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Monday, May 23, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 22: What I Want to Say to 5 People

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

What I Want to Say to Five People

I have made it a point to be unfailingly honest in my life, which includes in this blog.  That sometimes means getting very uncomfortable and, perhaps, making others feel the same.  Today's post will do both.  

1. My Nephew B
You are, have always been, one of the most incredible, brilliant, loving people I've ever had the honor of knowing.  I wish you could see you as I see you.  I wish those on the outskirts of your world could see you as I see you.   I know you're loved by many, but I don't always believe you're appreciated for the unique you that you are and for that I am sorry.  I wish I could help you understand why some ride you harder than you deserve and than they do your brothers.  I wish I could stop that for you.  I love you more than you could ever know, have loved you I first held you in my arms just moments after you took your first breath.  More than that, though, I both like and respect you.  If you weren't my nephew, I'd choose you as my friend.  You always have a soft place to land with me.  

2. Paul Ring
That you were young is not an excuse.  I was younger.  That it was almost 30 years ago now does not dampen what you did.  That you likely don't even remember it does not mean I don't.  If there were no statute of limitations on sexual assault, I would press charges even now.  You hurt me, you changed my life.  Should we ever meet again in life, I will not hesitate to throw the first punch I've ever thrown and, hopefully, land it straight in your throat.  I will remind you.  If I ever get the chance, I will ensure you live the rest of your life with the memory of what you did to me when I was just a little girl.

3. Alice Lee
I threatened you and you took those feelings out on me publicly, loudly, wrongly, and meanly.  I was a good student teacher.  I consistently got the highest reviews in my graduating class.  I was hired to teach honors classes the next year before I even finished student teaching.  I was good.  And yes, as I got better, I began to pull away from you, I began to see how little respect you had for the students, I began to understand all the ways I wanted to be different than you.  I relied on you less and less, I came into my own, I simply outgrew you.  You had no right to dress me down, attack me with lies and false assumptions, yell at me for a full 15 minutes in front of another teacher and student.  You didn't like that I no longer put you on a pedestal and you needed to put me back in the lower position the ugliest way you knew how.  I don't forgive you.  You are despicable.  

4. Dad
You abandoned us.  You used to see us twice a week, you used to send us letters telling us how proud you are of us, you used to be present in our lives until you found a new family.  You abandoned us.  You even stopped acknowledging us.  You stopped celebrating our birthdays, even calling us on holidays.  You stopped the letters, the visits, the relationships.  You moved 800 miles away, started your new family, and told everyone you had three kids instead of five.  Mom made things difficult on you, this I know.  Believe me, she made it difficult on me, too.  But we were there, living with the difficulties, while you decided we weren't worth the effort.  You somehow justified abandoning us for the sake of getting away from her.  You've expressed no remorse about this, only continued to justify it when asked even all these years later.  You abandoned us and it has colored everything we are and have done for the rest of our lives in small and large ways.  That you've never once apologized or, for that matter, been anything but proud of your decision to move on will be your legacy.  

5. Aunt L
I will not again listen to you defend my dad.  I will not ever again let you shut me down when I express hurt over our abandonment.  I will not ever again let you get away with telling me the same thing my dad always has: it's OK that he left, because my mom made things hard for him.  From now on, I will talk back.  The next time you do this, I will ask pointedly if you'd ever give up your children because it got hard to see them.  The next time you try this, I will point out that the difficulty that simply is my mother is even more of a reason why he should've stayed near and present, so that we could have a more stable influence somewhere in our lives.  The next time, I will say that this paltry, pathetic excuse no longer works on me, because I am a parent now and understand exactly what you would do for your child no matter how hard things get.  Never would I abandon my son.  Never would you abandon your children.  There is not a single excuse that justifies him leaving us and the next time you give one in that snotty tone, I'm going to respond accordingly.

Uncomfortable yet?  I am.  That's how I know it should be written, probably should've been written long ago.  

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 21: The First 10 Songs on Shuffle

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

First 10 Shuffled Songs

This is either going to make me look really cool or really uncool and I'm betting on the latter.  Whatever happens, this is me.

1. What the World Needs Now is Love by Jackie DeShannon
My Best Friend's Wedding soundtrack is most excellent and most kitchy.  No apologies.

2. Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac

3. I Say a Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin
Even classicker!

4. Without You by Harry Nilsson
I almost always skip past this.  I must've been feeling particularly angsty when I added this.  

5. Stuck With You by Huey Lewis and the News
I was born in 1978.  Clearly, I'm a product of the 80s.  Nostalgia.

6. Something to Save by George Michael
His most angsty album that spoke to my angsty middle-schooler and hasn't ever left me.

7. Drive By by Train
I don't even know this song by its title.  I'd have to listen to it to tell you why it's here.  Train doesn't do much for me but for Meet Virginia.  This has me thinking it's time to purge some songs from my iTunes.

8. Every Time I Close My Eyes by Babyface
A god.  No shame.

9. All I Want for Christmas is You by Olivia Olson
If you'll recall my confession that the problematic Love Actually is one of my favorite movies, you'll not be surprised that the soundtrack is also a fave.  Thus, I have to love this soundtrack version of this song and not the Mariah Carey version.

10. Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes
That's more like it.  I'm a little cool.  Sometimes.  

Shuffle is a jerk.  Where's my Sublime, my Tracies (Tracy Bonham and Tracy Chapman, that is), my Prince, my Presidents of the United States of America, my Journey, my Joss Stone, and my Jack Johnson?  These artists are all over my iTunes, but do they come up on my shuffle for this particular post?  Noooooo.  Thanks, Shuffle.  Ass.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 20: 3 Lessons I Want My Child to Learn From Me

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

Three Lessons I Want My Child to Learn From Me

1. Be Good to Your Word
Say what you mean and mean what you say.  If you tell someone you're going to do something, do it.  My mom once told me she's stop doing something and then, as is typical, continued doing it.  When called out on that, she responded with, "I never said 'I promise.'"  I am happy to say that my five-year-old son already understands the importance of this lesson more than my mom ever will.  As a result, I trust what he says and others will as he continues on in life.

2. People Aren't Mind-Readers
If you want someone to know something, tell them directly and explicitly.  Conversely, if you want to know something, ask directly and clearly.  Never assume either of you know what the other is thinking or feeling.

3. You're Not Perfect
You're not perfect, you're never going to be perfect, but that shouldn't stop you from trying whatever it is you want to do.  This is something he hears me talk to his dad about regularly, as he simply doesn't try anything if he thinks he won't be perfect at it the first time, thus he doesn't try much that is new.  It's a cryin' shame.  I see this tendency in my son, as well, so we've been working on it extra.  In tennis, he doesn't stop when he misses or doesn't get it over the net.  He simply makes a quick face of disappointment and moves along.  In pottery, he doesn't quit when he collapses the pot.  He simply fixes it and continues on.  The lesson is getting through.  He's an imperfect wonder and I absolutely adore him for it.

What lessons do you want your children to learn from YOU?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 19: Celebrity Crushes

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

My Celebrity Crushes

To be perfectly honest, I don't subscribe to the typical American obsession with celebrities.  I don't read People magazine, I don't watch the Oscars, I don't even know any of the names on my FB trending topics ticker.  It's just not my bag.  I'll play along, though, as there are a couple people I dig.

Jeff Goldblum
Quirky, intelligent, funny, unique.  Dead sexy.

Merritt Wever
Quirky, intelligent, funny, unique.  Dead sexy.

Sir Patrick Stewart
Quirky, intelligent, funny, unique.  Dead sexy.


Jennifer Lawrence
Quirky, intelligent, funny, unique.  Dead sexy.


Methinks I have a type.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 18: My First Love

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

My First Love

Welp, this is a quick and easy one.  My first love sucked.  He was a compulsive liar, a total bum, and one scary ex-love.  I stayed with him or two years, lived with him, was engaged to him.  His parents hated me and blamed me for everything he ever did wrong and he never stood up for me.  He cheated on me and was a general waste of two years of my young life.  He was an excellent lesson, if nothing else.

And that's that.  I don't have fond memories of my time with him.  My only explanation is that he was both my first kiss and my first sexual partner and, having been brought up Mormon, that meant to me that I had done something very, very wrong that I could only rectify by sticking with him and marrying him.  

I refuse to allow my son to believe the same messed up things I was taught to believe, thus setting him up for the same ugly mistakes I made.  No, I won't do that to him.   

Friday, May 13, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 17: Today's Epiphany

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

Today's Epiphany

(This post was originally scheduled to be 30 Little-Known Facts About Me, but I've already written something similar to that and I had these thoughts swirling, so I made a command decision to change the topic at the last minute.)

I realized today that my anxiety didn't start with the traumatic birth of my son, but as a young child myself.  I didn't have words for it then and didn't have the support for it even if I had.

It started with my parents multiple separations and reconciliations.  It manifested itself as fat lips.  I used to chew my bottom lip to the point of creating holes and face-deforming swelling.  It was something I could focus my attention on besides the turmoil going on in my life.  I was rarely without a painful and swollen bottom lip, because I was rarely without anxiety.

I used to get scolded for chewing my lip, so I became more sly about my chewing as I got older.  I moved onto chewing the inside of my cheeks, which, after 30+ years of doing this, have become covered in scar tissue.  I also began picking at and chewing my cuticles.  It is a rarity, even now, that I have 10 healthy fingers.  As I look at my hands now, I only have one bloody spot, which is actually quite impressive for me.

Obviously, my son's birth didn't help.  Whereas I was always able to keep my anxiety to myself before, it has now bubbled out into my life in other, more pervasive ways that affect those around me.  I stop my son and husband from doing things, because of my own irrational anxieties.  I can only handle so much clutter and mess before I absolutely flip the eff out.  I get terribly angry with my husband when he does something wrong, because I am somehow able to connect it back to my son and how he'll be negatively affected.

As I considered talking to my doctor about changing from Zoloft to another anti-depressant with anti-anxiety meds included, I began to feel anxious about that, as well.  "What if a new med dulls my edge?  What if the things I've been so anxious about happening actually do happen, because I wasn't uber-aware."  I was aware that this was my anxiety talking, but then the whole cycle started again.

Eventually, I talked to my doctor and we've together decided to change from the Zoloft to Wellbutrin.  This should help with my anxiety with the added benefit of ceasing to dampen my sex drive, which SSRIs such as Zoloft notoriously do.  We'll see.  Suffice it to say, I'm anxious.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 16: Something I Miss

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

Something I Miss

This will be a short one, because it's fairly black and white for me.

I miss working in law enforcement.  I miss the camaraderie of the Sheriff's Department.  I miss the fun I had there.  I miss the people with whom I always felt safe.  Quite honestly, I miss that feeling of badassery when I got to do something important.

I miss working as a high school English teacher.  I miss the connection I had with my students, especially at the first high school in which I taught.  I miss convincing students to give me their deeply considered opinions rather than what they thought I wanted to hear.  I miss helping them love to learn what I loved to learn.

I do miss them both, without a doubt.  I would miss my son more.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 15: Bullet-Points of My Day

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

My Day Bullet-Pointed

Some days it's "everything," other days it's, well, like today.

  • wake up at 9 a.m.
  • toast for breakfast
  • check the Etsy shop (Potter Alma Mater) for orders
  • wonder how to turn all those "favorites" into orders
  • discuss the science of sponges as my son marvels at how much blood my Jade & Pearl sea sponge can hold
  • continuation of ongoing discussion on periods
  • schedule son for pottery wheel class at local art studio per his request
  • set out butter to soften for cookie making later
  • remind husband to set son up for "cheetah class" at "Kid College"
  • mourn the loss of spring so early in the year (only 90s and 100s in the forecast in central AZ)
  • discuss with son the pros, cons, and frustrations of living with an HOA as I open two letters from them
  • put on allergy blend of essential oils from Living Essentially with Stephanie
  • start this blog post while thinking "ain't nobody got time (or desire) for (reading) this"
  • consider the tragic deaths of Jonathon Conte and Prince
  • poop (exactly an hour after I get up without fail - hashtag regular)
  • think that whatever few readers I had on this post have now gone, since the poop bullet
  • add a photo to Tinybeans for the family
  • send video wish to sister for her birthday
  • crochet Ravenclaw diaper cover for Potter Alma Mater while son plays Endless Reader on the Kindle
  • continue to try to crochet between "look at this, Mama" requests every six seconds
  • give up on crochet to do Endless Reader, because all the "look at this" requests have run together and it's time to give in
  • Dada came home from giving his final at the college where he teaches
  • my full attention was required as my son created and used a couch cushion trampoline, because, as was the case above, it's either willingly give the attention or hear "Mama, watch this" over and over again
  • break for The Sandlot, which, if you read yesterday's post, you know is one of my favorite movies
  • ask husband to do the same three things I've been asking him to do all week...again
  • practice tennis outside with son (when we did this yesterday, I nailed him in the penis)
  • bathe the boy
  • make doctor's appointment for lad
  • cancel doctor's appointment 10 minutes later
  • Google symptoms
  • lotion him up and make a mental note to keep an eye on it, rescheduling next week if it doesn't improve
  • listen to Superfudge again on Audiobooks with the child o' mine
  • find Halloween costume for son who has decided he simply must be a cowboy
  • make cookies for last day of my son's tennis session
  • make hamster treat for son's hamster, Pinkie
  • more Endless Reader
  • attend online Intro to Essential Oils class
  • get everyone ready for tennis (because my husband's version of "ready"  means he's aware that he needs to leave at some point and is considering moving, which is a completely different definition than mine, which means we're actually prepared to leave the house)
  • watch my son at tennis practice while trying my best to drown out the other parents yammering incessantly about everything besides what their kids were doing on the court, cheer on their kids, because their own parents don't notice
  • walk an elderly neighbor's dog right after practice as it is my son's paid job
  • get home an immediately get naked
  • wonder which one of us, me or my husband, is going to cave on making dinner first
  • read the name "Hyneman" as "Hymen," which tells me it's an early-to-bed kind of night for me 
  • manage social media for Denise Williams, Realtor
  • eat whatever we can scrounge, because neither of us wants to make anything
  • take a little alone time in bed to crochet and watch Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix while son and husband play
  • snuggle with my son in our bed, listen to Blubber on Audiobooks (discussing its happenings all the while), both fall asleep around 10 p.m.
It's a glamorous life I lead, folks.  A glamorous, glamorous life.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 14: Movies I Never Tire of Watching

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

Movies I Could Watch Over and Over

Let me say right off the bat that some of these are problematic.  They don't all align with all of my beliefs.  I'm aware.  I love them, though, and I won't hide them in effort to appear to be more perfect.  

So, in no particular order, I present my favorite movies.

1. Mr. Holland's Opus: the teacher in me identifies completely
2. Passion of Mind: as I have, more times than I can count, dreamt so vividly that I could not tell dream from reality, I feel this in my soul
3. Elf: hilarity
4. Step Brothers: ridiculousness
5. A Christmas Story: classic
6. Matilda: hello rad girl power
7. The Care Bears Movie: this is my childhood
8. The Sandlot: so many problems, still so funny
9. Love Actually: I know, I know, but I love it
10. To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus is my literary hero and the movie is almost as good as the book
11. Of Mice and Men: my favorite book turned movie
12. The Money Pit: old school Tom Hanks
13. the original Star Wars trilogy: because I'm human
14. all the Harry Potter movies: they're not HP books, but they never get old (I mean, I do have a Harry Potter business, so I clearly dig it all)
15. Fantastic Mr. Fox: dry wit abounds
16. 50 First Dates: the soundtrack alone is reason to watch it
17. He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not: such weirdness
18. Labyrinth: memories...
19. Scrooged: as Dickens was meant to be told
20. The Neverending Story: 80s me
21. Fern Gully: Robin Williams, Tim Curry, sweet soundtrack, environmentalism, perfection
22. With Honors: this is all high school for me
23. Big: more classic Hanks goodness
24. The Business of Being Born: life changing
25. Iron Jawed Angels: strong historical women rock my socks
26. the Lord of the Rings trilogy: even if Legolas weren't in it, I'd still love it (but Legolas helps!)
27. Beauty and the Beast: like every other bibliophile, I want that library
28. Legends of the Fall: Brad Pitt's hair and hurts makes me want to pet him
29. The Mists of Avalon: my beloved King Arthur myth retold from the women's point of view
30. Sleepless in Seattle: sweetness and a soundtrack I have memorized

Monday, May 9, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 13: What Currently Excites Me?

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE

What Currently Excites Me?

Bernie Sanders.  He's a sentence of his own.  

I grew up extraordinarily conservative.  Though I didn't think it possible, my parents have gotten even more so with time and age, now identifying as part of the infamous Tea Party.  Conversely, I've gone on to completely shame them by growing into a flaming liberal.  We could not be more different when it comes to our politics (and, in fairness, most other things, as well).  

I jumped on the Bernie train pretty early on in his bid for the presidency.  I've contributed to his campaign three times, something I've never done even once for any other politician.  I proudly sport his bumper sticker on my car and don his T-shirt around town.  My husband does the same.  Even my son has his own shirt and talks frequently about "President Bernie."  (He also talks about "President Bunmunch," which is his own pet name for the Trumpster.  All hopefuls are "President [insert name here]" according to him.)  We're a proud and enthusiastic Bernie family.  

That pride and enthusiasm for a democratic socialist makes us quite popular in our very red state of Arizona, as you can imagine.  We get dirty looks regularly and I even once got "dirty lesbian" comment as a woman walked by me while I wore my rainbow Bernie shirt.  This is how I know he's hitting a nerve and it's one of the skillion reasons I love him so.

I could go on about why I #feeltheBern rather than #standwithher, but Sarah Silverman has said it all for me, so I'll leave you with this: 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 12: 5 Privileges I Enjoy

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE

Five Privileges I Enjoy

Since it is so often misunderstood, I'll start with the definition of "privilege" as set forth by Merriam-Webster: a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor.  In layman's terms, that means "that some of us have advantages over others for any number of reasons we don't control - like who we are, where we come from, the color of our skin, or certain things that have happened in our lives."  It is about society and culture, not about gifts given to us for good behavior (such as what we think of as our privileges given to us by our parents and/or teachers when we are children).

We all have privilege of some sort.  (Leastwise, you do if you're reading this blog.)  It is vital that we recognize them so that we take it upon ourselves to learn, reflect, research, change what we are able, acknowledge what we're not able, and lend the benefits we enjoy from our privileged positions to help those in other positions.  

These are five privileges I have.

1. White Privilege
Nope, my life isn't always easy, but it's never been hard because of my skin color.  

2. Cisgender Privilege
Being a woman is fraught with its own difficulties (I surely don't have the ever-pervasive male privilege), but I do not have to concern myself with being harassed or harmed for going into the women's restroom or changing room.  I can also show outward affection to my husband while in public without a care in the world.   

3. Able-Bodied Privilege
Everything I want my body to do, it does.  I get to control that fully and that is taken for granted.  I'm not the butt of jokes or the subject of ugly memes, because my body works differently.  

4. Educational Privilege
I not only have access to quality, higher education, but am given credibility solely for the fact that I'm a college graduate.  My intelligence level has little to do with this credibility, as it's often given before a person even hears me speak or reads my writing.

5. Socioeconomic Privilege
Things are hard at home right now.  My husband lost his job and is now working three to bring home only 60% of what he was making before.  We don't get to eat all we want, we're not traveling anywhere, I can't even get myself a hair cut, but we own our home, we will have electricity to run our air conditioner during the upcoming oppressively and dangerously hot Arizona summer, we have clean drinking water, and our son will have shoes on his feet even if he hits a growth spurt.  And because my husband has clean, pressed clothes and a permanent home address, he can go on interviews and be sure he'll get a fair shot at the job.  

I have privilege.  Right now, what I'm doing with it is this.  I'm writing about it, hoping to prompt you to consider your privilege, working to open thought in others.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 11: Something I Think "What If" About

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

Something I Think "What If" About

I have been thinking about this topic since last night and have come to the conclusion that I simply don't think "what if..." about anything.  It seems fairly pointless to me to do so.  I'm entirely too pragmatic to spend time on this thought.  I mean, I'd much rather focus on the "what is" than the "what ifs" in my life.  

I could wax on about the things I would change in my past or the things I wish had turned out different (and there are those things), but the reality is that this is where I am now and those are the things that happened.  That doesn't mean I don't have feelings (sometimes very strong feelings) about those happenings, but that I accept them all as reality, good, bad, or ugly.  And it's in the acceptance, I believe, that we can heal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 10: Something About Which I Feel Strongly

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

Something About Which I Feel Strongly

Kids are people.  Yep, that's it.  Read it again, though.  Kids are people.  So simple, but clearly a difficult concept to understand for the overwhelming majority in society.  Let's talk about it.

The teacher I student taught under used to say daily that our high school students wouldn't become real people until they became adults.  That's what she believed, that's what she said to someone who was supposed to learn from her, that's what she said to her own students.  This attitude is not exclusive to her alone, rather it permeates our entire adult culture.

Spanking, circumcising, isolating (aka "time out"), crying-it-out, otherwise generally abusing are all ways we treat our kids as lesser than (whether purposely or not, out of ignorance or mindfully), because, in our minds, they are.  They're not adults, so they don't deserve the respect we give our peers.  We're bigger and more experienced than they are, so we can force our will on them, intimidate them into doing what we want, hurt them mentally and physically, and even mutilate their bodies.  Hey, what are they going to do about it, right?  

There was a viral post going around a while ago about a mom who found out her child was a bully, so "whooped" said child in effort to beat the bully out of the kid.  This post was lauded by all types, even those who think themselves so terribly enlightened, because bullying is just that bad.  Nobody seemed to realize, though, that the mom was bullying the kid in return.  Oh, but that's OK, because she's the adult and the kid needed to be taught a lesson.  The disconnect is astounding.   

I can't change everyone, I can't change an entire culture of devaluing people based on age and lack of experience, but I can change things in my little corner of the world.  I do that by respecting my own son as a person, his own person, so that he'll grow to treat his own kids (should he choose to have them) as such, they the same, and so on.  I do that by setting an example for those in my sphere of influence.  I do that by treating my son as I want to be treated (even especially when he doesn't reciprocate, because the merit is in doing this when it's difficult, setting the example when it would be so easy to default to our presets).  I do it, because it's something about which I feel strongly and he's someone the one about whom I feel strongly.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 9: Words of Wisdom

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

What Words of Wisdom Speak to Me?

I have two wise sayings I try to live by:

1) What other people think of me is none of my business.
This one is sometimes easier said than done, but as long as I'm mindful, I can stick to it.  If I worried about everyone who didn't like me, concerned myself with every rumor or piece of gossip that floated around about me, or paid attention to everyone's opinions of me based on half-truths I'd never get anything done in my life.  This is what I say to those who take some sort of odd pleasure in reporting to me on what so-and-so is saying about me at any given time.  That is such a strange pastime in my mind.  All in all, the whole thing is a time-suck in which I simply refuse to indulge.  

2) Do what is right, not what is easy.
It is exceedingly rare that "right" and "easy" go hand in hand.  Given the choice, it's vital to choose the former.  This is perhaps most important when doing the easy as opposed to the right would never be noticed by others.  That's when it truly counts most.  That's the measure of a person's character.  Though I've always lived by this idea, I find it even more crucial now that I am a mom whose every move is looked upon and repeated.  Doing right is the example I choose to set for my son no matter how difficult it may be.  

What wise words speak to YOU?