Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


Four-letter Words

SOC badge with butterfly

Is is possible to not use any “four-letter” words? Linda Hill’s prompt for today is “four-letter” words. Here’s the place to see her prompt:

I was wondering if I could get by with writing no “four-letter” words in today’s post. But as I try to do it, it’s not too Stream of Consciousnessy. So I quit! So much for that idea.

Four-letter words can be useful.

I’ve never been much of a cusser. Not out loud anyway. I cuss just fine in my head, not all the time, but when the situation warrants it. I only  cuss out loud when I stub my toe or something like that, or if I’m alone.

But I have a hard time cussing out loud in front of people. Must have something to do with my parents. I don’t remember my mom ever cussing. Or my dad. But he was a marine for 20 years, so maybe he just didn’t cuss around us kids.

When I was in my early twenties, still living at home, I was talking on the phone to a friend. Back then we only had one phone and it was attached to the wall, so there was no privacy. I told my friend that something really “p—-d me off.” See I can’t even write it.

“Watch your language,” my dad said firmly from his recliner.

So now I rarely cuss in front of people. It’s sort of fun though when I cuss out loud in my car by myself.

I’ve worked as a substance abuse counselor for about 30 years, so I’ve heard my share of four-letter words. Some people don’t even know they’re doing it.  In individual sessions, I let it go. In groups, I’ll ignore an occasional slip. But every now and then, I get people in group who have no idea how much profanity they’re using. Since some people in the group might be bothered by it, and since people might need to learn to limit their use of four-letter words, say like for job interviews, etc., what I’ll do is put little hash marks on the board, discreetly, for each time the habitual cusser says the word. I usually only do it for the “F” word, since that seems to be the most offensive one. Though the “n” word is the most offensive word to me, and that’s not a four letter word. No hash marks for that one. Just stop it.

Eventually some one in the group catches on. I’ve had clients with 7 or 8 hash marks in a half hour, and they weren’t even mad about something. When they realize they said the “F” word so many times, they say they didn’t realize they were doing it that much, and they’re usually apologetic.

My goal is not to be authoritative or condemning, but to help them realize how often they are using the word and encourage other words. Sometimes clients have a goal to stop cussing so much, maybe for employment reasons, or they don’t like hearing their kids repeat those words, or maybe saying those four-letter words so often doesn’t fit with the new lifestyle they want to create.

It takes a conscious effort to change a habit like that, but it can be done. They can ask someone to discreetly point out to them when they say certain words. It’s like me telling my husband and my daughter that it’s okay for them to tell me if I’m hunched over. I’m often unaware at how bad my posture is until I see myself in a mirror, or notice how short I’ve become. I guess cussing is like that too.

So, I’ll be standing tall and cussing quietly… my head.

My husband says up north they call it swearing, instead of cussing. What do they call it where you come from?

If you’d like to join the Saturday Stream of Consciousness Fun, visit Linda at the link above.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


Success: Do more than want it.

Stepping stones

Any journey begins with a single step.

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? What steps have you taken?

In recent years, there’s been a lot written about manifesting you dreams. But, asking, believing and receiving has been around for a long time. The sequence is recommended in Mathew 21:22. And sometimes, asking and believing can bring our dreams into reality, if we are open to the possibilities. It happened to me, when the time was right.  But first I had to do the footwork. My first love, David, and I had to work on ourselves as individuals and learn lots of lessons before we were ready to be together 39 years later.

happily married

Perfect Timing for JoAnne and David Silvia, 40 years later

In my 26 years or so as a substance abuse counselor, I’ve met plenty of people who wanted to stop using drugs or stop drinking to avoid losing their homes or their kids or so they could regain their sanity. The ones who were successful recognized how much work it takes to change a powerful habit. It takes more than to want to change. It takes action, like going to meetings. It takes movement, like walking down another street. Sometimes it takes changing your phone number.

If you want to lose weight, you might start by buying a new pair of sneakers, or some exercise music. You can also write down you food plan for tomorrow and pray about it. Pray before you go into the grocery store. Pray before you open the refrigerator.

If I want to decrease clutter, I’m going to have to start with one pile or one corner, make the time and get started.

(I just stopped writing this post and spent 5 minutes working on that corner in the kitchen. I found the Christmas napkins I was looking for 4 weeks ago.)

Ask, believe, and then take the steps. One step at a time. You’ll get further than you would just talking about it.

old bridge

Take a new road.