MY PARENTS WATCH SQUIRRELS, WHAT DO YOURS DO?

Remember the incredible GEICO commercial where some secret agent is trying to escape via helicopter and his ride is late … then his phone rings and he answers it, expecting to talk to his companion, only to hear his mom on the other end talking about how ‘the squirrels are back in the attic. Your father says it’s personal this time’. Are you familiar with this 30 seconds of commercial genius? Arguably one of the best commercials GEICO has put out. It makes the gecko look a little dull if we’re honest.

If for some reason you are not able to recall the commercial I’m referencing, no worries. I’m clearly fantastic at illustrating the most minute of details and you should have a good understanding of what it’s like visually. It’s also not overly critical to my point here. Well, I guess a little bit, but not in a major way. The real star of this post is the squirrels. As it should be. Who doesn’t want, nay, need, more squirrels in their life? The answer is nobody except my parents.

Squirrels are a curious creature. Aesthetically, they are not the ugliest fur covered animals that exist. Believe it or not, ugly fur covered animals is a predefined Google search and there are some horrifying creatures that are living among us. I fully regret my decision to click on the link that specified ‘with pictures’, but here we are. Besides their physical appearance, because true beauty is found on the inside (duh), squirrels are a simple creature. In my experience observing them, there’s only two things they want – nuts and whatever the birds are eating. 

Sound familiar? Squirrels kind of remind me of the animal version of us. Always wanting what someone else has. And sometimes going to extremes to be like those people. Including, but not limited to, scaling greased poles, making daring leaps from fences towards the greased pole, waiting on the ground to catch crumbs that fall down, using a buddy system to scale the greased pole, etc. Ok, sure, those examples are highly specific to the squirrels, but use your imagination to apply it to the greener pastures we often chase.

Besides being cuddly looking and spending the majority of their time thinking about food, what else do squirrels really do? Become an invasive species on college campuses everywhere? Practice their hide and seek skills? Go on tree branch jumping adventures? Adorably tackle other squirrels as they try to climb trees? Pause. Let’s talk about how much I love seeing a squirrel come out of nowhere and absolutely wreck another squirrel’s journey up a tree. To what I’m assuming is a hidden nut stash. No sexual pun intended. Do you think they do it maliciously or are they playing with each other? Hard to say.

Now feels like a good time to point out that prior to about a year ago, I never really paid attention to squirrels. Or thought that much about them. They were just living their lives and I was living mine. Then, my parents decided to put a bird feeder in their backyard and the morning quarantine ritual became drinking coffee and discussing the ridiculous attempts by the squirrels to eat the food they bought for the birds. Discussing might be a generous way to put it. Imagine eating a peaceful breakfast with your father, only to have him space out in the middle of your conversation and, without any indication, leave the room to go out on the back porch and yell at the squirrels.

COVID gave a lot of us more time at home, and a chance to re-center. My parents chose to re-center and become the people who get annoyed with the ‘damn squirrels!’ I chose to re-center and thoroughly just enjoy those moments. And also accept that my parents have entered that phase of their lives. Sipping coffee and grumbling about squirrels. Spending countless hours thinking of ways to deter them from the bird feeder. But I love them anyway!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DO YOU EVEN HAVE A SOUL?

Stopping to smell the roses is more than just a cute social media tag. It’s a way of life. An approach to any stressful, frustrating, annoying, irritating, angering, sad, disappointing, etc. situation. Because sometimes things happen, people say something they shouldn’t have, or you find out that it’s another workday, but that’s no excuse not to find a reason to smile. Unless, of course, you don’t have a soul. In which case, you may just be running to escape a downwind draft. Which is a crappy way to live, literally.

Clearly I’m no happiness expert. Or life expert for that matter. If you’ve read any of the previous posts you’re well aware of this fact. You may even be curious how I’ve survived this far as a professional without serious repercussions. If you haven’t, well, why the heck not? What else are you doing? Looking for a reason to smile? Let’s talk about it. Pretty much every situation has some plus sides, if you look hard enough. For example:

  • You don’t like grocery shopping, but it’s a necessary evil (and a great way to INTERVIEW PEOPLE) – are there new Oreo flavors out, though?
  • You don’t like shopping, but got dragged out by your significant other – go smell some of the new Yankee Candle scents!
  • You’re outdoors and it starts raining – does it smell like springtime, though?
  • You accidentally went on a nature walk and got lost – try to see a fun bird, or better yet, a butterfly!
  • You have to go to work – are you getting paid, though?
  • You recently got let go / fired – use all your new time to finally start that hobby!
  • You opened a box and the item you ordered was broken – haven’t you been trying to work on your patience, though?
  • You’re on hold with CUSTOMER SERVICE – dance around to that catchy hold music!
  • You’ve been in a car accident – do you get to meet a new person, though?
  • You have to deal with insurance – at least you have insurance!

I feel pretty confident that no one asks for any of the above scenarios. Yet, we probably have all hit the majority of this list at some point or other. And a lot of them suck! Car accidents just back up traffic in BOTH DIRECTIONS, nature isn’t always as pristine and cooperative as television makes it appear, shipping doesn’t always go as planned, and you may not be into shopping, but it happened. Can’t change the past so you might as well try to find one good thing. Otherwise, do you even have a soul?

Small things are usually the most exciting because they’re unexpected, or often unnoticed for a while. What a fun little surprise it is when you step into Target and they have a fully stocked cereal aisle. Or when you go to the mall and accidentally walk by a Bath and Body Works and smell love, relaxation, and sweet pea. Or when you’re outside and see some flowers in bloom. Or when you’re driving at night and see all the lights as festive. Or when you’re at work and your favorite song jumps into your playlist. Or when you’re at a restaurant and they accidentally make you a Medium milkshake instead of a Small so you get upgraded for free. Or when you’re at a restaurant and tell the wait staff it’s your friend’s birthday to embarrass them. Or when you’re watching TV and a hilarious ad comes on for once. So many reasons to smile. Life is weird. Life is funky. Life is unpredictable. Life is too short to not have a soul.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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TIMELINES ARE OVERRATED

Everyone loves a good deadline. An estimated time of arrival. Tracking information. A saved date. Any sort of deadline that helps you understand when you will get what you want. Because then if it’s late, you have a justified reason to be annoyed. Or frustrated. Or sad. Or any sort of feeling you need to feel. Maybe you’re excited – there are probably deadlines that would be appropriate to celebrate a swing and a miss on. How long a loved one is expected to live? That feels like a good one to exceed.

My favorite kinds of deadlines involve food. Uber Eats. Doordash. Any sort of pizza delivery service. Wait time to get a table at a restaurant. Wait time to get into a restaurant. The amount of baking time left on pretty much any sort of dessert item. The amount of cooking time left on pretty much any food item, really. Be it 30 seconds in the microwave or 75 minutes in the oven. I. Am. Ready. For the food. To eat the food. I love the food. The food doesn’t always love me, but that’s how it goes with humans too so I might as well get to eat something delicious before the storm.

Speaking of 75 minutes in the oven, hello Stouffer’s reps … what is happening with your frozen meal options? I opt for frozen meals when I want to eat quickly. Why are most of your products 45+ minutes of bake time? For that, I could make something from scratch. And the whole point of submitting myself to who knows what chemicals and an ungodly amount of sodium in the frozen meal is to not have to put in any effort. And yet, here you are with a cruel mindgame of a grocery option.

Regardless of my newfound annoyance with my previously favorite macaroni and cheese brand, we all want to know when things are happening. Clearly my need for a timeline leans towards the digestive system, but another fun option is shopping. Right? Especially today when online shopping is basically the cornerstone of our economy now. Who needs to put in effort to drive to a store that may, or may not, have what you want when the Internet for sure does. All the sizes, in all the colors, and in all the styles. What’s not to love? Other than the waiting part for your box to arrive, obviously.

As much as I also enjoy a solid delivery date, I find most timelines for life to be overrated. You know the ones I’m talking about. The non-tangible deadlines. When you should start dating, when you should graduate college, when you should find a career path, when you should get engaged, when you should get married, when you should have kids, when you should get a house, when you should have a LIFE CRISIS, when you should retire, when you should move into a retirement home, etc.

Aren’t those fun? Feeling the unspoken judgement of people. I’ve never been good at following the timelines, because I think they can end up leading to settling. If you feel like you have to find your soulmate by a certain age, you’ll find someone by that age. Soulmate, or not. You will find them. I personally think life tends to work out better when you just go with the flow. Maybe that means you are your last single friend for … a while. Maybe that means you take a few victory laps to get your degree. Maybe that means you bounce around to different jobs because you like learning new things. Maybe it’s deciding that you want to rent forever. Maybe that’s deciding to retire in your 20s and travel the world working odd jobs. 

You do you. Don’t let other people dictate your actions. Don’t let societal pressure make you settle because you feel like if you don’t, no one will take you seriously. Don’t care what other people think. It’ll work out when the time is right. The universe can’t be rushed no matter how bad you want it to speed up. Just breathe. Relax. Kick up your feet, crack open a cold one, and chill.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THINGS SPORT ANNOUNCERS SAY THAT LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE COULD ALSO SAY

Sports are a way of life. Not for all people, certainly, but for a lot of people. Because who doesn’t love getting overly invested in the performance of your favorite team and favorite players? Probably people who enjoy more stress-free ways of living or low blood pressure. It’s irritating when your team is not playing well, or worse: losing, or even worse: losing to your rival. In those moments you learn a lot about yourself as a person – where your priorities truly lie, how you handle stress, what you’re like under the pressure of trash talk, whether or not you’re a gracious loser, and how competitive you are regarding things that you have less than zero control over.

While sports have a lot of positives, there are some negative aspects that you have to deal with. Rioting, losing friendships, scandals, losing money, cheating, drugs, etc. And then, of course, you have the announcers. Sport announcers are there to say helpful things and aid in the viewing experience of the game. Supposedly. There is a most curious breakdown of things that can, and will, come out of an announcers mouth during the period of play. Ask any sports fan and they have announcers that they like, announcers that they tolerate, and then announcers they cannot stand.

Regardless of how you feel about the announcer, their dialogue can best be summarized as follows. Usually they throw some fun statistics in there and some inspiring story about the team, or a specific player. Constantly they will talk about what can best be described as sport conspiracy theories regarding playoffs based on the team’s performance to date. This includes, but is not limited to, previously played games, the current game being played, upcoming schedule of games, and what both a win and a loss mean going into the next day. It’s great to hear when they’re talking in favor of your team, and it’s the most obnoxious thing in the world when it’s against your team.

Some of the time they will interject with memories about their time participating in said sport, which usually feels more like a backdoor brag than anything. But then, the rest of the time is spent with them saying ridiculous things that anyone else in the whole freaking planet could also say. Sports fan, or not. And it just makes you stop and think about how they landed this cushy, well-paid, gig when you could also easily make broad statements about the nature of a sport. Statements such as:

  • What they’re trying to do here is win
  • If you ask me, they need to score more points
  • Coach does not look happy
  • If I played like that, I’d be sitting on the bench
  • That’s not good defense
  • To win, they’re going to need to beat the other team
  • I’m not sure what they’re thinking out there
  • Defense fell asleep on that play
  • They’ve dug themselves a big hole
  • Time is running out
  • I don’t agree with that call
  • I think that was a good call
  • From this angle, it’s hard to tell
  • I can’t see what’s happening down there
  • I think that a win would feel good
  • Offense wins games
  • Defense wins games
  • A loss is not going to be good here
  • They’re not going to be happy leaving the tournament early
  • They’ll only be satisfied holding the championship trophy

I could go on, but this feels like an inclusive enough list to make my point. Basically, sports announcers just find different ways to state the obvious. Or to say the wrong mascot for a team. People want to win. People don’t like to lose. Other people are often in charge of making decisions that you may, or may not, agree with. Failing to reach the end goal is never satisfying. And reaching a longtime dream is the best feeling in the world. None of that feels overly exclusive to sports – more of a life thing in general. All I’m saying is change the sport terms into everyday terms and you’ve got a recipe for inspirational sayings. Kind of feels like anyone could do it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN

We have all had an unpleasant encounter with someone who is just irrationally angry, at some point. You know, the people who call you up, or (even worse) are face-to-face with you, and have this need to tell you exactly how they feel in the most offensive and hurtful way possible? These people make me sad. For one, I had no part in whatever it is you’re upset about – I don’t even work here. But mainly, how unhappy are you in life that you feel a need to blow something trivial way out of proportion? Are you trying to ruin someone else’s day?

Want to know a fun fact? You aren’t ruining my day. No, to be honest, I’m not even really listening because you’re talking yourself in circles and not making sense. Plus, you’re just being loud, so I’m going to let you wear yourself out first. My favorite part about these people, is most of the time it’s user error. Oh, so your upcoming flight isn’t showing up on your calendar? Did you add it to the calendar? No? Hmmm, well that’s interesting – it’s hard to see something that you never created! Oh, so your burrito costs more because it has guacamole on it? Did you not listen when the Chipotle employee told you it would cost extra? Or did you not read the board with that same information very clearly printed on it? No? Hmmm, well that’s interesting – seems like a very personal problem.

Personally, I choose to live my life by this amazing quote: ‘Don’t let idiots ruin your day’. Check. Don’t worry, I’m still going to have an amazing day because happiness is a choice. My favorite part about these interactions is when our irrational friend realizes they screwed up. The face stays red, but subtly moves from the angry lobster red to embarrassment blush red. Now, I’m not a vengeful person, but can we all agree that feeling is satisfying? Granted, in a slightly evil way, but we aren’t the ones trying to make the girl behind the register cry so we can get out of paying, now are we?

Maybe I’m not a very angry person either, but how does one get to that stage? Is this impacting your ability to act like an adult? You know that you can still voice frustration in a reasonable way, right? Is this really the example you want to set for the people around you? There are children EVERYWHERE, you know (it’s slightly creepy).

What’s that? You haven’t ever dealt with someone like that? Your life is all glitter, and rainbows, and CHEWY CHIPS AHOY cookies? Well, this is awkward, but you are that irrationally angry person. Yes, I know you think you’re reasonable, and fun, and easy-going, but no. You would be incorrect. You are an overreacter and tend to blame things on others to get your way. Wow, that’s a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it. You’re probably starting to get a little red right now. Thinking about composing a very friendly email for me. Totally great – bring it on! As Germany Kent said, ‘Stop giving people the power to control your smile, your worth, your attitude, and your day. Don’t give anyone that much power over your life’. BOOM! You have no power over my life! So all of your anger will do, well, nothing to me. I’ll read your lovely email, take it, feel a little sad for your unhappiness, then smile and move on.

But I get it – it’s not as easy as that for everyone. Getting screamed at isn’t exactly something you wake up in the morning hoping for. That’s ok. New savage queen, Taylor Swift, wrote a song for times like these. It’s pretty much the perfect response template for dealing with one of the hotheads. A whole song can be hard to remember so I’ll just give you the highlights:

  • You are somebody that I don’t know, but you’re taking shots at me like it’s Patron. And I’m just like d*mn. It’s (INSERT TIME HERE)
  • You need to calm down. You’re being too loud
  • You need to just stop. Like, can you just not?
  • Why are you mad? When you could be glad?
  • Control your urges to scream about all the people you hate

How easy is that? You need to calm down. Why? Oh, because you’re being too loud and I don’t know you. Moral of this rant: there’s no need to be so angry – choose happiness.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to overreact to everything, pass this along so they can scream at me not you. Maybe one day they’ll understand that life is short enough without tempting fate with frequent spikes to their blood pressure. Thanks for reading!


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AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT

Some things in life suck – breakups, getting fired, paying bills, when your team gets upset in the March Madness tournament, ripping your pants, losing the TV remote, running out of Chewy Chips Ahoy (READ MORE on my love for these cookies), cleaning a mirror to find streaks left behind (I think this is THE WORST – find out why HERE), etc. How do you react when it happens? Me, personally, am a pity partier. I’m not proud of that, but sharing is caring. Then one day someone gave me the best advice. They said ‘Let it go already! Ain’t nobody got time for that!’ And my first thought was ‘You’re my therapist … I’m paying you to have time for this’. But in reality, no, nobody has time for that! Not me, not you, not my therapist, apparently. 

What is even the purpose of a pity party? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a pity party is defined as ‘an instance of indulging in self-pity or eliciting pity from other people’. That’s all nice and dandy, but let’s dive deeper. What is pity? Well, if you ask the Oxford Dictionary (AKA a Google Search for pity) it’s either ‘the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others’ or ‘a cause for regret or disappointment’. 

Literally just typing that made me feel like a terrible person. What is wrong with us as a species? Why do we think it’s ok to force our sadness and misfortunes on unassuming people who were probably having a great day until you started moaning about the sandwich you ordered only being medium warm instead of hot out of the oven? Newsflash: NOBODY CARES! We get it, you’re sad. You know what won’t make you happy? Constantly reminiscing on how your life sucks right now and you’re in a tough spot. You know what will make you feel better, though? Well, Chewy Chips Ahoy for one, but also moving on and realizing that you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.

So your heart is broken? There’s more than one person in the world – go find someone better! So you lost your job? Use your experience to write a killer resume – then go get a better one with a higher salary! So your bills are due … again? Well, you don’t technically have to pay them if you don’t want to, you just won’t have electricity/water/cell service/Internet/etc. if you don’t. Oh, your bracket is ruined? Whose isn’t? That Cinderella team lost a lot of people money, not just you, and they moved on so suck it up buttercup.

By now, you’re probably thinking ‘That’s great and all, but easier said than done. Tell me something I don’t know’. Alright, fine. Have you ever seen the Pixar film Inside Out? There’s a lot of articles on the science behind it, but in my unprofessional opinion it boils down to this: whichever emotion you allow to control your switchboard is the one that controls every aspect of your life. So if you let Pity run the show, then that pity seeps into your actions, into your relationships with others, into your bones (hello constant exhaustion and tired muscles), and into your thoughts. You ooze pity and no one wants to interact with someone who looks like they might start rambling about how an unauthorized person parked in their spot and they forgot an umbrella so now they’re soaking wet. Would you go talk to that person? I wouldn’t because I don’t need your pity jumping onto my switchboard. I’ve got problems of my own, I don’t need yours too.

What’s my point here? Never to feel sad, or to talk about how you’re down about something that happened? No, that’s unnatural and a strong indicator of a psychopath. Feel that emotion, feel that weight, let it piss you off, question what led up to it, allow yourself to have that self-pity, talk to someone about how it’s affecting you! But don’t hold on to it. Don’t let it take over your switchboard and run your life for weeks, months, or years. Accept that it happened, learn from it, and get on with your life. Make that ex jealous, make your old boss beg to have you back, buy 12 different TV remotes so you can always find one, go off-the-grid and get rid of your bills, etc. And if you are struggling to do that for yourself, then please, for the love of God, do it for us because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is pity partying it up, pass this along so they can know that their reservation at the Pity Inn is up, and if they want to keep staying there, then something new has to happen to them. Otherwise GET OUT! Thanks for reading!


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LIFE LESSONS FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE

Working on the front lines in a customer facing role feels like a crucial life skill that everyone should experience at some point during their working lives. It gives you a certain viewpoint and helps lead to empathy, patience, and kindness towards those workers in the future. For normal people anyways. How could you not want to be kind to a customer service representative if you’ve had the chance to be on the receiving end of the call? Especially knowing how unpleasant some customers are to deal with.

Let’s clear the air and set one thing straight. Rarely is it even the customer service worker’s fault. Did they break the product? No. Did they send out a marketing email promo that doesn’t work? No. Did they go on the coffee run and get your order wrong? No. Did they decide to completely pivot the business model screwing over current customers? No. Did they decide to acquire a rival company? No. Did they make empty promises during the sale? No. Did they fail to complete a thorough product test before shipping the update to production causing a major bug? No. Did they conjure up a storm that knocked out power, and thus the Internet, causing you to lose access to unsaved changes? No. Did they deliver the shipment in a careless way causing damage? No.

I could go on, but I feel like the main point here is very clear: the person you are talking to is merely a middle man attempting to help you, despite it not being their fault. Saints. Granted, you usually can’t go straight to the source, which, honestly, is the smartest thing companies ever implemented. That doesn’t make some of the responses warranted, though. But this post is not about how some of us really need to calm down. No, it’s about what working in the customer service industry teaches an individual.

Mute Buttons are Your Best Friend

Has there ever been a time where you’ve responded to someone without really thinking about what you’re saying, or the potential professional implications of those words? The mute button exists. Use the mute button. Think of it as a trial run. It could save your life.

Some Things Need to Run Their Course

Remember that time when you were really angry and summarized all of your feelings into one, concise sentence? Me neither, because that’s not a thing. Angry is to rambling as white is to rice. They go together – wait out the storm.

Patience Doesn’t Always Work

Patience is a virtue. And Oreos are delicious. Doesn’t mean they’re healthy. There are situations where being passive is not the right choice. Put your best fake smile on and go with blunt honesty. Don’t let the bulldogs walk over you because you appear willing to listen indefinitely.

Some People Are Just Sour Patch Kids

We all know the human SOUR PATCH KIDS. The ones who are sour at first and absolutely ruin your appetite for no reason. Like, I don’t know who peed in your Cheerios this morning, but I did not do, whatever it is you’re upset about, to you. Your complaint isn’t even about our company.

Life is Short, Move On

Not everyone is worth your memory. Deal with it in the moment, then make like a goldfish and forget. Move on! You’ll be happier.

Sometimes It’s Better To Not Say Anything

Would you jump in front of a moving train? I certainly hope not. Know when you need to simply put your headset on the desk and SURF BUZZFEED for a bit until the anger train finally comes to a stop. If you get invested in an article and simply can’t return to the question, ask how it makes them feel to start that steam engine again.

You Won’t Always Have an Answer

There will come a point where you are no longer all-knowing. Where you will need to go find the answer and circle back. Don’t be disappointed, this buys you time and teaches you something! Might as well kill two birds with one stone. Maybe hot head will have cooled down in the meantime.

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, And Dodge

When in doubt, follow the 5 D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. Throw the department who put you in this mess under the bus. Did I spit on your pizza? No, that must have been an oversight from the cooking staff – I will follow up with them right away. Who me? No you must mean that team over there. Deflect for the win … and for your sanity. Besides they won’t be able to contact the real problem team to confirm.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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LIFE LESSONS FROM COLLEGE

Let’s talk about all the times I use my degree today. Ok, that was fun, moving on. Remember college? Move in with a stranger, who will obviously become your best friend, after a touch of drama, a dorm room bigger than your kitchen at home, classes like once a month, and classy parties where everyone accepts you immediately and you eventually become the hottest human on campus within a week. No? Not your experience? That must just be the Hollywood portrayal, I guess.

What about actual college? The real life version. College was amazing – on the weekends when there were millions of hours to work on my Monday assignments and I had zero cares about anything. I learned so much from my time there. Socially. Also academically, but that has yet to transfer very applicably to life. If we look past the price tag that could buy the entire Tesla S3X lineup, there were some very valuable takeaways:

Everything Has Strings Attached

Just because they give you plastic cups, t-shirts, food, USB chargers, stress toys, pens, etc. every day of the week doesn’t mean it’s free. That’s what your student fees are providing so you better take ALL of it to maximize your investment.

There Are Two Kinds of Smart

Social smart and book smart. One understands that you don’t start to get ready for the party until the party has started and the other arrives exactly on time. Neither is “correct”, but one gets invited back and one doesn’t.

FOMO AKA Networking

Every single event, officially sponsored or not, is an opportunity to network. Career Fair? Yes, duh. Governor’s Ball? Definitely. Class? Sure. Tailgating? Of course. A frat party? Oh, absolutely. Never say no and you’ll have a slightly better chance of landing a big boy / girl job after graduating.

Sleep is Overrated

Who has time to sleep when you have to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in one night? You just have to pass through the ‘I’m tired’ phase into the ‘just kidding, I can stay awake forever’ phase. No caffeine needed, just an airhorn and good friends.

There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Tailgate

If you forget any portion of the tailgate triangle you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t know what the tailgate triangle is, then you tailgate wrong for sure. Alcohol, Food, Games.

Everyone Has a Clique

College is the best time to find your people. Social smart, book smart, tailgater, tailgate attempter – doesn’t matter! Everyone has a clique and everyone’s clique is the best. Find what works for you.

Basic Survival Needs Are All Mental

If you’re an “adult” in college, why do we still have to ask to take a bathroom break? Guess I’ll just hold it and hope I don’t get a UTI. You want to breathe? That’s fine, it costs $3 per inhale. Oh, you’re thirsty because it’s a billion degrees outside and you’ve been standing in a stadium all day? Water is $45 a bottle 🙂

Weekend 24 Hours and Weekday 24 Hours are Not the Same

A day on the weekend supposedly has 24 hours, but somehow ends in about a quarter of the time as a weekday? Alright, Father Time, I see you, and I don’t appreciate what you’re doing here. If you could just flip that equation, that would be great.

If You’re Bored, You’re Doing it Wrong

There is never not something to do. Maybe you just need to look harder? Or, maybe whatever is happening doesn’t interest you? Well, that’s what friends and Netflix are for – make your own adventure.

Hollywood Is a Liar

My college experience was … very different … from how all the shows and movies made it seem. You actually have to go to class, and, even if you don’t, they still take your money, but kick you out. Nobody on TV has “class”, what is this BS?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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NO, I’M SORRY, LIFE DOESN’T GIVE OUT PARTICIPATION TROPHIES – GROW UP

Where did we go wrong? The next generation of “adults” have been raised to believe that everyone is a winner. Um … everyone is not a winner. There has to be a loser. That’s how this works. I understand that all of us aren’t into sports, but that’s no excuse not to brace your children for the reality that is life. If we all got what we wanted just for waking up and putting on clothes, though, the world would be chaos. Everyone would be in their dream job, married to their celebrity crush, and financially very well off.

For those of us born before 2000, we can remember a time when there was no gray zone. If you didn’t win, you lost. And you may have been sad, you may have cried, but you learned from that. You learned that you had to be better. Or you would not win. You would not get a trophy just for being there and taking the team picture.  No one would lie to you about your potential in that particular field. Life was good.

Then, at some point earlier this century, someone decided that their kid was not a loser. And no one could tell them that they were a loser. Parents started putting their children’s feelings in a perfect little bubble so they could never be sad. But then school started, and those kids had a social awakening and life, as they knew it, was over. Enter the participation trophy. Return the sheltered children to where they belong – in a fantasy. In my head, the participation trophy is something that will be heavily examined by the future humans of Earth. Much like our fascination with the caveman and their discovery of fire.

In my (limited) experience as an adult, here is how the real world works once one outgrows their youth, laid out in several fun and traumatizing scenarios:

  • Missed Project Deadline
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Declined for a Promotion
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Late to Work
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Waiting in Line for the New iPhone, but they Run Out
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Failure to Meet your Goals
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Rejected by Your Crush
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be dating them

In summary, you get in trouble, possibly fired, and have to suck it up because the world doesn’t care about your tears. I could go on, but I believe those get my point across. Participation does not teach lessons, it prevents important lessons from being learned. And outside of youth recreational competitions (sports, spelling bees, science fairs, chess tournaments, mini golf, the arcade down the street, etc.), it doesn’t really apply. Losing is a good thing! It’s an external factor giving immediate feedback that what we did did not work. Which leads to progress and change and, eventually, winning! For real, though, like in a way that you actually earned. And that is the most rewarding feeling ever.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who actively promotes the “participation” game, tell them to stop it! Or, better yet, share this informative post with them so they can understand why they should stop it. The kids will thank you, but more importantly the world will thank you. Thanks for reading!


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NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY, BETTER BRING AN UMBRELLA

Some things in life are certain:

  • The sun will come up tomorrow
  • The new Oreo flavors will continue to be both questionable, yet delicious
  • The radio will ruin your favorite song by playing it non-stop for 400 weeks in a row
  • The Detroit Lions won’t make the Super Bowl this year
  • And there is always a chance of rain

It’s kind of like an ironic miracle every time the weather decides to throw a little self-pity party and literally rain on our parade. If there is full sun and no clouds, where does the rain even come from? Angels? Maybe, but it seems to me like angels don’t get sad … that’s the point of heaven right? Is the sun crying? Are the satellites leaking? Is it the aliens? I have so so so many questions on how this is even possible.

Think about it for a second. Clouds carry moisture, so even a white cloud has some possibility of rain. That makes sense. But when there are no clouds, where, oh where, is the rain coming from? More importantly, is it sanitary? I have a lot of concerns on where this mysterious sky water could be falling from and most of them make me question my choice to just sit there and take it.

Johnny Nash had a catchy song, and maybe in his time rain only came with clouds. But more and more I’m finding that I can see clearly even while the rain is strong because it’s sunny. And otherwise beautiful outside. And there are no clouds. NONE! Have you also noticed that sunny rain is almost always invisible? So at first, you think it was just a rude bird who flew overhead and decided that was the time to turn on the sprinkler. Which makes you feel unclean, but you don’t want to say anything because that’s embarrassing – a bird just peed on you after all.

Then other people start making comments like ‘I think it’s raining’ or ‘I just felt a raindrop’ and that’s when the harsh truth starts to sink in. You, being unprepared, are sitting fully exposed outside in minimal clothing with no rain jacket, no umbrella, and a very expensive electronic device just waiting to show you how un-water resistant it is. And you start to have thoughts like:

  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why didn’t I purchase phone insurance?
  • How else can I break my phone so it’s covered under accidental damage and will be fixed for free?
  • Will standing under a tree keep me dry?
  • Can I get back to my car and wait it out / where is my car?
  • Did I not check the weather this morning? No, I did – it was just a LIAR! 0% chance of rain my a**
  • I left my sunroof open … where the hell is my car?!
  • Does this mean I don’t have to water my plants, though?
  • Why am I the only one that seems to be concerned about the rain?
  • Why do I even buy white t-shirts?

Which brings me back to the point of this post. You should always expect rain. Even when the weatherman lies (more on my thoughts about their job HERE), even when the weather app lies, even when you look out the window and see no clouds, and even when the sun is shining – bring an umbrella. Or a rain jacket. Or a poncho. Or a trash bag. Or remember where you parked your car. Basically, have your rain escape plan ready or you could be paying for a whole new cell phone. Which will in turn make you cry and the ants will be like ‘What the hell? It’s sunny outside, how is it raining?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you, or someone you know, has been personally traumatized by sun rain, just know that you are not alone and together we will remember to pack a dry outfit … just in case. Thanks for reading!


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