I wrote this post about four weeks ago and I didn’t publish it because I couldn’t find the perfect photo to go with it. Ahh perfectionism. It never really goes away does it?
For context, I’ve been writing down one thing I’ve learned each day. Some days it’s something simple. Some days it’s a summary of something I’ve read. Anything goes. On 4 January, it was this:
I learned not to say the word “just”.
I was in one of my favourite shops (Spiceworld *cough*) and the lovely lady asked if I’d had any time off over Christmas. I gave my standard “I just had the week between Christmas and New Year off” that I’ve been saying to everyone this week. She looked a bit longingly at me, and said, “Oh don’t say ‘just’”. I immediately felt that for a retail worker over the Christmas-New Year period, the time I did have off would have been fabulous.
So I reframed it and tried again: “I had the whole week off between Christmas and New Year!” That made me feel better straight away.
“Just” is a word that I use a lot. “I’m just wondering if . . .”, “I just need to . . .”, “I’m just going to . . .”, “Could you just . . .”, “Would you mind if we just . . .”, “I’m just . . .”.
I remember last year when we were getting ready to go to New Zealand, people would ask how long we were going for, and I’d say, “We’re just going for two weeks.”
“Just going to New Zealand.” “Just for two weeks.” There’s no ‘just’ about it! I got two weeks off work! When do I ever get to do that? Hardly ever. Most of my time off is a day or two here and there in the school holidays, crammed in between days of vacation care, Nanna daycare and Slabs being off work. Two weeks is a luxury!
“Just New Zealand.” We went to a completely new country, spent two weeks looking at some of the most amazing scenery in the world, we did things we’ve never done before and didn’t have to cook a single meal or wash up anything. Lots of people would never get to do this. We’ve never done it before. It took us 15 years to do it. It was fantastic, and I’m grateful for all the circumstances that came together so that we could do it. “Just” doesn’t belong in any conversation I have about that trip!
It’s fascinating how one little thing that someone says can resonate so much and turn my perspectives completely upside down.
I intend to banish the word “just” from my vocabulary this year. Something isn’t “just” what it is. It is totally what it is, and it is enough.
I’m not ‘just a mum’, I don’t ‘just work 27 hours a week’, I didn’t ‘just have a week off’.
I’m a mum and I’m many other things too.
I work in my job 27 hours a week, and I help raise my son, look after the household, present a radio show, write a blog (sometimes), go on adventures, make videos and scrapbooks to tell our story . . . I had a whole week off over Christmas and it was great!
I am what I am and that’s enough.
And here’s a photo of a seagull.