Hello! Wow, did last week’s blog post on 2017 purging ever strike a chord. It seems that I am not the only one that needs to purge things and people from my life!
Interestingly, I received all sorts of emails from folks asking me not to purge them. Oh sheesh, no worries there!
Let me be clear: I am only purging those who have behaved in such dysfunctional/non-productive ways and have made no attempt to clear the air or apologize. And mostly, I am purging “stuff” that no longer serves me.
I also received many more emails and messages and folks who were of the same mindset. Maybe this nasty election did us all in. The acrimony was beyond!
In any event, one of the questions that I’ve repeatedly gotten from readers is this:
“How do you get rid of stuff so easily?”
Well for one I’ve moved alot which makes it easy. But mostly I adopt the following question:
“Do I really, really love it?”
If the answer is no, it’s donated, consigned to my favorite consignment store, To Be Continued, or give it to someone I love.
I ignore the silly “rules” about whether I’ve worn it or not in the last year. I have things in my closet that I haven’t worn in over a year but because I love them so much, know that I will wear them again.
So I’m curious, what works for you when you need to purge stuff?
Patty Comeford Adams, JD
Assumptions are very dangerous things, especially in our personal lives. Assumptions get people in trouble daily and when combined with misinformation, are frankly downright disrespectful. They manifest as accusations, unkind words and often gossip.
Think I am alone in that belief? Not so much. author don Miguel Ruiz, in his well-regarded best seller puts it this way:
“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
― Miguel Ruiz,
The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth! We invent a whole story that’s only truth for us, but we believe it. One assumption leads to another assumption; we jump to conclusions, and we take our story very personally. Then we blame others and react by sending emotional poison with our word. (Emphasis added).
That said, I recognize everyone has a bad day, a bad week and forgiveness is often in order. But perhaps the next time you are tempted to make assumptions, you might want to communicate, ask questions if appropriate, apologize and promise to do better the next time.
ps…This post in no way was inspired by family members near or far. xo
Patty Comeford Adams
I’m officially declaring the 2017 the year of the PERSONAL PURGE. Want to join me? Read on.
Early last summer, while we were in Jackson Hole, I came to the painful realization that certain people I had in my personal life were either ripping me off, not reciprocating, causing trouble in close relationships, not doing their job, treating those I love with disrespect, or gossiping etc etc. Ouch, right?
Some of these are people were people I loved and cared for immensely, entertained in my home, did work for me or ones I mistakenly considered friends. Double ouch.
But as the old saying goes, “Once shame on you. Twice shame on me”. So shame on them and shame on me -but no more!
So with that wisdom, here is some straight talk on what I am purging in 2017:
Personal One-sided Relationships:
If I have shown up for you and you don’t bother to show up for me and I have expressed that concern and you did nothing. Then sorry— our friendship is probably doomed. Friendships mean the world to me. My women friends have saved me over and over again whether it be the loss of my parents, moving, sale of a business or what-not. I take them seriously. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but what I do know is this: I am a fiercely loyal friend, I show up for you. Also, I straight talk with you and expect you to straight talk with me.
If you spend connecting with people by gossiping about them, it’s pretty simple. I am sad for you. And I am purging you.
If you run around to acquaintances/friends/business associates playing the victim, all I can say is this: Everyone knows what you are up to and nobody respects you. I spoke my truth recently to a man who has left his wife in the lurch. His response was to be a victim and blame it all on her. Quite telling, mais oui?
Related to #1, if all you do is take from me and my family (money, our possessions, our time) and don’t give back to the world or others, you are gone. As the Judge that I worked for all through law school used to say, “Patty, you don’t have to be smart to be a criminal”. Enough said.
If you mess with my family, people I love and care about, my authentic friends, you too are gone.
Clothes and More Clothes:
I have purged my closet to its core. Truth be told, much of this was the result of losing 20 pounds (10 0f which are back) when I was so sick this summer but does it ever feel good to get rid of stuff ! Getting rid of stuff is often painful for all of us. In this case it wasn’t because I donated much of it to my dear blogger/friend/social worker extraordinaire Susan Kanoff Andrews and her amazing blog and new and widely popular charity, Uncommon Threads.
But the real magic in all of this is that one I purged the above, wonderful things happened. A new home. New loving friendships. New possibilities. All of this purging is so liberating. I feel so very free and have so much more time for those I love and love me.
Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!
A big thank you to Jeanne Comeford, Cathy Comeford, my husband, Jessica Adams, Jocelyn Vodnick, Carolyn Brown, Tonia Maloney, Kelly Richardson, Rebecca Bond, bff Patty Hamm (pictured above), book maven Andrea Katz @grtthoughts, and Twitter sweetheart Sharon Antonio. Last but not least, a thank you to my adorable granddaughters and grandsons who give me strength and hope every day. No, I’m not your biological grandma but I sure am blessed to have you in my life and I love you to the moon and back. xoxo.
Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!
I hope your holidays were as fabulous as you are and most importantly you were able to grab some quiet time for reflection and “white space”.
Mine was a hectic one with an unexpected move (a flood), business travel, great family time and all sorts of other wonderful chaos but guess what? As always, the good Lord helped me through it all and had my back big time.
Nonetheless 2016 went out with a bang. I attribute that to the most interesting business lunch of my entire professional life.
WHO IT WAS WITH:
I had lunch with Gretchen Carlson. Yes, you read that right. As part of a recruiting initiative, I flew to New York and had lunch with Gretchen Carlson, the uber talented, former Fox News Anchor who stood up to the infamous Roger Ailes and entire the Fox News machine.
HOW WE MET:
Gretchen and I, both former Minnesotans and fellow authors began a relationship on Twitter about eight months ago. Like most relationships, it grew from there. So on a freezing cold New York day, I flew to New York and we met “in real life” (IRL) for lunch.
Gretchen was humble and gracious without a bitter bone in her body. She is role model, shining light for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and women everywhere.
Hello Readers! I’m so sorry it’s been so darn long. Life is never a dull moment around here~a good thing! Lots and lots of change and blessings in my life (all of it exciting which I will share in a new post shortly) but today, I wanted to share some of my own learnings on grief.
As many of you know our family has sustained some significant lossesl and thus significant grief, over the last 5+ years. My (now) husband lost his amazing wife of 42 years in a car crash and he almost didn’t survive himself. We lost our “remarkable-in every -way” 43 year old daughter-in-law to metastatic breast cancer and our 45 year old former son-in-law out of the blue. We lost our 28 year-old nephew to diabetes and we lost our over-photographed rescue dog, #theColonel, totally unexpectedly. We’ve watched our children and grandchildren loose pets and dreams. Grief has been handed to all of us here in the Adams family in over abundance.
Here’s where I found myself: I was a new wife ( now a wife of a whole 3 years) , a new “step-mom” (my husband’s 6 children are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s so it’s more about being Dad’s wife) to children suffering grief, a new grandmother to 13 beautiful grandchildren (Did I mention that they call me PattyCakes?) and bam!, the above happened. Needless to say, I was woefully ill- prepared.
So today I share some of my learnings and my mis-steps here with you. If they resonate great and if not, as usual go on and toss them
1. Some families/children handle grief privately not on social media. They may want and need privacy, not Facebook posts. I’ve been guilty of this one myself, have rethought that and changed my Facebook ways. Think about it, if you lost a parent/spouse would you want to be unexpectedly jolted by a Facebook post? I’m not in anyway saying not to share memories , pay tributes on birthdays, etc. That’s totally appropriate and appreciated. But before posting, think and be wise.
Learning: Put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic.
2. Most children don’t want to be called their “father or mother’s daughter”. They want to be and are their own person. They may be even hurt by such well-meaning but unhelpful comments. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love their Dad and Mom. They merely want to be recognized as their own person. Totally understandable, right?
Learning: Choose your well-intended words wisely.
3. Each person/child grieves differently based on their relationship with their parent/sibling/spouse. Assumptions should not be made. That doesn’t mean that they don’t love the heck of out their Dad, Mom, sibling or former spouse.
Learning: Give everyone some breathing room.
4. Not everyone wants to talk about it. If they don’t, don’t take offense. It typically means that their grief may have subsided and/or they prefer to talk to their friends or counsellors. When they do talk, I can assure that it will break your heart into a million pieces. It will also warm your heart and you will be bursting with pride. You will know that their Dad/Mom wherever they are, are immensely proud of them at that very moment.
Learning: Let them come to you.
5. I’m Christian and one of the things that drives me crazy is when faith-based folks of any kind tell kids “It happened for a reason”. I know you mean well. Please don’t do that to grieving children or adults. It’s insensitive and gives Christianity and other faiths a bad name.
And atheists/agnostics/whatever, you are in the hot-seat here too! Just because a sibling/parent was an agnostic or whatever, don’t you assume/profess that to children either. It’s equally as bad! Again, let them be their own person.
Learning: Don’t foist your faith or non-faith beliefs on grieving children.
I know you’ve sustained many great losses yourself. My heart goes out to you. I’m curious what learnings you’ve learned around loss and particularly watching children grieve. I hope you’ll share with our readers below so that we all may continue to learn and grow.
Ps. When I post topics on family, my husband always reads them before-hand. I want to get the tone and content right. This is another way I try to foster empathy 🙂