Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Brightest Star in the Sky

The packing is going well, and so I've made the time to write.

I've been wanting to reflect on a book I read a few months back by my favorite author, Marian Keyes.  Marian is a talented writer who knows how to (seamlessly) weave humor and romance into stories that tackle serious issues such as domestic violence and addiction.  Naturally there is a fine line one must walk in order to create such balanced fiction, and Marian is consistently successful in her efforts. Though I enjoyed her latest release, "The Brightest Star in the Sky," I found myself stunned at the gruesome turn the end brought, and wondered whether the title was written to mask a dark story that showed at most, glimpses of hope.  Whereas Keyes' previous works instilled bright though realistic outlooks on life, "The Brightest Star in the Sky" felt bleak at best.  Perhaps most shocking to me was one of the characters being killed off at the very end.  Though he was scum of the earth at best, it felt to me like an unjust way to tie up his character - an easy way out out of a complicated story.  And quite unlike Marian...

As I await Keyes' next book (no word on that yet), I hope that it will be written more in the fashion of her earlier works,  a delicate blend of real-life issues with a healthy dose of laughter.

After all, laughter is the best medicine (true story - see the February 2011 Yoga Journal).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!  Now is the time to stop harping on the past and instead start reflecting on the future.  A new year always brings with it new goals, and accordingly with those goals will (hopefully) come new achievements, new friends, and new memories.  How can we focus in our goals and not lose sight of them when life gets stressful?  This is something I grapple with year after year, but this year, I'm hoping things will be different.  After a refreshing holiday season, many tasks await, such as packing for our move, going to work, doing PR for a start-up, working on our book, etc.  Amidst all of the busyness, however, are small moments in which I make a conscious effort to remember the goals and the intentions I have set forth for myself and for my family.  I try to stay present in these moments, reminding myself of my goals and finding small ways to work towards them.

I believe many of us struggle with sticking to our goals in the New Year.  My hope in writing this brief piece is to share that yes, I believe goals are important, but they can be very hard to stick to, and people are not alone in feeling this!  I also wanted to share a simple way in which I'm trying to work with the ever-present difficulty of sticking to goals.

Oftentimes knowing you're not alone can make a big difference in sticking with goals, especially if one tends to engage in self-deprecating thinking...

Quick Note:
This is a book I often turn to when it's difficult to stay present. Check it out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

8 Years

It's hard to believe that it's been 8 years now since Mom got brave and left her abusive marriage. Tonight we went out to celebrate. Fittingly, today was Mom's day to get her professional photo taken for her new website, so she looked extra beautiful :-)
The last 8 years have been filled with ups and downs for sure, but we're both standing tall and proud, much happier and more fulfilled than we ever could have imagined being. Many lessons have been learned, and there are more to come in the future... But rest assured, we are ready to take on any and all challenges that may lie ahead... When we become free from repetitive cycles of abuse, dreams which never seemed attainable become possible, and happiness and contentment become a reality. The door opens up to love and a life anew. Is it always easy? No. But it's worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears that accompany leaving the past behind and building a better future. Here's to the first 8 years of freedom, and to many more!

Joing the Crowds...

I never thought this day would come, but it has. Yesterday my husband and I left T-Mobile for AT&T. After 16 combined years of service (and three months of using a rip-off phone, the HTC HD2, which T-Mobile PROMISED would surpass the iPhone), we calmly walked into the local AT&T store and signed up. We had some idea about just how awesome the iPhone would be... After all, I've had an iPod Touch and and we've seen plenty of iPhones amongst our family, friends, and colleagues. However, nothing quite captures the experience of having your own iPhone for the first time. I supposed after our horrifying HTC HD2 experiences, the iPhone would seem perfect... The touch screen technology is incomparable, the graphics and interface crisp and intuitive, the battery life surprisingly strong (we're not super heavy data users, which is probably why). And the APP store with thousands upon thousands of apps to choose from (compared to the measly hundreds offered by Windows Marketplace)... Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that we joined the crowds, something we don't usually do, for a product that actually is super cool....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Laws of Attraction

Ever wonder what constitutes the laws of attraction? I often wonder this myself, though perhaps not in the same context as typically associated. There are the laws of attracting love and wealth into your life, but what about the laws of attracting the weird? I can't help but ponder this curious issue because everywhere I go, it never fails: I attract weird people. Now, I don't mean to be insulting or to put anybody down, but it is uncanny. I've encountered quite the range, from the strange substitute teacher who always seeks me out to mutter comments to, to the elderly man in Venice who barked at me like a dog. Let's not forget the drunk women who hailed my friend and I down that morning and asked for a ride to the liquor store (we said no). There is the man with three noses and the creep who asked me strange questions and then followed myself and two other females off the train (I reported him to a cop). In grad school a fellow classmate with whom I did a group project spoke in a faux British accent and called me up at all hours to complain about the other members of our group. A supervisor at an internship I did horded everything under the sun in her office and in her car, including papers smeared with dog poo. She also never showered and ate rotting food. Then there was the co-worker who seemed nice and normal until I went to her house and discovered a stripper pole in bedroom and a window from the bedroom into the shower. If you can believe it, the examples shared here barely scratch the surface of the depth of weird people I've encountered. What exactly my point is in sharing this I don't know... But sometimes it just helps to get it out there :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simple Choices

It's amazing how sometimes the act of making a seemingly simple choice can take a load off. Yesterday, inspired by a friend, I chose to stop my participation in an experience that was literally draining me of all reserves. What became clear is that there are times when it's okay to cut a loss. We don't always have to finish what we start. More important than being hell-bent on finishing something that is never going to matter just for the sake of saying you finished it, is always maintaining our best interests as the number one priority. When we can do that, what seems like a difficult choice becomes quite simple.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You Never Know Who Lives Upstairs

Today I found out that my former upstairs neighbor has been a world-renowned plus-size model for several years. Though I had heard rumors about said neighbor having some type of modeling career from others, they weren't of such significance that I had to know more. Former neighbor lived upstairs for only about 1.5 years, just long enough to attend grad school nearby and move on. Sightings of her were rare, but on those few occasions, I was not struck by any extraordinary beauty or plus-sizedness (I would not consider a woman of her height/dimensions to be plus-size; if that were the case, plus-size wouldn't have the negative connotation it often has). Flashforward to today, when I find out through the newspaper that said former neighbor is indeed quite renowned, so much so as to be featured in a major publication in the coming months. With this news, I admit my curiosity got the best of me and a Googling I went. Sure enough, said former neighbor is indeed quite renowned for her modeling (and yes, I did see some images I rather would not have). The point is, as the title of this post suggests, that you never know who lives upstairs.