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The Middle Place April 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, People.
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Kelly Corrigan’s bestselling memoir, The Middle Place, is as much a celebration of life as it is her chronicle of battling breast cancer.

Kelly tells her story in anecdotal fashion, pulling readers into the middle of her life as mother, daughter, wife, and cancer survivor.

The story weaves together her life in California, with husband and two young daughters, with flashbacks to her childhood in Philadelphia as George Corrigan’s daughter.

In the Prologue, Kelly introduces us to her father and he immediately comes to life for us.  We see him greeting each day with a shout out (“Hello, World!”) and picture him going to bed each night with a smile on his face, satisfied that he made the most of every precious moment.

My favorite section from the Prologue describes how George makes those around him feel about themselves:

I think people like him because his default setting is open delight.  He’s prepared to be wowed ~ by your humor, your smarts, your white smile, even your handshake ~ guaranteed, something you do is going to thrill him.  Something is going to make him shake his head afterward, in disbelief, and say to me, “Lovey, what a guy!” or “Lovey, isn’t she terrific?”  People walk away from him feeling like they’re on their game, even if they suspect that he put them there.

He does that for me too.  He makes me feel smart, funny, and beautiful, which has become the job of the few men who have loved me since.  He told me once that I was a great talker.  And so I was.  I was a conversationalist, along with creative, a notion he put in my head when I was in grade school and used to make huge, intricate collages from his old magazines.  He defined me first, as parents do.  Those early characterizations can become the shimmering self-image we embrace or the limited, stifling perception we rail against for a lifetime.  In my case, he sees me as I would like to be seen.  In fact, I’m not even sure what’s true about me, since I have always chosen to believe his version.

George Corrigan ~ What a guy!  Isn’t he terrific!  The world could certainly use a few more just like him.  Thanks, Kelly, for sharing him with us in The Middle Place.

One thing that Kelly learned from her dad is the power of forward thinking and optimism to get you through the rough patches in the road.

By way of example, when Kelly calls her dad to let him know about her diagnosis with breast cancer, he tells her that everything is going to be fine, that she is strong, that she will beat this:

His faith ~ in God, in the human spirit, in me ~ had long ago made him impervious to anxiety.  It seemed useless to disagree with him.  Why not believe in the enchanted place where he lives?

The next day . . . I send out this very brave-sounding, very George Corrigan-ish e-mail to about a hundred people:

Re:  Looking Ahead

Hi all,

Brace yourself.  Yesterday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I’ll get you all the details later this week, as I get them, but for now, I wanted to invite you all to a party-to-end-all-parties, August 13, 2005. 

In just about a year, I will turn 38 with my girls at my side and my husband on my arm and we will toast to the end of a long year . . . and people will say stuff like, “Isn’t this what life is all about?” and “I knew she’d beat it!”

Kelly Corrigan ~ What a gal!  Isn’t she terrific!  The world could certainly use a few more just like her.  Thanks, Kelly, for sharing yourself with us in The Middle Place.

Congratulations to you (and your dad!) for kicking Cancer to the curb!!!!!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Let Go, EGO! April 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego, Writing & Writers.
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Remember that commercial, “Leggo my EGGO!”

Please tell me . . . who has enough energy in the morning to get worked up over a frozen waffle???

Take the waffle, already!  Just pass me a cup of coffee.

At any rate, this post is not about EGGO (the waffle) . . . it’s about EGO.

Now, I don’t know about your ego, but my EGO loves compliments ~ he has an absolutely insatiable appetite for them.

As soon as EGO notices a compliment, he stops playing and  reaches out to grab it, all the while inflating with self-importance like a giant hot-air balloon being readied for take-off.

Lacking inner confidence, EGO relies on external approval to bolster his fragile self-esteem ~ much the same way that people learning to swim grab U.S.C.G. approved floatation devices to keep from drowning in turbulent seas.

Don’t look at him like that. 

It’s not his fault ~ that’s his purpose in life.

Anyway, someone tossed a compliment at EGO last week and it landed squarely in front of him.

As soon as I noticed EGO’s desire to absorb and bask in the compliment, I urged him to let it go, “EGO, let go . . .  Give it to me . . . Let me have it . . .” 

EGO refused, “NO!  It’s MINE!” 

Let Go, EGO!


Instead of letting go, EGO grasped the compliment in a choke hold with grubby paws and stared defiantly at me.

When reasoning with EGO didn’t work ~ does it ever??? ~ I gently pried the compliment loose from his clenched fists, and released it into the atmosphere.

As soon as it sailed off, EGO burst into a tearful tantrum, resembling a tiny toddler in the throes of the Terrible Twos as he screamed, “GIVE IT BACK TO ME!!!”

EGO wants what EGO wants when EGO wants it!!!


Using EGO’s tantrum to reinforce my words, I asked the visitor to refrain from feeding EGO compliments in the future.

After all, Spirit Lights The Way is a Spiritual Blog,  not the Ego Boost Ride at the County Fair ~ we don’t need any EGOs-On-A-Stick marching around here looking like plumped up Corn Dogs.

To avoid future incidents of like nature caused by well-meaning visitors, we now have a prominent  sign at the Blog Entrance:


Related posts:  WTF: Watch That Feedback * Pop Goes The Ego

Nobody’s Fools! April 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.
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170px-PuckCoverThe April Fool’s Day Contest has come to a close.   Of the fifteen stories posted ~ all but two were true.  The two Tall Tales:

The Birth of Curling
What a Hack!

And now to announce the winners!!!!

These folks are Nobody’s Fools:

First Place:  Ben W. ~ 12 right out of 15!!!!  Way to go, Ben!
Second Place:  Kent C. ~ Impressive!
Third Place:  Joanne F. ~ Astute!

The entries which stumped everyone:

Have A Nice Day, Ladies
Cry Baby!

The entries which everyone guessed correctly:

Shrimp on the Barbie
Marshmallows and Wieners
Simple Math, Do The Math

Thanks for Playing . . . and proving you’re Nobody’s Fools!