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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

3 Signs I am Drowning and How I Fixed It

February 8, 2011 13 comments

I am still treading wine, but drowning more than drinking.  I just returned from two back to back business trips.  I realize many people travel every week for work, across countries and continents – they’re amazing, I am not.  I am tired and my body hurts from lugging my ginormous (technical term) laptop all over the place in heels.  I was ready to spend some time at home and get back to normal, then my old pal Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) showed up…

My little diva has been sick for the past couple of days with a 103.5 fever and sleep disrupting killing cough.  I have tried to catch up on work and home life while “functioning” on 2 hours of sleep over two days. (Why was this so much easier when the kids were babies???  Don’t say I am getting old – I am fragile and can’t take that right now!)

Here are the signs that things were slipping in my world:

  1. There was soy sauce and wine on the table, I meant to put soy sauce on my brown rice…
  2. I put a carton of milk in the dryer – of course  I didn’t turn it on (because my husband walked up)
  3. I lost my son’s homework, my daughter’s valentine’s and my… (I can’t even remember the other thing!) all in one day! They were all found, including the thing I don’t remember losing, by somebody else.

There are plenty more examples, like my inability to string a sentence together to save my life, but I think you get the drift.  I have hit the proverbial wall and it is not made of cheese, chocolate or wine corks. 

I told my friend this morning, “I just need to get organized and catch up on everything and I will be fine”.  This sent her into hysterical laughter. I am pretty sure my friends only keep me around for the entertainment value.  She gently reminded me that being “caught up” might be too ambitious and I would miss all the fun in the meantime.

So guess what I did? 

At  12:05 I was sitting in my home office, in my pajamas, unshowered and decided to meet a friend for lunch.  This gal is rarely in town and was 10 minutes from my house.  I looked at my work email, my to-do listsssss (did you catch the emphasis on the plural lists) and walked away.  I set a new record for fastest shower and walked out the door at 12:10. mostly clean, no make-up and a big smile.

I have to tell you a spontaneous lunch out is incredibly therapeutic.  The to-do listssss continue to grow, but I am no longer drowning, because really, what is more important – expense reports or lunch with a great friend?

I knew you’d agree.

How do you keep your head above water?

I looked nothing like this at lunch today, but I was happy.

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Lesson from My Polygamist Same-Sex Date

January 10, 2011 24 comments

I have been having a polygamist, same-sex relationship.  Online, no less.  What would my grandmother say? 

Who is this group of women?  Fellow bloggers. 

My expectation of blogging was simple: to have a creative outlet for myself, a personal playground.  I did not expect to make friends online.  And then I did.

Yesterday, I took the next step in the relationship.  I met some other bloggers for lunch and wine tasting in Napa.  Whitehall Lane hosted us for a fabulous wine tasting that was delicious and educational (ask me about glass corks).  Who doesn’t bond over wine???  We then had a fabulous lunch at Brix.  There was singing, mooning and threats of motor-boating.  It was right up my alley. 

As I drove home reflecting on my afternoon, I felt blessed to have spent a day with exceptional women.  But as I chatted with a close friend about my experience, she said I sounded numb.  She said I was saying wonderful things, but lacked my usual animation.  I thought about it and realized, I lacked emotion because I had some deep thoughts brewing.

Somewhere along the way, my blogging expectations became more complex.  I started watching my blog stats and wondering what it would be like to be one of those celebrity bloggers.  I started thinking that turning my hobby into something more might be my next goal.  After meeting these amazing women I was ready to go home and go after that goal. 

But here’s the problem with me and goals:  I am a crazy overachiever.  My competitive spirit can cloud my judgement, reaching the goal becomes more important than the journey.  I often say I could never be on the Bachelor, because I would want the rose even if the guy was a creep.  I set goals for myself and when I achieve them, I feel lost.  I expect that the next achievement will keep me satisfied.  And it doesn’t.  I end up failing to fully appreciate the experience.  I fear that I could diminish my passion for writing if I take it too seriously.

I think it is great to turn passions into careers or have goals for your hobbies.  I met women yesterday who, for them, this is more than a hobby and I revere them.  But for me to have balance in my life, I have to catch myself.  Motivation is good in moderation.  I need an area of my life where I don’t push my hardest.   

Does this mean I don’t have secret dreams of turning writing into something more?  Of course I do.  Would it be great to make a little wine and lunch money while doing something I love?  Uh, yeah!  But I need to slow down, take time to smell the cabernets and enjoy my new polygamist same-sex relationship.

Do you have something that gives you pure joy without stress?  Is the journey or the destination more important to you?

Lessons Learned from a Pajama Party

December 6, 2010 7 comments

 Last week I attended a pajama exchange party.  Basically a bunch of women got together for wine, appetizers and a game of pajama exchange stealing. The evening was fun on so many levels.  Our hostess has a beautiful home with perfect decorations, she had delicious appetizers and never-ending wine.  (When will I learn that I always have one glass too many?)  I only knew half of the fabulous women before arriving, but loved the other half I met enough to friend them on Facebook.  I think this is rare.  Usually, you meet new people, enjoy chatting with them and don’t give it another thought.  I don’t know if it was the combination of wine and pajamas, but I am a fan of all of these gals.

AND, I went home with fabulous pajamas – deliciously soft light blue reindeer pants with a tank top that had a reindeer with a TIARA!  These pajamas were clearly designed for me.  Our hostess also gave us each a pair fo sexy underwear, which is great, because since becoming a mom, my underwear isn’t always sexy!

In addition to enjoying myself and drinking a tad more than I had planned, I also learned many valuable lessons.  Unfortunately, some of them are too delicate to share on my blog, but think of women, wine and sleepwear and imagine the conversations!  So here’s a few things I can pass on:

  • Comfort is more coveted than sex appeal.  All of the pajamas were beautiful, but some of the most fought over were the kind of thing you hate to take off even to wash!
  • When you hope to prevent your gift from being stolen, stuff it in your bra!
  • Not wearing underwear with a thick seamed pair of work-out pants might lead to pleasure… (note this is tamer than the lessons I can’t write about…)  I should also say that one piece of advice in particular was so appreciated by my husband that he encouraged me to spend much more time with this group of women!
  • Men mistake hot flashes for an invitation.  Just because the pajamas come off doesn’t mean…
  • Book clubs are not just for readers, some just come for the wine!
  • As I have said before, women will come up with any excuse to get together and drink.  (Hell, I have even met virtually with a group of writers while we tweeted and drank wine).

At this party we talked about putting together a book club that would meet at a nightclub (yes, really) and it got me to thinking, what other “reasons” could we come up with to get together, drink some wine and laugh like school girls? 

This is where you come in!  What ideas do you have for a female get togethers?  I am looking for something that sounds like it’s legitimate (so that husbands don’t think twice about watching the kids) like a book club, but can be done over cocktails.  I am also a fan of anything that fuels humor and over-sharing!

Laughing is good for the soul and alcohol is good for everything else!

Design Your Own Funny Farm

November 3, 2010 22 comments

I recently sent a friend to the funny farm.  A few of us have been teasing her about holiday decorations and we finally pushed her too far, she has jokingly checked herself into a virtual,  “special resort” with pink pills, fruity drinks and no stress.  She is practicing her fetal position and listening to soft music.  Her imaginary funny farm got me to thinking… (I know, it happens once in a while, whether I meant to or not)…

If I could design a place to “check out” and regain some sanity, what would it look like? 

The Slightly Off-Balance Center for Balance

Located lake side, this sprawling resort will instill balance, joy and laughter.  Check-in and stay as long you’d like, we won’t tell your family you’re here.  Amenities include:

  • Personal bungalows with lake views, waterfalls, personal wet bars and wine cellars, light blocking window treatments (for sleeping when you’d like, as long as you’d like) and  a staff of 5 for each bungalow:
    • Cleaning lady – she picks up to, no cleaning before she arrives
    • Chef (she can also mix drinks)
    • Hair and make-up artist (should you want to socialize)
    • Massage therapist – they also give mani/pedis
  • Pictures of your children are welcome and there is a designated area to interact with them should you choose, but there is no guilt if you just watch your kids through the two-sided mirror or don’t watch at all.
  • Spouses are welcome by invitation only and you can re-send their invitation at anytime.  Spouses are brought up blind-folded so they cannot find this place on their own.
  • There is a large pool, staffed to ensure you’re never hungry or sober, I mean thirsty.
  • An intensive therapy area for new inductees where people play with your hair, pat your back and tell you you’re amazing.  Intravenous chocolate is also available.

Activities include:

  • Yoga – but only the stretchy feel good poses, no stand on one leg and feel your heart race nonsense
  • Chocolate and chick flicks – this will soon be an olympic sport, so I have been training.
  • Spa days – 24 hours per day, seven days per week on demand
  • Wine Tasting or cocktail pounding – there is no judgement here
  • Book Clubs – we’ll read to you and there are no deadlines

You will note the absence of a personal trainer – this is not a fat farm.  Through the miracles of modern science, fat and unnecessary calories have been removed from our food and beverage, but you won’t taste the difference.  Should you enjoy exercise, there are beautiful trails and a gym, but nobody cares if you go.  This same science that removes fat and calories, ensures no hangovers from too much enjoyment of the pool bar.

Tell me about your dream funny farm.  But beware, if you build it, I will come and stay a very long time!

Ahhh... Utopia

You Could Be A Smile Maker

October 6, 2010 13 comments

I know so many people having a tough week and it is only Wednesday.  I have friends who are sick, ending relationships, struggling financially, praying for a miracle, hoping for a baby, grieving over the death of a friend or just plain burned out.  As I said, it’s been a tough week.  Like the people in my thoughts, we all need a little extra TLC sometimes.

My week will feel better if I can brighten someone else’s day. So here’s a few of the people I think are amazing:

  • If you’re one of those mentioned above you’re in my thoughts and prayers more than you know.  I am humbled by your grace and perseverance.
  • My children’s teachers and caregiver – you are like miracle grow mixed with pixie dust!
  • My kids – you know when to not push me any further (dinner last night) and you back pedal with giggles, hugs and kisses. 
  • My husband – words cannot describe.
  • My fellow bloggers and writers – I have never met most of you but you motivate me and inspire me.
  • My friends – you keep me balanced, you’re there when I cry, you make me laugh and you don’t blackmail me.
  • Those who spend their time helping others.
  • Anyone who shows kindness to a stranger – this truly makes the world better.

So here’s your challenge – tell someone they’re amazing. Write it, say it, sing it, do an interpretive dance.  Just make the week better by making someone else smile, I bet you’ll smile too.

My Better Half

September 15, 2010 22 comments

My husband left for a business trip this morning.  He was gone before the sun came up.  My daughter had me up from 2:30 to 4:30 am and I was trying to catch a few extra winks when my husband called to say good morning and make sure I got up okay.  He was worried that he had not re-set the alarm clock, although unbeknownst to him, I had set my own alarm.  So I drug myself out of bed and started the morning routine.  When I walked into the kitchen, he had laid out my son’s lunch bag, put out everything for his lunch that didn’t need to be kept cold (down to the knife to make his sandwich) and arranged his homework.  This was such a sweet gesture, but I wasn’t shocked…

My husband is better at… well everything sometimes.  He gets  up (usually before me), gets our son dressed, packs his lunch and starts breakfast.  He does the laundry, the grocery shopping and the cooking.  He volunteers in my son’s class twice per month and helps coach his sports.  He has tea parties with our 3-year old daughter and knows  my son’s weekly spelling words better than me every week.  Oh yeah, and he’s the bread-winner.

There are days when I definitely feel like the lesser half.  This is not because of anything my husband says or does, but just because I have a nasty habit of keeping score when I am losing.  (Ironically, I don’t keep score when I am ahead).  I often jokingly say, “What do I bring to the marriage?”  But those are thought for another day.

Today, I want to celebrate and appreciate having a better half.  I have shared in a previous post that he is my best friend.  I am so fortunate to have a husband who is my partner in all of this chaos.  He keeps me as balanced as I can be (which is still off-balance).  My kids are lucky to have a dad that is not solely devoted to his career.  Our family and our life works because my husband is great.  People often ask how we juggle two careers, two kids and still appear it to have it together most of the time.  The answer is often simple: I have a better half!

Cocktails and Passion, Hold the Books

September 13, 2010 11 comments

Since the beginning of time, women have had diversions: bridge club, garden club, Bunko, book club, and the myriad of at-home parties – Stella and Dot, Pampered Chef, Cookie Lee, Southern Living – you get the idea.  Let’s be honest: these are all excuses to get a few hours away from the kids, husbands, boyfriends, pets, whatever and enjoy some time with the girls. 

These events are a time to catch up on each others’ lives, share parenting horror stories and exchange beauty tips, recipes and laughs.   The theme, activity or reason for gathering is arbitrary, as long as we come together as women to blow off steam.  I remember my shock the first time I attended book club, with my book in hand, to find that half of the women don’t read the book and we rarely discuss it. (I, being an avid reader, was slightly disappointed, but the second cocktail made me feel better.)  In summary, our gatherings are the male equivalent of grabbing a beer after work (or so I suspect).

To my knowledge, all of these female gatherings include wine, cocktails or other appropriate alcohol (I’d go to Spanish Club if they served Sangria).  Maybe that’s just my group of friends, but I remember my grandmother pulling out the terrifying jug of Chablis (that poured like maple syrup…) to offer with the iced tea for her bridge club.  (Emily Post had nothing on those women who were steadfast enough to drink that with a polite smile).  Depending on if the gathering is day or evening dictates how much consumption is socially acceptable.  Occasionally, there is the added thrill of a gutsy gal exceeding the quota and being the entertainment for the evening.

This last Saturday night I attended a Passion Party.  This is the pinnacle of the secret female gatherings.  A consultant comes in to provide ideas and products to make life more interesting in the bedroom.  *If you are conservative, stop reading, but may I remind you that if you’re a mom, you likely had sex to have a baby and if you’re not a mom, your parents likely had sex to have you – get over it!

Glad you’re still with me.  But, lucky for you, the Grapefruit martinis make the evening just fuzzy enough not to articulate.  (But I do believe we made the party consultant blush with our comments!)  Therefore, if I am not going to provide details of the evening, why do I bring it up?  Because it highlights all that is perfect about girls evenings.  They are uninhibited, real and can bond perfect strangers. (I can now tell you – but I won’t – who has handcuffs in their homes and who is the most knowledgable about toys).  As women, we openly discuss menstruation, children’s’ poop and weight; how is sex any more taboo?  We are empowered to speak the alcohol induced truth and share our “wisdom”, humor and most embarrassing stories.  We laugh so hard we understand the importance of Kegel’s. 

After such an evening, we are rejuvenated – we have the smug smile of somebody holding a juicy secret and some of us anticipate the arrival of unmarked package, while dreading the visa bill.  For me, I felt more romantical (it’s my favorite made up word) towards my husband and was more patient with my children.  I feel closer to my girlfriends and somehow feel like a stronger woman in general.

So I am huge supporter of female gatherings and all the “secrets” shared there.  I also like pages 6-9 of the summer catalog, but that’s another story…