Monday, July 29, 2013

Irksome Phrases

There are phrases in the English language that are used quite often which make my skin crawl. Simple words that become red flags when used in conversation.

For No Reason: This is the excuse of all excuses.  It takes the blame away from the speaker, tossing it out into the universe un-owned.  This thing happened, not because a bad decision was made, but it happened for no reason…simply because the person is unlucky. 

I’m a whatever:  I hear this constantly.  In the South, someone is usually telling you that they are a “good” Christian right before they say or do something nasty, but it can be just about anything.  It is my opinion that if you feel the need to tell someone that you are something/anything, then you are trying to convince yourself and everyone else that you are that thing.  If you were that thing, why would you need to advertise it?

To Be Honest With You:  This is my favorite of all the irksome phrases.  When someone throws in that phrase in whatever they are trying to convey, I immediately stop listening.  Why?  I am busy trying to figure out what they were not being honest about previously.  As an attention grabber, it’s counter-productive.  Those words do not reinforce the message of the speaker.  They undermine it.

These red flag phrases are a few examples of my own pet peeves.  Can you think of anymore?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sparks Will Fly

Life is a journey, and there are many different pathways a person can choose to take along the way.  We are not bound by a set of rules.  This is the one thing I know to be true. 

Yesterday, as fireworks burst out amidst a rainy 4th of July, I found myself watching a party supply commercial that in vivid, colorful detail explained everything that an American would need for a proper Independence Day party.  This commercial was followed by an advertisement for all the correct holiday food needed to celebrate.  And, that was followed by one letting all of us know where we could buy the clothes we would need to make our celebration appearance.  After turning the TV off, I looked outside at the rain drizzling down and relished in the idea of settling down into a nice rainy day.
The peaceful quiet made me consider all the paths we are nudged towards during our lives.  From birth these “nudges” come at us from all directions, and they come to us in the form of expectations.  Disney princesses and good southern upbringing nudge us towards the mythical happily ever after.  Society pushes us towards acceptable careers, habits, hobbies, etc… Media infiltrates our minds with all the stuff we need.  The list goes on and on.

“Nudges” are thrown at us so often, we are slammed so hard by them, that we eventually become numb and start going with the flow because it’s easier to follow along than to make a decision on one’s own.

So, as I watched the rain fall down in perfect droplets on a holiday when picnics and outside celebrations are considered the “way” to commemorate, I was reminded that that too was a great path to follow.  Sometimes doing the different thing is the right choice.

Does anyone else struggle with the choice in doing what’s expected or stepping outside the norm and taking the path most right for you?