You Burned Dinner and Fell On Your Ass. Now What Do You Need Most?

Maybe you slept through your alarm and it snowed three feet.  You are not wearing gloves, and are using your window scraper to dig your car out from beneath a drift as fast as you can so you’re only moderately late to work.  Then – SMACK.  You slip on a patch of ice and you’re on your back, swearing up at the sky.  THANK YOU ICE PATCH; MY PRIDE WASN’T INJURED ENOUGH UNTIL YOU SHOWED UP.

Maybe you had a long day, came home and completely incinerated your dinner.  Now you’re starving and running around trying to open windows and salvage what’s left of your chicken enchiladas.  Then the cherry on top – your smoke detector starts shrieking, almost as if it’s mocking you.  THANK YOU SMOKE DETECTOR; I WAS NOT AWARE THAT DINNER WAS A MASSIVE FAIL UNTIL YOU WENT OFF.

We are good, decent people.  None of us see ourselves as someone who would kick a person who is already on the ground, right?  However, we are all at times the human equivalent of obnoxious smoke detectors and inconvenient ice patches, adding insult to injury.

We become impatient and condescending toward the stressed, busy waitress who mixed up our order.  What would happen if, alternatively, we smiled and told her she was doing a great job?  (So what if you got queso instead of salsa?  The world will go on.)

We giggle with our friends at the gym about the newbie who is struggling on the treadmill.  What if, instead, we gave him a high five and said, “Keep it up dude.  You got this.”  (It might be the difference in whether or not he comes back tomorrow.)

We race and tailgate the speeding driver who is weaving in and out of traffic.  What would happen if we just let him go on ahead?  (Maybe he’s going to the hospital.  Not likely, but who cares?)

We feel insulted and cop an attitude with the cashier who rolled her eyes at us.  Why not find something to compliment – her earrings, her hair, her agility with a barcode scanner… anything that will remind her that she lives in a friendly universe?  (Maybe she’s worried about not having enough money to feed her family.  Maybe the customer before you said something nasty to her.)

It’s not about deciding whether others deserve our good will.  It’s not about putting people in their place.  (The Universe takes care of that anyway.)  It’s about stopping an insidious cycle that, left unchecked, will continue to feed itself and compound:  

Hurt people hurt people.


Think about it…

Is being rude to an asshole going to make him nicer?

Is complaining about a depressed person going to help her feel better?

Is teaching a child to be civilized by hitting him setting a good example?


During the times in my life when I was hurting the most, the people who showed up with kindness, support, and understanding were the most instrumental in helping me get out of my dark, sludgy swamps of suckiness.  Those who were rude, judgmental, or cruel just fed my story that the world was out to get me.

So come on you guys.  We’ve all been on both sides of the road rage haven’t we?  Don’t be the shrieking smoke detector, obnoxiously pointing out the obvious.  Don’t be the slippery ice patch, bringing someone down who is already low.  What is the most helpful, most useful thing to be?

Be the one YOU needed when YOU were in pain.



Simmer Down Wonder Woman. You’ve Got Things to Do.

“OMG what would I do without you????”  <—…is very predictably the way I end EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION with my accountant.  In case you hadn’t noticed, my brain is a bit more… whimsical? …than my mathematically gifted friend’s.

*pauses to stare at houseplant and daydream for 45 seconds*

Yes, I could force myself to sit down, crunch numbers for hours, and get the job done.  But why the hell would I do that when someone else can do the same thing for me in a matter of minutes?  It’s not about whether or not I would do a good job; it’s about whether or not it’s my passion, my mission, my contribution, my Thing that I have to offer the world.


Taxes are not my Thing.  I need prefer help with those.

“But I just hate asking for help,” says, uh, Every Woman I’ve Ever Met.

Why, though?  Why why why?  (Seriously.  I’m actually asking this.  Because I say it too.)  Why do we all feel the need to be Wonder Woman?  To do it all AND to pull it off with grace and style?  Why not feel free to focus on what we do well and allow others to fill in the cracks?  When I’m running around like a damn fool trying to do my own bookkeeping, cook my own gourmet meals, design my own killer workouts, paint my own toenails, fix my own website issues, or change my own oil (just kidding- I would never even attempt that last one), I come fairly close to losing my mind!  At this point, it becomes necessary to remind myself, “ZOOK!!! You have humans in your life who can help you with each and every one of those things!!!”

“Well, I just don’t like to inconvenience anyone,” is the inevitable next phrase from Every Woman I’ve Ever Met.

Here are my responses to that:

  1. If you are paying someone for their services, you are not an inconvenience.  Hire someone to clean your house, plan your workouts, or design your t-shirts.  It’s their Thing and it’s how they earn their living.  You’re helping each other.
  2. “No.”  It’s a word that other humans are free to use if they can’t or don’t want to help.  Trust that they will use it.
  3. Do you feel good when you are contributing?  Silly question.  Of course you do.  Well guess what?  So does everyone else.  Unless you are dealing with a self-absorbed egomaniac, other humans will be more than happy to lend a hand or share their expertise if they are able.  If they aren’t able, see #2.




We live in a magical system of give and take.  Yet, we find it so difficult to participate.  Maybe it will help to remember that THE WORLD HAS A DEEP HUNGER for whatever that special thing is you have to offer.


…because holy shit that’s powerful.  There is a void you are here to fill.  But you can’t offer your Thing if you’re trying to do everybody else’s Things, right?  In fact, maybe you’ve been so busy trying to do everything you haven’t even had time to figure out what your Thing is yet!  (If that’s the case, much more on that will be coming in the future.)



I love talking to people about muscles and health and stuff.  I love reading and writing.  I love helping people scheme and troubleshoot life’s conundrums.  Those are my Things.  I’m not all that great at doling out hugs, staying organized, choosing stylish outfits, or staying on top of social media.  (And thank the Universe I’m not responsible for raising any children.)  But I’m not worried about not doing it all, because I am surrounded by mind-blowingly gifted and capable individuals (ahem, YOU) who are more than able to pick up the slack.  

Thanks everyone, for making my world magical.  Really.  What would I do without you?



Posts In Which I Have Said the Exact Same Thing Using Different Words:

Why Competition is a Waste of Time, Talent, and Energy

Go Ahead, Show Off!  (3 Reasons You NEED to Share Your Talents)


Other Related Posts:

Crap-Ass Massages, Fake Peanut Butter, and Why I Don’t Do Zumba

You’re Not Lazy.  Quit Feeling Guilty.


Crap-Ass Massages, Fake Peanut Butter, and Why I Don’t Do Zumba

In my old age, I have decided that everything I do needs to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Make me happy.
  2. Make me better.
  3. Make me money.


Uh huh.  I look for a good return on investment from my time and energy.  And I don’t feel bad about it.


I know, I know, I know.  “Kristen, you selfish cow!  What about altruism?!?!  I thought you were a good person!  Clearly all you think about is yourself.”

But this isn’t about being uncaring, greedy, or self-serving.  Being an egotistical miser wouldn’t truly bring me happiness, would it?  I’ve already explained here and here why being “selfish” is actually better for the common good, so I won’t go into that again (today).  Today I want to talk about YOU.  A precious, valuable being who just might be selling yourself short by acting out of obligation rather than passion.


Lately I’ve encountered a surprisingly high number of folks who hang out with people they don’t like, do activities that bore them, stay in one-sided relationships, or don’t charge enough money for their services… ALL BECA– USE THEY FEEL OBLIGATED.


Also, they are miserable.  How do I know that?  They’re angry.  They’re sad.  They’re mopey.  They’re complain-ey.  And it’s really no wonder – their resources are being constantly drained.  Their vessel is empty and not getting filled.  The bummer of it is, I know that these very people would be absolutely vibrant if they were doing more things that set their soul on fire.  How vivacious, loving, and kind would humanity be if we ONLY invested in relationships that serve us, activities that bring us fulfillment, conversations that improve us, and work that pays us what we’re worth???

Really freaking vivacious, loving, and kind, right?


I don’t necessarily want you to do the easy things.  Or the most comfortable things.  I want you to do the things that feed your soul, your body, your mind, or your bank account.  And in order to have time for those things, you’ll probably need to cut out other things.

For example, here are a few circumstances I have deemed not worth my time and energy:

  • Mary Kay/handbag/nail art parties
  • crap-ass massages
  • shallow friendships
  • men who jerk me around by lying and being unpredictable
  • Zumba
  • blind dates
  • peanut butter made with hydrogenated oil  (How to make peanut butter:  Take some peanuts.  Crush them into peanut butter.)
  • house-sitting (I’m 31.  Please stop asking.)
  • reading magazines


^^Now bear in mind this is MY list, not yours!  I happen to know a Mary Kay consultant who absolutely loves her job.  She is always glowing (maybe from the makeup?) and consistently has a wonderful smile on her face.  Clearly, Mary Kay parties are totally worth her time and energy.  She is amazing and I would venture to guess she truly helps many women.  I love that.  Because we all have something different to contribute to this Universe, which means we will all have a different list of things that are worth our time.  If it fills your bucket to read People and shake your ass to Shakira, you go for it.  No judgment here.  I just want everyone to be happy.  For real.

*A moment of silence in which we thank the Universe that Kristen is NOT in charge of makeup advice.*  Amen.


So what are you worth?  Knowing your value is one of the most important steps to being in charge of your life.  Once you quit doing things out of obligation, you are acknowledging your significance.  You will feel free to make time for only the most worth-your-while friendships, music, sex, workouts, coffee dates, books, careers, and yep, peanut butter.


Your time and energy are valuable.  YOU are valuable.  Please start acting like it.

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Related Posts:

You’re Not Lazy.  Quit Feeling Guilty.

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