Reality Check

Blood and the Occupational Hazards of Love

My granddaughter fell off her little bike and scraped her finger. Blood flowed. Or trickled, more accurately. She cried. Blood, as we all know, is B-A-D. Our bodily integrity has been compromised. We’ve been affected, impacted by something outside of us. And it’s B-A-D. Or so we believe.

After tending appropriately to my granddaughter (she IS three, after all), I told her what I really thought, “A little blood is good. It means you were doing something cool and you tried something new.

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(Not So) Happily Ever After

Artist Dina Goldstein did a series of photographs depicting what might have actually happened to each of the Disney princesses if “happily ever after” is only in the movies.

She says, “I began to imagine Disney’s perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues.”

I love these — mostly because most of us compare our insides to everyone else’s outsides. We even look at Disney princesses (or princes) and compare ourselves,

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Let’s Get A Reality Check!

Last night some friends and I were talking about how we all share images of ourselves on social media as if our lives were perfect. We curate impressions. We manage what we share.

When I recently posted a Facebook cover photo of myself on a swing, one friend commented, “You have such a fun life.” I wanted to rip the picture down. I felt disingenuous… because obviously I’d posted the picture to telegraph my fun quotient, my free spirit… but I was self-aware even on the swing when I saw my friend snap the photo.

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Learning to See “Diamonds in the Rough” Among Us

People thought there was no film in the camera so they usually humored the odd little man who showed up at every wedding in the town of Maryborough, Australia for nearly 50 years.

Wal Richards, an illiterate, mentally and physically disabled man, rode his bicycle to weddings and photographed them for decades, amassing 20,000 photographs that no one had ever seen until after his death in 1967. Here is a bit of his story (and be sure and see/hear the audio slide show).

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“Shower the People You Love with Love”

Ah yes, that’s a James Taylor lyric. And I’m singing it with regret today.

A friend died five days ago. Suddenly.

And I’m wondering why I thought I’d always have another chance to hang out and have a picnic lunch as we always planned to.

And I’m thinking about how I took for granted that I’d be able to honk and wave and yell every time I drove by his workplace, a couple of blocks from my house,

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Everything Fits

I just added an entry to my calendar, and if the truth is told (which it always should be), the entry signifies an event which I rather dread.

Yet when I typed it in to my handy-dandy MAC calendar, I accidentally added an exclamation point at the end. Since it would be rude and hurtful to delineate exactly which social engagement I am not looking forward to in upcoming weeks, let me use an imaginary one: “Root canal while hearing fingernails on a chalkboard while eating my least favorite food,

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Say What You Want to Say

Do you do it? Do you say what you need to say?

Or are you building up a permanent lump in your throat, a lump around which you talk and around which you’ll need to learn to breathe and then even think?

Speaking from the vantage point of an older age, it seems that the later in life we start saying what we really need to say, the harder it is to do it. Think about how hard it is to speak up in a relationship where the other party has assumed (because you didn’t tell them otherwise) that all is well…

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Art in His Heart

We know what people’s noses look like. And their haircuts. And what they wear is obvious too.

But we sometimes find out that someone is full of art, crammed with soul, packed with stories… and we realize, well, that we all are a wellspring of unexpected surprises. And that the exterior packaging just isn’t an adequate indicator of what’s inside.

Especially if someone works at a job that requires a soul-concealing uniform.

Today I went to the post office,

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Don’t Waste My Time with a “Thank-you”

We used to ask people the time so that we could start a conversation. Or ask for directions in the hopes that they might walk with us. Or any number of similar conversational gambits that might move the relational ball forward.

In a New York Times article entitled Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette, author Nick Bilton writes about the balance between time-wasting pleasantries and modern-era communication protocols. I do a lot of this wrong;

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Reader response to the irony conversation

In my last post, I wrote about SPACIOUS as an anti-irony mechanism. I could also call it an anti-sarcasm or anti-isolation movement. My passion is connecting people for the greater good and flourishing of all. Yes, that’s ambitious, and yet I think it’s possible.

In the New York Times article I referenced in that last post, author Christy Wampole writes:

“What would it take to overcome the cultural pull of irony?

Read more Reader response to the irony conversation