Sel de Vie: Wisdom to Season Life


Well, we’ve made it an entire month into the New Year. Time certainly does fly. By now, if we’re shooting par for the course, we’ve abandoned some, if not all, of those New Year’s Resolutions we committed to with fervor at the start of January.

When it comes to resolutions, I think we need a different perspective. So, climb on your desk with me today and let’s O Captain My Captain it, shall we?

Rather than succumb to pop culture and dive into new resolutions, let’s take time out to reflect on things we did last year that helped us grow personally. I’ve been doing this and I’ve discovered a few tried and true things that I implemented in my life last year that really helped me grow and achieve. And since paying it forward is an ideology I ascribe to, I thought I’d share them with you.


This is a very, very, VERY basic concept, yet the longer I’m alive, I’m seeing it’s something so many people (me included) struggle with implementing. There’s a great book out there called Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I’ve watched the good hearted, kind people in my life benefit from the common sense wisdom that this book imparts.

You know the sort of good hearted, kind people I’m talking about, right? The ones who would give you the shirt off their back. The ones that so many people take advantage of and malign and mistreat and they STILL turn the other cheek. Yeah, those people have a hard time setting boundaries. I know, I’ve been one of them. So, last year, I learned how to say NO. No, I can’t make that party. No, that’s not a convenient time for me. No. No. NO.

You don’t have to be ungracious when you tell someone no. In fact, if you’re ungracious or hot headed, there’s probably something more deep rooted that you need to address, such as unforgiveness. Always deal with your unforgiveness. It leads to bitterness and a host of other things.

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.
— Marianne Williamson

Do you know what saying no has done for me now? It’s made me breath easier. It’s helped me be more honest with myself and consequently with others in my life. It’s helped me be stronger and make sure that I’m making room for myself and giving myself the opportunity to prioritize things that often get pushed by the wayside that shouldn’t.


Bit of a caveat here. This does not mean that you don’t behave responsibly and get all your ducks in a row when you need civic approval for something. Nor does it mean that you can go over to your neighbor’s property and take what you want whenever you want. Those are things for which you should ask permission.

When I say, don’t ask permission, I mean in a deeper sense. If there’s something you want to do, you don’t need to justify your decision to anyone. This idea that you need to have approval or validation from society or family and friends is something we need to deal with on the whole. You don’t. You might just be the one person in your family or group of friends or community at large who breaks the mold. Be different. Be unique. Be awesome. But, most importantly, be you. Don’t take my word; take it from Dolly Parton:

Know who you are and do it on purpose.
— Dolly Parton

Knowing who you are and walking out the purpose you know you have doesn’t require anyone’s permission. And if they don’t like that, I say hard cheese (see Breakfast at Whiskers post here for explanation of this archaic but brilliant phrase).


Truly. You really need to say it like Julia Child when you say it at all. And, as last year is testament, I said it quite a lot. NEVER APOLOGIZE.

In all fairness, Julia Child’s full quote is:

No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.
— Julia Child

When you’re learning what it is that sets your soul on fire and pursuing it with fearless focus (see Fearless Focus post here), then do not apologize when you fail or make a mistake. That’s how you will learn. Since Child’s is so inspiring here, take a look at more of her home cooked wisdom (pun TOTALLY intended there!).

I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes.
— Julia Child

Do what you know you need to do. Do what is at your core. Heed your innermost being. Don’t neglect it for any reason (see 2019: Time to Be Fearless post here). Be you. Do it on purpose. And if you make a mistake while forging your path, or worse, if you fail, don’t apologize for it.

These three self-evident truths have a root:


Implementing any one of them in your life will make no difference if you don’t first sit down and do an honest assessment of who you are, what you want, and the most logical and methodical manner in achieving it.

Again, Dolly’s advice is intrinsic here. You must know who you are. If you’re strong in your self-conviction, you will be able to calmly set your boundaries and adhere to them. You’ll be able to forge ahead on your course without seeking permission and validation from those around you. And you most certainly won’t feel the need to apologize for who you are and what you’re doing with your life.

Be you and, as Miss Pettigrew would say (see Comfort Cinema post here), to hell with their opinions. But know, once you’ve decided a course of action, there will be those who don’t like it. There will be those who are offended by your decision, who disagree with it. And guess what, you don’t need to apologize to them. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you’re attacking them or against them. It just means you’ve discovered who you are and you’re unwilling to compromise your core (see Trust Your Core post here).

The world is filled with great people who had to shirk off the disapproval and offense others carried against them in order to achieve their greatness. Julia Child was one of those people. So was Dolly Parton.

2019 is the year we will be fearless, right? So, let’s be fearless. Take it from Julia:

Learn how to cook. Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun.
— Julia Child

There you have it. Learn. Try. Fail. Learn again. Be fearless. And remember, in all the endeavoring and learning and growing, having fun, dear readers. Always remember to have fun. Mame Dennis said:

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
— Auntie Mame

If that’s the case, don’t be one of those poor suckers. Rather, do as Henry David Thoreau suggested and suck out all the marrow of life. Life’s a banquet, dear readers, so


What advice or mottos have made an impact on your life? Which ones are you carrying from 2018 into 2019? Please, please share them in the comment section below.