“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Who's your Quaaltagh?

For as long as I can remember I've been really conscious about what the first words are that come out of my mouth each day. I don't know when or how it started, but I remember doing it when I was a kid and I continue it today. I want my first words to be positive. It could be really simple like "this is a perfectly steeped cuppa tea" or loving like saying good morning to my kids. I just want it to be positive. It just sort of puts me in the right frame of mind; a best foot forward start to my day. This morning my first words were "hi kitty" followed by a little scratch to Pauly's chin as I walked from the bedroom and into the bathroom.

I learned a new word. Quaaltagh. I'm not certain if I'm pronouncing it properly, though. "QUALLtag" is what I hear when I looked it up on youtube. I've never heard the word used in polite conversation though. I could be wrong. It's a good word, nonetheless, and it's a great complement to my practice of making my first words of the day positive ones.

It's got a Manx and Celtic origin. It was first coined to mean the first person you meet / come across on New Year's Day. It sort of morphed later to the first person you meet / come across on a particularly important day such as Christmas, your birthday, your anniversary, Talk Like a Pirate Day, even Flag day. Now, in everyday usage, the word has evolved to mean the first person you meet on any given day when you leave the house. Now, I don't know if there is a significance to the first person one comes across each day. Does this person set the tone for the day? If my quaaltagh sets the tone for the day, how am I setting the tone for those to whom I am their quaaltagh? That's a bit of pressure. Or does this person solely represent a chance occurrence that has no side effects? Or if they do have side effects, is it all just made up in my head?

This morning my quaaltagh was annoying. Dude wanted my parking spot and was totally guarding it like he was on 14th and Shotwell and the street sweeper was just about to go by. Kind of annoying because we were way out in the Avenues, where parking is pretty darn plentiful, and dude was hanging out in a parking spot while waiting for my spot. My office quaaltagh this morning was a better example of a good quaaltagh. I was greeted with a smile and a good morning, no excessive small talk and no extra work given to me. I know I'm breaking the rules and I can't pick and choose my quaaltagh, but I can choose who or what I'm going to focus my energy on. Today I'm choosing my office quaaltagh.

Starting each day off on a positive note and letting chance dictate what happens once I step outside. Every morning I am presented with potential; intentional practice paired with a random encounter each day.  Lucky me.

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