Well, life has been busy, as it always is. Holidays, school, family, temporary viruses that came and thankfully went. Life is soo, so busy. For everyone it seems. The word "just" has been on my mind for the last few months. Seems I would say it a lot to myself or to others. "I just want to sit down." "I just need a break." "I just need to go to the store." "Can you just listen?"
After hearing myself say it so much, I stopped and realized that JUST is such a powerful word. Probably one of the most powerful words in the English language. Adding it to a sentence does so much! It can build up or break down. Don't believe me? Think of one of the most long-standing advertising slogans of at least the last three decades. Nike's "Just Do It!" If it was "Do It!", it almost seems bossy and more likely to be ignored, but add the word "just" and it touched something deep down in people. It said, "Stop making excuses and go out there and do it!" Yes! The word "just" said all of that.
But the word "just" has another side, too. People can use it to try and bring someone down, make them seem less than, or make something seem less than what it is. Examples: "Oh, you're just a kid! What do you know?" "Oh, you're just a mom." "Oh, they're just a store clerk." "It's just a thunderstorm, don't be afraid." "Just another school shooting."
Interesting, huh? One little word; working so hard. However, over the last few months, the word "just" has become a part of my daily mantra. How so? I use it to remind myself that sometimes we need to JUST step back from life and be "just". Just be in the moment. I feel like we all pigeon-hole ourselves too much. Both to ourselves and others. Tagging ourselves as "working mom", "breast-feeding mom", "organic mom", "stay-at-home mom", "hippie mom", etc. We set ourselves up in these categories that come with "definitions" that others made-up through pop culture or preconceived notions. I feel like we should just be. Because that is JUST what we are down at the cellular level. Parents JUST doing what we feel is best.
I have also applied it other aspects, like cleaning products other household products. I am trying to use items that just do what I need it do to. Like using a vinegar and water solution to clean with instead of harsh chemicals that add so much more danger. Getting rid of sulfates and artificial colors, fragrances, etc. I just need it to clean, not add harmful chemicals to our household.
I have also been trying to apply it to our food. I did that by looking for what I call, JUST foods. These are foods that are just what they are, nothing added, nothing man-made. Whole foods added where I can. We joined a co-op and I have enjoyed using new veggies in our family's diet and am excited to see that else they give us each week.
So, I invite you to try and add a bit of JUST to your day.