

    • You’re right, Susannah. I love the encouragement you offered … “profound and life changing.”

      I really wanted to change to self-discipline, but the word didn’t feel right. Ponder does, and that’s usually how I make final decisions.

      I look forward to yours also. Thanks so much for reading.

  3. Ponder is one of my minister friends favorite words. Good choice.

    One of my goals is to make more mistakes via this quote from ~ Neil Gaiman

    ” I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
    Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
    So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
    Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it!
    Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

    Then my word should be “Mistakes”
    Happy New Year.

    • Oh, Joel, I love it. As usual, I want to change my word. So many choices, but only one year to choose for. I know ponder is it for 2013, but mistakes is a perfect one for those of us who try to get it all right, all the time, then we do too little as a result of our perfectionism.

      Even though it’s not my word, I won’t forget Neil Gaiman’ quote. I’ll think of it each time I’m tempted to skip something because I don’t know how to do it perfectly.

      Let me know how your mistakes are coming along. 🙂

    • Thank you, Christi. It struck a chord the day I read it on your blog and for days afterwards. I left a comment then, laughingly mentioning that it might be my word for 2013, but I sort of knew then it wasn’t a joke. I do love the word, it just means being a little uncomfortable with stillness.

      Thanks for being His messenger!

  4. after reading this and your other post…I think I’m going to steal your word from last year – incremental…it really hit me… about setting out tasks to accomplish and being happy of one thing…I have to redo my lists with some space in between though! thanks again for sharing your heart and great ideas!

    • Linda,

      incremental is a great word. I almost kept it for another year, but I really feel like I’ve got it under my belt. It comes to mind all the time now. I’ll hear myself ask “Do you need to take on all that in one day?” “Wouldn’t that be more manageable if you wrote half this morning and the rest this afternoon?” … on and on.

      I can’t say enough about how much it’s improved my life, and I’m not sure I realized it until I wrote these posts.

      Let me know how it works for you.


  5. I love the word “ponder.”
    And you are one of my favorite people.
    You + the word “ponder” = something amazing in 2013
    I just know it — especially when we acknowledge that God is in all this.

    • Beth, you know you’re one of mine also! I’m looking forward to following your amazing 2013. Your posts keep me on track and moving forward.

      This is going to be our best year ever, I just know it. Love you lots, Grammy.

  6. So glad Keri J led me to Joel C who led me to you- all on fb. I love your musings & see ‘ponder’ as an active word as it engages your mind. I had many words & I believe you helped me see the best fit & it is CHOICES. Once again Im looking at how I continue creating lovely beaded necklaces & sell with less wear & tear on my 73 yr old body. Live craft shows are grueling, so I will ponder how to make other choices to attract customers to be in action & buy the affordable necklace they so admire in my posts.

    • Me too, Roslyn. I’m so happy we’re connected and it happened because of two wonderful FB friends. That makes our connection even more special.

      I would have never guessed you’re 73. You’re so active and savvy on FB. That’s great! I got my first senior citizen discount today. I love saving money.

      Craft shows are grueling. I have a friend who does one every other weekend and, although she loves them, she’s worn out! I hope you find a laid back way to sell. You’ve got lots of choices, I’m sure. 🙂

  7. From Facebook –

    6 people like this.

    Lynne Sturtevant A word for the year. I like that. “Mine will be “creativity.”
    Tuesday at 11:14am · Unlike · 2

    Anjana C. Duff My word this year is “joy.”
    Tuesday at 11:16am · Unlike · 2

    Roslyn Tanner Evans My 1 words keep growing, Creativity, Implement, Challenges are good, Ask for HELP.
    Tuesday at 11:26am · Edited · Unlike · 3

    Shelly Brown I choose a verse of the year. This year it is Hebrews 11:6. I’ll work on living out the truth of this verse every day. Happy New Year to you, Kim.
    Tuesday at 11:18am · Unlike · 3

    S. Kim Henson Love the words creativity and joy, Lynne Sturtevant and Anjana C. Duff. Makes me want to change mine. I know, I know, I can’t have everyone else’s words. Enjoy them!
    Tuesday at 11:21am · Like · 1

    S. Kim Henson Roslyn Tanner Evans, you’re full of words today. I think yours should be “choices.” Lol.
    Tuesday at 11:22am · Like · 1

    S. Kim Henson Shelly Brown, I love that idea also! My word comes from scripture I read on a friend’s blog. You’ll have a great year living by Hebrews, which reminds me of a joke a friend told in Sunday School … God said men are the ones who should make coffee every morning. You know where that is found in the Bible? Hebrews.
    Tuesday at 11:26am · Edited · Like · 1

    Shelly Brown LOL, Kim Henson.
    Tuesday at 11:26am · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson Just looked up your verse, Shelly Brown … an inspiring one for 2013. Love the word faith.
    Tuesday at 11:29am · Like

    Shelly Brown The Lord has been working on me this week about how shaky my faith has been from time to time over the last year. As I was praying a couple of days ago the Holy Spirit brought that verse to my mind reminding me that the way to please God is through our faith. Without faith, we don’t please Him. OUCH. That verse alone will transform us and how we experience the supernatural power of God in our lives, if we’ll walk in the depth of its truth. [Shelly’s done preaching now].
    Tuesday at 11:34am · Unlike · 1

    Christine Smith My One Word for 2013 is Simplicity.
    Tuesday at 11:34am · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson I enjoy (and need) your preaching, Shelly Brown. My faith has been shaky this year and, yes, unpleasing to me and to him, I’m sure. So happy you shared your verse … food for thought.
    Tuesday at 12:04pm · Like · 1

    S. Kim Henson Christine Smith, I think we could all use your word. Thanks for sharing.
    Tuesday at 12:04pm · Like

    Tammie Fickas I usually make goals instead of resolutions, but this year I’ve been given a word. That word is intentional.
    Tuesday at 12:14pm · Unlike · 1

    Linda Brett-Kell Mine is Believe
    Tuesday at 1:54pm · Unlike · 2

    Beth K. Vogt Mine is “Confidence”
    Tuesday at 7:36pm · Unlike · 2

    S. Kim Henson Tammie Fickas, you’re word is similar to my husband’s … he chose deliberate. Good luck being intentional throughout 2013!
    Tuesday at 8:22pm · Edited · Like

    S. Kim Henson Linda Brett-Kell, BELIEVE always makes me think of Santa, Christmas and miracles. Special word!
    Tuesday at 8:23pm · Like

    S. Kim Henson I love it, Beth, and also the scripture it came from. May you have much confidence in 2013!
    Tuesday at 8:25pm · Like

    S. Kim Henson Oh yeah, Beth K. Vogt, thanks for the inspiration to have a word of the year. I got that from you in 2012. Just assigned one to Katie Beth … labor.
    Wednesday at 12:34am · Like · 1

    Brandy Wilson Ooh focus is a good one. I’m gonna choose “discipline.”
    Yesterday at 10:11am · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson No fair, Brandy Wilson! That’s the one I wanted. It’s a great word and I think my son’s going with that one too. Ponder kept coming to mind so it’s mine for 2013. Thanks for sharing.
    Yesterday at 10:22am · Like

  8. From Facebook –

    6 people like this.

    Tammie Fickas I do my best pondering while walking through the park…nothing couch potato about that!
    Wednesday at 12:34am via mobile · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson Thanks, Tammie Fickas. I needed encouragement, although it’s growing on me. And you’re absolutely right, I do the same. I ponder best on walks and in the shower, so at least I’ll be exercised and clean. No Mrs. Potato Head here.
    Wednesday at 12:37am · Like · 1

    Rick Smith Thought provoking article Kim. Perhaps provoke will be my word. In a positive way of course. Thanks!
    Wednesday at 7:22pm · Unlike · 1

    Debbie Mifflin my word is re-inventing, as in myself!
    Wednesday at 7:33pm · Unlike · 2

    S. Kim Henson I like that, Rick. Lots of P words … productive, ponder, provoke, pursue. Those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head that friends have chosen for 2013. Must be a PoPular letter this year.
    Wednesday at 11:35pm · Like

    S. Kim Henson Ooooh, Debbie Mifflin, every time I hear a word that hasn’t been shared, I want to change mine. Reinvent’s a good one.
    Wednesday at 11:37pm · Like · 1

    S. Kim Henson Oh yeah, Rick Smith, procrastinate was another. Of course, she was kidding. I think.
    Wednesday at 11:38pm · Like · 1

  9. From Facebook –

    BeadZbyRoZ I had many words & agree, the best one for me is CHOICES!
    Wednesday at 6:19am · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson I love it for 2013, BeadZbyRoZ. Suits your business as well.
    Wednesday at 12:25pm · Like

  10. From Facebook –

    Steve Mathisen, Jocelyn Wilhelm and Cathy Indgjer Horning like this.

    Helen Mackovjak Williams Well, if you’re going to be pondering – come on over to my blog often this year. It’s Helen’s Points to Ponder…. we can ponder togeher!
    Yesterday at 11:04am · Like

    Kim Henson That’s perfect, Helen Mackovjak Williams. Can you post your link here?
    Yesterday at 11:11am · Like

    Helen Mackovjak Williams Sure!

    Helen’s Points to Ponder: A New Year, A New Season
    Yesterday at 11:13am · Like · Remove Preview

    Kim Henson This techie stuff confuses me, Helen Mackovjak Williams. Is there a way to subscribe to your blog posts so that they come to my email? I can’t figure it out. I looked at the drop down options, but I don’t think any fit. I know, I need to get help! Oh, btw, love your blog.
    Yesterday at 11:23am · Like

    Helen Mackovjak Williams Thank you for loving it! No one has ever asked me about subscribing via email. I’ll go look!
    Yesterday at 11:24am · Like

    Helen Mackovjak Williams Kim Henson, do you want it to go to your earthlink email account?
    Yesterday at 11:35am · Edited · Unlike · 1

    Roslyn Tanner Evans I just submitted a reply to your blog- Keep Musing & Pondering!
    Yesterday at 11:39am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Sorry I never answered you, Helen Mackovjak Williams. I was gone all afternoon. Just received my first post via email. Thanks for signing me up.
    15 hours ago · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Roslyn Tanner Evans, I just saw your comment and I’m headed over to approve it and reply. Thank you!
    15 hours ago · Like

  11. Pingback: My Word for 2014 – Content | S. Kim Henson's blog

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