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A few years ago, Sheila gave me this cool little book called Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner. It’s a pretty nifty handbook for people like me who like to string words together, occasionally, and want to construct complete sentences and get the punctuation just right.

Except when I don’t.

I like the book ’cause it’s straightforward and not very long, and the author has a relatively good sense of humor — Chapter 6, for example, is titled “Comma Sutra: The Joy of Punctuation.” And did I mention the book isn’t very long?

Yesterday, I awoke with the phrase, “Woe is me,” in my head. Of course, I visualized it as “Whoa is me”; nevertheless, it reminded me of the book, so I got to thumbing through Woe Is I and forgot, momentarily, about what was on my mind.

I had this “Woe/Whoa is me/I” mentality because I was feeling the proverbial weight of the world and worrying about things that were beyond my control (and others that were very much IN my control … or had been, at one point), and I started to feel as if nothing would ever be right or “normal” again. As if I were a victim in the cruel scheme of life.

The thing is, I was a victim once. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. And I know it was absolutely not my fault, and that there was nothing I could have done differently to prevent it.

And I learned from it. Oh, did I learn from it.

I shook off the “Woe is me” blues and decided that any obstacle in front of me is simply a challenge waiting to be taken on. And, guess what: I’m up for it.

Now watching: West Side Story on TCM (yes, the mild fascination with Natalie Wood continues … but I’m not so fascinated that I’m not going back to bed ’cause, honestly, it’s way too early to be up on a Sunday … plus I have more cupcakes to bake, later).

February 2007

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