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We're Better Together

January 14, 2019


You may have noticed my logos on various posts I have published.  I am not the artist behind those.  While I consider myself to be a creative person, I know where my creativity starts and where it stops.  Art has never been my thing.  I am actually quite challenged in the art department.  Ask my husband about the ridiculous black construction paper spider he carried around in his wallet for a year.  I made the spiders for a word family activity I was doing with my first graders.  To say they weren't even close to anatomically correct is an understatement.  I guess Justin just thought it was cute that I tried so hard.




This all got me thinking.  I consider myself a writer, and I love writing.  But when it comes to designing logos to go with my posts about unplugging, or Friday Favorites, I need some creative help.  Enter my sister, who is so good at graphics, she can whip something up for me in a matter of minutes.  I would never dream of creating my own logos because first of all, it would take FOREVER for me to do what takes her seconds, and second of all, I am waaaayyyyy too type A, so I would agonize over each detail until it just wouldn't be worth it anymore.  The writing?  That's the stuff I enjoy, the stuff I can pound out quickly.  Logos, not so much.  SO, I'll leave them to Emily.  And I won't stress about that.

Do you know these names?  Jonathan E. Favreau, Max Martin, and Drew Hanlen?  My guess is if you follow politics, singer/songwriter careers, or basketball closely you may have heard of them, but the vast majority of people probably don't associate these names with the great success they have encouraged in these famous people which unless you have been living under a rock, you have SURELY heard of...


Barack Obama


Taylor Swift


Jayson Tatum (ok, maybe this one is a stretch, but this one's for you, Jonah)


Jonathan Favreau was the director of speechwriting for President Barack Obama.  Favreau and Obama became close friends as they worked together, and the former president referred to his speech writer as his "mind reader."  Eloquent, hopeful, and optimistic are all words that have been used to describe Obama as a speaker. 


Favreau may have written many of his speeches, but he needed the voice only Obama could give to the words on the paper, to successfully give them life.


Max Martin produced and co-wrote the the Billboard Hot 100 number 1 hit "We are Never Getting Back Together" (2012) which became Taylor Swift's first #1 single in the US.  It took just 50 minutes for her song to reach the top position on the iTunes singles chart when it was released.  Although Swift does write and co-write many of her own songs, this one wouldn't have happened without the encouragement of Martin.  Swift tells the story of the origin of the song here.  As she described the on-again, off-again relationship with a former beau, she said what happened next was, ""Max says, 'This is what we're writing; we're writing this song,' And I picked up the guitar and just started singing 'we are never.' It just happened so fast. It was so much fun."


Martin had the idea to turn a rocky relationship into a song, but Swift gave the song a soul, and brought it into being through her vocals.


And Drew Hanlen?  The 5'11" 28-year-old has earned himself the title of "The Basketball Whisperer," after training the likes of pros Jayson Tatum, Joel Embid, and Zach LaVine.  Tatum's mother begged Hanlen to train her son when he was an eighth grader, but Hanlen told her he didn't train middle schoolers. When Tatum entered high school, she tried again, and at the urging of Bradley Beal, Tatum's "unofficial big brother," Hanlen said yes, impressed by the determination of Tatum's supporters (Inside Jayson Tatum's Evolution).


Hanlen has a special talent to train ball players, but Tatum has the work ethic and determination to put the training he's been given to work on the court.


None of us can do it all.  This is something I have to remind myself of daily.  This seems particularly important in light of a recent promise I made to myself to "feel" more in 2019.  In order to be in the moment, to experience real intimacy, to let go of things that may not yet be perfect, but need to be finished, I must rely on others, and I must allow myself to hand over the torch.


I feel like it is so easy to look at these talented people and assume they got where they are simply by their own power.  But, they got where they are by surrounding themselves with other talents, who could build them up, and make them better.  There are so many times I try to go it alone, to feel like what I'm working toward has to come from only me.  But the reality is, when I involve others, I can do so much more, and the reward is far greater.


Writing is my thing.  It is my way to tap into my feelings, my motivations, and my desires.  Design is my sister's.  It is her way to connect with her creative side, to launch ideas, and to share her artistic gifts.  Together, we're a force.


We're better together.
















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List maker, note taker, avid reader, and strong mom.


I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys.  We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog.


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