A few days ago, was the anniversary of my mother, Betty’s, death from cancer. I’ve worked through the stages of grief. I celebrate her life and all that she taught me. Like most, I didn’t appreciate her lessons until years later. I’m going to share the top three with you.
#1—Compliments. We are not given a finite number of compliments. Give them often and spread them far and wide.
I work part-time in a beauty salon in my small town. They don’t really need me; clients can make appointments online, and there are only two stylists working at a time (due to COVID-19). They keep me around because I compliment freely. I praise the stylist’s work, the outcome, shoes, jackets, the sunny day. I say it all. The best part is that it makes me feel better to see a person’s face light up.
In the Writing World—I compliment often. I send messages to authors that I’ve never met when I discover their book and enjoyed it. I respond to posts that make me think or feel. It is an easy way to network, and I’ve made great connections that started with a simple comment.
#2—Pick Your Battles. Why waste energy on something you will never win?
I remind myself of this every day since it is election time. Especially, when I see posts on social media. I do my best not to engage, however, my “snooze” button is getting a workout. The only thing I can say is that if a person is acquiring their news from a Facebook post as their only source—I’m not sure that they can be educated.
In the world of Romancelandia, there is a battle brewing weekly or so it seems. I have not returned to twitter since the RWA debacle; I can no longer handle the vitriol. I do admit to following some of the interactions, but I rarely enter the fray. I will comment on the never-ending trademark filings for commonly used words.
I try to follow Rule #2 because fighting a battle takes energy and emotion. My goal is to use my energy on my writing, and if there is any leftover, then dusting my old house.
#3—Acceptance. No one is perfect so why should we expect our friends to be?
You might be jealous—I have a friend who is the authority on everything. She is – just ask her.
I’m a part of a group message where we share our day to day victories and fails, our news, and our concerns. If I post that a friend received a cancer diagnosis—she’s had three this week. A mention of how you called somebody to express your sympathy at the loss of their parent—she tells you how you did it incorrectly. Somebody had a kitchen fire—she’s lived through two and the damage was much worse.
It’s exhausting and sometimes very frustrating. However, she has many good points, so I choose to overlook her responses, or I try to. I know I cannot change her, nor do I have the time to try. Yes, she can be an annoyance, but I’ve become used to her and I now “prepare” myself for her responses.
I could also go on about Betty’s rules concerning no white before Mother’s Day or after Labor Day—Take that Vogue! Her belief that you should never offer a beverage without a napkin. If you give a purse or wallet as a gift, you should always stash some coins and a dollar in it for luck. And finally, good-byes should take at least fifteen minutes.
My hope is that this fall you might try to incorporate one or more of Betty’s lessons into your life. It will enrich yours and others.
I’m Melanie Jayne/M. Jayne, and I write Romance. I live on a grain farm in central Indiana with my husband and our mastiff, Duncan Keith. I’m a huge sports fan and cannot wait for SEC football to begin. I have a deep attachment to The Real Housewives franchises and daytime court shows.
My books incorporate true stories from life and many of my characters are over the age of 35. My heroines are usually larger than size 16 and never apologize for their love of food and dislike of diets.
About the Author
Melanie Jayne/M. Jayne lives on a farm in Indiana with her husband and Duncan Keith her mastiff supervisor. She is addicted to trashy TV and TMZ.com. She writes The Novus Pack Series featuring a human psychic who lives amongst werewolves and several Contemporary Romance Series that feature characters over the age of thirty-five.
You can learn more about me and my writing here:
on Twitter @1MelanieJayne
readmelaniejayne on Instagram