Sometimes life piles on. You get one bit of bad news after the other, you find yourself responding to yet another crisis, or you’re dealing with the fortieth difficult personality of the week. Before you know it, you feel like a random spark is going to set the whole pyre ablaze and take you with it.
And then you turn on the news.
Whose idea was this 24-hour news cycle anyway? It just means we keep hearing the same negative developments, the worst of the political rancor, and the most shocking accounts of human depravity … every 15-30 minutes. The mere repetition of the reports makes it feel like things are even worse than they are. And with few exceptions, there’s very little you or I can do about any of it by following it in the media except get agitated, outraged, and even fearful. If I’ve had too much coffee, it can get really exhausting.
Honestly, I could do with a little less of that. So here’s what I’m planning to do: Continue reading Maybe This Will Help
(Right off the bat, let me assure you: this post has NOTHING to do with politics.)
If you’ve seen the TV drama ‘”Scandal”, you know Olivia Pope as the fictional “fixer” who averts or minimizes crises for the President of the United States. She swoops in and manages his reputation, spins events to his political advantage, and helps him avoid embarrassment. She can reframe the most compromising situations so he always looks respectable. (Of course, in the show, she also does other things – and so does he – that indicate questionable character, but I’ll limit my analogy to the “fixer” part of her role here.)
Here’s the thing: I often feel like I would like my own Olivia Pope. Someone who can run interference, polish me up, and make me seem like a better version of myself than I really am. And you know who I’m inclined to appoint to that position? Me.
I laughingly tell people all the time that my life’s goal is to: “Never humiliate yourself; others are far too willing to do it for you.” I’m only half kidding when I say that. But I don’t think I’m alone in this, am I? I think we’re all control freaks to some extent when it comes to how we want to be perceived by other people.
For example: Continue reading I’m Firing Olivia Pope
I spent what seemed like a year sharing a ride to the office with a very extroverted coworker awhile back.
Understand, even after several cups of coffee, I’m still not – shall we say – “bubbly” first thing in the morning.
As soon as I got in the car with him, he was “on”. Hoping he would take a hint, I remember saying, “Gee, Larry*, you’re kind of a morning person, aren’t you?” His response: Continue reading On a scale of “1 to Larry”
I chose to be part of the OneWord365 movement this year – the idea being that instead of making New Year’s resolutions, you select a single word and focus on it for a full year, noting how it influences your life each day. I chose “harmony” as my word for 2013. This is my update on how it’s going.
The first clue is the muttering and swearing. It’s 6:30 in the morning and the train will be arriving shortly. No one has an extra few minutes; we’re all on autopilot, just trying to get to work as painlessly as possible.
The man ahead of me in line at the parking fee kiosk is now pounding the side of the machine and angrily accusing the Village officials who maintain the parking facility of everything from laziness to greed to criminal corruption.
My offer of a different dollar bill – maybe his was too wrinkled … or not wrinkled enough? – doesn’t even phase him.
“It’s not taking dollar bills. The *^$#@ machine is broken and they don’t care ‘cause if you don’t pay the fee, you’re going to get a ticket for $55 and that’s more money in their pockets. Bunch of bums.” Continue reading How NOT to Achieve Harmony
I chose to be part of the OneWord365 movement this year – the idea being that instead of making New Year’s resolutions, you prayerfully select a single word and focus on it for a full year, noting how it influences your life each day. I chose “harmony” as my word for 2013. This is my update on how it’s going.
Did you ever buy a new car and suddenly it seems every third car you see on the road is the same make and model as the one you just bought? (Excuse me, when did the whole world decide to buy a Toyota Prius??)
That’s how it is for me with HARMONY.
Everywhere I turn, I’m noticing this word. I see it referenced in the Bible, I come across articles that address it. Even in conversation, harmony comes up regularly.
That tells me this is definitely a concept I need to focus on.
One of the best discussions out there about harmony is Continue reading Finding Beauty in Tension
Here’s a concept simple enough I think I might just be able to pull it off.
Have you heard of the One Word 365 “resolution revolution”? Instead of making a list of New Year’s resolutions that you won’t remember by this time next month and surely won’t have kept by this time next year, growing numbers of people are choosing to focus on just one word for the entire year.
The idea, from the One Word website, is that you choose:
“One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.”
And here’s what could happen: Continue reading How I think “one word” could improve the soundtrack of my year