At the turn of the calendar each January, do you choose a word of the year?
For 2017, I chose “Fierce.” That was the year I tried to get my mojo back as my own person, not just “Mom” or “Wife.”
2018 was “Ritual.” It was the year I chose to establish new habits like exercise and making more time to connect with my spouse.
But 2019? I just couldn’t come up with the right word. Until it smacked me in the face, quite literally.
While walking the dog on a Thursday evening, I took a spill. I fell right on my face. I tripped on the sidewalk, and down I went. Pretty, right?
I’m lucky. I know that now. I got great help from my daughter, a kind neighbor, my caring husband, skillful emergency room personnel. The next day, an oral surgeon did what I can only classify as a miracle when he muscled my front teeth back into alignment.
Above me on the MRI table at the hospital, one ceiling tile was decorated with a shiny laminated poster of an impossibly blue sky, fluffy white clouds, and lush green palm leaves. This could almost feel like vacation, I thought wryly to myself, if not for the bleeding and the throbbing pain.
I contemplated the word “spill” as I lay there, not moving. I like the sound of the word, the way it cuts through the air like a knife. It takes on different meanings. It’s short and to the point.
\ˈspil \spilled\ˈspild, ˈspilt \ also spilt\ˈspilt \; spilling
Definition of spill
1: to cause or allow especially accidentally or unintentionally to fall, flow, or run out so as to be lost or wasted
2a: to cause (blood) to be lost by wounding b.archaic : KILL, DESTROY
3: to let out : DIVULGEspill a secret
I’m claiming the word SPILL for myself for 2019. Or rather, it claimed me. I’m going to let it remind me that I got knocked down along the way, but I got back up.
I’m going to spill my guts through my writing.
Also, I’m going to use spill as a metaphor for gratitude. As in, my cup spills over. I have more than I need or deserve. A pesky little fall? A cut lip and scratched face? A bruised ego? It’s nothing compared to what some have had to face. Maybe this is a clue that I need to enter the new year with a stiff upper lip, with my arms swinging.
So hello, 2019. Let’s do this.