I am constantly trying to drive home to my kids (and husband) that word choice matters. There are so many wonderful words, why not make the extra effort to find the perfect one? And why get stuck using just a handful when you could communicate with a rainbow of words?
And yet, we all seem to fall into a word rut occasionally. (My 4yo currently ends every sentence with “bootchee bootchee butt butt.” I’m sure it has nothing to do with my inability to contain my giggles every time he says it.)
The word I most overuse is “should.” Well, according to Mom the word I most overuse is “snot,” but she has a weird pro-mucus agenda that really isn’t relevant to this post. I tried to count how many times I said it one day and gave up at twenty. I hadn’t even finished my morning coffee.
Not this year.
This year I’m going to let go of “should” and embrace “could.” I am releasing the idea of should. What I should be doing. What I should want. And giving myself permission to explore the idea of could.
“I should throw out these tie-dyed pantyhose that I’m way too old to wear.” “I should bake something for the school fundraiser.” “I should find a charity that will take those old Christmas lights.” “I should save that Prosecco for a special occasion.”
I could pour myself a glass of bubbles and into a pair of hose paired with a swear-word-embroidered sweatshirt so I’m comfortable while I wrap strands of lights around my formerly-depressing-now-joyfully-illuminated brick fireplace before I flop on the couch with a store-bought mini-muffin to admire the handiwork which has brought me happiness, peace, and probably the realization that pantyhose are miserable no matter how cute they may or may not be especially if said pantyhose over twenty years old and GIRL JUST THROW THOSE OUT ALREADY because you COULD spend the rest of your life in leggings and never wear pantyhose again.
To be clear, I won’t be abandoning “need” or “must.” If I need to be somewhere or must do something, I’m in. I “need” to feed my kids. It “should” be something healthy with vegetables even though I haven’t been to the store and the kitchen is still a wreck. So I “should” give up my block of writing time to catch up on dishes and make a fast grocery run.
I “could” serve them cereal and a carrot for dinner. That’s a pretty liberating feeling.
Turns out you can serve cold cereal and carrots for several meals running before anyone gets TOO cranky. That’s how I found some much-missed ukulele time this week. Which is why you get this New Year’s Ukulele Friday. And I do. Feel good, I mean. It was a long year but I really think we’ve turned a corner in so many ways. So I hope you can feel good, too. Because there is a lot of work to be done between now and November 2020. Let’s get to it.