Nike Had It Right


Josie (9 years old): Can I sing for you? I want to know if I sing good.

Me: First, you want to know if you can sing “well”, and second, what does it matter what I think? Does singing make you happy?

Josie: Yes

Me: Good, then it doesn’t matter what other people think.

Josie: But I don’t want people to make fun of me.

Me: People will make fun of you no matter how well you sing, if they want to. That’s a reflection on THEM, not YOU. So if you like to sing and it makes you happy, then sing and ignore what other people think.

(child begins singing)

This recent conversation made me think about just how much of an impact we have on each other, and how profound that impact can be. What if I had told this child that she has a terrible voice and she should never sing? And she believes me? Could it affect her relationships with other people? Could it affect the kind of person she becomes? Would she have a child some day and be afraid to sing that baby to sleep? Our actions can be so far reaching and long lasting.

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Oprah Winfrey turned 60 this year.  When asked if she had any regrets, this is what she had to say,

“I think the hardest part of aging really is recognizing the time that you wasted and the things that you worried about that really didn’t matter. That’s really the hardest part, that’s really the only regret that I have.”

How right she is.

Her statement made me think about all the time I waste daily on stupid, ultimately pointless things.  Example:  I have friends from out of town coming to stay with me in about two weeks.  Well, you would think the Queen of England was popping by for a spot of tea.  I instantly made a list:  1) rip up carpet in unused bedroom and replace with hardwood, 2) get all of the spring landscaping clean up done NOW, 3) mulch everything (70+ bags of mulch), 4) replace kitchen screen door, 5) fix windowsill on left garage window, 6) buy a new throw blanket for the chair in the living room because the one I have now attracts too much cat hair….the list went on, but you get the picture.  I OBSESSED about this list every spare moment I had, working outside to near exhaustion because I HAVE to get everything done in time.  Will these people actually notice that every square inch of gardening bed is completely weed free and evenly mulched?  Probably not.  Will they notice the new $30 red throw blanket on the back of the chair which seems to attract less cat hair than the other perfectly good throw?  Doubtful.  But I do this to myself every day!  Not just in this one situation.  Gotta pluck that single eye brow hair because it’s clearly out of place.  I am totally out of groceries but refuse to go to the grocery store until the zit on my forehead goes away.  Because people will hone right in on that baby and stare at it like I have three heads.  Best to starve for now.  I don’t need that humiliation.

I think about how much physical stress I put on my body needlessly.  When I occasionally do catch myself fretting, I stop and take note of my body.  My abs are tight.  My teeth are clenched (I actually broke part of a molar last year from clenching me teeth too hard – no lie – and I have healthy teeth!).  My face is in a scowl (can you say ‘wrinkles’?).  My head aches.  And who knows what else is going on internally.  We all know that too much stress is NOT good for you.  And I’m wasting it on STUPID things.  I’m cutting my life short over wondering if that vague Facebook post was about me, and feeling incredibly guilty because I ate a cupcake.

The madness must end.  We ALL need to listen to Oprah on this one.  Stop worrying about that five pounds you put on over the winter.  Stop obsessing about every single tiny physical imperfection.  Stop wondering what she REALLY meant by that statement.  Stop fretting over what others think, especially those who honestly don’t matter.  Instead, practice mindfulness.  Practice gratitude.  Be YOU unapologetically.  Laugh, be thankful and believe in yourself.  Be kind to others whether or not they deserve it.  Live with purpose.  Let go of anger and fear.  You’ll live longer and you’ll be happier.  Now excuse me while I go shopping for a new pillow case because it clearly doesn’t match the other one…..

Facebook Has Changed Our Lives, For Better or Worse

I wanted to write a blog post this week, but a sprained wrist is making it difficult to type.  So I’m reposting an article from CNN about Facebook which turns 10 this week.

CNN, January 30, 2014 –

Ten years and 1.2 billion users into its existence, there’s no question that Facebook has changed our lives.

Whether it was an inspired vision, deft execution, a bit of dumb luck or a combination of all three, Mark Zuckerberg’s social juggernaut has ingrained itself into the daily lives of digital-age users in a way that forebears like MySpace and contemporaries like Twitter could only imagine.
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My Take on New Year’s Resolutions

You’re going about it all wrong.

First, I’m not big on the idea of waiting until January 1 to start anything.  You have to be mentally prepared to make changes, and the calendar should not be dictating that.  BUT if you are truly ready and you need a convenient start date, then go for it.

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Buying Gifts Stresses Me Out

It’s that time of year – the ‘gift season’.  Religion seems like an after thought when so much emphasis is placed on what the holidays are supposed to be like.  Who is cooking dinner?  Has the house been decorated to the nines?  And most importantly, what are you going to buy Uncle Leo?

It really is tough, though I’m sure I make it even harder on myself than it needs to be.  I think that what I buy a person says so much about me – was my gift unique, was it thoughtful, was it what they wanted, etc.?  Sometimes I think it’s just easier to give gift cards or money but then you’re seen as boring, unimaginative and can even get accused of not knowing the person well enough to be able to read their mind and know exactly what they want. 

So I’ve come up with a list of ideas which might help you. Continue reading “Buying Gifts Stresses Me Out”