I've had pieces of this post in the back of my head for a while. I had jotted down a note about some phrases I want to stop saying. Then when Lisa suggested the topic for this weeks' #TuesdayTen about things we should say more often, I figured I might as well get these other thoughts out of my brain too.
First, I'm big on perspective. I believe that your perspective can easily change your outlook on a day, a situation or a person. My mom always used to tell me that I should look my best on days when I don't feel well. There's something a little bit "fake it til ya make it" about that. And for me it works.
I feel the same way about the language I use and the way I choose to respond to things. Lately, these three phrases have been really getting to me and I'd like to stop saying them.
Not in terms of justice, but justification. "I'm just a mom." "She just
works in a factory." "He's just a kid." It makes it sound as if those
things aren't important. But they are. There is nothing insignificant about being a mom, or working in a factory or being a kid. If that's where you are in life, then own it. And don't just be a mom. Be an awesome mom. Give it your all. Don't just work in that factory. Take a moment to recognize the importance of those widgets you are helping to create. Don't think that just a kid can't make an impact on the world, because they can. And just because he's a kid, does not mean that he has free access to act like a jerk, either!
2. Have to
I have a job outside the home. It is required for the financial stability of my family. Currently, I love my job and there aren't many days that I dread going in to work. But I notice the attitude shift in myself and in my kids when I say (however innocently) "I have to go to work." Something about phrasing it that way makes it sound like I don't really want to go. Same thing with the kids. They love school! They have great teachers and lots of friends and they love learning. They are exciting about the fact that they get to go to school every day. So, while it is true that I have to go to work, I want to stop making my job sound like a chore I'd rather avoid. I'd like my kids to see me take pride and enjoyment in my employment, so that some day they will do the same. And maybe when I ask them to do their chores, they might learn to take some pride in them instead of whining, "Do I have to?"
When I was younger and I remember asking my grandmother, "Can I go to the bathroom?" Her response was: "I don't know. Can you?" What she meant was that my ability to go to the bathroom was not up to her. However, if I needed permission to leave the table, the question I should have asked was, "May I go to the bathroom." In the same way, there are lots of times that I use the word "can't" to describe things I don't want to do. As in, "I can't get you any cereal now because I am too busy sitting on the couch checking my email." That's a lie. I have the ability to procure a bowl of cereal for my hungry son. I am choosing not to because I am being lazy. I'd like to try to work on separating my abilities from my proclivities. In other words, I need to stop being lazy and get the poor kid some cereal!!
Do you have any overused phrases in your vocabulary that you'd like to nix?