This ’N That
I have been in a quandary lately. Our blog has been neglected to the point where I can hear it sadly calling to me, even in my dreams. I’m in the midst of an expansion of our internet business, and my free time has become a scarce commodity. However, I love writing, and I’m very touched by the people who follow my meanderings, so here goes – a quick endeavour blog now, to be followed up by a more thorough theme as quickly as I can.
Every day we either think or say thousands of words. If you talk to yourself, externally or internally, your mind never seems to shut off the flow. So, maybe we use thousands of words a day, or tens of thousands if we’re extremely voluble people, and just as you can’t ignore the thought of a pink elephant once it’s been suggested, I dare you to just empty your mind and not give form to your thoughts in the shape of words.
Fortunately, there are words that are supremely important to our – and others’ – well-being, and I’m going to concentrate on them.
Look – Smile – Hello
Seems like telling yourself to “look” would be very easy to say, but for a lot of people, it isn’t. Just the thought of allowing a stranger to make eye contact and take some of their personal space for a moment or two is hard to allow.
I’ve found a little secret over the years – first you have to put the word “Smile” into use. When I first heard it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, I decided I would rather my face wrinkles when they came, to have an upward, not a downward turn. So I got into the habit of urging my face to smile as often as possible, to the point that when I faced my day “out there” in the real world, there was almost always a smile on my face.
I also realized that it’s safe to look at other people when you’re smiling, because they can see you mean no harm. The smile, and the look, trigger a response in people, and they find themselves smiling back at you. If you’re waiting in a lineup at the store or for a movie or a concert, or with fellow travellers on an elevator, or sitting in a room crowded with other patrons, or on a subway or a bus, the next step is a friendly comment – which is actually your “hello.” The day becomes much brighter, the time more enjoyable, and you are sharing it with a stranger in a friendly way.
Many times people have approached me, in a store, on the street, to ask me for directions usually, and I’ve often wondered why they chose to ask me. I think the answer to that may be the natural smile on my face, which, because it’s natural, is reflected in my eyes. They may feel safe to speak to me. So I’m going to keep on smiling.
It should be easy to say “thank you” to someone for helping you in some way. Even when people drop by for a visit – they feel pretty good about themselves when you take the time to thank them for coming to see you. After all, everyone’s time is important to them. When they use some of that time to spend with you, it’s worth a thanks. It’s important to say “thanks” from the heart, and easy to do if you feel in a thankful frame of mind. I try to make every day full of thankfulness – for being alive, for having family and friends who care about me, for having physical and mental health strong enough to get through each day, for the beauty of the world surrounding us……
This is a word closely related to “thank you”, but maybe because it seems to be a little more eloquent when said (it rolls off the tongue so nicely), it deserves a little space of its own. When you sincerely tell someone you appreciate them for what they’ve done, it’s giving a tribute to their thoughtfulness and work done on your behalf, or on behalf of someone you care about. The beauty of this word is that it can be given to an entire group of people without necessarily having to name them individually. “Thank you all so much! I really appreciate what each and every one of you has done, and will never forget it.” When said with feeling, while looking at individual faces, and wearing that totally sincere smile, you will be appreciated in return. (But, of course, first you have to really, really mean it.)
“I’m sorry” is hard for some people to say with impact. The words can be said sarcastically (and mean the opposite of their intent), or very superficially (and mean nothing) or when said sweetly, sincerely, with a penitent smile that comes from the heart, create a heart-softening impact on the recipient. Icebergs melt when hearing a genuine “I’m sorry”. They feel beneficent, and you feel like a redeemed, penitent hero/heroine. And isn’t that the point?
It’s hard to say “I’m sorry” when you are in the blame-game-mode. People who are afraid to take any kind of blame for their less-than-stellar behaviour, don’t necessarily feel obliged to say they’re sorry – because it wasn’t their fault, right? If you know in your heart of hearts that you are not to blame for a situation, it will still ease your mind to say, “If I’ve offended you in any way, please accept my apology. That was never my intention. I would never want to hurt you.” There are different ways to say “I’m sorry” that will placate others, and still allow you to keep you dignity — and your friends.
I Love You
This trio can be difficult to say if you are not certain the one you love reciprocates your feelings, so I consider it a “derring-do” phrase. When I think of my husband, I can remember thousands and thousands of “I love you”’s coming from him over the years. When said softly, and spoken with your eyes as well as from your heart, it can turn the recipient into a pile of soft mush. I know. In the middle of a business discussion one time, I found my husband looking at me, with a gentle smile on his face, and the obvious look of someone who isn’t paying the least bit of attention to what he was hearing. I – almost – made the mistake of saying something in a little irritable tone because he hadn’t been listening – but instead, thankfully, I stopped speaking and just looked back at him, smiling. He said, “Do I ever love you!” totally from his heart, and with his whole being. Business over. The long hug that followed that beautiful declaration, erased every worry, every care, every stress, and the sound of those words, and his face when he said them, remains with me today. I was loved. What greater feeling can anyone ever have?
“Je t’aime” – – “Ti amo” – “Wo ai ni” – “Ik hou van jou” – “S’agapo” – “Ayor anosh’ni” – “Jeg elsker deg” – “Eu amo-te” – “Ya lyublyu tebya” – “Ikh hob dikh lib” – “Rwy’n caru ti” – “Seni seviyorum” – “Jag älskar dig” – “Main tenu pyar karda haan” – “Ja Cie Kocham” – “Naku penda” – “Lubim ta” – “Techihhila” – “Konoronhkwa” – “Tangsinul sarang ha yo” – “Aloha wau ia ‘oe” – “Kimi o ai shiteru” – “Te iubesc” -“Mahal kita” – “Kocham cie” – “Is tú mo ghrá” – “Ta gra agam ort” – “Ich liebe dich”. Saying, or hearing “I love you” in your own native tongue is always a joy, right?
Every day, we made sure we told each other and our daughter, of the love we felt. A good habit, but spoken sincerely each time.
Joie de Vivre
“Joy of living” just sounds so cool when said in French. I believe it can be a permanent state of mind and body, when we fortify the meaningful moments of our lives with beautiful words.
In Other words
When your heart is light and free, when your words, spoken to yourself and others, are positive, kind, loving, and encouraging – reflected by sincere feelings, you can’t help but be filled with joy yourself while making others feel happier as well. Filling your day with good words and thoughts leaves no room for feelings like envy, jealousy, despair, greed, rudeness, discourtesy, snobbishness, meanness, cruelty. Agree?
– Without freedom, no one really has a name. (Milton Acorn)
– A good speech should contain a lot of shortening. (Kate Aitken)
– Come boys and have some grog. I’m what you call a canuck. (Sir James E Alexander)
– I never had a million dollars. The most I ever had was nine hundred thousand. (Charley Anderson – the Lucky Swede)
– Actresses don’t have husbands, they have attendants. (Margaret Anglin)
– You do not know who is your friend or who is your enemy until the ice breaks. (Anonymous)
– Father, I love your daughter, will you give her to me, that the small roots of her heart may entangle with mine, so that the strongest wind that blows shall never separate them. (Chippewa brave addressing his future father-in-law – J. Long)
– It is not enough for a man to know how to ride, he must know how to fall. (Canadian Indian)
– He who tells the truth doesn’t sin, but he causes inconvenience. (Canadian Indian)
– Drive carefully, you might hit an Anglican. (sign St. James Anglican Church, Neepawa)
Newfoundland: (proverbs and folk expressions – L.E.F. English)
– A piece of rock entirely surrounded by fog.
– A home entirely surrounded by hospitality.
– God made the world in six days, and on the seventh, sailed inshore and hurled rocks at Labrador.
– An honest man when there are no anchors around.
– A fisherman is one rogue, a merchant is many.
– Empty vessels loom biggest.
– Fair weather to you and snow to your heels.
– Pigs may fly, but they are very unlikely birds.
– You are deep as the grave.
(From “Poem On Canada” – Patrick Anderson)
What are you…. ? they ask.
And she replies: I am the wind that wants a flag.
I am the mirror of your picture
until you make me the marvel of your life.
Yes, I am one and none, pin and pine, snow and slow,
America’s attic, an empty room,
a something possible, a chance, a dance
that is not danced.
A cold kingdom.
Hello! (I’m smiling and looking at you!)
It’s EJ’s daughter here again and I have, as usual, a few tunes to share that tie in with Mom’s theme of special words. To recap: Smile – Look – Hello – Thank You – Appreciate – I’m Sorry – I Love You – Joie de Vivre. These songs might not convey exactly what she was aiming for in her blog, but hopefully they’re in the ballpark. ♥
First up is “Look For The Silver Lining” (1954) by one of my favourite jazz artists Chet Baker, found on his album Chet Baker Sings (h/t Canal de kbdd)
My next choice is “Smile” (2009) a tune from country rocker Uncle Kracker (h/t Uncle Kracker)
Here’s “Hello Hello” (2011) by Elton John from the animated movie Gnomeo & Juliet (h/t cassandra gladkowski)
My 4th song choice is “Thank You For Being A Friend” (1978) from Andrew Gold. I always wondered what the Beach Boys might have done with this song… (h/t RHINO)
Next up is a mini-movie called “Appreciate” (2014) performed by the one and only Paul McCartney. Beware of the Robots!
I’m not much for boy-bands, but I kind of like this version of “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” (2002) by the British band Blue featuring the composer, Elton John (h/t emimusic)
Down to my last two song choices. As they say “here’s an oldie but a goodie” (yeah, they really do say that) “I Just Called To Say I Love You” (1984) by the great Stevie Wonder.
Finally, I have something a little different, from the famous French actor and singer Maurice Chevalier, here is “Joie De Vivre” (1967). Hopefully the songs I’ve picked for this blog on “Words” have provided your day with a little “Joy”. (h/t Seagreen Serenades)
And, as your Mom, my dear one, I love you and appreciate you and all that you do. You lift up my life, fill me with happiness and joy, and I am in wonder at how you smile your way through life, helping others as you go, every single day.
Until the next post !
Signing off…. with a smile and love in my heart….