Category Archives: Al Frankin

I Don’t Have to Have a Theme

I haven’t posted a blog in well over a week. I have several first paragraphs sitting in my word documents, but I can’t quite seem to get beyond that point on any topic. I don’t now how many of you are familiar with the book “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart enough and Doggone it People Like Me” or subsequent movie “Stuart Saves his Family”. Both are written by the now Senator Al Franken as his alter ego Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley. You may remember his daily affirmations sketch, if not you can follow the link below and see it for yourself. Stuart is described as a “caring nurturer and a member of several 12 step groups but not a professional therapist”. The book is essentially Stuart’s attempt to write a self-help book of daily affirmations (pre-blogging days) and follows his battle with perfectionism, among other character traits, as he struggles to maintain his commitment to his job, friends, 12 step groups, family and his book. Because Stuart is a “caring nurturer” and a perfectionist the reader experiences a tour of the rapidly cycling highs and lows of someone who is just a little bit neurotic and co-dependent. And although it is essentially comedic, it has a bittersweet tenderness that reflects the personalities of anyone whose childhood been affected by alcoholism, neglect, abuse etc.
This is why Stuart is one of my favorite characters to have arisen out of pop culture in America. I believe we all have a little Stuart in us, some of us more than others. Today as I sat down with my laptop, determined to get out of this writer’s block I’ve been up against, I suddenly remembered Stuarts commitment to write every day…the next entry was dated a month later.
The truth is, I find great comfort in Stuart’s struggles with his self worth and I can laugh at them because they are my struggles as well. You can call it what you want, ADD (attention deficit disorder) post trauma, depression/anxiety or the result of a chaotic childhood but it is the stuff of daily life for many of us. And although we may have trouble with follow through and commitment and frequently lose focus jumping from one task or idea to the next, we are also some of the most interesting, caring and creative people I know. We don’t fit the profile of what an adult is supposed to do or be but instead we explore our options internally and with the help of other like minded individuals as we create for ourselves the roles we want to embrace, the path we choose to walk on life’s journey. We may struggle along the way, we get lost, we find an alternate path, we fall down, we get back up but we do it on our terms, outside the box of externally imposed expectation…and we are good enough, smart enough and doggone it people like us.

“I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough and Doggone It People Like Me”
copyright 1992 by Al Franken.

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Independence Day

In the movie “Stuart Saves His Family” with Al Franken as Stuart Smalley (I highly recommend it to anyone in recovery) there is a scene where Stuart and his friend are watching fireworks on July 4th. For every firework Stuart declares Independence from something that’s been holding him back. I think this is a wonderful idea! What are you ready to Declare Independence from?