A Tough Hide

Life’s not fair. Insults happen. Words can hurt.

So how to cope? My number one advice would be to delay a response. I don’t know about you — but any witty response to a barb tossed at me is on delayed reaction. And it may be good to consider — do I want to add fuel? Escalate the situation? Or is it better to give a little space? After all, a fire without fuel exhausts itself.

When delay or ignore is not an option — there comes a time for a person to stand up, stop being a doormat, and grow a spine. (Lots of ways to phrase it.) So if the situation calls for it — reply. Respond. Stand up for your rights. Express your point of view.  With Kindness.

Designed to deflect most insults — I’d not push this zoo resident too far.


List, list, and another list

Bet you think I’m a list maker.

You’d be right. But today I’m going to challenge you to be one too.

Make a list — one item counts — of something new you want to do this month.

Got it? Okay, are you going to do it this week? Today? As soon as you finish reading my blog?

When you finish your item, I want you to record it somewhere. This can be an email to yourself or a friend. A word or two on a calendar. Or a portion of a journal entry. Did you enjoy the activity? Do you want to repeat it? Can you use it as a reward when you accomplish a difficult but necessary task?

It’s not too late to make 2016 the year of the NEW THING!

And when it comes time to write the annual holiday letter or review the year as you prepare for New Year’s Eve, you may discover that you’ve had adventures and new experiences to enrich your life.

Best of luck in 2016!


Adjusting the Goal

Today an entire year, unmarred by trouble or mistakes lies before us. Fresh. Clean. A chance to start over. Maybe we’ll get more of it right this year.

It’s also a time to set goals. Begin new, better habits.

Did you set goals – or make resolutions – a year ago? How did you you? Do they need some adjustments? Did you make them SMART? That stands for:

Specific : exactly what do you want to accomplish?

Measurable : how will you know when you reach it?

Attainable : does it depend on you? Or can another person block it?

Realistic : this is not the time for me or my peers to resolve to have world peace.

Time sensitive : do you have a deadline?

Think about these. And keeping it positive — I usually begin mine with  “I will…” come up with a goal for 2016. Either an adjustment of a previous goal or something new and shiny.


One example of an adjustable goal.

My goal to share with readers:

In 2016 I will pay off my car loan.

Good luck!


A Generous Heart

Americans can be a generous people. Many of them give of their time, talent, and treasure all year long.

December appears to be a time to focus on gifts and giving and helping those with less materials goods. And our mailboxes are full of more giving “opportunities” than one person could possibly keep straight.

Giving is a good thing. A generous spirit is always appreciated.

Sometimes we need to learn to recognize it. The neighbor or friend who patiently listens to our complaints is giving a gift of time. A person picking up a little trash as they walk along the street contributes to the beauty of the landscape. A kind word. A smile.

Consider the character below.

A tough exterior and toothy smile over a generous heart.



Two Views

The first day of December. Do you realize that 92% of 2015 is past, done, in the history books?

What’s your reaction to the fact?

What happened? I had plans. Now I’ll never… I may as well give up. I never get anything done. Time goes too fast.

If that’s your view I’d call you a pessimist. Your glass is half-empty. Your mind is on the unattainable.

Shall we flip it? Did you know we have 8% of 2015 yet to live?

I can do this. I’ll find a little organization and accomplish many things in 31 days. Yes, I missed sending out…, but I’ll add a note to the Christmas card. It’s too late to plan that summer gathering, but who said picnics had to be in summer. (Think picnic blanket on the living room floor. {Advantage: no ants.}) I’ve time to start one new, positive habit.

Yes, an optimist to the end of New Year’s Eve.

Whichever view you take (and I favor the latter) here’s wishing you a reward for your effort in the final stretch of 2015. We’ll talk about 2016 in the near future.



Calling all Fools

Paging Mr. Lirpa Loofski. Mr. Lirpa Loofski please call the operator.

Check your phone messages twice before replying today. There’s something in the air. A little wisp of spring breeze twists the minds of normal people into practical (or non-practical) jokesters on this date.

Advice to all the serious among us. Relax a little. It’s been a long, cold winter and it’s time to find a little sunshine whether Mother Nature cooperates or not.

Did your spouse or children tie your shoes together? No harm. You’ll find something simple to return the favor. (Replace cereal spoon with a fork?)

My plan for the day? Wait until tomorrow to check all lottery tickets. A girl needs to be careful.

Oh, Mr. Loofski. Drop the Polish suffix and spell it backward. He’s popular today.




Optimist – One who holds the doctrine that this world is the best possible world or: an inclination to anticipate the best possible outcome of actions or events  or: a person who views the glass as half-full.

This is often a difficult and hazardous position to hold.

Watch any newscast — or weather forecast — and you can feel the reporters sucking the optimism out and scattering it to the four winds. Natural disasters and thoughtless talkative people aside, I do believe in second, third, and fourth chances. I’m the sort to give a person the benefit of doubt and attribute positive motives to their actions until they brazenly prove otherwise.

Non-humans demonstrate optimism on occasion. These residents in my flowerbed ignored our wild temperature swings and poked up to sample the air prior to another ice and snow storm.

Hardy Optimist
Hardy Optimist