Posted by: maureen in wonder, moment, intersection on
May 15, 2013
The other day Darrell and I watched a young man navigate an intersection in town with a little kid. The child was old enough to walk, but barely. And at least three times as the pair made their way across the street, the kid sort of collapsed onto herself the way kids do when they’ve decided they’re not walking anymore. She just sat down on the street, in the crosswalk.
I couldn’t believe the man’s reaction. He didn’t scoop the child up in his arms to carry her. He didn’t yank her up to get her going. He helped her up gently, yes--but there was nothing to suggest the guy was in an hurry himself.
I couldn’t get over that.
I could write a book about how we don’t help kids grow up so much as they help us. One of the best things Katie ever taught me was to stop more often to play. This gentleman took that lesson and squared it, I think.
What would it be like to saunter instead of sprint?
Sometimes you have to sprint. Had there been any traffic, I’m sure the guy would’ve inspired more urgency in the kid. And we have a bit of a sprint to the so-called finish line of getting Katie settled into her dorm room at college in a few months.
In between, though, we’ve planned lots of lazy intersections.
I’m going to be as not-in-a-hurry to rush through them as my newest role model, The Man Who Crossed the Street with His Kid. It’s been a week, and I’m still taking in the wonder of that moment.
If only because--you saw this coming, I bet--he wasn’t on a frickin’ phone.
Posted by: maureen in reward, patience, magic on
May 14, 2013
I was on hold the other day. For more than half an hour.
And I got so much accomplished! Darrell had to fetch me a banana because I was tethered to the telephone cord, and my neck got a little sore from cradling the receiver against my shoulder. But I consolidated several to-do lists, outlined an hour of the talk show, and wrote this post.
And yes, the gal who kept giving me updates was amused by my patience. She also seemed relieved when I told her--in an attempt to reward her for her patience--she could stop with the updates.
There was a time when being on hold that long would've driven me crazy. But I was prepared for the delay--and I made it count.
We call it The Magic of Keeping Your Butt in the Chair.
Posted by: maureen in heart, family, dream on
May 13, 2013
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was often quoted as saying, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”
So please don’t take what I’m about to say as an excuse to put career over family. But one way to bungle your children is to abandon your dreams under the guise of putting family first.
There are probably as many ways to mess up a kid as there are people.
I hope you won’t let this be one of them. Don’t tell your kid he’s the reason you never went after your dreams
That’s not fair.
And besides, how much credibility will you have with him if you encourage him to follow his heart?
As if he’d have any idea from watching you live.
Posted by: maureen in party on
May 12, 2013
Want to know the secret to life? Watch this commencement speech
. The condensed version won’t even take you ten minutes.
And I realize I’m late to the party on it.
On the outside chance you are, too?
Posted by: maureen in promise on
May 8, 2013
When Katie heard me mention I needed to double up on posts last week because I’d lost a week to computer troubles, she suggested I not worry about it. “Just skip that week,” she said.
I told her skipping one week would make it easier to skip the next
When I started blogging, I made myself a promise. Four posts a week. Period.
I don’t know if it means anything to you. But it means a whole lot, to me.
Darrell was amused by what I just said, by the way. “You write about not missing posts, and call it a post?” he asked. “Does that even count?”
So let me just add this post
The point isn’t the blog. The point is keeping promises.
They matter. Even--or perhaps, especially--promises you make to yourself
In Monday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal there was a front-page story on college tuition, which included a reference to Katie’s big decision on what college to attend.
By reference I mean a few paragraphs. Which is amazing enough. But what struck me is how much more there was to the story. The reporter I spoke with distilled material from not one but three phone calls, and at least that many online exchanges. No wonder she was working on a Sunday when she reached me that last time. If she was being as meticulous with the rest of the facts she cited as she was in making sure she quoted me correctly, I think I’d need a few days off to recover.
It’s such a great lesson, really. What looks easy and effortless to the consumer is almost certainly not, if viewed from the perspective of the producer. It amuses Darrell and me when people ask us how they, too, can have a nationally-syndicated radio show. Our answer is usually something along the lines of, “Heck if we know. But here’s how things have unfolded for us…” Their reaction is almost always something along the lines of, “Never mind!”
And yes, there are casualties. There’s only so much of us to go around--and when Friday night rolls around you won’t usually find us kicking back with the neighbors, put it that way.
Maybe you’ve heard the suggestion not to compare the messiness of your life with the highlight reels people post online. I think a lot of envy would be replaced with compassion if we could remember that dreamy is only from a distance.
Posted by: maureen in potential, love, job on
May 6, 2013
It isn’t a job market. It’s a problem market.
If you’re looking for a job, impress on the potential employer how much you love solving problems like the one she has. Then be so gracious--and so much fun, without being weird--in the interview she can’t help but want you on the team.
How could this not work?
Career consultant Dave Swanson thinks it will. He joined us on the show recently to review the basics of job hunting.
Not necessarily easy.
Posted by: maureen in polish, interview, improv on
May 5, 2013
Someone from the Wall Street Journal interviewed me last week. It wasn’t about the show--though my handlers will be happy to know that subject came up--but rather, about something Katie accomplished. I’ll fill you in soon.
For now, an observation about being on the receiving end of questions.
I haven’t been in that position very often. People who do a lot of interviews for print tell me they’re often misquoted. Something’s taken out of context--and oh, the headaches.
I doubt I’ll have this problem. It’s the Wall Street Journal.
That’s something I love about the talk show, though. My guests never have to worry about this. Oh sure, we edit out some of the coughing and a few of the pauses--more to stick to precise times for the satellite feed than anything--but other than that, what you hear is what got said.
That scares me. If I have an off day there’s no doing it over. It’s improv, recorded for broadcast later.
Which is another thing I love. It’s me, unfiltered. You’ll either like me or you won’t, but you weren’t snookered into thinking I’m more polished than I am. And I continue to feel good about how many people--including a consultant to some of the world’s top speakers--tell me the mistakes are enchanting.
Perfection is annoying, as it turns out.
Posted by: maureen in trip, plan, joy on
May 3, 2013
I’m a sucker for competitive brevity
. That’s why Twitter called. But as usual, there’s the trip you plan and the trip you take--and Twitter’s become a great way to expand my horizons. You don’t want to get trapped in the same old thinking, do you? The same routines, the same reads, the same whatever it is that made me think I needed to have three phrases in this sentence instead of the two that came easily?
If I attributed everything I mentioned in this blog it would be only attributions. Lawyers, there’s your disclaimer. If I don’t link to the source and you’re curious, go to @TheCareerClinic
and look at the people I follow. One of them is probably responsible. “Oh, good,” I can almost hear you say. “A treasure hunt!” Life
is a treasure hunt. The happiest people I know don’t use a map to find their pot of gold or even a rainbow. They just noodle around and make like little children
, stepping in every puddle between here and the playground--and snitching cookie dough at every opportunity.
As you travel on through time, do yourself a favor and look up once in a while. Keeping your eyes fixed on the road too closely will leave you blind to the possibilities at the next exit, that detour, or even a supposedly dead end.
We’re all racing toward that finish line. And when we get there? It won’t be the trip you planned that matters. It’ll be the trip you took--paved with joy, or not.
Posted by: maureen in radio, grammar, conversation on
May 3, 2013
Why devote an hour of radio to a discussion about grammar? Because it was with my friend Leigh Anne Jasheway
, that’s why. She teaches grammar, but talking about it with her was so much fun it didn’t feel like work so much as happy hour--a very
By the end of it I was so self-conscious I could barely form a sentence. I exaggerate. Or do I? I hope you’ll listen and find out
For perhaps the first time in the history of the show we ventured into the realm of politics. I couldn’t resist. Did you know George W. Bush
once said the following? “They misunderestimated me.” And you just want to say, “I don’t think they did.”
I think I’m an okay writer, but I don’t think I could do justice to this conversation on the blog.
I’ll just let you listen to the podcast