"Listen to Your Heart"

The song by Roxette is catchy. But is it good advice?

People are always spouting off about the importance of "following your heart." I usually nod in agreement because it sounds so right. But what if your heart isn't in the right place?

Let's "put a pin in" the fact that your physical heart isn't what all the fuss is about. It's what our heart represents: our truest selves. If we're true to it, however difficult, it will lead us to happiness and/or fulfillment. My question is, do we put too little or too much importance on our hearts?

At times, my emotional heart would have me pursue something that I intellectually know to be unwise. Does it make it OK to do just because "my heart" encourages it? Obviously, no. But then again, maybe it's not my heart afterall making these irrational gestures. Perhaps it's just a major artery?

This may be the most question marks I've ever used in a post. Not a great sign of certainty, on my part. That's OK. These are just a few thoughts that have been streaming through my mind during conversations with friends ... and myself. Feel free to weigh in to your heart's content :)

A rock star, an orator, a hero

If you're wondering why I'm such a Bono fan, check this out. It's long, but if you have the time, it's well-worth the listen. In my mind, this is what faith is all about.

This doesn't break my heart, to say the least

And no one was injured, so I don't feel guilty for saying it (click here).

The Golden Rule and my cashier at the department store

Well, I don't think we're so far gone in our society that we don't understand the concept of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we stop and think about it, this still guides many of our values -- "I wouldn't want to be cheated on, so I'm not going to cheat."

But is the Golden Rule enough to inspire good customer service any more? As the teenaged cashier set my receipt on the counter without so much as a "thank you" or "have a nice day," I stood in my usual judgment. Whatever happened to polite society? Wouldn't SHE want to be smiled at and thanked as she left the store? Then it hit me: Maybe not.

Could it be that we've gotten so accustomed to sub-par service that we don't even know how to show good service when the situations merits? That girl probably couldn't care less if someone put a receipt directly into her hand and smiled politely as she left a store. Would it be nice? Sure -- like someone's going the extra mile. But shouldn't it be more of a given?

Perhaps my husband is right and this is another aspect of outdated, pretentious etiquette we should drop. Afterall, it's not very convenient and will almost always set you up for disappointment. Should the standard be abandoned? I must confess I sort of like having a small semblance of social grace to hang onto.

Live from Texas

Hey y'all,

I'm writing from beautiful, humid Austin, Texas. The air is already hot here, but I've had a ball cruising the town. Lunch at the new Whole Foods Market today was amazing.

Before I forget, I've been keeping a small photo journal of my trip on my camera phone. Here is the first installment, and I really didn't have to look far to see it. I call it "You know you're in Texas when..."

The last week has been a good one, though it was hard to sit still at work for more than five minutes, knowing I'd soon be in the great state of Texas with one of my favorite people: my little sis. Before heading here, I had the opportunity to hit a Rob Thomas concert (touring with Anna Nalick) and it was really quite fun. My 2-year-old nephew is taking off with his mother for two weeks, and I didn't get to say goodbye first. Sighhhh. But he won't soon forget about me and the phrase I told him to say whenever possible: "Word to your mothuh."

Tonight it's chillin' with some family friends for a little "Desparate Housewives" and Italian cusine. Vacation is a hard thing to endure, but someone has to do it.