Think Before Paying It Forward

Random acts of kindness and generosity make my day. Doing them for others, receiving them out of the blue, those things make me smile and renew my faith in the goodness of humankind.

But there are things we should think twice about before paying them forward. For instance, if someone steals our parking spot and we get angry, we shouldn’t take it out on the clerk in the dry cleaners. Or if we have a really lousy day we shouldn’t walk into the house and rain misery all over the kids or the dog. Well, maybe the kids… Kidding!

I had one of those crappy days recently and I honestly couldn’t wait to share it with my mom, get it off my chest, hear her advice, feel better and then, what? Leave her with my crap to feel awful about for the rest of her day. Nope. Didn’t do it. That’s not the kind of thing I want to pay forward. It happens though. Nobody’s perfect. And while I’m all for being “cool” with my flaws, that’s one I’d like to be rid of.

I’m talking about it on the new episode of Flaws Are The New Black. Join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you!

Susan xo

Back by popular demand?

If you think this thumbnail is bad, you should see the others!

Yesterday I posted a new episode of Flaws Are The New Black , something I haven’t done since November. Why the lapse in posting? I don’t know. Maybe the holidays got in the way. Maybe I was too busy with work. Maybe I had nothing to say. (Yeah, right.) In all honesty I think what happened is I got exhausted and needed a break physically and emotionally. I needed some time off to remember why I started FATNB to begin with. And now that I’ve had a break and refreshed my memory, I’m back, renewed, re-energized, and ready to celebrate my – and your – perfectly imperfect self.

And oh yes, I am imperfect. I mean, I hang out with this guy all day. And I talk to him. Shhh. Tell no one.

I hurt my knee and Dr. Rex over here’s been taking care of me. Clearly good help is hard to find!

Stay perfectly imperfect, peeps. I’ll be in touch! S. xoxo

On Repetition

“When we came out of the theater, we all agreed: the film was a waste of money, a waste of time, and a waste of energy.”

Ah, repetition.

People, particularly presidents of countries, cult leaders, and motivational speakers, use it frequently in speeches made to huge crowds. In this scenario it usually works well, gets folks on board, riled up, ready to drink the Kool-Aid.

Other people, like parents, also use it in speeches, sometimes very loud speeches, made to their offspring. In this scenario it has about a 50/50 chance of getting the desired result unless you parent as I do, with the occasional threat of bodily harm or, worse, the cancelation of somebody’s cell phone service. I know, threatening is not a politically correct parenting tactic but from my perspective it works, as evidenced by the disappearance of the small, crawling pests that used to shop my kid’s room like a Costco.

Often though, repetition is simply proof that the writer has never been properly introduced to a thesaurus. (It’s also proof that the writer doesn’t read, but I’ll beat that drum another day.)

Speaking of repetition, repeat after me: Thesaurus.com is your friend and Powerthesaurus.com is your best friend.

I don’t know how anyone – professional writers, business people, students – anyone, writes without consulting Thesaurus.com or Powerthesaurus.com. They’re always open on my computer, as are Google and Urban Dictionary, and I use them constantly.

Let’s say I’m writing about the menu at a restaurant, and let’s say it’s a five-star restaurant. How many times can I use the word food before the reader faints from boredom? Once. Maybe twice. People, I implore you, think. It’s a five-star restaurant. It doesn’t serve food. It serves cuisine, fare, a rare treat for your taste buds, gastronomic delights, died-and-gone-to-Heaven deliciousness.

What would you rather eat – food, or died-and-gone-to-Heaven deliciousness? That’s right: died-and-gone-to-Heaven deliciousness. And your reader would, too.

Repetition, when used properly, is a powerful tool.

Repetition, when used because you’re too lazy to crack open a thesaurus and find new, fun, interesting, cool, thought-provoking, exciting synonyms is a sure fire way to put your reader to sleep.

I have spoken. Don’t make me repeat myself.