Try This at Home
Make a concrete offer. Be specific about how you might help—it helps the recipient if we make a concrete offer, and it demonstrates a sincere desire to be helpful. We talk about Emily McDowell’s book There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love.
I recently spoke at the Kansas Women’s Attorney Association, and I was impressed by the organization’s way of helping people to break the ice, get to know each other, and connect: they gave everyone a sash and various badges. Button-makers are easy to order, and not terrifically expensive. For instance, here’s one for $113.
We’re always looking for great ways (other than bringing donuts!) to help people connect more easily—this seems super-easy and fun. Even designing and making the buttons could be a fun activity.
Interview with Kate Bowler
About four years ago, Kate Bowler was living an ordinary life: she was 35 years old, she was a professor at Duke Divinity school, married, with a new baby—when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.
This experience forced her to reckon with her mortality. In a truly extraordinary way, she has grappled with this experience. She has a terrific podcast, which we highly recommend, called Everything Happens, and she has a wonderful memoir called Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved.
Kate’s try-this-at-home suggestion is: Remember that no matter what you’re going through, you have something to give.
I forgot to take my traditional first-day-of-school photo for Eliza.
Elizabeth’s Gold Star
She loves the new TV show BH90210.
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- Due to popular demand, I created a PDF that includes all the “Try This at Home” suggestions from every episode. I update it a few times a year. You can download it for free at gretchenrubin.com/resources.