My mind is a whirly-twirly playground these days; a potpourri of thoughts and inspirations about how to accomplish goals and stay motivated. As an example, just the other day I was editing one of my posts and making some punctuation changes and trying to decide how to most effectively use those changes. This action led me to an Internet search, which led me to an article on how writers use punctuation marks (very helpful, by the way), and then I came across a Pinterest board titled “Punctuate Your Life” (very clever, I thought). But then that started the whole whirly-twirly thingamajig in my head and I wondered, “How Do You Use Punctuation in Life?” Specifically, how can you apply punctuation marks used for writing to everyday life? In our day-to-day rituals (sometimes day-to-day grind) when is it best to use a comma, a period, or an explanation mark?
The Comma (Used to separate several items) – Obviously, the comma can be used to separate a To-Do list for the day, such as paying the water bill, getting the oil changed, and picking up groceries. But, for better use of the comma, use it to list the things in life that you most appreciate, like your health, your family, your job, or maybe thirty minutes of solitude at the end of a long day.
The Semicolon (A break, but not as abrupt as a period) – Sometimes a break can make a world of difference, both in attitude and outlook. So, for the sake of sanity…insert a semicolon. When you need a break from reality, if only for a little while…insert a semicolon. If you’re working and just not making much progress no matter what you do…insert a semicolon. When you’re exhausted or just need an excuse to get away with some friends for the weekend…insert a semicolon. You get the message (me inserting semicolon); okay…I’m back. On to the next one…
The Question Mark (Who, What, Where, When & Why) – I’ve used this punctuation a lot through the years. From raising teenagers, in particular, asking who are you with, where are you going, when will you be back, and what the he** were you thinking?? Nowadays, most of my question marks are used to ask myself a few things, such as what do I want to accomplish, where do I see myself in say, five years, who messed with the scales because they must be wrong (as I check the rings on my fingers knowing they must be tight, what with water retention and all…right?) why did I eat those carbs yesterday, and then finally when will I ever learn? As I’ve stated before, I’m a work in progress, but then, aren’t we all?
The Exclamation Point (Shows strong feelings) Probably one of the most overused punctuation marks used in writing, or so I’ve read, but in life, an exclamation point can be a good thing! Strong feelings of love, devotion, determination, and joy are capable of producing companionship, endurance, achievements, and laughter. I think Émile Zola said it best. “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” Use the explanation point punctuation in your life liberally; don’t worry about what the critics say.
The Period (A full stop) It’s sometimes difficult to use periods in life. For instance, pulling out the full stop to a relationship can be hard, to say the least. In other instances, using the period can be just the punctuation needed to propel yourself forward; towards bigger and better things. Punctuational periods in life are like stop signs. You must come to a full stop, but it’s still your choice as to which direction to go from there. Still, when and where to insert a full stop in life takes some thought.
Today’s Inspirational quote is on living life to its fullest:
“Life’s like that. As we grow and change, some things we’ve experienced before take on new meaning. It’ll happen for the rest of your life.” Richelle Mead