Thursday, April 23, 2009

Backwards Underwear Epidemic - The Noticer

You know you’re too busy when half-way through the day you realize you’re wearing your underwear backwards. Yes, I am ashamed to admit this happened to me recently. But before you think this is an isolated incident, you should know – I think there’s a Backwards Underwear Epidemic out there.

Please don’t ask how I know this. There are no scientific studies. There are no polls. There are no sane people who will admit it. I’m just saying that – in a metaphorical sense – most of us are walking around with our underwear on backwards.

We are too busy – too tired – too stressed – to realize our priorities are mixed up. There are school projects – soccer games – job searches – family stresses. And by golly, we don’t even know we’re overlooking the people around us.

We’ve failed to notice.

What if that changed? What if, for just a moment, we paused to notice the people who made a difference in our lives? What if, just for a moment, we told them thank you?

That’s what The Noticer Project ( is all about. It’s a challenge to notice 5 people who have made a difference in your life. So here’s my sad attempt to put my underwear on straight:

1. The Husband
From the moment we first met I knew he was “the one”. It took me a while to convince him of this, but after the restraining orders expired he came around to my point of view. In all seriousness -- it takes a special grace for a man to marry a woman who puts her clothes on backwards almost every morning. My husband is that special grace. Baby, thanks for loving me as I am. I love you.

2. The Parents
They count as one person, because they’ve been together for as long as I can remember. Staying married for over 30 years is rare these days, especially when you have to worry about what kind of fictional story your third-born will write about you in the newspaper on Monday. To quote my mom, “Your editor must think you had a really interesting childhood.” I did have an interesting childhood -- if the word “interesting” is interchangeable with “wonderful”. Thanks, mom and dad.

3. The Brother
I’ve come to accept the fact that I will always live in his shadow. That’s what happens when you have a scientific, brilliant, funny, smart older brother. It makes you wonder, what can I do with my life? I know. I will make fun of myself for not being scientific, brilliant, funny, or smart. Seriously, though – I admire and respect and of course – love my big brother.

4. The Sister
It doesn’t seem fair that she has to go last, because this is the point where everyone’s getting bored and skimming. So here’s where I use the shock factor to wake you up: My sister ran me over with her car once. Almost. I will never let her forget it, even though it was my fault and I walked out in front of her. We have both lived through a lot together and she knows enough dirt on me that I will not write anything else about the car story here. But I will say that with all sincerity I love, respect, and admire her deeply.

5. Over My Word-Limit
If I write one more paragraph, the editor is going to kill me. So here are just a few more sentences:

It’s your turn. Do your part to stop the Backwards Underwear Epidemic. Notice your 5. Then tell me who they are!


Tell BJ about Your 5 via e-mail, or twitter her @ bjhamrick.

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I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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