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This word is on my list of words never to use.  Why?  Because it has become over-used, and  meaningless.  Just like awesome, which is applied to everything from a good hamburger to a handsome guy.  Please. Find another adjective.

When I hear someone saying some experience was surreal, I’m often tempted to ask if they know the meaning of the word.  Here are some synonyms:

unrealbizarreunusualweirdstrangefreakishunearthlyuncannydreamlike, phantasmagorical

Are you sure you want to apply such words to every experience during the course of your day?  I mean, a good pizza is a thing of beauty, but is it really phantasmagorical? Maybe, if you were THAT hungry!


We have fallen into the habit of using superlative words to describe normal things. If your walk in the park was surreal, then what are you going to use to describe an unusually beautiful sunset?  Oh, wait.  I know. Awesome. Totally awesome. 

THIS is surreal:

Image result for surreal

Most things in our daily lives are not surreal. Really.



Horrible-izing the Normal


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URGENT button

In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,  we point a client to a list of common cognitive errors. The list includes things like 100% thinking, absolute thinking where there is no chance of any other outcome but the one we fear; it includes mind-reading and thinking with our emotions, among several other thinking errors.

One of those errors is to make a small thing a huge, gigantic thing. I call it “horrible-izing,” because  horrible is a word I hear often in my work. There are other words:  Awful, terrible, horrendous,  worst.

And urgent, urgency. A hangnail is urgent.  It must be dealt with right NOW, or horrible things will happen.

A little kid spikes a fever of 101° and we put in an URGENTcall to the pediatrician, telling the nurse or receptionist that the child has a horrible fever, and he MUST be seen NOW.

We would do better to put in an urgent call to Grandma, who has been through all the childhood fevers and bumps and cuts and scrapes. She will tell you to give the child a baby aspirin, give him a lukewarm bath, and put him to bed. Simple, no emergency, just common sense.

If we use up all our superlatives on small things, then we’re left with nothing to describe  a true emergency.  If we rush our child to the Emergency Room because he’s sniffling and has a sore throat, we’re taking up the time of the doctors and nurses who are trying to deal with the big stuff, like severe injuries from a house fire or car accident.

We really need to get some common sense.

Susie has the chicken pox, and she can’t come out to play for a few days until she’s not contagious.  Johnny has a little fever and a runny nose, so he needs to stay inside for a day or two just in case it gets worse.  Wouldn’t want  him giving his bug to the whole neighborhood.

There’s no fuss and feathers about it.  Simple, ordinary, a part of daily life.

Not urgent.


Amazing Pictures


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Awe. Amazement. Great respect and fathomless appreciation.  It’s a word we’ve trivialized. I can’t remember when “totally awesome” became a part of the culture’s vocabulary, but it was applied to everything from basketball shoes to culinary delights to hairstyles to the silly habit of wearing ones’ very baggy pants around one’s knees.


God is awesome. We really need to quit using superlatives for ordinary things. Although, I have to admit that I’m pretty awed by really good chocolate 🙂

Here are some amazing pictures of the awesome creation God has given us to enjoy:

Want more?  Go to Earthporn.com.  I hate the name of the site, but the photos are wonderful.