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Life is too short to skip pancakes

(This article was first published in the July-August 2013  print issue of Viva Tysons Magazine.  Reposted by permission of the author.)

I often hear people speak of a time when things were easier. When life was easier. Sometimes — in the rush of places to be or tasks to complete — I even catch myself wondering when things got so complicated. Wasn’t it easier back when?

The truth is that life is still relatively simple, especially when we remember its fragility. So this summer, I hope you’ll make time to laugh and celebrate with family and friends. I hope you’ll savor life’s delicate nature and even relish in simplicity now and again.

To that end, I share the following 19 discoveries:

1. Life is too short to skip pancakes. They’re actually very good, especially with real maple syrup. Eat up.

2. Funny people are very special people. Listen when they speak, and then enjoy the sound of your own laughter.

3. [I never thought I’d say this, but] Macs might really be better than PCs.

4. Remember to be the caretaker of your heart. And know this: it’s okay to sever ties — no matter how hard or how close — when it’s really the best thing to do.

5. Warm weather is glorious, but seasons are very nice, too.

6. Pen and paper are still the best tools for raw, honest thoughts. Buy a journal and use it.

7. Speaking of raw, honest thoughts, the shower — alone and naked — is a great place for them. There are no distractions and no one to please or impress.

8. When kindred hearts are open, they see right through distance and circumstances to find one another. Let your heart survey the crowd.

9. Short hair is fun and trendy, but I look better with long hair. And hair grows back. Eventually.

10. Convincing someone is always better than scaring someone.

11. The “forty-something weight gain” is no joke.

12. The people who really love you are priceless. Love them back.

13. Parenting and marriage aren’t easy, but they’re worth the required effort. And then some.

14. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people read your mind. Just communicate.

15. Bullies make me sad, but when it comes to something so serious, activated is better than sad. Be vigilant.

16. Four-legged family members are among life’s greatest riches. They love unfailingly and are really good at judging people. If someone makes your pet uneasy, there may be a very good reason.

17. Share yourself by sharing your smile, your abilities and your time. Only a few people merit sharing your soul.

18. Curiosity is your friend. Learn something every day.

19. A kind smile is always your best accessory, but nice shoes and great bags are good, too.

— Leigh Macdonald

Leigh Macdonald is a hockey mom, magazine columnist and a former NHL cheerleader. She’s also a former law professor and the founder of She appears regularly on air as a style expert for all of Washington, D.C.’s major network news stations. Leigh is an active volunteer in her Northern Virginia community where she lives with her husband and two children. She has an affinity for beautiful shoes, white chocolate, authentic smiles and smart girlfriends.

Reflections of Erma