Sunday, January 8, 2012

Idioms for a Lifetime

       Do you have any particular idioms you grew up with that you use constantly? I guess I hang on to the few I have, because I only knew my parents a little less than 30 years. And, if you don't count the first 20 years when we never think our parents know anything, I can only gather from maybe 10 years of their wisdom.
       One such idiom I recall and found myself using all my life was a phrase my dad had placed under the glass of his home office desk. He had this wonderful "office" that doubled as my brother's bedroom on his occasional visits back home from college. The desk was so unique though. It had cinder block legs sprayed black, and the top was a door covered in green felt with a large piece of glass to fit over that. He could rub elbows with the executives sitting behind rich mahogany monstrosities, but his frugal nature and his darling wife created this masterpiece that rivaled any top-of-the-line furniture. He would place precious pictures, quotes, maps, or papers under the glass for safe keeping. I loved going in there to see what new things he had placed there.
   Oh, I'm getting to it -- Here it is

                                WANT TO ENOUGH
What?!
I don't think my sister or brothers even remember it, but my initial curiosity transformed into a full blown mantra.  To this day, it answers all my questions about why I may have failed at any endeavor or challenge.

  • When I didn't mend a relationship,
    • I must not have "wanted to enough."
  • When I couldn't lose the weight I needed to, 
    • I must not have "wanted to enough."
  • When I didn't strive for that job advancement,
    • I must have not "wanted to enough."
  • When I don't clean up, or order blinds for the window, or finish that quilt,
    • I must have not "wanted to enough."
  • When I don't sit down to write and organize my a family stories,
    • I must have not "wanted to enough."
  • When I don't share myself, or get out, or contact others; therefore, feeling lonely,
    • I must have not "wanted to enough."
He had a similar phrase that was much cuter - "Honey, it's your little red wagon. You can push it, you can pull it, or you can just let it sit." But that little 3-word ditty was always my own proverbial slap in the face to realize my actions (or lack of) are mine alone, and I had the choice. I have no one else to blame. 

Now, a caveat is needed here, and I do speak from experience.  As with any lesson I have learned, I need to apply it to myself  -- not try to push it on others and tell  them  "Hey, you just didn't want to enough." oopsey.  I may have turned into my mother like all moms do, and spit out mom-isms on a daily basis, but this one is really just for me. 

Granted, I seemed to use it more in the past tense after I had "failed" so I can explain to myself what went wrong. But I am still hoping that I can use it in the present tense more often so I will  get off my butt, and do what I know is important.  When I do, I amazingly have a better day because I want to enough. 



7 comments:

  1. My dad: "I would trust a thief before I would trust a liar." "If you watch the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves."

    My mom: "Men are stupid. Women are mean."

    Me: "Live and Let Live"

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    1. Love these. Never heard of the pennies and dollars one, but the men and women one is quite true, just not often said aloud.

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  2. Your dad's advice about the little red wagon is something I'll remember. My dad also had some time-tested sayings. To this day, I like and live by: "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right."

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    1. Oh my mom used to say that one, too! These are becoming a fun collection.

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  3. Catching up on your posts - always so thought provoking and timely. This one is fun. My dad would tell us, "Look people straight in the eye." Also, "Develop a good, strong handshake." My mom had many versions of "Hoisting oneself on their own petard." My favorite though is what I tell my kids: "It wouldn't be called courage if were easy." I think of my son who is ill and has such a good nature. There are very ribald sayings we have but I don't want to offend anyone. Every family has some of their humor confined to the house! It's always so obvious how much you love your parents.

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  4. Love your mom's. As for ribald, I'm afraid I am going to be only remembered for saying "Home is where the fart is." My kids remind me all the time I said that one.

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  5. O.K. "As funny as a fart in church." "As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party." I think these could go on. People probably don't realize the wonderful and funny things they heard all the time growing up. Maybe this post by you will get people thinking and resurrect some great things to pass on. "Wanted to enough" is something I'll remember. It has stuck! Have a great week.

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Blessings to you,
Suzanne