A beautiful word or thought that is not accompanied by corresponding acts is like a bright flower that bears no fruit. It would not produce any effect. ~The Buddha

Friday, May 13, 2011


I never intended to have a theme for this week, but life happens, and the theme is "words."

First, let me lay the ground work.  I get my coffee 99.9% of the time at Starbucks.  During the week, I stop on my way to work, and on weekends I drop by when the opportunity presents itself.  I frequent one of two locations.  The people who work there don't know me by name, but they do know my beverage of choice, whether it's the latte in the winter or the iced americano when the nice weather arrives. 

The other morning I placed my order and while I was waiting for my coffee, the Barista who had taken my order said, "you look so pretty lately, are you doing something different?"  Was that a compliment?  I'm not sure because what did I look like before?  Now I realize when I stop in on the weekend after a power walk I may not look my personal best, but during the work week I consistently put some effort into my appearance.  She further queried me as to narrow down what "change" was contributing to the difference.  After a quick review of haircut, color and clothes, neither one of us could come up with anything.  If only she could have left out the word, "lately."

It stayed with my all day, and not in a good way.  I couldn't help but ponder what was different lately?  After careful consideration, I've decided it boils down to a new found confidence, and a little more eyeshadow.  I believe people 'wear' their confidence, and lately I've been feeling pretty good.  The extra eyeshadow is an attempt to give my eyes an extra 'pop' in pictures.  Eye cream only goes so far. 

Did you ever receive a compliment that didn't really feel like one?  I'm listening...


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I would say about five years ago I dropped the word "should" from my vocabulary, and while I might still use it occasionally, I make a conscious effort to work around it in a sentence.  Why?  Because when you think about it, "should' is a very negative word.  How many times do you "should" on yourself or someone else?  For example, I should have written a blog last week.  Turn it around, leave out "should" and instead, I will try harder to blog this week.  Much better.  It isn't an easy exercise at first, but it does get better.

That being said, I'm very sensitive to the overuse of the word.  In my world, my mother is the biggest offender.  I love her, she's my mom, but she wastes an enormous amount of time pondering what other people "should" or "should not" do.  Maybe that's what you do when you're retired, but I sure hope not.  I have an endless supply of examples, but I won't bore you.  I know it  drives her pretty crazy when I won't engage, and in as much as I've explained that "should" is a negative word and I do my best not to "should" on others, it falls on deaf ears.  Sometimes, I find myself concentrating on how many times she's uses the word in one conversation, instead of hearing what she's said. Since I pride myself on being a good listener, I'm trying to break myself of this habit.  Two wrongs do not make a right.  

The next time you're having a conversation with either yourself or someone else,be mindful of how many times you "should" on yourself or someone else?  Turn your 'should' statements into positive statements, and let me know if it makes a difference!