I try to stay out of the middle of things. Anyone who knows me well knows that I truly love people … even the little stinkers. I stand for honoring the dignity of the human spirit in people. My company is called Civility Consulting for heaven’s sake! I believe civility is our solution on so many levels.

This bathroom thing has me a little over the edge of my toilet seat … I am a simple gal. As vehemently as I disagree with others at times, I do not see any room to be mean to each other.  As I listened to the ridiculously rude and uncivil behavior this week on the news channels I couldn’t help but think that we are missing some key points in the bathroom debate.

  1. Can we all agree that we are grateful to have public bathrooms? What if you could only relieve yourself at home or behind a bush. That would be a real problem.
  2. Can we all agree we want to feel safe if we go into a facility… restroom or not … but especially if we have our pants down?
  3. My biggest issue: Did you wash your hands … or at least use sanitizer? I am such a clean freak, this is much more of an issue for me. Can we all agree to clean up a bit after our potty break?

Ok, now that we have at least a smidgeon of an agreement, let’s use some common sense. Here is some “uncommon sense” from my perspective:

If I go into a restroom, I do not want men in there. Sorry guys, but I grew up with 3 brothers and let’s face it… guys are just not tidy bathroom dwellers. Also, I have no desire to see you standing at a urinal, nor do I want my grandkids to be exposed to that if they are with me. If someone is transgender or gay, I probably won’t know. If Kaitlin is in my bathroom, I won’t notice or care …. unless she doesn’t wash her hands … If the government wants in my bathroom, I think washing our hands after using the restroom should be the #1 issue. We could stop spreading of all kinds of illness. Let’s make that the issue.

We all need the use of bathroom facilities from time to time. Guys go in yours please, gals go in yours. If you present as a guy, go into the men’s room. If you present as a gal, go in the women’s room. Is this too simple? There is no need to be unkind about it. If you are confused about which bathroom to use, that is not an issue we can fix by inviting the government in the bathroom. Let’s keep it clean and stop spreading this terrible illness of incivility. We are all human beings with bodily functions and need to use restrooms.  Can we please be kind, be safe and be clean? Now, how do I say this in a civil way?

Government, get out of my bathroom … um, please.


Confident people are happier. Confident people make more money. Confident people have happier relationships. Hmm….. ok I choose confidence! Is it really that simple? Well, yes it can be … even on the really, really tough days.

It was a sad, dreary day. One of those days when you look out the window at noon and it is just as gray and depressing as it was at 7AM. I had just received the news that morning that my friend of many years had lost her battle with cancer. My face was tight and puffy from all of the tears. My heart was hurting and heavy and I was furious at that despicable disease. Not a great day… But I still had clients to serve, people who were trusting in me to deliver my best. Of course, they would understand if I took a day off. I had a choice to make… Judy would have loved to have another day to serve her clients. She didn’t have that choice. But I did.

I took a moment to center myself in gratitude. The darkness of death cannot swallow up the light of life. I thought of those I love and how thankful I am for them in my life. I thought about how blessed I am to have the relationship with my husband that I do and about the happiness in my heart since he entered my life. I thought of my family, church, and friends who stood by me through so many tough times. Deep Breath Jan … I let myself cry, hurt, feel the depths of the loss … the pain of a life seemingly cut so short. When I could cry no more, I knew it was time to celebrate not only the well-lived life of my dear friend but also the vibrant life that I had in that very moment. An unusual excitement flowed up from my belly, an excitement that I was alive and had the honor and opportunity to serve my clients that day and make their lives even better.

I took a deep breath, pulled my shoulders back, stood firmly on both feet and basked for a moment in the power of simply being alive. In that moment my projects and deadlines were insignificant. What someone said or didn’t say didn’t matter at all. Life mattered. And I possessed it in that moment! I was ready to move forward in confidence and give this life my very best. I caught a slight glimpse of myself in the mirror and was startled to see the “eye of the tiger” in my green eyes. In that moment, in a flash, I perceived where true confidence comes from. The deeper I settled into the power of life, the more settled, peaceful and confident I felt.

That day, that really, really tough day, I caught a tiny snapshot of the origin of true confidence. The power of life in me bred the confidence I felt! This confidence was not dependent on my education, abilities or competencies. I knew I had the power to live life my very best, at least in that moment. Just the thought of it made me feel confident.

Is it possible that life itself can breed confidence … even on the really tough days? I say yes it is. It is a choice I make and you make to let our lives matter. In Judy’s honor, I say yes to life … especially on the really, really tough days.