Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Category: optimism

You Don’t Lose Until You Quit Trying

Today I have this lovely guest post from B. Lynn Goodwin, who wrote the book, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. A little more about the book and the author is at the bottom of this post!


You Don’t Lose Until You Quit Trying

My husband introduced me to his favorite phrase, “You don’t lose until you quit trying” from the driver’s seat of his Mazda back when we were first dating. He used it to tackle business problems, used it when he was dating a woman before me, and still uses it as a reminder that bolsters my confidence.

The only time it didn’t work was when he was dating a woman who loved him but wasn’t “in love” with him. Come to think of it, maybe he did win, because he wouldn’t have found me if she said, “Yes.” We met each other after I met my husband, and she’s glad we’re together.

How does this philosophy work?

If you can’t open the lid on a glass jar, try again. Try harder.

o Put on more pressure as the left hand goes one way and the right another
o Run the lid under hot water
o Look for a tool to help
o If necessary, ask a neighbor with stronger hands to help.
o Eventually the lid will open, and maybe you’ll make a new friend in the process.

If you can’t turn the key that you’ve put in the lock, try again. Still no luck?

o Move your fingers so the pressure on the key is redistributed.
o Take the key out and spray the lock with WD-40.
o Push in against the door and try again.
o Maybe even ask for help?

Both are real-life scenarios. I’ve used my husband’s hands and my next-door neighbor’s screw-top opener to get a lid off a jar of caramel sauce so I could finish making a dump cake. I’ve twisted a key in the lock of an old sticky door near the bay, and when nothing worked, I knocked on the back door. Trying differently often solves the problem.

“You don’t lose until you quit trying” is meant to inspire people. Make the philosophy work for you and let it help you examine alternate methods for getting what you want. Here’s one more example.

How does a 62-year-old woman who’s never been married use this philosophy with a two-time widower seeking his third wife on . . . Craigslist?

You’ll know if you read Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in Indie Bookstores, who can order the book through Ingram.

Our best advertisement is word of mouth. If you like the story, please tell your friends and colleagues. Want to do more? One or two sentences on Amazon, telling people why you recommend the book, would be fabulous.

And why am I promoting my book here? Because you don’t lose until you quit trying.

B. Lynn Goodwin owns Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com. Her memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, was just released by Koehler Press.

She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers and Talent, which was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award, won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.

Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good Housekeeping.com, Purple Clover.com and many other places. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is an editor, writer and manuscript coach at Writer Advice.


Turning a Mean-Spirited Comment Into a Glass-Half Full Moment

Recently, someone said to me, “You’ve got it made. What are you complaining about?” I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of why that comment was made or what I was “complaining about”; but I’m sure just from reading that dialogue, you can understand this person was not being kind. This person was trying to say that I was selfish, self-absorbed, and ungrateful.

It’s stuck with me. I take things people say to me to heart; I’ve been accused more than once of being over-sensitive. For a while now, I looked inside myself to see if I was truly being selfish. So, with all this introspection and being a writer, I’ve been wanting to blog about this topic for some time; but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say about it or how I wanted to approach a blog post based on this particular mean-spirited comment.

And then today in the shower, it hit me. (Many writers and artists can attest to the fact that great ideas come in the shower!) I can turn this comment, which was meant to be an insult, into something positive. I can look at my life and see all the ways I am lucky and all the ways that I truly do have it made. I can control my reaction to this comment and what I want other people to read about it. And so that’s what I am doing.

I do have it made because

  • I am lucky enough to have an amazing 7-year-old daughter who brings joy, love, and energy into my home every single day. My life would be boring and meaningless without her.
  • Both of my parents are still alive and involved in my daughter’s life on a daily basis.
  • I have a full-time job with benefits, using my college degree, which is paid off; and I work from home, which is a huge benefit as a single parent.
  • I am able to run 2 to 3 times a week because I am able-bodied.
  • I can shelter, feed, and clothe myself and my daughter.
  • I have enough money to do fun things, like go on small trips or go to Six Flags with Katie.
  • I am a writer–I am lucky enough to get to write and people read it. (This is a true blessing.)
  • I have friends and family who love me, care about me, want to be in my life, and invite me to do fun things.
  • I have a dog to keep me company and to keep me walking, even on days when I don’t feel like getting outside.
  • I live in a country, where I have many freedoms and opportunities.

So that’s right, I do have it made.

Yes, of course,  I have struggles. Who doesn’t? But I’m not going to allow myself to be weighed down by them or by negative comments because life is too short and too precious to not see the glass as half full.