Awesome Nuggets: Summertime Edition

By Angela Noel

June 27, 2018

I sometimes forget, particularly when life gets over-busy with obligations and activity, to revel in little moments of joy. Bringing them to mind helps dig happy pathways in my mind, reinforcing the good like steel girders in the skyscraper of life. Sharing these nuggets of awesomeness are my way of reminding myself to keep delight alive.

You can read former Awesome Nuggets posts collected for you on the new page devoted to these posts. Please feel free to visit it anytime and add your nuggets whenever the spirit moves you.

Here’s the Summertime Edition:

Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: Summertime Edition”

Between Birth and Death are Paperwork and Swearing

By Angela Noel

April 22, 2018

Last summer my husband and I took a bike ride along a trail near our house. I think about a lot of things when I’m riding a bike or running. On this particular occasion I was thinking about death. One thought in particular: Dying is the only obligation of the living.

Obviously, some things we cannot choose, like getting hit by a car or assaulted by a bad guy (or gal). But we can choose our response to the situation. We can decide what we do next.

I can also decide my actions. For example, I don’t have to obey laws or treat others with respect. I might go to jail and have no friends as a result–but still. I pretend I don’t have a choice as to whether or not I do certain things, like scrub the toilet or get an oil change, but I do. These decision could mean I pay a price, but they’re still my decisions.

I Swear

Admittedly, sometimes I complete some of these seemingly obligatory tasks only to avoid the painful or inconvenient impacts of NOT doing the thing.

For example, I recently filled out multiple forms with my name, birthday, social security number, address, previous medical history, shoe size, astrological sign etc. in preparation for my first appointment at a new dentist. The many swear words I used throughout the whole processes attested to how much I enjoyed it.

Paperwork, death
Full disclosure: it wasn’t THIS many forms, but this is how it FELT. Photo by Christa Dodoo on Unsplash

My son wanted me to read with him, but I wanted to get those damn forms done. He’d have to wait while I plowed through. As I glowered my way through the task, the possibility of my sudden death came to mind again. Continue reading “Between Birth and Death are Paperwork and Swearing”

All I Want for Christmas: A Wish List

By Angela Noel

November 30, 2017

The holidays approach. This also means my birthday is soon to arrive. In fact, it comes the same day as St. Nick. I’m one of those Christmas babies who get gifts but once a year. And though I lamented that fact as a child, now in my fourth decade of life, I realize this collision of Christmas and birthday can, maybe, help me get what I really want this year. Because, while “double” the presents for a Christmas Birthday wasn’t realistic, I did tend to get a more valuable “combo” gift on occasion. And that’s what I’m counting on now.  Continue reading “All I Want for Christmas: A Wish List”

Awesome Nuggets: Thanksgiving Edition

by Angela Noel

November 23, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving!

Weird thing about gratitude: In the act of calling to mind all the good things we have in our lives, we’re actually receiving a powerful benefit. As Alex Korb Ph.D discusses in The Grateful Brain, studies have shown that calling to mind what we’re grateful for has a direct effect on depression and an indirect effect on anxiety. As we express gratitude our brains increase dopamine production, making us both feel good, and increase our activity levels–a kind of “more of that, please” response. So offering thanks for the gifts we’ve been given is also a gift to ourselves. Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: Thanksgiving Edition”

Co-Parenting: Confessions of a Part-Time Mom

by Angela Noel

August 31, 2017

It happens every time. Jackson waves good-bye to me and walks with his dad into the car or into his dad’s house. I drive away or close the door and get on with my day. Then, about an hour or two later, I feel it. A physical pang, like hunger mixed with loss, strikes me. The twinge lasts only a few seconds, but I’ve come to know it well: I miss him. Continue reading “Co-Parenting: Confessions of a Part-Time Mom”

Sharing the Good: It’s not You, It’s Me

By Angela Noel

August 17, 2017

Remember in February when I said I’d created a weekly way to share the good called Awesome Nuggets? No? Of course you don’t. Why would you? I didn’t do a good job with it at all. I kept it up for a month and when a thousand people didn’t immediately start posting little gems of goodness on my Facebook page I gave up. Shame on me. Continue reading “Sharing the Good: It’s not You, It’s Me”

Write a Love Letter: How You Can and Why you Should

By Angela Noel

May 4, 2017

To feel love and to express it boldly without expectation of return requires tremendous courage. The word courage originates from the Latin word for heart. Not the organ itself, but what it represents–the living room for our feelings. In my original I Want Your Love Letters post I ask readers of my blog to pen a letter to anyone he or she loves or admires–friend, teacher, lover, mentor, parent, bus driver, coach, sibling–anyone. Each writer of a love letter demonstrates the essence of heart. Every one of the letters makes me smile and fills me with a kind of quiet inspiration. And I want more.

For this post, I’ve gathered these letters together to celebrate the writers and their loved ones. I also want to invite others, like you, to contribute your love letters to the collection.

Write a love letter and I’ll publish it on the You are Awesome blog. It’s as simple as that. Continue reading “Write a Love Letter: How You Can and Why you Should”

A Particularly Special Guy’s Night

By Angela Noel

December 1, 2016

One night, a couple of guys went to McDonald’s for dinner. Already, it was a special event.

The younger of the two went to the restroom, emerging just in time for their chicken nuggets and Big Mac to arrive. On his way back to the table, his hands still wet from washing, he noticed something. Continue reading “A Particularly Special Guy’s Night”

Everyday Awesome: A #Blessed Project

by Angela Noel

November 24, 2016

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”- John F. Kennedy

It’s harder than you would think to talk about yourself for an hour or two. We’ve all been on job interviews, but being asked to tell your personal story, to expose the core of who you are and what you care most about is quite different. The nine individuals in 2016 who’ve embodied the spirit of the You are Awesome blog, inspiring creativity, passion, and adventure in real life, have shown tremendous courage in allowing me to profile them.

They’ve been open and vulnerable, trusting and honest. They aren’t celebrities, but they deserve to be celebrated. Their stories, and other posts over these seven months, have been viewed almost 7,000 times. Friends, family, and strangers feel the magic of their contributions because these nine dared greatly in sharing their lives.

I’m grateful for many things this Thanksgiving. But this post is dedicated to the people who entrusted me with their lives in this very unique way. Continue reading “Everyday Awesome: A #Blessed Project”

Why I Won’t Be Starting Over

Guest Post by Annie Reierson

November 10, 2016

There are a lot of different terms we use when experience significant changes in our lives: Starting over, Moving on, A new chapter, Begin again, Go back to the drawing board.

However, there is something about these terms that seems amiss. They suggest that all the experiences and interactions that I had before were insignificant. To me, “starting over” says that I just scrapped everything, as if somehow my past experiences didn’t bring me to the place where I stand today. But, that’s not what it really feels like to experience change. Continue reading “Why I Won’t Be Starting Over”