Choose your Words: “Just”
The words we choose to use matter.
I’m in education, which means that there are several weeks in the summer that I am not required to work. I’ve never used this as pure vacation. It’s not in me to just “take things off” for that long. Prior to having a kid, this time was about personal and professional development. While it still is, it’s also about being a mom.
Over the last few years, when people have asked what I did over the summer, I would reply with sharing the personal and professional pursuits I had, but also that I was “just a mom” and that I “just hung out with Jonas.”
Why do I use the word “just?” That word diminishes the impact and significance of that time. What, after all, is more important than raising a child? I know this intellectually, but why do I use the word “just?”
Because LifePlan has taught me to ask “why.” I did so with this topic recently. Because of my root system, I had become someone who got their self-worth from achievement. Perhaps deep down, I felt that because I wasn’t working my typical massive number of hours I worked earlier in my career, that I somehow was not achieving. Thus, the purpose of the word just, when I didn’t even realize it. It implied something was “lacking” in my actions and success. (Thus causing self worth issues).
So, now, the word “just” will be a limited part of my vocabulary, because it implies “not enough.” When really, my self worth is not dependent on outside influences and achievements. And, even if it was, being a mother is one of the most significant contributions I make in life. If that means I’m not being a workaholic with my career, that’s okay.