A Sandy Springs author puts a new spin on “LOL”
STORY: H.M. Cauley
In texting lingo, “LOL” means “laughing out loud,” though some have mistakenly interpreted those letters as “love you lots.” Sandy Springs author Robyn Spizman now offers another option with the title of her latest book, Loving Out Loud: The Power of a Kind Word.
The prolific writer, who has penned books on topics ranging from buying the perfect gift to tips for working from home, hasn’t kept a strict count, but she’s pretty sure this is her 75th and best work to date.
“I grew up in a loving out loud world,” says Spizman. “So this book is a celebration of how I was raised and what I believe is wonderful and meaningful in life.” The idea came together when Spizman gave her mother’s eulogy three years ago. “I said, ‘If Phyllis Freedman loved you, you were loved out loud,’” she says. “I realized I personally need to be loved out loud, and not with insincere compliments or false praise. I had to study why I’m so motivated and inspired by words. When you look into the research, you realize we need to hear positive statements and powerful words that tell us our lives matter.”
About a year ago, Spizman began recording her own experiences and others’ personal stories, and delving into expert opinions on building better relationships. “I started interviewing everyone about a time in their lives when they felt loved. Not just romantic love, but the kind of love friends share, or a relative or family member shares, or with something someone did that made time stand still. And the stories were profound.”
Those stories are sprinkled throughout the book, in chapters that cover ways to put loving out loud into practical action, whether it’s leaving a sticky note that says “Good morning, beautiful” for a spouse (something her husband, Ed, does regularly), baking a strudel, modeling positive reinforcement for kids or even writing a poignant eulogy.
“It’s an act of kindness to tell a boss that their employee is awesome or to stop long enough to make eye contact with someone and call them by name,” says Spizman. “It’s about slowing down and thinking of ways to connect with people.”
The book is also a thank you to the people whom Spizman, 66, says have touched her in many ways, from colleagues who support her appearances on local TV to volunteers at various philanthropic projects and her own six grandchildren.
“My mother insisted that when she died we put on her headstone the words, ‘She tried.’ I told her she succeeded by trying to find ways to better other people’s lives,” says Spizman. “When people are kind and thoughtful to you, you pass it on, and you start living a very full life. I’m enjoying life more now than ever. I think every day, Am I a good mother, wife, friend? Did I stop to do something that would make someone feel appreciated? Sometimes it’s so simple.”
Robyn Spizman will be the keynote speaker at the Sandy Springs Society’s fall luncheon on Sept. 24. For information about her other appearances and to find copies of Loving Out Loud, visit robynspizman.com.
Atlanta-based writer and editor contributing to a number of local and state-wide publications. Instructor in Georgia State’s Communication department and Emory’s Continuing Education division.