It took me a while to have the time to sit down and figure out (kinda) how to create this thing. I’m still not very adept–there will be more changes to come as I learn slowly the ways of WordPress. I started my ramblings in a GoogleDoc. Now they finally have a home in the blogosphere.
To Fun Where We Can Find It.
I am in Philadelphia. Wish I wasn’t, but it can’t be helped. I’m here for work and for some reason am feeling mopey and homesick. I just want to be in my own city in my own bed. Wah, wah wah. It all began with some Sunday beer blues (how is it that alcohol can make you so fun and happy on Saturday night and so introspective and mopey on Sunday?) and has extended to today. I feel homesick and unsocial yet also not in the mood to be in a hotel room by myself. But, the big perk of being trapped in the city of brotherly love is that I was able to meet up with a college friend for dinner who I rarely get to see. She and I studied abroad together in Sevilla, Spain, and I can’t help but think back to those days in Spain and smile.
She is a friend who, though I don’t see or keep in touch with often, always offers up sage advice. And many, many laughs. We spent many a night in Sevilla at “our restaurant,” which we called Chocolate Cake for the delectable (you guessed it) mammoth-sized piece of cake we’d order each time we went. And we’d just sit in that booth, rehash events of the day/week, and laugh. Out loud. For hours. Somewhere along the way during those four months, we came up with a saying: “To fun where we can find it.” I don’t remember how or why it came up, but it became our motto for the rest of our time abroad. Seeing her tonight reminded me of that motto on a day when I really needed to remember it.
Life isn’t perfect. Things get sticky. Situations are never black and white. And the best you can do sometimes is raise a glass to fun where you can find it and have faith the rest will fall into place.
Life Lessons Through Asana.
There are a number of reasons that I practice yoga. It has made me stronger than I have been since high school swimming. But sans the bulky shoulders. And helps keep me aligned both physically and more importantly, mentally. I regularly practice once a week and have found a teacher who perfectly speaks to both my physical and emotional needs. Nearly every Tuesday both her practice and whatever idea/passage/poem/thought she presents in class seem to be exactly what I need. Yesterday, she read a beautiful passage from The Velveteen Rabbit that I loved. But the comment that struck me most was a simple instruction suggested while leading us through a deep shoulder stretch: “If you find yourself getting uncomfortable, back out a little bit and then breathe your way back in.” Well then. If that isn’t a perfect little nugget to take straight from the yoga mat into life, I don’t know what is.
Song du jour: “I Will,” Brandi Carlile
Teeny, Little Umbrellas.
I can’t get my mind off of those teeny little umbrellas. You know, the ones that get placed into fruity delicious drinks full of rum. I crave a beach vacation: like whoa. It is a bratty, “not-appreciating-all-that-you-have” kind of craving. But I can’t help it. At least once a day my mind drifts to an island…a warm, swim-up bar, sandy, palm tree, lay-on-the-beach-all-day-thinking-“daquiri?”-or-“colada?” kind of island. I think the last time I had this experience was circa 2005: Puerto Rico. And our budget hotel lacked a swim-up bar.
When I started my new job in May the first thing I thought was….VACATION!!! FEBRUARY!!! Happy Birthday to me! Six months later a summer of wedding attendance and travel to celebrate others (I love you all…but you killed me) have left me with twice the salary and half the bank account I had when I started this new gig. Jerks.
I continue to dream, though. Of nose-diving flight costs and adventures in paradise.
Song du jour: “Angeles,” Peter Bradley Adams
A moment to say thank you to the check-out woman at Whole Foods for being a terrific grocery-bag-packer. She fit my weekly stock together with puzzle-like precision into two perfectly balanced bags. And did so with speed and efficiency. Pretty much made my darn day.
I visited my family this weekend and spent the majority of the day Sunday babysitting my nephew and two nieces while our respective parents enjoyed (debatable) a round of golf. I expected the day to be fun but exhausting. And it was. But it was also a perfect escape and a glimpse into the possibilities of life to come. I had a moment standing barefoot at the sink doing dishes watching my nephew work on his “notebook” where I thought, “I could do this and be very happy.” Happy doing dishes. Barefoot. Surrounded by a warm and homey house and three lovely children. [Full disclosure: the ladies of the house were napping at the time…] Spending the day having to care for three little people who, while not totally helpless, need some instruction and structure throughout the day took me away from my internal monkey mind for a few hours.
I’m sure my brother and sister-in-law could read me a list a mile long of all of the unblissful moments of parenthood and domesticity. I’ve seen first-hand what those three can be at full tilt and have enjoyed a pat on the head g’night as they head home and a serene silence decends over Nonni and Papa’s house. The single life has its perks; I have no doubts about that. And I try to appreciate these times that one day I’ll reflect back on as the “good old days” when all hell breaks loose in my future household. But the single life also is a whole lotta me me me. And let’s be honest, I love things to be all about me, but sometimes I just want my thoughts to stop their yapping already. Something about not just being responsible for children, but observing them, starts to put the monkey to rest, even if just for a moment.
I am not naive enough to think that once you have kids the internal craziness stops. I know that responsibility and stress work on a parallel path. But for now, for me, these occasional stints of maternal domesticity serve as a much needed reststop for a whirlwind mind. The monkey doesn’t rest often, so for this he, and I, are grateful.
Song du jour: The Rock and the Tide (whole album), Joshua Radin
When contemplating blogdom, I thought I really struck internet gold with the idea to create a blog based on the adage to “do something every day that scares you.” I would blog about my daily escapades to do just that. Great idea, right? Especially for someone who is held back in so many aspects of life by silly fears ranging from the unknown to chatting up a cute stranger in the elevator. Sounds dramatic, but many months of self reflection have brought to light the cold hard fact of it: I am letting fears large and small have way too much power in my life.
Here’s the catch, though. The fear of actually having to force myself to do stuff that makes me shiver kept me from actually picking a date to start this experiment. Classic, right? But, just thinking about the idea has inspired me. And while I may not make it the focus of my blog, the seed has been planted in my head. Perhaps jumping head first into freezing water would only have sent me running back to the warm comfort of the status quo. Just starting to put my toes in the water might be a better approach in hopes that tackling little “fears” here and there will build my confidence to go after the bigger stuff.
My first stop then will be headstand. Every week I watch with envy as fellow yogis and yoginis rise up into the pose with seeming ease and grace. Oh, and the peaceful looks on their faces once there. I long for it. I know I have the physical strength to do it. It is a just a matter of working on it and knowing that I will likely fall, at least once. And when I do, likely won’t break my neck. So here I henceforth swearith that I will take some time to practice and work on conquering headstand. And when I do, I’ll be seeing the world from a whole new perspective. Maybe from there things won’t look so scary.
Song du jour: “Bird of the Summer,” A Fine Frenzy
The Cheese Stands Alone.
I have an online presence. An online dating presence. I have on and off now since I left college (more years ago than I like to think about). I was online before being online was socially acceptable, some might say even socially expected for single people today. Seeing as I still have this presence, it is clear that my luck has been less than stellar. I’ve gone on many a first date, a number of seconds, fewer thirds, and three men I let stick around a bit longer than that. After a few months and a few so-so dates I usually become jaded and frustrated and decide to “let things happen naturally.” Flash forward to me thinking about the last date I was on, realizing it was at least six months prior, panicking, and starting the cycle anew.
This most recent go-round has been particularly dreary. The slimmest pickins’ I think I’ve seen so far—except for perhaps that stint in New Jersey. The great irony, of course, is that this time around I feel—no, I KNOW—that my pictures are cuter, my profile more accurate/interesting, and most importantly, my heart and mind more open. I’ve taken off the padlock and just left the deadbolt. I have been selective, but also aggressive with my selected few—sending emails instead of the wussy “wink.” After a few months of going, oh, I don’t know, about 0 for 20, I have to conclude that the men of today, as progressive as any of them may claim to be, have no interest in women who make the first move. Or maybe they just think I’m lame. Either way, my current approach is not working but paying a monthly fee to wait for some guy(s) to contact me seems a waste of my hard earned cash. This is what I call a conundrum. And bullsh*t. But, carry on I will. As I was reminded just last night by a dear friend and running pal, it only takes ONE. And as I was reminded by another dear friend via email just a few moments ago, when said “one” does find me, it’ll be the luckiest day of his life. Her words, not mine, but I’ll go ahead and agree.
Song du jour: “Colder Weather,” Zac Brown Band