We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances for joy. It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting that we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing ever feels quite real. In this way, our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.
(Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening)
1. There’s always someone better than you.
My mom always used to say this, and I’ve always lived it, because I think it keeps me really humble. No matter how much success you’ve had, it makes you remember that you didn’t always start there at the point of glory—and you might not always end up there.
2. Even teenagers love to snuggle.
Having that moment of connection with your children—there’s nothing like that. Last night, my daughter, who is 16, patted her bed and said, “Come sit down, Mom.” And I said, “What do you want me to do? Tuck you in? Give you a kiss goodnight?” And she said, “No, come here.” Then she lifted the covers so I could get in and snuggle with her. And for a 16-year-old, that was great. We just kind of sat there and talked for a little while. I’ll never forget. Next time, it’ll be my idea!
3. The secret to fearlessness is…
Two things: Either having nothing to come home to or having everything to come home to. Either you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose or you’ve got everything to lose and you don’t think about the scary events in your life because they’ve all got to get done to protect the people you love.
4. Never eat caviar.
Does anyone really like it? It’s really expensive. It’s fish eggs. They pop in your mouth, and it’s kind of gross.
5. Give somebody else a chance to do the dishes.
What I mean by this is: If I make dinner, my husband will say, “Oh, I’ll do the dishes!” And then, he leaves the kitchen and goes online or watches Jon Stewart. Sure enough, I go into the kitchen a half hour later and dishes are piled in the sink. And I just think, “Forget it. I’m just going to do them.” And I do the dishes. And then he says, “Well, I was going to do them.” And maybe he was, but he wasn’t doing them fast enough for me. I have a tendency to assume if someone doesn’t work as fast as I do, or as thoroughly as I do, I’ll just take it over and do it myself. And I can’t. I don’t have the time and I can’t do everything, even though sometimes I want to. It’s very hard for me to understand that people work on different time schedules or that they process things differently, and the end result may be just as wonderful, but the end result may just take a little longer, or arrive in a different fashion.
6. Forgiveness and acceptance are not the same things.
For me, there really is a big difference between forgiveness and acceptance. If you forgive someone, you aren’t necessarily saying that what the person did was right. What you’re saying is, “I’m not giving you the power to make me a victim. I’m not going to let you invade my mind and make me hate you.” Forgiveness is not for the other person. It’s for yourself. That’s the way I see it. Whereas acceptance is really more of a caving in, as far as I’m concerned. It’s saying, “What you did, I’m okay with.”
My book in 2013 is going to be all about this. The novel is about this young woman at a grief group who befriends an old man in her small town who is everyone’s favorite grandpa. He’s the Little League coach and a teacher, and he’s been a fixture in the community for years, but he confides in her that he used to be a Nazi, and he’d like her to forgive him and then help him die.
8. When you see a bathroom, stop.
Because you never know when there is going to be another one.
9. In times of stress or rage, remember the Alvin effect.
A really good way to calm down is just to pick up a dog. We have three dogs and our littlest is a rescue puppy from Mississippi, and he’s a very portable size. And you know, when everything is really, really crummy, and you’ve got Alvin on your lap, really, not much matters anymore.
10. The title of my (unwritten) memoir is:
No Pudding for Jodi. Because when I am in the U.K. on a book tour, I do a lot of luncheons. All these wonderful ladies come out and we all have a big meal, and I go up to the podium and give a talk. But the presenters always have me get up and talk when they’re serving dessert. So I never get to have dessert, which they call pudding.
11. Go for the happy-looking melon.
This is my daughter’s rule, actually, and she’s so right. I don’t know how to explain it, but when you’re looking for a melon at the grocery store, pick the happiest one—one that’s really round, that’s a good color, that’s sort of warm to the touch. If it looks happy to you, it’s going to taste really good.
I can’t agree more with some of Jodi’s Rules for Life. Since I have just started reading one of her books, I wanted to know more about her and I came across this.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
We all know Feburary calls for love, life and relationships. It has to work both ways however I think if you are already in a relationship or building towards one, these pointers might be something you want to think about.
It is one of those moments, when you read something and it hits a chord inside you. Maybe due to the circumstances/ situations or more so because it is true.
That one question that you never thought of. “Have you ever watched your parents while they were asleep?”
Your father’s body, once big and strong but now, the big is withered and the strong is weaker. Wisps of grey peek out of his hair, wrinkles now scar his forehead and hands and face.
“This man worked hard every day and would sacrifice anything to make sure his family is provided for and his children get the best education possible.
“Or how about your mother, whose soft hands once cuddled and held you close when you were a baby? Now, those hands are dry and rough, bearing evidence of the challenges she faced just for us.
“This woman takes care of our daily needs constantly nagging and scolding us because of her love for us. But sadly we often misconstrue her love as control and unfairness”.
I have never thought of watching my parents while they slept. I’ve watched my cousins/ my son sleep / friends’ children when they were babies, all round and cuddly and sweet smelling. But watch my parents? Na!!
But after reading this message, I realized that there was indeed much truth in it. In fact, my parents do not have to be asleep for me to realize that they have aged.
Just looking at my mother walk tells me that her legs are not as strong as they were before. Or hearing her ask me for help with that bag/ dish / something under the bed etc., the one she used to be able to carry, pick, push and drag around the house / kitchen herself.
Or watching my dad lift the gas cylinder or bags of groceries or pulling and carrying suitcases. I can easily do that now, I am young (you know compare to our parents). But to him it is a struggle.
What do all these observations tell me? Yes, my parents have aged. They are aging just as I am ageing. But as I age towards my best years and become stronger, they in turn are becoming weaker. They were once the caregivers and I the receiver. In time, I know our roles will reverse. Like it or not, want it to or not, this is life.
I suppose I have always subconsciously thought that my parents would always be with me, never growing old. It took that message to make me realize that my parents are not immortal. That they too, will one day leave the world and me. Until then, I will make good use of our time together. And so should you. Appreciate and remind yourself what you have now and now, does not last forever.
I have a sweet tooth for all sorts of sweets, desserts, chocolates, ice creams – you name it and I like it. Its like being addicted to sugar, which my friends is not such a cool thing. A friend of mine send me this video, in the attempt to discourage my love for sugar.. I am only sharing this because I think it is very well done and makes a lot of sense.