Be F-ing Awesome Today | Page 47 of 49 |No B.S. Inspiration & Motivation for Time-Crunched Humans google4228e52aa5dfebc8.html
Be Naïve
One In A Million
Be A Little Brave Today
I Don’t Do Crazy Anymore
Daily Examination of Faults
One Day
Be the Parent of You
Have A Frivolous Day
You’ve Always Had the Power
Eat Well. Exercise. Die Anyway.

Be Naïve

Several years ago I had an epiphany to publish a bi-weekly community news tabloid. The idea arrived complete with shooting stars and blaring trumpets. In the background, Woodward and Bernstein, legitimate journalists, wept over their Pulitzers.

Enter Little Susie News Girl with no experience whatsoever. No knowledge of printing press applications. Or the boiler room politics behind the publishing and distribution industry.

Creatively, “The Evolution of Sex Education in America” received high praise from my professor for its exceptionally neat penmanship.

My art portfolio sat in a cardboard box in my parent’s basement labeled “Stephanie’s middle school crap”.

Not to mention I’d never sold anything to anyone. Ever. Unless you count the piss warm lemonade charitable neighbors gagged down. Coincidentally on the same really hot day Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. One giant leap…

My lack of credentials held no restraint against my passion and purpose.

Our town published a daily broadsheet, but I fell in love with the smaller shopper-type free papers I’d seen at rest stops and quickie marts. Without a formal business plan or a bankroll, I forged ahead to become the next Lois Lane of yard sale and fundraiser announcements.

I romanticized the feel-good position of being editor-in-chief. I’d wave the power of the press in favor of the little guy. The underserved. Small business owners and all the non-profit organizations with wrapping paper and candy bars to sell.

Parents and little old ladies arrived in droves like starry-eyed pilgrims, with notices scribbled on a napkin in one hand and no money in the other. Steady and loyal customers booked two-by-two inch paid ads to support the tabloid. Relationships were key. Something I might have learned had I gone to business school.

There were months and months of mule work to learn the production process, layout and design, salesmanship, accounting — I loved it all.

I mostly enjoyed the people I got to meet. Pat, my printing contractor, was the quintessential newspaper man; tweed blazer with suede elbow pads, the scent of printer’s ink and pipe smoke swirling about his office.

Interestingly, he attributed my success as a legitimate resource in a small community to my lack of resume.

“Your naivete is your greatest asset,” he smiled.


I did not know what I did not know which propelled my curiosity. At the start, my fears of failure were non-existent. Had I understood the dynamics of the business, the costs and the sheer time commitment involved, I would have most certainly taken another crack at a lemonade stand.

That little newspaper had a good run for a few years before I moved on to other writing platforms which I also knew nothing about!

Naivete is still my greatness asset. What’s yours?


Awesome CHOICE

Credits: iClipArt

One In A Million

For one bright shining moment, at about age six or so, my grandmother made me feel special.

This elderly, sweet woman lived in America for some sixty of her 82 year-long life and never truly mastered the English language. She got along just fine with the grocer and school teachers by communicating with smiles and hugs and food offerings, usually homemade bread fresh from the oven.

My visits to her house with my father involved a form of charades. She talked with her hands of course, animated fun for a kid, and injected a few single syllable English words for good measure. This is how she introduced some guy named Mario Lanza whose scratched record she played over and over on the Hi-Fi. She encouraged me to dance while she clapped and sang every word of every love song to perfection.

Then she served me steaming hot coffee and sesame cookies without asking my father’s permission. Later, he rolled his eyes during the ceremonial cleaning out of the refrigerator. My tiny grandmother shut him down with a few choice words delivered in a big loud voice. She’d examined my boney arms from wrist to shoulder, disappointed with the findings. I’d inherited a too thin frame from both of them. She could fix it.

Out came the Jello, chocolate pudding, and leftovers covered in aluminum foil. Her endless presentation of foods needed no translation. Cold chicken, pasta and meatballs expressly for me. A trifecta of gastronomic delight.

The visit ended at the front door. Her hug surrounded me as we melted into each other. A pinch then a kiss on each cheek. This demonstrative show of affection was nothing more than an elaborate rouse. It masked the treats she covertly shoved deep into my pockets before whispering “Dooshie Pie” in my ear. (It sounded like that.)

On the walk home I asked my Dad what “Dooshie Pie” meant. He shrugged it off. “You’re one in a million,” he laughed. It was a lie.

My dad called all his kids “one in a million,” in loud, clear, undeniable King’s English, and often. Usually after we’d screwed up his radio station, taken something from his tool shed to build a street jigger or spilled milk at the dinner table.

I waited for his “Dooshie Pie”, the one my grandmother tenderly bestowed with a smile, a kiss and treats. Instead, while my mother cleaned up whatever we’d done, he uttered between pursed lips a few half-made-up Italian gibberish words. One learns early in life a curse word in any real or invented language is exactly that.

My dad’s “one in a million” speech reached beyond our home. He evenly distributed between political candidates, the gas company, the driver who cut him off on the highway, and practically anyone who knocked on the door looking for a donation during baseball season. Further confirmation of my diminished value among millions of people.

For years I looked for a bright side to this equation. And I think I found it.

I recently read there are now 7 billion people on this planet. If I am one in a million, there are 7,000 people on this planet just like me — lucky enough to have had a grandmother like mine. Or a dad who was very inventive with the English language.


Awesome MEMORY
Awesome LOVE

Be A Little Brave Today

Don’t confuse personal achievements (being a little brave) with giant and heroic acts of bravery.

Unexpectedly brave

Men and women in the military. First responders. Our brothers and sisters who run toward the chaos when most of us run in the opposite direction; brave giant acts of the highest order by true heroes.

Cancer patients, women and children in crises, lonely and ailing elderly, and many others who face day to day struggles, whose today is the brave decision(s) they will make to survive.

Please send them all a blessing today.

I’m speaking about those of us who live afraid, under the awning, three rows back in the crowd. Raise your hand.

Do you remember as a child being egged on by friends to do something? Be your friend. Give yourself a nudge. Push just a little bit to get to the next level. If you don’t know about levels ask anyone under twenty-one. Your collecting coins towards the top of the leader board.

To be a little brave is to step outside of what’s normal. It’s reaching a bit deeper, away from what feels comfortable.

To be a little brave today is to take the stairs instead of the elevator, knowing you may need to stop after five steps to catch your breath. You’re overweight. It’s no secret. Your body knows it needs the exercise.

To be a little brave today is to talk to the stranger who looks lost. Not everyone who doesn’t look like you is a psychopath. They may need to find an emergency room, the post office or the nearest coffee shop!

To be a little brave today is to volunteer for the community play because you always wanted to be on Broadway. It’s too late you say? Don a fun wig, assume a strange accent. Go play in a play. They need extras.

To be a little brave today is to send out your poem or story or pitch or enter your photographs, drawings or paintings into a show. Trust me, the world will not fall to pieces (and neither will you) if you don’t win a blue ribbon.

To be a little brave today is to make a call, send a note, or knock on the door of the person you want to reconcile with before you die. (If they’ve put a restraining order on you, skip this little act of personal bravery — this is the definition of flagrant stupidity).

To be a little brave today is to say “YES!” this one time when you routinely say no. Yes, saying “no” is the easy, familiar, and predictable path. Imagine the possibilities when you finally say yes. Imagine the good ones!

One little brave act begets another and another. Five stairs today, six tomorrow. A simple “I’m sorry” card today, the potential for a rekindled relationship next week. Those amazing photos you shared all over social media today get the attention of a fine arts dealer next month. Say “yes” to volunteer (yes, again!) and meet the most amazing mentor or confidant or supporter.

The possibilities of being a little brave today? Endless.



Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio


Daily Examination of Faults

As I put my head down at night I’m of the belief that my place on the planet is made better because I’ve cleared my conscious of my every fault. (Insert laugh track here).

I’ve been taught to ask/pray for forgiveness and poof, it is granted. Like some all powerful wizard waving a big magic wand with the admonition “go forth and do better next time girl.” It sounds too simplistic: A GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card for Dummies.

Where’s the responsibility here?

In reality, I stop counting my faults (and flaws) after a dozen or so or I’d never sleep. If you’re anything like me, you are riddled with (decades long) guilt, shame, intolerance, fear, dilution, incompetence, gluttony — c’mon sistahs and brothas, pizza and chocolate are the fault line between pleasure and pain.

This daily examination is exhausting! But probably necessary. It doesn’t clean the slate but it does make us acutely aware of each day we are here. Our responsibility then is to live this awesome life, on purpose.

Today I find myself more in tune with my mortality. I refuse to waste an entire day mulling over some person or some thing out of my control. I’m okay dealing with shit within my cone of existence, but I’ve handed the Baton of Control to those who can handle it a whole lot better than me.

Our purpose here is to live an awesome life. It is given to us pure and whole, with great love and affection. And we do a very fine job fucking it up.

When we re-examine our faults the “collateral damage” shows on the faces of the people closest to us.

This daily check-in gives us a do-over. It’s a free pass with conditions, provisos and stipulations. You get to do it again but this time you know better so you are implored to do better.

And if you think you have nothing to fix, adjust or re-arrange, go back and look again. We’re human. We’re fallible. We mess up. A lot. And we can fix it.


Awesome Do-Over

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

One Day

One day you are born, and the entire world opens its arms to let you in…

One day you run and jump and play.
One day you sit and sulk and stare.

One day your spirits soar above the clouds.
One day your universe is broken into a million pieces.

One day you open your mind and learn something new and exciting.
One day you shut down; you know everything.

One day you form a hard opinion based on hearsay, innuendo and speculation.
One day your opinion is challenged by facts.

One day you carelessly judge a friend, relative or stranger.
One day you are carelessly persecuted by a friend, relative or stranger.

One day you dismiss someone as insignificant.
One day you are dismissed as trivial.

One day you fall madly in love and forget everyone around you.
One day your love slowly fades away and you are forgotten.

One day you are easily impressed.
One day you are quickly disappointed.

One day you feel lucky.
One day you feel cursed.

One day you feel blessed.
One day you feel targeted.

One day you feel healthy.
One day you feel deathly ill.

One day your mind is sharp and clear.
One day you have trouble remembering.

One day you are happy.
One day you want to curl up in a ball.

One day you’re on top of the world.
One day you are in the pit of despair.

One day you receive a wonderful gift.
One day you are the wonderful gift.

One day your heart is light.
One day your heart aches.

One day you feel free.
One day you feel stuck.

One day you are proud.
One day you are humiliated.

One day you blindly point the finger.
One day you are falsely accused.

One day you feel joy.
One day you feel turmoil.

One day you feel love.
One day you feel loveless.

One day you are strong and invincible.
One day you are weak and vulnerable.

One day you think you’ll live forever.
One day you face the reality of your mortality.

One day you die, and the entire world releases you and lets you go.

So much can happen in one day.



Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

Be the Parent of You Be the Parent of You by Stephanie DelTorchio

How many times has the “adult” you pointed blame at your (elderly, or deceased) parents for your “adult” life’s shortcomings? (quotes intentional)

Let this one go away. Please. Besides it being in the past, the replay of your tirades and whining is annoying to everyone around you. Every word you utter and thought you circle over and over chips away at your health and happiness.

I mean, c’mon. We’re all grown-ups here. Whose childhood didn’t suck on some level? I didn’t get a brand new bike for Christmas. So what. Should I go back and sue my parents? When I reached high school, I got a job and understood the value of an earned dollar.  I bought a bike which I rode for over 25 years (yeah, it was a nice bike). I treated it like the prized possession it was to me.

Maybe your parents didn’t have the money for a new bike at Christmas. Or have friends to invite your family to their beach house. Perhaps their marriage lacked passion, or partnership and they hid their feelings from you; or you had a single parent who faced their fears of raising you alone.

Do you think your parents’ dreams, aspirations, goals and desires got put on hold a while because they were raising you? Surely your parents felt the pain of their flaws, inadequacies, fears. They too were misunderstood, judged, lonely, rejected, and ridiculed under the noses of their own parents, your dear sweet Granny and Grampy.

So you have this burden. This SOS (Sack of Shit) you’ve carried around since when? Fourth grade? And because why? You didn’t get a friggin’ pony?  You weren’t perched on a pedestal revolving under a white light 24 hours a day?

My parents had six kids and one income; I have three and two incomes. My worry is one-half minus one-half of theirs. I have no idea how they raised six kids into adulthood.

I’ll bet many parents, mine for sure, grappled each day with how to provide a balanced meal and electricity; your ego, however fragile and developing, nary a thought.

It’s a circle of life thing. And each generation tries to do better.

Here are three facts to consider:

You cannot change your childhood.
You cannot change your parents.
You certainly as hell can change your attitude.

And if you are a parent, please rip out the lesson(s) from your own parent’s playbook; the one(s) that sends you off the deep end, make you crazy and angry and grumble and complain.

Because sure as the sun rises and sets, your children will find something to hold a grudge against you someday. And worse of all you’ll be shocked and cry “Foul!” by the allegations.  All you did was try to provide for your children in the best way you could with the tools and knowledge and resources available. And however that is perceived twenty years down the road by your children is none of your business!

Today, forgive your parent(s) for whatever crap they did or did not do. Like it or not they got you here. Today, send a silent blessing to your parent(s) and offer a quick prayer of forgiveness. Get that monkey off your back once and for all.

Shut up. Grow up.

Today, be the parent of you. Nurture yourself. Inspire yourself. Encourage yourself.

Shower yourself with all the love, affection and adoration you didn’t get from them. Support your dreams, goals, desires without censorship; swing for the bleachers on this one. Go after whatever it is that speaks to you. Be to yourself what you wish had been given to you way back when.

Just stop pointing blame and using your parent(s) as the excuse for not making a good life for yourself. It’s stale.

You’re in charge now. Use today as the starting point. Get up. Wash your face. Be grateful for the day. Go get a damn pony if you want. Where your life goes from here is all on you.

Go BeF.A.T.

[Serious note here: If you indeed had parents who were truly abusive, I pray the collective Universe shines brightly upon you and heals the deep wounds that have been the source of your lifelong pain. I can never scratch the surface to begin to understand such betrayal of a parent to a child. Please do your very best to be good to you.]


Awesome REWIND

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

You’ve Always Had the Power

Today you might face a struggle. You question your strength to start, or continue. It’s a battle. Uphill. There are obstacles. Some you know are coming but have no idea around which corner you’ll trip and fall, or when.

It’s slow going, or worse, a step backwards. You ask: How long can I keep this up? When will it end? Will it get better?

I know it’s a simple movie line, but it’s incredibly powerful:

“You’ve always had the power,”

A confirmation statement that within you is all the strength, courage, fearlessness, tenacity and resources you need to overcome today.

And that’s a key, my friends. Today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Today.

When you realize that you only need to have the power to get through today, the huge burden you carry is a teeny tiny bit lighter. You don’t have to solve it or resolve it all.

ON THIS DAY, you have the power to make it. To figure out how to get from Point A to Point B in one piece with your sanity intact. You’ve always had the power. Use it.


Awesome POWER

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

Eat Well. Exercise. Die Anyway.

Most days I am good to my body.

In a blender goes some spinach or kale, a clump of parsley, spoonful of avocado, a stalk of celery, filtered water and a scoop of green pea protein powder. I might do a few reps with hand weights to fight the underarm jiggles, or walk the beach, or ride the bike.

Eat Well. Exercise. Die Anyway.

Then there’s the other days. When I eat a chocolate-covered donut or anything fried. When the most exercise I get is throwing some clothes into a washing machine –- not exactly dragging them down to the river and beating them with a stone eh?

I’ll bet our ancestors didn’t count carbs or check their Fitbit or practice intermittent fasting. No…their regular day was packed with physical exercise: up at dawn, milking cows, tilling land, scrubbing clothes (with a stone??), chopping wood, etc. They ate what they grew and raised and slaughtered. Their daily focus was survival.

It’s doubtful I’d survive such a life. I’ve been domesticated, like some prairie animal. Television and magazines bombard me with ads for exercise equipment, creams, lotions, potions, medications to help me do this, or, God forbid, not do that!

I’ve made peace with getting older and my inconsistent eating and exercise patterns. I consider it a privilege to wake up. And I offer up gratitude every day my feet hit the floor. Sagging underarms, drooping lids, gray hairs and all.

It’s my obligation to enjoy my life. And not beat myself for eating half a bag of salty pretzels. And not doing 100 burpees. Tomorrow I’ll eat better and do some squats. Maybe.

Today I’m holding to the mantra I adopted a few years ago:


It’s going on a t-shirt. Because you can’t have too many t-shirts.


Awesome Tshirt
Awesome Self-Love

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio