the meaning of frenetic

A few months ago, despite being subscribed to waaaay too many newsletters, I signed up to get Merriam-Webster’s “word of the day,” daily in my inbox.


I delete a lot of my emails before I dive in, to read what’s important, but this one – like my Conde Nast Traveler daily burst of joy – I open and read without fail.


I think I signed up for the word of the day since it speaks to my “Thinker” play language. It’s like a quick jolt that intellectually satisfies me, especially since I can’t play Wordle all day long.


So, every morning, the M-W word of the day either teaches me something new, or it reminds me of an old SAT word I once forced myself to memorize from my black box of index cards back in the days when we all had to learn without Google.


I’m telling you this because, in my freneticism this Sunday morning, I was hurriedly walking while also thinking about too many things like organizing my to-do list for work this week, carving out time to help my daughters’ edit their essays, when to practice Italian with my son, how much I need to food shop, where I can find shoes to wear at a gala next weekend, and maybe even squeeze in a pedicure so I could feel better in my eventual shoes.


I was barely paying attention and opened today’s word of the day email.


Frenetic, adjective | frih-NET-ik: “marked by excitement, disorder, or anxiety-driven activity.” Synonymous with frenzied.


Let’s just say that sometimes the universe lobs you a little joke, or a reminder to slow it all down.


The person next to me on 21st street paused too, after hearing me laugh out loud. It was one of those New York moments when you catch eyes with a stranger and have a small conversation without saying anything.


Without speaking, I somehow found lightness in that moment. Aware and amused by the irony, I then found myself moving more slowly down 21st street, even taking a breath.


And I felt a lot less frenetic.


I wanted to share it with you since it’s another sign how play can shift me in a moment, and I know it can shift you too.


You see, I might return to being my frenetic self tomorrow, but at least I can laugh my way to getting it all done.


Especially if tomorrow’s word (i.e. reminder from the universe) is frantic.


If it is, I’ll let you know.


With fierce love,
Alison

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