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Good Things, Literary Ramblings and Thoughts, Love and life, Motivations, Non-Fiction, Other Musings, Writing & Writers

Monday Musings and Motivations — Part Twenty-Three – Mettle

I’ve always loved that word:  Mettle.

It means this:  A person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.

Omg, I’m amazing. My clothes are amazing, my hair…
You may be a very nice person, I don’t know you. But amazing? Hmmm.

I don’t think we use it enough.  We toss around words like amazing, phenomenal, awesome to describe anything from a scientist or physician’s ability to discover life-changing/saving discoveries and medicines to a reality show star’s conversation or hairstyle.  Their meanings have become as mundane and average as the latest YouTube sensation — here today, gone tomorrow, until the next one comes along.  But for a moment, they’re all AMAZING, PHENOMENAL, AWESOME, PERFECT with plenty of omg’s and lol’s and lmao’s surrounding them.  Sigh.

As a lover and writer of words, I try to use those adjectives sparingly.  I want someone or something to earn their meaning. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Words have weight.  They matter.  And once they’re out there, they’re out there — no take backs, baby.

Proving her mettle wearing a corset that restricted breathing whilst sitting and playing an instrument.

By the 18th century the word “mettle” (derived from the other one, “metal,” both being interchanged to mean that “hard, shiny substance” ) was being used to describe someone’s character, “the stuff we are made of.”  It appeared in The Free Thinker in 1719 in this phrase:  “I like the Lady’s Wit and Mettle.”

If someone described me that way, I’d be thrilled.

Proving Your Mettle

I come from humble beginnings, I suppose it was middle-class.  But, most everyone around us was the same way.  I don’t know how my parents were able to raise four children on their income.  I’ve asked my mother that before and she always says the same thing:  You just do what you have to do.  You make the best of what you have until you can do better.

My parents were creative, artists of sorts, but they didn’t make money at being artists.  My mother could make any kind of clothing, sometimes from cutting patterns out of newspaper.  My father could make furniture, recover it, reuse it.  Paint — not just the porch or house but paintings.  They could fix things. Grow things. There wasn’t a plumber to call when something broke.  It may not have worked perfectly, but it worked and we made it.   Mettle.

Just a few people who used their mettle. Pretty amazing.

When I think about all the accomplishments I’ve achieved in my life, those that mean the most are the ones that I worked my ass off to achieve, usually through not so great circumstances.  But there’s something about doing that — working through adversities and reaching a goal despite all the odds.  It feels good.

I don’t have any stories of walking uphill through twelve feet of snow.  I was fed, sheltered, clothed.  I was never hungry or cold, but I think my parents went through times I can’t imagine.  They lived much more simply than they raised us.

My mother told me that when she and my father lived in Germany they lived in one room.  Had to heat it with a coal stove.  People had just a few items of clothing — everyday clothes and Sunday best.  Maybe two pairs of shoes.  She also said they were insanely happy.  Strange how that works.  Imagine not having so many choices; that must take some stress off of you.

I’m not one to complain, honey but…..

I’m not saying I’d want to experience those kinds of times.  The “good ole days” weren’t so good for women and minorities.  But people survived through much more adversity and  conditions/beginnings that we can fathom today.

Their mettle is what got them through.  And we still see that today, people who overcome enormous adversity and achieve greatness.  And the definition of “greatness” is different for everyone.

Every generation wants something better for the next one.  My parents taught me what mettle meant.  You have to earn respect.  You have to work hard for what you want.  No one gives it to you and life isn’t fair — it doesn’t owe you a thing.  Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.  Life’s messy.  It’s your mettle that gets you through the worst of it.

I wonder what we’re teaching the next generation.

Then and Now

We’re kind of all in this together.

The generation now has much to work through in order to prove their mettle as well and I believe most are doing a good job of it.  They’re much more tolerant than past generations.  I think they realize the enormity of what faces them.  They’re coming up with new ways of learning and taking care of our planet.  They care about what’s going on in the world instead of their own little bubble.

They have access to it — the world, more than we ever did.  We are learning from them.  I think there’s so much goodness and openness going on now than ever before.  Hopefully, they’ll take a few cues from us as well, the previous generations — of what’s important and what’s not.  It’s not all reality television and mindless, shallow thinking.

Despite all the doom and gloom we hear, we’re living better than before.  Ask your parents or grandparents.  I think most of us have it pretty good, probably better than our parents/grandparents did.  We have the generation before us to thank for that.  They proved their mettle and now we have to pass that on to the next generation.

If my legacy was “she had wit and mettle,” that would be a fine one indeed.  Because mettle encapsulates a lot:  integrity, strength, purpose, character and having a sense of humor through it all.   Not taking yourself too seriously.  To me, that’s success, amazing, great.  If you think of all the great leaders, philosophers, scientists, physicians — those people who made our lives and world better — they had and have that.  Those who have that mettle are the ones I look up to.

I’m not sure what sparked the idea for this post and although it may not be amazing or phenomenal, it’s not so bad.

I’ll take not so bad over nothing special any day.  :).

Happy Monday everyone.

***

Read more Monday Musings here.

About Brigitte

Writer/Editor/Wanderer

Discussion

204 thoughts on “Monday Musings and Motivations — Part Twenty-Three – Mettle

  1. I haven’t heard the word mettle in such a long time. I had a teacher who used it, along with others words such as intestinal fortitude. (Guts) Monday again? ~~awesome~~ (The squigglies make it special.)

    Posted by Honie Briggs | September 24, 2012, 9:41 am
    • Ummm, well hope you likey anyway. Thanks. What squiggly’s — the painting? :). I must be not quite awake, nothing is making sense. Anyway, I still like the word. I think it’s cool no matter how old it is.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 24, 2012, 9:51 am
      • Absolutely I likey. Words mean a great deal to me. There origins, meanings, use and misuse. ~~is a squiggly -to make my use of the word ~~awesome~~ “special”. I loved that teacher who used intestinal fortitude because I learned that it means so much more than just having guts. xo

        Posted by Honie Briggs | September 24, 2012, 10:33 am
      • I meant “their” origins. Gahhhhh!

        Posted by Honie Briggs | September 24, 2012, 10:36 am
  2. Brigitte,
    It’s a tad off-topic, but speaking of generations, the image you’ve added with the hands around Earth reminds me of posters from another era, my parents generations, and Expo 67: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Expo_67_logo.svg
    Le Clown

    Posted by Le Clown | September 24, 2012, 9:43 am
    • Um, thank you for the pic. Not sure where I got the hands one but thank you. :D Appreciate the comment about the Earth poster. Happy Monday! :D. I tend to be a bit lengthy on these posts sometimes so scanning is probably the best option. And looking at the pretty pictures.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 24, 2012, 9:53 am
      • Brigitte,
        Nah. I did read your post. I am ticked about my post not appearing in Reader. I should have waited after being answered by WordPress before commenting anywhere. But your blog is a morning ritual, and I couldn’t help myself.
        L’Éric

        Posted by Le Clown | September 24, 2012, 9:57 am
      • Well that’s nice — thank you! Mean old Reader. It’ll be okay. Be brave little soldier.

        Posted by Brigitte | September 24, 2012, 10:22 am
  3. This post was awesome.
    JUST KIDDING!
    It was thoughtful and well written. I found it to be engaging from top to bottom, and I agree with the points you made. I appreciate, in particular, the positive light you shed on the current generation (mine, I suppose). So often we’re chastised for being lazy, entitled, or directionless. It’s encouraging to be described as tolerant and thoughtful. Always illuminating to read you, BB. Thank you.

    Posted by saradraws | September 24, 2012, 9:59 am
    • No, you’re AWESOME. :). Thank you, Sara. I think you are in that generation (you are 30 right?) and my nephew who’s 18. He’s got so many friends from everywhere — it’s nice. I think every generation gets more and more open-minded. I think we see the worst of the worst on media but there’s way more good. When you’ve been on the earth for five decades (good gawd) you learn some things. But I think I was this way (open-minded) from the womb. Illuminating is a great word — thank you, Sara.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 24, 2012, 10:25 am
  4. “I want someone or something to earn their meaning. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Words have weight. They matter. And once they’re out there, they’re out there — no take backs, baby.”
    “Because mettle encapsulates a lot: integrity, strength, purpose, character and having a sense of humor through it all. Not taking yourself too seriously”~~Best damn quotes of the day Brigitte.
    I admire your writing and I think you are extraordinary….and I mean this in the truest sense of the words.
    Audra

    Posted by unfetteredbs | September 24, 2012, 10:00 am
  5. I’m tired of all the hyperbole, too. Yet I find myself over using certain words because I’m lazy and those words seem to be a catch-all. I think “Awesome” should be used for the Grand Canyon and “Amazing” should be used for the internet – neither one should be used to describe a pair of shoes or a hamburger. Oh, and “Genius” should be used for people like Einstein and NEVER people like Jack Nicholson. (I hate it when people say that an actor, or his or her performance was GENIUS. LOL!)
    Mettle is a wonderful word and I think, from what I can tell, you have a very good dose of it, Brigitte. You have too much integrity to let someone walk all over you, to witness injustice and say nothing, to compromise your beliefs in any way, to be a slacker, to blindly obey, etc. I’d gladly hitch my wagon to yours if we were pioneer women. I know a gal with mettle when I see one! : )

    Posted by A Gripping Life | September 24, 2012, 10:05 am
    • Oh I love that word — hyperbole! I just love words. I think I read a book a month of so ago and it had “mettle” in it to describe a person and it stuck with me. We should write a post about words we love. I’m with you — the 7 wonders of the world — awesome, amazing. And yes, I know actors (the good ones) put much work into their craft but not so sure I’d describe that as genius. Einstein, Madame Curie…yeah, genius. Mettle is one of those old-fashioned words and when I googled it (yeah, I was lazy) I found that little tidbit about its origins. You seem to have plenty of mettle and moxie yourself, Grippy. That’d be good names for pets or goldfish or something — Mettle and Moxie. :). Thank you for your kind words — integrity is most definitely one of the ways in which I’d describe you. ;).

      Posted by Brigitte | September 24, 2012, 10:31 am
  6. Now I see your whole painting! Coolio!

    I first read the word “mettle” as “meddle” and wondered why you wanted us all to get into each other’s business.

    I am guilty of using the word “amazing” . . . a lot. And, I am fond of “fantastic.” You are right. If overused, they lose their meaning. Must come up with new word to overuse.

    Posted by robincoyle | September 24, 2012, 11:52 am
  7. I love words, too, Brigitte. I ponder them, look up their definitions, try to correlate what they actually mean with how they’re used. Mettle is a word I haven’t used in a long time…it’s time to put it back in my lexicon. And congratulations on Freshly Pressed! Yyyaaaayyyyy!!!!!! xoxoM

    Posted by Margarita | September 24, 2012, 11:54 am
  8. Hi Brigitte. Thanks for your post today. I appreciate and identify with your thoughts on the subject. Happy Monday.

    Posted by thehealthywarrior | September 24, 2012, 11:56 am
  9. Absolutely you will be known as a woman of “wit and mettle”.

    Posted by reptilesintheicecream | September 24, 2012, 12:30 pm
  10. Boy did you give us food for thought. Loved it.

    Posted by Change My Body...Change My Life | September 24, 2012, 12:34 pm
  11. I love this post! Thought I would get my 2 cents in before you became FP’d. Congrats also! Words have always been special to me and I love the word mettle, my grandmother used to use that word so I’ve always liked it. Now it will stick in my mind so I hope you won’t mind when you see that word pop up in my writings somewhere ;-)

    Posted by changeforbetterme | September 24, 2012, 12:41 pm
  12. Better to have mettle than to meddle… ;)

    But you are right–what a great word it is, and it sounds like it’s in your genes. :)

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | September 24, 2012, 1:06 pm
  13. I am extremely guilty of using words like awesome, amazing, fantastic, etc to describe fairly banal things. And I agree with you that many folks in the up-and-coming generations still need to prove their mettle. Different times, yes, but work and effort remain the same.

    Posted by Madame Weebles | September 24, 2012, 1:40 pm
  14. It’s always bugged me how easily we throw around words like awesome and amazing, etc. But I’m also guilty of doing it, no matter how hard I try to avoid it! I love the hope in this post! :) It was a great one to read when I’m just now coming back into the blogverse.

    Posted by Emi | September 24, 2012, 2:53 pm
  15. extremely thoughtful – cannot add anything–other than that I enjoyed this

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | September 24, 2012, 5:23 pm
  16. Whatever sparked it I much enjoyed it.. Will have to find a way to work that word into my vocabulary. It sounds so important and such!!

    Posted by free penny press | September 24, 2012, 5:57 pm
  17. Another wonderful post, Brigitte. Mettle is a great word, and I hope I’d show some if the going gets tough.

    My parents were young in the Depression and faced more difficulties than I can imagine. We never had a lot of “things” when I was growing up, either, but I never really thought I was deprived. (Except for those times when every teenager does who can’t have everything the “cool” kids have.)

    I overuse words like amazing, too, but hopefully not in my WIPs….

    Posted by jmmcdowell | September 24, 2012, 8:17 pm
    • Hi J, thank you! I never believed I was deprived either. I overuse them too and yeah I hope I don’t do that either unless of course that’s what the character I’m describing would say, right? Thank you, as always, for taking the time to stop by and comment — so appreciated.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 6:53 am
  18. I overuse the word “awesome” way, way too much. Something tells me I will soon be overusing the term “mettle” soon too. It’s such a great, expressive word.

    Posted by The Waiting | September 24, 2012, 8:31 pm
  19. Mettle is a really really good word, actually. I dunno why, but I don’t think I’ve come across that word outside of a Western, actually. It’s like, I can only imagine Clint Eastwood saying: “Ya gotta be handy with the steel, boy. Prove yer mettle. Now draw!”

    Posted by Drew | September 24, 2012, 9:42 pm
    • Drew, it is, isn’t it? You should get out more, dude. Really, that’s the only time you’ve heard it? In a spaghetti western? I do like your Clint Eastwood impersonation though. :D.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 7:11 am
      • Seriously… nobody ever uses that term in Singapore, unless they’re misusing it (“I like to listen to heavy mettle”), and to be honest I’ve not really heard it in other movies much either. And I watch a CRAPLOAD of movies.

        Posted by Drew | September 25, 2012, 9:53 am
      • Oh well, to each his own. Thank you for stopping by and have a great day, Drew!

        Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 10:31 am
  20. I think I’ve said this before, but you always know when to say what. It’s amazing. Uh….. I mean, totally awesome! Oh gosh darn it, you know what I mean. ;) I so agree with you about words having weight. I never say anything I don’t mean and it’s a little sad when I see people flinging around words and phrases without really committing to them if that makes sense. In any case, lots of food for thought here that I appreciate as always. :)

    Posted by lillianccc | September 24, 2012, 10:23 pm
  21. I often use the word “mettle.” Very few words encapsulate so many meanings and emotions, and it makes me sound smart. I like “grit” too, but I just can’t seem to shake the image of John Wayne every time I use it — which isn’t often. I also like “juxtaposition” and “penultimate,” but that’s another post for another Monday. Great job! I like the cut of your jib.

    Posted by Vincent Borgese | September 24, 2012, 10:30 pm
    • Hi Vincent and welcome. Grit’s a good one and it does make me think of John Wayne as well. I love juxtaposition and penultimate and the fact that you used “the cut of your jib” well, you’ll fit in here just fine. Hope you’ll visit again. Thanks so much.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 7:16 am
  22. LOVE your mettle. Your other words are good too.

    Posted by boo king | September 24, 2012, 11:06 pm
  23. Wow this is a great post. I love the word “mettle” too lol. I really think the WWII generation was the last great generation, there’s no 20-somethings that are as great as my grandfather or the other WWII folks. I know it’s totally against “comment etiquette” to self-promote but I actually just wrote a blog about the new Millennial generation that I think you’d enjoy! It’s a little more mean than yours though! http://bit.ly/OR4vVn

    Posted by Jeremy Truitt | September 25, 2012, 12:16 am
    • Hi Jeremy, so glad you enjoyed the post. I think every generation brings something good to our world, don’t you? I love the word though. You can self-promote here — it’s okay. Thank you so much for your nice comment and I’ll come over and read your post. Thanks again!!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 7:06 am
  24. Today, it’s clear to me that you have proven your mettle, Brigitte, through this post. I could see THE WORD shining on you. I certainly admire people who gives a keen eye and thought on standards.

    Thank you for enlightening my mind! Posts like this are worth every millisecond of my time.

    Congratulations!

    Posted by Sony Fugaban | September 25, 2012, 12:35 am
  25. It’s a word that has come up in some English literature books and bamboozled the younger Australians in my tutorials, but as far as I’m aware it still is in common use in Yorkshire (where I come from a very long line of battle axe women with strength and moral fibre that still have the menfolk quaking in their boots). Another word still used is fettle…the two don’t just sound alike they kind of make a nice pairing, like jam and scones……fettle refers to your emotional state, a kind of, how are you doing? how are you feeling? are you in good fettle? Having proved your mettle by being Freshly Pressed….. again (!!!!) I’m imagining you are indeed in fine fettle Brigitte :)

    Posted by wordswithnannaprawn | September 25, 2012, 1:26 am
    • That’s cool. I’ve read it in books, heard it a few times in movies (and not just old classics). I’m surprised it’s not used more and people haven’t heard it in awhile. Ooh, I like fettle too — thanks for that one. My fettle is fine and my mettle, magnificent. ;). Thank you!!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 7:14 am
  26. Love the old picture (probably from the 50′s ?). It reminds me of one of my posts – “A Home-Maker, What’s that ?”

    Posted by aboomersvoice | September 25, 2012, 2:19 am
  27. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.. once again. The post is wonderful as always. I always look forward to your Monday musings. :)

    Posted by hemadamani | September 25, 2012, 2:26 am
  28. How about poetry about Mondays? Come see! ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com :)

    Posted by Jonathan Caswell | September 25, 2012, 4:24 am
  29. Superlative post. I weep for the future of the English language on a daily basis. Thank you so much for this posting.

    Posted by windupmyskirt | September 25, 2012, 5:59 am
  30. Reblogged this on misentopop.

    Posted by GP | September 25, 2012, 6:23 am
  31. lovely post this is! great read

    Posted by emekatalks | September 25, 2012, 8:03 am
  32. Reblogged this on Emekatalks.

    Posted by emekatalks | September 25, 2012, 8:04 am
  33. Brigitte, I feel a little guilty commenting because I know you’re going to be busy over the next few days replying – Congratulations on your second Freshly Pressed! You’re such a great writer and your words speak to the heart so clearly. Mettle: great word, great post.
    Hugs,
    Cathy

    Posted by Cathy Ulrich | September 25, 2012, 9:42 am
    • Cathy, why would you feel guilty? The fact that you take the time to read — really read my posts — and then leave your goodness here means so much to me. Thank you and thank you for your kind comments, friend. xxoo

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 10:24 am
  34. Reblogged this on POKA-rt and commented:
    Says it all really

    Posted by POKA-rt Scrapbook page | September 25, 2012, 10:48 am
  35. This was too profound to be called monday musings. I couldn’t agree more about the fact that each generation has it’s own battles to trounce. While it is the norm that the level of prosperity increases with each generation, they still have to earn the stuff worth having. Thanks for the shoutout on the boilerplate vocabulary!
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Posted by aparnauteur | September 25, 2012, 10:51 am
  36. What free thinking. Just like a Picasso painting! Thanks for sharing. http://www.segmation.wordpress.com.

    Posted by segmation | September 25, 2012, 11:12 am
  37. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Mettle, as a subject, will be on my mind for the rest of today.
    Allan

    Posted by Allan G. Smorra | September 25, 2012, 11:30 am
  38. First of all congratulations on being FP’ed again, Brig. I feel like a bit of a jerk for reading your Monday post on Tuesday, but you’re so kind and gracious, you’ll likely overlook that I’m a mettle defective.

    Posted by lameadventures | September 25, 2012, 12:13 pm
  39. Congrats on Freshly Pressed and great post! I could definitely relate to this post and it caused me to think of my former students in the Mississippi Delta who rise above the challenges of poverty and violence to succeed on a daily basis.

    Posted by originaltitle | September 25, 2012, 12:53 pm
    • Thank you my Southern friend. Love your blog, btw and see that you’ve been Freshly-Pressed as well and you’re pursing your Creative Writing degree — how exciting! You must have some great stories of true mettle (you and your students) — thanks so much for stopping by and hope you will do so again.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 7:30 pm
  40. A beautiful blog you’ve got.
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!
    I want to be like you :)

    ObaFuntAy
    TT

    Posted by obafuntay | September 25, 2012, 3:30 pm
  41. I was just thinking about “metal” homonyms, and that one eluded me. I agree that “she had wit and mettle” would be a great description. I’d also love to have “temerity” right along with those! Great blog!

    Posted by Michelle | September 25, 2012, 4:10 pm
  42. I had to stop in again after I admired my Queen O Kindness sitting so majestically on the Freshly Pressed throne..
    You look fabulous there my dear!!

    Posted by unfetteredbs | September 25, 2012, 5:35 pm
  43. Wow, great piece Brigitte, we have similar views on things, please check out my blog and tell me what you think?!http://lovsnmua.wordpress.com/. Do hope you are well, really wonderful writing.

    Posted by Magnolia | September 25, 2012, 5:48 pm
  44. Reblogged this on Felicity Fox and commented:
    Some more good musings on this site, I thought others would like too.

    Posted by www.felicityfox.net | September 25, 2012, 5:51 pm
  45. If everyone proved their mettle, it would be an entirely different kettle (of fish). I wish.

    Posted by padraigoconnor | September 25, 2012, 6:19 pm
  46. Words are fun to ponder. I would love for people to say I have mettle, too. I think of my in-laws when I think of mettle: they came to the States in 1980, from a war-torn, poor Asian nation, with their toddler (who would become my husband and a physician) and not much else. Now, my in-laws own a successful business and have three grandchildren. Amazing. As for the words you wrote about that get over-used, I was reminded of something I heard our pastor say once, that he reserved the word “awesome” for God alone, for only he truly deserves it. Keep writing; I’m glad I got to read this post via Freshly Pressed!

    Posted by amphomma | September 25, 2012, 7:55 pm
    • Hi A, how wonderful that you’ve had a great experience and that your faith continues to inspire you. Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Hope you’ll stop by again and again, thank you. Your kind comments are so appreciated.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 9:48 pm
  47. How awesome is it that you and Madame Weebles got Freshly Pressed together?! And awesome is a good word in this case! Congratulations! :)

    Posted by jmmcdowell | September 25, 2012, 9:34 pm
  48. Awesome narration, enjoyed a lot…

    Posted by jithinjohny | September 25, 2012, 10:26 pm
  49. Great word, Brigitte! Honestly, I haven’t heard it much in my lifetime but I sure do know I was brought up on it–and yet not, like you. I saw it in my parents but was also spared it by having things much easier than they. However, the message was never lost on me. Even at times in my life when I’ve lost a lot and had to start all over again, I summoned up my parents’ mettle and my grandparents’ and all those before them and miraculously made it through. I know it was successfully handed down and if I had a child, I’d so much want them to have it too!

    Regards,

    Posted by finally_write | September 25, 2012, 10:36 pm
    • Sue! My dear friend — first of all, how are YOU? I’ve missed you and your posts and have thought about emailing you. Hope things are wonderful in your world. I was talking to my Mom a few weeks ago and said that word, “mettle,” talking about something my hubby was going through — how he had to prove his mettle. It’s just one of those words that means so much; that I’ve always loved and loved the meaning of it. I was brought up on it too and from what I know about you, you certainly have had to use yours. I hope you are doing great and I miss you! I think about you often so please keep in touch and when you decide to blog again (or not) know I’ll always, always want to hear from you. You are such a kind and decent soul. much love. xxoo.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 25, 2012, 11:00 pm
      • Brigitte, you are truly one of the sweetest people I’ve met in recent years! I am fine, honey. Just juggling priorities and waiting for the dust to settle from all the ideas I’m stirring up. Embracing somehow making writing an integral part of my career path moving forward… technical/business/creative. Trying to get something going right now so I can earn a paycheck… so ultimately I can get back to a normal routine and playing a little bit (aka blogging and creative writing)! Miss you too. But you should know I still try to read your posts and most of the time, do. :) A friend is a friend is a friend. Talk soon!

        Posted by finally_write | September 27, 2012, 1:52 am
  50. Brigitte, like your thoughts on mettle. For my reading, I find gratitude appearing in your subtext. Mettle and gratitude: partners.

    Posted by aroomofheroine | September 25, 2012, 11:08 pm
  51. >>>>”We toss around words like amazing, phenomenal, awesome to describe anything…”

    That’s a drag about how it’s easy to be called “awesome”, or “great” nowadays.

    So, upon hearing those words you just get confused rather than convinced about someone’s approval of something or someone else.

    On the Internet, people compliment others mostly not because they like them, but because they expect to be complimented back.

    That’s why even the worst of the worst on, say, deviantart has a chance to find “connoisseurs”.

    MySpace and Livejournal tried to demonstrate how it’s easy for us to make friends with each other – by diminishing the word “friend” to… well, I don’t even…

    They really deserved their sad, ignoble death for implementing the concept of friendship as just mutual “following”.

    Posted by Nikki Manson | September 26, 2012, 2:55 am
    • Hi Nikki, I do think we’re all guilty of overusing them, myself included! I don’t think everyone on the internet is like that though. I’ve got and “met” many great bloggers/writers/followers through this WordPress community. They are very intelligent and giving people who compliment, I think, for the most part, because they mean it. I’ve not experienced MySpace or LiveJournal so I don’t have knowledge of that. This blogging community is a new way of making “friends” but again, in my experience, it’s been a very positive experience, not a negative one. Thank you for your comment!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 26, 2012, 9:48 am
  52. My apologies for being late to your party. Freshly Pressed invited me.
    What a superb post! Someone once told me I had Mettle – I was quite young ( 20 something ) and looked it up in the dictionary because I wasn’t sure if they were being mean or kind.
    I too remember growing up with parents that ” lived within their means” but managed to make sure all 5 of us girls had dresses for church, bikes, skateboards, an above ground pool, dance lessons, music lessons and the start of a good ” Catholic ” education. It ended abruptly when divorce cursed them, but in the early years my parents did their best to put us on the path and I think they had Mettle. Thanks for the memories, I needed to be reminded of what they provided me in an effort to make my life better than theirs.

    Posted by Mountain Gypsy | September 26, 2012, 6:54 am
    • No apologies necessary, Gypsy. We learn from our mentors, parents and others “who’ve been there,” I think and then we learn from those who are just starting out — with new ideas. I think every generation adds something but those who prove their “mettle” are the ones who changes lives, who make things better for future ones. Thanks again for your nice comment — it’s so appreciated and I’m glad that your found the post relevant.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 26, 2012, 9:43 am
  53. Lovely blog and good advice here. I’ll remember the word ‘mettle’.

    Posted by frances_alene_atkins | September 26, 2012, 8:46 am
  54. Go Brig!

    Posted by Fish Out of Water | September 26, 2012, 9:41 am
  55. I really, really love this post. I love what you’re saying, and how you say it. And I’m totally in agreement with you – it would be something special to be remembered for your mettle. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    Posted by Audrey | September 26, 2012, 11:05 am
  56. What a thoughtful piece. It rings so true. Thank you to Freshly Pressed for directing me to it — and congrats!

    Posted by travelgardeneat | September 26, 2012, 1:58 pm
  57. …This is an inspirational story…a story that really pulled at my heartstrings. It is true you can learn something new everyday and be inspired as well. Thank you for sharing!

    Posted by Washington, DC | September 26, 2012, 2:45 pm
  58. Congrats on FP! This was a great post, as usual.

    Posted by RFL | September 26, 2012, 5:17 pm
  59. Reblogged this on chryzalynmaeysao and commented:
    this inspires me :) thank you!! :))

    Posted by cutecuteysao | September 26, 2012, 5:32 pm
  60. So glad you got FP. Congrats BTW. If it wasn’t for FP I may have not had the opportunity to come acrossed your blog. I really like this post. I really understand where you coming from about how so many adjectives have just been beaten down by overuse. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Posted by hunt4thought | September 26, 2012, 8:47 pm
  61. I love the word mettle…and your collage of people who could be said to have had it. Bravo!

    Posted by Kathleen Hoffman, PhD | September 27, 2012, 12:32 am
  62. Nice blog really.

    Posted by assamesesong | September 27, 2012, 2:50 am
  63. Like others, the last time I heard mettle was to “mettle in another’s affairs.” Perhaps the present economy will reverse this sense of entitlement. We had a saying in our family, “You’ll never make it in Africa.” Meaning, if you have to whinge about something, instead of making do, then…you’ll never make it.

    Posted by LutheranLadies | September 27, 2012, 4:17 am
    • Hi LL, I think you’re referring to “meddle” which does have that meaning, far from the word, “mettle,” which has an entirely different meaning! :). Thank you for your nice comment — it’s greatly appreciated!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 27, 2012, 9:42 am
  64. Congratulations on being freshly pressed (again), Brigitte!

    Despite all the doom and gloom we hear, we’re living better than before.

    This is absolutely true. The news would give you the impression that there are more murders, kidnappings, etc. than in the past, but actually the opposite is quite true. It’s hard to find reliable statistics on suicide, but I wonder if that, too is a product of the media.

    It is true that the newest generation is “more tolerant” in the sense that we use “tolerance,” but I see this more as a new set of societal rules that are observed rather than an honest understanding of tolerance. A case in point is how intolerant the supposedly tolerant can be regarding those not currently protected by society’s approval (e.g., polygamists). Now that everybody’s so tolerant, we sure do spend a lot of time screaming at each other.

    Posted by Smaktakula | September 27, 2012, 12:17 pm
    • Hi Smak, thank you for your congrats after I went over to your post and blatantly asked you to do so. Yeah, I think we’ve all got it pretty good and I can’t figure out why that screaming and name-calling goes on. Whatta ye gonna do? Thanks for reading and your comment — much appreciated!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 27, 2012, 1:14 pm
      • after I went over to your post and blatantly asked you to do so.

        I felt bad about that because I save all the posts on which I want to comment in my inbox, and get to them in order. So I would have commented anyway without the reminder, but now that just sounds like an excuse. “Oh, I was gonna comment anyway.”

        Posted by Smaktakula | September 27, 2012, 1:33 pm
      • And I should add (because I do such a bad job sometimes of conveying facetiousness), that I really didn’t feel “bad” per se, just a little guilty.

        Posted by Smaktakula | September 27, 2012, 2:49 pm
      • okey dokey, then. Feel what it is you feel, bro. :). Emoticon to express the emotion of my emotion.

        Posted by Brigitte | September 27, 2012, 2:50 pm
  65. Reblogged this on monologue.

    Posted by ulricalzr | September 28, 2012, 1:27 am
  66. Dear B!!!
    Congratulations you crazy girl!!!
    You didn’t tell me!!!! :)
    Well deserved, friend.

    Love, L
    xoxox

    Posted by Carr Party of Five | September 28, 2012, 4:50 pm
  67. Why this is certainly one to grow on! And, congratulations on being freshly pressed! You may not remember that I gave you ‘The German Chocolate Cake Award’ a while back — I gotta tell you — I had no idea then that your parents are German! Unless I read it in one of your earlier posts or comments and just forgot it in the forefront of my mind…

    Posted by Sword-chinned bitch | September 29, 2012, 10:02 pm
    • Sandee, my parents are a mixture. My Dad was in the Air Force and stationed there for awhile during their young lives. My Dad has English/German, my Mom has French/Irish, but I grew up in the South and have so many heritages, who knows? Really what does it matter? Not to me. Where are you??? xxoo

      Posted by Brigitte | September 29, 2012, 10:13 pm
      • Hi Brigitte! I’m trying to figure out some direction for my life, including looking for another job. I have one already but I may not have one after the Spring. I also thought I should be writing more, which I have not been doing. I scheduled my reading for 10/27 in a local cafe. Since I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, I thought I should take a break from blogging — as you know it takes up a lot of time. I’m enjoying sneaking up on everyone’s blogs here and there. Yours was a really nice surprise! See you soon Brigitte!

        Posted by Sword-chinned bitch | October 2, 2012, 1:53 am
      • Sandee, I understand, trust me — I do! Where are you going to be reading?? Thank you and I look forward to hearing more about what’s going on with you and you’re popping in. Thanks, friend.

        Posted by Brigitte | October 2, 2012, 8:16 am
      • I’m going to be reading at the Indian Road Cafe in Inwood at the northernmost tip of Manhattan. On Oct. 27th, I’ll be reading at 10:30pm. If you click on the link and then the calendar, you’ll see my slot, right before the screening of Night of the Living Dead — right up my alley! http://indianroadcafe.com/

        Posted by Sword-chinned bitch | October 2, 2012, 11:19 am
      • I am going to try and make a point to see you, Sandee. Thank you, friend.

        Posted by Brigitte | October 2, 2012, 10:11 pm
      • Oh — click on the ‘Events’ tab I should say…

        Posted by Sword-chinned bitch | October 2, 2012, 11:20 am
  68. Wow, I learned a new word. I agree with some words being overused, ones that should have more punch but lack the oomph with their quotidian use. I’m not sure how I landed on this post from my reader, but I’m glad I did. Mettle- let’s bring more words back that have oomph, or as I like to say, literary nourishing super words {like super foods, but words, as truly words sustain me}. Etymology also fascinates me, like courage used to mean to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart rather than simply heroic tales of risking one’s life. Mettle- will be working that into my repertoire! Be well, Brigitte :)

    Posted by A Renaissance Glow | February 28, 2013, 4:50 pm
    • It’s an old word but a good one with meaning. I like what you say about words with oomph! Yes!! :). Etymology — that’s a cool word you don’t hear that often either. I’ll try to work that one in, Kristy myself. Thank you for sharing and for stopping in — you are always so welcome!

      Posted by Brigitte | February 28, 2013, 6:32 pm

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