Whoa! Where have you been?

I know I’ve been MIA for some time. Seems I finally decided to get the work done on my house, and, even though I was paying someone to do it, having the house under construction just sucked the life outa me. Not to mention the bucks out of my checkbook…

Anyway. I tripped across a fascinating video today of J. K. Rowling giving the Harvard Commencement address in 2008. It’s just wonderful.

And it’s about failure. Interesting topic about which to speak to a bunch of people graduating from… Harvard.

Here’s a part that really resonated with me:

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Here’s the video:

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.



Filed under Reflections

2 responses to “Whoa! Where have you been?

  1. PO

    Awesome speech thanks for posting

  2. Stupid Cupid: Valentine’s Day and the Divorced Woman


    If you are going through the break-up of a relationship or marriage, Cupid can feel like a sadistic little brat flinging arrows of pain at your already broken heart. Everyone around you seems to have a doting husband or boyfriend gracing them with red roses and candy. You, on the other hand, may be planning to spend this evening at home in your old flannel PJ’s and fuzzy slippers nursing your wounds with a tear jerker movie, a pint of Chunky Monkey and a box of Double Dip Oreos, lamenting how totally unlovable you feel.

    Ladies, how about a reality check? Do most women really feel so loved on Valentine’s Day? If so, do they get the same love and respect from their partner all year? Ask your friends. Most women I have spoken with love Valentine’s Day, at least the idea of it. In reality, it isn’t what it is stacked up to be. The romantic notion and the fantasy often do not play out in reality. Most of our relationships do not even remotely resemble those television commercials of the guy(gorgeous) presenting his woman with a hefty diamond(equally gorgeous).

    The truth is this—lots of men actually forget the day or need to be endlessly reminded. And others just use Valentine’s Day as a Day of Atonement. They attempt to make up for all the times they were rotten, disrespectful, short-tempered or unsupportive.

    Usually it is women who celebrate Valentine’s Day and really enjoy it. We send each other cards saying how much we appreciate and value each other. We do this not to make up for some transgression, but to affirm how much we care about each other. And kids love Valentine’s Day, feeling it is the one time of the year they can be “mushy” toward each other (and you) without feeling geeky.

    How about doing away with all the high-priced flowers and fattening chocolate and declare every day Valentine’s Day? We should rejoice in our appreciation of each other all the time, not just on ONE day.

    So, you are single on Valentine’s Day. Face it, the Valentine’s Days when you were married weren’t so hot, nor were the other 364 days of the year. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be single again.

    Send your friends and kids Valentine’s cards. Show the people in your life that you love and appreciate them. Then do something really nice for yourself. Learn to love yourself in the way you want others to love you.

    Thought for Today I know how to celebrate my love for the important people in my life, but I am not sure how to do it for myself. What would feel special for me? What do I like? What helps me feel loveable and valuable? Loving myself makes me strong, self-confident and surprisingly more at peace. I will take time to celebrate me. Every day I will affirm my own value and worth.

    ©2009. From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce by psychotherapist by Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC, won an Honorable Mention Award by the Independent Publishers Association. The book is now a classic in the field. and has been a constant companion and support to thousands of women as they struggle with the demise of their marriage. The author is a licensed psychotherapist in Connecticut. Her newest book, Profileactics: A Guide for the Prevention of Ill-Conceived Personal Ads is available at bookstores and at Amazon.com. To read more about the author and her work, please visit http://www.donnaferber.com.

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