Tag Archives: nice

The Corner of My Brain Where Ann Lives

People leave impressions on me all the time– big ones, small ones, profound ones, good ones, bad ones, green ones. All different kinds of impressions.

But some people do a bit more than just leave an impression. Some people seem to inhabit a corner of my brain in a way that reminds me a lot like a photograph in the magical world of Harry Potter — more than just a picture, you know? Rather, an interactive depiction of the person captured.

I started thinking about this the other day as I watched someone give a PowerPoint presentation and found myself repeatedly distressed about things like hanging widows, inconsistently bulleted lists, and, worst of all: “neiserria gonorrhoeae.” Not italicized. Not capitalized (i.e. Neisseria gonorrhoeae) and I was just horrified. I found myself mentally screaming at the presenter: “You’ve got to have respect for the pathogen!!! Geez!!!” It was only after the fact that I realized where that intense feeling came from– it was Ann’s!

Ann was my advisor in grad school. I suppose when you spend 6 straight years under the tutelage of any one person, they’re going to leave a pretty big impression, yet… it’s so much more than just an impression. She truly inhabits a corner of my brain at this point and the thoughts that come from that corner belong to both Ann and to me. I was just as upset about the non-italicized pathogen name as Ann would have been– the thought was independently mine, yet clearly planted by Ann.

A photograph of the actual brain transfer in progress just before my dissertation defense.
A photograph of the actual brain transfer in progress just before my dissertation defense.

And there are other people occupying other corners and niches… most of them for the better.

My high school biology teacher, Ms. Bertsos (because I am completely incapable of calling her Gen, no matter how old I get and how long we’ve been Facebook friends) has her own space. I channel her when I make jokes about science and when I let my weirdness shine even in professional settings. Turns out, people seem to like me better when I’m genuine– and to be honest, that’s probably why I always liked Ms. Bertsos so much. I also channeled her every time I ever skinned a mouse, but that’s another story for another day…

Somewhere I have a picture of Ms. Bertsos making scrambled eggs over a bunsen burner for our AP biology breakfast bash... but it must be in Ypsilanti somewhere. Dang! No matter, this photo of Kelly and me was taken the very same day (see breakfast items in the background) and I've basically recreated the scene for your viewing pleasure. (Yes, this really happened.)
Somewhere I have a picture of Ms. Bertsos making scrambled eggs over a bunsen burner for our AP biology breakfast bash… but it must be in Ypsilanti somewhere. Dang! No matter, this photo of Kelly and me was taken the very same day (see breakfast items in the background) and I’ve basically recreated the scene for your viewing pleasure. (Yes, this really happened.)

My boss from the Writing Center, Sylvia, she occupies another area– it’s the area that makes me patient and thoughtful about my words. It’s the area that encourages me to be empathetic and to try as hard as I can not to judge other people. It’s the part the always assumes the best… or assumes not at all.

At this point I should think it would be obvious that I have only one picture of Sylvia and me... sad face! Brain transfer happened big time this weekend though, we were at a Writing Center conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
At this point I should think it would be obvious that I have only one picture of Sylvia and me… sad face! Brain transfer happened big time this weekend though, we were at a Writing Center conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Unfortunately, I recently recognized another occupant– one that’s not so good. It seems that there is a big chunk of my brain devoted to housing what essentially amounts to an amalgamation of every “mean girl” I’ve ever encountered. The thoughts and attitude of that mean girl are, as with the good occupants, both theirs and mine. And, without a doubt, the mean girl in my mind is a huge source of insecurity.

This morning at church, Seth and I ran into someone we knew up at Michigan Tech. She was an RA at the same time that we were and she was a pretty big fan of Seth (ahem). She was gorgeous then and she’s gorgeous now. Not only is she gorgeous, but she’s also the mother of a couple kids with another clearly on the way. Gorgeous, fertile, everything I am not… begin downward spiral.

The mean girls in my mind were after me with full force.

Seeing her, talking about her, the Facebook friend request she immediately sent Seth, sent me into a series of crazy thoughts– Seth could have been with her and, no doubt, he would have preferred it, seeing her makes him see how much he missed out on and how ugly I really am, if Seth had married her, he’d probably have kids by now and he’d have a pretty wife, I can’t be either of those things for him…  and so on and so forth… all the way to crazy town…

So in that moment of insecurity, I texted my friend Adriane (who was my RA when I started at Michigan Tech and is still one of my most favorite friends of all time). Her response, and I quote:

“Just be nice to everybody, maybe she’s not so bad. Besides you’re better than her anyway. Don’t let her ruin a minute of your day, it’s not worth it.”


I was letting the mean girl in my brain do all the thinking, rather than appreciating the thoughts of the crazy and awesome lady scientists Ann and Ms. Bertsos or the kind and compassionate and non-judgmental Sylvia.

In reality, it wasn’t ever a contest and it isn’t now. Seth and I are Sleepless in Seattle style MFEO and I’m sure that our Tech friend’s family is happy too. We’re doing our thing, they’re doing theirs, and we just happened to end up in the same small town. We have MTU in common, we were all RAs, and we have all, no doubt, had some time to grow up. The person I am now is still, admittedly, jealous and insecure a lot of the time– but being a nice, albeit crazy, scientist overrides all that. So nice to everybody I shall be.

Thanks, Adriane! You can hang in my brain too 🙂


PS: A “hanging widow” is what we in the biz (of being crazy) call it when one word of a longer title on a PowerPoint slide gets bumped to a second line and it makes everything look crazy unbalanced. Three options to get around it: 1) re-word the title to make it shorter, 2) make the font a bit smaller, or 3) hit enter somewhere else in the title to make it two relatively even rows of text.

Honestly, I was anal before I ever even met Ann– she just helped to shape that crazy into what it is today. I think I’m actually glad for that. She knows how to make a presentations look nice. And I do love presenting things; total adrenaline high. More on those nerdy highs to come!

I have a hard time getting over things… cannolis help.

I’ve worn a lot of different uniforms for a lot of different reasons. I played t-ball, soccer, and basketball as a kid. I ran cross country and played soccer in high school. I was in the marching band (the magic of polyester, topped with a big black hat, and a half foot tall sparkling silver tassel to top it off) and marched around the Lincoln High School football field and through parade after parade in the city of Ypsilanti dressed in some seriously crazy stuff.

Please take a moment and enjoy this ridiculous-ness... I'll wait.
Please take a moment and enjoy this ridiculous-ness… I’ll wait.

I also worked at Showcase Cinemas Ann Arbor and wore the uniform for both concessions (again with the polyester, but at least no tassel) and ushering/cashiering (where I swapped out the plastic apron for an additional layer of polyester by way of a vest).

{Source-- omg, you can find anything on the internet!}
{Source— omg, you can find anything on the internet!}

But none of those uniforms compared to the one I didn’t realize I was wearing.

When I was in middle school, I was super uncomfortable with the way I looked. Getting dressed was the worst and I spent hour after hour after hour trying on outfits for school the next day– trying to find the thing in which I looked the least fat (vanity plus insecurity in a 13 year old, good stuff). Unfortunately, there was never an outfit that was good enough and I ended up reverting to the thing I felt most comfortable in: a jacket.

We weren’t actually allowed to wear coats in the school, so that was somewhat problematic because the thing I felt most comfortable in was a sleek running jacket my dad let me borrow. But I managed to outsmart the system. I had gotten the coolest (to me) University of Michigan wind suit set at Meijer and that was the thing I felt most comfortable in. And the jacket, as part of a set, was, at least in my mind, innerwear not outerwear. So I wore it. I wore it pretty much every day, over every stressed-over jeans and t-shirt kind of outfit and with my matching pants at least once a week.

I guess I never really thought about what that jacket looked like to other people. All I knew about that jacket was that I didn’t feel fat in it– and at that time, that was enough.

It was only several years later (like several, several, maybe 10 or so) that I found out that I was being made fun of… pretty much always… by a lot of girls who called my jacket my “uniform.”

Look, there goes Rachel, in her uuuu-ni-foooooo-rm.


I knew I wasn’t a cool kid. I knew there were a lot of mean girls in my school. And I knew better than to think I wasn’t the butt of many of their jokes. But it still hurt. And bad. Even though it’s been a whole lot of years since and I never actually heard it, I frequently think of those comments… those girls… those feelings…

It’s like in Harry Potter when Dumbledore lets Harry gaze into a memory in his Pensieve– it’s so much more than just a memory. It’s an experience, full of feeling. That’s what it’s like in my mind’s eye every… single… time… that memory strikes.


It struck this morning. I got dressed, I put on a gray turtle neck sweater and black slacks. It’s kind of a go-to outfit for me, but I was feeling pretty ugh about it this morning. I wanted to put that jacket on– to be comfortable. And the memory came back. The mean girls were talking about me behind my back.

But when I walked in to work this morning, my friends were all gathered in one office and busy planning our Italian-fest lunch. I was instantly struck by how much I adore all of these women… not one mean girl in the bunch! When they tease me, it’s totally to my face, and it’s nice to be in on the joke!

I thought about the contrast between the Micheles, Maries, Aimies, and Debs of my life as an adult and the Connies, Kellys, Lauras, and Taras of my past. As we grow up, our community becomes driven more by choice than by circumstance. Today I feel that very poignantly… and I have chosen well (and not just because Marie made us homemade cannolis today… although that’s part of it).

Pure delicious-ness!
Pure delicious-ness!

This afternoon, I ate a lot of Italian-ish deliciousness to say “ciao!” to my friend Marie as she heads off on a two week adventure of a lifetime (to Italy, obviously)… I could have used my jacket. And in my new, friendly girl world, everyone would have said, “There goes Rachel in her comfy jacket— she’s awesome for doing what feels right! Dang!” Because that’s what friendly girls do.

I’m still not a cool kid, but the people I have chosen to surround myself with really don’t care. The facts are these:

  • I have bushy, early-books-in-the-series-Hermione-like hair.
  • I use way too many Harry Potter references.
  • I get nervous around people I like and ramble uncontrollably.
  • I sweat copiously when nervous. And I’m often nervous.
  • I wear the clothes that I feel most comfortable in, stylish or not. (Usually not.)
  • And sometimes I hang on to my magic wand while I’m watching tv or talking on the phone.

But I like my curls (raise the roots!), Harry Potter is sheer genius and I plan to love it and read it again and again for the rest of my life (always…), some people like the way I ramble because it means (1) that they don’t have to do all the talking and (2) they certainly can’t sound worse than me, black is pretty much my favorite color to wear anyway and sweat really doesn’t show, confidence comes from comfort and confidence is always classy (stylish or not), and the wand… maybe that’s just a little bit weird. But it’s fun, I like it, and I really don’t care.

I know I’m 30 years old and I know I should be over it. But words HURT. And I wish I didn’t even know that those words existed. But I do. And I’m going to have to move past it. Especially considering that it’s likely I’ve hurt someone in that same way– we all say hurtful things at times. Especially when we’re young. But I know without a doubt that I’ve grown up to be a much kinder person than that. And I hope that those girls did too.

I hope that they grew up to be kind. I hope that they don’t feel the kind of hurt I still frequently feel when those memories creep up on me. And I hope that if they have children, they’ll help them to be kinder people than they were as kids. That’s my plan for my own someday babies, anyway.


Fun fact: the movie Mean Girls is actually based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. Tina Fey knew the basic premise of the book, but hadn’t actually read it yet when she won the bid (is that the totally wrong terminology???… perhaps the rights? the opportunity? the chance? something?) to write the movie script. Fascinating, right?! I fully intend to read this book… eventually. It’s on my “Women’s Interest” book club reading list. Its the fourth book club on my list of “Book Clubs I Want to Start” because I really am that girl of all the characteristics listed above.


PS: I know these posts about getting made fun of, and perhaps what might be considered “bullied” this day and age, can be something of a downer. I really don’t want you to think it was all bad though. I really did have some great friends all throughout elementary, middle, and high school (see Emily, Kelly, Stephine, et al) and despite (literal) wedgies in the hall (I really wish that weren’t true) and the occasional overheard negative comment or two, I was a happy kid having a good time at my school. I cheered for the Railsplitters, I played on the teams, I went to the dances, and painted my face for pep rallies. All American kind of stuff. It’s just impossible to extract the mean girl (and boy!) stuff from all of that and unfortunately, as an insecure chubby girl, a lot of that is what really stuck.


PPS: Ok, I actually wasn’t even chubby. Not after like 8th grade anyway. I just thought I was and let people tell me I was. But from where I sit now, dang, I was svelte!! (Kidding, I just looked up svelte and it means “slender and elegant”… I was slender, not elegant. But svelte sounds so good there, all italicized, doesn’t it? Let’s just leave it and move on.)

An old compliment, a new manicure. Also, a purple monkey.

One time my friend Erika said something nice to me. (Actually a lot more than once, I just want to tell you about one of those times…)

It was a small compliment. But it made me feel oh so good.

We were in grad school and I had just painted my fingernails with my newest shade– OPI’s Pamplona Purple. (Small pleasures, you know…)

And my friend Erika… she told me she liked it!

And not just that, she told me that it was the “perfect shade of purple” and asked me for the name.

I didn’t invent the color. I only even picked it because I thought the name was cool. But I still felt so much pride in my pretty purple fingers. I felt so good!

It was seriously such a small, itty, bitty, likely not even terribly well thought out compliment. And yet, I still remember it… several years later.

I thought about that compliment on Saturday as I removed the remaining bits of my silver sparkles from the crazy week before and put on a couple coats of vibrant, shiny, Pamplona Purple– fingers and toes!!

Here, I’ll show you:

Pamplona Purple

Kidding! Those totally aren’t my nails! This is the cool way to show off a manicure though– perfectly painted fingers wrapped around the bottle.

I’ve also seen it this way:


Perfectly manicured nails wrapped around something pretty and similar in color. But those are (obviously) also not my nails.

These… these are my nails:

Purple Monkey Manicure

I wrapped my pretty purple nails around my pretty purple monkey. Just like on the rest of the internet. Because I’m cool like that. And because Erika made me feel nice when I painted my nails like this the first time.

Amazing what such a small thing can do for you, isn’t it? You never really know when that nice thing you’re thinking could be exactly the nice thing someone needs to hear. And if you do let it out– maybe it’ll be something worth remembering in a year or two or five when that person needs a little pick-me-up.


Anyway, I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m watching Crazy, Stupid, Love. and it’s almost the part of the movie where Cal realizes his daughter is the girl Jacob is dating and a big, hilarious, four-man, backyard brawl breaks out. I love this part, it’s too funny. So I better watch it. And if you haven’t seen Crazy, Stupid, Love. you should really consider watching it too! (And I turned it on right before Jacob took his shirt off, double bonus. It wasn’t until I saw this that I got the Ryan Gossling “Hey Girl” Pinterest phenomenon. I totally get it now.)

Later gators!!

23 Things– Reworked

A friend of mine recently shared a really interesting link on Facebook.  The link leads to an article on Huffington Post entitled 23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing and as a recovering woman’s magazine addict and lover of lists, I couldn’t resist clicking.

I clicked, I read, and then I realized that even though the list is about ways to make your life better, it’s a list of NO NO NO and it’s a list geared toward woman who are, as usual, doing it all wrong.  So I reworked it in two ways:

1) This is a list based on 23 things to which you can say YES YES YES.  If you want.


2) This is a list that applies to everyone– woman, man, or somewhere in between.  Because good things are good things, no matter who or what you are.

So, shall I commence with the list?

Yes.  Yes I shall.

23 Things That Everyone Should START (or keep or try or hate me for) Doing

1)  Accept responsibility when at fault.  Accepting responsibility is the first step, IMHO, to achieving forgiveness and understanding.  When you are truly at fault, no matter how hard it is to admit it and apologize, it is totally worth the effort.  And although I know many, including the author of the original 23 things article, would disagree, I think it’s ok to say “sorry” out of sympathy too.  I hate it when someone tells me something sad/bad/unpleasant/whatever, I say sorry, and then they snap back: “what are you sorry for?!  it’s not like it’s your fault!”  Maybe not, but I can still be sorry that things are tough for you.  No harm in saying so.

2) Say “yes” when you mean it and be willing to say “no” sometimes too.  For many of us, time is the most limited and precious resource we have.  There are only so many hours in the day and only so many days in our life… so let’s say  a resounding “YES!” when something sounds good, necessary, and/or important, and a polite, “No, thank you” when it doesn’t.

3)  Take time for your own priorities and give yourself permission to act in your own best interest.  One of the things that is good, necessary, and/or important, and therefore deserves that resounding “YES!” from you is… well… you.  It’s really hard to take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself.  And if taking care of yourself means you miss a coffee date or your lawn doesn’t get mowed, so be it.

4) Eat the food.  End of sentence.  Food serves many purposes, nutritional, of course, but in our society, food also serves important social and emotional purposes and unless your emotional needs are met by lettuce and you’re BFFs with a colony of rabbits (which I have reason to believe I may be– so many babies!), then probably you’re going to eat more than just veggies on occasion.  I’d really rather not get into a big debate about the value of any one way of eating, but I do know that everything tastes better without the side of guilt and tall glass of shame that tends to accompany so many delicious things.

5)  Acknowledge positive body attributes, internally and externally.  Perhaps you’re not in love with your body, but you have to admit: it got you out of bed this morning, didn’t it?  (Dang it– are you reading this in bed?!  Well then, be grateful for your eyeballs, wise guy.) It’s capable of hugging (I said capable! that doesn’t mean it has to regularly hug), smiling, laughing, thinking, being, and those are all things worthy of acknowledgement, regardless of how you look, or in many cases, think you look.  So: shout out to you, thighs!  Way to walk me into work this morning!

6)  Recognize and celebrate personal and professional accomplishments.  You know that thing you did?  That was cool.  Way to go.  Now repeat that to yourself, it’s ok.

7) Accept a tagged photo, even an “unflattering” one, as a compliment.  So, you did something with someone, they took a picture of you doing it, and now they’ve put it online and tagged you… Dang!  You must be someone pretty cool and pretty loved because someone cared enough to do something with you, take the photo, upload the photo, and tag you in it!  That’s a lot of steps.  I call that a compliment to you!

8) Recognize that someone’s virtual story is not their whole story.  Most people don’t share everything online (clearly, I am not most people) and it’s totally reasonable that our natural tendency would be to put our best face forward.  Most people don’t feel the need to tell the world that they crapped their pants.  I get that.  But remember, just because someone didn’t post on Facebook that they crapped there pants, they may have actually crapped their pants.  You can’t possibly know.  So remember that the next time you are jealous of someone’s online presence– they may have crapped their pants.

9) Let go of regrets and guilt.  I talked about my friend Nate recently and he lived his life by this motto, for sure.  He got a tattoo when he turned 18 that said “No Regrets” and figured that even if he messed something up, he’d just do it better the next time.  Simple, right?  Obviously not.  But perhaps you can try when reflecting on “mistakes” to put on your Emily-colored glasses and be a little kinder to yourself.

10) Wear whatever shoes you feel like wearing.  Heels will kill you!  Fit flops will tone your rear end!  You can’t be a real doctor without Danskos!  What.  Evs.  Just wear the shoes you want to wear, for whatever reason you want to wear them (comfort, color, cuteness…), and get on with your life.  They’re just shoes.

11)  Live and 12) let live– sexually.  Sex… is… private.  That is all.  You sex-life is none of my business and mine is none of yours.  I like 50 Shades of Gray (slut!) and I like Beverly Lewis books (prude!), neither of those things tell you a dang thing about me, except that I like to read fiction.  A lot.  So that’s it, just live and let live, and don’t worry so much about other people– what they do or what they think about you.

13) Be genuine.  It’s ok to be mellow about something when you’re “supposed” to be upset.  It’s also ok to be upset.  But failure to be genuine about your feelings is dishonest to yourself and to others.

14) Embrace the label “crazy.”  The most out-there, paradigm-shifting ideas are the ones that tend to change the world.  People will always try to undermine or dismiss you, but if you are passionate about an idea, keep putting it out there, and be crazy if crazy is what it takes.  Maybe even blog about crapping your pants.  Crazy can be cool.  (Crapping your pants cannot.  I’m sorry.)

15) Use WebMD as a starting point.  The internet is FULL of medical information, some good, some bad, some in between.  It’s certainly not a bad place to start if you’ve got some mysterious symptoms or ongoing ailment.  Of course, it’s generally a good idea to call a medical professional if you think you might have a serious problem, but sometimes the internet can be a great place to start when you want to generate questions for your provider.  And a good provider will take the time to answer your questions and to make sure you are fully informed.

16) Be inspired by Pinterest… if you feel like it.  I love Pinterest!  Sometimes my attempts to recreate what I find turn into absolute Pinstrosities, but sometimes my Pinspiration bears fruit and I end up with something awesome.  Sometimes I just like looking at the pictures.  Regardless of the source, Pinterest or otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out inspiration… I’m not really sure why people get so angry about it.  I don’t think the point of the site is to tell you that you should be able to recreate these things.  No one used to get mad at me for my binders full of recipes and pages torn from magazines.  Same thing, right?

17)  Relish alone time as a chance to “Treat Yo’ Self!”  I’m an introvert (I think, but it’s been a while since I’ve done the Myers-Briggs), so I recognize that this one is a little easier for me than it is for other people, but alone time can be really, really nice.  (Just ask a mom, right?  (No, I am not a mom.))  Being alone is the perfect time to, as the folks on Parks and Rec say, treat yo’ self!  Perhaps you want to dress up as batman, paint your toe nails with pretty designs, sit and stare at a wall for half an hour, read a good book, try something you saw on Pinterest… whatever, now’s your chance!  Treat yo’ self!

18) Engage in and maintain meaningful and positive romantic relationships.  In the original article, the author talks about not jumping into a relationship just because you are scared of being alone.  Ok, maybe.  But I don’t think most of us are aware enough at the beginning of a relationship to realize that that’s why we’re doing it.  (You can trust me on this, I last started a relationship when I was 18… 11 years ago, so clearly, I’m an expert on dating.  That’s sarcasm.)  But when you are in a relationship, maintaining something meaningful and positive is totally worth your while.  (That, I can actually attest to!)

19)  Take advantage of vacation days.  You are given PTO for a reason.  Use it.  Even if you need to use it just to go get a mammogram and a colonoscopy– use it!  (And get your mammogram if you’re over 40, colonscopy if you’re over 50.)  Time away from the office, whether it’s a full on vacation or just a little stay-cation, can feel really, really good.  (Yes, coming back can feel pretty crappy, but it was going to feel like that anyway.)

20)  Engage and maintain meaningful and positive friendships.  In the same church service where I heard the idea of the tapestry, the priest also said that true friends aren’t made, they’re discovered.  And I couldn’t agree more.  It’s true, you can try to cut people out of your life if they are “toxic,” but that seems to naturally happen when you work on cultivating and maintaining positive friendships.  (If it doesn’t work, then what you have is probably not a friend, but a stalker.  Seek help.)  (Also, I know “frenemies” are a bad thing, but they make for a darn good movie– love Mean Girls!!)

21)  Spend intentional, rather than obligatory, time with people.  You will enjoy it more and so will the people you are spending time with.  If they are just an obligation, they will probably know, and that’s not very nice.

22)  Be proud of the things that make you you I am not embarrassed that I really like dinosaurs and get passionate about women’s health.  Those things are not necessarily “cool” (as in: they are not cool), but they are my genuine interests and I just don’t see the point in cultivating something as an interest just because it’s cool, nor being embarrassed about the things that actually do interest me.

23) Let life happen on its own timeline.  Life is messy and it is long.  We are where we are when we are and there’s not a lot you can do about that.  I’ve seen people try to force it (myself included) and it really doesn’t work out as well that way.


So there you have it.  It’s essentially the same list, it just bothers me to be told NO.  It bothers me to be told I’m doing it wrong.  It bothers me that someone makes a list to tell me all the different ways I’m doing it wrong.  Especially 23 times in a row.  

And perhaps, ultimately, all 23 of these big, fat, yeses (is that seriously a word?  no red squiggly underline… must be!) boil down to the very thing I said yesterday:

If you see something nice, say something nice.  And do something nice.  (I didn’t say that part yesterday.)  To yourself, to others.  Kindness as the human condition.  I like that.

See Something, Say Something

See Something Say Something

The Department of Homeland Security has a public service campaign it calls “If You See Something, Say Something” for the purposes of raising public awareness about indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime.  Makes sense to me– we can’t always assume that someone else is going to see the same thing we saw.  And if they do, we can’t assume that they’re going to do something about it.

But I think this idea can apply to a lot more than anti-terrorism measures, and I propose the following:

something nice

Seriously, does anything feel better than a heart-felt compliment?  An expression of gratitude?  So why not tell someone when you like their dress, think they did a good job speaking in a meeting, got something done faster than you expected, looked really beautiful or happy or glamorous or clever in a photo on Facebook?  What’s the harm in saying something nice?

I’m not suggesting that we all walk around with a false “you look lovely today” on our lips, but I know that nice thoughts pop into my mind all the live-long day and it seems silly to waste such happy thoughts on my brain, marinating in its juices all alone in my thick skull all the time.  Why not share the thought and take a chance on making someone’s day just a bit better?

When I first started toying with the idea of starting a blog, I really wanted to make it a positive place.  In fact, my original working title was “This is a Positive Blog.”  Of course, that was before the whole tapestry idea came about and I’m glad it did, because I like that much better.  Regardless, this is a positive blog.  And I want to be a positive force in the lives that I touch.  There’s enough negativity out there to go around.

So what do you say?  Will you join me in my crusade for kindness?  My goal of goodness?  (My attempts at alliteration???)  It’s as easy as saying out loud the thought that’s already in your head.  Piece of cake!  Piece of delicious cake…