After 3 sleepless nights tending to Brian, one
of our kids who happened to have pneumonia topped off with a series of vicious
asthma attacks, I was exhausted and decided to hit the sack early for a little
nap. I fell asleep at around 9:30, fully
clothed, with the intention of waking up after 30 minutes.
At 11:30 p.m. I heard whispering in my
room. Allan, my husband, was chatting
with Ferne, my 13-year-old daughter. She
couldn't sleep and needed some parental assistance. Half
asleep, I tuned into the conversation.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I feel so bad that I woke you up Mom, but I really
"Go do squats," was my reply.
Go do squats? At 11:30 at night? What the heck was I talking about? I got up out of bed and took her back to her
"Is something on your mind?" I asked?
"I can't stop thinking about the boy in my class who
died. Mom, I'm just so sad. And after being at home sick for 4 days, I am
afraid that I will fall behind in class.
I tried to read so that I could fall asleep but even my book is
sad. I am so stressed - I just can't
sleep. " she explained desperately.
"Ok, follow me." And I took the lead.
With my eyes virtually closed, I started to
do squats - I counted to 10 and then to 20.
She did as I did. I instructed
her to watch her form and straighten her back.
Then I switched it up. We did leg
lifts - I, 2, 3. Then leg curls, then
side bends, then arm swings, and then more squats. I ordered her to lift her arms higher and
bend her legs deeper. And then I started
to laugh - hard - because I was literally leading an aerobics class at 11:30
p.m. as an antidote to insomnia. And she
began to laugh with me - and I could see the stress evaporate from her
After 15 minutes of this routine, I was
ready to hit the sack - and so was she.
She gave me a massive hug and said thank you. She apologized again for waking me up. I tucked her in and gave her a little prayer
many times, Mom?"
10, 15, 20, as many as it takes."
We exchanged "I love you's" and I went back
to bed with an odd sense of pride at my whacky parenting approach. There's a time and a place for every
discussion and we would certainly be discussing each of her worries, fears, and
concerns over the next few days, at a time when we weren't tired and could
think clearly. Squats just seemed more
appropriate at that moment. My guess is
that squats may be appropriate in far more situations than we can even imagine.
Squats are under-rated.
When's the last time you asked someone, "How are you?" and
heard them respond, "I'm amazing" "I'm phenomenal" or "I'm so good"?
Not recently, I bet.
Have a listen on the subway, at work, in the malls and in
public restaurants. I assure you, the conversation
in most cases will go something like this:
"Hey, how are you?"
"I'm good, how are you?
Let's examine this for a moment.
Good - meaning average, satisfactory or just plain OK.
But is "good" good enough? Are you okay with just "alright?"
I walked into an upscale bar on a date recently, on a chilly
Saturday evening. After waiting in line for a few minutes, we approached the
hostess to be seated.
She smiled at us and beckoned us forward. "Hi. How are you?"
She asked out of habit and politeness.
"I'm amazing," my date replied. The hostess stopped mid-step
and looked up with rapt interest. "Oh really?" she asked, her brow raised.
We proceeded to sit down on bar stools, and a jovial
bartender greeted us in our seats. "Heya, how's it going?" he asked, while
"I'm so good," my date replied. The bartender grinned.
"That's awesome. Few people say that, you know."
I was amazed, and I thought, "If changing up the colloquial
script in a bar setting could yield such incredulity, what kind of effect could
it yield in other settings?
So I began analyzing the robotic response of "I'm good."
Let's take a look.
It's a formality. It's a default. If you think about it,
it's an expression devoid of expression and meaning.
These two words reek with dullness and banality. The retort
implies normalcy. It implies, "My life is fine. I am
going through the motions. I am living."
Are you okay with just being fine?
If not - I challenge you to escape the automatism of just
being fine and to step into a life of excitement and fulfillment.
Having a great day? Share it. Say, "I'm ecstatic." "I'm
wonderful." "I'm inspired." "I'm excite
d." "I'm gratified." "I'm heavenly." "I'm cheerful." "I'm fantastic."
I challenge you to escape the meaningless, pre-scripted
pleasantries and to engage in dialogue that invigorates those around you.
I challenge you to turn heads with your zest and gusto.
Once you do so, then you can decide if "I'm good" is good