I’m so excited to be back, and I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads this every day, or once in awhile, or when they remember. It means so much to me that I might fill your 5 minutes of boredom, or of waiting for the train, or of staying up too late and being on the internet.
So, thank you, dear readers. For my 500th post, I’ve selected my favorite post and stuck it to the top of the page. Go give it a gander!
As a human, I’ve encountered stress. And my body unfortunately takes the brunt of it. My shoulders and neck become tight and I usually get a tension headache. But the main thing that happens is I clench my jaw real tight. Without even noticing it.
So, imagine my surprise when my dentist saw through me and asked if I had been clenching my jaw. I blinked at her and said yes. She said, “your mouth should be slightly parted at all times. You should never clench your jaw.”
Which, frankly, blew my mind. Now I was suddenly noticing all the times I clenched my jaw without realizing it, and all my focus was on opening my mouth, even just partly.
Which got me thinking about all the things we do without us realizing that actually get us into trouble. Like how we react to things without thinking how our reaction really affects us and those around us. How we eat food without thinking of how it will cause us to gain pounds down the road. How we stay up late at night without thinking about the consequences of having to get up for work the next day.
And so, I think it’s all time we think about these things. Even in a conscious effort to do a little better every day.
I still clench my jaw. But now I know what I’m looking for.
When I was younger, I didn’t really have an opinion about anything. I was a go-with-the-flow kind of girl.
I knew war was bad, the Beatles played good music, and that I liked my burgers well done.
And that was that. Anything else, I was like, “oh, you too?! Me too!” about EVERYTHING.
Now, that I’m older, I realize that making your own opinions in life is how you shape your personality. Finding what you absolutely hate and definitely love is the best part about experiences. It’s the adventure that keeps you living!
Now, I know I like my burgers medium-well, I still hate war, and the Beatles still play good music.
I miss you. So many people do. It’s the 9th anniversary of you leaving us. Whether you knew it or not, you were my biggest inspiration as a writer. You just did what you love. Pure and simple as that. And today, I write and do what I love because of you.
It’s not weird that I had a terrible day because this is a terrible day. But it was pretty weird that when I opened my drawer, I found the shirt your wife, Joen, gave me. I put it on immediately.
Thank you, you brilliant man.
Here are some of my favorites from you. Take a listen!
That’s how you have to think about yourself. Constantly reinventing.
Okay, so you’re not Madonna. But you do have new challenges and new constraints to work with everyday. So, it’s important that you see yourself in a new way when you can. And more than that, you should be believing that you can do it.
It could be anything — new clothes, a new haircut, anything! Any time you can re-evaluate who you are and what your new limits can be then you can start fresh. You can fall in love with yourself for the first time or for the first time in awhile.
So, take opportunities to reinvent yourself seriously. It’ll affect how you see yourself and how others see you. After all, you never know who you can be until you try.
Every day, we wake up cold. With a cold that seeps down in our bones and settles there. No morning shower can take it away. Not breakfast. Not exercise.
Then someone smiles at us. Asks us how we are. Gives up their seat on the train into work for us. And we thaw a little bit.
This happens all day until we get home, and we talk about our day with our loved ones, and we eat dinner, and we go to sleep – and we’re warm throughout. Until the night steals away our warmth, and we wake up cold again.
We can use anything as fuel. As long as it’s from another person. A compliment can warm us for weeks. An inspirational quote can stave off the cold for awhile. And a hug from a friend or a loved one will always do the trick.
It doesn’t matter what keeps you warm, as long as you seek to fend off the cold.
So, be someone else’s warmth. I doubt you’ll stay cold after it.
How many people a day ask you how you are? And how do you respond? Good? Fine? And how do you want to respond? Terrible? Could have been worse? But you appreciate them asking, right? Because it’s polite and it gives you a second to wonder how you really are.
And do you ask yourself how you’re doing? I know, I know; talking to yourself is frowned upon. But checking in with yourself is a good idea.
I did so today. I asked myself, “am I good?” and my body went through an inventory of check-ins: I’m fed, I’m watered, I have work to do, I seem to be happy. And a warm spread of happiness flowed through me. And I went on with my day.
Try it. See if you can sink inside yourself and ask, “Am I okay?” and you’ll find that you are or you’re not, most generally. And then you can continue or try to fix it. And it only takes a moment.
So, try to take stock of yourself when you’re the busiest and when you’re the most stressed out. You might find that even though you outwardly feel pressure, your insides might be at peace. And who knows, when you feel your worse, you might be performing at your best.
Everyone talks about the trials of “adulting.” Making phone calls you don’t want to make to people you don’t want to see. And paying your taxes. And doing stuff for your car, like getting the oil changed. Or better yet, going to the DMV. My patience is gone just thinking about that place.
So, what about the opposite? What about kidding?Because surely that’s got to be the opposite of adulting.
Who has time to be a kid anymore? Who has time to “kid” around?
I do. And so do you.
There’s a bunch of studies out there that I don’t have time to quote right now that say you should be PLAYING at least once a day. It was good for us as children, why would it be any different as an adult? You’re just one large baby after all. You have all the same needs, why do your wants have to be different?
So, take time to do some kidding. Personally, I’m planning on spending some time with my adult coloring books. How will you be kidding?