Can I just crawl in a hole now?

disney2r

 

The Daily Prompt said, Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

At first glance, I thought, “Hmm, I just don’t do that.”  I’m one of those people who is so paranoid about actually misusing a word that I would simply refrain from using it unless I was 100% sure of its meaning.

Since I really want to write today I sat and thought about the prompt for a moment to see if I could come up with something.  Lo and behold, I remembered WHY I don’t dare use a word I don’t know.

It happened in middle school, in front of a group of kids, most of them older than me.

Okay, so we all know that middle school is tough anyway.  You are going through so many changes, some of which are wreaking havoc with your hormones and your emotions.  Your accelerated physical development is surpassing your maturity level, making you feel like a freak of nature.  Impressing the male species comes into play, because boys are no longer gross.  For me, honestly, they never were, but I digress.  Your feelings tend to shift between feeling superior to inferior, depending on who you’re around and life feels like a roller coaster.

In spite of all that, I think I was a pretty confident junior high student, one of the young and the restless, managing to keep most of my fears at bay.  I went to a very small school and I knew everyone, making some things easier.

This particular day, if memory serves me correctly, there were approximately 4-5 kids around, and we were talking during lunch break.   We were just hanging out, each of us trying our best to be the center of attention, or at least capture the attention of “the one”.

For some reason, there was a discussion of an older person who drank a lot.  I don’t remember any details of the conversation or even who we were talking about, but boy do I ever remember my faux pas!  I decided to put my ever-growing vocabulary to use and described the poor man as a “slush”.  Yes, I said a slush.  Have you ever heard of that?  It means the same thing as a lush if you are 12 and speaking of something you know not.

In my defense, I have always had a large vocabulary and didn’t often make this type of mistake.  Imagine my horror when one of my best friends called me out on it.  We couldn’t just pretend that it didn’t happen and forget it, nor could I slither off into a hole somewhere and stay there until summer.  No, we had to announce the blunder, repeat it and laugh hysterically until everyone within earshot had begged to be in on the merriment.  I was mortified and wanted to run to the office and call my mom and go home (after I choked my friend to death on the sidewalk).  Things like this can be very traumatic for a pre-teen.

This wasn’t the only time I wanted to die at school, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable and probably single-handedly responsible for my inability to think of a time that it has happened since.

The Who trumps the What

Hydrangeas

What do you want to be when you grow up?  I want to be a policeman, a fireman, a dancer, an astronaut.  You might hear any of these if you ask a child this question.  Today as I sit here and contemplate on the aforementioned subject, I am reminded that WHO you are is so much more important than WHAT you do.

I firmly believe that everyone has a god-purposed calling and are bent towards it at a very young age.  Our role as adults and mentors is to help children discover it, encourage it and feed it well and watch it grow.  There is something we are all instinctively good at and naturally have a passion to do.

However, I propose that who we are while we are doing it is what will glean the greater good.  I can be the best in the world at whatever I do, but if I can’t influence a life for good, what is it really worth?  Yes, there are some cases in which you could be a jerk and what you have done would still bring good to the world around you.  You could discover a cure for a disease, for instance, and that would bring good, regardless of your personal impact on society.  As a rule though, the who far outshines the what!

Who we are determines how others are impacted.  Do we exude kindness, generosity and love as we encounter others?  How we treat people has such a lasting effect, for good or bad.  There is a quote attributed to Maya Angelou that says, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Who am I today as I carry on with my work and life, as a mom, wife and friend?  That is what will be remembered and leave a potential life-long impression.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs

Caution:  Falling Coconuts

The Weekly Photo Challenge was Signs.  This is one of my favorites, taken on the Big Island in Hawaii a few years back.

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When you give up on the white horse, read this

When I listen to young women and even read some of their Facebook posts, I realize one way that we have failed them.  It seems their ideas of love and what it is or what it should be originates from fairy tales or the latest box office hit.   They believe there really is someone out […]

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

Full moon, Big Cypress N.P.

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week was nighttime.  I am not a pro, writing is my passion, but I thought these were worth sharing.

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Dust bunnies and Diaries

Will I even miss the mess?

Originally posted on Long walks and dark chocolate:
Will I even miss the mess? “My mom used to force us to do this at least twice a year”, I said, as we sifted through each and every item in her closet and drawers.  My daughter is quite the packrat and I knew we had better…

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Weekly Writing Challenge: That’s Absurd

from Dreamstime.com

The Challenge: Write a fictional piece that incorporates the everyday life we’re familiar with — work, family, errands — and add a surprise twist through an imaginary character, absurd turn of events, or Sci-Fi-esque setting. As I told my husband about this little story this morning over coffee, he laughed.  I’m not sure what we […]

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

I’m going with the endurance definition of the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear.  On a recent trip to England, I was blessed with hosts that escorted us to some idyllic places.   I felt like I had stepped back in time and it was glorious to an old soul like myself.

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Thursday thoughts

What you do

I am offended all day long every day at home, work or wherever I may be by Facebook posts, television commercials, magazines, billboards, emails, and even conversations.  Yet, I must keep silent, lest I dare offend someone else. My beliefs are important to me.  I hold myself to certain standards not because I think I […]

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Missing my girls

As the holidays loom ever closer, I find myself reminiscing about the simple things I miss.  Being an empty nester for almost a year now hasn’t been as bad as I feared.  Dad and I have had more time for each other and it’s been peaceful and quiet. But sometimes a mama just has one […]

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