Friday, June 20, 2014

Miller Time Friday - Some Wisdom

Summer is finally here!  I have been as busy as a one arm paper hanger, between work and my garden and am just now catching up.  Oh and I definitely have world cup fever, but more on that this weekend...

This morning, Miss Gigi shared some words of wisdom on Facebook that I thought were just too good not to pass along here.....

It never ceases to amaze me how many people let life happen to them.  I have been one of them from time to time myself and this is a good reminder to take the bull by the horns and shift your perspective...

10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be

1. You ascribe intent.

Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.  

Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.

2. You’re the star of your own movie.

It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.

You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.  Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines, or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you a promotion, your movie is ruined.

Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.

3. You fast forward to apocalypse.

I have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is marginally better than utter disaster or jail time. My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account.
Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.

4. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.

Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims.  Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to fawn over your tribal tattoo?

Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.

5. You are waiting for a sign.

I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” I suppose she is waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. She is constantly paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than be governed by it.

6. You don’t take risks.

Two words: Live boldly. Every single time you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did.

7. You constantly compare your life to others.

A few years ago I was invited to a nice party at a big warehouse downtown. I was enjoying the smooth jazz, box wine and crustless sandwiches. What more could a guy want? Later in the evening I noticed a steady parade of well-heeled people slide past and disappear into another room. I peeked and saw a large party with beautiful revelers dancing and carrying on like Bacchus. Suddenly my gig wasn’t as fun as it had been all because it didn’t appear to measure up to the party next door- a party I didn’t even know existed until just moments before.
I do this frequently. Those people are having more fun. Mary has a bigger boat. Craig gets all the lucky breaks. Ted has more money. John is better looking.
Stop it.

Always remember what Teddy Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

8. You let other people steal from you.

If you had a million dollars in cash under your mattress, you would check it regularly and take precautions to insure it is safe. The one possession you have that is more important than money is time. But you don’t do anything to protect it. In fact you willingly give it to thieves. Selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, people who won’t shut up. Treat your time like Fort Knox. Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it.

9. You can’t/won’t let go.

These are getting a little harder aren’t they? That’s because sometimes you have to work at happiness. Some hurdles are too difficult to clear by simply adjusting your point of view or adopting a positive mindset.
Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to turn your back on a failed relationship? Do you need to come to terms with the death of a loved one?
Life is full of loss. But, in a sense, real happiness would not be possible without it.  It helps us appreciate and savor the things that really matter. It helps us grow. It can help us help others grow.
Closure is a word for people who have never really suffered. There’s no such thing. Just try to “manage” your loss. Put it in perspective. You will always have some regret and doubt about your loss. You may always second guess yourself. If only you had said this, or tried that.

You’re not alone. Find someone who understands and talk to that person. Reach out for support. If all else fails, try #10 below.

10. You don’t give back.

One way to deal with loss is to immerse yourself in doing good. Volunteer. Get involved in life.
It doesn’t even have to be a big, structured thing. Say a kind word. Encourage someone. Pay a visit to someone who is alone. Get away from your self-absorption.

When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are happy. Takers are miserable. What are you? 

I don't know who Tim Hoch is, but I think he is pretty bloody brilliant!  

In honour of Wisdom and SUMMER, let's have a cocktail, shall we?

Lemon Thyme Herbal Martini Recipe –

The Drunken Botanist

  • Muddled Lemon Thyme — Handful
  • Citron Vodka — 2 oz.
  • Superfine sugar — 1 teaspoon
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Ice
Throw all the ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Strain ice and thyme out as you pour into a sugar-rimmed martini glass.

I definitely think I need this book - I would like the moniker of The Drunken Botanist!

We have a very social weekend ahead of us - an event with my old work colleagues tonight at wonderful Kings Landing:

And tomorrow night, a Caribbean-themed dinner party with our close friends!  and the sun is shining!

Hope you have a great day! Stay safe out there!

xoxo wendy


  1. Great advice! I struggle with giving of my time to the people who drain me and letting go. I don't hold grudges, but I just can't seem to forgive one person and I know that weighing me down. It's a work in progress and as you said, it's work! Thank you for the reminder to enjoy every day!
    Have a beautiful day Wendy!

    1. A - the older I get the less willing I am to give to the energy vampires. Sure, our friends get down now and then, but if it is only complaints or making us feel badly about ourselves, what are we doing in that relationship? Having said that, I do think the forgiveness and recognizing that we play roles in other's lives and some of those roles are for many years and some are much shorter and both are equally important! And not feel badly when those shorter relationships end...

  2. Hello Wendy,

    There is some very sound advice here and, with the advancing years, we can claim to have put many of these ideas into practice. We have long been of the view that if one surrounds oneself with negatively minded people, it will drain one's own energy as a result. On the other hand, spirited people with a genuine curiosity for people in particular and life in general are so energy inducing. However, seeking them out can be difficult!

    Your weekend sounds to be shaping up nicely. Have fun!

    1. Jane and Lance - it is so true, isn't it? You have to kiss a lot of friend frogs to find the prince and princesses! I want to feel like there is a real relationship and that the person is of a like-mind - wants to suck the marrow out of this life!

  3. Love the advice, and I second the nomination to grant you the title of the "drunken botanist". That is great. Oh, I would LOVE to be a part of a social weekend at such a lovely location. From that picture it is easy to forget the snowy winter. The sun is bouncing off of the stone. Enjoy.

    1. I bought your magazine! Was so excited to find it and now need to learn to crochet!!! Oddly, it is cool here today, not a good first day to summer at all! But I shall still have a grand time!

    2. Oh my goodness, I almost fell off of my chair. You are my first fan!. Thank you so much, Wendy. Maybe on your next NYC trip, we could arrange a lesson : ) Have a wonderful weekend. You just made my day!

    3. Not your first fan, but first public maybe? You are so talented! I was showing Barry and he thought your work was amazing, too! A cover is a BIG deal and you should be justifiably proud!

  4. I think there is a lot of number 2 in this city which i find rather annoying. Everyone acts like they are starring in a reality tv show and a lot of people seem to love drama. Very sage advice that I might forward this to a few people! I hope yuo are enjoying your early summer and am sure you garden will look all the more splendid for it :)

    1. CSW - I loathe drama - when all I hear is people yammering on and making huge deals out of what I would consider almost nothing it drives me wonky! The garden is coming, but there is still lots to do!

  5. I love this post Wendy... Number 6 is totally me! Absolutely. I would like to thank you as you have absolutely no idea how much you have inspired me lately... Thank you, this has been really precious. Have a fantastic weekend.

  6. I love that list! Now to pay attention to it everyday...

  7. Number 3 is the Stoic practice of negative visualization--love the Stoics! Anticipate that all is fleeting in the end and be fine with that.

    Have a lovely weekend! We're heading up North for a night to an inn we enjoy. Should stay home and weed.

    1. I like it too, except that most people only do the first part and never get around to the second!

      Wish you were heading a little farther north! Although we are an absolute disaster this weekend - house needs scrubbing, we have no front door as Barry is replacing old broken one, etc!

  8. What an excellent list. You've inspired me to guard my time this weekend, I have so much I want to do and I'm going to be firm with people "dropping by". MrBP and I just want a bit of time to ourselves to watch the new Wes Anderson movie, we have it on dvd but of course with the doorbell ringing constantly this week it was impossible to watch it.
    I hope you have a great weekend! Big hug and thank you for the weekend wisdom!

    1. Lock that door and just say no! I want to watch that movie, too, but am too busy this weekend!

  9. Wendy, this has given me the much needed kick up the old proverbial. I am totally guilty of all this stuff and being negative as well!
    I just saw a clairvoyent (sp?) on the street who called: "You have a great aura, creative and you've finding it hard right now, but you are creating great things. This is the best life of all your lives, this is the one where you are going to do things" Being a sucker I believed her and felt quite buoyed by her positive words, then thought why can't i talk to myself like this?

    1. Wow, would love to meet that clairvoyant! About 2 months ago I began to stop saying anything negative to myself. It was really hard at first. But I have decided to treat myself like the best friend I have and if I wouldn't let someone say cruel things to you, I sure as heck shouldn't do it to myself. Is making a huge difference!

  10. Not sure why we are so hard on ourselves. Love your response above to Miss Jody.


Kindness is a virtue...