November 24, 2009

10 truths i wish i'd down sooner by amy bloom

you all know how much i love real simple magazine. every month i find something that really impacts my life - either an article like this, some photography, a recipe, a new way of doing is my crush. i don't know if this article will crystalize something for you the way it did for me...some are things i think i knew but didn't know how to put into words....some are things i knew and was nodding my head as i read them...some, well i should have know having reached this age and it would seem i would be a bit more wise.
i wanted to make sure i got the citation right so you know the author and the source. she has written some books that i want to check out.
As published in “Real Simple” December 2009

1. Events reveal people’s characters, they don’t determine them. Not everyone with divorced parents has terrible relationships. If two people are hit by a bus and are crippled for life, one may become bitter and the other a warm, outgoing person. It’s not about the bus, and a dreadful childhood is no excuse. You have the chance to be the person you wish to be; until you die.
2. Lying, by omission or commission, is a bad idea. I cannot shake my dependency on the white lie, because I was brought up to be nice. And I’ve never figured out a way to say, “I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than to come to your house for dinner.” But the meaningful lie, the kind that involved being untruthful or deceitful about important stuff to those you love, is like poison. Telling the truth sometimes hurts, but it doesn’t kill. Lying kills love.
3. Sex always gives you an answer, although not necessarily the one you want. It’s possible to have very good sex with a person that shouldn’t be in your life at all. Have fun, hide your wallet and your blackberry. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that a grown man, however nice, will become much, much better in bed than he was the first few times you slept with him. And if you sleep with a man that is unkind to you, there will be more of that; long after the sex is humdrum, the cruelty will be vivid.
4. Most talents are transferrable. If you can raise toddlers and teenagers with relative calm, you can be a CEO. If you’re a good driver, you can probably steer a cab, fly a plane, or captain a boat. My years as a waitress – serving food to demanding people in a high-stress environment without losing my temper – served me equally well as a mother, a wife, and a short-order cook for my family. And if you have the teaching gene, you can teach anything.
5. Fashion fades and style is eternal. Not only do you not have to wear torn jeans, a barely-there tank top and a fedora, but you probably shouldn’t. The point of fashion is to briefly indulge in something fun. The point of style is to have one – whether it’s a sheath and spikes or slouchy jeans and your husband’s teeshirt – and it should last you a lifetime. All you have to do is think you deserve to look and feel your best and then spend time figuring out how to do that. Don’t know? Find a woman who’s style you admire and ask for advice.
6. You can’t fake love. Staying in a love relationship when love is not what you feel isn’t likely to end well. If you know that what you crave is security/ disposable income/child care and not the person next to you, do the right thing. It’s true that one can learn to love someone over time and often through difficult circumstances. But, unless the two of you agree to wait until you’re old and all the storms have passed, in the hope that love will kick in, it’s better to bail sooner than later.
7. Mean doesn’t go away. Some people get better looking with age, some don’t. Some people soften; some toughen up. Mean streaks tend not to disappear. A person that demeans and belittles you and speaks of you with contempt to others is probably going to be that way for years. The first time it happens, take note. The second time, take your coat and go.
8. No one’s perfect. I knew I wasn’t perfect; I just didn’t realize this also applied to the people I feel in love with. The object of your affection will always turn out to have huge and varied faults. The smart thing is not to look for someone flawless, but to look for someone whose mix of strengths and liabilities appeal to you.
9. Ask for help. It’s possible you’ll get turned down. It’s even more likely that you’ll feel vulnerable and exposed. Do it anyway, especially if you’re the helpful sort yourself. Those of us who like to offer assistance and hate to take any are depriving other people of the opportunity to be generous and kind. We are also blinding ourselves to the reality of mutual dependence. You wouldn’t wear pink hot pants and pretend they were flattering. Don’t pretend you don’t need help.
10. Keep an eye on the prize and your hand on the plow. It’s easy to lose sight of what you want, especially if you haven’t gotten it. It know it’s less work to put the wish away, to pretend the wish itself has disappeared. But it’s important to know what your prize is, because that is part of you. Whether it’s financial stability, two children, a collection of poetry, or a happy marriage, take Churchill’s advice and never give in. Never give in. NEVER GIVE IN.


  1. I haven't read this magazine for awhile but I used to all the time...I had the same crush as you. Reading this article by Amy Bloom reminded me of why I loved it so much. Perhaps it's time to re-establish that crush...

    An excellent article...I'm glad you shared it. Much, much, much wisdom within these items.

  2. I get this magazine too and LOVED this article and list...thanks for making it public for even more to see !

    it's one of those lists to tape to the bathroom mirror for everyday reminders....

  3. let's read an amy bloom book together! i really love this list! and the magazine!

  4. i love this...thank you!

  5. it's also one of my favorite magazines, but i don't get the subscription so i'm glad you shared this. great article.

  6. good stuff.

    i love your new banner. it's so cheery and fun. and so unique.

    i stayed home from work today. i really needed it! i'm taking something and going back to bed. but thought i would just stop by and say hello first. hope your work day is good.

  7. This is great, I am so behind on my Real Simple reading, which btw is the only magazine I get at this point.

    ps. I may have to post this on my facebook.

  8. lots of wisdom here. I have to check this mag out -- I've never really looked at it except on the checkout line... :)

  9. ...although I love this magazine I don't subscribe to it so I'm very happy you shared this list with us...she is a wise woman this Amy Bloom...I have had her book "Away" on my TBR bookshelf for quite some time now...this will definitely encourage me to put it on the top of the pile:)

  10. Char thanks for sharing, it is a glood list to remind us of things.Have a great day. Take care.

  11. My daughter and DIL introduced me to this magazine. Rachel has started passing her old copies along to me. In my personal experience 1 and 7 are very true. My favorite magazines shut down due to the recession...Mary Englebreit's Home Companion and Domino. I really miss them both.

  12. Great words/list for advice! Makes sense to me! I have not seen this magazine.....will have to check it out! Thanks for sharing this Char.
    #1 struck me right true!

  13. Love this list, two items in particular ... Finding your own style - I think that transfers to so much more than fashion and is so effective. I also love the last item, Never give in. Beautiful ... It's so tied up with our identity, our hearts, and holding onto all that. Thanks for sharing this.

  14. I just read that in my issue this morning. : ) Very sage advice.

  15. Obvious yet often ignored 10 truths. #1 is something I think of often. I think of it in terms of: do we get what we deserve or do we deserve what we get though?
    And #9 is one I fear I'll never master.
    Love these obvious and simple but easily ignored and/or forgotten truths. I should order a subscription to that magazine because it's one of few that I really like. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  16. i think i need to subscribe! what a terrific list!

  17. wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. I too love real simple. It is just the best!

    have a happy Thanksgiving. Oh and by the way love your calendar and I just want to kiss that pug.

    c heers.


  18. Such timeless wisdom and advice! Took them all to heart.

  19. Terrific post. I loved it the first time I read it. I love it now.

  20. Oh, I loved this when I read it in RS....thanks for sharing it. Thank you for all of your sweet comments on ML Charlane, when are you going to send me your bag? :)

  21. i get that magazine too Char and love it. but missed the "home decorating for Christmas"...didn't see much of that this issue. loved the article though. have a great Thanksgiving!

  22. wow. i have never read that before, so THANK You for sharing it here. SO much to think about.

    WIshing you a beautiful & nourishing holiday. xo

  23. Char, thanks so much for sharing these tips - I hung on every word and saw the absolute truth in them. Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving.

  24. What a great resource!


i feel as if each comment was between us as we sat and sipped something warm....i love to hear what you're thinking.