You Don’t Owe Anyone Excuses

You Don't Owe Anyone Excuses

Here’s a heroine I haven’t talked about yet: Marcia Brady.

It’s Season 4, Episode 18 of The Brady Bunch and Marcia has said yes to dates with Doug AND Charlie for the same night! What should she do! Fortunately, her brother Greg has the answer:

“Something suddenly came up.”

You don’t owe excuses.

My high school Latin teacher taught us this life lesson: Excuses are boring. We want to rationalize our choices, our lateness, our apologies, but most of the time it isn’t necessary. No one needs the whole detailed (usually boring) story. If you’re late, thank them for waiting. If you can’t do a certain time, take Nicole V. Cramer’s advice and say “that time is impossible”. Offer one or two alternatives. Don’t go listing out your entire calendar. One or two will do.

Sometimes it feels good to unload the craziness that just happened to you.

The train was delayed, then canceled, then they jammed everyone into one carriage with no air conditioning and you missed your connection and someone was rude. Aaaarrrghhhh. But does it contribute to the conversation? Most likely it will set a negative tone and bring everyone down. No. Fun.

Okay so sometimes you have a fun story! “So I can’t make that date because guess what? I was asked to be a guest on my favourite podcast!” or “I’m late because I ran into that adorable puppy I dog-sit, remember him? Isn’t that sweet?” These (true) stories are stories, not excuses, and hold up on their own. They are anecdotes.

You – and your time – deserve respect.

People should respect your privacy. People should respect your time, and the fact that you too are a busy and important lady. People don’t care about your excuses*.

You will come off as more professional, mysterious, and confident.


* Unless perhaps you use a raccoon-related excuse that is a reference to Friends. I would find that amusing.

P.S. my Alter Ego, Princess Xandra the Bold

How to Sleep Like a Princess

How to Sleep Like a Princess

Getting a proper night’s sleep is something I’ve struggled with all my life, so it’s been my project lately (one I bemoaned a few times on my appearance on Punk Rock Personal Development!).

So I’ve compiled a list of techniques that have helped me.

during the day: exhaust self mentally and physically.

Work hard, as early in the day as possible, and do enough walking or physical exercise to feel ready to collapse at the right hour. I figured out that the ideal time for me to do exercise is 3pm, giving me a spike of energy in the afternoon, which trails off by bedtime.

turn off the computer

We have a ‘no computer after 10pm’ rule that when followed helps my eyes rest and my brain calm down. I adjusted my iPod screen to switch to ‘night shift’ at 10pm as well.

listen to lullabies

On those days when my head can’t stop spinning, I find it helpful to listen to soothing songs. Recent favourites include the theme from Laputa: Castle in the Sky and the Braid soundtrack.

set the scene

Light a candle (my favourite is Isle of Skye Candle Company: Sleep Sensation). Take a bath with epsom salt and essential oils or Lush bath bombs. Curl up in cosy jam jams. Make winding down a ritual.

sip herbal remedies

My favourite nighttime tea is Pukka Love, and helps me to calm down. The act of sipping tea is also a calming process in itself. When I’m especially awake when I need to be winding down, a magnesium citrate tablet really really helps. I’ve tried melatonin, and it does pretty much nothing for me.

do yoga

Stretch out your muscles one last time with a quick vinyasa flow. I am an inversion addict as well, and find plow pose (halasana) especially effective in the evening.

mind your light

I know I sleep better when my bedroom is pitch black, but I also learned that it’s important to get enough light during the day as well, something to keep in mind, living in Scotland! I open all the curtains and turn on the lights during the day, then make sure they’re dimmed down in the evening.

take magnesium

I’ve tried melatonin, and it doesn’t help me sleep when I’m really struggling, plus it makes me groggy in the morning. But! Magnesium citrate does the trick, easing my muscles and tension and helping my brain drift off to sleep.

if you can’t sleep, get up

If all else fails, don’t subject yourself to tossing and turning for too long. Allow yourself to get up and do something: get a glass of water, read a book, pretend like you’re starting your day again.


P.S. How to Sleep in Style: Capsule Loungewear

Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

by Clayton Gerard

Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

Grand Rapids, a small riverside town serving as the hub of Western Michigan is a place everyone visiting Michigan should visit! This town exceeds the stereotypes associated with small towns to make its points of interest quite enriching for the city-bound soul. This town may be small, but is full of treasures waiting to be found that will make an aspiring heroine feel on top of the world.

Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

1. Grab a coffee and relax at Madcap Coffee Co.

The contemporary atmosphere at Madcap is quite relaxing and makes delicious coffee. Whether it is studying at a table or sitting on the chic black couches, you will start your morning feeling like a high class executive.
Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

2. Go shopping at MoDiv!

The shops inside MoDiv at Monroe and Division will leave you wanting to spend your paycheck, although window shopping can be just as fun! There are shops for both boys and girls from high end and low end price ranges, and when you’re done shopping you can stop at Scoops for some tasty treats!

3. Stroll along the Grand River.

 One of the best things about Grand Rapids landscape is the river where the name Grand Rapids was derived from. Whether you are on the river’s boardwalk or on the blue footbridge, you get wonderful views of the landscape and cityscape.
Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

4. Get lunch at Freshii.

When you eat at Freshii you are participating in a magical concoction where health meets taste. If you fear vegetables or even cringe at the term “green juice”, this place is for you, because the food tastes good and you will walk out feeling energized, healthy, and happy!
Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

5. Browse music at Vertigo.

On Division, you’ll find a small music store with a wide selection of CD’s as well as records. Even if you don’t buy much music, it’s a treasure to find a record store as they are diminishing over time. Listen to the music, relax, or just browse the broad collection of music.
Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

6. Relax in Rosa Parks Circle.

If you are searching for the hub of gatherings that take place in Grand Rapids, look no further than Rosa Parks Circle. This small plaza located in the center of downtown is a wonderful place to just sit and take in the city. With plenty of surrounding places to eat, it is perfect to get a box to go and sit in the circle on the concrete steps or on the tables and chairs set throughout the circle. Hey, and if you’re lucky you may be at the circle during one of it’s many sponsored events from concerts, to the world’s largest swing dancing gathering! There are also brownie points if you visit during the Winter where the plaza serves as an ice skating rink!
Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a Heroine

7. Explore Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Adjacent to Rosa Parks Circle you may make your way to the Grand Rapids Art Museum or also well known as the GRAM. The multi-leveled art museum has spectacular permanent exhibits as well as specialized exhibits throughout the year. For the artsy kind, it is a treat to visit, and student discounts are available too!
These seven places are my favorites to visit on any day in Grand Rapids! I recommend you check them out, and hey, you might be surprised to find what other treasures this lovely city has to offer.
Grand Rapids, Michigan / Fit for a HeroineClayton Gerard a designer, feel-good engineer, and full-time student currently operating out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He write about leading a life of success through unapologetic bold choices.
> Xandra recommends: Spring Cleaning for the Soul
Is your hometown the perfect fit for a heroine? I’m always looking for fabulous locals to contribute to this Fit for a Heroine travel guide series. Get in touch: