We all do this. We browse our Facebook feed and see extraordinary things happening all around us. A Facebook friend just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. A friend of a friend won The Great Food Truck Race. Someone else was named Chicago’s Teacher of the Year. Or California’s No. 1 Realtor. Someone’s teenager just got a perfect SAT score.
It seems to happen all the time. Is the extraordinary the new ordinary? Facebook makes success look easy. And fast. And, dare I say, effortless. In the time it takes to look at a photo of someone celebrating a triumph, it’s just enough to feel jealous and insecure and easy to lose sight of what success looks like in real life, behind the photo.
1. Facebook success is a snapshot. A posed split-second moment in time. It’s a clear, succinct, still-framed, neat package with good cropping and fantastic lighting.
Real-life success is a slow messy saga. Which is often daunting, torturous and distracted. Or at least, a mini-series with no clear beginning and an open-ended end. In fact, it’s fuzzy all around the edges and the lighting is not good. That’s because it’s often dark (as in dark). read more
Some people will waste a lifetime waiting for the Gatekeepers. I was almost one of them. By nature, I’m a rule follower. Even un-written rules. If there’s a way something is “supposed to be done,” that’s how I’ll do it. When I finished writing my first novel, I queried agents. This was the way it was “supposed to be done.” And, since I had aspirations of being traditionally published, I didn’t give it a second thought.
That second thought didn’t muscle its way in for years. That’s because I typically espouse a “never give up” philosophy. I also clung to “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will,” through 81 rejections. But my believing in myself wasn’t exactly convincing the Gatekeepers. The options were clear: move on, or self-publish. I had no interest in self-publishing. I had no interest in giving up either, but I’d be lying if I said after those rejections I still believed in myself. read more
I was so honored to meet the inspiring Connie Dwyer at the Connie Dwyer Breast Center Annual Spring Luncheon where I was invited to speak about the writing and publishing of The Memory Box and the topics of the day: Perseverance, Gratitude and Women Empowering Women.
The Connie Dwyer Breast Center is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility providing expert diagnosis and treatment of breast disease and the finest breast cancer prevention, early detection, and educational outreach programs to women in Newark and the surrounding areas regardless of their ability to pay. Just last year, over 20,000 women sought out the services of the center. Thanks to the vision and generosity of Connie Dwyer, all of this is possible.
The other night at dinner, I sat at the kitchen table with my teenage daughter. Some nights, “family dinner” means just us two. I’ve been getting used to making dinners that are easy to scoop out and reheat in a flash. Teenagers are here one minute, gone the next. And I’m just referring to the dinner hour.
My daughter has always loved to ask the hypothetical questions. The “what-ifs” and the “what would you dos.” And as philosophical as they may be, she likes her hypotheticals quantifiable. She likes answers that are in percentages, or on her famous “scale of 1 to 10.”
Between forkfuls of asparagus risotto, she asked, “What if someone asked you to rate yourself as a mother? What would you say, on a scale of 1 to 10?” read more