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I was a little ticked at my husband for not being willing to just go with it. I’d seen an ad for a land sale in Maine — one of my favorite states to spend time in — and wanted to just be spontaneous and go check it out. We’ve been exploring our options for retirement, and this jumped out at me as one of those random things you stumble upon that says, “Hey, maybe you need to see this.”

He considered it and did not flat-out reject the notion. But when I followed up to make it a weekend getaway, he balked. “Too far,” he said.

That did it. The word “too” is officially my #1 least favorite word. In fact, I may have to banish it from any discussions in the future with anyone at all. Think about it. “Too slow.” “Too fast.” “Too high.” “Too close.” “Too hard.” “Too complicated.” “Too expensive.” “Too cheap.” “Too long.” Etc.

Inserting that word just means you are rejecting something, making a judgment without considering the possibilities of a positive. Limiting yourself.

I just can’t do that.

Here’s how I see it. A few examples.

“Maine is too far.”

No, the long ride, especially right now, means taking in the beautiful foliage along the way; a chance to listen to music together on the radio; to have a leisurely coffee from the Dunkin Donuts we stop at as we get on the road; a chance to feel like we “got away” without having to go through the hassle of airports, extra baggage, whatever.

“The driver in front of me is too slow.”

No, it means maybe I am in too much of a rush. If I were driving faster, maybe I’d be setting myself up for a crash. Or maybe I am missing the roadside beauty,


or maybe I’m not thinking that this pokey driver is a young person still learning the rules of the road and gaining experience behind the wheel. Or maybe it’s an older driver — like my Dad, in his 80s — who is still driving because it is the last bit of independence he can still manage, albeit slowly; maybe he’s driving my Mom to a doctor’s appointment and is simply trying to get them both there safely. Whatever the scenario, the slowpoke in front of you is giving you an opportunity to ease off the gas pedal and be mindful. Try it.

“The zipline is too high.”

Hmm. Maybe it is. 🙂 Conquer your fear and do it anyway! Learn what you are capable of handling, as it will make you stronger and build your confidence.

Yes, the “too” word stuck in my craw (I so wanted to use this expression, so here’s the Urban Dictionary’s definition):

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A little resentment, sure. I was ticked. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, but it was a thing to do together, so his rejection of the Maine thing put the kibosh on it. For now.

And you know what? It was a good thing I didn’t flex my brat muscle and bitch about it. The “not going to Maine” on Saturday meant I had the day to do something else. Something I had been wanting to do for a while. Something that you can’t always plan. Something that leaves a memory on your heart.

Up Next: The Positive Side of a Negative

Copyright ©️2017 By Marianne V. Heffernan