What Did You Say?

exhausted-crawling-tired-man

Out of town, delayed, exhausted, and weary from what the airlines had foisted upon me in the name of their twisted, loose definition of “customer service,” I sought energy in the airport coffee bar, hoping to remain awake long enough to arrive at my destination.

“What would you like?” asked the young woman behind the counter.

“Coffee please.”

“Sugar and cream?”

“No thanks. But where do you keep the Sweet ‘n’ Low?”

“On the counter behind you. Regular or decaf?”

I wanted to say, “Look at me. Don’t I look like someone who desperately needs caffeine?” Instead, I chose politeness, “Regular.”

“What size?”

“Small,” I answered, maintaining a delicate balance between staying alert long enough to arrive at my destination but not so amped that sleep avoids me.

Pointing to the plastic menu behind and above her, she explained, “We don’t have ‘smalls;’ only medium, large, or extra large.” For reference, she directed me to three sample Styrofoam cups emblazoned with felt marker: “M,” “L,” and “XL”.

Understand please, I am a writer and a speaker.

Words are my tools; their correct usage is vital. In the same fashion a carpenter handles a saw or an artist strokes with brush, each word has a specific function. Labeling a “small” a “medium” does not make it so anymore than naming a “rabbit” a “chicken” will cause it to lay eggs. Now then, I became launched upon a mission to correct this contrived corruption of communication.

[Read more...]

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Look Backwards for Motivation

road-sign-with-question-markIf you wish to be inspired, it makes more sense to look backwards, rather than forwards.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the road ahead looks daunting and intimidating; it seems to go on forever.

However, if you change your view and look at how far you’ve come, you’ll notice the changes you’ve already made, inspiring you to stay the course.

Give yourself credit for the road already traveled, take a deep breath, congratulate yourself for your accomplishments, and then – and only then – face forward and take one more step boldly towards your goal.

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Beating Yourself Up Does Not Work

Don’t beat yourself up over what you are not doing well.

Remember when you were 18?nails-in-head

Yes, you were an adult. Yes, you might even have been a responsible adult. However, could the “18-year-old you” juggle all the responsibilities you now have and effectively run the life you have today?

The answer is obviously NO.

Even at your current age, there are tools and skills you do not have. More importantly, you don’t even know you don’t have them yet.

They will be there when you need them. Berating yourself will not make them appear any quicker. Quite the contrary, it will help you feel bad and make you more inclined to give up.

There are tools to life you do not have right now. You will have them when you need them.

By the way, you have tools you no longer need. It’s OK to let them go. [Read more...]

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Yes Dear, Whatever You Say Dear…

I’ll admit it; I’m wimpy when it comes to confrontations.

man-coweringI don’t like people getting mad at me. So oft times, I go out of my way to pre-appease them; assuming they won’t like something and sidestepping the issue all together. Yes, I realize I’m co-dependent and yes, I’m trying to stop; I even tried to form a support group for co-dependents but no one would give me per-mission. (Insert rim shot here…)

What this means is that I become concerned that my politics or opinions might show through my writing, resulting in me being harangued by internet “trolls” who have nothing better to do than spend every waking hour scouring the interwebs waiting to pounce on anything I write. (Self-importance much?)

In fairness, my concern is not without basis.

I’ve been flamed because of my views on guns, political candidates, and even negative communication styles (obviously missing the irony). The column that garnered the most hate mail was a humorous piece where I postulated the theory that, based on a trip to New Orleans, the only foods allowed in the south must be deep-fried. (I was even accused of trying to re-ignite the civil war; really.)

Anyhoo… my concern with attempting to avert these curmudgeons can — at times — cause me to pick and choose my topics and words with extreme care. After all, someone a thousand miles away, reading my piece two weeks after I wrote it might feel awkward and shoot negative vibes toward me. Goodness knows! I wouldn’t want that to happen.

Like I said: co-dependent.

This piece however might cause a ruffle or two much closer to home, including in my own household so I now begin to tread in dangerous places.

New and recent findings, published in the journal Emotion, show that long-term marital satisfaction depends on wives — more so than husbands — regulating their emotions during arguments. Researchers from two major universities found that the happi-est marriages, in both the short and long-term, were those where the wives were able to regain their self-control quickly after disputes erupted.

The lead author of the study (whom I point out is a woman) said, [Read more...]

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