Tag Archives: support

You Don’t Have To

There’s a lot of guilt and obligation floating around both online and off. And while you don’t have to believe a word that I say—trust me, I don’t always believe these myself—just for today, try.


You don’t have to hide your quirks. They make you unique.

You don’t have to drink coffee, and if you do, it doesn’t have to be designer Arabica beans or a $6 latte from Starbucks.

You don’t have to love a certain food because everyone else seems to love it. You can if you want, but do it for you. Not for any other reasons.

You don’t have to check your phone right this minute. Remember how life was a decade ago? Whatever it is can wait.

You don’t have to be the best parent, spouse or friend, but you do have to be there when those people need you.

You don’t have to love yoga or CrossFit or running. Try to be healthy, but be healthy for you. We all need to find out what works.

You don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like you.

You don’t have to cook complicated meals with a lot of ingredients. Microwaves were made for a reason.

You don’t have to make Pinterest-worthy desserts. Bakeries are there for a reason, as are Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines mixes.

You don’t have to pin a damn thing.

You don’t have to hide your successes, but it’s far more impressive when others discover your charm without you having to tell them.

You don’t have to tweet a damn thing.

You don’t have to be mean to be funny. In fact, you don’t have to be mean at all.

You don’t have to love your job. You don’t have to hate your job. But you should do a good job when your name and your rep are attached.

You don’t have to tell everything you know because you have a spare minute.

You don’t have to undervalue your strengths or overvalue your mistakes.

You don’t have to hide your scars. They show that you have survived.

You don’t have to take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

You don’t have to write a book. You don’t have to read a book, but if you don’t, you’re missing out.

You do not have to complain each time you’re annoyed, but silent gratitude feels rather wasted.

You don’t have to love being a parent all the time. You don’t have to feel guilty for that.

You don’t have to complain about being a parent all the time. Nobody likes a martyr.

You don’t have to write if you really don’t want to, and when you do, write for yourself.

You don’t have to compare yourself to others. You are you. That is enough.

You don’t have to be inspirational—life isn’t unicorns and glitter—but everyone has their own junk. Try and provide some relief.

You don’t have to click on the link and read through. In fact, you can log off.

You don’t have to make the bed, fold the laundry or clean every day. A house is meant to be lived in.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. Nobody does, and you don’t have to believe them if they tell you they do.

You don’t have to take the road others have taken. Just make sure the path is your own.

And most of all, you don’t have to be the exception.

You are worthy of happiness in your life.

You are worthy of laughter, good food and good friends.

You are worthy of love and support.

You don’t have to do it alone.

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P.S.  I created a new “Illustrated Issues” tab to the top of my blog where I added some of the most popular images from Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

When You Don’t Know What to Say

“The friend that holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.” –Barbara Kingsolver

This quote has always spoken to me, and I was reminded of it recently when a friend going through a rough time said I “always know the right thing to say.”

I laughed to myself, as that sounded ridiculous to me. While I might be good at offering a perspective I fail to absorb in my own daily life—denial is truly a gift, my friends—most of the time I just ramble and hope that something might stick, that I might be able to help ease just a smidgen of pain.

My problem is that I’m a “fixer.”

Unfortunately, there seems to be a string of pretty crappy things happening lately that proves we all have “something” that we’re dealing with that’s out of our control.

There’s no greater feeling of helplessness than to know that someone you care about is sick, financially strapped, in pain—physically or emotionally—or, let’s be honest, dealing with death—the reality of their own or that of a parent, a friend, or the horror of the loss of a child.

There are no “right” words, and at some point you realize that things happen to you and happen around you that can’t be fixed.

And it’s not your job to fix them.

I think a lot of people unintentionally ignore these things at times, not because they don’t care, but simply because they can’t “fix” them and have no clue how to react. Those who are sick or aging aren’t necessarily the same people we’ve known them to be, and selfishly, we want them to be the people they were before they got sick, before they got old, before they became so… mortal.

The realization that things will never be the same—and that you can’t fix it as such—is enough to make you stress yourself out in an attempt to save the world or conversely stay at home curled up in a ball, not dealing with it at all.

But just as much as you don’t want to deal with it, I can guarantee that the person who is sick or struggling doesn’t want to deal with it a million times more—but they do, often with courage and grace.

I think that in and of itself can be intimidating, the fact that you are lucky enough to be in a comparatively better position. The strength of those who aren’t can be inspiring beyond belief, but it can also make us question how we would be if faced with such a challenge.

It takes courage to face the unknown, but it’s much easier to do so when you’re on the right side of the coin, to be the one who has a choice.

But the fact is that as strong as they are or appear to be, they’re probably still scared. So we put the guilt aside for wanting them to be the people they were before they got sick, before they got old, before they became so…mortal. Because at their core, they are the same people.

And you know what?

They know that you can’t fix things, and most don’t expect you to. They have no choice but to deal the hand they were dealt, and sometimes they just want you to hold that hand.

They don’t want to do it alone.

That’s one thing I—and you—can fix.

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Smiling is My Favorite

True story.

I had to buy a new phone and qualified for an upgrade discount, so I went to the Verizon store and bought a new one. When I got home, I had an email with an online offer that confused me. Thinking I got screwed out of money, I decided to participate in a “live support chat” session online.

I copied the text and pasted it below.

Please wait for a Chat Representative to respond.

Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless. My name is ‘Gina’, how may I assist you?

Abby: I just returned home from the Verizon store because I was told I qualified for an upgrade. So I purchased the new phone, got home and just saw that there was an online discount for the same phone that I just bought! How can I get that $50 discount? It seems unfair to have to pay the full price if I’m a returning customer…

Gina: I’m sorry for the misunderstanding about online pricing vs. store pricing. I can gladly assist you.

(Insert boring details here.)

Gina: Thank you. First I wanted to mention so you understand why this happened.  Stores have their own pricing. Now if you did purchase the phone at a company owned store I can see if I can credit your account.

Gina: One moment.

Gina: Great you did upgrade at a company owned store. I’m trying to see what you paid for the phone. $30?

Abby: $(insert amount much greater than $30)!

Gina: Oh. Gosh. Thank you. Please give me a few moments.

(Insert a few moments here.)

Abby: I’m still here…

Gina: Good news. We are unable to match online pricing as it’s for online orders only. Once you return you’re phone, place the order in My Verizon and it will be free.

Abby: But I already cut the UPC off the box and sent it in for the rebate. And it’s “your,” not “you’re,” just for future reference. I’m not trying to be rude, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.

Gina: Ha. Okay. You can still return phones after submitting the rebate. Your refund will be less the rebate.

Abby: So if I take the phone back, do they simply refund me what I paid for this phone and then I order the new one online for $X?

Gina: Yes, I see what you mean now. Hmm. The store will refund your money less the $50 rebate then you will get the $50 on a Visa card.  Once they process your return, you can then order the phone in My Verizon for $X.

Abby: What do I tell them when I go there?

Gina: Exactly what you told me. Wait. You mentioned a $50 rebate. Online orders offer instant rebates and the stores instead have mail in rebates. In the end your price is still the same. I thought at first you found it was free.

Sidenote: Who mentioned a free phone?

Gina: Do you follow me?

Abby: Like on Twitter? I just starting Tweeting last week and don’t really know what I’m doing.

Gina: Ha. No, not on Twitter.

Abby: In fact, it’s kind of like this—typing back and forth—except you have to add in things like @ and # every once in awhile.

Gina: That sounds nice. Do you understand about the phone?

Abby:  I think so. So there’s no difference between ordering it online or in the store. One is with a mail-in rebate and one is instant, so this whole conversation was for nothing?

Gina: You were under impression that you would get an additional $50 off but online there’s no mail in rebate in addition. It would be worth it if you saw it was free online.


Gina: I just caught that now. You never mentioned seeing a free phone online. 

Abby: Right…so it’s the same price either way then.

Gina: I guess so! Are you familiar with how to track your rebate submission online? I can give you the direct link.

Abby: I sent it in already. It will come in the mail. As long as I’m not getting screwed by ordering in store instead of online, I guess this whole thing was a moot point!

Gina: I’m glad it works out the same. I included the link above to help you track the status.

Abby: I just mailed it an hour ago, so I don’t think I can check yet. However, I will keep the link for future use. Thanks.

Gina: Yes, exactly. Save it to your favorites.

Abby: Smiling is my favorite.

Gina: In 4-6 weeks you will receive your Visa card that can be used anywhere to further smiles!

Abby: Yay for smiles!

Gina: I hope you are enjoying your new phone. Did you have any additional questions or concerns for me at this time?

Abby: Thank you Gina. I plan on enjoying my new phone by not answering it when it rings and dying a little inside when the little text thing goes off.

Gina: You can change your text notifications in the Sounds setting menu if it is bothering you at the wrong times.

Abby: No, it’s people that bother me. The noises are fine.

Gina: Oh no! Well you go and have a great peaceful day by yourself with lots of smiles. If you have no other questions, I thank you for being a valued Verizon Wireless customer.