Hissy Fit - March 2019

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Little Word: BIG PROBLEM

Hissy Fit - March 2019

I don’t like it a bit. That little comment—usually women—make. “I read your little magazine.” “How’s your little project coming along?” “Is your little problem working itself out?” “I just love your little house!” “I enjoyed your little retreat.” “Congratulations on your engagement and your little ring is so cute.”

I can’t be the only one who hears the venom coming out of these pseudo compliments. Or, maybe that’s just the way some people talk, and it is not meant to belittle, but it does—literally. It’s that one little word in thrown in to weaken and downplay. The word: Little.

Fact: The word little is negative. No matter how thoughtful or sincere of a person you may be, by using the word little in your compliments and comments, you are negating your genuineness and diminishing the compliment.  According to Merriam-Webster, little is defined as: “Small in condition, distinction, or scope; narrow; not much; small in importance or interest; trivial.”

Hissy Fit - February 2019

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

It’s February, and I’m still feeling guilty for not taking some cookies or a pie to my neighbors over the holidays. However, I should also feel guilty about not even knowing some of my neighbors. In my defense, I’ve only lived here 17 years. Lame, right?

Hissy Fit - February 2019


It’s February, and I’m still feeling guilty for not taking some cookies or a pie to my neighbors over the holidays. However, I should also feel guilty about not even knowing some of my neighbors. In my defense, I’ve only lived here 17 years. Lame, right? But being social goes both ways. I didn’t receive any cookies or a pie from them either.

That’s not the point.

This kind of thinking helps no one, and two wrongs don’t make a right. I take full responsibility. After all, I am healthy enough to walk over to say hi, and I’m not shy. There is no excuse for me not to know my immediate neighbors’ names and recognize them in the grocery store. What’s even worse, I know many of their dog’s names—Cinnamon, Buddy, Bell, Lola, Cowboy.

Hissy Fit - January 2019

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Weight! Don’t Give Up: Not All is Lost…Yet

Hissy Fit - January 2019

Years ago, I started on a weight loss journey that was life changing. During that time I lost almost 75 pounds. Over the past four years I have gained 25 back. Not bad, but I want to get them off because I don’t like the way I feel. I remembered a letter I received from a reader that had an impact on me, and that I wrote about when I first lost all the weight. I pulled it out to read it again and I’m glad I did. It inspired me…again, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Hissy Fit - December 2018

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Not Just Any Body: My Body

Hissy Fit - December 2018

Recently, back before Thanksgiving, I reminded my 20-year-old daughter to make her Christmas list. Her response: “I don’t like making Christmas Lists.” Her comment whisked me back to childhood, and I told her all about how I would make my list as a child.  “Oh, I used to love making my Christmas list!” I said, which lead to a delightful conversation filled with lots of reminiscing and memories. I told her about the year Dad and I went to Service Merchandise to get my mother’s gift. He bought Mom, my sister and me pearl earrings that year. They didn’t have three pairs alike, so we chose the identical pairs for them, and I got the pair that was a little different. I told her how my father rarely bought Mom or us gifts, and if he did, it was usually on Christmas Eve. Those pearl earrings were extra special, and I still wear them.

Hissy Fit - November 2018

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Not Just Any Body: My Body

Hissy Fit - November 2018

It’s almost that time of the year when visions of sugarplums become reality and cookies and casseroles lay in wait to destroy diets across the land. A bah-humbug attitude sets in because everywhere you turn your will power gets a pie in the face—literally. You wake up with full intentions of “being good” and go to bed feeling overly full and despising the poor food decisions you lambasted your body with. Alas, this is not another article about dieting, willpower or “being good,” whatever that means. This is an article about honoring your body.

Surprise.

Hissy Fit - October 2018

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Trick or Treat: I'm Confused

My eating habits have changed for what I consider the better, but others would probably consider the worse. Recently, I looked in my fridge and realized how much has changed. Let’s take inventory: almond milk, pine nut hummus, strawberries, blueberries, Compari tomatoes, romaine hearts, fresh broccoli, light ranch veggie dip, cage-free eggs, organic natural peanut butter, crumbled bleu cheese, blue cheese dressing and seven gallons of high-alkaline water. Good Lord, no wonder I’m losing weight. If I sat down and ate it all in a day, which is a possibility given the right day, it would barely add up to the caloric intake of a ribeye, loaded twice-baked potato, buttery garlic bread and red wine dinner. For goodness sake, I’ve eaten more than this in one sitting—hello biscuits covered with sausage gravy.

Hissy Fit - September 2018

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Responsibility: Pass It On

It was the middle of spring semester her freshmen year when I allowed my daughter to take her car to college, even though I wasn’t allowed to have my car freshman or sophomore years at that same college some 33 years earlier. I worked it out for her to park her car at our cousin’s home on John’s Island. She wasn’t taking it to drive daily. Her dorm was literally on campus. In the smidge of a walk she had to get to class, one couldn’t come close to finishing a Starbucks grande iced coffee skinny caramel macchiato with almond milk and extra whip because everything is right there…including the Starbucks.

Her selling points included things such as, “I can come home and help you more.” It was a compelling point, as Hurricane Matthew had destroyed the house five months earlier, and help was needed. “If I have my car in Charleston with me you don’t have to come pick me up for Easter.” Also a compelling point. A few more selling points combined with a perfectly delivered classic assumptive close had me saying yes. [I’m hoping she will major in business and go into sales.]

Hissy Fit - August 2018

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

You Might Be Missing Out: If You Sweat the Small Stuff

Hissy Fit - August 2018

You’ve heard it a million times: Don’t sweat the small stuff. That’s very easy to say, but sometimes, the small stuff feels like big stuff. The key is to try to keep things in perspective.  A traffic jam is small stuff. A traffic jam when you need to badly go tinkle and are at a stand still with no exit in sight is a bit more dire. A traffic jam when it snows, and you’re stuck in your car on the freeway for more than 24 hours and your children are at daycare and you are a single mom with no relatives in town (Hello, Atlanta!) is no longer small stuff—enter some well-deserved sweat. See how perspective changes everything?

At a concert recently in upstate New York, I not only enjoyed the music, I also was fully intrigued by watching people. As the main act—meaning the best band—started winding down their playlist, droves of people began to leave. This is when it dawned on me what people are willing to miss out on over small stuff. They were leaving in order to avoid traffic getting out of the parking lot. But here’s what they missed: The absolute best song of the night! It’s ALWAYS the encore. Haven’t they ever heard “save the best for last?” It’s the reason everyone goes to the concert. And. They. Just. Left.

Hissy Fit - July 2018

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Micromanaging: Way More than a Little Problem

Hissy Fit - July 2018

Micromanaging never works. It’s demoralizing. It oppresses the talented and shuts down the oppressed. Rarely does it inspire new solutions, encourage open mindedness, or stimulate positive collaboration. More often than not, experience has shown that when people are micromanaged, an insurmountable amount of alienation, pushback, and non-productivity is created. Basically, micromanaging breeds negativity, which is highly contagious.

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