You know the adage from when you were a kid…
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But names will never break me.
Totally not true. First, I understand where Alexander Kinglake, the originator of the little ditty, was coming from. It’s healthy for kids to know they do not need to take on the labels given to them by other kids. That saying is basically a great anti-bullying campaign from 1862.
Honestly, words do break us. How we talk to ourselves can definitely move us or keep us stuck. Words have strength.
It’s only taken me about two decades of my adult life to come to this awareness. Like the kind of awareness that causes me to change the words I choose. Specifically my inner dialogue. Half the stuff I say to myself I’d never say to others. I am practicing changing this behavior, as I spend my days nurturing people.
For example, I really don’t like most domestic responsibility that comes with owning a home or raising kids. I do like owning a home and I do like raising kids, therefore the responsibilities aren’t going away. The way I talk about those responsibilities can go away.
Recently I started flipping my mindset about the things I do on the regular. The change in my attitude and behavior was pretty much immediate.
Here’s a few of my mental flips:
I have to clean my house. → I’m giving my house some love.
I need to run errands. → I’m hunting and gathering.
I’m doing laundry. → I’m cleaning clothes.
Going grocery shopping. → Going to gather food to share.
The above list is hyper focused on the Mundane Life Chores. I noticed how being aware of the time it takes me to do certain MLCs changes my vibe towards the chore.
I had fun timing myself doing things like:
Emptying the dishwasher: 10 min (felt like 30 min)
Cleaning three bathrooms: 25 min (felt like 45)
Folding laundry: 10 min (felt like eternity)
Oh, and my husband is a stellar partner who does his own laundry. He also empties the dishwasher, takes out the trash and will grocery shop on request. So, I’m not over here solo hustling as a housewife. He was the one who encouraged me to be more honest about the amount of time it actually takes to do little things. He’s a smart dude, and a killer cook.
I’m still working on more inner thought overhauls and usually it’s in in the moment of catching a thought then flipping it.
I choose to change the words and what follows is a heart change; a changed attitude. This is the stuff of life, it’s not going away. So, I’ll just play with the words and be realistic about the time until we all get along.
Today I clicked the belts on my kids’ car seats and backed out of the driveway excitedly saying, “We’re going hunting and gathering!”
We went to Target and Aldi, hunted for goods and gathered them up to bring home. It was an urban adventure in a modern lifestyle. There were no sticks and stones, and my words didn’t break me. Not this time.
What are some ways you change-up the way you think about the daily stuff of life?