A Little More Serious · Adventures in Imperfection

Life Verbs: a lesson in passive voice

4 a.m.

In exactly 4 hours and 2 minutes, Scott (hubby, Big Daddy, BD) will know whether or not he still has a job. A job at the company he’s been loyal to for 24 years.

Let’s get this straight. I am/we are not here to whine, moan or complain. No feel bad or sympathy comments allowed! We are GOOD!

BD has been in purgatory for about six months waiting for the final sentence, making plan B’s and crafting contingencies since the stench whiff of “unification reorganization” painted the walls of his “cushy” corner office. A natural leader since birth, BD has generated almost a cult-like following of the dedicated people he has managed and directed for over two decades. He has never stooped to posture, take undue credit or whine about change. My hubby is the prime example of old-fashioned work ethic, morals and values. I definitely lucked out in the “choose the right man” category.

As 4 a.m. turned to 4:30, I realized that sleep would not return and my mind went to literature and writing technique (nerd alert!)

Being a science major, I was only required to take a minimum number of English and writing classes…most of which I tested out of and didn’t even get to take (insert frowny/pouty face). The strongest rule that stuck with me in the one writing class (business communication) that I took was the notion to use “active voice” when choosing verbs. Don’t let the verb happen to you…you happen to the verb. 

Good advice in writing and in life, right?

Scott is not a passive man. He has remained active, focused and loyal as much as one can when faced with a life changing decision he has absolutely NO control over. To remain active while life ‘happens to him.’

As I laid in bed and watched the minutes tick off to twilight, I listed the passive verbs that riddle the employee in corporate America. Active in theory, passive in reality. It’s almost poetic..Something that e.e.cummings or Walt Whitman could successfully craft; but, since they aren’t here this morning, you’re stuck with me!

Life Verbs: a lesson in passive voice



Guess (again) (again) (again)

Worry (me)
Plan (him)
Plan (me)
Worry (him)




Move on….


Thanks dear readers…needed to vent this morning.

6 a.m.

In two hours and 2 minutes, we will know.

Don’t worry if you don’t hear from me. Whatever happens, we’ll be busy spending life in active voice.

15 thoughts on “Life Verbs: a lesson in passive voice

  1. Lovely stuff…and praying that things go as you hope they do. Things always work out. Always. They just may not go according to our plan, is all. That’s the sticky part. Things unfold as they need to. A pain when they don’t go to our own ways. That I have learned in my time down here.

    And yes, the passive voice. Tsk tsk’d in writerly circles. Got that beat down into me in my writing classes and seminars. hey do have their place. For effect. To make a point of some kind. On the other hand, when I say that I have been given a chance at a new life, that is passive voice. Being the recipient of something passed on or given in grace…that’s passive voice. And for that, I am grateful for passive.

    Then it’s time to act.

    And you’re acting. There is also pause for breathing. That’s an act too.

    Good luck 🙂


    1. Hi Paul,

      Absolutely LOVE your perspective on passive voice–I had never thought about it that way!

      So true, the gifts we’ve been given. So many gifts.

      Thanks for your well wishes and happy vibes. It’s 8:58 here–56 minutes after I should have heard something. Waiting/fidgeting actively as I sit here passively 🙂

      Have a fantastic day, dear Paul!

      > Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 14:52:52 +0000 > To: mt_rd@hotmail.com >


    1. I just love you Lori! We had that very cancellation discussion last night!! I’m still waiting to hear…suspense is killing me! I asked to attend the meeting, but I’m pretty sure BD didn’t want a half-pint ninja kicking butts in his office 🙂
      Will keep you posted!


    1. Thank you so much, dear Ruth. It was one of the quickest posts I’d written and was feeling a bit “exposed” without the usual 50 edit-crutch I often employ 🙂
      Thanks for the crossed fingers, too. Unfortunately, the end result was what I felt in my heart. The good news is, hubby and I spent the afternoon hanging out, having a good time and actively walking off frustration (7 miles!!)


  2. My dear sweet Michelle, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and words cannot express how amazing you are with your stories and pictures and honesty. You are such an inspiration to me and know that Rich and I are just sick about what happened. Scott is an amazing smart man and Karma is a bitch. What goes around…….. Love ya sweetheart!!!!!!


    1. Hi Debbie!
      Thank you so much for the kind words both here and in your messages to me last night. I read them all to Scott and know that they meant a lot. I’m also so touched that you’ve been following my blog. For years, I’ve watched you, admired your bravery, spirit and kind heart. As I reflect, your humor and heart are what I try to emulate when I write and it just feels right. Thanks again for your kind words….we will be in touch!


    1. Thank you for the kind words, Allison.
      I feel so far behind on my WP reading. Seeing your kind words makes me wanna go curl up with the Reader and get caught up. I know you have something fabulous waiting.
      Thank you again! We are hanging in okay 🙂


  3. Speaking of being behind with the reader — *raises hand*

    “Unfortunately, the end result was what I felt in my heart.”

    Oh Michelle, I’m so sorry. Gawd, can I ever relate. I want to say something that is uplifting, hopeful, and all I can do is just feel this moment of disappointment with you and Scott. Damn, life sucks sometimes.


  4. Hey sweet Victoria,
    Just had to tell you that your hug .gif completely made my hubby’s day. I said, “See…people you don’t even know have your back!” I love the warm smile that crossed his face and knew you would, too.
    We are doing fine. Went to a boxing class and kicked some “life sucks” a$$ 🙂


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