Engaging Each Day with Action Words

List. — Yesterday, I was checking it twice. Today, I let it go.

Yesterday, I woke up in a mood. Not a particularly bad one. Just a  mood. It happens. For no particular reason, really.

But before I knew it, I was keeping a mental list of all of the people and things that I was mad at or who had disappointed me over the past year.

For the first time in 40 years, I felt like I was giving myself permission to really be mad at people.  To be disappointed in others’ decisions or actions or inactions, without first trying to figure out if I did anything first to make them mad.

Yesterday, I just didn’t care.  Shocking, I know. 🙂

Because for the past 40 years, my inherent senses of empathy and sympathy have always forced me to try to put myself in someone else’s shoes. I’ve always tried to see a situation through another person’s viewpoint. Tried to understand the others’ perspective. So, even though I felt disappointed or frustrated, I have always tried to understand why a person did or didn’t behave in a certain way.  Often, even discounting or explaining away my own hurt,  by coming to some conclusion about my own failure to act or how I could have been misunderstood somehow.

And I wonder why I’m so exhausted all of the time. 🙂

Here’s the thing. I’m fairly certain that most of these people and random situations on my list do not consider my feelings or try to understand my perspective when they evaluate their own hurts.

(Hmmm. Maybe they do. I have a lot of good people and things in my world.) walk in shoes But yesterday. I gave myself permission to be mad at people and situations. And I have to say it was a little bit liberating…and a whole lot of fun, too.

I grabbed lunch with a good friend and confidentially shared my list with her. I have to say that was one of the best times we have both had recently. Complete unabashed honesty. No excuses. No rationalizations. We didn’t try to make it pretty.  Because when you are in the company of a good friend, they can take all the ugly and make it funny.

We told stories. We complained. We marveled at the absurdities of it all sometimes.  We felt free to curse a little like the proverbial sailors* we hear so much about. *I only know one sailor and he doesn’t really curse all that much.*  🙂

And. Oh My. How We Laughed.

Because Life is messy and complicated.

People are different.

Conflict happens.

It is not always their fault. And it certainly is not always my fault either.

Every now and then, we need to give ourselves permission to declare that.

Keep a list.

But the most important part is to be able to ….

… Laugh.


Let. It. Go.


Cry. — Sometimes. Like Holly Hunter in Broadcast News.


Sometimes I think I might need some therapy.  But I don’t have time. Seriously, where would I fit it in to the day?

Sometimes I think I might need medication. But I don’t want to be responsible for one. more. thing.

Sometimes I think I might need to run away and hide. But I don’t want to deal with the guilt I would have when I came back.

So, if therapy, medication and escapes are out…what is left? 🙂


Just uninhibited, uncontrolled, unapologetic … crying.

I am not sure how many people will ‘get’ this. Not sure how many will really understand.

It shows up first in my voice. When I am talking with someone who I trust and confide in. Usually my Mom can hear it.  I will start by saying that it is just because I am tired and ‘I’m fine.” But what I really want to do is just cry.  I can’t really explain it well. And if you don’t get it, you just don’t.  And most likely you are going to say something that … doesn’t help…because you don’t get it. So, my suggestion is just. not. to. speak. You can try to hug me. Try to make me laugh. Or preferably, just let me be.

Because my little secret is this…it is cathartic. I don’t enjoy it necessarily in the moment, but I tend to feel better afterwards.

The crying is not necessarily for any particular reason, really. Sometimes, maybe. But usually I’m not really sad. I might be overwhelmed. I might be exhausted. Sometimes I’m frustrated. But really…rarely, sad.

I am lucky. I am blessed. Beyond measure. I know this. Beyond the shadow of a doubt. I have nothing to be sad about. Until I do.

My eyes might tear up easily. I get a rock in my stomach. And I can usually keep it at bay for a little while. Until I can’t.

And then I cry.

I am thinking that I may need to be proactive. Like Holly Hunter in Broadcast News.  She unplugs the phone. Sits still. Focuses. And then just cries.  She does it everyday. No matter where she is. No matter what she’s doing. She just cries. Gets it out. The overwhelmingness of life. The senseless stuff of the news. The sadness. The frustrations. The failures. The successes. The worries. The fears. The crazy. The …. stuff. The stuff we Mommas carry around with us.

Until we don’t.

Until we ….

Just cry.

Just because.


And if you haven’t seen this movie. Please stop what you are doing. And go watch it, now. You will feel better. Just because. Trust me.


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