What to Do with Our New and Slightly Overused 2020 Phrases and Vocabulary

It’s been over 9 months.  Over 9 months of working from home when you thought it would only be 2 months or so.  Over 9 months of wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, avoiding crowds of 10 or more…you know this list as well as I do.  Since the start of the pandemic, our vocabulary and the phrases that we hear and use has changed dramatically as well.  And personally, as well as many of you, I am kind of over it.

Everyday we are bombared by different, very frequently used terminology that we haven’t even thought of using a year ago.  I know that at least several times a day I hear or read the following somewhere:

Unprecedented times…

A time like no other…

Flatten the curve…

An all time high…

Stay safe…

And so many others…

These words and phrases exhausted me, depressed me, and demotivated me.  I was so tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.  Yes, I know how to stay safe.  Yes, I know that these are unprecedented times.  Yes, I know that the virus is a very contagious disease.  It took the lives of 3 friends of mine within the last 3 weeks.  However, when I find myself feeling exhausted, depressed, and demotivated I try to acknowledge those feelings and do something to turn them around.  Why shouldn’t we do the same for our new and slightly overused phrases?  Therefore, every time I hear the following phrases, I change my thinking into the new phrases that follows.  By doing this, it tends to change my mood and outlook on our world today. 

Unprecedented times – A time for opportunity

A time like no other – A time to reconnect

Flatten the curve – Enjoy time with those in your bubble

An all time high – Set strong and achievable goals for 2021

Stay safe – Be happy and follow the script!

Now, let’s address one more situation that may cause additional irritation.  Constant.  Virtual.  Meetings.  Yes, most of us really miss seeing people and this form of communication has taken the driver’s seat on the COVID bus of how to practice business.  However during these meetings, there are some very overused phrases that you hear daily as well.  Therefore, I have turned the most heard phrases of virtual meetings into a game.  Here is how it goes.  Make a list (much like the one below) and have it beside you during your meetings.  As you go through your scheduled meetings for the day, simply put a tally mark every time you hear it or read it.  At the end of your day, complete the task next to the most tallied phrase.  Of course, these tasks have to be suitable for 2020 protocols.

“Please everyone mute your mics” – Select one of your favorite songs and sing it loud.

“Am I breaking up?” – Look back at pictures of your past relationships and think about how fortunate that you are not with them anymore.

“(Insert name), you are on mute.” – Talk to yourself for a good 15 minutes.

“Can you see me?” – FaceTime a friend you haven’t spoken to lately, while wearing something outrageous.

“Can everyone see my screen?” – Watch a good movie this evening, with the sound turned up so neighbors will know that they can join in the viewing.

“Do we have everyone here?” – Reach out to 2 people in your family, and tell them 2 truths and a lie.

“I’ve got a hard stop at X o’clock” Go outside and ride a bike.  Slam on your breaks and leave skid marks on the road.

“I need to jump on another call” – Did you ever play the hot lava game as a kid?  You know the one where you jumped around on your furniture to avoid the floor like it was lava?  Yeah…that was a great game that needs to be revisited.

Of course, this list may not be for everyone.  Feel free to adjust it to your personality and level of sanity.  Just remember, always adjust your thinking to reflect how you want to feel.  I don’t know where I got this quote or who said it, but I wrote it down and it remains in my home office today.  “Don’t let your current circumstances make you think that you’re not capable of creating a new reality for yourself.” 

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