5 Things Every Woman Should Say to Herself Every Day

You wish your boss would say it. You wish your spouse would say it. But sometimes, you just need to deliver the pep talk yourself.

"Be someone who makes someone else look forward to tomorrow."

Whether that means making a date with your husband, setting up a treasure hunt for the kids, donating some money to a charity or just being that door-holding, coffee-buying, tip-leaving person who spreads small joys everywhere she goes.

(Swiped from a Sevenly.com print)

"Phone, keys, wallet."

Good news for anyone who's ever felt like a nut for talking to herself: Science says it helps you stay on task. According to a study in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who said aloud the name of an object for which they were searching actually found it faster than those who didn't. This just bears out my own findings, that practical, crazy-lady muttering is actually a useful time-management skill for people prone to distraction every time they see something that needs to go in the laundry, or a pile of unopened mail, or an interesting book, or an unattended laptop, and there was just that one email to check, and look who tweeted and what an interesting link...not that I speak from experience, of course. Right, so anyway: phone, keys, wallet.

"My ex was wrong."

So your ex always said you were a bad conversationalist or a weird food-chewer or a lackadaisical driver. You know those things aren't really true. And lucky you, you don't have to listen to that drivel anymore. You don't have to let it poison your mind on this potentially lovely day, or on any day at all.

"Bath first, then dinner."

My maternal grandmother had four children, and worked as an elementary school teacher. Every day when she got home from work, she locked herself in the bathroom with a mystery novel and a peanut butter sandwich, and took a bath. And then came helping with homework, getting dinner on the table, all the inevitable work of motherhood. I now realize what brilliance this was, because every afternoon, the things that need to get done get done first, and the relaxing bath-with-book-and-snack gets left off the end of a busy night. Make sure it doesn't.

"All that you are seeking is also seeking you."

In college I inherited my father's old desktop PC and the quote he had taped to it too: "All that you are seeking is also seeking you"—Franz Kafka. This computer—and the quote—accompanied me across the country and throughout many dorm rooms, apartments and life stages, and for some reason I never took off the increasingly ratty scrap of paper, because it seemed to have magical powers. It's a way to tell myself, every day, "Stay open, stay searching and believe that the things you want will come to you." I can think of no better way to live. Can you?


Amy Shearn is the author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn: A Novel
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