August 18 – Serendipity Day

Posted on August 18, 2013

When I was a kid, there was a cute clothes shop down the street called “Serendipity.” The name seemed fun and even silly, but my mom explained that it actually means something: a happy accident or pleasant surprise.

When I heard that definition, I decided that serendipity was one of my favorite words in the whole world. (And I really like words!)

Decades later, a movie named Serendipity came out. I thought that the main idea of the movie was stupid. A couple who really liked each other spent years apart, restive, searching for each other, because the woman was convinced that, if they were supposed to be together, life would dish up multiple serendipities, times when they were thrust together by chance. I kept thinking, “You had your happy accident, meeting this guy—and you threw your serendipity away!”

Still, who doesn't love John Cusack and a happy ending?

A writer named Madeleine Kay has declared 8-18 to be Serendipity Day so that we can practice living life the way it's supposed to be. Of course, you can't deliberately set out to create a happy accident—or it wouldn't be an accident—but you can step out of your routine, step out of your comfort zone, and try new things. Go new places. Meet new people. Listen to new music and eat new foods. When you shake things up in this way, you are preparing the ground for a serendipity or two to occur!

What are your favorite words?

Some of my favorites include:

  • squelch (a fine example of onomatopoeia)
  • onomatopoeia (you gotta love a word that has 8 vowels altogether, and ends with 4 vowels in a row!)
  • ginormous (now in the dictionary!)
  • kerfuffle (sounds like a lovely sort of commotion—not that sharp-edged, violent kind!)
  • snafu (I love that it started as an acronym)
  • quixotic (I love any word with both an X and a Q)
  • exquisite (see? I love any word with both an X and a Q)
  • portmanteau (it's amazing that this underused word has two meanings)
  • mellifluous (which is a great example its own meaning)
  • kookaburra (I like a lot of Aussie words and names... yes, billabong, that includes you, too!)
  • tomfoolery (this seems too silly to be a real word, but it's a real word)
  • zeitgeist (I like the meaning of this word as well as the fact that its syllables rhyme)
  • skulk (we don't use this word nearly enough...perhaps if more of us did more skulking, we'd get to say it more often!)

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Here are my Pinterest pages on August holidayshistorical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.

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