Decision Making Strategy, Simplified

Limit your options for more power over your choice.

When you are making big decisions, instead of looking at every imaginable possibility, immediately narrow the field to two or three of the most obvious best choices.

By doing so, you are considerably more likely to:

(1) make a decision rather than vacillate in indecision and likely stalemate, and

(2) make that decision faster!

This is effective, efficient decision making at its finest!

What big decisions are you sorting through right now?

How much time and energy have you already wasted in stalemate?

Narrow it down.

Look past the white noise.


Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,


If You’re Counting Down to Quitting Time…

Do you count down to quitting time every work day? Do you dread Monday mornings with a sick passion? Are you always wishing for a little more vacation time and a little (or a lot) less work time? I’m here to encourage you to create a life you don’t need to take a vacation from.

If you hate your current job then you can’t shine at your job. If you don’t shine, you don’t feel that happiness, pride, and sense of accomplishment that makes you glad to be there, working, and earning. There are plenty of other people who would love your current job, and there are plenty of jobs you would love that would also financially support your life and family.

If you hate where you are, get the heck out of there and find the money-making source that feeds you, where you can feel necessary and critical, and that you don’t need a vacation from!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Weekly Wrap-Up: May 28, 2016

It’s graduation week here, last week of school, celebrations everywhere, at all moments. Who has time during this time of year to focus on anything BUT the school kids? It’s been a great week for me, my little family, and friends as close as family. So, for something a touch different this week, I’d like to put this week to music:

FIELD DAY w/ my Little Bit13248563_10209569232491923_2143438404320452081_o

Although this song is no longer new, the kids at my youngest daughter’s school are still completely obsessed with this song, so any event features this song endlessly and the majority of the kids are up on their feet dancing, so full of smiles and happiness. It’s completely adorable!


A year ago, I was living life with little to no sleep, squeezing the absolute most out of every hour, as my time in Wisconsin was coming to a close. These four girls, my co-workers at the neatest little coffee shop I’ve ever come across were with me every step of the way. I treasure these four ladies beyond words. This week, they’re doing the same without me, as one more of our tribe opens a new chapter in her life. I am incredibly excited for her, but it’s so bittersweet to miss them so, and know I am not there with them right now. LOVE YOU MEAN IT!!!!!!!!


Birthdays are one thing, but one time of year all school-aged children get a year younger…and that’s on the last day of school. I have one who is now a senior, one now a junior, and one now a fourth grader…and I really can’t have this thought without choking up a bit. The end of the school year is a mental aging. It’s a beautiful, painful thing, as we celebrate the accomplishments and growing up of our amazing kids!

GRADUATION VIBES13308514_10209603835116967_7326999077241083041_o

Last night, one of my oldest and dearest friends’ oldest graduated. She is a lovely young lady, destined for a beautiful life. Sitting up in the stands, watching these young people 20 years my juniors graduate high school and turn that tassel was so fun.

Then, I saw that their class graduation song was…

…and I had to take a moment to mentally send them good vibes that do NOT speak “stressed out” over their futures.

IT’S SUMMER, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jade Wilkins Graduation 05272016 626 2

This is going to be a busy, beautiful summer for me and mine.

I’m sending YOU all smiles and dancy-good times with this, my official song choice of summer by JT.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,


You Do YOU


Some mornings aren’t so pleasant in our little household. All it takes is one person to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, having not slept well, running late, or stubbing a toe to begin the snowball effect of cranky that can turn an otherwise pleasant, productive morning into a kickstart of silent treatment, brooding, and angst-induced pouting. Yep…doesn’t take much, does it?

However, the longer I practice living among others (and I’ve been practicing for almost 40 years, now), the more I see these mornings as ways of proving to myself and others that only YOU can decide what kind of day YOU are going to have.

Getting angry or upset is a choice to be upset.

Hearing hateful things aimed at you allow you an opportunity to choose to find the good and get ahead of the hurt.

In the same way, seeing the best in people and situations, understanding that others you encounter are  fighting internal battles you know nothing about, and choosing to make the most of every single day you are granted, are all choices.

My hope is that you choose to allow significantly more positive than negative happenings or people effect your world every day. My hope is that today And every day, you…

Make it a great day,

Divorce Does Not Define You

When relationships break, it hurts and everyone feels the aftershocks. When marriages break, it goes a step further, it lingers, it follows you, and it’s a hurt that is often a lot harder to shake.


From that point forward, you’re “divorced,” “previously married,” you’re an “ex.” Now, you have a new box to check on most paperwork. You aren’t single or married, you are divorced.

However, before you allow yourself to believe that you are somewhat less-than because your marriage failed, I encourage you to disallow that label to define who you are from this point forward. I have some things for you to consider.

On average, adults are involved in eight to 12 serious relationships before they decide to marry. This means that 100% of those relationships failed for one reason or another. Those relationships ended for good reasons, but they ended just the same, yet those failed love relationships do not determine how the world gets to see you.

Consider, also, how many “best friends” you’ve had to this point. Maybe five in grade school, alone. Another two or three as you got older, changed, and matured (or didn’t) through your young adult and college years. In adulthood, friendships are more based on co-existing working relationships and acquaintances, but there are those tighter friendships that do form in adulthood. Some of these besties remain so for your lifetime, some besties are only that for a phase. Relationships are transitory. Some unravel at the seams, as something terrible happens or a rift occurs, while others just fade quietly into the distance as the two just…seem…to…grow…apart.

On average, most college students change their majors four times over the course of their studies, and yet, once they graduate or leave Academia most to not enter one career and stick it out until retirement. In fact, the average American undergoes major job or career changes an average of seven to 11 times in their working lives. We change careers because when we are no longer content with one aspect or another of our current career path and we see these changes as great opportunities, rather than great failures.

Half of all marriages end in divorce. Fifty percent. That sounds like a lot. That sounds like a bad thing, but relationships run their course every day, and that does not lessen the positive things that came out of the relationship. Children. Support through difficult times. Encouragement. Love. Laughter and happy tears.

In America, we seldom marry out of obligation, we marry because that’s what our soul is telling us we deeply desire to do in that phase of our life. That same voice may later tell us that it is time to move on, to divorce, to go it alone for a while. Being true to yourself and living a life that speaks to your truest nature is not a failure, it’s the greatest win you can create!

My friends, I’m not anti-marriage, but I am pro-fulfilling life. There are people who have the tenacity and the good fortune to marry someone that they are truly compatible with throughout their long lives together. This doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine and roses in their home, but it means they learn to bend and flex together. Not every love relationship can or is willing to do this, and when divorce happens this message is there to help you keep your head up so you can clearly see the next great opportunity life has to offer!

Until next time…

Make it a great day,




Just as a reminder, I’d love to connect with you all over the interweb. I love to share encouragement and fun all over the place, so come on along for the ride…and don’t forget to throw your hands in the air and scream with joy at the roller coaster of life!


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Lessons on Acceptance

This pic of Kelsey was taken by one of her dear Wisconsin friends. I love it--it captures Kels' truest essence so beautifully.

This pic of Kelsey was taken by one of her dear Wisconsin friends. I love it–it captures Kels’ truest essence so beautifully.

“Bullying” has become quite the hot topic in recent years. Months are devoted to it at my children’s schools. Pamphlets abound about it. People are suspended from schools and jobs over it. A generation ago, what is now so clearly identified as bullying was “tough love.”

In many ways, over the course of my lifetime to date, I will openly admit that I have played both sides of this fence. Blame my naiveté or the sign of the times, as one of the more popular kids growing up, I’m quite sure my pride pushed others aside and put others down. The flip side is that I have also spent much time on the receiving end of emotional bullying, and know first hand how painful it can be.  Even though it never leaves a visible mark, bullying changes people. It changes them from the people they were on the path to becoming.

My daughter, Kelsey (of the previous “This Is Kelsey” post), has also had experience with this sort of pain and sees how incredibly harmful “tough love” is. I wanted to share with you a post she recently made on the subject, because her words are so insightful and wise, and because (let’s face it…) I’m a proud mom.

These are Kelsey’s words:

Thought of the day-
Lately, I’ve started taking a lot more notice of all the people who show an extreme lack of acceptance. Whether it be an offensive name, taunting, or some other form of bullying/abuse, people have lost the ability to look at things from someone else’s point of view. So, here are a few reminders:
1) Calling someone a “retard” is offensive for many reasons. Not only are you using a word that’s not meant to have a negative connotation as a way to demean someone, but it’s wholly unnecessary.
2) The same goes with calling someone/something “gay” when they aren’t/don’t want to be called that. You’re taking a word that is a serious part of some peoples lives and turning it into a joke.
3) “Slut shaming” is a terrible thing. Judging anyone for the way they dress and/or the lifestyle they lead wrong. You may not agree with someone’s way of dressing or acting, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to make them feel about themselves.
4) THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT ONE. Body shaming is wrong and a serious form of emotional abuse. People have become better about accepting many types of bodies, whether they be larger or smaller, but there have been complications. I’ve seen a lot of people who make posts or talk about the fact that they respect larger women/men, but in the process, they skinny shame. (Example- “I would rather be big than be a stick figure” or “eat something, skinny girls need some meat on their bones”.) EVERY body should be accepted without putting someone else down. Remember that both skinny and heavier individuals can have body image issues. No one wants to be made fun of for something that would take them years (if at all) to change.

Acceptance is key. Please take a minute each time you’re about to say something that could offend someone and think about how it would feel if the roles were reversed. You deserve better, and so do they. Respect yourself and respect those around you. Besides, why waste your time on doing something that’s not beneficial to your happiness? Life is too short and no one with hate in their hearts can be truly happy.

**Thank you, Kelsey. I love you a zillion and am so proud of your enormous heart for people!**

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,


Happy & Healthy

Charlottes Spring Performance 020 croppedWhen our kiddos have performances, I tend to go through the range of emotions from “oh, yay, that sounds adorable,” to “you’ve gotta practice, you’ve gotta pick out your outfit, you’ve gotta do this and that to be ready,” to “how in the world am I going to ever fit this into my schedule,” to “OH MY GOSH…that was completely adorable and MY KID ROCKED!” to “how quickly can I get out of this school and onto the next critical thing on my daily to-do list?”

It’s no wonder we’re not sleeping, struggling to stay healthy, and fighting to keep our marriages and our families protected, happy and healthy. We have so much inner turmoil every day to the point we (I should say “I” and quit speaking for you) struggle to be in one place at a time, focused completely on that one thing or person or event or need.

Today, as I look through the pictures of Charlotte and her class, all smiles and joy and visions of great health and happiness, I realize that even with all of the apparent struggles of juggling life and kids and significant others and parents and friends and jobs, jobs, jobs, and organizations, and on and on and on…I believe we are all doing a pretty great job! Moments like this are validation that all of our hard work and stresses are well worth the effort!

Hang in there! Vent when you need to, and keep taking care of everything you have on your plate each and every day. Days like this make it alllll worth it 🙂

Make it a great day,


Improving 2014


2014YellowBrickRoad.jpgIn 2014, I am going to focus on self-improvement so that I can better serve and love my family, my friends, and even those I have not yet met. I am going to take time out for myself this year to help recharge my batteries and refuel so time spent with those who matter most in my world have a happier, healthier, and more balanced Marilyn to be with. 2014 is going to be an awesome year of growth and change and opportunity, so I want to face this new year head-on with fresh, rejuvenated eyes and a clearer outlook. All told, my 2014 New Year’s Resolution is less about changing the little things in life and more about altering the big picture so that I can live the best version of my life that is ultimately possible.

Cheers to 2014!

Make it great,