6. Forgiveness and acceptance are not the same things.
For me, there really is a big difference between forgiveness and acceptance. If you forgive someone, you aren't necessarily saying that what the person did was right. What you're saying is, "I'm not giving you the power to make me a victim. I'm not going to let you invade my mind and make me hate you." Forgiveness is not for the other person. It's for yourself. That's the way I see it. Whereas acceptance is really more of a caving in, as far as I'm concerned. It's saying, "What you did, I'm okay with."
My book in 2013 is going to be all about this. The novel is about this young woman at a grief group who befriends an old man in her small town who is everyone's favorite grandpa. He's the Little League coach and a teacher, and he's been a fixture in the community for years, but he confides in her that he used to be a Nazi, and he'd like her to forgive him and then help him die.
8. When you see a bathroom, stop.
Because you never know when there is going to be another one.
9. In times of stress or rage, remember the Alvin effect.
A really good way to calm down is just to pick up a dog. We have three dogs and our littlest is a rescue puppy from Mississippi, and he's a very portable size. And you know, when everything is really, really crummy, and you've got Alvin on your lap, really, not much matters anymore.
10. The title of my (unwritten) memoir is:
No Pudding for Jodi. Because when I am in the U.K. on a book tour, I do a lot of luncheons. All these wonderful ladies come out and we all have a big meal, and I go up to the podium and give a talk. But the presenters always have me get up and talk when they're serving dessert. So I never get to have dessert, which they call pudding.
11. Go for the happy-looking melon.
This is my daughter's rule, actually, and she's so right. I don't know how to explain it, but when you're looking for a melon at the grocery store, pick the happiest one—one that's really round, that's a good color, that's sort of warm to the touch. If it looks happy to you, it's going to taste really good.
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