What Happens When You Reach a Milestone or Benchmark?

Do you set benchmarks to track your progress?  If so, what do you do when you reach one? Do you celebrate? Do you pat yourself on the back? Do you take some time to reflect on what you've accomplished? Or do you just reach ahead and set another goal? I've Reached a Benchmark This is the 200th TRY THIS post! I began writing it in June of 2013.  Since then, 64,681 people have viewed the blog and joined me in learning little life lessons from the South … [Read more...]

Are You Willing to Make Your Resistance to Trump Public?

Since the election, I’ve been working on creating something people can wear to indicate their disapproval of the new administration. When dealing with bullies, it’s tempting to pull back and hide rather than standing up for what you believe in. But the more we hide, the more power you give a bully. I admire people who have the courage to confront and act up in strong and public ways. But for me, simply wearing a public sign of my disapproval feels like what I can … [Read more...]

Stand Tall and Power Up, Mentally and Physically

When my mother got old, her back was bent like the top of a cane. She looked curled even when she stood. Like a drying leaf that's fallen from a tree. Gradually, her body pulled in, shoulders and neck forward. Head canted down. She became smaller and smaller until one day she wasn't there any more. Do you know people like that? People who, when you see them after a few months apart, look noticeably smaller? Shrinking and curling are common patterns of aging -- … [Read more...]

RESIST: Pussyhats Are Just the Start

My historian friend, Maria, reminded me yesterday that as Hitler was coming to power, people retreated into their private spaces and communities. Feeling threatened, they withdrew, assuming that the worst couldn't/wouldn't happen in their civilized society. We can't make that same mistake. Uncivilized things can and do and will happen if we let them. And now, with a government that is willing to make up "alternate facts" to justify and sell their misguided ideas, … [Read more...]

The Pussyhat: Knitting a Grass Roots Political Action Movement

Washington DC, January 21, 2017 Did you notice all the pink "pussyhats" in the photos of the Womens Marches this past weekend? They were hard to miss. The Pussyhat Project inspired thousands of women.  Me included. I dusted off my rusty knitting skills that had been dormant for at least 20 years and I made two pussyhats, one for me and one for my friend Karen.  My knitting inspired my daughters. Rya made pussy hats for four friends.  And Carla made one for her 7 year … [Read more...]

Question Your Assumptions – They Can Be Very, Very Wrong

It's easy to make assumptions about people. I do it all the time and you probably do too. We All Make Assumptions Assumptions help you make short-hand sense of the world.  You expect people in a certain place to look and dress a certain way.  And when that's not the way they look, you make assumptions that are sometimes just flat out wrong. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that my husband and I are friends with Clemetin Allen. Clemetin's life has … [Read more...]

May the New Year Bring You FLOW: Embrace Your Anxiety!

I woke up this morning full of dread. Or, more precisely, I was full of anxiety, which feels a bit like dread. The New Year has begun. The vacation days are over and the list of things to be done feels mountainous. Anxiety Stems from the Unknown Some of the items on that list are simple and I know how to do them. Some of them are big and complicated and I’m not sure how to do them or if they will succeed. Those are the projects that make me anxious. You probably … [Read more...]

The Perfect Holiday Gift to End the Year

This week, I’ve gotten flowers and candy and peanuts from people who want to thank me for something I’ve done for them. These gifts are fine. I do appreciate them.  And I’m happy to be on people’s gift lists. But honestly, I’d rather they just called or left a message or texted me. I try not to eat candy or peanuts. I actively dislike most of the cheap, yellow cheeses and pepperoni that arrive in fancy gift baskets. I’m offended by the huge amount of packaging that … [Read more...]

Lean in Softly

Have you ever listened to someone in order to gather evidence that what he or she is saying is wrong? Have you ever felt yourself lying in wait until the person phrases something in a way that you can grab and throw back, killing what might have been a fragile thought trying to become better formed? That kind of listening is geared to winning rather than connecting. People often use words and ideas to build walls of confrontation.  We harden our hearts and build walls … [Read more...]

Use the Cycle of Creation to Get Things Done

Months ago, on the glass wall behind my desk chair, I wrote the following words: Hope Disillusionment Pragmatism Renewal I'm sure I pulled those words from somewhere. They probably represent somebody's well-known cycle. But for the life of me, I can't remember where I first saw them. So while I'm not the person who coined this series of words, I'd like to borrow them and present them to you as the cycle of creation. Let's compare that to another well … [Read more...]