Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Just" is a four-letter word

Main Entry: qual·i·fi·er
Pronunciation: -"fI(-&)r
Function: noun
: one that qualifies : as a : one that satisfies requirements or meets a specified standard b : a word (as an adjective) or word group that limits or modifies the meaning of another word (as a noun) or word group

I've never been much of a one for New Year's Resolutions, so it doesn't particularly bother me that this may sound resolution-y and it's in the middle of February. Actually, we've passed the middle, haven't we? Well, whatever, it certainly isn't January 1, and I'm okay with that. This has been simmering for some time, and I think it's ready to come out now.

I want to live life with fewer qualifiers. I tend to soften what I say, to limit or modify my speech, as the definition says. I think a lot of people do, and while there's room for that (there I go), there's also time to be definite. For example:

I am not "just" making a scarf. I am making a scarf, period. In fact, look at how cool this is, I'm making this incredible thing with sticks and string and my own two hands! How cool is that?

I also want to stop apologizing for my life, or the ways I live it, if it's something I'm happy with, or simply okay with. Such as:

"That's a nice sweater." "Thanks, it's really old." No! "Thanks, I like it, too."
"Would you like to order a drink?" "No, I'll just have water." or "I'll just have a Coke." Those are drinks, I don't have to apologize for them.

I got a good example of this the other day when I was watching Clean Sweep, which I not only enjoy, but find at times to be inspirational to my hold-on-to-it self. The wife was talking to Peter, the organizer, about her Star Trek collectibles, and mentioned needing things for dressing up and going to fan conventions because yes, they were just that nerdy (or words to that effect). Peter said you go to conventions? And the husband said, quite calmly, "Doesn't everyone?" And then, looking at Peter's reaction, he added almost sotto voce, "I guess Peter doesn't." I want to be more like the husband, not apologizing, not assuming that others are judging and finding me wanting. I can't stop living my life the way I want to live it because others don't like the way I do something. I especially can't stop living my life the way I want to live it because others might not like something.

Besides, I need to remember that most of the time, no one is paying as much attention to me as I am. It's harsh, but true. And it makes it especially silly for me to let what someone else might be thinking change what I do.

Let's not limit ourselves more than we have to. Doesn't the world, doesn't society, do that enough already? Let's not handicap ourselves out of the gate.


Blogger Chickenbells said...

Oh yes...the word JUST is really interesting isn't it? I had a friend who used to jump all over me when I used it because sometimes it is like you're using it to appologize for yourself and your actions. Good luck with this resolution...it's a wonderful one! I just need to stop using just in my blog writing so much (oops, see what I mean?)

10:21 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Ms. Knitingale said...

Well said, indeed. How about this one? If someone runs into me in a hallway I will always apologize, even if I was standing completely still at the time. What's up with that? Good luck--but I don't think you'll be needing it!

6:25 PM, February 28, 2007  

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