This is a swear bank I could really use!
Two weeks ago was the start of Lent. Ever the good Catholic, I have striven to make myself a better citizen through self-sacrifice. One of the things I gave up was swearing.
At best guess, to date, I am 6/12, which is noble, yet failing. I have become fascinated with my own pursuit of this goal, the examination of my vocabulary and how I use said words.
First, I acknowledge that I do have a filter I actively use at work and on social media. Working at a Christian organization with the public, I simply cannot use those words at risk of losing my job. On social media, it takes longer to type words, and you have the choice of filtering yourself prior to hitting "send," which makes it easier to clean it up. Since I am friends with peers from across a variety of social circles, it behooves me to keep it clean.
It's also important for me to keep it clean around the 5 year old sponge I call my son. A gutter mouthed toddler may be funny in the movies, not so in real life. So that filter has been enacted as well.
I figure if I can keep it clean a vast majority of the time, why not the rest of the time?
What I have found about myself is pretty interesting. By the account of a few co-workers, they consider swearing to be the mere taking of the Lord's name in vain. I don't do that, as a matter of fact, I only use 4 of George Carlin's 7 "dirty words you can't say on television." There are a few more I can add, bringing my cursing vocabulary probably up to 7 or 8 curses.
I have curbed this behavior thus far to 6 clean days and a few days where I let one slip. There was one or two days where the power of my outrage led to a few fly forcibly out of my mouth. Instead of shame or embarrassment that I was less than ladylike, I felt refreshed, as if I let some of my anger go. By restricting curses from everyday conversation, I felt as if I was able to punctuate feelings that much stronger because when I said them, I really meant it.
Will I continue after Lent? I think so, it's important to find more colorful ways of expressing oneself without turning the air blue. But I also acknowledge the force and impact a carefully placed expletive can have.