Have you ever looked closely at an exclamation point?
Don’t tell the punctuation people, but just between us…
….it’s nothing to write home about.
It’s a line with a dot.
Simple. Unassuming. Uncomplicated.
But here’s the brilliance of a little unassuming punctuation—when you see it at the end of a sentence doesn’t it make you smile? Give you hope? Let you know that the writer is happy to be talking to you? Engage you? Make you believe there’s a brighter tomorrow.
Case in point:
I like you. I like you!
Your fall hutch is cute. Your fall hutch is cute!
Wait until you see how I decorated my hutch. Wait until you see how I decorated my hutch!
See what I mean?
It’s never the end of the conversation with an exclamation point…
…it’s just the beginning.
Why don’t we use more exclamation points?
Why is it that positive punctuation sprinkled with a little more positive punctuation sometimes are forgotten and swept aside….
…..and we embrace the negative instead?
Why does a single negative un-exclamation pointed statement stick?
Who even gave the negative permission to take up residence and start ordering rent-to-own furniture?
I’m the first one to say “brush it off” and “who cares” and “remember how amazing you are” and “they probably still have maroon shag carpeting in their home.”
I try to concentrate on the good, not the bad.
But sometimes the overwhelmingness of it all can bring you down. Make you sad. Make your heart heavy.
No one really has a filter anymore.
You’re sitting at home about to watch a Hallmark movie marathon and the crickets are chirping and the sun is shining and the laughter is all around you and you pull up your phone and glance for a moment….
…..and your heart stops.
Negativity and ugliness just knocked at your door.
So this week I tried something different.
I didn’t answer when negativity came knocking.
I took all that energy that I spend on sadness and thinking and worrying….
….and flipped the script.
I tried with every last little bit of everything I had inside of me to leave exclamation points wherever I went.
I pushed my cart through WalMart and smiled at everyone and if they didn’t smile back, I grinned even more. I commented on blogs with dozens of exclamation points. I told a random lady in aisle four of the dollar store that her nail polish was pretty. I extra tipped and then ran away before they noticed. I called my mom and told her she was amazing.
I smiled so much that I made myself laugh.
And guess what happened?
It was amazing.
You are brilliant—so you know where this is going. I was so busy being positive that I forgot all about the negative. It couldn’t compete.
And the best part?
The more exclamation points I gave away, the more I had to give.
I have extra.
So just in case you are reading this post and are sad or overwhelmed or stressed or feeling alone or tired or weary or worn….
….here’s a little punctuation just for you (!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
PS Now it’s your turn.
Don’t keep that punctuation all to yourself.
There’s a world that needs it. 🙂
PPS If you are on the East Coast facing down Hurricane Florence, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.