My #OneLittleWord for 2016 is Cool

I have been struggling to find my #OneLittleWord for weeks now. I was thinking seriously about it before one not-so-little event in the New Year drastically overturned my apple cart and caused me to rethink everything (see I Wish You Knew).

As I note in Notable Notes: One Little Word, I really needed a word that could help move me out of my funk and into a more positive mindframe. I needed something with the power of the Serenity Prayer, but every positive word I considered felt more like the Seinfeld mantra of serenity now.

Then I read Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” and I knew I had found the right sentiment for my #OneLittleWord. The trouble was that I just didn’t know how to capture these ideas into one word. Although I did like his word “non-fuck-giving,” I wasn’t sure that was the word I wanted to use because I suspected that some of my readers might be a bit put off by a post that used the word fuck 127 times (as Manson did in his). Brace yourself if you don’t like the word, I do use it (sorry, Mom), although in a more limited capacity.

I found myself shouting “yes” over and over as I read Manson’s article, but it was this statement that truly appealed to me as a guide for this year:

Subtlety #3: We all have a limited number of fucks to give; pay attention to where and who you give them to

This must be my new mantra. I may need to begin each day by asking myself where and when will I give my fucks today and constantly throughout the day consult my limited supply of fucks to determine where they will be doled out. I must hoard my fucks to protect my sanity.

Back to the problem of summing up this idea in one word. I considered words such as nonchalant or unflappable. My friends suggested catlike (which might be a bit too nonfuckgiving) and insouciance (which I liked for the sheer elegance of it), but in the end I chose a much simpler (and more family-friendly) word: cool.

There are a number of reasons that this word appeals to me and where I am and where I need to be in 2016. Of course, and I admit this dates me, the connotation it carries for my generation is not to be dismissed (see Fonzie) even if right now I’m more Pulp Fiction than Happy Days. However, my study of the word cool and its definitions has also inspired me. Words such as moderation, under control, deliberate, calm, and acceptance are all words that can be useful guides. Hopefully, I will not blow my cool and next year will be able to choose a more positive word.

What do you think of my #OneLittleWord and do you admire my progression from Serenity Prayer to Seinfeld to Happy Days to Pulp Fiction?


Author: Deanna Mascle
#TeachingWriting and leading #NWP site @ Morehead State (KY): Passionate about #AuthenticWriting, #DeeperLearning, #PBL, #Ungrading, and #HyperDocs.

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