#UpbeatAuthors: Tips for Making It Through Hard Times

A Day Job co-worker and I were talking the other day. We’ve both been through some rocky patches in our lives. Different stuff, but life-changing events. And we both said the same thing: staying in the normal helped.

No matter what happens to you, life continues. Jobs, families, bills. Too often, the grief, the panic, the “what-am-I-supposed-to-do-now?” are overwhelming. One can feel as if one is drowning. I will never forget the waves of helplessness washing over me as circumstances seemed to conspire against me. Nightmares invaded my sleep.

During one particularly trying time in our lives, I said to my husband, “Go to the party, just like you planned. I’m going to my meeting. We can’t stop living. As long as we keep things normal for the children, we prove we’re stronger than what’s happened.”

Yes, people need to grieve. To rant, rave, vent, smash dishes, scream into pillows, or whatever else is therapeutic for that person at that moment. Then take a shower, get dressed, and go to work. Do your normal. Or find a new normal that carries you forward. Keep busy. Scrub your kitchen floor. Plant a garden.

This moment is temporary.



The last time I went to the doctor, he told me I was dehydrated. I try very hard to drink water throughout the day, but am not always successful. My solution to that is to keep several insulated containers of cold water at my desk. Doing this has helped.

At home is another story. I was swilling iced tea faster than I could make it and chill it, so I was holding back drinking, so I’d have something cold to drink “later.” I finally decided that was a bogus strategy, since it prevented me from drinking enough fluids.

I went on line and found my favorite iced tea pitcher and purchased it in several additional colors. Then I created a color-coded key and hung it on the fridge.

I like teas from Celestial Seasonings, especially their Cool Brew black teas. I order these by the case directly from Celestial Seasonings, as I cannot find them in stores around here. You don’t need to boil water to make them. I also like their fruit teas, especially the blueberry and acai mango.

So here is what the top shelf of my fridge now looks like:

I never go thirsty.

#UpbeatAuthors: Positive Indulgences

I do tend to indulge myself. I can, so why not?

That hasn’t always been the case.

One of my more recent indulgences is attending the (almost) monthly writing retreats at Thistle Dew.  For many years, other obligations prevented me from attending.  Times change. Commitments change.

These writing retreats come in handy. They’re a great way to find intense writing time. Oh, I could take time off from Day Job and stay home to “write”, but writing doesn’t get done. Floors, get mopped, errands get run, laundry is laundered, and so on.  For some reason, the writing is always the first sacrifice.

So I don’t consider these retreats “indulgences”, really. They’re more like necessity.


Cast Iron

I hang out on Facebook a lot. I like it there. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people. One of the things I see on a regular basis is a photo of a cast iron frying pan and the question, “Have you ever used one of these?”

My answer: the only thing I don’t use cast iron for is cooking pasta, because it takes too long for the water to come to a boil.

Behold: my pans and pans.

#UpbeatAuthors: Self-Help Books

I’ve read a lot of self-help books in my time. Most of them haven’t stuck. Oh, there was one–I can’t remember the title or the author–where the author said if one more person/article/guru suggested getting up an hour earlier in order to accomplish whatever it was they were selling, she was going to do damage to someone.  I happen to agree.

I do like SARK’s books. I own several. I’m as attracted to the bright colors as I am to the contents. It was through one of her books that I learned about my favorite self-help book:  Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace  by Gordon MacKenzie. Unfortunately, it’s out of print. My local library has a copy.

Here is one of the most important things I learned from this book. “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.”