According to about a million websites and self-help books, it’s not uncommon for a lady to use up to 20,000 words a day. I’m not sure where the research comes from, or who decided to start counting, but I do know that I use every single one of my words daily. I love to chat. I love to debate. I love conversations in the backyard and conversations on the front porch. I love going for coffee so we can talk. I love to verbally process. I love talking so much that sometimes I go somewhere public to engage a complete stranger in telling me their entire life story and in return sharing mine, just to get all my words in.
20,000 words daily and I get them all in!!
That is 140,000 words weekly and, if my math is correct, 7,280,000 yearly! That’s a lot of words!
But, how many of those words do I actually think about and process before they go straight past my lips? How often do I think about the expressions I use, the sound bites I share, or the piece of advice I offer?
I wish I could tell you these thoughts came from my profound maturity and wisdom. But, the truth is it came from a simple conversation with Addie, my adorable 4 year old inspiration.
I’m trying to be a more intentional auntie, checking in on my kiddos and letting them know I love them. This week while texting Addie through her mommy, I replied, “tell her I love her bunches.” Simple, right. I think it’s a pretty common phrase which usually leads to a simple response of “love you too.”
But, not with Addie. Her response was, “she loves me as much as bunches! What does that mean?” It took me a minute, because I knew she wanted a real answer. A simple catch phrase we throw out randomly would not suffice with Addie. She needed to be able to see it; to understand it.
So, I thought before I responded. I wanted to find a way to help her understand how much I loved her. After much contemplation, I responded with, “it would be like if you took all the stuff that is important to you and put it in a bunch or a pile, that’s how much I love you.”
It apparently appeased her because she simple responded with, “oh, ok. I love her too.”
A simple, un-thoughtful comment led to a great life lesson… Think about what we say and communicate to one another. Does the other person truly understand what we are trying to tell them? Can their mind grasp the feelings we are trying to express? Are our comments intentional and effective, or are we just trying to get in our 20,000 words?
I set in a booth at Bread, Co., of course (trying not to engage the women next to me), thinking about my words today. Not all of them were encouraging or edifying. A few were harsh and unnecessary. Several were impulsive.
But, these thoughts of Addie, made me a little more intentional; a little more thoughtful. I caught and stopped myself a little quicker. I paused before sharing opinions and checked motives.
So, I may have only got in 19,000 words today, but they were a little more meaningful.
***the picture above has very little to do with our words, but I think it definitely captures Addie’s spirit & why she’s so inspiring!***