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“You must be used to order and discipline, coming from the military,” the executive said. “Things can be fast-paced and dynamic around here.” He folded his thin fingers together and looked at me. The office was silent, gray, and situated high above the teeming streets of Manhattan.

I pushed myself back in my chair, swallowed, and tightened my left hand around the pocket-sized notebook I had brought to the interview. I started flipping through my mental rolodex of Army memories, trying to find one that I could turn into a pithy anecdote that would convey my ability to handle the open position’s duties. Fast-paced, dynamic, and the ability to multitask, were listed on the job description. Hmm, multi-tasking—here’s one:

I pictured Sergeant Tilley’s pistol sitting on the desk in front of me. We were in Kansas in our rat infested company area, a crammed 900 square foot portion of a low-slung one story concrete building. I was charged with babysitting the weapon after Tilley had been hauled off for questioning by the criminal investigative division. When I had taken charge of the platoon months prior, the outgoing platoon leader had said, “Sergeant Tilley is one of the platoon’s best soldiers.” At 19, the haggard teen soldier was still mischievous and testing the boundaries. He’d show up to physical training hungover, and would try to shock me and the platoon with comments about his rough, and possibly abusive, Oklahoma-country upbringing. Shortly after I took over the platoon, he found himself in a relationship with a woman, a mother of two girls, nearly 10 years his senior.

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Things That'll Make You Laugh

I don't know about you, but sometimes I forget a favorite funny writer only to rediscover her or him, months (or even years!) later.

And each time I feel like giving myself a gentle slap upside the head and think to myself how could I forget someone who's words put me in hysterics?!

So, without further ado, a roundup of hilarious writers for those times you just need an extra smile.

Funny Articles

Passing gas: A modern scientific history by Mary Roach (I just love her.)


Yeah, I'm Muhammad Ali by Mary Roach again (I've reread multiple times, and still, I end up in hysterics)

I Regret to Inform You That My Wedding to Captain Von Trapp Has Been Canceled by Melinda Taub (she writes for Full Frontal now)


The Bloggess

Advice I Could Have Used Yesterday

Dubaussi (thank you to my sister for this blog!)


Hark! A Vagrant

Cassandra Calin


This Study Helped Ruin Any Discipline I Thought I Had

This Study Helped Ruin Any Discipline I Thought I Had

Discipline Fatigue is a Myth

I read an article a few years back describing how "willpower is somewhat like a muscle in that it can get fatigued if overused," in The New York Times. After reading that statement, unfortunately, I started using it as a mental excuse for every time I skipped a workout, ate a box of cookies, or forgo working on a project in favor of binging on a TV show.

Somehow, I let that one sentence influence how I viewed discipline and willpower. "Oh, I used up all my willpower by getting up at 5 AM all week, so I'm going to sleep until mid afternoon and veg out on the couch," I'd think.

Really, it was a convenient excuse for not having to do the hard stuff, like work on actual projects that'd advance me to long-term goals; instead, I had an easy out: Oh well, discipline is zapped for the day! Time to slack off.

Latest for The Muse: How to Get Through Any Setback, According to a Retired Navy SEAL

When I came across an article called, “How Do You Deal With Failures? One Word…Good,” featuring an excerpt from a podcast by retired Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink, I was rapt.

In the podcast Egan quotes, Willink answers the question, “How do you deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeats, or other disasters?”

“I actually have a fairly, simple way of dealing with these situations. It’s actually one word to deal with these situations…and that is “Good,” explains Willink, adding, “When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that is going to come from it.” He used this response so often as a SEAL commander that his subordinates expected it regardless of what type of problem they brought to his attention.

Read the rest here.

You're Not Alone: The Joy You Feel When You Find a Similar Soul

When I find a soul who speaks the same language as me, who seems to be on the same wavelength, the phrase kindred spirits from the Anne of Green Gables novels pops into my head.

It’s such a lovely sentiment to describe exactly that feeling of understanding someone, without the dance of mismatched conversation. Instead, it’s that instant recognition of meeting on the same page, without any effort. Existing on similar planes, is another way I think about it.