Tag Archives: self-improvement

practicing the art of practicing

18 Sep

I ran across this the other day.

fortune
Back when I liberated it from its cookie prison, probably after some orange chicken, I read it out loud and sighed. I believe John’s fortune said, as they usually do, something like, “Everybody admires you. You’re handsome AND smart! Keep up the good work.”

My fortunes are notorious for reading more like conversations with a pesky neighbor:

“Lawns don’t mow themselves.
Trees don’t trim themselves.
Leaves don’t rake themselves.
You should really try exercising and also, eat less orange chicken/read more/talk less/spend wisely/maybe go back to school.”

When I ran across the “Keep your expectations reasonable” fortune from a meal long past, I was unpacking the house…again, as we had moved…again.

I frowned. Why had I kept it? And not only had I kept it, but I packed it, then paid some guys to move it in a big truck. This wasn’t the message that I wanted framing our start in a new town, with our boys tucked away in the new schools that we’d reluctantly left the city for. Doesn’t everybody deserve to at least feel capable of doing great things? Why do the fine people of the Panda Express Fortune Writing Team think that I shouldn’t expect the very best from myself?

I let the paper sit a day on my nightstand, mingling with some hair ties and a few stray business cards while I focused my efforts on looking for one kid’s shoes, and the other’s backpack that I still have not found, probably due to my unreasonably high expectation of finding it. I was busy, and tired, and felt like I wasn’t making a dent in all the of things I needed and wanted to do. And then, when I was looking for my keys (again!), I ran across the “fortune.” But this time, instead of frowning, I felt encouraged.

Sure I still needed to find my keys, but I suddenly realized I didn’t have to be the one person on this planet that never ever loses their keys, or that freak of nature who’s never lost an entire box of their kid’s shoes. I didn’t have to feel so terrible about the inefficiency with which I was currently going about my days. I had simply fallen out of practice on life stuff.

Between the suddenness of the move; a dreamy lobster roll, cheesesteak and Dunkin’ Donuts-fueled family trip along the East Coast; and the fact that summer required me to attentively parent all day long, every day, I hadn’t written anything. I wasn’t cooking, grocery shopping or keeping track of keys with the regularity and enthusiasm I was known for. The upside-downness of this summer gave me permission, nee necessitated, that I delay most generic life business to a non-specific date in the future when everything would be calm, and settled and perfect for re-engaging in whatever it was that I used to do.

But with my renewed love of reasonable expectations, I realized that falling out of practice, meant that I could climb back in, and with regular practice, could once again manage day-to-day life business. Things will be fine; not perfect, but probably pretty OK. (Is “pretty ok” reasonable enough for you, Panda Express?)

So I practice writing. Because like piano, and baseball, and conversational French, writing takes practice, and sadly, discipline. When you practice baseball, your stats improve; when you practice piano, the music sounds better; and when you practice French, you get to have philosophical conversations while eating almond croissants and wearing a Givenchy cape. Writing success (for me at least) means you’ve forced yourself to sit in a chair for more than 10 minutes in a row, slogging through meandering, bloated, run-on sentences, tinkering with them until you hate yourself what you’ve written a little bit less. On the very best day, it means you have also somehow avoided both eating a family size bag of wavy potato chips and memorizing the inventory of Etsy while “writing.” Watching somebody (me) practice writing is not pretty.

So now instead of cooking, I’ll practice cooking. It might start with toast, and hot water for tea. But with some elbow grease and a little can-probably-do attitude, I’ll work my way back up to hot water for spaghetti, and maybe after that, hot water for linguini. We’ll see.

I’ll practice making sandwiches and side dishes and sack lunches without having to remind myself to do it, and then without having to remind myself how to do it, and then how to do it without having to totally psych myself up first.

I’ll practice groceries, which requires I find a new regular market that is on the way home from the places that I’ll go….places I don’t currently know exist, let alone why I’ll go there. With a little hard work, I’ll someday be able to run in and know exactly where I can find a basketball team’s worth of Gatorade. I’ll know which checker is the fastest, or nicest, or the best at small talk. I’ll practice buying fruit, and then two days later, I’ll practice remembering there is fruit in the house before it gets brown and squishy.

I’ll practice putting my keys and the mail in the same place every day. I’ll practice checking in on homework while still somehow conveying to my darling sons that I fully expect them to be on top of their own homework without my intervention, which goes the same for the next morning, when I ask about whether or not the homework has made it into the backpack. I’ll practice promising myself that tomorrow, we’re all getting up 10 minutes earlier. I’ll learn how to set the new shower to keep from scalding myself and also what combination of light switches need to be on for the garbage disposal to work.

I’ll practice looking out our new front window at a new view.

And before I know it, I’ll be juuuuust functional enough, because as we all know, practice makes perfect for reasonable outcomes.

You can find me on Instagram @Colleenweems

Words to Live By: Quoting our Way to Confusion

27 Mar

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We all need a little inspiration sometimes. We crave encouragement and reminders that everything’s going to be ok.

Facebook and Pinterest are ripe with quotes and sayings scrawled out in all the coolest fonts, like old timey typewriter, and ransom note squares, and curly cursive. The backgrounds are stark white, or beautiful sunsets; maybe you’ll find the silhouettes of a couple enjoying a Ferris Wheel, best friends talking on a pier, or a deep-thinking cat sitting in front of a rainy window.

Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been able to hoard these gems, or “Words to Live By,” as I’ve unoriginally named my hoarding place. Other people call their collections “Quotes” or “Inspiration.” Maybe we save them because we need a kick in the pants, a giggle, and a gentle or not-so gentle reminder right now, or because we know we’ll need that stuff later. I share them because I can’t possibly be the only one who needs to hear this stuff, and because they balance out the 45 chicken recipes and cat jokes I’ve also just shared.

As thoughtful adults we contemplate and fret about all sorts of things: faith, love, friendship, exercise, prayer, joy, fear, determination, worry, hope, style, jerks, humor, loneliness, failure, success, perfection, perfectionism, action, inaction, creativity, dreams, forgiveness, competition, adventure, and kindness. And a lot of interesting people have said a lot of interesting things on every one of these subjects.

What I realized in perusing the collection of quotes I’ve amassed is that if we were to sit in a room with Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, Solomon, Dr. Seuss, Elizabeth Taylor, Paolo Coelho (whose work I’m now afraid to read because it might just overwhelm me with my how inadequate I’ve been in making the most of every day), Rumi, Marilyn Monroe, Unknown, Anonymous, Henry Ford, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Coco Chanel, we’d walk out knowing this, more or less:

We’re going to be ok, and we’re better than we think we are. We’re not imagining things, there really are legions of people out there trying to hold us down and tell us that we’re not good enough; but with a little gumption, we will prevail. Karma’s coming for our jealous, and surely wounded naysayers.

It’s paramount to care what other people feel, as long as we don’t care what they think, but really nobody’s thinking about us that much anyway.  

Don’t ever be afraid to fail, or speak your mind, as long as it’s kind, so be sensitive, but not too sensitive. Don’t be so hard on yourself, even though your mild laziness, self-doubt, and fear of the unknown are keeping you from realizing your dreams, which makes you your own worst enemy. Rectify that immediately because when it comes down to it, we’re in competition with ourselves, and with everybody, while at the same time nobody, because we all have our own path and should blaze our own trail, and maintain a healthy independence while keeping in mind that we are part of the delicate interdependence that is humanity.

Stuff is not important, though it’s possible for us to be best friends with jewelry. Outward appearances mean nothing, and style counts for a lot.

Time is short, so hurry up and slow down.

Don’t give up, but surrendering is ok, because that’s letting go. Take a nap, go for a run, smell the roses, climb a mountain, swim in the sea, clean the office, but leave it messy because that’s good for creativity. Pet a dog, encourage a child, have faith, and tell everybody you love them while you have the chance. Love freely, but protect your heart, and for goodness’ sake, get out of your comfort zone, because that’s where the magic happens.

Now go out there and show the world who’s boss…who’s a boss that is willing to be a cooperative, supportive, and equally important member of the team!

 

 

You can find me on Instragram@ colleenweems, and on Twitter, @FulcrumChron.

And just for fun, here’s a good one: “Everything’s going to be okay in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” — Paulo Coelho

the 20 best lists you’ll need for 2014

17 Jan

20 best lists

We love our lists. I’ve written about my long-time love of a good list; To-Do, To-Read, To-Think-About, To-Call, To-Email. You can think about stuff once, write it all down, then methodically complete your tasks, check them off, and pat yourself on the back, ultimately freeing your mind to drift off to sleep thinking about ponies and ice cream instead of all of the crucial things you need to remember to do the next day. You are free! Free!

The rest of the world is onto us. If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet lately, you’ve probably found yourself clicking into one of these handy lists that will solve your problems, give you all the tools you need for a better metabolism/stylish wardrobe/perfect resume, or at the very least, a pre-determined amount of mild info-tainment.

The length of the list is incredibly important – the number allows you to know what you are getting yourself into. There are just 4 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever? I can do 4. But 833 of the Most Depressing Scenes in the History of Film? No, sorry, I’ve got stuff to do, like read far more reasonable 7 Surprising Uses for Yogurt.

After conducting the 87 Most Lazy Seconds of Internet Research, I’ve found for you just a sampling of REAL headlines that have popped up on “news” and news sites today.

The 5 Most Offensive Apps for Women

8 Tricks to Spend Less on the Perfect Salad

The 10 Most Popular Workout Songs in the US

Michelle Obama’s 19 Best Hugs

The 7 Lessons Life Will Teach You (There’s only 7? Not to brag, but I’ve learned at least 11)

7 Superfoods From Peru

17 Best Bromances in Literature

The 19 Most Interesting Colleges (I stopped and read this one, and with a swell of pride and minor spoiler alert, I’m happy to report USC made the list)

11 Things Atheists Couldn’t Do Because They Didn’t Believe in God

8 Things Every Woman Should Know About IUD’s

10 Messiest Dog Breeds

9 Amazing Military Gadgets

18 Incredibly Simple Things Any Man Can Do To Look Better

Let’s be honest; nobody knows what YOU need, but you.  So, since we are lingering in the season of New Year’s Resolution-making, here are the top 20 lists that you should make for yourself to ensure that 2014 is the very best year it can be.

4 Ways I Will Be Harder on Myself

5 Ways I Will Be Easier on Myself

12 New Kinda Scary Social/Athletic/Intellectual Experiences I Will Try

10 Things I Haven’t Been Able to Bring Myself to Get Rid of, But Will

88 Ways I will be a Better Friend/Neighbor/Parent/Child/Sibling/Citizen

5 Habits I’m Going to Start/Change/Quit

9 Books I Will Read  — Really Read – Not Skim

20 Books I Will Forgive Myself for Never Reading and For Never Wanting To Read

3 Foods I Thought I Hated, But Will Try Again, With Bacon, Butter, and Salt

6 Words I Will Learn to Spell Correctly, Once and For All

4 Phone Calls I’ve Been Dreading, But Will Feel So Much Better Once I Make Them

7 Ways I Will Trim the Budget

3 Little Treats That Are Worth A Splurge Once In a While

4 Bad Childhood/Teenage Memories I Will Work Through, Come to Peace With, and Let Go

10 Amazing Childhood/Teenage Memories I will Write Down

3 Parts of My Body That I will Stop Feeling So Self-Conscious About, and Just accept Them/Fix Them Already.

539 Things I Will Stop Complaining About

38,003 I Will Be Consciously Thankful for

51 Songs That Put Me In the Mood to Clean the House/Lift Weights/Take a Walk/Try on Everything in My Closet

5 Strongly Worded letters I Will Write Demanding the Return of My Favorite Things (for example, “Alias,” “30Rock,” and Jell-O Pudding Pops. No pressure for YOU to write letters about those things, but if the Jell-O people got letters from both of us, then we might really get somewhere)

And…The Four Best Ways to End This Post

Thanking you for reading.

Wishing you a very Happy 2014.

Glibly Encouraging You to “Make it a Great One.”

Reminding you, while implying that you might read again, that I’ll see you next time.

The Incredible Shrinking Attention Span

6 Nov

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Once your tooth enamel is gone, it’s gone, right? And, aloha, knee cartilage and last year’s tax return. Some days, when I am a particularly awful parent, I may or may not mention to my boys who have each other in headlocks, that I wish my bucket of patience was bottomless, but alas it is not, and they are down to the last precious drops. Only by the grace of God can I ever get more from that bucket, and I usually have to give myself a timeout in my quiet bedroom to find it.

There is something else I’ve been missing for a while: my attention span. I’m hoping to rebuild it and the upper arm strength I had for those few minutes when I was carrying around big giant boy babies and all their stuff.

Maybe I’ve romanticized it, but I’m absolutely positive I used to have a big hardy, healthy attention span that let me start and finish books, craft projects, emails and folding a load of dryer fresh laundry. When I was a kid, I could finish a Sweet Valley High book in one sitting, and I could play any imagination game for hours, stopping only to eat meals as mandated by law.  Sadly, today, I wasn’t able to write this paragraph without taking two snack breaks, loading the dishwasher, and watching three movie trailers, which are basically three tiny movies the exact right length for an equally tiny attention span.

I’ve deduced that my attention span, and maybe yours too, was offed Murder-on-the-Orient-Express style. (Spoiler alert) Demanding Parenthood, Grandpa Internet and spoiled-rotten grandchildren Pinterest and Facebook, co-dependent Smartphone, that skank MTV, sneaky Sleep Deprivation, jealous Work, slothy Sub-par Diet, and that reigning queen bee-word, Just Too Busy, worked together to murder my poor unsuspecting attention span, without even the perk of a cool train ride or a visit from Hercule Poirot.

Long ago, when I had the attention span to sit down and read books about life on the prairie, I learned that the to-do lists of old timey prairie folks put my lists to shame: milk cows; sweep dirt floors; pack lunch buckets; darn socks, bonnets and those long johns with the bottom flaps; churn butter; tend gardens; raise babies; stoke fires; ride two days to town in a wagon, and then when all of that is done, sit down at like, 6:00 pm to read books, tell stories, and thank God for the glory of another day on the prairie. I would close these books exhausted, and thank God for the blessing of another day not spent on the prairie.

Our generation didn’t invent laundry, kids, jobs, homemade meals, soccer or even pianos. As much as we forget, our parents had stuff to do, too. Once upon a time, we were the kids with homework, music lessons, and Girl Scouts.  My mom was known to careen around town in our huge Chrysler Cordoba, while wearing suntan nylons and heels, delivering forgotten lunches, shuttling me to birthday parties, chaperoning field trips, combing my hair to make sure my ears didn’t show, teaching Sunday School, and ironing every piece of material in the house, before racing back to her job. She didn’t even have anywhere to post her blog called “1980’s Problems, Am I Right?” She just got up and did it all again the next day. And today she graciously helps me, listens sympathetically when I am overwhelmed, and never once tells me to just get a grip already, though perhaps she should.

I’m afraid we’ve taken perfectly good things like sports, cooking, and volunteering, and in an effort to improve on them, somehow screwed them up, just a little. We have picked lots of very worthy things to do and worry about, and we’ve tried to be amazing at all of them. And if it turns out we were terrible, we have even found the need to make our terribleness amazing because that’s authentic, and vulnerable and a show of solidarity with all the other mothers who deprived their kids of a Pinterest-worthy 31-day Halloween experience.

We have spun ourselves to the edge and I have the attention span to prove it. I’d like to be amazing and fix it.

If you’re looking for tips on increasing your attention span, the last place you should go is the rabbit hole that is the Internet, which is exactly what I did. One second I’m reading on-topic tips, the next I’m reading about fall’s hot new nail colors, and recipes for cauliflower soup.

When I did get back to reading, I realized after many how-to articles, that the recipe for improving your attention span is the same as it is for improving your skin and overall health: plenty of sleep, a healthy diet rich in omega-3s, turn off the TV and computer (and phone!) way before bedtime, and limit caffeine. For your skin, drink more water and wear sunscreen. For your attention span, try setting an alarm, and don’t change tasks until the alarm sounds, giving yourself longer and longer goals, until you are so well trained, you will drop whatever you doing and change tasks at the sound of any bell.

I think I’ll start with crossing something off my list without actually having done it (It will feel so bad, but so good), putting away my phone, going to bed, and telling my mom how much I appreciate her. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It’s no secret that attention span problems plague our youth in very serious ways, with concerning consequences, and a bevy of controversial remedies.  I worry about my kids, and all the kids who at much younger ages are dealing with the same societal factors that have to be slowly but surely chipping away at the patience, attention spans, and sanity that are tucked away in our fully formed adult brains. We’re not equipped to help them cope, if we can’t cope either.

giving the boot to getting the dirt

29 Jun

I hit rock bottom last week on something that nobody should really hit rock bottom with.

It was a Friday night, and as I was about to go to sleep I perused the entertainment headlines like I tend to do, oooohhhh…every night and every morning, every day of the week. There it was… a horrible terrible headline insinuating in a snarky tone, that I might have enjoyed under different circumstances, that my favorite celebrity couple was on the outs, and on the verge of a breakup.

I read the words over and over in disbelief. What was the feeling that was welling up? No…it couldn’t be… what is that? Panic? Sadness? Worry?

The offending “article” was not even from one of my reputable high-end elitest go-to sites like E! Online, TMZ, or US Weekly. I died a little bit of embarrassment every time I clicked on one of 30 or so related headlines, posted on sites like celebritypoppycock.com and youretoooldtobereadingthis.com, and dontyouhaveanythingbettertodo.net. I scrolled through, thumbs flying and eyes scanning back and forth across my tiny screen like I was (best show ever) Alias’ Sidney Bristow trying to memorize and decipher pages of code before being discovered in the secret offices above the party she had infiltrated in another fantastic disguise while her partner Dixon pretends to be a bartender or a DJ downstairs… but I digress.

Each story cited the last terrible story as a legitimate source. I should have shrugged, turned off my phone and read something more worthwhile, which would have been absolutely anything else in the house. But no. I read every last gossipy word, then I lay there in the dark, sad. Sad for the couple*. Sad for myself. “Well,” I thought as I lay pouting, “there goes my weekend.” There. Goes. My. Weekend. That’s when I realized, I might have a problem.

Celebrity gossip was changing the trajectory of my day.

“Tomorrow…,” I thought. “Tomorrow, I will read those something elses, and I will regain the perspective of an adult with a thoughtful and well informed world view.”

And so I tried it. I pulled out a stack of magazines from our coffee table and picked the most serious looking back issue of Time I could find…Joel Stein’s Awesome Column wasn’t even in it. And I read it cover to cover, the entire time thinking, “I’m back to being a serious adult. I’m very actively not thinking about celebrity gossip. Who cares about that drivel? Look at me reading about the 2% economy, unemployment, our failing education system, troubles in the Middle East, stalled American innovation, rising airline prices, ugly Washington politics, uglier cancer, the Miami Heat, and rhino poaching. This is fun!”

I thought I was sad when I was reading celebrity gossip…but grown up news, consumed in large intentional doses, is much worse, thus answering my long lingering question, “why did I ever start reading celebrity gossip in the first place?”

Not wanting to turn to anemic summer TV, I needed something else as a distraction. iPad Boggle. I could dedicate my pursuit of intelligent input to playing this delightfully whimsical spelling puzzle game! I would be exercising my brain, which is the exact opposite of celebrity gossip. Then I remembered my iPad Boggle thing from a few months ago when I first got the app. I’d ended up on the couch nearly getting carpal tunnel syndrome from shaking the iPad to “toss” the letters into the wee hours of the night, my fingers flying (Sidney Bristow style again, I like to think) only to end up making the same stupid 1 pt. words just about every round: eon, eons, tones, tone, tons, ton, ones, one. What really killed it was John yelling from the other room, “I can hear you Boggling from here!”

So I guess I can’t avoid them any more; I’ll go back to books. Our house and offices are strewn with (mostly) very good books on faith and theology, in varying stages of being read, or studied, or annotated. But an occupational hazard is that those can sometimes feel workish when you’re looking for a summer read. John, while out of town, sent me books from my wish list like one would send flowers: Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and my own copy of Stephen King’s On Writing (brilliant!). John sends flowers too, but books keep better.  And now, thanks to my friend Margie, I also have The Help sitting right there. No matter what room I go to, it’s there, eerily calling out…. “Read me! Hurry, before the movie comes out. Everybody else has…they are going to take your girl card if you don’t.”

Books are longer, and bigger, and heavier, and they don’t tell me what was happening 27 minutes ago, but they will certainly be a worthwhile anecdote to fretting over the economy, or the celebrities who I don’t know, and who don’t know me, and who I’m almost certain aren’t lying awake wondering what I’ll be up to tomorrow.  

*I will not name the celebrity couple because I do not want this post coming up when some poor sap like me catches word of the hopefully not true rumor, and frantically Googles additional stories. Also, you’re better than that.

crazy comfortable

12 Jan

Can I please have a mulligan on this year?

January is supposed to be the month of new beginnings. For some dag gum reason, January of 2011 is more like the month of false starts.

All of the cheer and cocoa swilling bliss of December has historically made way for the deep breath and the “let’s get back to business” attitude that propels us forward from January into the rest of the year. Very productive and healthy, agreed, especially when we are committed to healthier habits and a snazzy new calendaring system. But this year, I hardly feel propelled. It’s more like that running stumble, where your arms are flailing around, and you are waiting to fall on your face, but your feet somehow just keep going forward…and you are hyper aware of everybody who is watching for you to just hurry up and fall down already. It’s like that.

Now I’m as optimistic as the next gal, but I also revel in my grizzled sensibility; not so grizzled where I’m yelling at the neighbor kids to get off my lawn, but juuuust grizzled enough to make me, hopefully, tolerable. This is the part of me that knew that I should keep simple my plan for “Colleen: a picture of happiness, relaxation, organization, patience, fitness and efficiency in 2011.” Yes, simple. Flossing; getting up early; praying more; exercising enough to justify saying, “yes, I exercise;” spending less; reading more; writing more; driving thru less; cooking more without having to shake stuff out of a box first; forgoing the previously mandatory stockpile of cheeses and chocolates; reading my Bible every day; and keeping it together even when my kids aren’t. That’s it. Simple.

So now, here we are, just over ten days into the year, and I’m 6 days behind on my handy new 3-year-Bible iPad app that John installed for me, and 10 days behind on exercising. Everything I’ve cooked this year has in fact, come from a box, and I don’t know if the boys would call what I’m doing “keeping it together.”

I’ve been to the computer more often than I care to remember in vain attempts at waxing poetic over the wonder that was Christmas; about the angelic children who serenaded us with “Away in a Manger” while lifting their dresses over their heads and waving at their moms on Christmas Eve; and the cozy comforts of spending 76 hours in pajamas while eating cookies and staring wistfully out the window at the snow. But what happened instead? There I sat, staring at the computer, freezing my you-know-what off in the living room that never gets warm, wearing a blanket for a cape… then writing about THAT. That’s when you know it’s bad. This is what came out:

It’s really cold down here, and I find that off putting. Plus my kids are always wanting something, like dinner or attention. But there is some exciting news – I have a soft, new blanket that I have fashioned into a luxurious cape. I totally get capes now. You’re really something special when you’re wearing a cape. Special, and…..we’ll call it… eccentric. I bet Howard Hughes wore a cape. How about that chick in “Sunset Blvd.?” I bet she wore a cape. Crazy is such a strong and inappropriate word, unless you pair it with comfortable. “Man, this cape is crazy comfortable.”

That was pretty much the best paragraph I could come up with in the first 10 days of 2011.

That’s when I realized not only did I have a case of crazy comfortable writer’s block, but I had complete and total resolution induced paralysis.

I was so fired up for being the best me that I could be, I couldn’t even be as good as the “meh, jury’s still out” me of 2010. It was the big game, and I was choking. I was not getting up an hour earlier than I was last year, but now 6 minutes later than before. How on Earth did I ever make lunches AND breakfast AND cheery chit chat in 2010, while getting everybody to school on time and with a smile on their faces? This last week has everybody nearly in tears as we race for the car, a sweatshirt pulled over my pink sock monkey pajamas that are half sticking out of a pair of UGGs, and Jacob’s favorite…the ponytail left over from sleeping time. I haven’t asked, but I’m pretty sure he’s praying the entire ride to school that I don’t choose that day to get out of the car. On the way back to the house to surrender the sock monkey pajamas for another day, I tell Zachary that tomorrow will be different. I’m going to make it happen tomorrow. We’ll all be up nice and early, and we will be a picture of efficiency, and I will be relaxed, and nobody will need to rush or cry or feel stressed. Then he asks if we can please turn up the radio.

Last fall, when every mom I knew was losing their minds a little bit under the weight of activity and responsibility and schedules, my dear friend Kris told me something that somebody told her that was so simple but so significant, that it completely blew my mind. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s already a saying. But what happens when you say it about you, first-person style? It totally feels different…try it:

“I’m not going to be so hard on myself.”

Aspirations and hard work keep us going forward, I know, I’ve read the posters. But take it easy on yourself, or you are going to self-improve yourself right into a cape, and then…you will want to write about it. Shoot, I liked the 2010 version of you, anyway.