Monday, January 10, 2011

I Heard It From Schwartz Too

A wise philosopher (it was actually Oprah I think) once said, "you can't change what has happened, but you can control your response to it."

On Saturday I posted a clip from Neil Pasricha's talk, "The Three A's of Awesome" (if you haven't watched it yet, I encourage you to go back). The part that resonated most with me was his discussion of behavioral choice. Suggesting that "attitude" - one of the "three A's" - is malleable, Pasricha reinforced a very elementary concept, but one that we, or I at least, need to be reminded of fairly often. Sure, some days are - and will be - incredibly frustrating, some events tragic and inexplicable, but that does not mean that we must give in to our immediate responses. Grief and anger are inevitable, self-pity is not.

So, for instance, when I was at the barn at 6:00 am yesterday trying to feed horses and clean stalls in 8 degree weather, or when I got shocked by the electric fence I crawled under while scooting a manure-filled wheelbarrow across ice and snow to the compost pile, or when my dog got sick and I couldn't call my dad to ask him what he thought I should do, or when I simply missed my dad in general, I mentally replayed NP's talk of attitude, awareness, and authenticity (after I finished my mini-breakdown, stopped crying, and picked myself up off the ground and out of the way of the cows that stood around me wondering why Randy Parker's long lost sister was glassy-eyed and laying in the middle of their snow/poop/sawdust beds). I decided to laugh at myself. I thought about some of the quippy one-liners Dad would've used to describe the mess of a scene that had just occurred behind his barn. I decided to go to my favorite cafe and have my favorite meal. I swallowed all pride and facebook stalked my Danville vet, asking him to call me on a Sunday night to ease my concerns about Willie (which he did within 20 minutes - if you live in the Danville area, I wholeheartedly recommend Heartland Veterinary Hospital; if around here, Brian Dyer was wonderful as well, willing to work on and keep Willie overnight). I took time to be aware. I decided.

Here is some of the awesomeness that helped me...
My barn outfits typically are ridiculous, but I may have set a new standard yesterday morning. I had on: long-sleeved t-shirt, sweatshirt, down vest, Northface-like jacket, coveralls, carhartt jacket, scarf, toboggan, insulated boots, and gloves. And I was still cold. BUT, without said "layers," I would've said much worse things in my head.
It's cliche, but it really was pretty.
Brown's Supply and the recommended magic heat tape are winners.
Isn't it nice when your subject looks directly at you right as you take the picture?
This farm sign, in between Waterview and Glasgow, just makes me smile.
I love exposed brick and hardwood floors. I love mismatched seating. I enjoy eating by myself. I wish I owned Cream & Sugar.
I love the little spill-over hunks on the sides of just-made pancakes.
I love that my sugar substitute was called "Sweet Thing."
I love that I have a "Party in the USA" Pandora station. And, apparentely, no shame.
Why are movies so much better when you unexpectedly find them on TBS? While I think Michael Cera is always endearing, I can't say that "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" was one of my favorites. Yesterday, though, it was awesome.


  1. What can I say? Great post and we love you!

  2. Thank you for reminding me of the 3 A's, and also why I love being a Turner. I think we try hard to meet challenges head on in a way that makes me proud. I have to say, CLT would also be proud of the way we have moved forward with our lives as well as taking on the responsibilities of the farm he so loved.

  3. Thank you Liza for continuing to bring us back to real life. I love that you can write so much of what I am feeling. You are amazing and again will say love you for helping me through these days. ( I really want to go to the cafe in Horse Cave.)

  4. Thank you all for continuing to follow Pillow Book. I love each of you guys so much...enough that I might even treat you to a Cream and Sugar breakfast one morning:).