Change the Story

We tell ourselves limiting stories that contain no truth. What follows is a pictorial example of exactly what I am talking about. Inner story at the time: “I’m fat. I mean, really, really fat. I have to stop eating for a year or no one will ever love me. The reason why I am alone and a loser is because I am fat and ugly.” Dang, this was Halloween 1988 (hence the glorious fake tattoo). I was eighteen years old, and so careful about my diet and exercise. I was a swimmer and a dancer. I was a sophomore at UC Santa…

Imagine

If you don’t believe in magic, stop right here. This post will just annoy you. Hello everyone. Let’s take a deep breath. We can speak easy now that the muggles have excused themselves. This is a story about notebooks that make the impossible come true. You can buy one of these notebooks for yourself from any purveyor of notebooks. You’ll know when you find a magical one. You might already have one in your possession. Probably it’s the journal you’re already using. Once in a magical notebook, I wrote that I would find for my family a specific kind of house with…

Avoid Complaint

Today, I complained at one point that it was still morning and not lunchtime. I complained about Loretto High School closing while I was still working there. (This was a sad event, and perhaps worthy of complaining about. Seven years ago.) I complained about the requirement of having to stop at a stoplight on the way to my child’s dentist appointment. We had plenty of time. We got there early, in fact. Right now I’m complaining about my complaining. Language makes reality. Complaining does not reflect reality. At the stoplight I was a woman in America with the means to…

When I Spill Coffee on My Laptop Say Thanks

I had an entire year once of annoying events. It started on January 1st when a tree fell on our house in a terrible storm. Our kitchen floor became alarmingly spongy. The water heater broke. An airport van driver ran into my car door in the Safeway parking lot and drove off without even giving me her name. Money shrank as the list of wrong and broken things grew. A strange string of other distressing people and events served to vex us throughout the year. We invented a comforting mantra: Well, that was annoying but at least it wasn’t evil. As a sort of bookend…

There Is No Such Thing as Writer’s Block

There is no such thing as writer’s block. You just don’t feel like writing. So don’t write. Why should you? Unless you are a student tasked with completing an assignment for a grade, there is no reason to write. Unless you are a worker who has to communicate to someone in a written fashion at your job, why write? There is no reason to write. Unless there is a man or woman you love so much that your voice quits when you try to explain. Love letters are important. So unless you are a student, a worker, or in love,…

Friday Free Topic: Thank You for Everything

My usual gratitude lists are reserved for things I feel actual gratitude for. This week I’ve been saying thank you for everything. Because when you’re having dinner at someone’s house and she serves brussels sprouts or whatever, you don’t go, “Oh my God. Craptastic.” No, you say, “Thank you.”  You express gratitude as a form of good manners and also because you understand that it is a privilege to be at the table in the first place. So I say thank you for My anger management problem The way even one piece of candy awakens a hunger dragon inside of…