Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Living With Buddha

photo cred @saramoe
I should start this post by saying, I don't really know anything about Buddha or Buddhism other than it seems like the most peaceful religion out there. What I do know is that I have married a man who is the chillest of the chill and he constantly surprises me with his thoughtfulness and kindness. I know, eeeewww, right? I'm totally gushing. But last night when I came home kind of late, I found him reading in bed, waiting up for me. He scooted over to my side of the bed while I unwound from the day. Still in my hurry-up-let's-go-get-out-of-the-way city voice, I asked him, "What are you doing?" while pointing out that he was on my side of the bed. After several years together, he knows not to take offense to my tone when I shoot things off after a 14-hour nonstop day and simply responded, "I'm warming up your side of the bed for you."

I may not have the booming writing career I envisioned or that renovated farm house in the Hudson Valley I dream of or any idea on which direction I am heading in life, but as long as I've got this guy, I feel like I'm doing something right. Last week, I argued with a friend on how I'm looking for meaning, for my purpose. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Stop looking!"

Maybe this life with Mike, is it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How To Eat Pancakes

1. Take 17 years to order them

2. Don't go for a topping. Good ol' fashioned golden buttermilk flapjacks with salty butter and maple syrup is the way to go....excuse me, back up...did you say "take 17 years to order them?"

Why yes, I did, internal monologue. That's right. It might be around 17 years since I have ordered pancakes. For as long as I can remember, whenever going out for breakfast I have never ordered what I really wanted, instead opting for a breakfast that wasn't loaded in carbs. I have ordered hundreds of omelets, eggs over easy and fruit salads, but never do I dare order what I really want - french toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy.

3. Choose any diner any where, the pancakes are sure to be the best damn pancakes you've had in far too long a time and not necessarily because they taste good, but because the taste of overcoming your own fears does taste so, so sweet.

I can't remember when I started caring about my weight. I was a skinny kid, an athlete, and I ran with the boys. But somewhere during the summer between freshman and sophomore year of high school when I suddenly had hips for the first time and sprouted boobs, and my hair turned frizzy, and one of the boys at school started calling me "Cheeks" for my curvaceous butt, I began to realize that the body I was inhabiting in my mind was no longer the body I was actually inhabiting. Soccer, softball, and good genes kept me pretty fit and thin through high school but once I hit college and organized sports stopped and birth control started, I found myself gaining the "freshman twenty-five." It took comfortably fitting into a size 14 pants for me to realize that I was almost double the size I was in high school. Having went through a traumatic event my freshman year of college, I had looked to food as comfort, and eventually Weight Watchers and a food addiction group for help.

4. Apply butter liberally, and syrup even more liberally.

I ended up losing that twenty five pounds and have yo-yo'd within 10-13 pounds of that weight for the last 13 years. I rest comfortably now at the lower end of this spectrum finding it impossible to dip lower than the number. And while there is always something in me that thinks if I just could lose four more pounds, six more, nine more, I'd be happy! I know that I look my best at this weight.

5. Realize all the bullshit you have been telling yourself about your body for most of your life is a crock of shit.

I think the end of last summer was one of the most "in-shape" periods of my life. I was running, spinning, taking kettlebell classes, pilates, even yoga here and there. I was playing soccer. I was kind of ripped and my arms were looking a little scary when I gripped them on the spin bike. But even then, the number on the scale was only four numbers lower than it is now and the workout schedule I had was a little sick, definitely compulsive, and completely unmanageable. When work picked up again and I had to let go of that schedule, I felt defeated. No matter how hard I tried, the world would forever keep me just four or five pounds away from my ideal and a soft belly to remind me when I'm eating too much bread.

6. Order a side of bacon and don't be afraid to dip it in that syrup.

Recently, I have been reading Gabrielle Hamilton's memoir Blood, Bones & Butter and for whatever reason her voice is piercing me in all the right places. She talks about working as a cook at a camp where she saw 8 year old girls who claimed they had allergies to dairy and wheat even though she was sure they were just imitating and acting out the fears their mothers had instilled in them about which foods make you fat. These young girls were not eating pancakes and it made me rethink why the hell I never ordered them anymore. When I was a kid, they were my favorite meal. More specifically, Saturday morning pancakes made by my Dad who can make no other dish. (Ok, maybe three others) But with pancakes, he is a damn expert. He would slab a liberal smear of butter on the grill and then pour thick buttermilk, unbleached white flour dollops onto the sizzling butter, giving the edges of the pancake that crispy salty edge with a light fluffy middle we would bury another sliver of butter in before drowning them in Aunt Jemima syrup. A glass of cold milk and cartoons completed some of the happiest mornings of my life.

Hamilton talks about her cooks all having a little belly from eating steak scraps and testing other dishes and how those bellies are worn with pride. I started to look at my belly in another light. I have ALWAYS had a belly, and if I never lost it when waking up at 5 am for weight lifting three times a week followed by brutal bleacher runs in high school and I never lost it during obsessive spin classes and eight mile runs and kettlebell training, then just what the fuck was I holding onto? Or better yet, what the fuck was I not holding onto?

7. Dig in, baby.

This past Saturday, I ordered three perfectly stacked pancakes. The pancakes were okay but the morning was divine.

Friday, January 25, 2013

When The Universe Responds

(Finally got to try out my Space filter!)
Dear Universe,

I know, I know. It's terrible. I've been flirting with you for quite some time now. I'm sure you are tired of the back and forth as much as I am. On one day I commit and turn things over to you and say okay, Universe or God, or whatever Mysterious Force you want to call yourself out there in the world - YOU WIN. I give up. You want my problems? You got em. Want my worries, my anxieties, my neurosis? Here you go.  You think you can do better than me? It's all yours. And even though we both know I will go on to tell you about how I know better and I've been doing this for a LONG time and I know myself and my life and my luck and "if past experiences and patterns dictate future," I already KNOW how things will not work out for me. I can't just do nothing! I just have to work harder...etc, etc,etc...and then on other days I find myself  cheating on you with my old habits and OCD control-freak self and trying to sneakily manage another problem, another finance conundrum, or nurse an old anxiety that I just can't say no to. And then you come along and say, "Okay, you want some proof? You want some mother-fucking proof that I got this? That I got you?" And then you drop in a couple different opportunities at once and I am forced to acknowledge that for as LONG as I have been trying to direct my life, you have been doing it FAR longer than me and with everyone, not just me. Do I still have a hard time letting go? Yes. Do I still have to make believe in you to do that? Yes...although I must say you are getting pretty convincing. But damn it, Universe, today I gotta thank you. I'm not sure what to do with the doors you open or how it will all work out, but thank you for letting a little more fresh air into my life.


A Compulsive Disbeliever

Thursday, January 24, 2013

20 Small Things I Love, Love, Love

20. When I see my godsons after far too long and get tackled with hugs

19. This co-worker's laugh

18. When Mike surprises me with coffee from Deluxe

17. When flying home, I start to see the twinkling lights of the San Fernando Valley

16. Getting into bed with fresh sheets

15. When the lights dim just before your movie starts

14. The smell of oil cooked popcorn

13. Watching B, done up to the nines, quickly and efficiently corral her three boys

12. When Mike gives me a hug and kisses my head

11. The way my Aunt Gail folds clothes and the way they smell

10. Warm bread baskets that come before your meal

9. Google

8. Waking up to a clean apartment

7. The first warm day of spring

6. When baristas make that cool heart design in my lattes

5. When someone compliments one of my tattoos that I have long forgotten about

4. My new moisturizer from Kiehl's

3. Watching my dad tell a story to a group of people, especially stories from the family run hotel back in the day

2. Seeing one of my brother's commercials come on TV

1. A nap

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top Twenty Pet Peeves - A Little Attitude With Your Morning Joe

20. People who are not ready to swipe their metrocard and block the turnstile until they have fished out their card. This especially peeves me in the morning when I can hear my train rolling into the station.

19. Static Electricity. I HATE getting shocked and I want to shave my head when the weather dries out my hair and it sticks to my face, coat, scarf, anything with heat.

18. Sitting next to a "talker" in a movie theatre.

17. Sitting next to a "talker" on an airplane.

16. When cab drivers sigh/grunt after I tell them I'm going to Brooklyn. Yeah, Brooklyn! And I want you to take the Manhattan Bridge, too!

15. When people pick something off their plate and eat it at the salad bar, lick their fingers, and then pick up the tongs I was just about to use. This especially peeves me at the height of flu season.

14. When people learn I'm from California and ask me why the hell I'm living here. This especially peeves me in the dead of winter. I don't know, asshole. Why don't you tell me.

13. When people are so fake, they kind of make me fake causing us to greet each other in these false high-pitched voices that we seem to only use for each other.

12. Chapped Lips that never fucking heal.

11. People who tell me I should really try something. It almost always implies I would be "better" if I tried what they thought I needed. Dude, can't you just accept me where I'm at?

10. Theatre spelled as "theater." Respect.

9. Girls who run with their hair down. Who are you kidding? That is definitely annoying.

8. Wind.

7. When people use Facebook to rant about how this country is owned and run by corporations. Fight the system...I guess?

6. When people say "Cheer up!" Fuck you.

5. People who actually follow through with their goals. What? You think your better than me? I could do that...starting tomorrow.

4. When people other than my dad call me "sweetie" or "sweetheart" or any other version of a cutsie pet name.

3. Socks that won't stay up.

2. When people ask me a question we both already know the answer to, in order to illustrate a point or exercise authority.  Read: Exhaust my patience. Does one learn passive aggressiveness or is it something one is born with?

1. Food in the teeth. Whether it's me or you. As a woman who survived braces for two years in high school, I developed an obsession with making sure there was never food caught in my braces. I check my teeth regularly after meals and usually point out to friends and always to Mike if I see the smallest fleck of pepper, or corner of basil leaf in a place it should not be. I have stuck all sorts of weird objects in between my gums to make sure that parsley was gone.

Et tu?

Night Stroll

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In The Words of Lauryn Hill...

"Change...it comes eventually." I took this picture last spring but when flipping through my photographs it spoke to me again. Perhaps it is an indication of my blooming wish for spring to arrive and the blah days of winter to pass. I'm not even sure what you would call this past winter in New York. Last Monday I was in a tiny sweater because wearing my wool coat was literally baking me in a disgusting muggy oven of humidity and confusion. And today, though below freezing as the high, is nowhere near the Januarys of winters past. I can remember my first winter back when living in New Jersey in 2009. The weather forecast read -5 and I dressed myself like Randy in A Christmas Story. This winter has been eerily mild with sudden bursts of bitter cold. No real snow, only a dusting that makes the whole city look like a smudge on the subway window when the F train shoots above ground from 7th Avenue to Carroll Street in Brooklyn.

Last weekend a friend had said to me that during the winter it's important to hibernate. That's when our bodies literally retreat inside and we have a slower more contemplative time. She explained that our bodies need this in order to have the energy required when spring comes bursting forth. Of all the seasons. spring in New York is my favorite. Every year it's as if a curtain is lifted and all the kids coming running out to the playground.

This winter has been a contemplative one minus my annual spell of depression. It has not been without some good long crys or explosive bursts of frustration. But considering the hugeness of 2012, I find myself happy to be hibernating or "nesting," as they say. While I have always been a very messy person, (clean but messy), I have kind of gotten my act together and I truly enjoy spending time in my apartment. There are still piles of papers and wedding wrap up stuff to be dealt with, but on most days our apartment is in order which feels refreshing. I LOVE waking up and walking through my apartment and seeing the blanket on the couch folded and the little table in the kitchen clear of clutter. This little achievement has not been perfect and on many days there is still shit on the table, but one of the things hibernating  has afforded me is the time to take pride in my home and clear out the crap that eventually gets in the way of living. I'm starting to feel okay about parting with possessions I have held on to for far too long excited about making room for what lies ahead. But more importantly, I'm excited to let go of the things I used to think "defined me" and begin to ask myself, "What am I without this thing?" "What am I without this story?" It's terrifying and exciting to believe that I've only just begun getting to know myself and at any stage in my life I hold the ability to surprise myself. I think this spring is going to be a good one. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had A Dream

In honor of Dr. King, I thought it'd be nice to post a short version of the crux of his I Have A Dream speech. It's good to reflect. Good to remember. Brave to keep fighting the good fight. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

No Litter On The Beach: Girls & Gossip

Photo cred by chordstriking
Years ago I worked at an all-girls trip camp up in Salisbury, Vermont during the summers in between college semesters. Some of the finest women I know today worked alongside me at that camp. Not to mention I also met my husband at the all-boys camp across the lake. One summer, we had the author of the book Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem & The Confidence Gap (Peggy Orenstein) come and speak to us about girls. The two things I remember most clearly were that during her research she had noticed a confidence gap right around 5th grade. Ask a 3rd or 4th grade girl what they want on their pizza and they'll tell you "pepperoni" "olives and mushrooms" or something else specific. Ask a 5th grade girl and the answer was typically, "I don't know" or "I don't care" or "whatever she's having is fine." It struck me that something happens to girls and I paid attention to how many times I said "I don't care" or "Whatever." I still struggle with choosing a place to eat and often defer to whatever my husband feels like or the group prefers.

The other lesson was "No Litter On The Beach." Orenstein had talked about the poisonous effects of gossip and how we, as staff, were no different. She acknowledged that it must be hard to spend such an intense period of time -living, tripping, and taking days off with the same group of women for an entire summer. We were bound to have issues crop up but the important thing to remember was that we immediately needed to discuss it wit the other person and ONLY the other person. She said, "No litter on the beach." And for that summer, for the first time in my life I was with a group of women who actually didn't talk shit about each other behind their backs and just brought things up as they came up. It was hugely empowering and probably part of the reason so many of us are still good friends to this day.

Last week I was reminded of "No Litter On The Beach" when I felt a friend had purposely ignored me. I felt small and then I felt angry. I was right back in middle school waiting in line to talk to the popular girl. I immediately concocted ideas in my head about why she was ignoring me and even worse, carefully went over and over our last interaction to see if I had somehow offended her and this was her way of letting me know. Should I be apologizing to her? The insanity of insecurity lives on. But the difference is, I slept on it. Literally, I went home and took a nap. I let myself feel angry and kind of knew that my very personal reaction to what had happened probably had nothing to do with the present moment. That in fact, she most likely just didn't see me.

It took me a couple days to sift out my feelings but I knew I couldn't let it go. I could not let litter pile up. So after much thought I wrote and sent a very simple email that came from a place of love and had none of the other bullshit attached to it. It turns out, I was right. She just didn't see me.

Moral of the story: Choose your toppings loudly and don't let the litter pile up.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Tell Me Why You Love Water..."

A friend posted that request on facebook yesterday and I felt like it was the most beautiful thing I heard all day. While I feel a special connection to fire and flame, mountain is where I find my zen and water is where I find my healing. I love water because it can carry me. As a person who tends to take on more than she can handle and often holds more than she can carry, nothing feels as freeing than jumping into a body of water and finally feeling the heaviness of my body and my worries release. I love water because it cleans me and even if I don't have soap, I still feel clean after a dip in a lake or a pool. I love water because if I remember to drink it, my mood becomes noticeably better - a natural combat to my natural irritability. I love water because it makes us all like children in that same way that as adults we can still get excited about picking out an ice cream flavor or braving a rollercoaster, the glee of filling a water balloon or the laughter followed when we accidentally spit it out.

I have always lived on a coast and have often wished to live in a beach town with a  home on the actual beach. The images of the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy have made that less appealing to me now, a reminder about how devastating and powerful a force it can be, too. I love water because of the way it feels not just on my skin, but in it, as if it can soak me all the way through and sometimes that's exactly what I need.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

10 Things I Want Right Now

1. Focus

2. Clarity

3. To magically be fit without the weeks and weeks of painful gym attendance now ahead of me

4. 90 Minutes a day where I can write without distraction

5. A sudden stroke of inspiration

6. No anxiety

7. Unchapped lips

8. A boat...a boat that never needs maintenance...I think I would be happier if I had a boat.

9. A flourless chocolate cake

10. The ability to stop myself from obsessive behavior


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Irony and the Covetry

...of me not posting is that I have thought of so many things I want to blog about in the last few days. But I have needed desperately to retreat and be away from the blog and I'm not sure why. Sunday, after a PMS meltdown, I had some lunch and took a looooonggg nap and when I woke up realized I still had the day off. So I stayed in my PJs and puttered around the apartment until the Globes came on. I can't decide if watching the globes is good or bad for me. Because there is a part of me that begins to covet everything on screen - the dresses, the style, the glam, the beauty, the achievements...and there is another part of me that feels like I'm just hanging out with my friends. That's why I kind of love television more than film these days. Anyway, I can't blog for long because I a off to coach a basketball game. Ask me if I know anything about basketball. Oh, the irony.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Facebook: My Gateway Drug

I've had an iPhone for a little over a year...perhaps I should rephrase that as, my addiction with being constantly plugged in and wired has developed steadily for a little over a year now. For reasons that are not even clear to me yet, I held out until 2011 to upgrade to a smart phone. Before that time I was using A Sanyo flip phone that service carriers gave out for free if you signed up for a phone plan.  Many people called my phone a piece of shit, but I figured it worked, so hey! But when I made a decision to get serious about my blog and more dedicated to writing I felt the time had come and so in October 2011 I bought the iPhone 4. By December 2011 I was having panic attacks and feeling a constant need to be checking, reading, updating, facebooking and I also added tweeting to the psychotic mix. I had never had email in the palm of my hand or the ability to text without pushing the same button three times to get to your letter of choice. My mind had been blown, my world vastly bigger and yet my freedom and happiness somehow smaller.

For the last ten years I have used a cell phone as an alarm clock, which means every morning, I start my day by placing my phone in my hand. For the first 9 it worked. But now, after rubbing my eyes, I check the time once again, I unlock my screen to see if I have any messages and feel a tiny jolt of  happiness when I see little red markers on the screen indicating messages or facebook likes or the rare tweet or my favorite - Instagram likes. I check to see if there are any entertaining emails first, which mainly mean emails from friends unless I haven't heard from them in a while because then I want to be more focused when I read and have some time to respond. And sometimes after that, though not always, I check facebook. And before I know it I am scrolling down the last 12 hours of activity from friends, family, the occasional friend of friend, old high school friends, people who aren't my friends, old co-workers and current co-workers, authors I follow and pages I like. Pictures of babies and beer mugs, blurry night shots of friends I haven't spoken an actual word to in 8 years (some longer), vacation pictures, wedding photos, song lyrics, inspirational quotes, political rants and status updates notifying the facebook universe that their phone was stolen or that they are fighting a cold or what they made for dinner the night before. And don't get me wrong, I am guilty of all sorts and types of these messages. Just a few days ago, it was my giant New Years thank you which added to the 2 billion already posted. And maybe "guilty" is the wrong term since this is exactly what social media is used for - connecting - helping us all find the beauty or perhaps comfort in the mundane, the universal in the details, the constant piquing of curiosities and teasing of egos, the security in solidarity, the promoting of self, art, love and sadly hate, the one-upsmanship craft of day-to-day dog-eat-dog living, the wonder and magic of an open microphone for a stage that will never present a hook. But my point is: My day starts outside of myself before I even plant my feet on the floor.

This is a problem and I recognize it. Having a pretty addictive personality, I can turn anything into a compulsion and I can see it with my constant email checking and facebook stalking. But the tricky thing is, it hasn't all been evil. I have watched my cousins's children grow up through pictures and videos uploaded through social media. It helps me feel connected to my family 3,000 miles away. It reminds me to wish someone I dearly care about a Happy Birthday and also how to support this artist friend or that with their latest show or cause. My life feels big through a tiny screen in my hand. It feels like I am holding a little piece of my universe, my internal movie, and choosing which scenes to look at.  And then there are days like today when while waiting for a phone call at work to connect, I hop on facebook to kill the 3 seconds of my time where my attention is not needed and see a friend's "like" for a coconut water ad in my news feed that shows a picture of Bethany Hamilton (the female surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack when she was 13 and is now 19 and considered one of the top 10 female surfers in the world) and before I know it, I'm reading articles about Bethany Hamilton from 2003 and 2009 and feeling really inspired and shitty all at once because this girl had her arm ripped off by a fucking SHARK and was back in the water one month later and has built an empire on positivity, courage and a can-do attitude! HOLY SHIT! WHERE'S THE TYLENOL!!

.....Now, I'm sure I am simplifying it. It's true that Hamilton is extraordinary and possess a resilience and determination and faith that would inspire anyone. But in less than one minute, I find myself with five or six different screens open, one which gives my computer a virus warning because of course I wanted to see pictures of her, and I feel pathetic because I can't even get out of my own way from the comfort of a TempurPedic chair and a goddamn facebook screen and this girl got back into the mother fucking ocean after a shark attack. And then my call connects and I'm onto another task.

Balance, right? How do I find balance? How do I pull away from the cyber world to feel more in the real life-world when the real-life world can bring so much pain? Who the hell WANTS to feel homesick? Who WANTS to evaluate where there life is going and take an honest look and what might be getting in the way? Who WANTS to be out of the know? The person who doesn't get the latest college humor parody video? Who WANTS to get serious about a diet or exercise plan when you can just edit the kinds of photos you post on facebook and instagram to make you look like you are fabulously fit and easily thin and having the time of your life ALL THE TIME??? Who WANTS to find the courage to stop secretly keeping tabs on this old friend's success or that old co-workers amazing life that happened after they quit that job that either took you too long to do or that you're still at? Who WANTS to be unplugged when a hop on social media can bring a smile or a laugh during a slow period at work? Who wants to be left out of the memories relived through photos and comments posted all around us? Who wants to be alone?

The last couple of nights my insomnia has been back and with a terrific vengeance. I have tried everything - breathing exercises, no caffeine, no sugar - and still my mind wanders and races, flipping through the hundreds of pieces of information I have absorbed or happily distracted myself with while successfully avoiding the one thing that I need to be doing for my happiness - being in the moment. I have given myself rules and wake up calls and even this blog post. But the first step towards change is awareness so, hey...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Modern Love Rejection

Yesterday I received a rejection email from the New York Times Modern Love section which is why this post (click here) is now back up on my blog. After writing that post-wedding post I felt that I wanted to dig a little further and turned it into an essay with a lot more meat and my experience of living in the aftermath of having a wedding the day before a huge natural disaster that wiped out the New Jersey and New York coastline. Would I be lying if I said I was not disappointed about getting this rejection? Of course, but in truth I also felt huge relief. I'm never quite sure if things can be published if I have already written about the topic on the blog and part of me just wanted to put the post back up. The email was graciously written, one of the better rejection letters I have received, but I mean c'mon -- it's the Times, baby! The letter also was a little nudge, a reminder to myself about what I said I would do more of in 2013 - submit essays and memoirs and stories!!! I'm looking for writing contests, submission guidelines, guest blogging, I'm looking to write 'cause I got a few stories to tell. Any and all leads are welcome!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Day Without Internet

It's amazing what my day looks like without an internet connection. Maybe I don't have ADD. Maybe I just have too much access to bullshit. I returned to work today to learn that our internet connection was broken. The only page I could successfully open was my gmail account which is running about as fast as me running to the gym right now. (That's a joke, get it?) And I am typing this blog post on Notepad which I will eventually copy and paste. Has anyone out there in cyber land used that internet-free program called Freedom? I'm kind of curious about giving myself some boundaries around internet time, because I can make just about anything toxic with all my little compulsions. But if there is something out there that will limit my time on the internet, is it possible I may be more productive with the time I do have? Is it also possible I may
spend time writing essays as opposed to blog posts? Is that an exercise in futility considering it is 2013 and everything is going online anyhow?

But I digress...did I tell you I have started writing morning pages? Yes, as in, ink to paper? I didn't want to tell you in case I didn't keep up with it but now maybe I have to. In my pages of just randomness, I also managed to write down what I thought I might be scared of today followed up by what I'm
grateful for. It turns out that part of my crankiness might have been fear that I did not get enough sleep last night to get through today. I went to bed at 11p.m. and at 1:17 a.m. I was still wide awake. I tried everything - breathing exercises, prayers, that yoga relaxation pose and NOTHING worked. Another reason I may
have to limit internet time. I think unplugging two hours before bed might be in store for me. And when I say unplug I mean all of it - email, checking my phone, texting, television...It just feels right to pull away a bit. As for blogging, I'm best in the morning with that anyway.

I still have not really thought about New Years Resolutions other than courage. But I'm wondering what other people's are? Anyone out there have an interesting resolution that doesn't include the gym or going gluten-free?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Sky Is The Limit

Lake Dunmore & Mt. Moosalamoo, Vermont

I heard a great story over the weekend about a man who was unemployed and refused to take a job because it was just too "beneath" him. A friend then asked him, "How miserable do you want to be? The sky is the limit!"

I never believed happiness was a choice. But the more I focus on myself and what I want for my life, the more I build a supportive community of friends and artists, and the more I avoid gossip and try hard to let go of negative thinking patterns, the more I believe it is a choice. I think I am happy as I make my mind up to be. And if I let my day get ruined because of a difficult personality, then that is on me.

I have been down because as of tonight, my vacation is officially over. But if I want it, there can be no end to this "dread" about going back to work. And the truth is, I have a terrific boss and I work in a great community. I have a job, which is something to be grateful for. If I look for the sunshine, I will feel warmth no matter what.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Snow Lovely

Lake Dunmore, VT
After a wonderful New Years and even better New Years Day, I am posting this picture instead of writing because I'm all stiff with whiplash from an epic backflip down the mountain yesterday. Mike and I met at this camp in Vermont 11 years ago. Not just because of that, but for many reasons, this is a very special place for us. I think I might actually like winter in places where you can play in the snow and not dart from the subway to a building the quickest way possible. The temperature has been as low as the negatives and yet I have been so happy and surprisingly pretty warm. Yay for wool!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bring It, 2013!

Courtney snow-shoeing 2013
I finished 2012 with lots of playing in the snow - snow-shoeing for the first time, sledding in the dark and fireworks over a frozen lake in Vermont with friends and my husband.  Mike and I have big plans for 2013 and so for this year's new years resolution I'd like to focus on one thing - courage. Courage to see what scares me and accept it instead of talking myself out of something or "rationalizing." Courage to walk through what is uncomfortable and to know this too shall pass. Courage to save money for the travel plans we have. Courage to trust that there is a bigger plan in store for me and more will be revealed. Courage to have faith and not a little, but a lot. Courage to say I'm sorry when I'm wrong and to speak up when I am wronged. Courage to be kind and more open. Courage to write every day. Even if it is one sentence, courage to give that to myself every day. Courage to love big, forgive freely and play as much as possible.