Day 343: What Other People Say, Part 2

Today’s post is dedicated to my friend, Janet, whom I met in film school along with her soon-to-be-husband, Ray.  Janet and Ray appeared in this post, earlier this year, when we were all recovering from the trauma of the Boston Marathon bombings. As much as I would like you to link to that earlier post, I’ll make it easier on everybody and include that photo, again, here:


Today is Janet’s birthday. Happy birthday, Janet!  Earlier this year, Janet and Ray, along with one of their fabulous sons, attended my 60th birthday party.  This was a very memorable occasion for me, but there are several Janet-related memories that stand out for me, from that day.

Some of those memories have to do with Janet’s amazing creativity and humor. For example, she has a long history of putting together perfect combinations of words and images, to celebrate things.  While I may try to create similar magic in this blog, she’s The Master, and has been, for decades.

Thank you, Janet, for those hilarious words-and-pictures celebrations of my wedding, my birthday, and all those Christmas masterpieces you put together for your friends, every year.

I just took a break, for a few seconds, to look for the incredible piece that Janet put together for my 60th birthday. This piece not only celebrated me, hilariously, but also included smart commentary on all the decades I’ve lived through.  During the party, I placed it in a location of honor, so that all my other guests could see it. And they loved it.

But I can’t find it, in the moment. Which doesn’t surprise me, because I tend to lose track of things. Especially in the mornings. Especially when I have limited time (which I do, today, since  I blog before I go to work).

And, I also tend to lost track of positive things that people say about me.  At least, I have easily lost track of those things, in the past. This year, I’m working on getting better at holding on to What Other People Say (Positively) (as difficult as those things might be to believe, at times).

Part of this process has involved letting go of unhelpful things that people have said. (The first blog post entitled “What Other People Say” focused on that.) The other part of this process is learning how to make the positive “stick.”

In Janet’s genius creation for my 60th birthday, she said something positive, which has stuck with me, all year.  It’s been indescribably helpful, every time I sit down to write a blog post.  On the last page, which focused on my present and my future, she wrote:

“Ann starts a blog. A good blog. A damn good blog.”

When I locate Janet’s Birthday Masterpiece (which I will, later today), I will double-check my memory, to see if I’m quoting her correctly.

However, it doesn’t matter whether my memory is perfect.  Here’s my punchline, for this post:

What Janet said, one month into my first blog, has helped keep me going, all year. It’s been there, for me, helping me write every day, no matter how much I doubted myself and my abilities.

As I’ve been encouraged by all your feedback, too, dear readers, no matter where or in what form that’s occurred.

Thanks to Janet, to all who encourage their friends in any way, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 343: What Other People Say, Part 2

  1. Yay for you and Janet in sharing a wonderful, supportive friendship–a priceless gift, as you’ve so adeptly illustrated here. I was just talking about how hard it is to make positive stick (love that!), especially when folks are talking to me. Ironically (tragically?) some of us can recall verbatim those negative comments from decades ago :).Yet those jewels of encouragement provide essential, inspiring nourishment for a day, even a lifetime. Two things I’ve started doing: 1) photocopying positive feedback and keeping it in a file, to remind myself; 2) making myself stop, take a deep breath and look people in the eye as I focus on their supportive words and sentiments–sometimes the positive still slips through the sieve, but not always. Thank you for another insightful, wry, honest and helpful piece, Ann. You are doing wonderful and inspiring work here! Shine on, baby. xo

    • Thanks so much for every word of this comment, which I found very helpful and inspiring (not to mention flattering). I love your two new “habits” for helping the positive stick. I appreciate your wonderful work here in the comment section (as well as in your own blog). Shine on, back at ya! xxoo

  2. Whether you realize it or not, Ann, you do a fine job of helping the positive stick here, in the comment section of your blog. Your support of what I decide I simply must share after reading your posts always stays with me as I go through my day. You pass on a little bit of Janet that way, I’d say. Thanks.

    • I think I probably don’t realize it as much as I could, Mark, and, thanks to you, I learn again. Thank you for passing on a little bit of Mark every time you comment; I am very grateful for that.

  3. Janet sounds like a gift of a friend and I’m grateful you’re here, in part, due to her encouragement.

  4. Janet H

    So, you figured out my cunning plan to get a mention in your blog by making that birthday book for you. Drat, I thought I was being more subtle. Thanks for the tribute, and back at you–you inspire me every day. I shared your blog link on FB and talked about how you’ve helped me do a really difficult thing today. Two difficult things, since even writing about it was hard. Thanks for being you, for being my friend, and well, for just about everything!

    • Another bold and cunning plan from you, Janet, which I am so pleased to be a part of. Thanks for being such a loyal friend and reader. It moves me to hear how I’ve been a help to you. Happy Birthday, one more time!

  5. If you figure out the magic that gets the positive words to stick, please share. Like you, I often have a hard time believing the positives.

    Janet is awesome, by the way. So are you.

    • I will continue to share every bit of magic I can, because it is so important to believe the positives. It takes practice, practice, practice to break those old habits and the “stickiness” of the negatives.

      And by the way, regarding awesomeness? It takes one to know one. (In other words, you are awesome, too, Nancy.)

  6. Janet sounds a beautiful friends

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