I’ve noticed people doing this.
I’ve notice that I do it.
After completely something, say reading a few pages of a book, people take a deep breath, let it out, and say, “Okay.” Based on observations and personal experience, it’s a psychological preparatory step. They and I have been putting something off that we planned to do, something we’re not really happy about doing, I think. We keep telling ourselves that we’re going to do it. We’ve have the conversation with ourselves that we can’t put it off any longer, that we’ve stalled long enough, that we are going to do it, and we’re going to do it now.
I don’t know where this comes from, but I suspect that I’m mimicking someone in the past, or maybe my wife. I’ve heard bosses say it in this same way. I hear myself say it, and I hear my spouse. I hear people in stores say it to themselves while they’re stocking shelves, and I hear it from baristas in coffee shops as they turn away from the counter.
Deep breath. Release. (Sometimes a sigh.) “Okay,” so soft, it’s like they’re talking to themselves.
I’ve heard it from all age groups, including a young girl. She seemed like a six-year old by size and expression. She was standing about six feet from a car. I saw her take the breath. I heard her say, “Okay.” Then she turned and walked back to the car.
Okay seems like a uniquely American expression, even if some claims to its origins begin in Germany, Greek, Scotland, and Haiti, along with Puerto Rico and French Louisiana. I have heard it used in foreign television shows made in exotic places like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. I don’t know if the residents of those lands use okay in this context, as a final acknowledgement to oneself, it is time.
Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.