Like a double-side mirror, reflect is one of those words with a dual meaning. It can either turn in upon itself or look outward.
It can cast back light or enlighten the path ahead.
The American Heritage Dictionary illuminates further:
- To give back a likeness, as mirrors do, or as a still surface, like a pond or lake does.
- To think or consider seriously, to ponder, as Mary did in her heart after the visitation from the angel Gabriel.
This year I choose to reflect, in more than one sense of the word:
Last year, my special word was “Beyond,” a word abounding in ambition and forward thrust. In retrospect, my selection seems ironic, as our world continues to struggle to get beyond the tentacles of the pandemic.
This year, my choice is a calmer, gentler word, “reflect.” I aim to look before I leap, and to ponder because I want to get a clear view of things. I hope to spend more time in solitude, so I can think straight. Or, as my Grandma Longenecker used to say, “Let my soul catch up to my body.”
A Bonus, quote contributed by another author and shared below, “Endless Weekend”
“There are two ways of spreading light: be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton
Another Bonus, from Carolyn Phanstiel.
My friend and former colleague Carolyn always sends a Christmas letter, the first holiday card I receive, usually postmarked December 1. She is never late. This year, as always, she included words of wisdom. With her permission, I am including the matching quiz she sent me. (Answers will follow next week.)
If you are curious, my guide words for previous years:
Do you choose a guide word each year?
How would you add to the definitions of “reflection” listed here?
Beyond the disappearance of the Virus and its mutations, what are your hopes and dreams for 2022?
Good morning, Marian! Reflect is a perfect guide word for you to choose for this year. As you know, I love reflections and reflecting. I’ve never chosen a word for the year, but if I were to do so, that might also be my word. There was a recent NY Times wellness feature about choosing a word of the year. Wishing you and yours once again a happy and healthy new year.
Merril, thank you! 😀
Readers, you can find many reflections on Merril’s Facebook pages and on her blog. Here is a recent example: https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/2022/01/10/colors-of-time/
Thank you for the shout out! 💙
Word of the year — what a novel concept. Reflection is a powerful word. Life, it seems, is built with moments reflecting back to me my thoughts, actions, and missteps. I also like your phrase, “tentacles of the pandemic.” You’re a wordsmith. 🙂
Sara, a special Happy New Year to a fellow (sister?) wordsmith. As they say, it takes one to know one. Yes, I like the fact that “reflection” is a powerful word, but not a noisy one.
Thank you! 😀
Reflect is a perfect word for 2022. We all need to do that. I like the quiz and look forward to the answers. i have made my guesses, let´s see how close I am.
Darlene, I had a hunch you liked quizzes. Before I checked the key, I was sure of only one. Next week: The reveal! 🙂
I love your word choice, Marian. There’s a calmness to it that I find appealing, particularly in these times as the world seems to be churning around us.
Your smiling face takes me back to the calm waters on the bay at Chincoteague. Even though they shimmered sometimes, they did not shout, a balm in our topsy-turvy world nowadays. Thanks, Janet! 😀
I recently helped (editing) a younger writer who was pondering a memoir she was writing. She was struggling with this need to “let her soul catch up with her body.” I thought her reflection time was a great idea–giving herself and family space–while also wanting to finish her timely book. I think she’s navigating it well though.
Thanks for your posts that tell us and teach us so much as you also spend time in solitude. Blessings, Marian!
You’re extending your legacy in retirement by helping others, the younger writers.
As we both know, writing evolves by fits and starts and is always nourished and refined by solitude. Thank you, Melodie! 😀
My word resonates with yours. MOONBEAM
I absolutely love this: MOONBEAM, reflective and quiet in the best possible way. Thank you, Dolores! 😀
My Word of the Year is ENJOY. I am using it as a touchstone as I go along, not necessarily expecting things to be rosy but to remind myself to find some joy in my life. Love the quiz. I know one.
That’s why I keep a gratitude journal. When a disappointment or other setback appears, I can look back on what I have to be thankful for.
Like you, I was sure of only ONE quiz question. The reveal–soon!
Thanks, Ally. 😀
Great word choice, Marian! I have recently started choosing words (with God’s help). My word for 2022 is rejuvenated. I like this definition: adjective
having been given new energy or vigor; revitalized.
I am reminded of your generosity when I see your crocheted gift to me (Yoda) in my laundry room, a good place to get cheered up.
This morning I read from Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
It fits your word choice perfectly, L. Marie! 😀
A great choice, Marian. I smiled when I read your quiz because I had just shared one of those quotes on FB!
I like that you chose the image of golden canned peaches (?) to illustrates one of the quotes. Perfect!
Readers, if you care to cheat (or verify!), you can find answers to one of the quiz questions here: https://www.facebook.com/linda.hoye
Thanks, Linda, for also illustrating synchronicity. 😀
It’s like you read my mind Marian! 🙂 I was wondering what your previous words were since I am a newer follower. Thank you for including them and reflect is an excellent choice with its dual meaning. I also love your grandmother’s words “Let my soul catch up to my body.” When they aren’t connected, you can feel it.
You are a most enthusiastic recent follower, Melanie, and I appreciate our connection so very much. I agree with the quote you pulled out wholeheartedly: Soul and body have to match up, or you have to do something to have one catch up to the other. Thanks! 😀
Thank you Marion. 😊
Lots of “reflecting” here, Marian! I liked your quiz, and think I can guess what the Rabbi, the Star Trek guy, and Martin Luther King said. “Let my soul catch up to my body” is a good mantra for me.
You may score 100 % on the quiz. Next week will tell the truth. 😀
I wonder if you ever thought at your age (mine too!) that we would have to make the effort to have our souls catch up to our bodies. Apparently, neither of us is the “rocking chair” type, so we have to guard against the busy-ness that is so alluring. As always, thanks, Elfrieda!
Marian — REFLECT is a beautiful focus word. And your wise Grandma Longenecker knew what she was talking about regarding time spent in solitude: “Let my soul catch up to my body.”
You are so productive in solitude. I so admire your discipline to your craft. We all benefit from it. Thanks, Laurie! 😀
Hi Marian – I love Reflect as a word. I have chosen a word of the year for the past few years too. Focus was one, Courage, Change, Believe were a few others. Last year was Flow and I am not sure I really did it justice. This year is Abundance and I am set on bringing lots of love, friendship, peace and prosperity into my life.
Well, Janet, we were all forced to “go with the flow” whether or not we want to, and I think we can both agree the year was not very fluid, changing courses all the time nilly willy.
I applaud you for choosing ABUNDANCE. You can bring it into your life regardless of what’s happening in the world around us. Thank you! 😀
Having used the word “journey” recently, now it is time for “pause”, as navigating the paths of life mean more decisions than ever.
Ginger, I appreciate the journey you are still traveling health-wise, and I think you are most wise to hit the PAUSE button. Thanks for bringing that thought to the conversation. Hugs! 😀
A previous post of yours inspired me to pick Aunt Ruthie’s word “full hearted” for 2022. So are, after spending all of January on the road, we are living the full hearted life. We are returning to Lititz in 30 minutes and will continue the theme. I don’t remember picking a word last year. If I had, I think it would just have been “survival.” Thank God for so much more since then.
Shirley, I’m glad inspiration flows both ways here. “Full hearted” suits you well this year. It’s thrilling how God can redeem the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) and restore family members to health, thriving–not just surviving.
Readers, you can click on Shirley’s name above and read about her “full hearted” daughter’s new enterprise.
Thank you and Stuart for making a stop in Florida to visit our home in December. 😀
Reflect is a great choice of word, Marian. It is an interesting idea to choose a word to reflect your goals and planned attitude for the year. I love this quiz and matched answers to the people. I’ll be interested to see if I’m right next week.
Robbie, I’ll bet you can get all five right on the first crack. That’s how much faith I have in you.
And, yes, I choose words before I know how the year will unfold. I guess you’d say at the moment I have my cap set with a good attitude, which will probably need some adjustments as we go along–ha! 😀
I’ve never chosen a word for the year. (In fact, I’d never heard of doing so until just recently.) I particularly like John Dewey’s definition of “reflection,” which I used in the critical thinking courses I developed. I know one of the quiz questions for sure because I’ve seen the quote posted quite a bit lately. I think I know the other ones–but I wouldn’t bet the farm on being right!
Oh, my gosh, Liz. I have not heard of Dewey’s definition of “reflection” so this is what came up on Google:
John Dewey is thought to be the founder of reflection as it relates to personal learning. … In Dewey’s words it is an “active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it, and further conclusions to which it leads” (Dewey 1933 pg. 118).
Thanks for adding to our knowledge store here, Liz! 😀
Reflect is a wonderful word and something we should all do from time to time. Happy New Yeat, Marian.
How wonderful to see you here. When I think of you I see images of the lovely handiwork you create, another kind of reflection. Thanks for chiming in! 😀
I think it probably has something to do with age and being retired, but I spend a lot more time reflecting as I’ve gotten older. When I reflect, I often think about what could I be doing better or differently to contribute something positive to the world?
After more than 40 years in education, I retired and felt lost for a year. In fact, it took 5 years of trying stuff like learning French on Rosetta Stone before I hit upon blogging, which led to my first book. Feeling regret at not doing more earlier is not productive, but I can definitely relate to what you are feeling.
Last evening Cliff and I saw a documentary on Mercy Ships (https://mercyships.org). Although they are hospital ships serving the poorest 10% of the world, they need teachers and other volunteers. I believe we are both beyond the age and energy level needed for such a worthy enterprise, but what a wonderful way to spend 3 months, 6 months, or a year of your life.
I have to believe our lives unfold the way they should even though it feels bewildering or uncomfortable sometimes. Blessing to you, Pete! 😀
I think REFLECT is a courageous word for you to choose, Marian. Sometimes I feel like I reflect too much – on life, the past, the future (and purposely try not to reflect in the mirror!). But I like the way you view REFLECT, as in reflecting joy, love, kindness, and hope out toward others. Beautiful.
Pam, we writers have to live in our minds in order to create, so I guess it’s okay to reflect. How much is too much? Dunno.
Today someone mentioned that 2022 has a balanced look to it. Granted, t’s not starting out too well, but I think that it will improve. To pick one example: There are still a lot of Covid cases, but most are less serious, at least in our area.
And you, like I, will choose to hope that we and our loved ones will have more pleasure than pain in this new year. Hugs! 😀
Lovely post Marian. I’m pretty sure I know 3 of the correct answers. I’ll be back to find out. Also, I loved this: “Let my soul catch up to my body.” <3
I’m guessing you are in the 99th percentile of right-answer people for the quiz. Yes, we’ll see next week.
How come I didn’t know back then that Grandma L. was so wise. Not everybody’s Grandma came up with such sayings. Wishing you a relaxing weekend, Debby! 😀
Thanks Marian. I could ask the same of why I didn’t ask my aunts more questions before it was too late. You, on the other hand, had a treasure trove of memories and family history. 🙂
I still have questions, loads of them. But I guess we have to surmise, or just be content not knowing.
Yes, I know, galling for the likes of us. 😀
Your word gives me an instance feeling of peace – a taking of breath. What a wonderful word. As you know, my word is FOCUS, and it has been serving me well. I find it is prompting me to stay in the NOW, and I usually find that the NOW is a peaceful place to be.
We are a good combo: FOCUS alternating with REFLECT. I need to take a deep break and stay in the peaceful NOW. Thanks, for giving me cause for pause after a busy morning. 😀
It’s a good day to read the words of Martin Luther King and I will REFLECT on him and his message and sacrifice today. I don’t choose a word, but maybe I should. Maybe “DARING.” To just go for it even if I can’t quite see the road ahead. I’ve been stuck on my Monarch writing for too long. Reflection feels close to contemplation and meditation–a quiet and constant spiritual function in my life.
I think you are daring, staying on your beloved farm, tilling the soil (with help) and nurturing those precious monarchs, who are returning when it’s time. I believe January is a quieter month than most and I too feel called to contemplation and meditation. Silence too. Thanks for joining the conversation again, Elaine. :=D
“as our world continues to struggle to get beyond the tentacles of the pandemic” we need more people who will spread the light. To use Edith Wharton’s quote “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Thank you for being the candle!
Dear Endless Weekend: Thanks for reading AND adding a choice quote to the mix. I admire Edith Wharton’s wise words and shall add it to my catalog of wisdom. Also, I will check out your connection as soon as I post my reply.
Again, thanks for the commend and do visit again soon. 😀
Well I have written down my answers we shall see how close I am or not…Reflect is a great word for you, Marian I never choose a word for the year …
Good for you, Carol. You can find the answers near the bottom of this week’s post: https://marianbeaman.com/2022/01/19/how-riding-train-like-writing-memoir/
Good luck! 😀