Finding a Sense of Calm by Avoiding the Storms of Online Arguing

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, Keeps his soul from troubles. Proverbs 23 (NKJV)

I have decided to break from venting on this blog and on any of my social media accounts.  I know, no one really cares, but I felt I should make a formal announcement nonetheless.

Before I continue, let me clarify, this is not an argument against freedom of speech.  I understand that freedom of speech is important.  This is more about a personal decision to remove myself from negative, non-productive online situations that interfere with the way I want to conduct myself online from this point on. Read More

Breaking Up with YouTube (Sort of)

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  
1 Timothy 6:7

Concealers that reveal every line and crow’s foot (feet?).

Lipsticks that make my teeth look yellow rather than pearly white.

Face powder that makes me sparkle but not in that “cool” Edward Cullen way.

Skin care that irritates rather than soothes.

Hair care products that don’t work.

Make up brushes I don’t use.

“Healthy” snack foods that taste like tree bark.

T-shirts that don’t survive one round in the washing machine.

Calendars I don’t need.

“Luxurious” underwear that leaves very little covered but does provide wedgies of truly epic proportions.  Read More

Flu, flu go away…and stay away.

Once again, big plans made…big plans interrupted.  This time, however, I was not derailed by an onslaught of negative self-speak or the shadows of depression. No, sir/ma’am. I was pushing through, trying my best to ignore the “you’ll never be able tos” and focusing on the tasks at hand.  It was going quite well, by my standards, until the flu brought everything to a screeching halt.  Fever…headache…stuffy nose…zero energy…achy body, all the villains came out to play, and I had to put everything on hold.

Thankfully, I got off easy.  In case you haven’t heard, this flu season is nasty and it is not playing around.  Despite rarely leaving my house and washing my hands as soon as I get home, the flu still found me.  But, again, thankfully I am on the mend and quite happy to be left only with a sore, flaky nose and a lingering lack of energy.

Apart from the obvious dangers of this flu strain, the other concerning issue is the number of people who continue to show up for work either because they are forced to do so or because they have bought into the “I’ll just push through it” school of thought.  Not only are these attitudes unwise, they are proving downright deadly for some.

I understand that sick days are a luxury in many situations, but people are dying here.  It’s time for businesses, including retailers, to take notice of the human cost of this “you show up to work no matter what” mindset. This is the time for businesses to concern themselves with the well-being of their employees and those customers who, often unknowingly, come into contact with employees forced to work while battling the flu.  Surely it’s better to endure a little inconvenience now rather than lose employees, customers, or clients altogether…on a more permanent basis?

If you are battling the flu, you have my sympathy.  I hope you are able to take the time to heal properly and I wish you a speedy recovery.

A Do One Thing Printable

calendar 004I thought it was time I shared a deeply personal, earth-shattering confession:  I have a major obsession with office supplies and an even bigger obsession with planners in particular.  I love planners and calendars; the problem is I also find many of them quite overwhelming.  So many sections!  So many accessories! So many choices! Erin Condren, Kate Spade, the Happy Planner, Lilly Pulitzer, academic planners, mom planners, family calendars, etc., etc., etc.  I really can’t keep up! Yet, I can’t stay away either.

Read More

What Do You Say in Situations Like This?

Yesterday we awoke to news of yet another devastating act of evil.  It was an act that claimed many innocent lives and forever changed the lives of others.  Not long after news of this latest mass shooting broke came the inevitable stream of ill-timed, self-serving tweets and statements from celebrities, intellectuals,  political pundits, and failed politicians.  Like a pack of wild hyenas seizing on a newly found carcass, they began sharing their accusations, playing the blame game, and, in some cases, even expressing a lack of sympathy towards these victims because they were “probably all Republicans anyway.”  It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

Thus far, fifty-eight human lives have been lost. For the massacre survivors, the families and friends of those killed, and even the first responders, life may never be the same.  Those left behind have in no way begun to process the shock and loss.

Although to some they may be merely names in a news story or a means to further their political stance, I hope most of us will remember that these victims were real people as are those they left behind. There are parents, children, husbands, wives, friends, brothers, and sisters who will now have to navigate their way not only through loss but also through the shock that complicates the grieving process when you lose a loved one suddenly. That can take years to work through and, unfortunately, some may never overcome it.

The early, raw hours of such a tragedy should never be used to further your political agenda, left or right.  It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, this is the time for compassion, sensitivity, support, and, if you are a praying person, prayer.

A Brief Ramble: Breaking Up with Motivation


Hey, motivation! Yeah…I’m talking to you.  I am officially breaking up with you.  As the old saying goes, “it’s not me, it’s you.”

After years of waiting upon you to bless me with the gumption to achieve my goals, I’ve realized that I’ve been waiting in vain.  A sad truth has FINALLY penetrated my thick skull:  you, motivation, are no friend of mine. You are fickle, you are fleeting, and you are unreliable.

You’d think I’d have figured this out sooner, however, I suspect dealing with depression may have clouded my logic.  Things become a bit hazy as you try to distinguish a lack of motivation rooted in depression from one that is simply the same everyday lack of motivation we all experience from time to time.

I always assumed (quite wrongly) that if I wasn’t feeling motivated, then I should wait until motivation struck again. I thought that if I was truly serious about my goals, motivation would always have my back and carry me onward to success.  This is skewed thinking at its best. The truth is, if I want to achieve my goals, then I need to put nose to the proverbial grindstone and just get on with it, regardless of how I feel.

Motivation is  a great gift when it makes an appearance, but it pays to be wary; much like that two-faced friend we all had in high school, motivation will look you right in the eyeballs and tell you how pretty and awesome you are and then, as soon as your back is turned, gleefully laugh at your gullibility.

Undoubtedly, there will be a period of adjustment as I try to end my dependence upon motivation.  Even so, I will do my best to avoid its stale waiting room of shattered dreams and instead move into the less fickle realm of good ol’ determination. In the meantime, there’s always coffee.


A previous pondering on motivation:

To YouTube, or Not to YouTube

Big, exciting, edge of your seat news: I started another YouTube channel!

Alright…that was totally anticlimactic.

This is the third channel I’ve started since 2014.  I deleted my first out of disgust and discouragement.  I started a second channel last year but left it to wither and die in a dry, dusty corner of the internet.  This Saturday, like a dung beetle returning to a favorite pile of steaming nourishment, I uploaded my first video on yet another reincarnation of HattieVents.  As I’ve said when I started my other channels, I do not expect to become “internet famous” nor do I think I’m particularly entertaining (I have to live with myself and, holy cow, can I be a bore). I simply enjoy making videos especially those that are more light-hearted.

My YouTube channel is a hobby, which is funny, because I’m not someone who is drawn to the hobby life (in fact, I wrote an entire post about that earlier this year).  However, this blog and making videos are the only two activities in which I have retained any continued interest, so I guess I’ve got myself a couple of hobbies now. What fun.

To ensure I remember that my channel is merely an enjoyable pastime, I have, to the best of my knowledge, left it un-monetized.  I’m hoping this will trick my brain into enjoying the channel as opposed to taking it too seriously which typically leads to unnecessary stress and pressure, inevitably turning a pastime into a chore.

I almost talked myself out of returning to YouTubin for many reasons. The main recorded message that kept playing in my head was, “you’re too old for this.”  I am rapidly approaching the half-century mark, and I don’t want to come across as some desperate old biddy who thinks she can compete in a platform that is largely the domain of the young.  But, it is also because I have that big birthday taunting me from the not-too-distant future that I am trying to push myself to do the things I want to do, regardless of whether or not I may be deemed too old.  I’ve spent the majority of my life worrying about what other people think, and it has done nothing but lead to missed opportunities both personally and professionally.  Quite frankly, I’m tired of it!

I am also trying to ignore how my camera shows my age and my wonky eye, which gets wonkier as the years go on.  I am trying not to obsess over the fact that I don’t have the best filming equipment or editing software and skills.  I am trying not to feel inadequate or “unworthy” because I don’t live in a trendy neighborhood filled with corner cafes where I can film close-ups of my designer flat white and avocado-scrambled-eggs on toast (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  I’m just a normal chick who lives a fairly uneventful life in the Middle of Nowhere, Texas and, regardless of what the internet says, that’s okay.

It’s not easy to ignore a lifetime of negative self-talk but I’m working on it.  I’m retraining my brain to throw out the old tapes and learn a new mantra.  To borrow a phrase from history, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”