In a Nutshell

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Photo by Mira Bozhko on Unsplash

This adage has been around for a long time. I remember it growing up as a woman in the 70s and 80s. When women were stepping into the workplace in the 70s, we were told to ‘put it in a nutshell.’ In other words, communicate in the fewest words possible.

It got to the point where interviewers and colleagues wanted your work experience summed up ‘in a nutshell.’ In the 90s the popular term was to give an ‘elevator speech.’ The point was to sell yourself in the time you have in an elevator. My common sense seemed to get in the way of understanding this one. Well, have you tried talking to someone in an elevator? The silence can be deafening. Even with my friends, we whisper rather than talk. Never understood why I would sell my experience to a complete stranger in a closed box (no matter how I word the sentence it sounds just wrong! The first word I used was charm…to charm a complete stranger…Yikes! Can you see the blush?).

Just how do I fit my life in a nutshell? My journey does not fit in a nutshell. A journey is a series of tales that have already happened. We’ve lived them. That’s why books average 300+ pages. How do we get the nuances and the full picture without the details?

And let’s not even try to fit 20+ years of work experience in an elevator speech. Ain’t gonna happen (see the finger wag?) because, you just got the speech in the last sentence. Does 20 plus years in blah, blah, blah tell you anything about me? No! It really doesn’t! Hoo Boy! Time to step off of my soapbox…

What brought this about? I was riding home from work with my youngest son (we carpool right now). I gave him a long answer to a question. He says gently “okay, I really didn’t need that much information.”

I smile and quip, “My life doesn’t fit in a nutshell.”

He looks at me…confusion registering on his face. “Huh?”

I laugh and explain the nutshell term. {Sigh…more differences between boomers and millennials.} But it did get us talking about conversations and of all things social media.

My son said something to the effect of: This is really why you don’t Twitter? Right?

I explained that I’m afraid of using Twitter. Once in a while, I’ll look up tweets if someone mentions something. But I really don’t understand the need to throw out partial thoughts out of context. Half the time I’m not sure where the tweet battle began by the time it hits the feeds on the web. Here’s the thing, if I tried to express myself in 140 characters (Not Words! Characters!), or less I would be in so much trouble it would have a capital T! It’s a guarantee Milly would make a mess of the Twitter world. I may even be banned from the World Wide Web!

My youngest pointed out that tweeting is really the millennials’ way of putting it in a nutshell. Well, I think he’s got it! Maybe someday I’ll delve into the tweet/nutshell thing (‘crack that nut’…Bad Pun! Bad Pun!). Right now I’m gonna concentrate on keeping the posts on my blog under 1000 words, not characters! I’m at 552 and counting…Aw Nuts! I think I need a snack now…

Have a great week ahead!

Love Milly

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