Buzzed is one of those old fart words. Like stoned. Or loaded. Or old fart. It immediately dates you back to Woodstock or Charlie’s Angels. Nobody says it anymore. And it makes sense. Words change as times change or, more accurately, as we change. You get to a point in your life when you probably shouldn’t say you have to tinkle, just like you probably shouldn’t call your new car totally sick.
Of course, if those words come from your authentic self, go for it. That’s the whole point. Words should reflect exactly who we are and how we want to live. If you want to tinkle all night long, tinkle all night long. Own your tinkle.
What we can’t let happen is to allow our age to unconsciously hijack our vocabulary. And it happens all the time. We start talking like other people talk, or the way we think we should talk when you get a certain age. And before we know it, our words have become as tired and outdated as the jeans we pull up to our belly buttons.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to take back our dictionaries and recognize that our words are sending the message we want to share with the world. And, more importantly, the message we send to ourselves.
It’s up to each of us to decide how we’ll talk to the world, and what words we’ll use to describe our reality. And we should do it before other people do it for us. Right now, advertisers are lining up around the block, and spending boatloads of money, trying to figure out what words to use that will make us want to dip into our 401K’s. We’re a billion dollar industry, my friends.
And just what words are advertisers putting up on their corporate whiteboards? Do a simple Google search, and you’ll find all kinds of words that are supposed to attract our graying demographic. Words like earned, honor, respect, trust, reliable, reputation, and prestige. And while those are certainly fine words to use with your kids, or when you’re walking up the steps of the Reagan Library, quite frankly, they make me want to grab a cup of hot cocoa and watch Murder She Wrote.
And while I don’t mind these words being a part of my character, I don’t want them to define me or my generation. I’d much rather get buzzed out of my mind.
The fact is, I think everybody must get buzzed.
Fortunately, the buzzing is already starting to happen. Every day, new lists are popping up, with more exciting words for us to embrace. Words like individualism, self-expression, passion, reinvention, purpose, and meaning. Even the AARP is jumping on the bandwagon with their Reimagined Life Campaign. Hopefully, advertisers will quickly catch on that the best way to reach us is by connecting with that eternal part of ourselves that never stops searching for meaning and truth, adventure and joy.
But, let’s be clear. It’s not just the words we choose that are the problem. It’s how we use the words we choose. As Rudyard Kipling said, “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Unfortunately, we don’t always act like they are. How often do we say something without really thinking about its meaning? “It breaks my heart…I’m just sick about this…my life will never be the same.”
We may think this is harmless chatter, and maybe it is. But words carry energy. They can empower us or weaken us. Either way, our words are creating our reality. It’s time to stop saying what we don’t mean, as well as anything that we wouldn’t want to materialize in our lives.
Just imagine if we treated our every word as if each one was single-handedly creating our world. And what better time to start than now. Letting our every word roll off our tongues as an expression of what is important in our lives. We can still use the words that come with age, like illness, depression, frustration, loss, and oh fuck. But, we can imbue them with the verbs and adjectives that give those words meaning, like hope, grace, serendipity, gratitude, and boldness of spirit. I can. I will. Why not? Fuck yeah!
And while we’re expanding our vocabularies, how about reaching even deeper for words like vulnerability, joy, peace, and awareness.
The language of being alive.
Of course, it’s not always easy to say these words, but with practice, we can slowly make them a part of our lives. Let’s burn them in our hearts. Shout them from the rooftops. And let these bold and beautiful words become the mantras for who we are and how we want to live in the second half of our lives.
Now, who wants to get buzzed?
And if you’re wondering how you can bring more mindful words into your life, check out this edition of the Buzzworthy Things We Like and look for the My Intent Project. These guys are doing it right.