The Blame Game

Who ruined your day today?

When you were late to work, did you curse the bus driver in front of you? 

When you missed your project deadline, did you slam your slow computer?

How about that job you didn’t get?  Wasn’t it the fault of that dumb manager who couldn’t see how great you were?

And the argument with your spouse…wasn’t it because they are grumpy all the time?

The answer to all of these questions might be yes.  After all, there’s got to be a good reason why we, as perfect as we are, are plagued with all of these problems.

So we blame and point fingers at the objects of our frustrations, like the bus driver that wouldn’t be in front of us if we had left the house on time for work, or the slow computer that could have gotten our project finished on time, if we had started earlier or worked on it with fewer distractions.

And the fact that you didn’t do any research on the company you interviewed with could not have anything to do with the job rejection you received, right?  It’s obviously the fault of the annoyed-looking manager. He’s probably related to your grumpy spouse who was awake all night because of the sleep apnea you refuse to see a specialist about.

But perhaps none of these are to blame. Could it be possible that your day was ruined because of your own planning, or lack thereof?

A wise man once said that to BLAME is to B-LAME.  Blaming may make us feel better, but what does it do for the person on the other end of our pointed finger?  Blaming is lame because it hides the root cause of a problem and subjects the recipient of the blame to undue shame.  

Even if you’re blaming someone for a problem they caused, is it ever good to bring someone shame or spread word of their mistake to tarnish their name? 

People who blame are problem makers, not problem solvers. There’s far more honor in figuring out a solution and moving forward, than festering in a miserable state of blame.

So don’t cancel the big meeting when Peter forgets to buy toner.  Be that person who runs to Office Max to make copies of the proposal before the customer arrives. And bring Peter a donut while you’re out.  He feels bad enough.

Don’t play the Blame game. You’re too great to B-LAME.


A little courtesy, please

Are you a good tipper?

When you go out to eat, do you tip the server at least 15%? Do you tip at all?  Do you send them running back and forth for extra sauce, forks and napkins or do you look around the table to see what’s needed and ask for it all at once? And do you say please and thank you?

Do you feel like I’m your mom or grandma right now?

Well, I’m not, but I am someone’s mom and grandma and I’m here with some good courtesy reminders, we can all use.

Pay attention to that person who just held the door for you and say thank you. Don’t just walk through like it’s their job, because they held it for the ten people in front of you.

Tip your server well. Your tip is a large part of their pay. And be courteous to them. Smile at them and look them in the eye.

That goes for the cashier in the supermarket, too.  Acknowledge their presence, speak to them and take a moment to get off your cell phone.

And, speaking of cell phones.  Can we put them down when we’re walking into the house, or a gathering or work? If you’re not the first one in the place, then someone else is who deserves your attention.  It might even be the pet who’s been waiting all day for your return. And you’re their whole world.

Not feeling well?  Have some vacation time?  Use it! No one wants to catch what you have. If you can work from home, do it.  If you can’t miss work and you know you’re sick, cover your coughs and sneezes and keep to yourself as much as possible. Johnny doesn’t want you in his cubicle telling him how sick you are.  Johnny is looking at you, planning his escape.

And please, if you don’t have a handicap, don’t park in handicapped parking spaces. That five minutes you think won’t hurt might be the time when someone pulls up, who really needs it. And one day, that someone could be you.

If any of these reminders made you say “Ouch,” I’m sorry and I still love you.

Yours truly,


P.S. Don’t talk while you chew.



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What’s Your Brand?

Whether you’re 32 or 72, you’ve lived to see the loss of another musical icon today.

Legendary jazz singer Al Jarreau has passed away.

So many greats have died of late, it’s really quite astonishing.  Last year alone, we lost Prince, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali and some would say each was the greatest of all time, in their genre.

I would say that the greatness of each lied not in what they did, but who they were.  They were unique and they sold their uniqueness.  Each was a brand before branding was a marketing tool. Prince, as the ultimate brand, sold millions of records as a symbol without a name. Now that’s branding!

So, what’s your brand? What’s that thing that sets you apart? What do you hope to be known by?

Do you hope to be known by your wealth, your home, your position on the board or your kindness, humility and compassion?

If you had to give up your name for a symbol, what symbol would that be?

Interesting questions, right?  Think about them today or tonight and comment back, if you like.

And fear not if you think it’s too late to create your own brand. Al Jarreau didn’t record his first album until he was 35 and announced his retirement from music just days ago, at age 76.

You don’t have to be the greatest of all time to be great. Spread the seeds of your uniqueness. The world will take note, your harvest will grow and one day you’ll be known by your fruit.





 I recently spent an evening talking with a wonderful group of single, married and divorced women. We talked about all things life: dating, men, marriage, children, religion, health, food, work, goals, exercise and the list goes on.

We shared our tales of struggle and triumph, our regrets and hopes for the future. At the end of the night, we collectively agreed “Wow. Women really do rock!”

And we do. Think about it.  Think about how much women do!

We take care of our homes, groceries, cooking, cleaning, laundry and everything in between. And, if we have children, we take care of them too and the list that goes with that task is too long to blog about.

We play girlfriend, wife, cheerleader and joyride to our significant other and do whatever is necessary to make sure that ride doesn’t break down.

And the scheduling…don’t forget the scheduling!  If we don’t remember where everyone is supposed to be and when, then who will? And, remember your aging parents. They’ve got appointments you’re in charge of, too!

Then for kicks and giggles, add on a 40 hour weekly pastime we’ll call “work”.

And, for a hot time, there’s our friend, Menopause.   She has us feeling like a whole new person. She makes us wet when we want to feel dry and dry when we want to feel wet. And she’s the clingy type.

We do it all, ladies. We triumph every day. And no one else can do you, quite like you do.

So, as you take off your makeup and drag yourself to bed, do it without regret. Remember that you took on the world today and earned every ounce of that fatigue. And, despite every chore undone, you still accomplished 101! 





The Good Fight

Whatever your political preference, we all have to admit that these are turbulent times. Friends are dropping friends, neighbors are snubbing neighbors and families are fighting one another over political views.

Instead of fighting each other, wouldn’t the world be greater if we all united against the terrible thing that is affecting our friends, neighbors and family members at an alarming rate? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all joined together in the fight against cancer?

I’ll bet that every person reading this knows someone who has recently survived cancer, is battling cancer or has died of cancer. If you’re like me, you know several of each.

Our opponent is a crafty one, but make no doubt about it, we are at war. As in any war, defeating our enemy is going to take manpower, money and expertise.   And tackling this monster requires research because, many times, we don’t know if its origin is environmental, dietary or hereditary and we can’t make it end if we don’t know where it begins.

Everyone can be on the frontline of this fight. You might be a corporal of financial giving, a medic on the battlefield of healthcare or a lieutenant of love, providing personal support. Wherever you fit in, the troops need your help.

So in the coming days, as you rally behind your favorite political party, sports team or whatever you fancy, think about supporting the battle against cancer. Though it may not affect you today, be assured that it doesn’t play favorites. It’s a fight where we can all be on the same team, and win.

Let’s set aside our differences and kick cancer’s butt, together!



Protect your peace

Peace is a precious gem that, when treasured and sought after, will make you happier, right where you sit, right now.

How many times this year have you allowed your emotions to let drama sink into your life, where peace should reside?  Five or ten? How many times today?

Did you allow Susan’s lack of work ethic or manners to get to you at work today? Did the fact that Shirley or Bob didn’t speak to you make you mad?  Did the smell of Herschel’s cologne work on your last nerve?

If so, you’re not alone. We’ve all got our pet peeves. And we’ve all encountered someone who is inconsiderate.  But guess what … to Susan, Shirley, Bob and Herschel, that someone might be you.

So, what can we do about it?  We can protect our peace by refusing to let our situations and surroundings negatively affect our day and cause us stress.

While you’re sitting there upset that Susan has been on an hour-long personal call, Susan has made plans for a fabulous lunch date and isn’t thinking about you. While you’re working up an ulcer because Bob and Shirley didn’t speak to you today and you know they saw you, Bob and Shirley are deep in discussion because Bob just told Shirley he is terminally ill. And as for Herschel, he is wearing that cologne because he hopes Shirley will find it sexy.  And she just might.

So, let’s stop sitting around, generating ulcers and headaches over things and people who just aren’t worth the stress. Decide to stop creating drama,  decline drama-filled situations and invitations and refuse to let anything permeate your peace.  Pray, meditate, exercise or do whatever it takes to maintain your peaceful place.

And please, if you pull Herschel’s name for Secret Santa this year, buy him some nice cologne.