Thursday, December 19, 2013

Watch for the Signs

One of my favorite movies from the 90's is "Fools Rush In" starring Selma Hayek and Matthew Perry. 

The short and dirty synopsis of this movie of IMDB is as follows:  After a one night stand with Isabel, Alex realizes that she is pregnant and they decide to get married. However, along with the marriage comes compromise of one's own cultural traditions. 

Several times during the movie Selma Hayek's character references the idea of reading the signs the universe sends you as a way to make life decisions.  However, Matthew Perry's character believes that's a load of crap!

Personally, I do believe the universe sends us signs as to the path we should follow, and it has been my experience that should you ignore them (or not recognize them) the signs can potential increase in size.  This is a story that I often think of when when it comes to signs.  

In my life it once took a truly epic "sign" for me to take action that I probably should have taken a lot earlier than I did.  For that matter, when I think back even farther I believe there were signs that could have prevented me from making the first mistake that would evidently set-off the chain of other signs.  (Yes, I know I'm being vague, but now is not the time for details.)

I've been thinking about the interpretation of signs a lot lately.  Especially after a dinner and lunch I attended this past weekend.  Some of the interpretation of signs I heard sounded to me a bit far fetched, but then again who am I to say whether they are or not - to each their own.  Ultimately, I think it can be a bit overwhelming to look for signs.  Sometimes I question "if" something was a sign and "if" it was it then makes me question what it meant because to me it could mean one thing and to another something else.

All this rambling is leading up to how I got to today's Thursday Blog Project: Open to interpretation. 

At the end of the day I think like a lot of things how we look at events and interrupt them is all in how we individually view the world around us.

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Now that I'm given you some of my thoughts on this week's topic, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

They all blur together ... that is until one stands out!

It's been awhile since I posted a blog for the Thursday Blog Project, and I promise I will post the ones I'm missing soon!

This week Sara asked to write about: Our favorite and least favorite days of the week.

It took me awhile to figure out what I was going to say about this topic.  I struggled with it because there is no day of the week that I look forward to most or least.  Sure, I have routines and things that I do on particular days of the week, but truth me told as much as those things may or may not bring joy to my life I can't say that it what makes me like a day more or less.

If I really sit and think about what makes a day a favorite of mine or not a favorite it is more about what happens during that day and/or how I feel about it all.  Let me explain...

Days when I'm tired, especially extremely tired, forget it.  Getting through the day is the main goal.  If I can catch a quick nap, that makes those days a good day!  Some days that would seem like bad days, actually turn out to be good one.  For instance, there as one day this year that was "Murphy's Law Day" at work.  Anything that could go wrong did go wrong.  However, instead of getting grumpy and pissy about it about halfway through we just started laughing about it all and anticipated the next thing that would go wrong.  I guess you can say we embraced the bad that day and found a way to spin it into something good... which is why it was a good day (and one of my favorite days this year).

I'm not sure if I'm answered the question posed to us properly, but I hope it give y'all a feeling of how I view what makes something a "favorite day" or a "least favorite day".  It's not a definitive answer because they all blur together... that is until one stands out!

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Please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about their favorite and least favorite days of the  week:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Froggie: v.38

Like last year, this post is quite belated.  After an abbreviated week and busy weekend I am finally getting my head back in the game.

Cheers!
Last year, my birthday weekend was busy.  This year I would describe it as hectic... in a good way!  I'm sure the fact that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving were pretty much the same weekend just added to the busy.  Thankfully, my plans for Thanksgiving allowed me to not only escape where I live, but also allowed me to get the rest that I've so badly needed the past couple of weeks.

My biggest goal for this year was to make this time of year happy.  Though there are things going on that are causing me stress and sadness, I was still able to achieve this ultimate goal.  This makes me smiles because for a long time my birthdays weren't a time of happiness for me and it's nice to be able to see that they are now and realize how different things in my life are though they might not always appear as such.

Namaste
I'm not going to go on publicly this year about what I wish to accomplish during this year.  I don't really feel the need to do so.  Maybe it's because they are super personal and things only people in my inner, inner, inner circle need to know.  Or maybe it's just the mere fact that I don't feel the need to.

All I will say is that I'm following my heart (and gut), and have a calm in me that I haven't had before.  I am hopeful for a wonderful year, a wonderful life, and look forward to all the things and possibilities it has to offer.



Friday, November 29, 2013

Froggie: v.37.12 ("Wind of Change")

So here I am... On the cusp of turning a year older.

In all the years I've been writing this pre-birthday post, until tonight I've never gone back and looked at the past years post.  My main interest in doing this was to see where my heart and soul was 365 days ago because in week recent weeks I have been more than aware of where it has been.

The things I think about most in recent weeks are things I NEVER thought in a million years I would be thinking about.  The changes in my life I am looking at making are things that I would haven't believed I'd consider.  They are things I wouldn't have ever considered had I not moved.

Moving . . .

Moving this year had a HUGE impact on my life.  It has impacted me in ways I couldn't have even predicted.

Not being able to make predictions . . .

I never would have predicted that one person could have such an impact in my life.... and in such a short period of time, too.  That a "chance meeting" (which I don't believe to be a chance meeting in the larger scheme of things) would lead me back in a direction I hadn't thought of traveling in quite sometime.

One person . . .

There are people in my life who when I met them I had no clue would be in my life as long as they have been.  There are people in my life who when I met them I knew would be in my life for a very long time, but left it for awhile because that is what needed to happen.  I've only known this person for a short time, but I hope (pray) they fall into the latter statement.

I wouldn't take back anything that has happened this past year.  I am thankful for all the blessings I've received - there have been many.  I pray that all the bad stuff happened for a good reason and that everyone involved is happier and better off than they were before.

Most of all, I am thankful that I've been true to myself and that I spent most of this year with my heart, mind and soul wide open ready to experience this one and only life I've been given.

So, like it or not, here I go into another year of life once again older, and wiser, hoping for more blessings to come ... and with only one birthday wish in mind.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Great Tragedy of Love

She leaned against the bar scanning the room for Dana.  She was tired and wondering how much longer she would wait before departing the event she so hesitantly agreed to attend.  She wasn't a fan of singles parties, but two of her good friends somehow convinced her to go anyhow.

Just as she made the decision to find Dana to let her know she was going to depart, Don walked in.  Don and Stacey weren't best buds, but as fellow IT geeks, and MOTs, they were always happy to see one another and had much to chat about. After talking for a bit, Don invited her to walk with him and his friend Leah.  Without so much as a pause, she said agreed and the trio made their way through the sea of bodies.  Yes, she did want to go, but figured at the very least maybe she would find Dana along the way and let her know that she intended to leave in the next 10 - 20 minutes.

As Don, Leah and Stacey made their way  through the narrow walkway, Don spotted someone he knew and stopped to say hello.  Though not introduced immediately to Don's acquaintance, Bob, Stacey joined in on their conversation about how grossly hot it was outside on that particular day.

"You know, when I didn't get accepted to law school I wasn't happy about it; however, it's days like this I am glad for this fact because it means I don't have to wear a suit in this awfully hot weather," she said.  As the group chuckled at the remark, she noticed Bob's eyes.  They were looking with great intent and interest.

After Don, Leah and Bob were finished laughing at her comment, Stacey looked at Bob and asked, "What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a lawyer."

"Oh, my!" she said, "I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean to make fun of you."

"It's okay. It's true.  Wearing a suit during the summer can be rough, but you get use to it."

The next thing they knew, Bob and Stacey were chatting away about anything and everything they could possibly think of and the 10 - 20 minutes window Stacey had given herself before she left turned into a hour/hour and a half.

Before she knew it, Dana was the one finding her and asked if she was ready to go.  Upon realizing she was leaving, Bob sprang out of his seat and went to pay his tab.

"I'll be right back.  Don't leave!"

"I won't!" she said.

 Dana didn't have to say a word, the look on her face said it all... "Yeah, I've been watching you two... and you said you wouldn't meet anyone!"

Since it turned out Bob had taken the same public transportation as Stacey and Dana had he walked them to the train station.  Much to Bob's (and Stacey's) delight, they were both heading in the same direction.  The train ride passed by, quickly, and as they approached her stop he feverishly put her number is his phone, promising to call soon.  They hugged and she made her way to the train's doors.

***

They stood by her front door embracing the other as tightly as they could.  His arms were wrapped around her waist as her arms wrapped around his shoulders.  Her head was buried in the nook between his shoulder and neck.  The only movement to be had was the shifting of their arms so they wouldn't go numb.  

Their heads knew why they made the decision they did, but their hearts weren't on the same page.  It had only been three months, but the fact that it was ending didn't seem right.  How could they be saying goodbye?  It seemed unreal.  She told herself this was for the best.  The words repeated in her head like a broken record.... 

"It's for the best... It's for the best... It's for the best..."

Finally after half an hour, she made a bad joke to break the tension that filled the air.  They hugged one last time and then he open the door.  As he said good night they looked into each other's eyes, just as they had on that first night.  Except, this time, their eyes were filled with love, sadness and the disbelief that they were no longer.

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For last week's Thursday Blog Project, Sara asked the group to pick a quote that inspired them and write about why it inspired them.  For my post, I was inspired by a quote from the play Stormfall.  The quote went something like, "Every love story is a great tragedy because just as it's beginning its ending is already determined."

Please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers had to say about the quote they picked:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rip Off the Band Aid!

At the first writing retreat I ever attended (back in May 2012) we were asked to write about the thing we were most scared to write about.  Out of that exercise came one of the greatest pieces I've ever written and was the start of the infamous book I keep mentioning that I'm writing.

Today, I am revisiting the idea of writing about fear thanks to Denise's (Darwin Shrugged) blog project suggestion: Slightly in honor of Halloween, I'd like us to write about facing a fear -- one we've faced, one we've yet to faced, etc.


This week has been a crap storm of shit.  The thing is that I knew it would be one.  Actually I planned it that way.  Let me explain... 

For a couple of months I've had "issues" piling up that I've just ignored mostly due to my intent to have a rockin' summer.  However, since the arrival of Fall these things have been weighing on my shoulders.  Since I knew I would be escaping my world for a bit I decided before I did I would finally "rip off the band aid" in regards to the issues I've been pushing aside this whole time.  So, after a fantastic weekend of fun and friends I started to peel away.

The first rip was a recent issue that came up.  Someone I know was arrested in July and recently their spouse texted me asking for a character reference.  I'd like to say I know exactly what the character reference was for, but I can't.  They didn't get that specific in the request.  Now, I like to think that I'm a nice person and would do what I could for most another, but this, in my humble opinion, is such a HUGE favor and there is a SUPER SHORT list of people I would this for.  It was for that reason, and a few others I won't get into, that I said I couldn't.  However, I didn't reply back to this text right away.  I delayed doing so as I felt bad about saying no.  Finally, Monday morning before my yoga class I ripped off the band aid on that matter and replied back with my answer.  Of course they wanted to know why, but I didn't feel a justification was needed. Sadly, this was the easiest of all the band aid ripping that would need to be done.

The next band aid to be ripped off was the hardest of top three band aids that needed ripping.  I needed to have a long overdue heart-to-heart with a friend of mine.  This one I feared the most as I don't like confrontation.  But, alas it needed to be done.  The person in question took what I had to say fairly well.  At least that I could tell. (They could have been putting on a good front.)  We have a bit more discussion, but I'm not looking forward with that either, however it needs to be done.. so I will face that fear in order to move forward.

Lastly was my car.  It needed some repairs I've been putting off.  Especially since one of them involved the dreaded "check engine" light.  (Seriously, I know no one who likes seeing that light go on as it could me a repair costing as little as just a bit over $100 up to thousands of dollars.)  If the repair was on the high-side of the spectrum I would have had to seriously consider getting a new car all together.  (Not a bad thing, but not something I want to do at this very moment.)  Also, I've had some other large expenses lately which doesn't help things.  Kind of the "when it rains it pours" type of thing.

Overall, I think I'm managing through my fear of ripping off these band aids pretty well.  I've had my moments, but not too many of them.  The two greatest lessons I've learned from doing this is: 

1) Though unpleasant to face, by not facing stressful/situations you are fearful of you end up carrying around a lot of stress.  This of course is not healthy.  

2)  It's not easy as it might look to be the one "ripping off the band aid."  Especially if it involves someone you truly care about.

It helps that my friends have been super supportive (especially in regards to the heart-to-heart situation as they know how difficult this one has been for me), and I appreciate it more than I could ever tell them.   

My crap storm week is almost over!  Thankfully, I was able to have "some" fun this week and I also have a fun weekend planned as a reward for dealing with the above mentioned stuff.  

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Now that I've talked about facing some of my fears, please see what my fellow bloggers have to say:


Now that I've talked my fear of ripping off band aids, please see what my fellow bloggers have to say on this topic:


Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Catholic School Girl at Heart

Before I write about the Thursday Blog Project topic, I wanted to welcome our newest member, Denise - a.k.a Darwin Shrugged.

This week's topic was inspired by a Shabbos dinner I went to this past Friday.

I asked the group to write about: Find an outfit in your closet that you've had for a long time and write about it.

Back in Fall 2008 I acquired a black and grey plaid jumper dress from Anthropolgie.  I loved this dress because it was fitted in all the right places, had flair without being over the top and was designed in a sassy-conservative way.  Since it was a jumper I had to put a top underneath it so I went with a black Ann Taylor Loft I had gotten a year or so earlier.  To complete the look I wore them with a grey pair of tights and my Steve Madden Mary Janes 

(Why do I feel like a bit of a label whore all the sudden???)

As I said, I like that the dress hugged my body in all the right ways, but it also made the flaws look good too.  I felt sexy and confident in the dress.  It was my version of doing the "Catholic School Girl" look minus the button up shirt and pleated skirt (which I believe has gotten quite short these days).  

At the time I got the dress I was dating this guy and for his Christmas gift I was going to make him a hat out a nice grey yarn I had picked up at a Lorna's Laces mill ends sale.  However, not too long after I got the yarn we stopped seeing each other.  Since I'm not one to let good yarn go to waste I made a thin cable scarf for me.  I affectionately call this scarf my "School Girl Scarf".  

Over the next year or so the outfit stayed the same... that is until it was time for me to part ways with the Mary Janes.  For awhile I wore my Jessica Simpson Ballet flats (Yes,  more label dropping); however, wearing flats is a bit tough.  Then, in early 2011 I got my Doc Marten Mary Janes. (I swear I don't need therapy for this label addiction I apparently have.)   The Docs were a great addition to this outfit (or so I thought) because I could wear them in winter and not fear (as much) slipping on ice.  

As the shoes to this outfit were changing the fabric of the dress and top were starting to wear, but that didn't stop me from sporting the look.  This did eventually became a problem in 2012 when I packed on some poundage.  I remember one particular Shabbos I wore the outfit to that I basically stuffed myself into the dress and broke a seam... or two.  Granted seam breakage would have probably happened had it not been so old, however I'm sure the fact that it was a few years old by this point didn't help.  By the time last winter rolled around I was going through a lot of change.  I was actively working on losing weight and growing my hair longer.  

The first time I put on this outfit this year it no longer gave me the sassy school girl feeling it once did.  Instead, there was a bit of room in the dress and the Docs looked clunky.  I felt silly.  I'm not sure what happened between my ultra chubby days in late 2012/early 2011 and now.  I didn't think losing weight would change how I viewed things.  I didn't realize slimming down would somehow mature me  and impact the types of clothes I wear.... but apparently it did.

Even though I wore it the other day, I don't know how much longer it's gonna be in my clothing rotation.  Though I'm still putting off purchasing clothes that fit my new body I know that is nearing an end and a lot of pieces, like this dress, will soon be given away to a thrift store or thrown away.  In a way that makes me sad.  It's like throwing away the past, but in other ways excited because we all must move forward at some point into new adventures... right?!



Now that I've talked an outfit of mine that is a bit outdated, please see what my fellow bloggers have to say on this topic:



Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Living Life Backwards

When Melissa first gave us this week's Thursday Blog Project topic of: How do you act your age? Are there ways you act older or younger than your age? I wasn't sure how I was going to attack those questions.

I don't feel my age ... or at least most of the time I don't feel my age.  There are moments where I tire more easily than I use to or I'll share a thought I'm having with someone at the very moment I have it because I know I'll forget to tell them if I don't and recognize that I no longer have the baby face I use to.  (I definitely look more mature.)  When I speak about various topics I do so in a thoughtful and mature way.  You can tell that I'm somewhat of a subject matter expert on various topics which has clearly developed over time.  On the flip side, there are ways that I act that I'm not proud of as they are immature and not the way someone "my age" should act.

Like many adults, I work because I have to support myself.  Since it's just me, how I spend my money is up to me.  There is no one else I need to get input from on whether or not getting a Kate Spade purse is or isn't a good idea.  Another reason I would argue that I "don't act my age" falls along similiar lines as I don't have a family to care for.  Okay, I have Elsie... so yes, I do have a "kid" in some regards; however, amongst other things I don't have to run Elsie to soccer practice and worry about her academic performance in school.

In someways I've feel like people have unjustly judged me for the fact that I don't have the responsibility of a family.  As if I don't want these responsibilities (which is SO NOT the case).  In recent years, I've admittedly been quite selfish and childish about the things I tend to focus on and put energy towards, but in someway feel justified in being so as I spent a lot of my childhood being an adult, which is something I didn't realize until this fact was pointed out to me this past summer.  Let me explain . . . .

In June I went to a writing retreat in Michigan.  At dinner on the first night of the retreat I was sitting next to a woman who is currently taking time off from working to care for her parents as they are not in good health.  In an effort to show her that I understood what she was experiencing I shared with her how from a very young age I knew my dad wouldn't be around my whole life and how I watched cancer take over his body when I was 13 years-old.  Then, I told her how I took care of my grandfather on my mom's side my first year/ year and a half of college when Alzheimer's began to severely impact him.  Now, I wasn't telling her all this as a way to be all "look at me" or trump her in anyway, but more to explain that I could relate to what she was experiencing.  Once I was through sharing she said to me, "My goodness!  You never got to be kid, did you?  You've been an adult most of your life."  To be honest, I never thought of it that way.  It just was what it was.  But she was right.  

When I think back at all the things I experienced in my childhood, for all intents and purposes my "childhood" ended very early in my life.  I guess in someways it's for this reason I don't feel the need to apologize when I act in a "childish" manner.  We all have our moments and sometimes I just feel the need for "my moment" of weakness to last  as a way to make-up for what I didn't have in the past.  Whether this is the right way to approach things is questionable, but it's how things roll with me sometimes. (I've gotten a lot better over the years!)

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and end this post in on a negative note.  It's just things that this topic has made me think about.  Often I as though I'm living life backwards and not moving forwards; however, I think that is the farthest thing from the truth.  Though I still would like to think I will one day have the responsibility of caring for kids and a husband (which will make me seem like I'm "acting my age") I think the fact that I'm taking care of me and focusing on what makes me happy is one of the most mature things I can do and actually displays best how I "act my age".

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Now that I've talked about how I'm "acting my age", please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about how they act their age:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Spanx Me

This past weekend I did a bit of clothes shopping that taught me that despite all the weight I've lost I'm nowhere close to being over my body issues.

It all started when I innocently decided to venture into the dress department at Nordstroms.  With the change of seasons once again came the realization that the clothes I own for the current season don't fit as they are too big.  Yes!  Thiss is a good reason to have to buy new clothes.  I won't dispute you on that point.  However, it still doesn't make me love the process of acquiring new clothes.

Truth be told, I hate clothes shopping.  Despite the fact that I've lost all this weight and all signs point to me not putting a majority of it back anytime soon, I still have this vision in my mind of the heavier me.  Regardless of the numerous times I see a slimmer reflection in the mirror there is a big part of me that is still convinced that it's not real and thus I see no need for new clothes.... that is until I put on the clothes I have and see them hanging (literally) from my body.

So there I was at Nordstrom's in the dress department.  (For some reason I decided if I was getting new clothes I would try getting some clothes that I don't normally wear to work - like dresses.)  On this particular trip I was with Rachel, whom I was happy to have along because I wanted a second opinion and I knew if I was going to be dress shopping I wanted to make sure I wasn't diluting myself.  If there is anyone in my life who will give me a  honest opinion, it's Rachel... I just wasn't expecting brutally honest!

After putting on this grey and light blue knit dress I pranced out of the dressing room as I was quite happy about the way it looked on me.  I modeled the dressed and asked Rachel what she thought.  Rachel loved it!  After discussing the important stuff, like what shoes to wear with the dress, as I was about to make my way back to my dressing room to try on the next dress I had picked out Rachel said, "Do you own a pair of Spanx?"

I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and shot Rachel a horrified look that screamed, "Did you seriously just ask me if I own a pair of Spanx in front of EVERYONE in this dressing room area?"

"You know... Spanx to 'smooth out and suck in' tummy and backend" Rachel continued as she waved her hands around her stomach and hips.

"Yes, I know even though I've lost a lot of weight I'm still fat!  No need to remind me.  And yes, I was planning on wearing control top hose with the dress," I said as I quickly made my way back to my room.

For the remainder of our time at Nordstroms I was distant.  There was no denying Rachel's question had upset me.  Not learning from the Nordstroms experience, Rachel and I made our way to Macy's to look at what dresses they had there.  (I was on a roll so I figured "Why Not?!" surely she had learned from our Nordstrom's incident.)  While trying to decide between two sizes on a dress at Macy's, Rachel says to me, "Remember, if you get that size you can't gain any weight."

"Gain weight? I wasn't planning on it," I said.

Once again, I quickly made my way back to my dressing room so I could change my clothes and get the hell out of there.  We would make one more stop to look at winter coats before we parted ways... and that was an experience all in of itself.

So, why bring up any of this on this blog?

The main reason I bring this up has to do with the fact that ever since this happen, last Sunday, it has bothered me to no end.  Since then, every time I go to eat I hear Rachel telling me "I can't gain weight".  And I'm not talking about eating crap food.  I'm talking about even when I'm eating foods that are clearly healthy.  This particular shopping trip has reinforced the fear that has stopped me from obtaining clothes that fit the thinner me.... the fear of gaining back all the weight.

Furthermore, the fact that I can't stop thinking about Rachel's comments bother me as well.  The other night I was watching the movie Pretty Women.  I can't quote the line Julia Roberts said that stuck out to me exactly, but it was something to the effect of, "The bad stuff is easier to believe."  Ain't it the truth!!!  Have you ever noticed that it's easier to believe the bad thing people say about you than it is the good things?  Also, why is it that people are so quick to point out our flaws - too fat or skinny, not intelligent, bitchy, too nice, etc. - than to say good things about others?  Ever since my shopping trip with Rachel I've been down on myself.  For some reason all I can think about are Rachel's criticisms.  Then I have to shake that thought out of my head... at least until the next time I go to eat something.  Isn't it crazy how much others impressions of us can have on our self esteem?

Currently, I'm at the point in my book where I'm starting to write about why I made a conscious effort to lose weight and the journey I took (and still take) with that process.  When you're in the process of looking back on things like this it often brings-up a lot of strong emotions that once existed in your day-to-day life.  My writing buddy Dee Dee takes what she call the "Ernest Hemingway approach" to managing these emotions and drinks Whiskey when she write.  I on the other hand choose not to drink and just feel those feeling all over again. I don't believe this to be a bad approach, but there is a price to pay for taking such an approach and when incidences, like what happened Sunday, rear their ugly head it just exacerbate the emotions I'm already feeling.

Lastly, I'd like to impress upon those reading this post to filter themselves.  Having a verbal filters is a good thing to have!!!  Rachel's comments were not expected from her... that's just the way she is and I have learned to react accordingly with that knowledge in mind; however, I feel she could have expressed her "helpful reminders" at a different time.  A department store fitting room were there were obviously people around wasn't the time or place. 

A lot of those who have heard me rant about this shopping trip have understood where I am coming from.  They feel similar woos.  I appreciate their sympathetic ear and kind words as they've attempted to help me feel better. 

I will snap out of the body image trap I am currently in; it's just a matter of time.  As for acquiring a pair of Spanx... I'm not sure, but I have to admit I am intrigued to know what all the fuss is about and may have to invest in a pair ... for "research purposes," of course!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Downward Facing Dog

Before I start discusing today's Thursday Blog Project topic, I wanted to take a moment to say that our group is going through some more changes. At the moment, it is just Melissa, Sara and I who are participating in this blogging project.  There may be a fourth joining us soon, but for right now it's just the three of us.

A little less than a month ago I walked into a new location of lululemon that had just opened up in one of the malls I frequented as a kid.  To be honest, when I first discovered lululemon i was shocked that this mall didn't have one given it's geographic location, so when I saw one was opening up my first thought was, "It's about time!"

choose your happy(!)
One of the things I checked on this particular visit were the gym bags.  For all intents and purposes it would seem I don't need a gym back since I have a locker at my "home" gym location I still looked.  (Surely I could find a purpose for such a bag... right?!)  When I looked inside the bag I found a tag that read, "choose your happy".  

I immediately smiled!!!

The first thing that came to mind was the coincidence that happiness is something I was talking and reading a lot about since it the theme at Chick Lit Central at the time just happened to be "Happiness" and I had just written an introduction to our September Go-To-Gay column where I talked about one of the things that brought me happiness - running.  It was this fact that made it seem almost "besherte" that I had found this tag in a store like lululemon.  However, what made it more appropriate is that when I think of this store I mainly think of it for items to support another hobby of mine that makes me happy - the practice of yoga.

I've been practicing yoga now for about 8 months.  I can't say that I LOVE every single class I've ever taken, but I can say I'm not the same when I go a week or two without attending a class.  As "granola" as it may sound, I can definitely can tell a difference in the way my body functions when I haven't been to a class at all during the week.  Truth be told, if I could I would take a class everyday. 

Yoga has gotten me through some tough times.  When I was in the thick of pre-move crap I sought out yoga classes close to my home.  On the days I took off to pack and coordinate all the my move stuff, I specifically carved time out my day to attend  yoga class at a local studio. 

Yoga has given me clarity.  I've had sometimes when I couldn't clear my head during my practice, but it did give me the clarity I needed at the time to tackle the matters that were bothering me. 

Yoga has enabled me to be strong.  And I'm not just speaking of physical strength, but also it has taught given me strength in character.

I can't preach the benefits of yoga enough and beginning to practice yoga is one of the best decisions I made this year.

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Now that I've talked about one of the ways I "choose my happy," please take a moment to find out how my fellow bloggers choose their happy:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Going Back to the Beginning ... Sorta

When I think back to when the decline of knitting started to take place my mind goes to December 2010-ish.  I had just finished my sock yarn blanket and decided I wanted to explore the possibility of going to law school.  Once I committed to the law school thing LSAT prep and applying to law school took over my life.  Then I started training for my first race.  Though I was still knitting, somehow knitting got pushed into the background of my life.  That is until I realized in November 2011 that I had committed to making my mom a sock yarn blanket for her bday in 2012.  That's when I really picked up needles again.

By the time I was finished with mom's blanket, I was well intrenched into my responsibilities at Chick Lit Central and running, PLUS quite honestly the sock yarn blanket really burned me out.  Sure, I made a few pairs of socks and a few hundred Molly scarves, but I just couldn't seem to commit to a "big" project again and I was getting bored with with the little projects I had taken on.  Additionally, it was also around this time I decided to move.  Since I had been at my place for sometime and acquired more crap than I had when I first got there I resolved that before I moved I would de-crapify my home.  This was a task I knew would take quite a bit of time... and it did!  Hours upon hours, days upon days I spent going through my stuff making difficult decisions as to whether or not things should stay or go.  This also meant getting rid of some knitting related items including buttons, books and all the little balls of yarn that were meant for my sock yarn blanket.  All those things and more were GONE! GONE! and... GONE!  Though I hadn't gotten rid of all the clutter, but a good part of it was gone.  Crap that I had carried around with me for too many years was no longer part of my life.

Have to admit... It was such a nice feeling!

Before I moved, I did recon on the various knitting groups in the area.  Given the vast ground the city covered I knew there would be several to choose from.  Ideally, I wanted to stay local, but wasn't opposed to traveling some for the "right" group.  Immediately I found two groups.  One that was within walking distance and another that required me to take transportation to.  Of course, my preference between the two was the one I had to travel to, but that was okay.  That's not what was bothering me about knitting groups.  What bothered me was the fact that I still didn't feel inspired to knit anything.  What's the point in going to a knitting group if you're not working on anything, right?!  This feeling would stick withe me until I attended Stitches Midwest in August.  

Though I didn't spend as much on yarn as I have in years past, I did walk away that day with two hanks of sock yarn.  The first was every so soft to the touch navy blue and red sock yarn from a dyer called Fresh from the Caldron and a UBER BRIGHT colorway from KnittyandColor.  I affectionately call the
KnittyandColor yarn "the ketchup and mustard" yarn because that is the first thing I though of when I saw the sample sock it was used in.  Furthermore, I really liked the pattern used for the sample sock called, "Burning Rings of Fire" by Kirsten Kapur, which just happened to be a free pattern.  SOLD!  Just a day or so later I started a new pair of socks!

Though the socks took me longer to make than they have in the past (didn't work on them as frequently as I usually work on socks), it was nice to have a project to work on at knit group, and when I was out and about.  By the end of the second sock they traveled with me almost everywhere.  I was hell bent on getting them done.  Once I was finished, I felt lost once again.  However, this time I was more anxious to find a new project.  After looking around at patterns on Raverly and not finding anything I wanted to make I remembered a scarf I had seen a sample of at Stitches and pulled up the picture of it so I
"Cocoon Me" by Rose Beck.
could find the pattern at a later.  This time, the pattern was one I'd have to pay for.  Seeing that I got burned the last time I paid for a scarf pattern I was reluctant to pay for another one.  However, I kept staring at it and couldn't ignore it so I took a chance and bought the pattern.  First let me say, this pattern includes instructions on how to make a cowl, infinity scarf and shawlette - DEFINITELY worth the money you pay for it.

I haven't started the infinity scarf yet.  Though I have enough yarn for it in my stash, I am thinking this beautiful design deserves new yarn.

Until I got to this point in this blog post I wasn't sure where I was going with all of the above.  I didn't feel like it had a point to it beyond the fact that it appears I've caught the knitting bug once again.  Then, as I thought about that statement I realized that I was returning back to something I truly love.  To be honest, I wasn't sure how into knitting I was anymore until recently.  How much I truly enjoy it; how much I truly love, it.  For awhile I thought maybe it was gonna be one of those things I use to do, but had moved on from... but it appears isn't that case.  I guess that is true of anything in our lives.  Sometime we have to walk away from things we love to realize how much we truly love them.  Or, sometimes we walk away and realize we didn't love them as much as we thought we had.  Guess it falls into one of those reason, season or lifetime type of scenarios.  Furthermore, I think all this rambling has made me realize that part of the reason I took a break from knitting was that after my sock yarn blanket project I needed a new knitting challenge, however there where so many other challenges going on in other parts of my life that I couldn't manage yet another one and had to give something up.  Now that things appear to be settling down more in other areas of my life I can now focus more on attacking more challenging knitting patterns.  Though not super-duper technically challenging, "Cocoon Me" does have a high stitch count and adequate difficulty which I'm sure will become nothing once I dive into it.  Lastly, knitting is something that genuinely makes me happy.  It always has, and apparently always will. And, it it is one of my top priorities in life to surround myself with the things that make me happy.

Happy Knitting to all!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Looking Forward

For several months now, I've been writing about moving forward.  In someways I've been writing about this topic on my blog, but when I say I've been writing about moving forward I think more about the book I'm writing.  The thing is that while I've been writing about moving forward for my book, I've been thinking A LOT over the past couple of month (pretty much since I moved) about looking forward.

Part of writing my book about moving forward has been focused on taking a look back.  I chuckle inside when I say that because the idea of moving forward and looking back seem to contradict each other - at least that is the way it appears to me.  However, I think looking back at who I was and the journey I've taken get to where I am now had an important role in making my move happen.  It may sound cheesy and trite, but moving was a HUGE leap of faith for me.  I had paralyzed myself for a long time in many ways from taking the steps I needed to take to progress and grow in my life and to actually do one of the things I felt needed to happen was hard for me to finally pull the trigger on.

Immediately after I moved this past summer I was sure I had made a huge mistake as a lot of the things that shaped my life weren't staying with me.  Yes, I recognize that I was the one who moved and that has an effect on things.  However, it was the internal optimist in me that hoped that a lot of the things that were dear to me would make the transition with me.  When they didn't that scared me since I wasn't sure what that meant in terms of what would be in store for me going forward.  How long would it be until I met new people I got a long with... I mean really go along with?  Would new opportunities professionally come my way?  How would this move change me?  These were all amongst the questions I had.  Then, in late June, as I walked away from saying good-bye to another lost friendship (or at least what I believe to be another lost friendship) I found my mindset shift in a way it hadn't ever before.  Though I was sad about losing this person I found my mind telling me it was just the universe's way of making room for new people to come into it.  Though it didn't make me feel THAT much better at that moment about the lost friendship, it help a lot more than one would ever expect.  (AND consequently, new people did come into my life not that long after.)

The fall month are typically very reflective for me.  Of course  Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur surely are a catalyst for this reflectiveness.  Other things drive along these thoughts as well and as much as I'm still looking back and thinking about moving forward, because my book is nowhere near done as I would like it to be, I now badly want to just look forward and focus as much as I can on the present and future. 

Much like the story of how I moved forward, it's now time to focus on what I hope this new story of my life will look like and figure out how I'm going to get there. It's for that reason I periodically pinch myself as all those years ago when I was focusing on moving forward did I think that the day would come that I would say I was looking forward in such a way as I do today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bragging Rights

Though a lot of people would like for me to brag more often, I typically don't brag.  It's not because I want to be one of those people who is falsely modest, it's because (for better or worse) I am just a modest person when it comes to my accomplishments.  However, that is changing a bit... At least for this accomplishment...

In June 2011, I decided to train for my first 5K.  Many years prior to that I had decided I wanted to participate, and complete, as a "bucket list" type of thing.  However, after my first race in October 2011 I became addicted to racing.  On Sunday, September 8th I did something I would have never imagined doing in a million years.... I finished a half marathon!

Sweat is sexy!



Race Bling

 

To say I'm proud of this accomplishment is an understatement.  There is still a part of me that is amazed I did it.  In the days leading up to the race I was seriously conflicted as to whether or not I should actually attempt such a thing.  I wasn't sure I was ready.  Knowing that a friend of mine who was suppose to participate in the half marathon as well had chosen to participate in the 5K instead because she didn't feel ready probably didn't help matters.  Start times were a mere 45 minutes apart and I would have been done approximately 2 - 2:10 minutes later.  It was tempted to say the least.  However, I decided to challenge myself.  I decided that I would rather attain a EPIC FAIL instead of running a race I knew I could do with no problem.  As my yoga instructor once said to us, "If you don't challenge yourself you don't change."  So, I went into my race know that there was a good chance I could fail, and I accepted that fact.  Truth of the matter is that anything could happen in any race I attempted - even the easy 5K.


When I got home, Elsie immediately stole my medal from me ... I have to say, she does look adorable with it on.  It totally suits her!

I've showing off my finishers medal to everyone and anyone who will humor me. Thankfully, pretty much everyone I know falls into that category.

I swore close to the end of the race I would NEVER... EVER do another half marathon, but that feeling didn't last long.  By Sunday evening I was online looking at upcoming half marathons, and marathons as well.  I was told by someone who has done many half and full marathons that is how it goes.  She said, while you are in the process you hate it and swear this is the last time, but afterwards you can't wait to do it again.  She couldn't be more right!

Until next time, Xo!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spending a day, or two, "completely naked"

Three and a half years ago I referred to spending the day without access to e-mail or the internet at any point over a 12 - 16 hours period as "spending the day naked".  To do such a thing was unthinkable, but I did it as a result a day I spent volunteering.  Little did I know then, that spending the day without checking my e-mail or being online for 24 hours was in my future (and more than just once).

I agree to spend a Shabbos in a Chicago neighborhood known as West Rogers Park out of curiosity what it was like to fully observe a Shabbos AND the need to disconnect from life for an ever so brief period of time.  There was an appeal to being removed from the information overload I got on a daily basis from work e-mails, personal e-mails and text messages, and being online (both on a computer and via phone) all day.  At first I was okay with this disconnect.  When I went "officially" offline it was around 8 pm-ish.  I knew by the time Shabbos dinner was over I would be ready to go to bed so I had no problem with not "being in touch" with the outside world.  It really wasn't until I got home from Shul that next day that I really began to feel withdrawal kick-in.  By that point it was 11 am/noon-ish and there was still a good 8... 9... 10... hours to go until I could reconnect.  What was I suppose to do for all those hours?  Without getting into every single detail of what I did, I made it through.  Once I was given the green light I raced to my phone to find out what I had missed.  Turns out there wasn't a lot to see.  "Hmmm... I guess the world didn't miss me as much as I missed it," I thought to myself.

That was August 2011.

Fast-forward to about a year later... September 2012. I went to visit my BFF who is Modern Orthodox. Going into the trip it I understood I would be eating 100% kosher in their home AND keeping Shabbos while I was there. Unlike the home I stayed in during my August 2011 Shabbos experience, my BFF does allow for the use of computers, phones, tablets, etc. in the guest bedroom ONLY during Shabbos. Now you'd think I would have been doing cartwheels about this fact and totally taken advantage of it so I would have to be disconnected for SO LONG, however I didn't. Actually, unlike my prior experience, I found a greater sense of calm about the whole situation. Instead of experiencing withdrawal I felt a sense of peace in disconnecting. Does that mean I didn't run to my phone once Shabbos was over? Nope! I ran to it as fast as I could, but I didn't feel as anxious as I had before. I attribute this to a lot of things, including the fact that I had gone most of the month of July that year without a car radio which forced me to find peace and calm in stillness. Or, at least greater stillness than I was use to.

Since then, anytime I attend Shabbos dinner at the home of my friends who live in West Rogers Park (the ones I stayed with in August 2011) I always turn off my phone while I'm there. Furthermore, I've also begun turning off my phone while I'm in Shul as well. Even if I'm at a Reform Shul (as I was for Rosh Hashanah services Thursday morning).

The great surprise to me came Thursday when I discovered on my way to Rosh Hashanah dinner at my family's house that I accidental left my phone at home. I swear each and every time I was stopped at a light I tore through my bag as if I was going to get a different result. I think it was after the fourth "bag check" that I FINALLY accepted I didn't have it with me. At first I contemplated turning around to get my phone, but then realized I was good without. Honestly, I was happy not to have it with me. Without it I wasn't tempted to play with it all night and instead, visited with those at dinner. Even better I wasn't "one of those people" who was staring at their phone while in the midst of a conversation. (This is a bad habit I've been working hard on correcting all year.)

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Melissa asked us to write about: What would your life be like if the Internet never existed?

All of the above is just my experiences with being disconnected from technology at various times over the past couple of years. If I had to literally answer the question Melissa posed, I'd image life would be a lot like it was when we didn't have the internet... and I'll add in text messaging, too. Without these things we'd have to go back to actually talking to people directly (Oh, the horror!!!) or picking up a newspaper or turning on the television to find out what it going on in the world. The amount of information overload would surely be a lot less.

For me, the above experiences have taught me a valuable lesson in disconnecting with technology and reconnecting in the real world.

With all that in mind, I please don't get me wrong. I still do see value in the Internet, texting, etc.; however, I think what I want to impress upon in this post is that I can see value without all these things as well... which is a HUGE leap for me.

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Now that I've shared some of my thoughts on what life would be like if the Internet never existed, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

5774

Once again, the Jewish community is entering into the high holiday season.  For the next 10 days we will be reflecting upon the past year, asking others to forgive us for our wrong-doing against them and looking forward to the year ahead. 

Over the last week or so, the excitement and chaos of summer has died down a bit here.  Though I believe this down time is for the better, it's provided more time to think about things that I've been pushing to the back of my mind.  It isn't necessarily a bad thing that this is happening, but it has just added to the already seriousness of this time of year.  (With the holidays and other factors I tend to be more reflective and serious around this time of year.)

In past years I have gone into the high holidays with somewhat of a "whatever" attitude.  Attending services and reflecting was more of an expected exercise than it was something of a spiritual nature for me as I didn't see how it could make a difference.  That is until this past year . . .

Though I've had my share of not so great times, I can't deny the past 12 months have been some of the greatest of my life.  There have been times when things weren't so great, but others I have to pinch myself to believe are real.  During the past years, I've spent a lot of time working on various parts of life that are quite important to me and feel like this year I reaped many benefits from that work.

I'm beyond thankful for the move I made.  Though I'm not 100% sure I'm living in the right area of world, I can with 100% confidence say making the leap was the right thing to do.  (This is something I highly doubted after I did it.) 

I got a lot of things I've been looking for over the past years, which is amazing.  And I cannot express how grateful I am for this fact.  Furthermore, though there isn't a clear picture of what they are exactly, I can feel there is more great opportunities ahead of me as long as I continue to pursue the things I am most passionate about.

Though there is so much to be grateful for I'm sadden by the losses I've had to experience along the way; however, I always remember that there is a reason things happen the way they do.  This year, I've learned to let go when there is really no good reason to hang on to something, or someone, any longer.  For better or worse that is just the way life is sometimes.

As 5773 comes to a close and we enter into 5774 I wish for a sweet year for all of those I love and care about the most.  I give thanks for those who've stayed with me along this crazy life journey  I'm experiencing, and for those that were only in my life for a brief period of time.  I have many personal wishes for the new year, but I will address those privately... as I will also address asking for forgiveness from those I feel I wronged the most.

For those of you who celebrate the Jewish High Holidays, I wish you L'Shana Tova!

Monday, September 2, 2013

On the "Edge" of Lake Michigan

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Sara asked us to write about:  Tell us about your hometown, the place where you grew up.

When I was born, my family lived in a highrise building located in an area of Chicago known as the Edgewater neighborhood. 

Since I was very young when we moved, I can't remember much about living there.  I do recall going
to a pre-school at a place called Mundeline College (which eventually got taken into the Loyal College system).  It was right down the street from where we lived so we always walked to school.  I also remember having a babysitter whose name I believe was Kathy.  She went to Mundeline College and once gave me a teddy bear with a vest that had a "M" on it.

After Edgewater, we moved to the West Rogers Park (WRP) area.  Though it's an area of Chicago that is where a lot of Orthodox Jews live, we were not Orthodox.  While living there, I attended pre-school at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) that was just down the street from us.  My most distinct memory of the JCC is taking swim lessons there.  (It's funny the things that standout about a place or time in ones life.) While we lived in WRP, I developed a fear of big dogs because of a crazy German Shepard that would periodically get loose and run around the block.  On one occasion, a bunch of us were outside when this happened.  As soon as we noticed the dog was out we went running toward my friends house except I was too slow and no one would let me in.  So, I had to go next door to my house.  However, as I made my way to my house I tripped and fell.  When I looked up, the crazy dog was right in front of me growling.  I got up as fast as I could and sprinted around the dog and up the stairs that led to our front down.  I stood between the screen door and the main door as I waited for someone to let me in. When I think about it, I can still feel how scared I was and see the tears running down my face because all I wanted was for someone to let me inside so I would be "safe".  In retrospect, I'm not sure how much the dog would have hurt me, but back then it was super terrifying.  As I mentioned above, I let this cause me years and years and years of fear of large dogs. 

After living in West Rogers Park, we moved and to what I now call "The White House" apartment.  It was very large, three bedroom apartment with a maids quarter in the back.  The building had an indoor swimming pool that I always LOVED going to.  I have two favorite memories of this particular home.  The first is the large dining room.  Against my mom's wishes, I would often roller skate across the wood floor of this room with my skates that had steel wheels.  I still don't know WHY it was such a big deal that I did this, but it was.  My other favorite memory was that my bedroom, which was quite large, was right next to my dad's office area.  On occasion my dad wasn't thrilled about this fact.  For example, the time I kept singing the Hebrew song "Hine Ma Tov".  I had learned it at school that day.  After a few times of singing it, my dad kindly asked  me why I choose that song to sing and I replied that it was what we learned in school that day (I was attending a private Jewish day school at the time).  My dad's response to that was, "Did you learn any other songs?"  I smile when I think of that.  Poor guy!  I'm guessing he wasn't as thrilled as I was to have his office area by my room at that particular moment.  This particular place was also right down the street from where my oldest brother lived and a Dairy Queen.  My oldest brother doesn't live in that neighborhood anymore, but the Diary Queen is still there. :)

Over the past several months, I have driven past these areas.  If I have someone in the car, I feel the need to point out different places.  If I don't, I simple smile and remember the past.  I'm glad these places make me smile.  It makes me feel good to know I have good memories of where I use to live, and of my childhood.

Now that I have talked about places I've lived in the past, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)

Monday, August 26, 2013

10 things I haven't done because I've been out living life

As of recent I've been mentioning to a fellow writer friend of mine that I haven't worked on my book as much as I wanted to this summer and how I was a tad envious that she was in the process of writing her inquiry letter.  Her reply to my remark was basically that I should be since I had been out living life this whole time instead of being stuck inside writing - unlike her.

Ok, she had a point there, but nonetheless there was still a long, long, long laundry list of things I hadn't done as a result of said "life living".  Since we're nearing the end of summer and my fellow MOTs (members of the tribe) and I are on the cusp of a new year, I thought I'd put together a list of things I should probably attend to sooner rather than later as they have been put off due to living life to the fullest.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Unpack/Decorate:  Yep!  Though it's not totally horrible, there are still many boxes to be unpacked and moved out of my new place.  Also, I'm living with mostly barren, white walls.
  2. Spend time with Elsie: Lately, Elsie has been running up to the door as I leave.  When I get home, sometimes not until later in the evening after work, she is sitting in front of the door waiting for me.  I'd like to say this is normal, but she never did this before we moved.  
  3. Sleep:  At some point, getting home at 11 PM on any given night has become the norm which is funny because 9/9:30 PM is when I really need to go to sleep so I'm not a total bitch, dragging or overly emotional (ah.. the things exhaustion can do to a person) when I get up at 5:30 AM-ish the next morning.  It's been difficult managing a lot of late nights and at one point I scheduled in some evenings where "the plan" for that evening was to sit on my lovely new sofa and veg with Elsie. (Never thought I'd have to do such a thing!)
  4. Write thank you notes: I have a long, long, long list of thank you notes I want to write that just haven't gotten done.
  5. Read: As much as I love my new commute that affords me an extra half hour of sleep in the morning, it also means that the time I have on the train during my commute to and from work is less.  I have yet to figure out when I'm going to make up for this time later in the day.  Hopefully I'll figure it out soon... I'm MEGA behind on this!
  6. Stay on top of getting letters of recommendation: In my ideal world I'm applying for a competitive artist retreat that requires you to get two letters of recommendation.  I have one, but not the second.  This wouldn't bother me so much if the deadline wasn't right around the corner.
  7. Get my application for artist retreat completed and sent: I think this is self explanitory.
  8. Train for my next race: Ooops!  This should be interesting.
  9. Pay my bills: Ok, I haven't totally forgotten to pay my bills, but I have cut it close on a few of them that don't get automatically paid.
  10. Work on my book (as I mentioned above): This is a BIG ONE!  It's the thing that inspired this post.  I set a very aggressive deadline for the first draft of my book and it's looking like I'm not gonna make it.  I know life happens, but I really need to get back to working on this.
When all is said and done, it has been a super fun summer.  Possibly one of the best on record.  So, I guess if anything I'm happy that my procrastination has been the result of having LOTS of fun rather than something less enjoyable. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pregnancy... Impossible!

"Another pink plus sign... FUCK!"

"Hmm... Maybe it's a defective test.  Just like the other two, right? False positive pregnacny tests can happen," he thought to himself.

He opened up the pamphlet that came with the tests looking for any information he could find regarding false positive results.  There was nothing to be found.  He then turned to the internet.  Surely there had to be SOMETHING that put his mind at ease.

With a great sense of urgency he typed, "Pregnancy test false positive" into the Google search box and waited for something, ANYTHING, to put his mind at ease.

"YES! False positives can happen."

He danced around the room with joy.

Surely, this was the case.  Surely there had been some user error on his part.  It was just ONE TIME.  How could he be preggers after just ONE TIME???  At least, that is what he kept telling himself.  Then as quickly as he had convinced himself there was no way he was pregnant, reality kicked-in and he searched through his contacts for his doctor's office number.  As he waited for someone to pick up on the other end, all he could think was, "If I could only go back to that moment and do things differently..."

It may have been just one time, but it may have been the one time that counted the most.

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This week for the Thursday Blog Project I asked the group to write post based upon this video I found on CNN.com.  Now that you've read mine, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have written:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 8 Hour Date

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Jeanette gave us the topic of: Our worst date

Sigh... Oh my... my... where does one begin with this topic?

After giving it much thought, I decided that I would write about a "non-date" I once had without knowing I had this non-date.  What's a "non-date" you ask?  Well, it's a date that you didn't know was a date until the person you're with goes to kiss you, as you're saying good-bye, and tells you they haven't stopped thinking about you since you two broke-up almost two years earlier.  The kicker of the non-date is that a week or so later when you go back to them to talk about it and find out if they want to pursue a relationship, they tell you they didn't mean to give you the wrong idea.  WTF?!?!  This then leads you to believe they were just looking to hook-up.  

AWE-SOME-NESS!!!

However, after ever more thought I decided I didn't want to go into great detail about that "date" because it wasn't a happy memory and it is in the distant past.  Instead, I decided I wanted to focus on a more positive experience... so I decided to change the topic a bit to one of the best dates I've ever had.

Said date started off by me and "the Italian" meeting in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.  Our primary destination that afternoon was Lincoln Park Zoo as I hadn't been there since I was a kid.  As we made our way into the zoo, we passed by a group of girl picnicking.  Turns out, one of the girls was a really good friend of the Italian.  I was introduced to the group and then we briefly chatted with the group.  As we made our way into the park I told the Italian there was no way we'd run into anyone I knew.  He didn't believe me.  I told him I was so sure of this that I would bet ANYTHING.  (Typically, I hate using the word never; however, when it comes to running into people when I'm out and about that IS something that NEVER happens.)

After being at the zoo for an hour or two, we strolled through the park and continued to talk and laugh.  When we came upon a fountain, we mutually decided that we needed to make a wish as so many others had apparently done, so we both found a penny to use for such an activity.  I was tempted to ask the Italian what his wish was, but knew if he told me he would want to know mine.  (Or, I suspect he would want to know mine.)  After making our wishes, we sat at the fountain and talked some more until we decided we were hungry and finding a place to have dinner was a must.

Since neither one of us really had a feel for this area of the world we started randomly walking about and walking into places looking to see what kind of food they served.  The first place was a major dive and I was ready to bolt the minute we walked in the door.  Finally after surveying our surroundings, we finally settled on a local pub where we ate and talked, even more.

"The Friendly Confines" around sunset...
After dinner we decided to take a walk around the area.  Or at first it was a walk around the immediate area; however, it then it extended beyond Lincoln Park and went into Wrigleyville.  Thankfully I was with another Cubs fan so walking past "The Friendly Confines" (a.k.a. - Wrigleyfield) around sunset was actually sorta romantic.  We paused for a moment and took in the beautiful site of the stadium.



As we moved forward, time began to fly by - and so did the neighborhoods.  For whatever reason, we decided to take a break from our walk and stopped at a park.  The conversation flowed as we sat on the swings and let our inner children have a moment to enjoy the day, too.

All-in-all, we walked for approximately two hours and four miles (I believe).  Honestly, I wasn't totally keeping track.  When we got to our predetermined, final destination we continued to talk for another half hour/hour and then finally determined we should say "good-night".

It was 10 pm at that point, and it felt as though the day had flown by in the blink of an eye.

I smile whenever I think about that date.  It truly was one of the best dates I've ever had thus far!

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Now that's I've talked about one of my past dates, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about one of their past dates:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

There is a Reason Things Happen the Way They Do: 1982

The timing of this week's Thursday Blog Project topic couldn't have been more perfect in terms of things going on in my life.  This week, Melissa gave the blogging group the topic of:  The 80s

I've made a lot of new friends since my move in June.  As it turns out, one of the most recent new friends went to kindergarten with me.  Yes, you read that correctly, kindergarten!

As you might imagine, when this individual proposed the idea that we went to kindergarten together I was all, "Nah!  Can't be.  I mean, what are the odds?"

Their reasoning for this conclusion was simple.  For all intents and purposes we are a year apart in age.  During one of our first conversations I mentioned that I went to a Jewish, private day school for kindergarten and 1st grade.  In this same conversation I mentioned that I was held back from starting kindergarten because of when I was born and as a result I've always been one of the oldest, if not the oldest, kid in my class.  Next thing I know my new friend looked at me and said, "We were in the same kindergarten class."  They explained to me that if we were a year apart in age, that I was held back from starting kindergarten and that we both attended this school for kindergarten there was no doubt in their mind that we were in fact in the same kindergarten class together.

This is where my skeptical side kicked in.  Like I said above, what are the odds???  That's when I asked for "evidence" that we went to school together.  I wasn't buying this one without proof.  This demand for evidence went on for about a week.

Then, the other night while I was digging through boxes looking for some paperwork I came upon a yearbook from this particular school.  The year this yearbook was from was1982.  (Note: I went to this school for two years and my youngest brother went there for something like three/four years, yet the only yearbook we have between the two of us is from the year I went to kindergarten.  Additionally, the copy of the yearbook I speak of was my brother's, not mine...and I just happened to have it.)  So, I looked to see if I was in it.  I was.  There I was with the same smile I've had my whole life and super long hair.  Then I scanned the list of names looking to see who was also in my class that year....can you guess whose picture I found?

Let's just say I ate crow with grace - at least for the most part.

I'm still amazed by this.  It's been 31 years since then and out of the most random set of events possible it turns out I befriend (again) someone who was in my kindergarten class.  Maybe this is likely to happen in a small town, but in a metropolitan area like Chicago what are the odds???

From day one, I've told people that I've felt so comfortable around this person; as if I've known them my whole life.  I guess in a way I have.

I have to admit, some of my closest and most meaningful friendships have started out like this.  Under circumstances that you can't refute that we were just destine to meet.  (My BFF being one of those friendships.)  Though I don't know what will be of this friendship, it's a neat story to share and kind of reaffirms that there is a reason things happen the way they do . . . .

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On a completely unrelated note, it wouldn't be a "80's" post without me sharing a video of one of my favorite 80's songs.  This one is from 1982... even though I really had no clue what it was about, I did like the beat!



Now that I'm shared a story based upon "The 80's", please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Does it pay to be attractive?

Last week, for the Thursday Blog Project, Sara asked us to read this article and give our thoughts on it.

I heard about this case a few month ago and to say the least I was outraged.  Let's start with the obvious reason this pissed me off... I'm a women and the thought of a woman losing her job because her male boss couldn't control his urges and/or his wife has too many insecurities is beyond my understanding.  Seriously(!) 

Then there is the former HR professional in me that wants to scream, "What about Equal Opportunity Laws that are suppose to protect again the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin or religion???"  How does this NOT violate these laws???  This is where I wish I was an employment law attorney so I could dissect the argument made by the dentist's attorney.  Or understand how the court came to its decision.... but alas I am not a legal eagle, so I don't have the training to do such a thing. :(

I'm not sure what else I can say about this without sounding like I'm ranting on and on about the topic.

On a somewhat related note... during a conversation I was having with a friend the idea that ones attractiveness determines how much of a jerk/bitch they can be in a relationship.  During this conversation it was proposed that someone who is drop-dead gorgeous can be more of a jerk/bitch in a relationship to their significant other versus someone who is just average or not so attractive at all.  I can't say I've seen this play out and thus can't make a call on it, but I think it plays into this idea of firing someone for being "too attractive". 

I believe one of the biggest problems with both scenarios is that what is "attractive" is mostly subjective.  Sure there are those you can't deny are attractive, but honestly what is very attractive to one person isn't to another.

Now that I've given you some of my thoughts on this topic, please see what my fellow bloggers have to say on it....

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)

Friday, August 2, 2013

There is a Reason Things Happen the Way They Do

To the Sun, the Moon and the Star and the way they align our life at just the right time:

Once again, this year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs.  Though this has been the case the whole time, I've felt it most over the past month or two as I've made the transition from living in the suburbs to living in the city.  It's like you've waiting to pile on a whole crap load of changes at the same time I made this one MAJOR one.  Why not, right?!  It would be the perfect time.

At first I was pissed at you for doing so.  Seriously, I'm only one person and only strong.  Navigating through all this has surely been interesting - to say the least.  However,  in the past couple of weeks I've come to accept you have a  plan for my life and as a result I wanted to take a moment to thank you.

At first I didn't want things to change as much as they did.  Don't get me wrong, I knew that things would change.  They had to given that I made a significant change, but I hoped that I could still hold on to the things I deemed important and special to me.  Note, I say "special to me."  Throughout the weeks it's become abundantly clear that I wasn't special enough in return and that is why they exited my life.  As I made my way past these events I realized why it was probably a good thing these changes occurred and that I will not only survive these exits, but probably thrive as a result.

Thank you for all the things you have brought into my life over the past weeks.  I feel like I have been living in a dream world.  And, if it is in fact the case that I have been living in a dream world, thank you for giving me the few moment of wonderful.  Things truly do happen for a reason.... 

Lastly, even though I have a tendency to complain about the things I don't have, or want badly but don't seem to be receiving, please know that I am uber aware of all the wonderful things I do have in my life.  I am truly a blessed person.

With that I will end this note to you by asking you bring wonderful to all of those who remain in my life.  I dedicate this post to the following:


Here’s to the ones that I love
Here’s to the ones who love me
Here’s to the ones that love those that I love
And to those that love those that love me

With much gratitude,
Tracey

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Last week, our blogging group welcomed a new member - Jeanette.  I'd like to say, "Welcome" and that I look forward to getting to know her better through her blog posts and any conversations we have - probably virtually.

For Jeanette's first week, I asked the group to write a thank you note to someone who would least expect it.  Please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers had to say on this topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

GoodVibrations (Jeanette)