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170413 TwitterThe Container Store’s my favorite. There’s nothing I love more than the perfect container. I don’t even need it to contain something. Some of my favorite boxes are empty at the moment. They represent potential!

That’s one reason I love Twitter. It’s a place to put my lines. Twitter’s my Tupperware. It’s a little Tupperware party all day long. Some of my favorite (read: silly) people bopping in and out, sharing whatever catches their fancy. Nothing catches my fancy like the turn of a phrase.

So when Darrell apologized for bragging and I teased him about that coming with the marriage, package deal that it is, I thought it was worth sharing. Darrell isn’t the first person, I was sure, who wanted to linger on something that had worked: getting what he needed from someone without being pushy at all. When he hesitated to share, it broke my heart.

What’s the point of being married if you aren’t going to share the little wins? You have to celebrate them. You have to. They’ll keep you going on your quest for the bigger wins. And if you never bag the big win? You had fun along the way. Which you can put in the win column!

What I shared on Twitter was a bite-sized version of this. Bonus feature? You have a quick way of reassuring your beloved there’s no need to apologize for basking. You can quote me on that!

Do you panic?
May 11, 2017

Once upon a time I had a panic attack. I’d never heard the term, so I didn’t know to call it that. But there was something about the heart-attack-like feeling that made me not trust it.

The Plaza in Kansas City was the backdrop. It was a beautiful day, I was armed with gift certificates -- before gift cards became the thing -- and there was nothing to do but bask in a few hours to myself. I mean, what could be lovelier? Then, suddenly, at an intersection and out of nowhere, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

For the first and last time in my life, I didn’t panic. I waited it out. It passed quickly. As the years went by and I read up on people who’d shared a similar experience, I congratulated myself at not giving in to the panic. It happens once or twice a year now, and I ride it out as expertly as I did that first time.

Which is hilarious. I aspire to be relaxed, low drama, all of it. And I get better every day, thanks to a great diet and lots of exercise and plenty of sleep (blah blah). But this laid-back about a scary-feeling feeling? Like I said: hilarious.

The next time you’re sure the world is ending, give it a minute. You might be wrong!

Are you judgy?
May 10, 2017

“Should” is such a loaded word, isn’t it? It’s the fastest way to get an eyebrow raised around here, put it that way. I used to tell myself -- with the help of lots of other people -- I shouldn’t feel this way or that.

Can you imagine a bigger waste of time?

It didn’t matter whether I should’ve felt a certain way. I did. Admitting that sooner could’ve saved me a lot of time. I should’ve realized it sooner, eh?

But I didn’t. Now what?

Well, just as Katie’s fond of saying she’s becoming “unapologetically herself” -- as if she’s ever not been! -- I’m becoming almost defiantly myself. Making up for lost time, maybe. I can imagine being the old woman who tells you exactly how she feels without adding any disclaimers to soften the sentiment.

Should be interesting!

My friend Rich Gallagher says we’re born with two fears: heights, and loud noises.

That’s it? Apparently. Everything else is learned. Like the fear of appearing silly for being afraid of heights and loud noises!

Seriously. Which is worse? Being afraid of something, or being embarrassed because you are?

The people who try to shame you for what you’re afraid of -- or love, for that matter -- should be ashamed of themselves.

I wish I was as passionate about anything as this guy is about driving the exact same speed as me when I’m trying to merge.”

That, my friends, is why I love the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. The passion! Oh, God. You can’t believe it. Nothing against the women, by the way. I just never got started watching women play basketball. I got started in elementary school -- watching the Creighton men from my most excellent seat, close to the bench and next to my dad. Is it any wonder I’m hooked? Can you imagine how tickled I was when Darrell -- and then Katie -- got hooked? Kate’s no slouch when it comes to filling out a bracket, by the way. Husker jerseyShe picked Villanova to win it all last year, and got a very cool Husker jersey for her trouble.

It’s been five weeks, and I still pull up the “One Shining Moment” video from this year’s tournament. This was probably my favorite -- which is saying a lot -- because we caught so many games, and most of them were with Kate. One day we spent ten hours watching with her. I don’t know when I’ve watched that much television in my life. But fun? God we had fun.

I’ve never been one to hit the bars or the mall when I need a pick-me-up. But basketball? Nothing makes me want to up my game like watching other people at the top of theirs.

Ever notice how the people who spend the most time criticizing you are the least likely to have a life you aspire to? Remembering that helps me keep from visibly bristling at their not-so-well-meaning suggestions. I swap lives with them in my head, and it helps me understand -- or at least imagine -- how tearing someone down would be a welcome distraction.

I still run for cover, though. I’m not that evolved.

I always want to say, “Mind your own business!” And I always stop myself. Instead I think, “No. Do whatever you want.”

Nothing says “I’m not minding my own business” like noticing when others aren’t minding theirs.

In my ongoing quest to get rid of physical clutter I’ve noticed some mental clutter clamoring to be set free, too. It’s that low-grade, constant chatter running in the background -- which is rarely upbeat and encouraging.

What is that, by the way? It seems like everyone I’ve ever talked with on the show, for example, shares it. We beat ourselves up, all day every day, and then wonder why we don’t have more to show for ourselves.

The other day it hit me. No matter what I’m doing, a little voice inside tells me I should be doing something else. Even if I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. So you know what I did this time? I told that voice to shut up!

The voice was reciting a list of people I hadn’t volunteered to help. The people who run the food pantry, the homeless, the staff at the suicide prevention center. “You no longer have the excuse of being a full-time mom,” the voice offered. “Yeah?” I countered. “Well, if I follow through on some projects I have the potential to help many more people than by putting in even several hours a week on those other, admittedly worthy, pursuits.”

Then I got back to work.

We all know people for whom our best will never be good enough. Sometimes, in the interest of not making a scene, you smile at their latest admonition and get the heck out of there. But if that person is you? Stop it. Just stop it!

Have you noticed what I’ve noticed since the election? Everyone, it seems, is an expert on foreign policy. The other night, scrolling through Twitter, I saw a gal weighing in on Syria with such confidence it caught me by surprise.

“What can she possibly know about Syria?” I wondered. “How did she go from being an expert on (omitting a clue to her identity, here) to being an expert on that? Seemingly overnight?”

I almost mentioned it to Darrell. Then I caught myself. Which is worse? Weighing in on Syria when you don’t have a degree in foreign policy? Or spending time questioning how someone spends hers?

Maybe this person is more accomplished than I realized.

It’s possible.