I’m pretty hip for an “old” chick. I can adapt. I mean, OMG, I’ve got 2 kids teetering on the brink of teenager-hood. Thus, I am contractually obligated to maintain some sort of connection with the world in which they live. So far, I have successfully supported the use of being verbs. I am working on the pronunciation of the double “t” sound . . . . MITTENS instead of mi(some swallowed sound I don’t know how to spell) ens. I am sure "DUH" grated similarly on my parents' nerves.
Don’t even get me started on the subject of ADDING these atrocities to the dictionary. Seriously? We can’t get anyone to speak correctly, so we will change the English language? Reverting back to caveman is right around the corner and we will grunt and throw poop at each other to communicate. Makes me "tot's cray cray."
All of this aside, there is one newcomer to the scene that I’m glad to see. It bugged me at first, but upon further reflection, I realize its positive contribution. The phrase in question is “SO . . . THAT HAPPENED. . . “
Mindfulness. In one phrase, Eckhart Tolle and all his thoughts about shrinking awareness down to the current moment without judgment or evaluation. Maybe he was the first to say “that happened . . .” and somehow it caught on with the younger set.
“That happened” removes the need to assess the intrinsic value of every situation. It wasn’t good or bad, it just happened. Now I get it, common use of the phrase implies something shocking or usually distasteful, but for someone who is 25, it seems (sweeping generalization ahead ... if you are not of this ilk, it doesn’t apply to you so don’t get offended) EVERYTHING IS DISTASTEFUL. These days, I have a job because these Gen Y and millenials think ALL THINGS are bothersome and beneath them. In my office, I often have to pause for a long moment before I find something professional to say . . . like “you are not doing (insert retail outlet here) a favor by coming to work for them.”
"That happened.” Let it become your mantra. Obviously you’re going to have "feels" one way or another about WHAT happened, but practice not getting carried away with them. “That happened” is about the lost art of acceptance. There’s nothing we can do about it after it’s already happened. So wrap your head around it, and start to move on.
What I see is an enormous amount of effort going into mentally trying to make things UN-HAPPEN. We roll it around in our heads 400 different ways. What if I had said this, what if he hadn’t said that? What if I hadn’t been late that day? What if I had just checked that door? There’s an old adage about closing the barn door after the horse has run away. All those mental gymnastics are just about as effective.
YOLO, so take all that energy and point it forward? What if we were to experiment with thinking about changes to make NEXT TIME we get the chance to try?
Dear Mr. Webster: If I have to accept NEEDS FIXED and the lost art of the double “t” in order for people to embrace fully the art of “THAT HAPPENED,” I guess I’m down with that!