Strong enough, smart enough and brave enough: all you have to do is ask

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Be strong enough to stand alone,
smart enough to 
know when you need help,
and brave enough to ask for it.
~ Ziad K. Abdelnour

I’m not sure if it’s a Type A thing, or just a fragment of my own personal makeup; however, I feel that the practice of enlisting the help of others is oftentimes viewed as a sign of vulnerability rather than a display of strength. The writing life is typically a solitary endeavor but, after juggling, rearranging and finagling my schedule (see “The price of sacrifice…”), I finally conceded I needed assistance to pursue my vocational goals. This meant approaching my little family and informing them when I would be unavailable, and then pinning my boss down to ask for additional flexibility in my “9-5” work schedule. All it took was a little smarts and a whole lot of bravery to walk away with blessings from all parties. And a renewed sense of my purpose.

What do you need to ask for help with?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Word-of-the-month in honor of Memorial Day: fealty

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[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

My contribution for May’s word-of-the-month comes by way of a friend of mine who ran across it in a book he was reading.  This Memorial Day seems to me the perfect day to feature the word fealty — a noun meaning faithfulness; allegiance (according to  Synonyms include loyalty, submission, devotion, fidelity and homage.  Used in a sentence, it may read: Today’s holiday encourages us to remember the men and women who pledged fealty to our country and sacrificed their lives in order that we may all sleep better at night.  It’s so easy to take our freedoms for granted.  But on days like today, we’re reminded that behind the Pledge of Allegiance and each American flag that proudly flies, are those who have served and been buried … brave and selfless souls who stood in my both my place and yours.  God Bless America.

Is there something you display a strong fealty for?

Picking up the pieces

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[Image credit: Simon Howden]

This past weekend I blogged about a decision I made to let a dream go … for now.  To put it mildly, the last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions.  Because without that particular hope for the future, my other goals seem rather meaningless.  Uninspired.  Not worth my time.  On top of that, my ankle is taking longer to heal than I expected, and so my plan to participate in my first race is looking less viable.  Consequently, as I look ahead into the unknown, these two set-backs are hindering my ability to see beyond this fork in the road.  In light of my recent disappointments, one of my friends encouraged me that something big is around the corner, and it’s by shedding one hope that I’ll be able to approach a new opportunity with peace and clarity of mind.  But in order to catch a glimpse of what’s awaiting me on the other side of the bend, I must pick up the pieces obscuring my path.  Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Reality is harsh. It can be cruel and ugly. Yet no matter how much we grieve over our
Environment and circumstances nothing will change.  What is important is not to be
defeated, to forge ahead bravely.  If we do this,
a path will open before us. ~ Daisaku Ikeda

When disappointments occur, how do you pick up the pieces and move on?