Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Christmas Wish

An English major in college and a self-professed connoisseur of words, I have a deep appreciation for words and language. I believe in using the correct words to express yourself, and I believe that the same word can have various meanings and connotations to different people. I love learning new words and incorporating them into my vocabulary. Periodically, however, I get really sick and tired of hearing certain words or phrases.

My current phrase pet peeve is "on track."

I belong to several online fitness groups and forums, so I read comments from a lot of competitors and gym rats every day. People fascinate me, I'm nosy by nature (Facebook is an awesome way to be unobtrusively nosy, btw!), and I love to read, which means I spend quality time every day reading people's posts and thoughts.

What's with the obsession about staying "on track"? I continue to see this phrase over and over and over lately.

As in, "How are YOU going to stay on track this holiday season?" (Imagine the accusatory index finger)

And, "I had such strong cravings for chocolate yesterday that I broke down and ate half a pan of brownies. But I'm back on track today. Yay me!"

Or, "I plan to stuff my face at my office holiday party today, but I'll be back on track tomorrow! Yay me!"

Srsly, if "on track" means to stick to a pre-defined plan for meeting specified goals, why do I keep seeing comments about how people are continually falling "off track" or reading articles about how to "stay on track" during the holiday season?

Does it mean that someone's "track" isn't the right one for them?

Or does it mean that people are weak-minded? Or that they really don't want to achieve their goal badly enough to stay ON track? Why do they need a "track" anyway?

Are announcements of how "on" or "off" track people are really important in the grand scheme of things? By announcing they fell OFF track, are they looking for sympathy? Encouragement? Motivation? Attention?

The odd thing is, I don't see or hear men talking about this - only ladies. Are men not concerned about sticking to some arbitrary "track"? Do they not care? Or do they just focus on other things in their lives instead of constantly obsessing about how they look or whether they're failing as a person for not being "on track" at all times?

I admit that I'm totally guilty of using the expression myself.

I've even written a few blogs about being on or off track. But lately, the phrase has really started to grate on my nerves. There's so much emphasis on sticking to a diet or staying "on track" around the holidays, and while some information is helpful, there just seems to be an over abundance of focus on it lately.

Eating just 1 Christmas cookie instead of 15 just seems like common sense, no? So why do we need to talk about the "on/off track-ness" of it?

So festive!
My Christmas Wish

My Christmas wish is that we all take a moment each day to be thankful for all that we have. Instead of focusing on what we don't have or what we want, or worrying about staying "on track," take a moment to appreciate the beautiful things you DO have in your life. Take a moment to help someone out, or do a favor without expecting anything in return.

To me, the holiday season is about being present in the moment and about giving to those less fortunate. And in my mind, that's FAR more important than being "on track" with a diet.


  1. Oh I'd like to give you a great BIG hug right now! I completely, wholeheartedly agree with you! I see a ton of "on/off track" posts on twitter and facebook and it gets on my nerves too. I thought this way at Thanksgiving time too. I'm sorry, but Thanksgiving comes once a year and that one day, I'm going to stuff my face with all of my favorites! Same with Christmas. I'm going to enjoy the treats that I only have once a year and the company that comes with it. I'm not going to worry about dieting. I do however continue to workout like normal because I love it! Thank you for this post!!!

  2. Wow, I love this, although I am now going to have to read through my old blogs and see how often I have used this term. I think I am going to make an effort to now avoid it!

    Also, I am so happy to read when others also realize that this season is about so much more than the eating or gifts.


  3. I am ON TRACK. Hahaha. I know what you mean and I am totally guilty of using this phrase. I have been thinking about this as well. Perhaps we should get better at just being and not talk about everything that is 'off track' so much. Its Christmas, I don't want to be bogged down with the 'track' while enjoying friends and family!

  4. Huh, never thought about it that way.

    I think, though, that most people are a little more weak-minded than you are, so "common sense" and following a diet probably don't have the same meaning as they do to you ;)