I’ve spent this week making preparations to go on holiday for 10 days. I’ve been making sure everything is in a good place before leaving, ensuring clients are satisfied and aware of my impending absence and briefing colleagues to be a better version of me while I’m away.
In addition to a period of preparation for next week, when I won’t be working, it also became a period of reflection. The last 5 months have, in some ways, been unlike any others. In other ways they have also become 5 months of solid focus on a couple of particular projects with particular specialist language.
While reflecting it struck me that despite feeling committed to what I’ve been doing I have also entered a bit of a rut. That jarred with me because I’ve actually been really enjoying what I’ve been doing. It struck me that ‘rut’ didn’t seem the right term.
I got to mulling over the use of language. With so much of my time recently being spent on specialist work and with long delivery dates I realised that I’m not in a rut, I’m in a vocabulary straight-jacket.
I’ve been using the same key terms and phrases to describe similar solutions to similar issues for the last few months. And with that has come a laziness in general vocabulary too.
I love this quote:
“As vocabulary is reduced, so are the number of feelings you can express, the number of events you can describe, the number of the things you can identify! Not only understanding is limited, but also experience.” Sheri S. Tepper, A Plague of Angels
It was enlightening to look back and realise that my emotional groundhog days may in fact simply have been a lack of vibrant visionary vocabulary. (See…? I’m already trying to break the habit).
And so – with renewed vigour I find myself choosing my reading list for the holiday week ahead. When I return, I hope to have a newly supercharged lexicon of words and phrases to keep ‘ruts’ and ‘groundhogs’ at bay!