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#MicroblogMondays 152: You Have What It Takes

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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I recently read a post on Modern Mrs. Darcy that stuck with me long after I closed the browser.  It’s a very simple idea, but one that is life-altering if put into continual practice.

Lie to yourself.

Okay, so the post isn’t really about lying to yourself.  But it’s about making the conscious decision every time you are nervous or unsure about something that you have what it takes.  Say those words to yourself: “Oh, Melissa (well, fill in your own name), don’t worry about it because you have what it takes.”  And then proceed as if someone else that you trust a lot has reassured you that you are up for the task.

She talks about it in terms of surfing, but it applies everywhere.  It’s a powerful feeling to go from being unsure about a decision to deciding you have what it takes and moving ahead.  Both with the small things and the very huge, life changing things.

So what are you telling yourself today that you have what it takes?  What difficult moment are you trying to get through, or what new path are you unsure about starting?

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Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.


July 24, 2017   No Comments

Mental Sampler 12

I am inordinately upset about the cancellation of @Midnight.  It’s like having your best friend move across country.

When I saw the news in the morning, it affected my whole day.  Which is crazy because it’s just a television show.  But it wasn’t just a television show.  It’s how we found out about new comedians.  And it’s how we found out about memes so we could be “hip” and “in the know.”  (You know, like the teens.)  I cannot tell you how many late night, “I can’t sleep” conversations we’ve had with a child with Chris Hardwick’s face frozen on pause on the television screen.

It was our routine, and now Comedy Central is taking away our routine.

Thanks a lot, Comedy Central, for ruining everything.

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The Wolvog had an audition.  We could have waited in the hallway — we had planned to wait in the hallway — but the guy invited us to sit in the room and watch the audition.  So we sat in the room because I was curious to see how he would do and the Wolvog wanted us to stay.

But midway through the audition, I noticed the ChickieNob was sitting with her arm floating in mid-air.  I gave her an inquisitive glance, and she returned an inquisitive glance.  I mouthed at her, “What are you doing?” and she screwed her face up to mirror mine and murmured, “What are you doing?”

MY CHILD WAS FREAKIN’ MIMICKING ME.

Her arm was up in the air because my arm was draped across the edge of the sofa.  But she was sitting next to me instead of at the other end of the sofa, so her arm needed to hang in space to be my mirror.  She continued to match my movements for the next ten minutes.

Of course I thought this was hysterically funny, but I was trying not to laugh aloud and ruin the audition.  So my body was shaking from trying to hold in the laughter.  Which meant the ChickieNob had to make her body shake as if she was holding in laughter.

She stopped the moment the audition was done and arranged her face into a supportive, benign smile for her brother.

She’s too much sometimes.

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We are currently in dress shopping mode for their B’nai Mitzvah.  I am not a dress person.  At all.  I do not enjoy shopping for dresses or wearing dresses.  I don’t feel like myself when I’m in one.  (Truthfully, I only feel like myself when I’m in my jeans and boots, so it’s not as if I’d feel more like myself in a fancy pantsuit.)  But I’m getting a dress with my sister’s help.  She has spent hours combing sites and trying to find stuff for me to try on.

I’ve found something that is “not bad” that I am holding onto as I finish looking.  If I find something better, great.  If I don’t, I’m going to stick with the good enough dress and stop looking.  I’ve given myself a hard stop of next week.

The thing about the good enough dress is that when I tried it on, everyone felt meh about it.  I could get away with it, but it wasn’t great.  But when I tried it on a second time and let down my hair, everyone suddenly loved it.  They thought having my hair down changed the whole look of the dress.  Since I planned to wear my hair down, this worked in my favour.

But isn’t that strange?  That the whole look of the dress would change with my hair down vs. my hair up?

The ChickieNob has the opposite problem.  There are too many dresses she wants; too many looks she would love to wear.  Narrowing it down to a single dress, the dress, is proving difficult.  Whereas I want to stop looking because I’ve found something that works good enough, I fear we will never stop looking for the ChickieNob because there will always be that what if dress around the corner.

I don’t know which is worse: trying to find a single dress that works, or trying to choose one dress when so many of them work.  I’m thinking I’m in the harder situation.  She thinks she’s in the harder situation.  Your take?

Anyway we need to set an end date because there are still shoes and undergarments to purchase.  And we all know what happens when you wait to the last second with that…

July 23, 2017   5 Comments

655th Friday Blog Roundup

I try not to brag about the kids, but this is an accomplishment that affects everyone on earth. The robot the Wolvog designed beat up all the other robots in the robot-fighting ring. His robot was the victor in the robot death match.

Now you may wonder how that affects you. Well, people, when the robots take over the world (and you know that they’re going to take over the world), my son can invent and program a robot that can beat up the bad robots. (Unless, of course, he uses his power for evil and designs the bad robots that take over the world.) So we’re totally safe.  (Unless we’re not safe because he designed the bad robots.)

I told him that I was proud of him because he could protect me from the “toasters” (as they say on Battlestar Galactica) in the same way that he protects Mommy’s face from stray baseballs when we’re at Nationals Park. (Yes, I actually ask my son to wear a mitt so he can catch baseballs that may knock me unconscious. You can never be too safe.) He rolled his eyes and muttered, “That’s not the way things work.”

I have zero clue what that means because this is exactly the way things work. Four teams made robots. Four teams set their robots in a ring and had them fight to the death. Three robots were destroyed by one robot. My kid’s robot. I promise, he has our back and will protect all of us. Unless he doesn’t.

He was particularly tween-ish when I told him that I was letting everyone know that he could save us.  He rolled his eyes and said, “If you must.”  Which I like to think means, “Oooh, I’m so excited to have everyone know that I made a good fighting robot” in teen-speak.

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Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Lavender Luz has an update about a situation she discussed on her blog last year.  An adoptive mother was talking about her adult son moving close to his biological family so he could get to know them better.  A year later, the woman reflects on the experience.  I love when people come back and let you know how things turned out.

Raven Rambling writes about a hard conversation she started with her husband, but once the words were spoken, she learned that he felt the same way.  It’s a post about what you hope happens when you speak your heart — that you are not only understood, but you learn something about the other person, too.

Lastly, River Run Dry has a post about the experiences that shaped her into the person she is now, and how she’ll never know the roads not taken; the person she would have become if life had not unfolded as it did.  It’s really a post about the weight of our relationships; they’re strong enough to pull us in a new direction.

The roundup to the Roundup: The Wolvog will save us from the bad robots.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between July 14th and 21st) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

July 21, 2017   5 Comments

Part of Me

I read Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin, and there was one thought in the book that stuck with me.  The book is a series of emails back and forth between two siblings.  Harry admits that he’s feeling anxious because he can’t write: “It seems the more I want to make things, the less I am able to … When I want to write, I find I can’t even read.  It’s truly paralyzing” (p. 75).  He describes his anxiety as “an unfortunate distraction.”

Matilda answers, “I wonder if my life would feel empty without anxiety, like a central character from my life was suddenly absent.  Like there’d been a death” (p. 77).

If a genie popped out of our sugar bowl (it’s the closest thing we own that vaguely resembles a magic lamp… by which I mean that it doesn’t really resemble a magic lamp at all because it’s just a normal sugar bowl, but it has a lid.  So there’s that) and told me that I couldn’t make my own three wishes but he’d remove all of my anxiety, my knee-jerk answer would be, “hell, yes.”  I am an anxious person (cough, I’m sure you haven’t noticed) and my anxiety controls portions of my life.  I would love to be unshackled from my fears and worries.

But.

When I read this passage, I thought about how I would feel if I went through life without worries, without fears, without that underlying sense of dread that is part of my DNA.  I wouldn’t feel like myself.  I’d be like one of those casual, relaxed J Jill models, lounging against the wall with a dreamy smile on my face.  What wouldn’t get accomplished because I didn’t have my anxiety constantly driving me forward?  What wouldn’t get noticed because I’m hyper-aware of my surroundings?  What avoidable events would occur because I didn’t put fear-based safeguards in place?

All of those things seem like a small price to pay for daily worrying.

Because it’s one or the other: I don’t get all the benefits of anxiety with none of the drawbacks.  You can take anxiety as it is and use it well, but in doing so, you also have to experience that anxiety ramp up and residue.

Anxiety is a part of me.  It’s part of my personality and removing it would change who I am at my core.  I wouldn’t be Melissa.  I’d be… someone else.

I liked that idea from the book of a character missing.  I would be Seinfeld without George.  Friends without Chandler.  Those shows wouldn’t feel the same.

Would you get rid of a (mostly) negative personality trait?

July 19, 2017   12 Comments

Everyone Happy All at Once

I recently read Amy Poeppel’s Small Admissions, and I really loved this sentiment towards the end of the book (on page 356). It’s about a group of friends and family trying to help one of their own through a difficult life change, and this thought comes after the storm, when the crisis has passed for the main character:

Happiness is not a zero-sum game. It’s the only case in which the resources are limitless, and in which the rich can get richer at no expense to anyone else. That day in the park, I found it remarkably easy to own my happiness and celebrate Kate’s as well.

It’s a strange thing, though, how rare, maybe impossible, it is to have everyone you care about thriving at the same time. For a short spell, life seems certain and stable, until something shifts and redistributes, randomly, unpredictably, and when you look around at the new landscape, you see that it’s someone else’s turn now. You redirect your attention to focus on the friend in need. You hope — you know — they will do the same for you, when your turn comes.

It’s incredibly fitting for our particular community; where people are simultaneously navigating their own happiness/unhappiness at the same time as other people’s opposite happiness/unhappiness.  Which, in the end, is maybe the universe’s way of making sure everyone potentially has their emotional needs met.

If we were all sad at the same time, no one would have the emotional reserves to dedicate their energy to others.  We need this imbalance, then, even if it’s hard to navigate in the moment; to have the happiness have to stand next to the sadness and vice versa.

July 18, 2017   6 Comments

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