Project Optimism: A Different Kind of Hero

We all have that somebody in our lives who can make us laugh until we tinkle a little. In my life, that somebody is my brother. He has the gift of humor, and his impersonations are spot-on. When he was in junior high, his teachers always told my parents that he was so quiet and observant. Little did they know, he wasn’t paying attention to the lesson; he was learning all of the nuances in their speech and body language so that he could perform for us around the dinner table. To this day, Β if I see his science teacher in public, I can’t look him in the eye.

My brother and I have always gotten along well (barring those normal sibling squabbles like me giving him stitches because he screwed up my coloring), and we’ve supported each other through life’s ups and downs. I went to his baseball games and cheered him on. He visited me at college andΒ harassedΒ my obnoxious roommate. I was there the day he had to have surgery on his knee and broke down before being wheeled back to the operating room. I was there when he came out of the surgery, high as a kite, asking the black nurse why there were no black characters on Seinfeld. The minute I had kids, he was very present and active in their lives.


Proud Uncle Mike holding a newborn Brady

My brother is a good dude. Unfortunately, he struggles with some demons (don’t we all?) and he is his own worst enemy. Since Brady was born, Mike has gained a lot of weight and is super unhappy with himself. He’s tried to lose, and has succeeded a few times, but it’s never “stuck.” Recently, inspired by my writing so he says, he created his own blog, A Different Kind of Hero. He shared the low points in his first post, and asked for readers to be his cheerleaders as he forges ahead with not only a plan to lose weight, but the intention of making lifestyle changes. His thinking is that if he tells everyone what he’s doing, we’ll help hold him accountable and support him on his journey. I applaud him for putting himself out there, calling attention to his struggles. He’s tired of feeling bad about himself, and I want nothing more than contentment in his heart. I love my baby brother and I don’t want him to be the sad clown any more; I just want him to be a regular clown again.

If you have a minute and care to share some optimism, head on over to his blog, A Different Kind of Hero, and give him your best Ra-ra Gooooo Team Mike! Today is the first day of his new beginning.

Make your own new beginning; join Anita and Anka over at their blogs, and start your week with a little bit of grace.

  1. Write about something that makes you feel optimistic. Whatever it is, write from your heart.
  2. Post MONDAYS. Nothing cures morning blues quicker than an optimistic attitude!
  3. Grab a badge by going to your dashboard and clicking the “IMAGE” widget. Adjust pic size 200h x 200w. The image URL: (
  4. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  5. Encourage the person who linked up before you. Kindness is contagious!

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24 thoughts on “Project Optimism: A Different Kind of Hero

  1. Thank you, Steph. I don’t even know what to say. You’ve always been there to support me and I cannot thank you enough. Although I may hurt you for posting that picture where my head looks misshaped, I still love you and am so lucky to be able to call you my sister. That being sad, you need to edit your post because even though I was higher than Charlie Sheen, I asked him why there were no black people on THREE’S COMPANY. There are my African Americans on Seinfeld: Jackie Chiles, the exterminator, that dude in the band with Elaine’s boyfriend, the lady that works in the bookstore where George tries to return the book, etc. Anyways, you’re killin me smalls with this inaccuracy! You’re gonna destroy my credibility! C’mon man! πŸ˜‰

  2. I love that “why are there no black characters on Seinfeld?”, so honest.

    Good for him. I agree, telling everyone you know about a goal, even if it’s uncomfortable, is a great way to hold yourself accountable. I will check out his page.

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