I Can’t

I remember in Mrs. Wolf’s art class in elementary school, we students weren’t allowed to say the word “can’t”. It makes good sense. First graders shouldn’t erect walls around their artistic abilities out of fear of trying something new.

I’ve learned, though, that there are things I truly cannot do.

  • I can’t juggle.
  • I can’t turn a cartwheel.
  • I can’t open cans with electric can openers.

This list is finite. Small. Specific. These are things I’ve tried countless times and failed to master. None of these items will damage me if I never learn to do them.

There is a larger list of “can’ts” that I’m less sanguine about. It is stuff that I’m capable of doing… if I had the time.  It’s the stuff that I want to do. It’s the stuff that will molder on my to do list until I finally have a few spare moments to do it.

“I can’t do that right now…”

I am rethinking this word and it’s following clauses.  Some things I don’t want to do, but I want to have them done! Some things I want to do, but they are lower priority than the other stuff.

I think I’m going to remember Mrs. Wolf’s class more often and try to purge “can’t” from my daily speech and get really honest about what I won’t do and what I don’t want to do instead.   This shifts the choice back into my hands. It shifts the decision and the power back to me, rather than giving them over to extenuating circumstances.

Oh yes, I can do this. I like it.


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