Food For Thought




#lifestagesWork:Life Balance is a Myth

4 comments | April 5th, 2012

dude, wtf

(OOC via FastCompany)

Say what?  Work:Life Balance is a myth?!  Knock-us over with a feather.

That;s right, from the files of things we already know, "work-life balance is a myth."

According to the fastCompany story, this myth is "compels many of us to view an ideal life as a set of perfectly level scales. On the tray on one side is your personal life. On the other side is your work life. With heroic efforts, you can keep both trays exactly level. If one starts to tip too far, you make some kind of nifty move that balances them again.  In reality, that perfect balance almost never occurs, except for those rare, fleeting moments when the trays pass each other on the way up or down--and we’re too frazzled to appreciate that brief moment of self-actualization anyway."

We don't mean to be all cyncial but um, yea.  Live it, got it.  The article does continue to say that what we really want is control, and thatwe tend to confuse a want for control with a want for balance, and that makes sense.

What would you rather have ...

#lifestages33 Is The Happiest Year of Our Lives

6 comments | April 3rd, 2012


(OOC via Time)

New research finds that the happiest year of our lives is 33.  How's that for specificity?

A British study found 70% of respondents over the age of 40 saying they weren't "truly happy" until they got to the magical double 3s.

“The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naiveté and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth,” psychologist Donna Dawson said in the survey’s findings. “By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a ‘can do’ spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities.”

Interestingly, just 16% of the respondents pined for their grade school years, and only 6% said they were happiest when in college. 

Digging a little deeper, happiness at 33 was a result of a nice mixture of doing well professionally and  having a support system made up of family and friends. "Not surprisingly, 36% said they were happiest when they had children" which suggests to us that 64% didn't say that (we're good at ...

#bodiesWhat Is Prettiness (and Why’s It Matter)?

9 comments | April 2nd, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story originally submitted as a comment to Distortion, by Mir)

What is it about prettiness that makes us care so much (me included)?

We fight “you’re not pretty” messages with “yes you are, everyone’s pretty!” messages. We don’t feel a need to tell everyone that they’re athletic, or agile, or a story-teller, or musical, or scientific-minded, or a great linguist. We accept that there are degrees of talent or luck and if you’re at the low end of these, that’s fine. Go be great at the things you’re great at.

Kind-of drives home how much prettiness matters, which is just weird.  {end story}  

Why do we care so much about "prettiness"?  Do you care about prettiness?  What do you think pretty is?


7 comments | March 27th, 2012


Ok, so we said "acceptance" and you thought...what?  You ever not been accepted or maybe been the one who didn't (or doesn't) do the accepting?  How'd that feel?  How'd it shape who you are and how you feel today?  We say accepting is cool.  Let's do more of it - especially when it comes to accepting ourselves.  And others too.  And that which we can not change....

#chestismsEnough, a Chestism, by Oprah

9 comments | March 26th, 2012


Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.  

Words from the wise.  Do you agree...or do you think to yourself, "that's easy for her to say, she's Oprah"?


Let's #discuss.

Happy MakingWant to Live Longer?

5 comments | March 15th, 2012


(story by OOC, via CBSNews, on OOC repeat)

The key to your life's longevity just may be your happiness according to research from the U.K.  Talk about a marriage of qaulity and quantity, according to the study published here (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences),  "those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 percent reduced risk of death compared with those who reported feeling least happy."

And 35% ain't nothing.

The researchers came to their conclusions, which they shared with CBS This Morning, by tracking participants 52 to 79 years old for 5 years, finding that those who'd been the most positive on the first day of the study also were the least likely to die over the five year period, and those who were most "negative" were more likely to die.

If not for nothing, the lead researcher shared her conviction that "happiness makes a profound difference on overall health...(and that) literally, being happy saved their lives."

Well, the happy story has a hiccup we explore a lot here @OOC...what exactly are the keys to happiness?  While no easy answers come from this research, they did point to things like ...

#bodiesNo Such Thing As Balance

8 comments | March 14th, 2012

ying yang

(story by OOC via, first posted 8.29.11 and again now))

We bumped into this on our travels around the interwebs, really loved it, and thought you would too.  Here you go:

"I interviewed  a researcher about attaining a work-life balance. Her first words to me were: There’s no such thing as balance.

And trying to reach a so-called balance is akin to reaching perfection. In other words, it’s not going to happen, and we’re going to drive ourselves insane along the way..."

No here's where the article get's really interesting and provocative (to us, anyway).  The author, a body image blogger, begins to explore balance in the context of body image.  We dig her take...a lot.  Here she goes:

But when people say balance, I think what they typically mean is a happy medium or not residing on either side of the spectrum. At least that’s the way I view balance.  With body image, I see a deeply negative body image at one end of the spectrum – where you hate your body, ignore its signals and rarely look after it – and an unrealistically positive ...

#chestismsMaximizing Happiness. At Lunch.

6 comments | March 5th, 2012


(by OOC via CBSNews)

Oh, money.  You taunt us, you tease us, you buy us pretty things.  Sometimes.  But do you make us happier, and if you do, how do you do it?

These are age old thoughts and questions, no?  Wll, according to the author of "All the Money in the World" if we want to spend our money on that which'll make us happiest, it's time to stop buying things and start speding on experiences - experiences we've planned for.  Here's why (from the original article):

"Experiences are harder to get used to than things, because they are always different...So what do the happiest people do on their lunch hour?

They treat a friend to lunch. Preferably, a lunch they've planned well ahead of time.

Here's why. Planned pleasant experiences give you a triple happiness whammy. You anticipate them beforehand -- and as any kid waiting for Christmas knows, anticipation is often as pleasurable as the experience itself. You live through your adventures, and then you savor the memory afterwards. Eating is, of course, one of the most pleasurable things people do. In one study in which women ...

#lifestagesI Don’t Want To Have Babies

17 comments | March 3rd, 2012

chestist enthralled

(submitted by Angela, a Chestist.  Originally posted 5.18.11, and again now)

I'm a 35 year old female, married to a wonderful man, educated, working at a good job, but I have a confession to make.  This confession has taken me several years to actually realize.  Here it is...ready? (You may think you are, but I don't know!)

Okay...I don't really want to have babies!

There, I said it.  Do I still get to keep my Woman Card?  I feel like I’ll be booted out of the club for daring such a thought, the lone woman out in a world obsessed with fertility.

What I do know is that my hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant for about 5 years now - our progress is one ectopic pregnancy and...well, that's it!  He and I both have some fertility issues, meaning our reproductive organs aren't exactly working in rabbit-like fashion.  Okay, so no big deal, right?  Take some fertility drugs, try a couple (or more) of In-Vitro fertilizations, and just pop some out!  Or adopt a bunch, there are kids everywhere who don't have families!  Or get your mom ...

#bodiesWhy We Self-Harm

7 comments | February 22nd, 2012

Chestist grunge

Commenting on this amazing story, 1 Chestist wondered why some of us self-harm.  The answer she got from one of you (anonymously) is worth its own space.  Here's her answer to why we self-harm:

Sometimes, specific physical pain provides a way to refocus the mind, away from other pains. Sometimes, it cuts through an emotional fog and deadness, and it’s the only way to feel alive. Sometimes, when everything in the world is completely out of control, it’s the one single thing under control. Sometimes, it’s not even really pain, it’s sheer intensity. Sometimes, it’s not even really the pain, it’s the meaning in the blood or the bruise or the burn. Sometimes, the emotions are so strong and feel so uncontrollable that lashing out is the only possible thing to do, and then it’s just about who or what is the target.

Punching walls, throwing things, screaming; those are externalized techniques for letting out stress. Cutting or burning (or sometimes overexertion) are internalized techniques.

Most of the time, these techniques are not healthy coping mechanisms. But they’re not incomprehensible if you can get a sense of the desperation and ...

Happy HatingPlaying It (Much Too) Safe

7 comments | January 27th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Sometimes playing things safe hurts and hinders us a lot more than taking risks ever would.  Here's her story about just this:

I've made my life so safe - safe from rejection, safe from getting involved, safe from feeling, safe, safe, safe.

So much that I've numbed, denied, lied and just turned away from me, what I want, what I feel, my dreams, my hopes. I've become what I thought others would expect in order to be safe. No rocking the boat. Or causing anyone to reject or dislike me. So I'm in a jail of my own making. And fearful that I've ruined my life. I'm not a young girl anymore. I'm afraid I'm going to keep missing life since I can't get out of my own way.

This isn't the life that I wanted nor thought I'd have. It's amazing how wounds can shape our lives and choices. {end story}

It seems pretty easy to relate to this afterall, who hasn't taken the easy way out sometimes?  When sometimes becomes all the time, we may be playing it safe, but we risk ...

#thecumulativeeffectWhat’s in a Word?

24 comments | January 24th, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

So I'm currently in the middle of rehearsals for a local production of "The Vagina Monologues," and I can already tell you that this experience is invigorating in a dozen different ways. (Not the least of which being that I haven't been on stage in twenty years, and memorizing lines seems a lot more complicated now than it did back then.)

One of the things that's happening as a result of my involvement is that I find myself thinking about words a lot more often. (Warning! Profanity ahead!) If you've never seen the show, there's an entire monologue about the word "cunt." Now, I'm one of those people who believes in using proper words for learning about body parts, but that aside, I can honestly say that "cunt" probably tops the list of my least-favorite words for the female anatomy. (In can you're curious, "twat" comes in as a distant second.) Prior to "The Vagina Monologues" I've only ever heard cunt used as the basest of insults. Calling a woman a cunt is meant to reduce her to nothing but a receptacle ...

#chestismsWhat Was It You Expected?

2 comments | January 23rd, 2012


(by OOC via NYT)

I had a spinal tap years ago.  I expected that it would be wildly and deeply painful.  Fact is, it was over before I knew it started and I didn't feel a thing.

There was an interesting story in the NYT a week ago, about the difference expectations make - be they high or low, good or bad - in determining our sense of well-being.

As we read the article (and we suggest you guys do too), we couldn't hep but wonder if managing expectations is really all about managing disappointment...whether ours or another's.  Really, how often have you gone to a movie or read a book or gone to a restaurant or listened to a song that everyone's talking about and thought "I liked it, but not as much as I expected"? 

New Year's Eve. Thanksgiving.  Anniversaries, Birthday's, Saturday Nights, a first date, your wedding, your 20s, our parents, children, friends....??!!  Filled with expectations, right?  Turns out that when we expect something to happen, there's a "general release of dopamine"  (that's a good thing), but when our expectations go unmet "our ...

Happy MakingI Wish

9 comments | January 13th, 2012


Go on, make a wish.  Share with us - and each other - one thing you wish for.  It could be for you or someone else.  Or both, or maybe all of us.  Here @OOC HQ, we believe we have to speak it outloud, share it with another, to help the universe bring wishes to fruition.  Go on...what do you have to lose?  What are you wishing for?



#chestismsHome. The Word of The Day.

7 comments | January 12th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

We said"home"...what (or who) did you think of? 

How'd it make you feel?  Go on and #discuss.