How to Let It Go

I am lucky to work with people on a daily basis. Actually an hourly basis. I hear their joys, wows, and the dreaded “I can’t…” I don’t mind a good mental download. Sometimes you just have to unload.  But, how many times have you had the dame complaint? How many times have you complained about that today or this week?  Even worse or even how many years have you had the same complaint?

I have caught myself playing the complaint game, many times. Woe-ing over what is happening with a certain person, place, or thing.  Acting as if it is all happening to me, personally. That I have no control over any of it.  But, then the Universe, or Clare, or my Husband knock some good loving sense into me.  They help me see the big picture, or the other side to the story.  With this new adjusted view, I actually have to let go of said complaint and own my role in the situation.  When I step back I see that I have to then control my control-ables.

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I know, I just made that seem easy-peasy.  Truth… it’s not so easy to let go over the issue that is bothering you.  For example, a friend of mine years ago and I both worked together. He would complain on the daily and sometimes find me a few times in one day to complain about his job.  First, it was too easy, then too boring.  Then his company wanted him to do things he was uncomfortable with or he didn’t feel was in his job description.  Next, he would complain the job was suffocating him.  For months I had to listen to his complaining.  Until, one day I didn’t.

I grabbed his shoulders in a loving way.  Looked him in the eye and said: “This isn’t the only job in the world. If it’s not lighting your fire then go, find a job that does. But for heavens sake, and my ears, do not let another negative thing about your job come out of your mouth. You do not have to do this job.”

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He was shocked.  I was too.  It was the first time I took someone and was so direct; I could have lost our friendship all together.  Or worse, been head butted!Of course after this harsh reality check, I hugged him and told him I loved him no matter what. But, he is the only one who can make himself happy.  No job would.


You are the only one who can make you happy. 


A week later he had made a decision to leave the job.  It’s been 3 years since his decision and, I have to say, he looks happier with every year.  His last day he almost floated out to his car.  Did I miss working with my friend on the daily?  Yes.  But did I really miss the friend he was when he was working with me?  NOPE!  Our friendship is even better now.  He took ownership over his own life. He went on a path truer to him and his goals.

You can too!  I know you think it’s too late, too much money, or you’re too invested in the path you are on.  Go read Clare’s Blog on her feelings about the usage of the word “too.”  But seriously, we are living longer and longer these days.  Don’t you want to?  It’s been proven more times than Google has pages, that happier people live longer and healthier lives.  If you’re unhappy ask yourself why.  Then take changes to turn that frown upside down.

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If you’re job is causing you stress, angst, displeasure:

  • What exactly is the stressor?
  • Can you pinpoint it?  Narrow it down to one or two or three things.
  • If its your commute then you don’t need to change your job.  Change the commute or how you spend time commuting.
  • If it’s your co-deskmate ask you boss to switch your desk, or invest in the top of the line headphones and rock on (or not but let people think you are).
  • Boss…what about your boss? Is it how they talk to you? How they treat you? Or just that you have a boss?  If it’s how they talk to you go to HR. Or have a meeting with them, and politely express how they are making you feel. Bosses can often change too. If you just don’t like working for a boss then take the steps to work for yourself!

If the stress is coming from a relationship with a friend, family member, or significant other, figure out:

  • Is it how they treat you?  Just be straight up.  Tell them: When you say or do this _______ it makes me feel like this______.  If they don’t get it, understand what you’re saying, or refuse to change, then you can remove yourself from the situation for a time period.
  • Is it how they treat themselves.  Tell them!  Seriously, people put themselves down all the time and it can be so hard to stand next to that. What kind of friend are we if we don’t help them see how awesome they are!

Maybe it’s your home, apartment or car:

  • What exactly is it about your abode that you don’t like?  If you really sit down and think about it, maybe a new rug or lamp will fix the inside.  Or a quick search online you might find your perfect haven.  If the problem is larger, work out what you might need to do to fix your frustration with your living situation.   Sitting around complaining about it and doing nothing to change it seems pretty silly don’t you think?  Unless you do something to change your situation, nothing will change.

If something is bothering you, or you hear yourself on repeat, figure out exactly what is the bother. Narrow it down. Then, ask yourself if it’s something you can fix or if you need to make a get away plan.  You are (or should be) the conductor of your train. Take back the control. Stop relinquishing it by blaming another person, place or thing. Go and do!

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I am currently taking steps to rid a complaint from my life. The moment I made my game plan the moment a felt a huge weight off my shoulders and have found excess time in my busy schedule. I want that for each of you. Please feel free to share your experiences with Clare and me, either in the comments, or email us.  We’d love to help you rid that woe.

Xx~LL

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Photo Credits: Alan Cleaver (stress eraser), Bernard Goldbach (eggs), !unite (strongman).

Am I An “Amy”?

I’m reading Gone Girl, and I’m almost done—don’t worry for those of you who are reading it or have plans to see the movie, I’ll talk about the book some, but nothing that gives away any spoilers. I have to admit the book was really difficult for me to read for the first section. I grew up in a small town in Kansas, and I know where North Carthage is. I have been to North Carthage. My Midwestern town seems grossly similar. I also now live in New York—and although I’m not the heiress and namesake of a popular book series (yet), I was feeling a lot of parallels in my own life. Which I’m sure is a point Gillian Flynn is trying to make—are you like Amy?

This fact is almost as terrifying as some of the twists in the novel. Amy talks about being a “Cool Girl” and makes herself a blend of what men think they want—the thin girl who isn’t afraid to eat, likes to be adventurous, and isn’t upset if a guy goes off and does his own thing instead of premade plans with her. There are a few articles out on the subject like this one, that state their viewpoints on “Cool Girl” status.

In the shower, I was thinking of this—I seem to do a lot of deep thinking in the shower, which is a pain in the ass because by the time I get out, I forget the amazing topics I had just brainstormed.  In the shower I wondered if I should shave my legs, but shrugged it off thinking: I’m not sleeping with anyone at the moment, so…why? After the shower, I was thinking about my last few weeks…I’ve been occupied by a relationship of sorts with a man and it wasn’t as engaging as I would have liked it to have been, so I’m moving on. But before it turned the corner, I was out shopping and planning. I bought new razors, thigh highs, and the pretty kind of panties—the ones that after you wear a couple of times just get all frizzy, so you save them in the back of your drawer for “special occasions” and then in a few years clean out said drawer, and end up throwing them away because they’ve somehow ratted up in the back of the drawer, even though they were never worn—yeah that kind. I have all of these things, and am ready “just in case.” Lesley and I had a conversation about this blog, and she brought up that a common complaint people have when dating is that the other person changes after three months of dating, and it isn’t true. People don’t change, they just relax back into who they really are.

I’m a comfort woman, not that I am lazy, but there are things that I don’t care to do, unless its for show. That being said, there are several things I do for myself regularly like wearing pretty smelling lotion, daily mascara, and blowing out my hair. But the myriad of things that I list to do when I think I’m about to hop into a relationship is a bit mind blowing for me. Partially because the list is seemingly long, but partially because I’m so easily willing to slip into a vaguely different version of myself, a better groomed, slightly more sexy, taller (the heels come out) version of myself. Because, in a way, this is what I think I need to be in order to start a relationship. Again, not major changes, but I don’t show up to a first date like I do to daily things.

I’m not just a heightened version of myself only when dating. We all go into different situations where we are a shinier, better, improved version of ourselves. There is a different me at work, there is a different me with certain friends, there is a different me at a networking party. It just happens. It’s when we play into this persona and create even more heightened versions of ourselves that it becomes an issue.

In Gone Girl, Amy confesses that she hates this person who she has made herself out to be, this perfect version of a wife for Nick. The perfect version of a daughter for her parents who are in a cookie cutter relationship. She hates it so much that she doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t even know what it is that she likes. Because she has created this character, partially out of fun and partially as an experiment, Amy makes herself out to be likeable (to which at one point she asks the reader if “likeable is a compliment”) and therefore makes fake relationships with people by being an amalgam of the things she thinks people want to see.

One of my favorite quotes is: “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” ee Cummings nails humanity on the head with that thought. What is the better choice: to be yourself, or to take on who you think people want to you be? Amy says it’s a game for herself to step into these people, these different stereotypes to be more likeable. Feminism says you should stand up and be different than the stereotypical woman. I say: I like fancy undies and heels when I’m out on a first date—heels for the first impression and to give a glimpse at how intimidating I actually am, and fancy undies so if my first impression of you is a good one, I can know that I have a secret I’d like to share—maybe not tonight… but sometime.


I’m not a feminist. I’m an equalist. I think that if you want to let your freak flag fly, then do. If you don’t, well… don’t. Your choice, just don’t hurt anyone intentionally. I think that its fine to be who you want one moment and try on someone else’s skin the next—just don’t get so deep in a lie  that you hurt someone, or worse hurt or confine yourself. If you want to buy fancy undies, or fancy wine, or have a fancy shave, do.

Plans to see the movie tomorrow with my book club, are urging me to finish reading Gone Girl even though my inner voice keeps comparing me to Amy. I think, even though the comparisons terrify me, I know that I’m not like her. Yes, I do try on different versions of myself, but all of them are rooted somewhere in me—I would wear the fancy undies and heels more often if they were more comfortable. But ultimately its not the true me. And when I do put on these personas it is for me—possibly driven by others—but in the end, for me. I’m going to go finish the book now… maybe you should go check on yourself and see how much of your outward self is for you, and how much is for the world… We’d love to hear your thoughts below! (Oh, and I JUST finished the book… I’m NOT an Amy.  Not even close.)

Clare