Thursday, March 29, 2012
Then lunch with 3 co-workers today - and I had no notebook. It was one of the most entertaining lunches I have been to in awhile. Instead of a celebrity deathpool, we have each picked a list of ten celebrities most likely to get divorced this year (don't judge) and one celebrity couple we think will get married (to balance the karma). So, none of us have picked anything right so far this year so our quarterly meeting was just a chat about life instead at the best Mexican restaurant in Suffern.
One of my "lunchmates" admitted to having had been in a cult, one's mother-in-law wore white to her wedding and one told a story of a friend who had a horrible first date with someone who may or may not have had an extreme foot fetish. We threw in a couple of celebrity references, not necessarily about divorce, but a debate about Kanye's talent vs. Eminem, and what scandals might break this year to rival Brittney's meltdown or the Tiger Woods debacle. The whole experience, again, laughing with tears in my eyes. These are the days to hold on to and wish for more.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I watched one of my favorite Food Network shows, "Chopped" last night and though it was a repeat, the winner offered to pay for the runner-ups ticket to Italy so she could see her grandmother. For him, winning wasn't entirely about the money. I'd never seen that happen before and yes, it makes a person a little misty eyed, the judges on the show teared up and the woman receiving the generosity from a stranger - well, she blatantly bawled her eyes out.
Random acts of kindness. Please include that in my newly revised list of things I would do with my lottery winnings. Imagine what it could feel like to simply pay for some one's groceries, full tank of gas, oil delivery, school clothes for a family (including sneakers) and deliver gifts to those recovering from surgery or undergoing physical therapy. The list is endless.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
In addition, I've learned that if I don't pay attention, my mind wanders off into places it does not belong and it takes quite a bit of work to get it back on track. In fact, I have often compared it to being like picking an emotional or intellectual scab. And so, in the spirit of taking on something new, I am opening my mind to have a look and see what else looks interesting to me. Maybe I should look a little closer at caring for my newly received Orchid (it scares me) or a language or simply how to breath in and out without constantly worrying about something or other (that sounds really fabulous). Good luck to you in your new ventures and hope you wish me the same.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
In turn, the mind reels and I think of my own fears and anxiety as well as those extreme conditions and phobias some may suffer. How does this happen? How does the brain spin out of control and so a person facing what some may consider an insignificant event like leaving the house or seeing a spider that another is paralyzed with fear and distress? What can be done?
Sykes describes a weekend workshop held by Charles Linden. A quick Google search reveals two websites:
For those seeking genuine help, this man and his claims surely seem genius and when one is racked with nervous anxiety but looking for help, this program and information appears to be a cure all. I have no opinion at this time, as I am unfamiliar with his actual "techniques" or teachings, but the hype makes it all seem miraculous and wonderful.
I used to lie awake at night paralyzed with the fear of my own death. I could not imagine simply not being here any more. It wasn't just a fear of dying a young mother and leaving children behind, it wasn't just about suffering or pain, it was the whole idea. Finite. Mortality. Does the thought still cross my mind, yes, but not in the intensity or with the regularity it once did and the curious part, how did it stop and when? I don't know.
I know of an acquaintance who simply cannot be left alone. Well, couldn't, perhaps they feel differently about it now, but suffered for years at the thought of not being in constant contact with another human being. Unfortunately, this person had suffered a horrible loss and was indeed alone and so the brain may have reacted by rationalizing, "If not ever left alone, you will not suffer pain again."
While the topic may seem a bit heavy for a fabulous blog, it is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that all aspects of life are far from perfect and quite mysterious indeed. The trick it seems is to wade through it all, decide what's important and deserves attention and focus while shedding the painful parts as nothing more than experience and lessons. A bit of suffering may be what we needed at the time to appreciate the fabulous bits or be more sympathetic to those suffering what seems to us like irrational fear and anxiety. It can happen to us all.
Sometimes we simply have to work a little bit harder at finding the fabulous moments. These are the times when they are that much brighter with a touch more sparkle and significance. I know I will see something fabulous today, I expect it and welcome it.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
I have worked it out that when I win tonight's Mega Million jackpot of $290 million dollars, I will likely be out of touch for awhile so if you don't hear from me, you will know my dreams came true. Seriously, what would I do?
Fabulous Top Ten Things to do with Lotto Winnings (in no particular order)
10. Quit my day job
9. Fund the young girl on the West Coast who is doing experiments to cure cancer.
8. Have my own gas pump.
6. Would have no more excuses not to write my novel(s)
5. All family members would finish their higher education and own their homes without worry
4. Start scholarships
2. Simply no longer worry about costs
1. Have all clothing tailored to properly fit.
I'm sure I could think of more - that's the short list though. What's your dream?
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Some days, it is decidedly more difficult than others to see the fabulous moments. Horrible images from last night's nightmare stayed with me most of the morning, a frenzied day, lunch at my desk, a harried afternoon, the commute home, unable to simply kick back and relax, news my older son has broken down on the highway... But, I know I laughed today. I know I shared a few stories and smiles, looked at the lighter side of things and decided which worries would be able to earn my attention and which to just let lie lifelessly and fall to the ground.
Deciding to let the dust settle may just be the most fabulous moment of the day. It will be there tomorrow if I have to deal with it or if the wind takes it away then that is the end of it.
I hope for healing, peaceful sleep, a calm house and safe family and friends. Extra hugs to those who suffer nightmares - they take a while to shake.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
And so, after work I ran into my previous boss. Yes, I told. Couldn't help it. Honestly, it didn't even feel gloaty or like I broke a promise because he really didn't seem to understand. (Picture the boss from Office Space...) I digress.
Today, the first announcement was a meeting at 11 that was postponed until 11:30 then rescheduled for "later." Hmmm, would the news break?
FINALLY at 3 o'clock, the department gathered with our Vice-President in the conference room and the announcement was made, "I am glad to share some good news with you all, we have 3 promotions in your department." The rest is a blur, but I know their was clapping and a beautiful orchid. Fabulous.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Alternately, when I think I am doing really well dealing with things by eating the right foods, light meals, working out, walking, writing in my journal, having a massage and my systems still backfire, I am truly stumped. Unexpectedly spending the day at home today under a clear blue sky with mild temperatures and the healing power of the sun, I raked out some garden beds and cleared away the remaining traces of last fall and winter (this is sure to bring on a Nor'easter I'm positive) and felt wonderful. No worries other than making sure I don't blister or rip off skin on my hands from raking.
What do you do to keep the stress away? How do you get it out? Or do you let things roll off your back in the first place? I am still finding my way and looking for more ideas to keep things balanced from the inside out. Hoping to maintain a regular level of fabulous with a minimal amount of stress invasion.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Today was the perfect day for sitting in a chair on the deck, sunbeams in my face and my yellow Lab, Maddy at my feet with a magazine in my lap. Yes, I had a short stack including; Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Health and Men's Journal. I looked at Woody Harrelson on the cover of Men's Journal and wondered why he wasn't on the face of the women's magazines. Honestly, I've never understood why the supermarket magazines feature women for women and men for men except women on Maxim and men on Playgirl. This really doesn't make sense to me at all. Yes, I want to read about Sandra Bullock, but why wouldn't I want to know more about Woody as well? Maybe I really can't relate to Megan Fox even though I love learning about 50 new tricks for my left over chicken (that's a stretch, but you understand what I mean) and so I habitually buy the titles I am supposed to as a member of my demographic.
Here's where the real differences came in though, in a side by side comparison (and to explain my methodology, I read the men's magazine first then Cosmo), it felt like the writing in Men's Journal was perhaps a bit more sophisticated or maybe I just enjoyed the fresh tone of voice. I didn't worry that I don't resemble the model in the ads for a second. I wasn't assaulted by overtly sexy ads or numerous fragrance samples. I liked it. Well, maybe the comparison was too harsh to I moved on to Health magazine with Christina Applegate on the cover. The topics were quite a bit tamer of course and the writing style was obviously different but I still wanted to buy another men's magazine. Maybe the lesson is to stop organizing magazine titles by sexual orientation period.
Here's a sample of what I enjoyed today...http://www.mensjournal.com/in-the-april-issue-woody-harrelson
Thursday, March 15, 2012
"My crazy old landlord gave it to me and I just like it so I wear it."
The coworker in question thought maybe she needs a better story to go with the jewelry. "Maybe I can say it stands for 'you'," she laughed and pointed. Not sure if that's going to work. Turns out, the owner of the necklace did not have a name that started with the letter "U" either. Mysterious-er and mysterious-er. Where are those meddling kids with the dog and the van and their marijuana smoking theories?
This morning, I had one of those moments and said the word, "unique" for some reason before running into the coworker and when I saw her I said, "That's it. That's what the 'U' stands for, unique!"
Seriously, can't make these things up. Fabulous.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Waking up on one Sunday morning with the clock a bit later than I thought it should be is a small price to be for being able to barbecue outside on the deck for dinner on a 70+ degree day in March. Grilled shrimp with risotto, tossed salad, tomatoes with mozzarella, fresh raspberries and blueberries all taste that much better in natural sunlight.
I'm sorry if the time change made you grumpy. For me, it's a wonderful introduction to longer days and a the warm season ahead. I'm looking forward to many more fabulous sunsets long after the dinner dishes are done.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I have a pile in my closet, in the storage area of the ottoman in the family room and a short stack on the floor in the living room. I am not giving it up. I am not apologizing. Every few months, they are purged and though it is sometimes hard to let go, they are taken away with the recycling next to stacks of Wednesday and Sunday New York Times - ah, but that is another story.
I have a wide range of interests from the weekly gossip and celebrity nonsense to parenting, mothering, cooking, and local or specialized magazines, I love them all. I rescue back issues from work; including Men's Health and Gentleman's Quarterly (GQ). In my dreams, I would write for them all - a different topic every month and somewhere, someone would have my thoughts and words towering one on top of the next. Almost like hoarding. Almost. But, more fabulous.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Some people may cringe at the thought of continually running into friends and neighbors, but especially while raising a family, I loved the feel, the vibe, the trust and the sense of knowing just a bit more. I sometimes wonder how things could have been different - who wouldn't? I'm sure my family does as well. It's comfortable like an old pair of jeans, and yet, if a person craves adventure or the unknown, it will take a bit of work but it could happen.
I prefer going to restaurants and businesses in which I know the owners and/or employees, attending art shows or musical performances because they are someone I know or simply trusting no matter where I am, I won't be far from someone fabulous (and it is likely if I don't know them personally, we will be able to find a person in common with little effort). Life in a small town, not so bad.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
It only took a few minutes to finish putting everything together and voila - dinner was served. I didn't even have time to put on my "ah- the day is over" clothes!
Yes, I said thank you, but really I am having a hard time finding the words to express how fabulous it was to come home and not really have to think.
Further irony, later after doing the dishes I sat at the computer and put on Facebook to see a photo of someone else's son - cooking dinner! Fabulous!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
For example, a coworker appeared a bit overwhelmed, buried in paperwork, fenced in by deadlines and barely able to come up for air. I may not be quoting her correctly, but a reference was made to either having mental congestion or needing a mental decongestant... fairly graphic without a trace of foul language or slang terms. Loved it. Made me laugh, I clearly understood her feelings and am looking forward to more.
This same woman has also said things like, "I am a firm believer in and strong proponent of, better living through chemistry," regarding those who need mood/mental health stabilizing medication.
Later that same day, a different coworker who is battling a cold the day before a major presentation was lamenting over her cold symptoms. "I can't believe my nose is crusty the day before I have to speak in front of everyone. It feels like my face will explode." Overhearing her another commented, "She should be a novelist. So graphic." (*Disclaimer: quotes are more paraphrased and may not be 100% accurate - I do what I can to retain details.)
I am enjoying the more creative verbalization and find I truly pay better attention to what is being said when I don't have to skip over all of the unnecessary expletives. Doesn't mean anyone should consider censorship of any kind, merely that I am currently a fan of different forms of expression. Fabulous.
Monday, March 5, 2012
An afternoon gathering of mothers and children with the mothers in one room talking, and the children in another assembling their own marching band. The children begin to march through the room with the women and they are banging on make-shift drums or humming into kazoos until my co-worker notices one of her own sons has a trumpet, with the mouthpiece over his nose and he was blowing with all his might.
I could not stop laughing. The image of a young boy with his nose pressed into the trumpet, serious face, marching along brought tears to my eyes.
Share your fabulous moments - the telling and retelling of the stories keeps us all alive.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
On the eve of a new week, another Monday, maybe you are feeling a little bit of dread, a bit of hesitation in facing the work day or whatever challenge tomorrow may bring, it may help to remember, someone thinks you are fabulous.
Yes, it's true. Someone admires you or maybe even envies you or a part of your fabulous life. Just as you admire others.
They may think you are funny, or helpful, or understanding, reliable, knowledgeable or trustworthy. Perhaps you are talented, even-tempered, a creative thinker or problem solver. Maybe you simply offered somebody a kind word when they needed it most or simply nodded your head in understanding. It mattered.
Yes, some days it is a little bit harder to see and find the joy, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
And so for those days that seem like you are dragging your feet, or hanging your head or questioning, "What difference does it make?"
Hold on to this moment like a Get Out of Jail Free card because you are fabulous, really.
And when you feel it again, pass it on.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
We were on along for the ride on his quest for a lifetime of answers. We supplied them when we could and pointed him to reference materials when needed. His journey began before Internet search engines and sometimes we actually went to the library to find out the "what's" or "how's" together.
He did like cartoons, but he was equally happy watching Discovery channel type shows and even today will watch "Gold Rush," or "Top Gear" on the BBC (the American version simply isn't the same). We've watched biography's, how things are made, Dirty Jobs and a few Animal Kingdom-ish shows.
Tonight (and yes, this has happened in the past), he stood with me toward the end of the meal being prepared and questioned me about the process' involved in everything from gravy from scratch, mashed potatoes (type used, length of time cooked, ratio of butter and milk and amount of mashing time), string bean preparation and the pros and cons of using flour or cornstarch to thicken gravy. The thought process is the same, he will take away the information, digest and return (might not be for a year, could be tomorrow) and ask a few "what if's" like "what if you used russet potatoes because they were the only ones you have in the house," or "what if you use margarine instead of butter?" I'm ready for these.
I am caught off guard when we are in the middle of something completely unrelated and he will ask, "how did you know you wanted to marry Dad?" I will worry that is shopping for an engagement ring. Or if he asked me, "What do you think you would want your grandchildren to call you, like, grandma or mama or what?" On that day, I will need fresh air before answering, but someday in the future, it will be a fabulous moment.
Friday, March 2, 2012
What are you doing to make your life more fabulous? I try to look for it every day. Many times I find repeat performances of fabulous - encores if you will, times when I can almost count on feeling better because I am with my family, I am relaxing, spending time with people or activities I love, recharging, being creative and having a wonderful meal are some of the constants. Watching a beautifully made movie, being able to appreciate amazing works of art and reading a well crafted book are also almost always fabulous moments in my life. Sunrise, sunset, walks on a sandy beach, sitting by a lake, holding hands, all of the corny things of greeting cards and posters... yup, they add to the fabulousness. The smell after the rain. Listening to nothing, the wind, the birds, the crickets, a favorite song you know all of the words to. Remembering. Seeing new places, meeting new people, building your world. Poetic words, laughing out loud until your body simply can't take anymore, the bluest blue sky after a storm, a cold glass on a hot day, a hot mug in a snowstorm, drawing in the condensation on the window, writing with chalk on a sidewalk, dancing, singing, a secret smile, talking in code, making a phone call to someone you miss, breakfast with friends, taking a moment to appreciate all of those fabulous moments.