#chestismsWhen Things Don’t Go The Right Way

8 comments | April 7th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

There's something so sweet, simple and inspring about this reader's advice to all of us.  Here's what she wrote:

You can take as many quizzes as you want or go to as many fortune tellers as you please but life isn't as easy as 1-2-3. You never know what's going to happen, no matter how much you wish you would.

You never can predict what will happen in life. Don't be so hard on yourself when things don't go the right way for you. And as much as it is hard to, you have to believe. I know how corny it sounds and how ridiculous it is. But it's the truth. Insecurity is just a way to doubt yourself. Don't doubt.  (end story}

Don't doubt.  Such simple advice, sometimes so hard to do.  You doubt yourself much?  When?  Why?  What's it going to take for you to stop?  Go on and do as she says...believe in you. 


#bodiesHow I Learned to Love Myself

4 comments | April 7th, 2012

enjoy your life

(story submitted by Annette, a Chestist)

You never know what words will change someobdy's life (even if it's yours) until after they're said.  Or, as in this reader's case, read:

I used to hate the way I looked.  I was teased for being too black and too fat.

But then I read this scripture "you are fearfully and wonderfully made" and it began to sink in - that despite of what others thought of me, I am beautiful just the way I am

That's when I truly learned to love myself and became comfortable in my own skin. I'm never going to be a size 6. I don't even want to, and I love being me. Sexy, sassy and wonderfully made!  {end story}

You ever come across a line, a book, a lyric, a painting, have someone say something to you that changed your sense of self for the better?  What were the words, and why'd they make a difference?  Maybe your sharing them now will help another feel as you do...let's press rewind and share what was said. 


#lifestagesWorst Day Ever.

5 comments | April 5th, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story by Nicole, a Chestist)

A few days ago we tweeted a question, asking what was the worst day you'd ever had.  Here's Nicole's story - about her 2 worst days ever.

My "worst" day got replaced with one even worse - it happened almost 2 years ago and shattered my reality.

At the time i was 38, the mother of two young children & married.  my parents' marriage was something i had always looked up to as the ultimate union - they were going to be celebrating their 40th year of marriage in the fall of 2010.  So when my father called me in May of that year to announce he was leaving my mom ---- i was not only shocked, but also very, very sad.  Not just for them, but for myself as well - my idealized version of their marriage was shattered.  i cried, my dad cried and then when my mom got on the phone, she just sounded numb.  She was as shocked as i was, as we all were.  My brother and his wife were completely caught off guard, as ...

#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 ...

#thecumulativeeffectHow Do You Deal With Stress?

10 comments | April 4th, 2012


Stress has got to be among the bigger haters on anyone's happy. 

No matter its cause, family, finance, love, work, something good might happen and you're waiting to see if it will, school, health...the list is as long and varied as the lives we lead.  Figuring out how to productively deal with stress can make a big difference in the quality of our lives and how happy we are.

So, how do you deal with it?  What signs does your body/mind send you that stress is running amok inside?  Getting it off our chests seems a fine place to start (get it?).  Stress.  #discuss.

#lifestagesBullied at 42

11 comments | April 4th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted by Mary, a 42 yo Chestist)

We may all grow older, but we don't all grow up.  Here's Mary's story:

Hi, I need advice.

I had a group of college friends (I'm now 42), we were all close. But I was the only one who didn't get married. I went through a depression, gained a lot of weight and basically went through hell. The ring leader "T" went of of her way to ensure everyone knew I gained all this weight and was depressed (instead of coming to me and saying how are you). Then apparently weird, lies were being told.

All I know is I got fat and depressed. But to hear weird lies, devastated me. I now do not speak to any of them. During my hardest days, they never called or came by, but many  said"Oh, "T" is saying a lot about you. It has isolated me and I am so sad. Their true colors came through.

My question is do I call "T" and give her my mind? Here's the deal, she will just protect ...

#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 ...

Love & SexNot Ready to Go

10 comments | April 2nd, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Ever been in love but not in-sync sexually?  That's the story she's living - with her husband.

i used to always be ready to go when it came to me and my spouse. but now i have no want ever! and it's just not good anymore, and i dont know why but i never ever ever get turned on.  The  things that used to dont now....

Why am i feeling like this!?!?!?!  I know im in love but.... i dont know what to do.  {end story}

Any advice?  Ever found yourself running out of sexual steam for your partner?  What'd you do?  Share your story., won't you?

#lifestagesGetting What I Wanted All Along

4 comments | March 30th, 2012

chestist swirl

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist) Sometimes it feels like life is cheating you. That it's not fair everyone else gets exactly what you've been yearning for. That guy or some material item. But life has it's own plan for you, you just have to have the guts to embrace it.

I always wanted what everyone else had. Until I got what everyone else wanted. A chance to be someone who isn't afraid to do what they do and stand up for what they believe in. I got the chance to go somewhere and do something.

Now, I don't even think about that guy or that shirt. I got something that in reality, it only seems as they have. I got something that chances are, they don't have it. They just pretend it. I. Got. A. Life.  {end story}

"Get a life."  Harsh words when said as they usually are, what with them implying you don't currently have one and all.  Sometimes they're true though.  We can forget to live life, and just kind of go through the motions.  That ain't living.  ...

#bodiesLiposuction Can Make You Happier?

7 comments | March 30th, 2012

plastic surgery

(OOC via Marketwatch.com)

According to this article, folks who get their lipos-suctioned and their tummy's tucked "report significant improvements in self-esteem and quality of life."  How bout that?!

So a few things.  One, we here @OOC are neither for nor against plastic surgery - we're totally for happiness and against feeling bad about yourself.  Our attitude, do what makes you feel good (and don;t do what makes you feel bad). Two, it kind of makes sense that patients who chose elective surgery would, on balance, feel good about their choice (though we're not sure these same #s hold when it comes to breast augmentation).  Three, this survey was done by a group with an interest in the outcome, which seems worth noting.  All this aside...

Have you ever had elective surgery?  Would you?  If you have, did it make you feel better about you? (We hope so.)  Plastic surgery, let's #discuss.



12 comments | March 29th, 2012

Get Busy Living

(story by 'A Mountain Momma', a Chestist; originally 4.25.11)

I have things I need to do. Supposed to do. Have to do. They are not done. I think about them constantly, but I do not do them. And I feel guilty about it. All. The. Time

I thought if perhaps I unloaded here and made a list it might prompt me into doing these things, these chores, these monkeys on my back.

I am going to print out this list and put it on my fridge and check them off as I do them. Let's hope it works and this list does not instead start mocking me instead of helping me.

Here goes:

1. I need to change my name. It has been 2.5 years, really get on it Girl!

2. I need to change my oldest daughter's name. **See above.

3. I have to call the cable company and bitch at them about our bill. I just need 3 hours to set aside to be on hold is all.

4. I have a laundry basket, dryer, and washing machine upstairs full of laundry in various stages. Calling my name.

5. I need to ...

Love & SexI Married The Wrong Guy

7 comments | March 29th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I'm thinking about leaving my husband.  I think I married the wrong guy.  I'm still young, I don't want to spend my life waiting for him to be the man I thought he was.  I'm so afraid to give-up and afraid to be "divorced" before I'm 28. My mother would never let me hear the end of it.  What if I never find anyone else?  {end story}

Have you ever stayed in a relationship that wasn't working, just because you were afraid to get out of it?  Do tell...


Happy HatingThe Space Between Extremes

7 comments | March 28th, 2012

chestist blue

(story submitted by R.T., a Chestist)

Balance seems like happiness.  It's one of those things so many of us strive for and too few of us find and hold on to.  Here's her story:

There are times when I think there's nothing I can't do.  There are times when I think I can't do anything.  I feel like my life is a pendulum swinging between emotional extremes.  I don't mean to make it sound like I've got BPD or anything, it's just that I feel like things are always going right or always going wrong and I just wish I could find and feel some balance.  I don't mind extremes, not the highs or the lows. I just wish I could spend some time in the middle for a while.  {end story}

What about you...you ever find yourself bouncing between polarities and that, like R.T., everything's either one way or another?  How do you bring yourself back to centered when the pendulum is swinging to and fro?  Remember, you can change her story if you share yours.  XO


Love & SexSuspicious Minds

4 comments | March 27th, 2012

green eyed

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Jealousy and suspicion can be quite the happiness haters, don't you think?  We got this story from one of you:

So, I brought a new friend, who happens to be single, over to hang out with me and my friends. I had my boyfriend with me, as he always is, and she was talking about meeting his friend who's also single.

So we hung out all day and all night, and the next day I had to go to work. But in the morning, when I was supposed to take her home, my boyfriend insisted on doing it, and I felt very uneasy about it. Why do I feel so insecure about letting him run a friend home? I've never felt like that before, but then again, he's never tried to be alone with any of my friends before. Should I confront him? Should I even ask? I don't know what could ease my mind. {end story}

What do you think - should she ask?  How would you react in the same situation?  You think she's making a mountain out of a ...

#lifestagesFlying the Helicoptery Skies

41 comments | March 27th, 2012


(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda) We all know that post-9/11 air travel is a completely different reality than what most of us grew up experiencing. (I say "most of us" because I recently met a woman my age who'd never been on an airplane. That kind of blew my mind. I'm talking about people who had experienced commercial air travel pre-9/11 as opposed to folks who have only had the dubious pleasure of the TSA-nanny-state experience we all get to "enjoy," now.) I am one of those people who finds the new regulations... well, they're annoying, sure. It would be much nicer to just walk into the airport, locate the proper gate, and head on over, yes. But I prefer having to remove my shoes and put all my toiletries into a quart sized Ziploc bag to, say, having my plane blown up by crazy people, so the bottom line is that I'm not that bothered. In fact, I am almost always selected for either a full-body scan or a spot-check of my carry-on luggage, and---given that I am, I think, a fairly regular ...