Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts

Nail Therapy

The school posted the list of cheerleaders last Friday evening. Kate checked the list online and, when she came into the living room crying, I knew the news was bad. I cried, too. As a parent, there's nothing worse than watching your children experience pain or disappointment.

Kate's best friends, Molly and Norah, were here. The girls had made a sign for Kate that said "Congrats!" and they'd brought over two-bite brownies and orange Gatorade. After Kate got the bad news, Norah's mom dropped by and said, "Screw those bitches!" Everyone laughed. Then Norah invited Kate to spend the night.

I know that Kate will be fine. She's extremely strong. Life has dealt her worse than this and she knows what works for her to ease the pain: Laugh. Spend time with friends. Rant in a funny way. Move forward.

Sunday, my wonderful friend Erin took me and Kate to get mani/pedis. A nail therapy session works wonders. Even if Erin and I can't solve the world's problems in that time, we almost always identify what those problems are!

I was reminded of something important last weekend: Kate and I are both extremely good at choosing friends.

I also decided that my new favorite nail color is Ski Teal We Drop by OPI.

Happiness and Wounds

Recently, I watched an episode of Oprah's Next Chapter on OWN in which Oprah interviews Anthony Robbins and participates in one of his seminars.

I've always found Tony Robbins fascinating. When I was in college about 20 years ago, I wrote a paper on him for my Persuasion and Propaganda class. I really want to go to one of his sessions.

As soon as the show was over, I emailed Erin because, when it comes to this sort of stuff, she's my person. She gets it. I joked that we should see if Tony offers scholarships for his sessions in Fiji or Sydney, Australia.

I should also confess this: I am an unapologetic Oprah fan. I think she's incredible. I think, despite any missteps she might make along the way, her goal is always to seek out information that will make life better. I cried during Oprah's Master Class with Oprah. Hell, I cried during this episode of Oprah's Next Chapter. I'm not ashamed. I'm looking for answers. I'm looking for hope. I want to seek out the truth beneath the surface of daily life.

Tony Robbins on Weathering Tough Times
Tony Robbins says any life experiences a number of seasons, but winter doesn't last forever. Watch what he says about how to cope with life's most stressful moments—and how you can grow from them.

I loved the part about life having seasons. (Winter won't last forever!) I also really liked the phrase "post-traumatic growth." If you are like me and you've had PTSD or you've experienced a deep trauma or stress, you know that you can get stuck in that place where the event is ever-present. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can grow.

From the first, all I have wanted is to take what happened to me and use it to become a stronger person, a  more compassionate person, a person who seeks out joy and does not wallow in her pain but uses that pain to help someone else out there who might be like me. It's not easy, but it's worth it to keep trying.

Oprah had several breakthroughs during the seminar. To use the Oprah parlance, I had an "aha!" moment of my own.

Tony asked a woman in the crowd what made her happiest. She answered that her sons made her happiest, that she had raised amazing men. Tony said (I'm paraphrasing), "If this is what makes you happy, why are you crying?" The woman, who was a single mother, said it was because her sons were in relationships and they were good to their partners and they were doing the things she had always wanted in her own life and never had.

Tony said, "Notice how I asked her about her happiness and she showed me her wound?"

This really struck me. I immediately thought about how we all do this. If I tell you a story about my children and how amazing they are, I am likely to show you our wound (the death of their father). Our joys and our wounds are inextricably linked. There's no getting around it.

When I started The Happiness Challenge yesterday, I thought about this. I want to post as many happy memories as I can and I want to try not to connect too many of those memories to my wound. It's difficult, though. My wound is what gives my moments of happiness depth. The scars are what remind me to be grateful for the joy.

The Happiness Challenge

Go here to read about it. The challenge is working already! Last night, I went to sleep thinking about happy memories I want to write about this month. That is a vast improvement over crying myself to sleep like I did several times last month.

I also noticed that not one of the happy memories has anything to do with something I bought. Interesting, huh?

I am so excited that some friends and fellow bloggers are joining me in this challenge. Here's a list of links to their blogs. Check them out. Like I said before, I am extremely good at choosing friends.

The Gold Shoe Blog
That's Just My Opinion
Nothing But Time For Me
My Sweet Addiction
Jen Talks A Lot About
Stellar Fashion and Fitness

If you decide to join in, please let me know. I want to know what makes you happy! And I'll link back to your blog from here.

Happy March, everyone! For me, the month's unofficial slogan is this: March - Already Better Than February.


  1. the girls making a congrats sign and bringing brownies is the sweetest thing in the world.

  2. So I saw her performance of "Party in the USA", and I think she is more of a gleek than a cheerio....and I mean that in the best way.

  3. This is a good one, and it's resonating with me too. My deepest revelations of happiness somehow link to my divorce. I guess I consider it perspective, because I was able to see how clearly wonderful the people in my life are, and maybe I didn't appreciate that as much before. (Not that I'm asking for trauma and drama to make me grateful!) But you know what? We don't have wounds anymore, just scars. Scars are cool.

    1. Chicks dig scars.
      Honestly, I'm not sure I trust people who don't have at least one or two scars on their psyche.

  4. First, and most important, I LOVE that polish color. I have recently become super obsessed with painting my nails, even though it takes forever and never lasts. I love the concentrating and the carefulness and maybe even the way it smells. It is probably the closest I will get to meditating, sadly(?).

    And second, I accidentally saw Tony Robbins speak once, and it was amazing! I went to Maria Shriver's Women's Conference in 2010 for work. I thought it was going to be really silly and hormone-fueled, but it was the opposite. Life changing, maybe, if that's not too cliched. After I got over myself and just went with it (there's a lot of hootin' & hollerin' and yelling things at strangers), it was the best. And Oprah spoke! And Michelle Obama! And Mary J! It was the best ever.

    1. Oprah! Michelle Obama! Mary J! You just described the guest list of my fantasy dinner party! (George is there, too, of course.) I imagine that conference was an incredible experience.


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