If you’re feeling overwhelmed and maybe even a little bit panicked right now, you’re not alone. In fact, whether it’s advice for serving up a flawless menu, creating spectacular table décor or handling those maddening family squabbles, experts of all sorts are clogging the airwaves and social media sites with their tips for surviving Thanksgiving.
But what about those post-Thanksgiving hours? You know … after you decompress from carb- and relatives-overload, stare in the mirror and mumble, “I have to do this all over again in less than a month?”
Relax, my friends, because I’m in your corner. I know what it’s like to go through withdrawal from homemade baked goods and bottomless glasses of wine. I’ve seen friendly family arguments turn into nasty, recess-worthy brawls, and I’ve both suffered and embraced countless homecomings and life-changing holidays. Continue reading
(Author’s note: In honor of poor Thanksgiving, I’m running this oldie but goodie column. Gobble, gobble.)
Somebody give Thanksgiving a break!
Thanksgiving gets no respect. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of holidays, and I’m not going to take it anymore.
Every year I stand by and watch as Americans abruptly switch their attention from stale, leftover Halloween candy to twinkling lights and eggnog. Retailers scramble for early sales, yard decorators untangle lights, and children everywhere pen wish lists the size of outdated phone books.
But that’s only the beginning. The holidays, themselves, are part of the problem. Continue reading
W. Bruce Cameron and his best friend. Photo by Ute Villa.
New York Times best-selling author W. Bruce Cameron came to my town last week. I got the lucky job of interviewing him for the Indianapolis Star. Check it out here.
On a side note, his new book is The Dogs of Christmas. It was just released this month, so if you’re looking for a feel-good gift for your friends and relatives, it’s a good one. In my opinion.
Part 3 of a series exploring my reaction to “Daring Greatly,” by Brene Brown, and how vulnerability and shame get in the way of living life. See previous posts for Parts 1 and 2.
Ten Difficult Ways to Create a One-Woman Show … (Or, What the Hell Was I Thinking?)
Don’t think. Take the plunge and jump in. The water feels fine.
#2: Take the Plunge!
I’m convinced that it is too much thought, rather than all work and no play, that makes Jack and Jill dull. That’s why deadlines are important. They force us to take action, whether we want to or not.
Are you confused yet? Well, join the club. So was I.
If you’ve been following along, you know that a seed was planted in my brain about writing and performing my own one-woman show for IndyFringe ’13, a local theatre festival. This show is serving as a blatant symbol for life, people! Pay attention! Continue reading
Don’t get between a man and his malfunctioning toilet.
Imagine that your toilet is malfunctioning. It might be producing an annoying gurgling sound that just won’t go away, or maybe it’s a mystical flushing disorder.
A typical woman might say, “Hey, let’s call a plumber and get this thing fixed!” Within an hour, she will find a reliable plumbing company and schedule a service call – thanks to an extensive and credible network of savvy friends and satisfied customers. Within a week or less, she will pay a reasonable fee (most likely due to a clipped coupon) and the toilet will be back in working order. End of story. Continue reading
(Note: Part 2 of a series exploring my reaction to “Daring Greatly,” by Brene Brown, and how vulnerability and shame get in the way of living life. See previous post for Part 1)
This is how I look before any big speaking engagement. It’s my I’m-Scared-But-I’m-Doing-This-Anyway expression.
Ten Difficult Ways to Create a One-Woman Show (Or, What the Hell Was I Thinking?)
#1: Pay Attention!
Have you ever turned down a social invititaion just because it would require you to attend by yourself? All alone? Or maybe you’ve resisted a new professional or personal opportunity because, well … what if you fail? For most of us, the mere hint of being vulnerable stops us in our tracks from doing amazing things.
In fact, most of us spend exceptional amounts of energy avoiding situations that might make us feel vulnerable (thereby avoiding the related feelings of pain, embarrassment, humiliation and shame that usually come along with them). Or when we do step out of our safety net and do something new, we often just beat ourselves up about it afterwards … feeling stupid for even trying. Continue reading
Note: This is Part I of a series exploring my reaction to “Daring Greatly,” by Brene Brown, and how vulnerability and shame can get in the way of living life.
Reading “Daring Greatly,” by Brene Brown, was like looking in the mirror. Surprise!
The question seemed easy enough. “Will you come talk to our group? About vulnerability?”
I so know about vulnerability. After all, at the time my friend asked the question, I had just finished one of the wildest professional roller coaster rides of my life. I was both exhausted and exhilarated, after spending months writing, producing and then performing my first one-woman show, “Come Dance With Me (But First Can I Borrow Your Pants?),” as part of a local theatre festival. Continue reading
Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad
On Monday, Sept. 2, a 64-year-old woman named Diana Nyad did what no other human has been able to do before: swim from Cuba to Florida – without a protective cage. Just a solitary swimmer, an ingenious protective face guard, thousands of jellyfish, a dedicated support team, and what must be one of the strongest wills on the planet.
But it wasn’t just her age that made this triumph so remarkable. It wasn’t just the fact that, well … she swam from Cuba to Florida. But on top of the unimaginable toll on her body (and never mind the gallons of salt water she ingested and probably vomited), this was her fifth, yes fifth, attempt. And surely those around her thought she was completely, raving mad. But she did it anyway. Continue reading
First of all, let me be clear: I did not watch MTV’s over-analyzed Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 25. Mostly because I was attending a social function in downtown Indianapolis. But even if I had been home, I wouldn’t have watched them anyway. Why? Because I get tired of saying out loud, in a most confused manner, “Who was that artist?” “What was that song?” and “Wow, I have never heard of these people.”
But the next day, when the media – social and otherwise – exploded with rage and anger over Miley Cyrus’ performance with singer Robin Thicke, I had to find out what the fuss was all about. From the never-ending Facebook and Twitter posts, and judging by the nonstop news headlines, I fully expected to see reruns of the almost-grown Disney star having sex on live television. And maybe smoking a cigarette. Continue reading
All I wanted to do was wash the airport grime from my hands. And get away from a chocolate-covered toddler who was amazingly proficient at screaming, “No!” every ten seconds.
So when I walked into the ladies’ room, I wasn’t expecting to find a disheveled woman with polka-dotted skin. Her toiletries were scattered across the tiled floor, and as travelers buzzed about, she locked eyes with me and groaned.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, trying to ignore the alarming and yet-to-be-identified splotches on her wrists.
“I seem to be having an allergic reaction,” she said, drawing a crowd from other hand-washers. Hey, it was better than staring at delayed flight schedules. Continue reading