What do you say when someone asks you: “How are you doing?” in passing?
This happens to me a bunch everyday. Someone asks me as they see me in the hall: “Hey, how are you?” or “Hey, how’s it going?” and the only thing I can think of to respond in the moment is “Ok, how are you?”
My answer has become almost robotic. I don’t really even think about it anymore. Sometimes, when I’m done walking past, I find myself evaluating the answer I just gave.
“Am I really okay? Or today am I actually good? great even?” or…. “I said okay, but honestly I am not so okay today after all.”
Last week at the grocery store when I replied to the cashier’s “how are you?” with my usual “Ok, how are you?”, he surprised me by replying: “Fabulous, incredibly handsome, and ready to take on the world!” He even did a little shimmy on his way back to his post.
Now that’s an answer!
He knew it was okay not to be just okay.
And I’m trying to learn from his example.
So today, I feel it’s important to put down in writing for myself and anyone else who needs it that it is OK not to be OK.
It’s okay to be fabulous and incredibly handsome and ready to take on the world.
But it’s also okay to be sad.
It’s okay to be worried.
It’s okay to be uncertain.
It’s okay to be angry or frustrated.
It’s okay to cry.
What’s not okay is to hold it all in and let the word “ok” be your shield that you put up because of the expectation that this is just how we respond to one another… the shield that you put up because of the expectation that sharing your joy or your sorrow would be more of a burden on someone else than a way forward for you and them.
So how are you today? Will you share your real answer with someone today and let them share their answer with you?