You Are Awesome!

Weekends Are Made For Relaxation And Fun

The week may have been stressful. Mine certainly was – at least parts of it. It’s the weekend now, and weekends are made for relaxation. And have some fun too. There’s always a great play to see, a show to binge-watch, or friends who just make you laugh.

I know there’s a lawn to be mowed, dishes to be done, maybe groceries to get. I’m not saying you should skip any of that. But I am saying you should have a large portion of time, say one day of the weekend, to just relax and have a little fun. It makes us better friends, spouses, partners, co-workers – just nicer to be around.

If we take some time for ourselves (and no, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself), the coming week will be better for everyone.


Gratitude List – The First In A While

As you know, my computer was in the shop for a while. Now it’s back, which I am extremely thankful for. One of the things I missed most was being able to post this gratitude list each Friday. Today’s list is a little longer.

  1. My best friend is alive. It’s good to be grateful for everyday things.
  2. I’ve taken several walks in the sunshine.
  3. I tried out a new restaurant with some friends. It was wonderful food and company.
  4. I went out with the ladies’ lunch group to an amazing, beautiful restaurant in rural New York state.
  5. I found out that the supermarket next to me has a great deal on its delicious fried chicken!
  6. I (with help from many others) successfully completed a “Stuff the Backpack” project for a local nonprofit.
  7. I’ve had a few days of peace and tranquility.
  8. I had an interesting meeting, that went extremely well and was informative.
  9. I went with some fellow church members to a lecture at Chautauqua Institute. It was a beautiful time – both the place and the company.
  10. I am alive and I can walk. I am always grateful for this simple fact.
How to be Mellow

The World Is Chaotic; You Don’t Have To Be

I’ve been watching the news, especially the national news, this week. I watch it all the time, but this week the news seems to be particularly chaotic. I’m not going to go into details about it – if you’ve been paying attention even a little bit, you know what I mean.

I don’t know about you, but it tends to leave me asking myself, “What can I do to calm the chaos?” My answer came to me unexpectedly, when I was listening to an audio book. This audio book, “Possible Side Effects” by Augusten Burroughs, is read by the author, and in some parts, is laugh-out-loud funny. It made me feel better right away.

Laughter is a way to calm yourself and make yourself feel better almost instantly. My favorite TV show, “The Big Bang Theory,” which is still in syndication, makes me laugh out loud too. I think everybody needs that experience, especially now.

I’m asking you to watch some good sitcoms. “I Love Lucy” comes to mind. Allow yourself to laugh. One of my favorite comedians is Fluffy – Gabriel Iglesias. For me, he’s laugh-out-loud funny too.

Watch stand-up. Watch your favorite sitcom. Anything that makes you laugh is needed now. It releases the pressure of the day. By no means am I saying ignore everything that’s happening. But don’t let it overwhelm you, and this is one way to cope with it all.

I have found Fluffy ( Gabriel Iglesias ) to be funny, sweet, and a great story teller.
I’m using this picture in hopes that you will stream his videos, or order them on Netflix.
Advice for a Bad Day

Stay Calm And Be Pleasant

Let’s face it – in the past couple weeks, there have been some major tragedies. People talk about gun control and background checks and mental health evaluations.

I agree with those, but I’m not here to write in depth about that. It occurs to me that people are hostile and angry when they are out in public. I’ve heard shouting matches, and screaming between adults, many times.

There used to be a time when people were calm. They used to be polite. They’d talk about the weather or a great coffee shop. Now you hear debates about politics and other controversial subjects all the time.

We all need to calm down a little. What if someone in line in front of you didn’t vote for your favorite senator? Is it really worth getting into a screaming match, right there in the store?

We need civility now, more than ever. Anger is catching, but so is civility, though it does take effort to stay calm. When you stay calm, you can calm down other people. If you only encounter someone for two minutes, you can be civil to them. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – we can stand a bad two minutes.

Make sure that everybody who comes in contact with you finds a ray of hope in their day. It’s kind of a “Mary Poppins” attitude, but the anger needs to stop.

You Are Awesome!

To All Who Have Been Following

You may have noticed that it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted on this blog. It’s because my computer died and was in the shop. But it’s back, and I’m back!

I have sincerely missed this blog. I missed my daily writing of it, the comments that I would get, and especially the freedom I felt by writing.

I can’t promise that I will write every day. No one can guarantee that. But I do plan to post regularly.

I write about how life gets away from you, and that you are not alone in this feeling. For the past two weeks, life has got away from me, and I know that I’m not alone. I take great comfort in this fact.

It is amazing how having my computer in the shop limited my writing, my work, and in some ways my ability to communicate in all sorts of ways. I’m back now, and I hope you will join me in my journey.

How to be Mellow

Looking Forward To The Week Ahead

It’s Sunday. Hopefully you’ve had time this weekend to rejuvenate yourself. It’s time to look ahead now, to the new work week. I mean attitude and time, not getting out a calendar and planning the schedule.

Make sure that you get enough rest tonight. Have a good dinner. A real time-saver for me (and hopefully you too) is to pick out my clothes for tomorrow morning so they’re ready. If possible, make your outfit something bright and cheerful.

Start the week on a positive note. You’ve got this. The coming week is full of new adventures, and new opportunities. If there is something that you have been wanting to do this summer, make it your reward this coming weekend, for getting through the week. A new restaurant, a movie, a play, or even a walk through a new park, is a great way to celebrate another week conquered.

How to be Mellow

Take It Easy

I don’t know about you, but the past week was busy beyond belief for me. Maybe you’ve had a busy week too.

Since it is the weekend, I’m taking today as a rest day. I’m only doing things that will rejuvenate my soul and body. This means sleeping in, watching some TV shows that I enjoy, taking (probably several) naps, and eating leftovers. No phone calls, no emails. I am unplugged.

I have found that a day of total rest is the only way I can survive my busy weeks. I think everybody needs a day off (no laundry, no email, etc.) to recover from the stress of the week.

Take it easy and enjoy yourself. Weekends only come once a week, and I have found that naps are truly spectacular. (Just so you know, I wrote this blog ahead of time, so that on my rest day I don’t even have to blog.)

This is how I see myself on my rest days.
I’m powerful, but not right now.

Gratitude List For The Last Full Week of July

I am always grateful for all of my friends, who are always loving and supportive. I am also grateful for a wonderful family, who are healthy and adventurous. Here is my gratitude list:

  1. The ladies’ lunch from my church this week was a riot. Great food and great company. If you happen to have a ladies’ group at your place of worship, attend! I have found this group delightful and surprising.
  2. I saw a great play at my favorite community theater.
  3. I had a wonderful day of rest on Sunday.
  4. I attended a meeting, with great results. It restored my faith in my professional mission.
  5. Every evening this week, I have watched the fireflies come out. It’s an extraordinary sight.

Sometimes The Day Just Gets Away From You

Maybe this happens to you: You have an early-morning meeting, which takes two hours out of your day. You still have the rest of the work day to get through, and then you run to the grocery store with a short list. You end up spending another hour in there, and more money than you expected. Sometimes the day just gets away from you. When you get home there is stuff to do, but you decide to go through the groceries, get out that frozen dinner, and watch Netflix.

Your day has not gone according to plan, by any means, but that’s okay, and it happens to all of us. When this happens, know that you are not alone. Maybe tomorrow will go according to plan – maybe not. You can deal with it, and adjust to it.

Advice for a Bad Day

A Learning Experience

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

Here’s another quote from a book, which sparked a thought.

Mistakes are made all the time. We all make them, whether it’s going the wrong way on a street, typos on a memo, or calling somebody by the wrong name. It happens.

But, sometimes the mistakes teach us something. For instance, when you are learning someone’s name, if you call them by the wrong one, odds are they will correct you, and you probably won’t do it again. It’s a learning experience. Typos on a memo can actually spark an idea, inspiring something you never even thought of. When you go the wrong way on a street, you may come to a neighborhood you never noticed before, and find some local gems – coffee shops, galleries, bookstores, etc.

The next time you make a mistake, look at it as an opportunity. Keep your mind open. You’ll find something positive.

The Truth Is

Sometimes I’m A Mess

The truth is, sometimes I’m a mess. The news agitates me, the laundry makes me mad because it just keeps growing even though I do it, and I remember something that happened a decade ago that still makes me mad. The list goes on. I’m sure you have your own list like this too. The trigger happens almost unexpectedly. That’s the point–sometimes things creep up on you and just blow your whole thought process.

This happens to us all. Some admit it, some don’t, but everyone has a couple days a month like this. We all have hours, days, even a week where our emotions just get the best of us.

Sometimes you just let yourself feel it–and channel it into a project or a writing as motivation. Sometimes you stuff it down–with food, shopping, and other activity. Sometimes you pick on someone else and lash out. This is never good and really doesn’t make you feel any better.

Just admit to yourself that you are a mess. Admit it to your friends. If your co-worker asks you what’s wrong, admit that you’re having a bad day. I have found that keeping the feelings of “being a mess” secret is the hardest part. Sometimes if you just say “I’m a mess today” the day gets better. People understand what that means.

You Are Awesome!

Here’s A Way To Start Your Week

“Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.” Harry Emerson Fosdick

I found this quote in a book, and it sparked something.

How many of us have had the dream of winning an Oscar? How many of us have wanted to run a marathon? How many of us have wanted a corner office in a prestigious company?

Visualize it! Keep it in mind. If you have a picture of it, keep it beside your desk.

For this week, I’m challenging everyone, including myself, to visualize what they would like to do. See how that influences you this week. See how your choices change by having this vision in your mind’s eye.

How to be Mellow

Some Time To Rest

Hopefully, you’ve had some time for fun over the weekend. Maybe you’ve gone to the beach, or the movie theater.

You need some time to rest and relax. It’s important to clear your head, and the weekend is the perfect time for that. The home-improvement projects and the cleaning may be important, but be sure to put your peace of mind first.

The coming week may be full of unexpected (or expected) challenges. It’s always better to come at it feeling refreshed.

Take some time to do whatever you consider rejuvenating for your body, mind and soul.

How to be Mellow

The Power Of A Great Play

For some of you, I know this has been a week full of challenges. Mine has too — so much so, that my best friend and I bought tickets to see a play at our favorite community theater this weekend.

It just made the worries of the week go away. I was entranced by the set, the actors, and one hell of a great story. It made me forget that, for me, it has been a tough week.

That is what great art does–it engulfs you. It makes you forget about your day, your work, and your challenges.

If you have had a week full of challenges, think about going to a play at your local community theater. You will see some people who are doing what they love.

For those of you who live in Erie PA, we saw “Sex with Strangers.” It is a little misleading as a title. It is a tale of two writers with varying levels of success. It was one great play. Go to for more info.

This is one of my favorite places. I thought I’d share it.


Gratitude List For the Third Week In July

I am always grateful for reasonably good health, cool water to drink, air conditioning during this heat wave, and good friends. Here is my gratitude list for this week:

  1. I’m grateful for my best friend being alive. I know I’ve mentioned this several times, but it’s especially important to look at the everyday things, and be grateful for them.
  2. I got to see an old friend (literally! – he’s 75) who was in town last week.
  3. I got to see birds bathe in my bird bath. It was fascinating.
  4. I hosted a successful small group luncheon at my church.
  5. I had dinner on short notice with a good friend. It was wonderful to talk with each other about our lives.

Never underestimate the power of sharing a meal with people. It is one of the things I like most.


The Truth Is

A Little Financial Advice

This is not what I usually write about, but I think it’s important.

I was watching a news show this morning, and a segment suggested that everyone should sort through their subscription services to see if there is anything they do not use any longer. Everyone has at least one of these.

The truth is, most of us are paying small amounts of money for various services – $5 here and $5 there – which actually adds up to a huge amount of money. With the national statistic that most people have something like $7,000 in credit card debt, the few minutes it will take to check your subscriptions is definitely worth it.


Gratitude List for the Second Week In July

This week I am eternally thankful that my friends and family are all alive and in reasonable good health. I think we should always be thankful for every day that we can walk, talk and get out of bed. It’s the simple things that make life good. Here is my gratitude list:

  1. I enjoyed an incredible Sunday with friends. It started with Dave preaching, and ended with ice cream and wonderful conversation all around.
  2. I also enjoyed another dinner with friends, and more ice cream after that.
  3. I watched the fireflies rise up out of the grass. I think I did this every day this week. It’s an amazing experience. If you know of a grassy place that has not been treated by a yard service, watch for fireflies around dusk.
  4. I had a wonderful day off, when I did nothing but sit in the air conditioning in my living room and watch movies.
  5. I am always thankful that I have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, and I can go out for ice cream whenever I am asked.
Fireflies are one of nature’s wonders.
This week, take time to notice them.
They come out at dusk every day.
Advice for a Bad Day

Classic Choice: Bad Friends Or No Friends

I’ve been thinking about different periods in my life. Right now I have good friends, but it wasn’t always that way. For a while, years ago, when I moved to a new city, I had no friends, for at least a year. Eventually I got some friends, but then my two best friends moved to another city. I was left with some “bad” friends, and by that I mean that they just didn’t get me. I had to choose between keeping the friends who didn’t get me and seemed to make my life miserable, or being by myself for a while.

I chose to be by myself, and to have no friends for a period of time. I watched a lot of movies. I worked a lot. I was lonely sometimes. But being with “friends” who drained my happiness left me feeling lonely too. At least, being by myself, I knew where I could go when I needed cheering up – a local bookstore was my choice. I knew where I could go to be with people without having to really talk to them. There was a wonderful independent cinema theater near where I lived. I decided to not settle for having “bad” friends. When I moved out of that city, I knew what I wanted in a friendship. For the most part, I have got that now.

Be picky about whom you hang around with in your social circle. Make sure they are the ones who bring you up and make you better. You can respond by doing the same for them. It makes a win-win relationship.

There is always a classic choice for us to make.
Whether it’s the car we buy or the friends we make,
it’s always a choice. Make it a good one!
How to be Mellow

Feeling A Little Rushed? You’re Not Alone!

Have you ever had one of those days that just seems long–with meetings, appointments, and other stuff? Some of the stuff is good–like a friendly lunch with colleagues. Still, there are lots of things to do and you just feel rushed.

My advice is to calm down and take a breath. That is always a good idea. Today, I am rushed. I have a busy day that ends with a fun dinner with friends. Right now I wonder how I am going to make it through all of it. I am sure Pepsi will be involved.

My point is, we all have days like this. We will get through it. I just need to remember to pace myself, and a little extra water and coffee will help too.

How to be Mellow

It’s A New Week Full of Challenges

It’s the beginning of a new week. For some of us, it’s full of our routine job. For some, it’s the beginning of a new job (or other circumstance). For some, the week may be full of apprehension and fear. There are many things that can happen this week, but I have a feeling that many people are feeling one of the three ways I just described.

It’s all about perspective. A new job, a new circumstance, can be full of opportunities that you never knew existed. New friends, new experiences, and a chance for you to learn, as well as have other people learn from you.

A routine job can be a great comfort. It has places that are well known, expectations that you know about, colleagues with whom you are familiar, and you know where the break room is. Routine does not have to mean boring. You can always introduce a little spark into a routine job by doing something small.

Some people fear the coming week, for whatever reason. I’ve always found that fear is just a way of telling myself that I’m on a new path, perhaps the right path. I do a lot of public speaking, and I can say that fear is a necessary part of my life. If I have fear or apprehension, I know I’m on the right track. For me, it’s my own guide to know I’m doing my absolute best.

However you feel about this coming week, you are not alone. There are lots of people who feel the same way you do. I know how challenging life can be. Whatever kind of week you have ahead of you, I am rooting for you.

Carrots are root vegetables, and come in a variety of colors.
Whatever kind of week you are having, you deserve some color.
How to be Mellow

A Busy Sunday; I Must Relax Now!

This Sunday was supposed to be a service and lunch. A friend was preaching at a local church, and we agreed to have lunch afterward.

Lunch was wonderful and relaxing (and I had the best taco salad of my life!). Then we went to the Art Museum to see a couple of exhibits by some other friends we know. And THEN someone suggested ice cream. Of course I couldn’t turn that down! All total, I spent as many hours as a normal work day out with friends, talking and walking.

It’s hot here in Erie PA, so the heat played a part as well. Now I am tired. In fact, after I finish this blog entry, I’m taking a nap. Tomorrow is a work day, and I need some rest to be ready for it.

Weekends are for friends and family, but if you’re like me, they will tire you out. If you’ve had a day like mine (good but busy), take a nap. Rest in the air conditioning. Get ready for the week ahead. You may be lucky to have good memories of this weekend to get you through the week’s challenges.

You Are Awesome!

It’s The Weekend – Enjoy Yourself!

Summer is here. There are lawns to mow, gardens to weed, and cars to wash. If this is your to-do list for this weekend, stop and think about it. There are things that need to be done, but enjoy yourself too. Go to the beach. Go to the movies. Take your kids to the amusement park. Or, simply read a book.

The laundry, the car washing – all that stuff can wait. There’s no set time limit on it. But friendships, relationships, and your own self, need to be tended to. Make sure that the people who are important to you (and that includes yourself) have priority.

The weekend only comes once a week. Enjoy it!


Gratitude List For The Week of July 4th

This week I am especially grateful for air conditioning! The heat and humidity have been high, and I am glad to be able to escape to the a/c. Here is my gratitude list for this week:

  1. I’m extremely grateful that my best friend is alive. (I’ve always been grateful for this, but I haven’t mentioned it before.) Sometimes we’re not grateful for the things right in front of us.
  2. I had a very good lunch at a place I hadn’t been before. (For those of you in Erie PA, I recommend the restaurant Slices on French.)
  3. I got to watch two displays of fireworks, indoors, in the a/c, with a bathroom nearby.
  4. I got to watch birds eat doughnuts. It was very entertaining, and the birds looked happy too.
  5. I launched, and successfully completed, a facebook fundraiser campaign. I reached my goal in just one day! If you’re curious, you can check out “Julie My” and “PACA = Not Your Ordinary Non-Profit.”
You Are Awesome!

Look Ahead

This week is special. For many of us it’s a four-day week. If we’re lucky to get a vacation day, or our work gives us two days off, we will have an extremely long weekend.

Keep your mood light, and just let things go. If a co-worker wants to talk about their fishing trip, let them. You don’t really have to listen. You can just drink your coffee.

Enjoy the short week, and remember – you have Thursday off!

(If you work Thursday, such as in retail, I hope you get holiday pay.)

You Are Awesome!

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

People often say “Get out of your comfort zone.” It’s how you learn, and how you find new favorite things. This weekend, I am doing that. I am going to a parade downtown. This is totally out of my comfort zone.

The parade’s is outside, early on a weekend, and the weather is supposed to be muggy. I’m going with a couple of friends, but there will be a lot of people there. Who knows? I’m not used to crowds, so this really is out of my comfort zone. We’ll see what happens. It could be the best time I’ve ever had.

This weekend (or this coming week), do something outside of your comfort zone. You never know when you might find your next new favorite thing.


Gratitude List For A Hot June Week

I am extremely grateful for wonderful friends who have got me through an “up and down” week. I am grateful for air conditioning! – this needs no explanation. Also, I am glad to see the Democratic debates – it was good TV. Here is my gratitude list:

  1. I had a wonderful Sunday lunch with friends.
  2. I had a great carpool time with some wonderful ladies.
  3. I saw three bunnies in my back yard.
  4. My best friend is alive, and I’m always grateful for that.
  5. I got to see a friend from church, who is a local singer, perform at a restaurant.
Denali National Park in autumn, Alaska, USA, North America

Sometimes The Day Has Its Own Rhythm

Sometimes, the day just doesn’t go as planned. This is happening for me today. I had expected to spend the morning hours writing, but I got waylaid. Now, I’m going to lunch with a few people, so my afternoon is not what I had planned either.

It’s okay. Sometimes things get off track, and if you think you’re the only person that this happens to, trust me, you’re not. You have to learn to be flexible. (This can be difficult – it’s taken me a long time to learn.)

When you can be flexible, everything goes better. There will always be another day to write a report or whatever. Sometimes the day has its own rhythm, and that rhythm can be better than anything you might have planned.

You Are Awesome!

A Story To Share

This is a story about an unlikely friendship. It started out with two women who worked in different departments but shared the same break room, and often took coffee breaks at the same time. Let’s call them Chris and Tammy. They had known of each other for a long time. They were friendly but had never talked much. One day (Tammy said it was totally out of the blue), Chris asked her to a new mini-golf course that had just opened nearby. Tammy was not really a sports person, and didn’t like the idea of standing out in the sun on a hot day. She said she’d think about it. And she did – she went back to her desk and seriously considered the pros and cons of it.

The next day when they met for coffee in the break room, Tammy said yes to Chris. They set a day, and went mini-golfing together.

At first, it seemed awkward. But as time passed, and a few golf balls landed in the water, Tammy and Chris realized that they had a lot of things in common. They were both transplants from other cities. They liked the same restaurant. They both had older brothers who were obsessed with sports.

They filled an evening with conversation, and agreed to meet again at their mutual favorite restaurant the next week. Over time they became good friends. And it all started because one person was bold enough to ask, and another person was open-minded enough to accept.

The moral of the story is: Ask someone to do something with you. And if someone asks you to join them, even if it seems silly or outside your interests, say yes, and give them a chance. All friends were once strangers.

You never know where you’ll meet a wonderful friend.

Gratitude List for the Third Week in June

As always, I am thankful for good health. I am also thankful that I have enough food to eat, a roof over my head, and clean water to drink. I am also thankful for having the ability to walk. Here is my gratitude list:

  1. My neighbor mowed my lawn for me.
  2. I am reading Nicholas Sparks’ book “True Believer.” I’m on page 177!
  3. I drove on the interstate for the first time in at least three months. It was a beautiful drive.
  4. The “Bachelorette” was really juicy again! – yes, it’s my guilty pleasure.
  5. I received an unexpected check in the mail.
Advice for a Bad Day

“I Want To Be Care For” – a response

Recently, a facebook friend (who I’ve only actually met once) posted a message with a central theme of “I want to be cared for.” I think that he was really saying that he didn’t feel the love of friendship or a relationship.

I read his post last week. To be honest, it stunned me a little. “Cared For.” I know that this is a term we use to describe children and the elderly.

It got me thinking. I’ve known a lot of lonely people throughout my life. Some are lonely because they don’t know how to connect. Others are lonely because, when they connect, they tend to be harsh and unyielding.

A perfect example of this was a girl I knew, named Heidi, who was devastated when a man, who had joined her at an office Christmas party and other work functions, got engaged to another girl. Heidi had been firm in making sure he understood they were not dating. In fact, she left town every weekend to go home to visit her parents. I was always surprised by her lack of awareness of other people’s needs and boundaries. She insisted they were not dating, so he found someone else, and that shocked her. I still shake my head when I think about this.

People offer life lines. People offer to do things with you. Coffee, dinner, golf, whatever – people offer these things to get to know you. If you turn them down, and then sit home alone saying you’re lonely or uncared for, you have to take some of the blame for that.

Loneliness is a two-way street. You have to be willing to adapt to other people’s styles and interests. It may be hard to connect, but if someone in the last two weeks has offered you a social connection, and you didn’t take it, you need to reach out to them and be open to a new adventure.

The Truth Is

It’s A High-Energy Day

Every once in a while, you’ll have a super day – an almost extraordinary extra energy day. It’s a day when you throw in a couple loads of laundry in the morning, to get a jump on it. It’s a day when you might just drive to an amazing breakfast place you’ve always wanted to go to before work. It’s a day when you get the reports done in record time and they’re brilliant.

Take advantage of these days. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I only get days like this once or twice a month. I use it to get stuff done, and even get a jump on some projects. Once in a while, I even prepare meals for the next week or so, on a full-energy day like this.

Be thankful that you have a day like this. They don’t happen as often as we’d like. It may be that the next day will be a low-energy day, as it is for me. That’s okay.

The truth is, we should appreciate every day — high-energy as well as tired days. Whatever kind of day you’re having, take a moment to enjoy the sunshine.

On a high-energy day, you feel like your own superhero!

The Truth Is

About Legacy

I’ve been thinking about my legacy today. The main reason is because I heard that fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt died, at age 95. She had a fashion empire, and a wonderful son who will carry on her legacy.

But what about the rest of us? Legacy is more than our work and our children. The truth is, some of us just have jobs which pay the bills, but don’t pass anything unique down to the next generation. Some of us don’t have children, for various reasons, so there is no one to pass on our DNA to the next generation.

That being said, I think that Legacy is about how you live your life. Are people happy to see you? Do you tell a good story? Are you an asset to a group? These things should be thought of as your legacy.

You may already have a legacy, and not know it. Perhaps friends and relatives tell wonderful stories about you and how you did some amazing feat. Or, perhaps, you gave someone a coffee mug, which they use every day, and think of you.

We should all be aware of our legacy, and add to it every day. Be kind, be generous, tell a good story. You may not have a fashion line to pass on, but you do have a wealth of personal experience that can live on through the stories you tell and the people whose lives you touch.


Unexpected Help

The wonderful man who usually mows my lawn has been under the weather. Nothing serious, but he just hasn’t had the stamina to do it.

I have a push rotary mower. It’s one of those human-powered mowers that you see on TV shows set in the 70s. I was using that mower, when a neighbor asked if I would like him to mow my lawn. He had just gotten a new mower, and was anxious to use it.

I have to admit, usually I don’t accept help. I like to do things the hard way. This is very true – ask anyone who knows me! But I accepted my neighbor’s help, and paid him for it too.

For me, I find it very hard to accept help – on anything. I’m starting to realize that maybe I’m making my life harder than it has to be. Maybe people like to help. And that’s my big new thought for today – something to ponder.

If you are like me, and don’t easily accept help, maybe you should rethink that. Sometimes accepting help is the strongest thing we can do.

keyboard and two persons on white background
The Truth Is

Father’s Day – Happy For Some, But Not Everyone

It’s Father’s Day, a time to remember your father.

Some of us, like myself, have a wonderful father. Mine taught me how to ride a bike, spent countless hours on homework with me, took my brother and me sled-riding. He is one of the joys of my life. Luckily, he is still alive and in good health.

I realize that some people are not as lucky as I am. The truth is, for many, the man who shares our DNA has not been so wonderful.

I’d like to expand the definition of “father” to include any man who has significantly shaped a person’s life (in a good way). It could be a neighbor down the street, who helped you with your homework. It could be an uncle who gave you great advice about life and love. It could even be a favorite teacher, who helped guide and encourage you.

Some fathers have passed on, and we miss them dearly. For those people, this holiday can be hard. Some fathers are not permitted to see their children, due to a nasty divorce or some other problem. For them, this day can be extremely painful.

Be sensitive on Father’s Day. It is a day of barbecues and parties for some, but not all. If you know someone who is struggling this holiday, try to encourage them. Wish everyone a good day.


Gratitude List for the Second Week of June

As always, I am thankful for clean water to drink, food to eat, and a roof over my head. Here is my gratitude list:

  1. My Dad, Mom and brother all came up to Erie to celebrate Father’s Day (a week early) with me. This is the first time we’ve all been together in Erie PA.
  2. I checked out a wonderful used book sale which benefits our local library.
  3. I had a rough start for a couple of days, but it all turned out fine.
  4. I discovered that my local next-door grocery store sells amazing veggie burgers and sausages. Delicious!
  5. I got to see the bunny that lives in our yard, close-up on two different days. Cute!

Sometimes The Unexpected Happens

This may have happened to you: You get a phone call. There is something urgent that needs to be checked out. You’re not sure what it is, so you cancel the whole day to check out the thing. It could be a crisis at work. It could be a crisis in the family. It could be a medical test which the doctor wants suddenly.

This happens to everybody. The trick is to not be so rigid that you can’t accommodate the unexpected. Usually, the unexpected takes a few hours, and then life continues as normal. Sometimes, however, the crisis can last for days. Whichever happens, you need to stay calm.

It’s taken me a long time to learn this. Calmness makes everything better. You have to say to yourself, “I can handle the unexpected.” If you need to, take a few minutes to make a plan. Then, go take care of whatever needs done.

If you think you’re the only person who’s in a crisis today, I can assure you, you are not. Plenty of people are in the same boat.

You can handle crisis situations. You just need to keep your wits about you and stay focused. You can do it!

Advice for a Bad Day

Tired Mondays

I had a busy weekend, so this Monday I am dragging. I’m sure it happens to everyone. Today I’m just going to do what I absolutely have to. When the work day is over, I’m going to go home and take a nap!

Tired Mondays – they happen to all of us. If you need an extra cup of coffee or a power caffeine drink to get you through, you are definitely not alone. Today I am with you in mind and in spirit.

How to be Mellow

Try To Catch Your Breath

My parents and my brother came up for the afternoon. We had a great time, having lunch, catching up, and attending Erie’s traditional library book sale, which, for those of you who are in Erie PA, runs from today through June 14th.

Everyone has left now, and I have to admit: I’m tired. But I feel good. I’m going to take the rest of the day slow. No more cleaning, a microwave dinner, and binge-watching a few episodes of “Castle Rock,” a DVD I borrowed from the library.

I’m hoping to catch my breath so that, on Monday, I can be at least coherent.

I hope that you will take these last few hours of the weekend to catch your breath. The week is approaching fast.

The Truth Is

I’m Not Taking My Own Advice

Usually I advise people to take time during the weekend to rest and rejuvenate. The truth is, I’m not taking my own advice this weekend. I have done the entire spring cleaning routine in the last three days. I am exhausted.

There’s some urgency to this cleaning, because my parents are coming up to celebrate Father’s Day (I know it’s a week early). Anyone who has relatives or friends come over knows how important it is to present a clean house.

I’m very happy my parents are coming up, and I really don’t mind doing this cleaning, but it occurred to me that I’m not taking my own advice. It happens to the best of us.

This weekend, I am cleaning, I’m entertaining, and when it’s over, I’m collapsing.


Gratitude List for the First Full Week of June

As always, I am extremely grateful for the beautiful sunny weather. I am also thankful for the good health of myself, my parents and friends.

Here is my gratitude list:

  1. I got a nice email from my brother, recounting a memory about our favorite aunt.
  2. The Bachelorette was very juicy, and a little more like a soap-opera.
  3. I have had awesome writing sessions the last few days.
  4. I am grateful for the “Dear Evan Hansen” soundtrack. I’ve listened to it at least once a day for the past week. It’s really good.
  5. I had an extremely productive meeting this week.
You Are Awesome!

Set Goals For This Weekend

It’s Thursday, and I hope you’ve had a good week so far. I hope you’ve either reached your goal, or are working towards it.

Now is the perfect time to make a weekend goal. Whether it’s going to that new coffee shop that just opened, taking a walk with a group of friends, playing frisbee at the park, or whatever it is you like to do, make plans now to do it.

Spend the weekend engaging with others. Volunteer, meet with friends, or gather with family. You don’t have to spend the whole weekend with people (I know how important alone time can be, especially after a busy week), but contact with others helps make life brighter and more enjoyable.

How to be Mellow

The Unexpected Happens

Sometimes the unexpected happens. You can get a phone call that changes the course of your workday, for the good or bad. You can get up early and catch up on tasks and projects you haven’t had time for. Or, you can decide to take it easy today, go to the grocery store and get something at the deli for supper, and call it a night.

Most of us think of unexpected things as negative, but we need to change our mindset. Unexpected things can be good; in fact, they can be great. When you think of unexpected things, change your view to look for the positive. A good outlook always helps.


We Should Enjoy The Little Things

Life is full of lots of stuff, but how much of it do we notice? Do you notice that the flowers are blooming now? Have you ever watched a bird in the sky, and marveled at it? Have you ever had a really good cup of coffee, and just savored it?

Life is full of little moments that should be recognized. The next time you do something, like walk to the bus stop, or give your co-worker some paperwork, notice the little drops of beauty all around you. They are there.

You Are Awesome!

Set A Goal For The Week

It’s Monday afternoon. This is the perfect time to plan your goal for the week. Make it something that you are sure to complete, like getting that weekly report done a day early.

I have found that having a goal makes the work week more productive, with more of a sense of accomplishment.

I’m setting a goal for myself this week. Last week I skipped a few days writing on this blog. My goal is to write on this blog every day for the next six days. You can keep me accountable.

It’s possible to also have a social goal. For instance, make a date to meet some friends you haven’t seen in a while, or finish that novel you’ve been trying to read.

Goals do make a difference. Set one for yourself. Get it done by Friday, and see how accomplished you feel at the end of the week.


My Gratitude List For the Last Week In May

This week I am especially grateful for having enough food to eat, clean water out of the tap, and a roof over my head. Here is my gratitude list:

  1. I took a lot of naps this week, especially on Memorial Day!
  2. I got in a full day of shopping with a great friend. (I was able to get some things that I really needed.)
  3. The ABC show “The Bachelorette” was extremely juicy this week.
  4. I finished my six-month quest to watch the entire 9 seasons of “Alice.” (I am thankful to my local library, which happened to have the entire series on DVD!)
  5. I’m glad that I had a good phone call with my Dad this week. His hearing was a little off, but with the help of a teletype phone, we had a great conversation.
Advice for a Bad Day

One or Two Bad Minutes

Recently, I went to have a routine medical test. I’m always a little nervous about tests, and it doesn’t help that a nurse puts you in a room all by yourself to wait for the procedure.

With nothing to do, I began to think. It’s just one or two bad minutes – that’s all the test lasts. I’ve had this test before. I gave myself a pep talk. I can handle one or two bad minutes.

Then it occured to me – a lot of things are just one or two bad minutes. A shot at the doctor, an argument between co-workers, an unkind sentence from a stranger. These can happen in just one or two minutes.

This puts things in perspective. First, it makes every moment count. Second, it makes the time you have to endure things just one or two minutes.

I’m not counting physical or emotional abuse, which has a lasting effect. I’m referring to the everyday moments that are so sudden and short, yet seem to change everything. But should they? Doesn’t everyone have an insensitive minute? Maybe that off-the-cuff comment, which really bothered you, was said in haste and not really meant. Or the person was mad at someone else, and was rude to you.

If the comments keep happening, then there is a real problem. But don’t let one or two minutes ruin your entire day.