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 wonder, reassurance, practice on
Jan 20, 2013
Okay. I admit it. I watched Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong.
For all of the first night and much of the second I was a little--oh, I don’t know--bored. Maybe because Lance struck me as measured. It was almost as if he flowcharted his answers as he gave them, tweaking them here for one effect and there for another.
Then he talked about explaining himself to his kids, suggesting they not defend him anymore. That part got to me. Not because of Lance. Because of the kids.
I tried to imagine how it would feel to believe your dad is a hero--and then, seemingly overnight, to be asked to absorb the opposite.
What would that be like?
I have no idea. I’m lucky that way, and I’ve never taken it for granted.
When I talked with Katie about this she offered the reassurance I--for once--didn’t need. I smiled and told her, “Yeah, it stings for two days when I think I’ve bored you for five minutes.”
I don’t know where I got the idea it’s a sin to be boring, but it’s probably an okay thing to obsess about as a radio talk show host.
As a mom, not so much.
Katie and I are fond of reminding each other that even if I could be perfect--which no one can--I wouldn’t be, because part of being a good mom is giving her practice in dealing with frustration.
We both wonder why I’m so hard on myself when I give her just the teeniest, tiniest bit of that practice--when I bore her for three whole sentences.
I’m working on that. And I’m trying not to be too hard on myself while I do!
Posted by: maureen in wonder, marriage, dance on
Sep 5, 2012
Have you ever finished something for no reason other than you started?
When it’s optional--a book, a movie--I cut my losses. I bail early, and often.
I made an exception with Shall We Dance?
I’d just interviewed Elizabeth Fournier
--who teaches ballroom dancing as part of her combo platter career--and I thought, “What the heck?”
I’ve been a sucker for Richard Gere ever since An Officer and a Gentleman
, but I still felt silly watching this movie.
“I don’t know why I started it,” I told Darrell. “But by God, I’m going to finish it.”
I’m glad I did, too--because it answered the question I think we’ve all asked ourselves on a bad day. Why do people get married?
Consider this: “We need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet... What does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed.’”
Posted by: maureen in wonder on
Jul 1, 2012
What do you get when you add one more attempt to 5,126 failures? You get a vacuum that makes me swoon. I am not kidding. As a newlywed I once interrupted one of Darrell’s kisses to watch a Dyson commercial. Sometimes I think the best part of being in an airport is using a Dyson hand dryer in the bathroom.
Many years ago I was in a department store--Sears, I think--testing out a vacuum before the Dyson had been invented. Someone asked me how it was going. “I don’t really like
to vacuum,” I said to much laughter across the showroom floor. It was just a few pretend cookie crumbs on a tiny square of carpet. But it was housework, and I hated it.
You can have your houses and all the stuff you stuff inside. Just give me a Dyson vacuum, and I’ll live happily ever after.
Plus every time I look at this wonder of technology it reminds me failure doesn’t suck
Posted by: maureen in wonder, name, laugh on
Jan 24, 2012
What if you could look at mistakes as just information
You’d be in good company. Improv actors, jazz musicians, and even public speakers are at their most entertaining when they look at so-called mistakes as jumping-off points as opposed to, well, mistakes. Nick Morgan
is a public speaking coach with an acting background. He reminded me what I love most about the talk show--the potential to mess up. I’m much more likely to play a clip over and over if it involves a boo-boo. Darrell swoops in, my guest is reassured he doesn’t have to be perfect, and we all have a good laugh.
Speaking of which! I have it from two sources I’m the only person in the history of cartoon watchers to mispronounce Boo-Boo the Bear, friend to Yogi. I got it in my head his name was pronounced like the “bow” in (his) bow tie. “How?” a friend wondered. “How
?” Pause. “It isn’t like you heard someone else
pronounce it that way…”
But I have to ask Darrell every time. Is it bow-bow? Or boo-boo?
You can say that again!
Posted by: maureen in wonder, perspective, exercise on
Nov 7, 2011
You love soccer. Why is that? You love periwinkle. I do, too! You love math. What is it about solving algebra problems that tickles you so much?
Figuring out why you love something, peeling back another layer, is an exercise career consultants often use. The goal is to examine your skills and your preferences from a different perspective so you can, for example, see yourself thriving in a new career.
I just think it’s fun to wonder. Why do I love math? Thanks for asking! Maybe it started when I was little and my dad helped me with my math homework. He took time out of his weekend--and time away from four sisters and three brothers--and spent it on me. That was pretty cool.
Please don’t decide you already know everything there is to know about yourself. It’ll help you remember you don’t know everything about the people you live with and work with.
It would be a shame to take them for granted!
Posted by: maureen in wonder on
Nov 1, 2011
“What a good post this will make.”
That’s what I wonder if a blogger--who shall remain nameless, here--is thinking, as she weathers her latest crisis.
And of course I wonder what…wondering…says about me.
Am I discerning? Or jaded?
Not that there’s anything wrong with jaded. A healthy dose of “things are not always what they appear” comes in handy sometimes!
Posted by: maureen in wonder, party, connection on
Oct 6, 2011
You’ve researched the company and you have intelligent questions to ask of the interviewer. You’ve driven the route between your home and that office, so you know how early you’ll have to leave. Your Sunday best is pressed, your answer to the “tell me a little bit about yourself” question rehearsed until it sounds natural--no, that isn’t a contradiction in terms--and now all that’s left to do is relax.
Fluffy can help. Joan Ranquet
, who helps people communicate with their pets, says her clients often wonder why their dogs or cats are staring at them. What do they want?
“What if they don’t want anything?” Joan asks. “What if they’re just enjoying the connection with you?”
All you have to do is accidentally knock over a trash can for your pet to think it’s time for a party. So have your party, and ace your interview. It’s just what the animal doctor ordered!
Posted by: maureen in wonder on
Sep 27, 2011
Are you working for someone who's a little bit of a stinker?
Who takes you out to lunch, asks you to pass the salt--and when you do--screams at you that it wasn't the pepper? You know better than to defend yourself against his lapses, because he doesn't realize he has them...and he doesn't take kindly to the suggestion he's contributed to a problem.
Everyone tells you to quit. You agree. But your new job isn't nailed down yet and you're stuck with Mr. Wonderful for a while.
Remembering the situation is temporary will do...wonders...for your health. Pretending it's easy in the meantime won't.
Do yourself a favor. Forgive yourself for how much it hurts, even though--or maybe especially because--you know it (quote) shouldn't.
Posted by: maureen in wonder, grace, choice on
Sep 11, 2011
“Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
One reason people say that
? Suddenly they had time, which they’d never taken before, to consider other choices.
It’s difficult to keep a theoretical silver lining in mind while you’re getting the news. I know
. That’s one reason I’ve always been impressed with a suggestion from career consultant Anne Headley
, to write your former employer a letter--thanking
the person for everything you learned on that job. Can you imagine? Talk about grace.
It makes me wonder if Carol Bartz will ever regret what she said about being fired from Yahoo recently. But I’ll be following the story