And then she was like, Do you want to go home with me?

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This will try to be an unbiased observation. But, full disclosure, I hate like.

Nothing against the word itself… to approve of something, to like it, as facebook offers us. I have no problem with that. (Well, the facebook ‘like’ does discourage conversation and make things superficial, but that is what facebook does…but that’s another article.)

No, what I’m talking about is what conversations have become, we no longer “feel” or “say”, instead we “were like”.
It works for anything…
Surprised?
The “like” will work. My friend says he wrecked his car. I was like, What happened?
Or
Your friend has free tickets to the U2 concert and invites me.
I was like, Awesome.
Or it could be a response to a simple statement:
“I’m going to go get some Chinese food.”
I was like, I’ll go.

The origin of this phrase goes back to the Valley Girl speak most of us made fun of back in the 80s-90s. But over time, it has crept into everyday use. And when I hear a conversation of likes strung out together like rusty barbed wire, snagging at the flow of the conversation, it makes me, like, sick.

Maybe it’s a better way of filling space, like the uh, or um… but that’s debatable.
Maybe it’s a way of distancing our self away from our feelings. Instead of saying I think, I feel, we interject a like, so those feelings are easier to talk about at a distance.

And if you are “like” something, you don’t need to be exact. If someone says that didn’t happen, or that they didn’t say that, you can counter, “I never said you invited me home with you. I just said, you were LIKE that.”

Or maybe it’s just a saying that enough people use that it bothers me to write a blog about it.

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The vital vitality from your vacation

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I am watching the water crash on the rocks. It foams, seething, shifting its millions of molecules into a writhing mass before settling into the Pacific ocean once again. The sun was coasting into a radiant shower of gold and white and red on the horizon to my right. And then without fair warning, it was gray and raining and cold. Because it was Ohio, and I had returned home. And my spirits plummeted.

But then, almost as quickly, the melancholy lifted away, and I focused on the tasks in front of me, and it was easy. Everything was easy. My mind had changed, my tendency to immediately catastrophize was gone. Everything was fine, how it should be. This could be because of the meditation that I’d begun months ago, a regular meditation to bring control back over my mind and its racings and musings. It could also be the recent loss of friends who passed away and made me stop worrying so much and instead start doing things to enjoy the present.

But I think the way I adapted to the muck of my current atmosphere was due mainly because of my vacation…two main things about it. It was long enough to immerse myself into where I was. After day 7, I was all there, not thinking about the future and returning. Instead, I was in the moment, so I truly experienced my get-away, instead of the usual 5-7 day scheme of the standard vacation. Second was the vastly different landscape from the the unremarkable flatlands of Ohio. It was new and uncommon. It was a fresh perspective on what it means to live. The earth was presenting itself to me like never before.

So take a long vacation from what you’re doing or wherever you are. You don’t need to go across the country, but you do need to get out of whatever it is you’ve acclimated to, whatever safe haven you think is permanent, and take a bite out of some new food for your brain. The risk and potential discomfort of that adventure are nothing compared to the resilience you will develop for those familiar gray days. Days that will always be there, wherever you reside. We’re here for new experiences. They not only keep us happy, but they keep our mind limber and fit to keep going in whatever our day to day presents us.