Woman-Up! — Facing Your Fears

Okay, so I admit that I slept with a toy gun under my pillow when I was a young child.  It made me feel better to know I had protection from potential burglars.  After all, I lived in a ground floor apt in New York City on the UWS (upper west side) where anything was possible! My father was often called upon to check under the bed for anything lurking, with plans to come out once the lights were turned off. Ben was good-natured about this and always there to be my protector from the boogey man, I could breathe a sigh of relief knowing a thorough check had been made.

My fears were many and included some very serious and mature musings, such as “Does life go on after I die?” (I wrestled with this one for a long time!) and what was that sound coming out of the radiator in my bedroom? Though my protector, Ben was also an overly anxious father, who hovered over me and watched my every move — which made me a Nervous Nellie.

So it is no wonder, with this back drop, that I would be the one on the ground watching in an amusement park or, worse yet, the big kid on the turtle roller coaster ride!

Nevertheless, on vacation this past week on the beautiful Oregon coast, I decided to face my fears and try sand dune buggy riding.  This is a popular sport in one of the many beach towns on the coast where sand instead of dirt fills the preserved parkland.  These dunes look like they could be on Cape Cod and are not found in any other part of Oregon, so I had to go with the flow.

With goggles, a scarf around my face to prevent sand from going in my mouth and an anticipated speed of 60-65 miles per hour, I was mentally psyched to conquer my queasy stomach and risk averse persona. If former President Bush senior could sky dive at 90,  a little sand in my face was a day at the beach!

The buggy climbs these giant hills and wait, there’s a huge drop down to the other side, which I could prepare for by swallowing hard and concentrating on getting  through it.

It was a half hour in length, so even if I was uncomfortable, it would be over before I knew it.

It was only a couple of weeks earlier that I asked (yes, asked!) to ride on the back of my neighbor’s Harley to celebrate a very big milestone birthday.  If not now, when?

Bottom line, I faced my fears and lived to tell the tale.  I’m certainly not a thrill seeker or an adventurer, but sometimes, you just have to woman up!

I’m taking a whole new approach, within reason of course.  Visualize what it might feel like, understand the risks, real or mostly imagined, and then make a new memory! It was actually quite fun to experience a sand dune buggy ride with friends and it’s a memory that goes into the scrap book of life.

Today’s Takeaway;

-Grab hold of your fears before they take over your life.

-Differentiate what’s real from what you’ve built up in your mind.

As always, enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay & Joy

When Lobster Tastes Like Soap: Don’t Get Attached to your Stuff!

Financial guru, Dave Ramsey, says, “There’s nothing wrong with making money or with spending it on some cool stuff for yourself.”

But he adds,  “If you eat enough lobster, it starts to taste like soap. Having stuff will never satisfy you.”

We know he’s right, right?  We have all experienced that titillating rush after a new purchase — a piece of furniture, an outfit.  But how quickly that rush dissipates..  The furniture collects dust; the outfit goes out of style.

It’s all about balance. Ramsey reminds us that the Bible is often misquoted to say that “Money is the root of all evil.”  What it actually says is, “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”

In and of itself, money or that new outfit is amoral. Neither good or bad.  (That said, have you tried Stitch Fix??)  It’s when the pursuit of money and the accumulation of stuff becomes our paramount focus, that  we are destined for unhappiness. Stuff does not satisfy and money is never enough. Our lobster tastes like soap.

Ramsey says that the goal of attaining wealth is so we can be generous. And he’s right. Sure, opening that Stitch Fix box is fun, but it can’t begin to compete with anonymous giving, or reaching out to a sick friend,  extending a sincere compliment, or writing a note of encouragement.

That is the currency of heaven.  Lobster dipped in butter.


Today’s Takeaway

– Generosity is your lobster!

-Having said that, check out Stitch Fix!


And enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay and Joy

Book Review-Becoming-by Michelle Obama

Joy here –

Loved, loved, loved this book.  So honest, from the heart, and real.  I knew I liked her as FLOTUS, but after reading her book I am totally a fan (and saddened that she isn’t first lady any longer!)

Michelle Obama didn’t come from money or status.  She was an average kid growing up on the south side of Chicago.  Her dreams and aspirations  were similar to those of many young people –  getting into a good college, making her mark on the world, giving back to her community. She accomplished all that and much more.

The book follows her divergent chapters in life, aptly titled, Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More.  It’s refreshing to know that she too went through a period of doubt regarding her chosen profession, the law.  After working so hard to get into a top school, Princeton, and landing a fabulous job with the top tier law firm, Sidley & Austin, Michelle wrestled with the fact that she wasn’t feeling fulfilled.  She wanted to give back to her community, to feel purposeful, to do good works, not just for the sake of a great pay check.  At the end of the day, isn’t that what most of us truly want in life?

As I read her memoir, I felt as though Michelle could be my next door neighbor or close friend.  She speaks from her soul and isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.

The book is a wonderful read for a young woman starting out in life or even more so, several years out of college trying to figure out if the path she’s chosen is still what she wants.  I bought the book with my older daughter in mind — Michelle being a great role model, someone who you could trust.

Although Michelle marveled at the heights she climbed and although she savored her time in The White House, her most important role was (and continues to be) as Sasha’s and Malia’s mom.

At the end of the day, her dignity, grace, and fierce determination to remain an equal partner with Barack, holding the highest position in America, is an inspiration to us mere mortals!



Today’s Takeaway-

– “If you don’t define yourself, you will quickly be defined by others.” Michelle Obama in Becoming

-We are all in the process of becoming and there is comfort in that. If we don’t become, then we are stuck in a rut.

Enjoy the ride and read the book!

xox Barclay and Joy


Want a laugh?  Check out Michelle and Ellen in Costco!