“What’s on the agenda this weekend?” My husband asks.

I open up my planner. “Battle of the books in the early afternoon Saturday, then Jazmina’s Quinciniera in the eve. Then Sunday is Janina’s birthday party at the pool.”

“I’m not going to that,” He says.

“But…” I answer.

“I work all week and I don’t get a second of downtime!” He continues. “I’m not going!
“I don’t work?! Who do you think makes you dinner and does your laundry? Who organizes all this stuff, battle of the books, birthday parties?” I reply.

“Who pays the bills around here!” He retorts. “And how much tennis did you play yesterday?!”

And on and on we go… We have been fighting like this for years.

Doing the same thing over and over again…

Say it with me:


Each of us expecting the other one will “get” what it is we really need.

I’m never going to say, “Babe, of course, skip the silly swim party! I would LOVE to take our three kids to the swimming pool party without you on Sunday.”

He’s never going to say, “hell yes, I’d love to take you all swimming with a pool full of little kids on my Sunday afternoon after a long work week.”

So we both go round and round in a futile attempt to get the other to bend by throwing our weight around:

It never works.

After years and years of this pattern, we had a breakthrough the other day.

“Let’s not do that anymore,” he said.

“Yeah, it never works.” I agree.

“We’ve been doing it for years.” He hugs me.

“I have a better idea,” I say as I hug him back.

“What?” He asks.

“Let’s just tell each other what we need.” I offer. “Like, if you need a break over the weekend just say so. I’m not going to act like I don’t want you to come with me but I’m going to respect that it’s something you need.” I say.

“Yeah, I respect you for all you do and I know you respect me too.” He says. “It doesn’t feel good to argue like that.”


After twenty something years, we are FINALLY getting it.

We have a great partnership, me and Ron. But it’s not perfect. The problem we run up against is expecting the other to automatically understand what it is we need and give it to us.

When inevitably one of us fails to “get” what it is the other needs, we get mad and throwi out passive aggressive jabs about all the things we do that the other one *should* see and appreciate.

Can you relate?

How are you expecting other people to automatically know what you need? How are you punishing them for NOT behaving according to your script?

Bottom line:

Stop expecting people to know. Stop punishing them when they don’t. And START asking for what you need.

That is what we are learning. Better late than never, right? And, let me tell you something, it already feels a whole lot better.


How to Think When You’re Overwhelmed

by Amy on February 2, 2017


I figured out the main theme of my book. This is the theme that informs everything. It’s the big “So What?” of the book.

I was talking to my friend about it the other day.

She asked me if I knew the theme when I started writing.

“I haven’t wanted to start my book,” She said, “because I have no idea what the theme is.”

Our conversation reminded me of jigsaw puzzles.

Because I spend a lot of time on them, I’ve learned a few things about jigsaw puzzle strategy.

There’s a a definite sequence to it.

First you’ve got to turn all the puzzle pieces over.

Then you want to batch them by color or pattern.

Next you find the corners.

Then you start working on the outside pieces first.

Then, and only then, do you start filling in the rest.

Of course you don’t have to do it this way. But it will take you a lot longer and you run the risk of never finishing due to boredom or frustration.

Puzzles require patience. You’ve got to enjoy the journey, actually the journey is the whole point. Each time you find a piece that fits you get a hit of satisfaction that keeps the momentum going.

The thing that will get you into trouble and cause a lot of angst is trying to fill in the parts too far from the edges too soon. It will take you a long time to find these pieces, if you ever do, and it won’t be much fun.

I discovered that if you get the order right, the easier those inside pieces will be to find down the road.

This is a great metaphor for writing a book, building a business or any other big thing you want to do that seems TOTALLY overwhelming.

Because a lot of us begin by thinking we need to know things. Know the title, know the theme, know our niche, our target market, the exact “right” way to accomplish whatever it is we want to accomplish.

We pay way too much attention to the end result without finding any joy in the journey. We are in such a hurry to succeed that, ironically, we fizzle out before we even come close (or we never start).

I’m learning how to approach my work as I would a jigsaw puzzle.

I’m learning how to just start with the most OBVIOUS first steps. To turn the puzzle pieces over, group them by color… put the obvious pieces together so the next pieces can reveal themselves to me.

Give it a try…

Sooner or later with a little patience you’ll find yourself sitting in front of a completed puzzle thinking, “damn that was fun,” and wondering which puzzle to tackle next.

“No,” I told my friend. “I had no idea what the theme of the book would be. I just knew I wanted to write it. About sixty thousand words in the theme became obvious and so did the title.”

Have faith my friend. The next piece of the puzzle is going to reveal itself. You just have to get started and remember to enjoy the journey.

Oh the things you will do.


Saint Ron: Why the Truth Hurts (If You Let It)

January 27, 2017

“You should be canonized for putting up with her all these years.” This was a comment made about me to my husband. The same person I blocked to escape his poisonous text messages found a way to get to me through my husband. I won’t lie. When I heard that he said this about me […]

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5 Survival Tips When You #$%^& Up

January 20, 2017

I was recently invited to play on a bad-ass women’s tennis team. Wanting to make a good impression, I volunteered right away to practice doubles with a group of women. Got a babysitter and everything. On the night of practice, I got to the tennis club ten minutes early. Nobody there… “Strange,” I thought as […]

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Setting Boundaries with Setting Boundaries

January 12, 2017

For a long time my dream was to create a successful six figure, and then multiple six figure, coaching practice. After achieving the $200,000 a year mark I considered going for $500,000 a year. I created the business plan, I had the team in place, but I never made it. “Being an entrepreneur is the most lucrative […]

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We March

November 1, 2016

She is in a dark room, there is music on the other side of the door, and voices. She is crying and afraid. She doesn’t like being in here in the dark, alone. But no one hears her crying. Then the door opens and a man looks in. She can see the outline of his […]

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The Adult Brain of a Bullied Kid

October 6, 2016

We were on a bus, heading into Portland for a field trip. It was going to be a great day. We were going to try sushi for the first time and see China town. I was in seventh grade. Sitting on the bus, the girl next to me was leaning up against the window talking across […]

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35 Excuses Keeping You From Being Happy

July 27, 2016

No excuses. Just happy. My mom used to call me a “malcontent.” I hated it when she called me that. But now I see that she was right. I always had a reason why I couldn’t be happy. Here are a few excuses I used to make that kept me from being happy. Chances are […]

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You are five.

February 25, 2015

Who were you when you were five? When I was five… I loved flowers — I vividly remember the plants from my childhood – the sunflowers in my backyard, the rose bushes by the patio, the filbert orchards and the Oregon grapes with berries you couldn’t really eat. I loved to swim – that feeling […]

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Thank you

February 17, 2017

Today I just want to thank for listening. Over the years I have spilled a lot of beans. It all started seven years ago when I told you I slapped my husband in the face with a sponge. Then, I told you another unflattering truth: I slept with my husband the day I met him. […]

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December 1, 2016

My mother passed away nine years ago on November 30th at 3:07 pm. I am in the kitchen this morning. We are getting ready for the day. My mother’s collection of snowmen are on display. The kids are near ecstatic because their “elf on a sheft” aka “Elfy” came last night even though it’s not officially […]

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A Case Against Living Up To Your Potential

October 18, 2016

One dark and rainy night, driving back into Seattle from a meeting with a client, I clutched the steering wheel and watched the windshield wipers going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I felt numb. “What if I just drive into the opposite lane,” I thought to myself. I was at the […]

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