Posted by: maureen in writing, power, answer on
Jun 18, 2013
You’re a reporter, and your “aggressive line of questioning” has angered Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks.
If you’re Michael Hastings you don’t flinch at this question from Reines: “Why do you bother to ask questions you’ve already decided you know the answers to?” You simply reply with, “Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?”
I’m quoting Tim Dickinson, who--when writing for Rolling Stone about the death of Hastings--recounted that exchange. He said Hastings’ hallmark as reporter was his refusal to cozy up to power
How will you be remembered?
Posted by: maureen in writing, message, job on
Jun 17, 2013
There’s a reason we call it The Career Clinic
and not The Job Guide
. I want to help you find work you love by helping you get serious about what
you love. I don’t pretend to be a matchmaking service for employers and job hunters.
But rules are made to be broken, as the saying goes--and my sister, Amy, got in touch with me about work you might be interested in. Here’s how her message read… I am looking for a freelance writer (and probably more down the road) who would be interested in writing some general content articles for a variety of clients. The stories would need to be about 400 to 500 words. The writer could choose to write as little as four articles a month or quite a few more! It all depends on their availability. This is very flexible. If you know anyone who wants to make a little extra cash each month, I would love to get his or her name! I would consider English teachers, someone just out of college, moms who want to make some extra cash, moonlighters, etc. As long as they are good writers, I am interested in talking to them!
My sister (hi, Amy!) is a freelance writer herself. She’s smart and funny and fun. If I wasn’t so bent on writing only what I want to write and not on behalf of clients, I would’ve taken this position myself--had she accepted my help, that is.
Are you interested? Let me know
, and I’ll put Amy in touch with you.
She told everyone who got her message to feel free to forward it--to anyone who might be interested, or to anyone who knows someone who might be interested.
Please do the same with this post.
Let’s show her how robust--or at least, engaged--my readership is, shall we?
Posted by: maureen in time, honesty, expression on
Jun 12, 2013
You know how thankful you are when someone points out you have spinach in your teeth? That’s how I feel when Katie tells us she’s bored.
It isn’t often, mind you. I’ve gotten better at suggesting she join us for only what enchants, and feeling only thankful--as opposed to wounded--when I’ve guessed wrong.
There’s a wonderful expression that goes something like, “We only touch but in spots.”
Our time together is finite. Let’s not waste it on something that makes us crave more time apart.
Posted by: maureen in meaning, joy, essence on
Jun 11, 2013
When I was living in the dorm at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, I had a poster on my wall of a little girl peering through a barn door at a kitten. Cheesy? You bet. Especially when you read the caption: “To be faithful in little things is a big thing.”
One thing I’ve come to appreciate in myself is that just because something is cheesy--or popular, or both--I don’t discount it. Most people at one time thought Columbus would fall off the edge of the earth, granted--but that doesn’t mean “most people” are wrong all
The corny little saying stuck, and now I know why. Little things, when strung together, make a life. Finding joy--or meaning, or both--in the little things reminds you the big ones aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. And besides, if you cracked open that big thing--the body of work, a pocket of the world made better because you passed through--you’ll find it filled with (you guessed it) little things.
Little things are the atoms around which the Universe revolves.
I recently asked Katie what makes me me
. The first thing she mentioned was the gesture I make when something is just so cute
. I don’t make it when I’m describing the Mona Lisa. I make it when I’m gushing about a seemingly insignificant event--and I do it constantly.
My grandmother once told me how much she appreciated how much I appreciate everything. To have Katie think of that first when asked to describe my essence felt great. She sealed the sentiment a few days later when she had the last word on stage at her graduation ceremony. She talked about the little things, and quoted Wil Wheaton
: “It’s not about what you love. It’s about how you love it.”
Be the person who loves fiercely, feels deeply, and doesn’t miss the magic of what’s right in front of you.
Posted by: maureen in surprise, play, college on
Jun 10, 2013
One thing that most surprises people about Darrell and me is how we never suggested Katie go to college. Going to college doesn’t guarantee a happy life. Nothing guarantees a happy life.
We’re not grooming Katie. We’re getting to know her.
A woman I interviewed recently felt such pressure from her dad to be an athlete she had anxiety attacks about it. She went along, though--and she went to a Big Ten school on an athletic scholarship.
We talked about how often you’ll see a parent screaming from the sidelines at his child, who’s sweating it out on the ball diamond.
Why doesn’t the parent just join a league of his own and be the awesome player he’s insisting his kid be?
Posted by: maureen in news, family, business on
Jun 9, 2013
“One of my favorite things is seeing who signed off on packing slips. Signatures range from crayon to pen…”
That’s one happy Goat Milk Stuff customer, commenting on my latest Huffington Post post
about a business I couldn’t wait to spread the word about.
There’s a lot of silliness at the click of your fingers--fake news
, singing goats
I’ll take real goats, please--milked by real kids, and turned into real soap that helps real people who have real problems with their skin.
I mean, really.
Isn’t this the most enchanting family
Posted by: maureen in trust, personality, gift on
Jun 5, 2013
“What are you going to be when you grow up?”
That’s not what grownups mean when they ask that, of course. They mean, “What are you going to do when you grow up?”
I felt such pressure in high school to decide what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Which led to a series of jobs so at odds with my personality I could’ve done commercials for what not to be when you grow up. Me.
Within a few months of admitting how lost I was, I got my bearings.
There’s no shame in not knowing how your life’s going to unfold. To think otherwise? That would be a shame.
Enjoy the gift of knowing your story’s too good to reveal itself immediately. Just take it one page at a time, and trust it will inspire.
Posted by: maureen in surprise, lesson, career on
Jun 4, 2013
When Conan O’Brien
was between his NBC and TBS late-night gigs he went on the road. Darrell and I watched the story behind that story
last night, and the career lesson was obvious.
Notice what you can’t stop doing--in Conan’s case, perform--and do that.
You could try to do the opposite, of course. Push down what comes naturally and fashion yourself into a people-pleasing pretzel. But don’t be surprised if the real you bubbles up and demands to be unleashed.
Why fight it? Why not give in right this very minute and have a wonderful life?
Posted by: maureen in business on
Jun 3, 2013
A really good business, says career coach Barbara Winter, is simply a way to repeatedly share what we love with others
That will be all.
Posted by: maureen in habit on
Jun 3, 2013
“I didn’t lock it.”
That was a woman we know, referring to our Honda. She’d borrowed the keys to put a package inside, and when she returned she made a little ceremony of telling everyone within earshot she didn’t think the odds were very high someone would break into our car. You know, something to the effect we were being silly to have locked it to begin with.
She’s probably right about the odds. They weren’t very high in this case. Then again, they weren’t zero. Just ask anyone who’s had his vehicle broken into when he left it unlocked while he ran into a store for a minute--or when it was parked right in front of his house where he could see it from the front window.
We’d rather go to the trouble of locking up, which isn’t much. It’s as automatic to us as not locking apparently is to the woman I just mentioned.
Once you get in the habit you don’t think about it any more than you think about buckling. It’s just something you do--and it saves you the trouble of trying to decide if this is the neighborhood where nothing bad ever will ever happen, or this is the route where buckling is unnecessary. If we knew how to predict that sort of thing we’d be on Wall Street making things happen, and doing radio on the side.
If our package bestower knew how to predict it, the same--except for the part about radio.
I’m just naïve enough to think I can stay on this woman’s good side for--what?--an hour or two, and that’s a good thing.
Had I realized immediately how unnecessary her quick lecture was, I would’ve been tempted to show a little disapproval right back!