Don’t Wish Your Life Away

lastday“Don’t wish your life away!” These words are not my own, but rather words my mother frequently spoke when I was anxious for some event to occur.

  • I wish it was Saturday.
  • I wish school would start (and then a few months later) I wish the school year would end.
  • I wish I were 10, and then 13, and then 16, and then 18…
  • I wish I could get a job.
  • I wish football season would get here.
  • I wish it was Christmas.
  • I wish it was my birthday.
  • I wish. I wish. I wish.

Even as adults, we tend to wish for weekends, vacations, or even the end of the workday. And this year I know I’m going to have to slow down and take this advice.

There’s a countdown on my phone. I know there’s 289 days until the final day of school in 2015 and the beginning of the next chapter called retirement; but as the countdown continues, I’m going to try to follow my mom’s advice and live by the words of Marjorie Pay Hinkley:






Twirl Everyday

If this advice does not sound like me…you’re right! “Twirl everyday,” is advice from three year old, Lily.


My friend, Joan, sent a card with birthday wishes last week. On the front of the card is a print of a watercolor Joan painted of her twirling granddaughter, Lily. The message inside, “You must twirl everyday!” comes from her very wise granddaughter.

I don’t think I could say it any better myself.

Twirl everyday!



Pick People Over Gadgets

Oops! If this looks familiar that’s because I inadvertently scheduled it to be posted on September 30th! I didn’t follow my own advice from the 30th to slow down, and as a result I posted Pick People Over Gadgets before I intended. I recently heard Dear Abby’s daughter, Jeanne Phillips, describe her mother, the famous advice columnist as a “do as I say” person who rarely followed her own advice. Just for the record, I try not to be that type of mom…but today proves I need to take my advice and SLOW DOWN! It’s embarrassing to make mistakes that could easily have been avoided by taking the time needed to do it right the first time. Now I hope you’ll not only Slow Down, but Pick People Over Gadgets!

This is meant as a reminder to me as well as you. It’s not uncommon to be in a room with more gadgets than people, and each one offers another form of distraction.

On too many occasions each person is engrossed in their phone, tablet, computer, or even the television instead of interacting with one another. I think it’s even worse that each person isolates himself on his own individual screen because while watching TV has long been a distraction at least everyone was watching the same program and then discussing the game or movie or program.

Unfortunately, with individual screens there’s little reason to interact with the people with whom you share the space. One reading, one playing games, one watching videos, one surfing the web, while another works. No conversation. No common experience. No interaction.

I guess what really caught my attention was an article I read (on my iPad, but when I was at home alone) that described pajamas with dots than can be scanned using an iPhone so that a story can be read. How sad! Instead of a person reading a bedtime story, a child scans his own PJs and listens to the story on the phone?

I’m not advocating no screens when accompanied by others. I know we’ve always read the newspaper or magazines or books with others in the room and since it’s really no different now that you’re reading on a device instead of the traditional paper versions. Electronic games really aren’t much different than crossword puzzles or other paper and pencil games from the past and the distractions created by television haven’t changed much in the last 50+ years, but what has changed…the screens are with us everywhere! Let’s all work to give them a break.

Make people the priority. No screens at dinner…especially when at a restaurant. No screens at the movie. No screens at athletic events, concerts, or other entertainment events. And when you have guests or visit others, turn off the screens. Be in the moment. Enjoy your friends and family.

I know this is difficult, but it’s worth the effort. Our employers demand more and more of our time now that we’re always available on a device, but we can exercise more control. I won’t be leaving my phone behind because I’ll still be taking way too many annoying pictures, but I vow to turn off the screens and pay more attention to people.

I hope you’ll join my and choose people over gadgets.



Words of Wisdom – Dr. Seuss Style

This may look like cheating, but while looking for Dr. Seuss quotes I saw this posted and felt I really couldn’t do any better. It’s amazing that Dr. Seuss, like Mr. Rogers, always knows what to say in any situation.

While I think #24 on the list is absolutely indisputable: Teeth are always in style; my favorite: Step with care and great tact. And remember life’s a great balancing act.

What’s your favorite piece of advice from Dr. Seuss?

30 Dr. Seuss Quotes that Can Change Your Life

I’m glad I don’t write only in rhyme! What an undertaking! Thanks Mamiverse for great Dr. Suess quotes!

Permission Granted

This was originally posted in November 2012, but I thought it was appropriate to post again on Mother’s Day.

After reading an article in the local paper on Mother’s Day, 2011, I asked my daughters what bits of advice I’d imparted through the years had been the most helpful. Sadly, they could not respond. Of course, when they turned the table on me asking what words of wisdom my mom shared with me, I too, drew a blank.

In the following weeks, I tried on several occasions to think of advice I’d given or should have given, even making lists of these little pearls. Finally I resolved to send a weekly message as a way to rectify my failure to provide that motherly advice. My Mother’s Day Resolution – write a message every week for one year,  and thus, Mom’s Monday Memo was born.

Since these messages belonged to Meghan, Emily, and Sarah, I asked their permission before posting on a blog. (Although I must admit I bought the domain name and set up a site before sending the email that follows.)

Over the past 75 weeks (now 100 weeks) I’ve written Mom’s Monday Memos to you. These have only been shared with the three of you. Dad even complains sometimes that he’s been left out and accuses me of writing bad things about him!

However, after attending the Sanibel Writer’s Conference, I’d like to do more with these messages. I’d like to use them as a basis for a blog, Mom’s Monday Memos. The blog would pretty much be just a compilation of these messages – posted weekly. Although I do have some other ideas that could be included since the blog workshop encouraged posting daily! I would not be able to use all of them – no one wants to know about your family health history – but I would use many of them. Of course, you’ve just seen the rough drafts since I would have to polish each piece to actually publish it on a blog. I would also carefully edit references to you, although I don’t think I’ve said anything in any message that would be hurtful or embarrassing – if so, I’m sorry, that was not my intent.

Before, I pursue this idea further, I feel I should ask your permission to continue with this project. After all, these were suppose to be just me talking to you. If you allow me to use these pieces on a blog, please feel free to add comments and suggestions. For example, do NOT include #?…or these are my favorites…or you really should change this part…etc.

Let me know what you think!


A few minutes later, Meghan responded:

Go for it.

I got a tweet from our friend who was at the SIWC who said he saw you’re on twitter and thinks he unknowingly met you yesterday. He asked if you write us regular memos. I said yep, that’s her. We’ve received one every Monday for over a year now.

Shortly after, Emily sent this message:

Blog away! I think this is a great idea. Plus, I’m pretty sure we were all planning on publishing these in a book after you died anyway.


This way we won’t have to fight over the royalties. 🙂

Then Sarah chimed in:

Works for me.

So now with permission granted, Mom’s Monday Memo has found its way to the web.

My question to you: What’s your mom’s best advice? I hope you’ll share by leaving a comment.

Remembering Dear Abby

dearabbyA week ago today it was reported that Pauline Phillips, better known as Dear Abby died at age 94 after suffering for years with Alzhiemer’s. The Dear Abby column sparked my first interest in reading the newspaper. While eating breakfast I’d grab the morning paper and quickly read her advice before heading off to school. Of course, she’d already been dishing out advice for nearly fifteen years before my addiction to her column began.

Her advice about how to handle problems with friends and family and love seemed to speak to me. Even though I rarely experienced the problems she addressed, I felt reading her advice prepared me for entering the adult world. She taught her readers, me included, to stand up for themselves, mind your own business, and that asking for help was acceptable.

This week the New York Times asked readers to share their favorite advice from Dear Abby. I found it interesting that I remembered reading these words of wisdom.

Is your life better with him or without him?

If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out.

If blinded by the lights of an oncoming car, keep your eyes on the white center line.

From her book, The Best of Dear Abby, the following letters and her responses are so typical of her advice:

Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions?” — M.J.B.

Dear M.J.B.: Yes. Run for a public office.”
“Dear Abby: What has happened to you? You used to encourage married couples to do everything in their power to save their marriages. Lately you give the impression that divorce could be the answer for some couples. Why?” –Faithful Reader

“Dear Reader: Because I think it’s more important to save people than marriages…”

Dear Abby: A woman who was married for 46 years wrote a long story about how hard her husband was to live with. She asked you whether she should choose divorce or suicide. You told her divorce was preferable. Are you married to a divorce lawyer, Abby?” — Nosy

Dear Nosy: No. Are you married to an undertaker?”

Dear Abby: Please tell me what to do when a friend has an abnormal child. I certainly can’t send a card or a gift of congratulations to someone who has had such a tragedy… Should something like this be acknowledged at all?” — Oklahoman

Dear Reader: A child, normal or otherwise, is a child to his mother. Don’t differentiate. Send a little gift with your love and best wishes.”

Dear Abby: My problem is my sorority sister. I’ve fixed her up with with several real sharp guys, but they never ask her out again because she’s so quiet. They all say it’s like pulling teeth to get a word out of her. Any suggestions?” — A.E. Phi

Dear Reader: Yes. Get her a date with a dentist.”

Dear Abby provided great advice to millions. We miss her voice of reason.