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How Are You Doing?

When asked how I was doing, I did my TRG thing and responded honestly. “Broken, truly just shattered, and not even sure how I will recover. I never thought for a second we would not have Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, or New Year’s 2023 with Dana. I know I serve a God that never fails, but I’m running on Faith alone because I can’t see my way out of this one” was my waaay too heartfelt response….

And the reply:

“YOU’RE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR!!”

Hmmmmm….. I am?

Number 1: I was not preaching.

Number 2: They asked how I was doing, and I shared my vulnerability and they basically said (or what I heard was) “Save it, I already know because I’ve been there!”

Then why in the heck did they ask me how I was doing if they already knew?

I’ll tell you why!

Because in America, especially the Midwest as my friend Amy pointed out, when we ask someone “How are you doing?” we just mean “Hi.” We don’t really mean “Hello, share with me, how is life going for you these days?” We simply mean “Hi.” Which furthers my dedication to sharing this one-word response I learned from a very wise man over 30 years ago, and it works almost every time I use it.

When people ask me:
“How are you doing?”
“How’s it going?”
“How are you?”

I most often respond:
“Unbelievable.”

Because it works! If someone asks you “How’s it going?” and your day has been going great, the stars are aligned, your ducks are all single file, and you’re rockin’ & rollin’ your “To-Do’s” into “To-Done’s” you can respond “Unbelievable!” And they light up and walk away a little better off than before they asked. It works!

And if, let’s say, the day has not been going so great, and you hop in your car late for work, and someone has left you with ZERO gas, your phone is on low battery at 8 am with no charger in sight, and you’re getting to your first appointment late and someone asks you, “How ya doin’?” You can say “Unbelievable!” all while SILENTLY thinking, “You would not believe the frickin’ morning I’ve had, so yeah, “UNBELIEVABLE!” And they most always assume it’s a positive, smile, and walk away a little better off, and you walk away with a little smirk, feeling good you didn’t spill your bad morning unnecessarily all over another person’s morning. Win-Win.

Speaking of mourning…. back to my husband….. will it always be like this? I hope so. I hope every thought eventually brings me back to him!

P.S. Of course, there will be days when someone sits you down and says, “No really, how’s it going?” and you may feel safe and wish to be vulnerable and share whatever bubbles up for you in that moment, and that’s great. And then, you may just need to shake your head as the words just aren’t there and allow your heart to spill from your eyes. My friends and I call that “Holy Water,” and that’s great as well.

Big hugs ~ Much Love,  

TRG

4 thoughts on “How Are You Doing?”

  1. That was beautiful and so true. I think it’s difficult for most to know or understand how to respond to ‘how are you.’ It is just a hello statement. We all have buried trauma and find it difficult to share. But in those rare moments when someone can see past the surface it can be magical and healing. My heart goes out to you. I feel your tremendous heartbreak. I lost my high school sweetheart five years ago and live everyday with him in my thoughts. I’m 64 and we had many years together. I walked in a fog many years. Most of which was in a blur. I have little memory of it but I have come to understand life differently. Be good to yourself and reach out to the people that know and love you for support. They really want to be there for you so ask for it. They just don’t know how to.

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