Saturday, September 17, 2011


I've have the pleasure of knowing many people who have many successful, happy relationships in their lives. Whether it's a long and happy marriage, friendships that have endured time and tribulation, or family bonds that go beyond blood, there's one common theme in these relationships: Acceptance.

It sounds so simple, but a person's willingness to accept another is the key to an enduring relationship.

My brother-in- law often jokes about how he is surprised my sister puts up with him after 30 some years of marriage. A wonderful and self-deprecating kind of guy, he'll easily list his faults, and follows with word of gratitude that she accepts him with all those faults. And my sister is quick to point out the things she does that drive him crazy.

Acceptance doesn't mean you can't be frustrated by things that bother you. It doesn't mean you like every personality trait your partner has; it simply means you weigh the good verses the bad, and if the good rules, and you accept the irksome traits for what they are. You realize that while they aren't perfect, neither are you. There is an agreement, spoken or unspoken, that you love more than you don't love about them, and the things you don't love you will live with. And, in turn, they will do the same.

When one is unwilling to offer total acceptance, the relationship is in trouble, and often fails.

To search for "the one" who will fill every single need you have is an unrealistic expectation. How unfair it is for us to expect one person to fill our every need when we ourselves cannot fulfill our own needs or 100 percent of another's, no matter how much we long too, or how hard we try.

No one fits like a glove. The people I know with lasting relationships have a variety of people in their lives that fulfill a variety of needs. A woman may love to shop, and her husband doesn't, so she shops with a friend. A man may love to golf, but his wife doesn't so he plays golf with buddies. A couple certainly needs to have common interests that bond them, and shared activities are crucial…but it is also healthy to have friends and interests apart from one another.

We can't change another person's personality attributes or their behavior. We can only change our attitude and our response toward them. In a long term friendship or life partner relationship, we can choose to accept those things about that person that bother us…and hope they can do the same when it comes to our faults. Or we can decide those things are beyond our ability to tolerate and walk away.

I don't think we can choose who we fall in love with. We just fall in love. But staying in love is a decision. It takes work. And acceptance is also a decision, and it too, takes work.

Note: this article was originally written in November of 2007

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Not Fair! The Age of Entitlement

Working at a radio station, I've been a part of many on air contests and promotions that give away desirable prizes, but none gain quite the attention--good and bad, as a contest the gives away a prize that kids or teens want to win, or worse, that a parent wants their kids to have.

I'm a mom. So I totally get wanting to get that gift that your kid is totally into. I went through the phases of beanie babies, the more expensive American Girl dolls, the less expensive giga pets and pogs (anyone remember those?) Like most parents, we did our best to get our girls the things they wanted, within reason. And they were blessed to have aunts and uncles and grandparents who could help get some gifts we couldn't or wouldn't spend money on.

But I've always been amazed and frustrated by the stories like the cabbage patch craze that went on before I had kids, where parents fought in the aisles over the last remaining doll in the pack. They HAD to get their child what he or she wanted.

I've continued to watch as the years go by stories of parents screaming from the stands in little league, soccer or football games. Making demands on coaches, cussing out umpires, claiming over and over again "it's not fair!".

And then comes Taylor Swift. Radio stations like ours attempt to find every way possible to give away tickets on the air, on location, online in ways that everyone can participate. One recent contest involved an online vote for Taylor's Biggest Fan. While the majority of participants had fun with the contest, there were a select and vocal few that showcase what I feel is a terrible sense of entitlement we are guilty of having for ourselves and perhaps by example, passing on to our children.

It's not fair...that Johnny got called called for a penalty.
It's not fair...that Britanny got more votes that Lauren
It's not fair my daughter can't go to see Taylor.
It's not fair that one team loses over another, so everyone gets a trophy

These days, there can be no such thing as a most valuable player because little Ashley's self esteem may get damaged. Ask any teacher of especially middle-school age kids and you'll hear more horror stories about parents than the kids complaining "it's not fair".

Life isn't fair. And the sooner we learn it, and the sooner we teach our kids that lessen the better off we'll all be.

It isn't fair that a 40-something year old woman who never smoked or drank and who took good care of herself dies of breast cancer.

It isn't fair that a 23 year old kid gets loses a limb from a war he knows nothing about but now can't afford the lifetime of mental and physical health care he'll need.

It isn't fair that someone spent time in prison for a crime he didn't commit and can never get those years back.

But missing a Taylor Swift concert? Losing a game? Get a grip.

Life isn't fair, to be sure. But I thank God for those lessons learned from injustices faced. We learn far more from our failures than our successes. Disappointment make us stronger and teach us so much. And the victory is so much sweeter after working, falling a few times, struggling through something and then finally achieving it.

"Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride" ~ singer Gary Allan

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Advice For Graduates... or Anyone at Any Age

I've read the speech I've included below before and have always loved it. Although it was suppose to be advice for graduates, I believe it is wonderful advice that any of us can use, at any age. There is much speculation on where it came from. It has been attributed to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. According to, that is incorrect. This, like many mis-attributed graduation speeches that roll across the internet is probably a collection of quotes from many different authors. Wherever it came from however, I think it is worth sharing.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until it has faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.

Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of this advice has no basis more reliable than meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why We're Walking...for Phil and for Donna.

It’s everywhere.

Not a day goes by that don’t you hear that someone you work with, some friend of yours or their family, or even someone famous in the news has cancer. You read stats in magazines, newspapers and online. And everywhere you hear commercials for new medicines and hospitals that specialize in treatment. Still, you just never feel like it can happen to YOU. So when you or someone you love hears those words, “it’s cancer” it’s nothing short of unbelievable.

And devastating.

I will never forget the moment we heard those words. The sick, sinking feeling the moment the doctor told my husband his diagnosis. Cancer? Us? But he’s so young! We have 2 young kids! We have lives! Just yesterday we were complaining about something stupid like the kids' homework, bills, or work. And today...we have cancer?

This cannot be happening.

And how did he feel? If those words affected me so much, how on earth must they have affected him? We just stared at each other, speechless, for what seemed like forever. The days and weeks ahead had the song says “talking about the options…and talking about sweet time.”

That was 9 years ago.

And over these 9 years, so many in my world have heard those words and fought this fight. So many survivors, and so many others watching over us from heaven. And somewhere along this road, I learned a co-worker and friend of mine, Tim Daugherty, was going through the same thing as his wife and family dealt with her cancer diagnosis. Because Tim and I both have felt the affect of cancer so deeply, we both appreciate the amazing work of Stewart’s Caring Place.

Stewart’s is a nonprofit organization that began as a grassroots effort led by the family and friends of Dr. Stewart Surloff whose cancer journey ended in the fall of 2001. During his life, Stewart shared the struggles and triumphs of his cancer experience and taught us that "There is more to cancer than chemotherapy and surgery." Today, Stewart's carries on his legacy by providing support services, free-of-charge, to individuals and families touched by cancer. Stewart’s helps to enhance the quality of life for those living with cancer by offering services that honor choices, compliment medical treatment, and recognize body, mind and spirit, in a caring environment of healing and support. Programs and services include lectures and workshops, a resource center, healing arts, community referrals, movement classes, counseling, attorney consults, children and family programs, support groups and wigs.

Tim and I emceed the walk last year. This year, we are doing the same, and are also participating in the walk. We walk to honor my late husband Phil Cordle. We walk to honor his late wife Donna Daugherty. We walk to honor the memory of those whose cancer journey is now over, and for so many others who are bravely pushing forward and are an inspiration to all of us. And we walk to raise money for this wonderful organization that helps so many deal with this devastating disease.

We invite you to walk with us on May 14th. Or join us in spirit by sponsoring us in honor of someone you want to honor. You can do either when you click on this link.

Stewarts Caring Place Hope Walk

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The End of Winter Blahs

"Little Darlin' I feel that ice is slowly melting. Little darlin', it seems like years since it's been clear." ~George Harrison

Yeah Darlins',it HAS been a long, cold, snowy winter. And at about this time every year (as February draws to a close) I feel like I am at the end of my winter rope. Is that I am getting older? Is it the lack of sun? Is it really that this has been one of the snowier winters on record? Am I suffering from the dreaded winter blues or what they call SAD? Perhaps all of the above.

I'm trying. I really am. Normally a positive person, I truly don't like feeling this way about the season. Because I believe so strongly in the Universal Law of Attraction, I know that if I wake up and look out the window and moan at the snow and cold, that is not a good way to start the day. Negativity breeds negativity. I know that I simply must find things to be grateful for about this weather, because I do know that for me, the end of winter is often more difficult for me that the middle.

My friend Sandy posted something positive on my Facebook wall yesterday amidst the complaints about the weather. It made me smile. She and her family moved to Vermilion and live on a beautiful piece of property where they really enjoy the seasons. A snow storm means they hitch their horse to a sleigh and glide through the beauty of their property. She said "I'm sorry, but I love the snow. I think it's pretty." Then again, she reminded us she works from home. I do think some of my frustration with the weather comes from my schedule. Perhaps getting up in the dark to a foot of snow at 4 am, then driving in the dark an hour later to be smiley and cheerful on the air does, on some days, take a lot of energy.

So--I figure the thing that will end these winter blahs is just to acknowledge them. Get it out there, deal with those feelings and then move on. So I hope you'll humor me and let me vent, and then, let the therapeutic healing begin.

1) February feels so long, even though it's the shortest month of the year! As my morning show co-host Scott Wynn said the other day, they do everything to make it shorter. They lop off a few days and make it 28 instead of 30 or 31. Then they toss in a holiday or two. But still, it feels long.

2) The end of winter into spring is a big fat tease, and although its begins in February, March is no picnic either. You get one of those 40 or 50 degree days with sun, and then 48 hours later, another snow storm. No gradual thaw seems to happen around here. One day its 17 degrees and the next its 37 and then the rains come. That 3 foot pile of snow melts in 24 hours and then our weather reports go from snow warnings to flood warnings.

3) The Mud. With 2 dogs, the end of winter into spring is muddy paw season.

4) Lack of sun. Enough said.

Now that it's out there...let's focus on why living around here has it's benefits.

1) Living through the winter toughens you up, in a good way. If you can handle a winter in the Northeast or Midwest, you are a hardy soul. Those who live in perfect climates where the sun shies 300 plus days a year don't have the appreciation we do for those amazing days. A sunny 60 degree days after a gray 30 degree one is like heaven to us.

2) We may have crazy snowstorms but we don't have hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, or wildfires.

3) The Great Lakes: including Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth holding 21 percent of the world's surface fresh water. Yes, it brings is lake effect snow...BUT our area will never be without fresh water. In fact, we supply it to most of the country! We need to make sure these lakes aren't trashed and toxified like they were in the 70's.

4)Good place to raise a family. I've read some economist theories that say the once depressed areas of the country--the Great Lakes states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania will recover sooner than we think due to the incredible natural resources and moderate cost of living. Plus, good old fashioned Midwest values and friendly people who just help one another. Probably because were are always digging each other out of the snow!

5) The change of Seasons. Just when you are feel like you can't take one more humid day, the cool crisp fall air comes in, and we are treated to pleasant comfortable days, crisp nights and a mind-blowing display of color for a couple of months. And that's really the thing about this part of the country. God seems to know when it's time to change the season for us. The first snowfall has us thinking of Christmas, the first robin of Spring and warmth to come, and then the heat of the summer makes us smile at the impending autumn.

I've lived where the season changes all my life. And I've endured some brutal winters but I'd like to think its made me more appreciative of the good stuff when it gets here.

Here Comes The Sun and I say, it's alright.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Stopping May Be Better Than Starting

Every article I've ready lately gives one reason after another why you should not make a new year's resolution. By a wide margin, the experts say, resolutions don't work, as many people who have that first cigarette after they resolve to quit smoking, or skipped several days at the gym think that because they've slipped up they have "broken" their resolution they might as well just give up. I am a believer in resolutions; but I think its all it how you define them.

There are a couple different times of the year I find myself in self-reflection. New Year's Day is certainly one of them. But also my birthday and the start of a new school year are 2 other times. Birthdays, of course, get you thinking about the passage of time and various age-related lifestyle and health issues. And September for me is a time of inner reflection because it takes me back to my youth and makes me think of the feeling I use to have with clean paper, notebooks and new books> I felt I had a "clean slate" to start a new year of learning inside and outside the classroom. I always set goals at the beginning of the school year, and I still find myself doing that every fall.

In fact, I like to think more in terms of goal setting than resolutions, but whatever you call them, the idea is the same. What may be intimidating about resolutions or goals is that there seems to be so much to "do" and so much to "start" that it seems too overwhelming. So this year, I thought perhaps a more effective way to affect improvements in my life might be to put things on a "stop" list. My boss, Nick Anthony brought this technique to my attention years ago in our strategic meetings. The idea is that "stopping" an ineffective, non-productive practice or behavior will help to naturally replace them with another, hopefully more productive one.

For example, physically, I would like to continue to work on living a healthy lifestyle. Professionally, I'd like to be a better person to work with, and to work for. And personally, if I'm happier and more self-fulfilled from the inside out I'll be productive in as a mom, a friend, partner and person overall to be of some service to others.

To attempt to accomplish these goals, I'm going to put a few things on my "stop" list.

I resolve to STOP:

-Eating out so much, which will make me cook more, eat better and save money

-Worrying. This will be tough, but I really do know that 90 percent of what we worry about never happens, and you can't get that time you spent worry back. There is always some element of a situation we can control, so focus on that.

-Complaining. I believe in the universal law of attraction, and when we focus on the negative, negative stuff keeps happening because that's where the energy is going. Like attracts like, so even if something is driving you crazy, switching gears to focus on something about the situation or person that you can gain, or learn from the experience, even if it's a lesson in patience will help.

-Being around negative people. They suck the life out of you. Enough said.

-Making excuses. I can always think of reasons for not doing something I want to do. If I find myself procastinating, I will work to get up and "just do" something, even something little, one day at a time. Walk the dog, take a last minute weekend trip, read a book, try something I've never tried before. Learn a new skill.

So instead of thinking about all the things we resolve to do start doing this new year, maybe we can start thinking of things we will resolve to stop doing.

What can you put on your "stop list"?