Short words, phrases and slogans are what I base my daily mental health plan on. I’m sure it can be linked to growing up in the program of AA. When you spend years doing your homework in those meeting, listening to people in recovery trying to stay sober, one day at a time, some of their ideas are bound to stick. Some of those slogans are so ingrained in my mind. I couldn’t lose them even if I tried. I don’t think I would try, however. I’m pretty comfortable with them being there for backup on the rough days.
Just For Today.
Keep it Simple, Stupid.
First Things First.
Act As If.
I love that kind of stuff. I eat it up.
In fact, I love short slogans so much that I inked one permanently on my body.
On my wrist there are three simple words. go. do. be. Some days, those words read as gentle reminders, permission to myself to go and to do and to be all that I know I’m capable of. They whisper that I’m already authorized, already equipped.
Sometimes, the words speak louder. Way more than a whisper but not quite a yell, instructing me that the only way to get through those moments where I’m overwhelmed and can’t decide where to start, is to go. do. be. I read them and I’m instantly reminded of the secret to my life. To simply put one foot in front of the other, pick a corner and…start.
I don’t always want to remember those words. I don’t always want to read them. Sometimes, the simplicity pisses me off because it would be much easier to sit and wonder why I can’t get anything done, wonder why I’m feeling so stuck. It would be easier to analyze and over-think myself into exhaustion than it would be to simply get up and go. get up and do. get up and be.
But, I know myself well enough to know that I am always going to need those words, whether I like them or not, and that’s why I had them put there.
When I started researching homeschooling, I came across the Charlotte Mason Method and knew almost instantly I’d be adopting most of her philosophy. Among a million other things that stood out was her motto for her students:
Ms. Mason believed that education was ‘an atmosphere, a discipline, a life’ and I totally agree with her. Lately, I’ve been really focused on what kind of atmosphere I wanted to create for myself, create for my children. What sorts of goals I had for their ‘education.’
As we started out on our first full semester of homeschooling, I decided to write our new motto out so everyone could see it, our own slogan for the education that happens inside of our home. While I blocked out letters in chalk, adding colorful dots and swirls, the boys and I talked about the words. What they meant. How they could change and adapt to each of us. We have a huge calendar wall in our dining room where we place important dates, to-do lists and appointments, and it is also now where we proudly (and gigantically) display our motto.
The words written on my walls, written in my calendar, posted on my Instagram, aren’t actually going to teach the math lesson today. They aren’t actually going to speak to people with kindness. They can’t do my laundry or show up for my bar shift tonight. I am the only one who can do those things. They can, however, remind me of my power. They can remind me that all I have to do is go and do and be. They can remind me that I’m already enough and that I just have to keep it simple, one day at a time, and the rest will come.
I love words. All words. Platypus. Phalange. Disestablishmentarianism. A logophile is the Webster’s definition for someone who loves words. I couldn’t find a definition for people who love encouraging words or one that defined someone who loved AA slogans but, I’m pretty sure it’s all the same thing. I did find this quote, though. And it’s right. on. the. money...
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
Happy Monday, Friends.
go. do. be.