Word of the year, 2013


I’m liking the ten-minute post. 1. It keeps me from rambling. 2. It keeps from obsessively over-editing every precious word. 3. I’m writing a book, and I need to do that more than I need to blog … but I can spend ten minutes blogging without harming my book writing.

Okay, the above took me two whole minutes!

Which leaves me eight to write about my word of the year. Drumroll, please.

Word of The Year, 2013!


No, don’t get up. I’m not giving you advice or suggesting that you do, although perhaps you should. That’s my word. Yes, that’s it. Stretch.

Let me explain. Let me explain first that my best words have come very suddenly, seemingly out of the blue. I found this word during my long run on Saturday afternoon. It has several different meanings, and I intend to explore them throughout the year, but its most basic meaning is where I’ll begin.

Stretching. I need to do more of it, quite literally. If I am to keep doing my long runs and not get injured, I must stretch. I don’t know why it’s so hard to add that simple extra step into my routine, but it is. Therefore, word of the year will remind me to stretch.

On a metaphorical level, I see it like this: There are things that I want to do. Big, exciting, challenging, adventurous things! If I’m to do them, I will need to stretch. I will need to do the simple little things that keep me flexible (metaphorically speaking). My focus tends to go right to the big part of any challenge, the grinding, tough, overtly demanding, adrenalin-fuelled, energy-burning part. And I skip over the milder-seeming, gentler, supportive part that requires stillness and patience. I find my joy in motion.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

It’s just that if I want to stay in motion, I need to learn to stand still and stretch. Know what I mean? The one supports the ability to do the other. You can’t soar if your wings are stiff. Does that sound like it belongs on a really bad motivational poster, perhaps involving a pastel sunset and bubble letters? Hm. Well, something like that.

And that’s my ten minutes. Plus three. Or four.

I stretched it a little.

Word of the (past) year: work/play
Artistic discipline and athletic discipline


  1. Thistle Cove Farm

    Excellent word! I wish you well, this 2013, as you stretch.
    My word phrase is “intentional grace”. Grace keeps presenting itself and I like the idea of being intentional.

    • Carrie Snyder

      Are you being intentional in seeking out grace, or in recognizing it, or perhaps in both? I wish you a wonderful year!

  2. m

    I like this one a lot. Seems perfect for you right now.

    I’ve been thinking about mine and I’m going with ‘honour’. It’s a loaded word, but I think that’s a good thing. Last year’s word ‘acceleration’ wore me out.

    • Carrie Snyder

      Those loaded words freak me out a bit — I’m interested in seeing how you explore “honour” this year. Acceleration sounds exhausting! Was it reflective of your year past?

  3. Misao Dean

    excellent word! I started the 30 day challenge at yoga yesterday — bound to stretch me in all senses.

  4. Anonymous

    I like this word as well….a good word indeed and one you will need for all your new and interesting endeavours. My word last year was “pause”, I tried to press the pause button and reflect, tried to be patient and trusting. This year my word is seek. To seek myself anew as my kids are starting to fly on their own, to seek balance and peace, new challenges and serenity, to seek courage in hard times and compassion…

    • Carrie Snyder

      May you find what you are seeking … and may you seek with joy, wonder, and discovery!

      (I confess, I would be terrified of the word “pause.” A brave word.)


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