I played one of those games on Facebook last night: “What Is Your Word for 2016?”
A friend had shared that her word was Happiness, and, although I don’t normally play those games because I don’t like to allow third parties access to my personal information, or that of my friends, I just had to have a word of my own.
My word for 2016 is Change.
“Your next year will be founded on change. New challenges will bring you much happiness!”
That’s the other reason I don’t normally play those games. Results don’t always match expectations. I’d been thinking about Happiness, Serenity, Wealth, Success, Peace, Humor, Luck, Bliss, Tranquility, Excellence, Honor, Beauty, Fame… words like that.
Change is different. More open-ended. Harder to pin down. Linked to words like challenge, which, in turn, is linked to energy. At present, I’m not brimming with energy. Even if new challenges are to bring me much happiness, I’ll need a nap before I’m ready to face them.
While obsessing about a year founded on change, I had an epiphany. To receive the 2016 word, all that’s necessary is a name. I had entered Kathy. But I have other names. Loophole! I went back and entered Katherine.
Katherine’s word for 2016 is Wisdom. “You will have to make many tough decisions next year! Thanks to your great wisdom you will always make the right decisions!”
Katherine’s tough decisions made Kathy’s challenges look like nothing at all. Making the right decisions is good, but coming up against them in the first place is never pleasant. With one name left, I tried again.
Mary did better than Kathy and Katherine had. Mary’s word is Joy. “Your next year will be based on joy! You will enjoy many fun days with friends and family.” Much, much better.
Then I scrolled down to a second paragraph:
“This word will guide you through the year of 2016! It will support you in your daily struggles and situations that may appear hopeless. This word will always show you the silver lining so that you won’t ever need to worry. It was chosen for you specifically, embrace it!”
Surveying earlier results, I discovered the same two sentences below Wisdom and Change.
So my words for 2016 are really daily struggles and situations that may appear hopeless. And not just my words–everyone’s.
To quote one of my students, ca. 1973, “What a rip!”
Still, we also get silver lining and you won’t ever need to worry.
First, of course, we must follow instructions and embrace the words chosen for us specifically. In the case of Kathy, Katherine, and Mary, those words are, respectively, Change, Wisdom, and Joy.
It probably wouldn’t hurt to embrace Happiness, Serenity, Wealth, Success, Peace, Humor, Luck, Bliss, Tranquility, Excellence, Honor, Beauty, Fame… as well.
As one last test, I opened the game again and entered my fourth name.
Waller’s word for 2016 is Truth. Her next year will be based on honesty and genuineness. New hope will arise and make her very happy. And me, too.
Do you have a word for 2016? You don’t have to look on Facebook. Just choose one you like, embrace it, and look for the silver lining.
Wishing everyone a 2016 of Wisdom, Truth, Joy, and even–because although sometimes exhausting, it can also be a good thing–Change.
Mary Katherine (Kathy) Waller blogs at Telling the Truth, Mainly and at Austin Mystery Writers. Her short stories appear in Austin Mystery Writers’ crime fiction anthology Murder on Wheels and in Mysterical-E.
She suspects everyone’s personal information is already floating around in cyberspace, or she wouldn’t touch one of those FB games, no matter how many new words she needed.