Every year ends with the same thing.
Someone on Facebook, Instagram or whatever social platform you linger on shares it.
A bunch of random letters.
The first three words you can make out among the mess are the three things that will dominate your next year.
Usually, I find words like love (of course), friends (naturally) and family (what else).
This year was different.
First word was worship.
I quickly checked with my brain what that might mean to my life and considered it rubbish. While my thoughts still hung with how or whom I should worship, my eyes where searching for a much better rearrangement of the alphabetic order. Secretly, I was searching for anything setting me on a smooth and reassuring path into 2019. Yes, of course, I think those word searches are useless.
Yes, of course, I think its ridiculous to believe your future can be predicted by well-manipulated puzzles.
Yes, of course, I do them anyway.
Considering what evil character had put a word like worship into the grids, I found my second.
I dropped my phone, drew a face and came to the sharp conclusion that there wouldn’t be any third word for me in this one. I stood up, made coffee and pushed the results aside.
So I thought.
The days to come proved I’m not always the smartest of persons. While I had trouble to remember any of the words of 2018 as much as 1998, I had no trouble whatsoever to remember those two.
Worship and pathology.
Next morning I woke up and there it was. Pathology.
I put some effort in a solid attempt to push it out of my mind. Make coffee, get the kid ready for school, get myself ready for school, go to school and keep the brain busy. So much for the cunning plan.
It failed. Brutally.
While waking up my son, I wondered who could end up in pathology. The invisible blow given by the combination of the sight of my sleeping offspring and this thought is hard to describe. If I had balls, someone kicked them hard while poking into my eyes and ripping out my heart under sneering laughter. Thanks to the amount of coffee I had already consumed I was able to put up a fight against my attacker from inside and told him or her to go – somewhere else.
On my way to school I was almost run over by a pupil running late. Nope, none of my pupils, as he owned a bike and goes to the sophisticated secondary school located between my home and the ordinary secondary school I work at. Those kids and their teachers claim to be so much more intelligent than us. Well, especially in this one made my doubts on this thesis grow.
Nevertheless, he brought back my word nemesis. Pathology. What if I ended up there and my son had to face teenager-hood without me. What would become of my books. My cats. Mr Darcy. Please, don’t focus on the order of those thoughts.
In any way, there is so much I want to do before I go. Teach my son to be a good and loving person with lots of compassion and patience. Travel the world. Read more books, teach more pupils, spend more hours of laughter with my friends. See my family grow, see my friend’s families grow. Drink more coffee, learn to prepare better coffee. Rearrange my flat for the 1000st time to make our cave even more personal, welcoming and warm.
The point I want to make is: I love the life I have created for me and my son so dearly, I am not done living it yet. And so shouldn’t anybody included in my life.
Until I had reached my classroom, reason had achieved a huge victory declaring that I had lost quite a few family members in the last years and non of those deaths had required me to visit any morgue. Neither did any of the friends we lost. Reason had told my brain it was quite certain that some rather mean person had created this word search to scare people.
Superstition is illogical.
Image reason in the form and voice of Mr Spock and you’ll get there.
The problem seems to be, my brain and my heart have trouble communicating. I agree with my spocky brain completely. Still, my heart ached.
The word popped into my head at any occasion.
I made an appointment for my cats to see a doctor. Pathology.
I stop at a traffic light, eye the traffic and wonder who might kill me. Accidentally, of course. Still: pathology.
I tell my friends, so that they can support Mr Spock. We make fun of me visiting different morgues to find the one fitting my needs best. I laugh out loud, but my inner smile freezes, because I fear it might come true.
Yes, I am afraid.
Frightened by a word search.
Scared, I might fall into some self-fulfilling prophecy.
Mr Darcy, most of the time a tiny bit more logical than I am, pointed out that I had no way changing the fact even if it was true. We have no Flash around to change timelines. We have no way of changing the future. Or have we?
Maybe I could live healthier.
Maybe I could live every day to its fullest.
Maybe I could stick to speed limits.
Maybe I could wait for help while rearranging furniture and not do it on my own. Balancing on an old chair. With a cupboard in on hand. While trying to push another onto the perfect spot. With no phone close.
Yes, I could do that.
Since that word came up in connection with me and my loved ones, it was haunting me.
It should push me. Not in front of a car, but maybe into a better future. I have always loved life and to live. I try to make the best of everything. I am chronically optimistic and to me that’s not a disease, but just fine. Why not keep exactly this up for 2019? Why not push things forward and do a bit more of the things I like best?
Spend time with my kid, lover, family, friends, cats, colleagues, coffee and books.
Spend time writing, reading, traveling, teaching and exploring what life has to give.
Set new goals.
The most important of them as always, to be happy.
While friends, logic and a lot of thought didn’t bring me to that conclusion, another word search did.
Yesterday, I brought up a lot of courage and peaked into another one. It was posted in a bookclub group on Facebook. My guess was that no one who reads can be as evil as the pathology word search creator. I started to search and my brain started to laugh before my face did. Someone had made the effort to write ‚more books‘ over and over again.
It was a joke, but it also helped me brush of all the negativity from the word pathology.
Here I was. Set on my smooth and reassuring path again.
I clicked. No, not on the buy button for another book. My brain and heart found a way to tell me what had troubled me.
While I haven’t got a problem with the word pathology, I have one with not being my own master.
Like I chose the novels, poems and articles I read, I will chose how to lead my life. Suggestions are welcome, but I chose.
Funny enough, the first novel I ordered is one I started two years ago and wasn’t able to finish due to a poop accident involving my cats. It took me a lot of time to hunt it down as I just remembered the plot and neither title or author. So, while lying awake, my thoughts circling around my possible death, I went searching for it again. Just for distraction.
I found it.
It will arrive the 2nd of January.
It’s Benjamin Black’s The Silver Swan.
The main character’s job?