Friday, September 26, 2008

Say what you mean

Sometimes you just have to be flexible! I had hoped to post to this blog about once a day, but I had a curveball thrown at my schedule on Wednesday. But that's okay -- it meant I got to spend some time at the park with my daughter, and the weather even cooperated!

Speaking of "got", when I was in high school I read somewhere that the word "got" is over-used, and I took up a challenge to try not to use the word or it's variations at all for one month (Molly may remember this endeavor). To this day, I can't use the word without thinking about it and considering whether there might be a better word to use. This week I've decided to work on my speech patterns again, but my goals are a bit more ambitious this time around.

First, I'm trying to cut back on sarcasm. The first web definition I found for "sarcasm" is: A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound. Wow, when you put it like brings shame to my heart for how much I fall back on sarcasm. I definitely never intend to hurt anyone with my words, but I know that it happens because of my carelessness. So even when it's obvious that I'm joking and the sarcasm isn't directed at a particular person, I've decided that it has no place in my life. With Jon's help (and the help of any other family/friends reading this blog), I hope I'll be sarcasm-free within a month! Maybe I should start a jar...

On a broader scale, I am making a deliberate effort to say exactly what I mean and mean what I say. What do I really mean by that? I don't think I'm the only one in our society who has grown lazy with speech -- generalizations and broad, sweeping statements seem to be the order of the day in communication. So terms such as "always", "never", and "everyone" are out the window along with sarcasm for the next month. It's like nobody very few people have the time to be bothered with expounding their thoughts beyond a casual sentence or two.

Finally, among my communication makeover goals, I want to remember to ask my husband to do specific things around the house before I get upset about them not getting done (or having to do them myself). I'm married to a great guy, and I know and trust that he loves me and does not see me as a "pick-up fairy". But sometimes that's exactly what I feel like. Why exactly should I have to put his shoes where they belong? Or pick up the glasses he frequently leaves around the house? I'm not his mother! These kinds of thoughts sneak into my mind pretty regularly when I'm tired and trying to keep the house in order at the end of a long day. (Okay, they're not as wordy as that and probably not as kind, but you get the gist). But it is not the sign of disrespect that I think it is. It's just a sign that he has bigger things on his mind than whether or not his sneakers are under the bench. Maybe I should to.


  1. I do indeed remember that! And I shared the story with my speech students whenever I remembered. :)

    Ohhh those sneaky "pick-up-fairy" thoughts. I soooo suffer from those.

  2. Believe it or not, I grew up in a sarcastic family.

    Wait. That's not the part you should have trouble believing.

    The part I was going to say is that at the age of 10 I already knew the words "sarcastic" and "facetious" (like tongue-in-cheek)because our parents taught us the difference.

    I have to watch myself too b/c those 2 are easily mixed up!

  3. Good point, Brenda! I think I often try to be facetious and end up being sarcastic, unfortunately. I think the important difference is whether or not a person is the subject, directly or indirectly, of the intended joke.

  4. My daughter is quite witty. Sometimes the sarcasm comes out, but like you she never intends to hurt anyone.

    Audrey (from the mom blogs)