Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Aloha!! Toby Neal is in the House! A treat better than Hawaiian Pizza!

Twenty Things I’ve Learned as a Therapist and Writer:
1. Niceness: it DOES matter. What kind of world would this be if we all gave into our nasty, jealous, greedy, murderous, slanderous impulses? So, when in doubt be NICE and even though not everyone will like you (that’s inevitable) the world will be a pleasanter place. If you must, get those evil impulses out by writing crime novels, like I do!
2. Global Warming: if it wasn’t that, it’d be something else. Because of #3.
3. Death and Taxes: yep, no matter how you wriggle and squirm, they’ll get you in the end.
4. Gum: chew it often, it makes you smarter. Research shows it increases circulation to the brain.
5. Dreams: they aren’t just too much pizza and beer. Your subconscious is trying to communicate! Listen to it or it’ll keep tossing you off that cliff (or having that bear chase you, etc)
6. Dogs: they are here to keep the human race company, make us laugh, warm our feet, and give us stuff to do in the yard involving shovels and shit.
7. Chocolate: there is a God, and there’s proof he loves us because of chocolate. (I like creamy milk chocolate with almonds or hazelnuts, mmmmm)
8. Orgasms: they are everyone’s right and you don’t always have to be granted them by a partner. Figure out how to get some and get some regularly. (Men don’t seem to have a problem with this)
9. Old Age: unless Death & Taxes get you first, it’s going to happen to you. Planning for it and taking care of yourself physically are a good idea or you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to live, not wanting to live.
10. Nature: daily, extended doses will improve your perspective and mental health. I pity the poor souls who live in cities and can’t understand how they do it.
11. The Zombie Apocalypse, Piercings and Tattoos: I don’t get it. I just don’t. Chalk it up to the Generation Gap.
12. Laughing: also makes you smarter, not to mention happier. Laugh at Zombies if nothing else.
13. Doing Good: The best antidote to feeling crappy is to do something for somebody else. Next time you are grumpy, make yourself do something NICE and see if it doesn’t help. C’mon, I dare ya!
14. Money: You CAN have too much. But most of us will never have that problem, so don’t worry about it.
15. Jobs: It’s REALLY important to figure out what you enjoy doing and can make a living at because you’ll spend more waking hours working than any other activity. It’s worth experimenting around until you find that thing—then any amount of time, money and education is worth it to get to the goal. I love what I do and it took 12 years of college (at the speed I went) to be able to do therapy with people, and it was well worth it.
16. Stereotypes: they exist because humans’ brains categorize things as a way of saving energy. They should, however, be examined when they pop up as they may not be useful (see blog entry It Will Make You Fat)
17. Red Meat: I prefer not to dwell on where it came from, but I’m not giving it up until my doctor makes me because of encroaching #9. Very little food on the planet can beat a perfectly done ribeye with some rock salt and mushrooms. We evolved eating this kind of thing, so how can it be wrong? True, we didn’t live much past forty…
18. Health Care: We should all be able to have the health care we need, not just the rich and steadily employed. I say make a constitutional amendment to that effect, and yeah, charge me more if you must, for eating steak!
19. Cell Phones: I used to hate them. Now I believe more and more, we’ll do everything on them and hopefully save trees in the process. But people, please don’t fight, scream, gossip and grumble on them in front of others. We’re listening, and we don’t want to know.
20. Internet Friendship: Facebook has brought people back into my life I hadn’t seen since high school and deepened many a relationship. Twitter has brought hundreds of new readers to stop by my blog at least once—and I’m delighted to tell you, most people are exactly as they represent themselves when you meet them in person. I used to think everyone making friends online was really a paunchy, middle-aged pedophile in a pair of boxers, and I’m very happy to be wrong.

So there’s Twenty Things I’ve Learned, in no particular order. Why don’t you tell me some of yours?

Toby Neal is a therapist and writer living life large in Hawaii. Her first novel, Blood Orchids, recently debuted to rave reviews and is available at:

Barnes and Noble: Buy Link Buy Link

Smashwords for Kobo and Ibooks: Buy Link



Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I love to Zombie apocalypse and I sure wish I could chew gum!
I agree with #3.

Raine Thomas said...

Great post, Toby! I agree with more of these than I can list without confusing everyone. I'll add that I chew so much gum I should be solving complex equations...but I'm content just writing about it.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Fun stuff, Toby! You kind of scare me on the dream thing, because I have some pretty strange ones...

Corinne O'Flynn said...

I loved this post, Toby! I have learned that it is possible for one person the make a difference in the world, and that there is always time to help out when other people need you.

( I don't get the tattoos, piercings, or the zombie thing either!)

D.C. said...

Finally! My annoying gum chewing habit has a purpose! First the red wine, then the dark chocolate, now this. Everything is coming up Milhouse!

Anita Clenney said...

This was fantastic! Great list for the new year!

J.C. Martin said...

LOL! Great list! And YES to the ribeye and mushrooms, with corn on the cob and chunky chips/fries!

Thanks for setting off my appetite! said...

Terrific list, Toby. My husband HATES gum & my weakness is gumballs. Too funny. Now I have ammunition "but Toby said!" #hehe

I love the stereotype thing, only because I too believe that no matter how hard we try to fight them, the little boxes are there for a reason. I even discuss stereotypes in my new book -- which people either agree or vehemently disagree loudly and with great passion (and low book ratings). They get VERY upset! It's great!


Just bought your book, Toby. Can't wait to dig in.

Li said...

Hi Toby! I don't do well with gum chewing - I can't resist the urge to blow bubbles, which drives people nuts. Agree with the rest :-)

Gae-Lynn Woods said...

WONDERFUL post! Especially #17. But since I raise beef cattle, I would say that, wouldn't I? Rock on, Toby. You made me laugh. For that gift alone, you are the woman.

Candace Mountain said...

Well done Toby, I thoroughly enjoyed the list!

Trish Gentry said...

Loved the list Toby! You nailed it :)

Erica Lucke Dean said...

Great list! I need to print it and carry it in my purse!

Toby Neal said...

Gae-Lynn, Candace, Trish, Ericka,Rache, J.C., Anita, DC, Corinne, kelly, Raine and Julia...Thanks for being the gum I chew online, and for taking time to respond to my random ponderings!
Aloha and look me up on Maui next time you come!

Cathy McElhaney said...

Wow! Love the list! Wish I could chew gum...that is one of the big things I miss with having dentures...even the stuff that isn't supposed to stick, does :(.
I think one thing I have learned is to laugh everyday. At something..a pet, a joke, a child, yourself...whatever. I also don't see me giving up steak any time can have my share of the mushrooms though!
As for the zombie thing..I don't get it either..but maybe I will when my son finishes writing his zombie book!