“I’m fine” is a phrase I use regularly. More often than not it’s what comes out of my mouth when my Friends or family ask how I’m doing. It is a comfortable, safe response, and the least complicated. It isn’t a lie. Most times I am fine. Regardless, one Monday morning when I was rushed and stressed, and not fully recovered from the weekend a friend asked me how I was doing. I said fine with a smile of course, and then we shut our portable doors to start our day. I stayed in that same spot near the door for a bit, as I contemplated how much I actually claim to be fine. It got me thinking, was I really fine? Why do those words just spill off my tongue so easily without any thought. What am I trying to communicate to others and to myself? I decided to further investigate so I googled the definition of the word I claimed to be so many times a day. One definition of fine was: to be very well, in a satisfactory manner. Doesn’t sound bad. It’s not negative. There is no emotion or umph behind it though. It just is. The second definition, however was: high quality. I liked the sound of that. Sounded better than satisfactory. I continued my search with some synonyms. First-class, first-rate, great, exceptional, splendid, exquisite, superb. Wow! They all had a powerful ring to them more so than the fine I was used to referring to. When I used my old kind of fine, I felt it. I felt satisfactory. I was going through the motions of the day. Counting the minutes, not the moments. Why just be satisfactory when we can be superb? Why not exquisite or splendid?
In our busy day to day of living life, the tasks can be mundane at times if we let them. We don’t have to though. From now on, when and if I use my favorite phrase, it won’t just mean satisfactory. My hope is that when someone asks how you are doing, you can smile and answer with emotion and honesty, I’m fine.