Happy New Year! From what I’ve observed at this point in my life, it seems to me that there really is no telling what awaits around the corner with regards to jobs, kids, health, love, or whatever, so I’ve given up on resolutions for the time being. We are living in interesting times, and I have been fortunate/unfortunate enough to experience many things…some of my choosing and most not of my choosing. Maybe I will live long enough and happen upon the right muse(s) along the way to enable me to write more about it…
So in 2013 I’ll just do my best to breathe deep, laugh with my kids, and spend time with people who support/love me & my kids (i.e., no fair weather friends or family). I’ll continue to do my best at whatever I’m attempting to do and support others even if I find myself in less than ideal circumstances or around negative people, which seems to be happening less and less. I also will continue to come to grips with the reality of my busy life (e.g., it took me close to 5 days to actually finish writing this short post because of work, facebook, watching TV, words with friends, going to the movies, spending time with real offline friends, downtime, and kid stuff!).
May you experience the most peace, love, and joy possible in 2013!
Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Joyful Kwanzaa. I hope everyone had a very Happy Holiday season and was able to spend time with people who you like and love and who like and love you right back.
Our Christmas was really nice and peaceful. Lots of great presents under a small tree. Tasty lunch at a Japanese restaurant. An afternoon of putting legos and other toys together, followed by seeing Cirque du Soleil at the movie theater. I wasn’t sure if the kids would enjoy the show, but they did and were fascinated by the flexibility, strength, and costumes of the cast.
Another Thanksgiving in the US has passed. It’s nice to have a holiday to remind us to be thankful and grateful for the many positive things in our lives as well as for the challenges we have overcome. I was reviewing my past Thanksgiving posts and last year I wrote Thankful – 2011 (such an original title!) and included a photo of a dragon from my October 2011 trip to China. That trip was amazing, the memories wonderful, and I made some great new friends who I still hang out with.
I also wrote a post on Nov 30, 2008 called The Strength Of A Thought, and I still wonder the same about “thoughts” but have softened my query and am moving more toward observation/acceptance of my musing on that day: “So, how do we rule our thoughts instead of our thoughts ruling us? Or maybe the question is can we accomplish this in this lifetime? In this body? In this experience? Oh what power our thoughts have on the direction we step in our lives…whether it’s right, left, backward, straight, or directly into stardust…into our dreams.”
Reason for photo: The kids insisted on taking the cloud photo a few weeks back that I’m using in this post. My son felt quite certain that the middle cloud looked exactly like a dragon’s foot and my daughter agreed. I’m thankful for their vivid imaginations.
Halloween is an interesting day that brings up memories from my youth through adulthood. I love that my kids are so excited about it and enjoy trick or treating. My son dressed up as a Jawa and my daughter as a Native American (that’s what it said on the package her costume came in). People kept calling her Pocahontas and she kept correcting them saying she was a Native American, not Pocahontas.
I used to love spreading out the candy I got on the floor of our living room when I was a kid. My favorite sweet things were pixie sticks (pure sugar). As a teenager, I enjoyed dressing up as a belly dancer wearing an army jacket. I had an absolute blast at our company Halloween party on the 25th of October. I dressed up as Uhura from Star Trek and there were many others dressed up as Star Trek characters so we could have easily formed a whole crew. I finally had to buy a new costume because for the past seemingly 10 years, I sometimes dressed up as an Egyptian princess. Anyway, I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween.
What a great country! What great opportunities await. What questions have you asked? What questions have you not asked? What help have you sought? What help have you given? How often have you expressed your gratitude? How many times have you forgiven yourself and others and reinvented yourself? Americans, what are you waiting for?
To all you great father’s out there who are really involved in the lives of your kids, Happy Father’s Day to you! When father’s are involved in their children’s lives everyone, and I think even the dad’s themselves, are better off. Just like having a good mother, a good father is critical to a child’s well being. The same stuff holds true for great father’s that I mentioned in my almost record breaking viewed mother’s day post.
Much has changed in a father’s role over the last 50 years, and I think so far that change has been good!
Memorial Day is a great day to remember the many freedoms we have because of those who volunteered or were drafted to fight for our American way of life. There are many around the world who cannot gather with their friends and family so freely, eat barbeque, drink beer (I’m not a beer drinker, but it’s fun watching others drink beer), watch the kids play, and just have a good time.
This weekend the kids and I got to spend time with some very long time friends who have been like family to me for close to 25 years now. Our kids have grown up together and someone this weekend called them “college cousins” which I thought was a very nice term given I met my best friend in college.
As much as we often struggle to pave the way for our kids, it’s nothing compared to those who have stood on the front lines to defend us the past hundreds of years. Thank you to those who have served so we can enjoy our freedom!
I get my daily Dilbert fix by email and today’s Dilbert made me laugh because it’s so true of us humans. We judge our happiness by comparing where we are in life to others. We really have no way of telling whether that guy or gal with a big house, great job, fancy car, seemingly perfect kids and marriage, and all the fun money can buy is truly happy. We’ve seen celebrities, who appear to have it all, implode. We’ve seen people who have very little material possessions seemingly possess inner peace and calmness (without using illegal substances!).
Happy Good Friday. No matter what your religious beliefs are, the fact that so many humans on this planet celebrate the death and life of a man who lived two thousand years ago means something. None of us alive knew the physical manifestation of Jesus, but the impact he has had on generations is undeniable.
May you find your happiness without having to see pictures of people attacked by bears.
I’ve always found Valentine’s Day to be an unusual day. Such significance placed on a day when really the 364 (or 365 in this leap year) other days of the year are what really constitute love and endurance. My thoughts on this day are generally too philosophical to share easily so here are some random thoughts:
Chocolate covered strawberries (well chocolate covered almost anything) are yummy.
Money comes and goes. Apparently so does love.
“Sometimes one smile means more than a dozen roses” – on the wrapper of one of the Dove chocolate squares (given to me by my best friend for my birthday) my kids and I melted in a small pot before dipping strawberries & mandarin oranges in it.
Love shows up in the strangest and sometimes most unexpected of places and people.
My kids are my best valentine’s “dates” ever, and they are showing me how to dance the “shuffle dance.”
My son showed me that you can search Wikipedia in different languages.
My daughter’s smile and laugh melt my heart.
Google’s Valentine’s Day home page video (you tube link; embedded below) is so simple and true. People fall in love when someone quits giving you stuff you don’t want or need and “connects” with who you are and what you enjoy.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The purple Christmas tree was in the lobby of Emler swim school. It looks even more purple in real life. May those of you who celebrate Christmas receive the gifts (tangible and intangible) that you want and the blessings of the season.
The Thanksgiving holiday just passed here in the US. It’s a time where we reflect on all that we are thankful for and, of course, eat turkey. I was thankful I was able to spend it with family (new and old). We had turkey and lobster which was a very nice combination.
I’m thankful for so many things and I, like others, lose sight of how lucky we are to live in the time we live, have the things we have, are for the most part healthy, etc. I think I need to record the things I’m thankful for and play them back to myself every day, because like so many I get caught up in the day to day stresses of life and forget to be grateful for what I do have.
Thank you to all my loyal readers who have stuck around despite my inconsistent blogging and my often random topics. I am in the morass of a full life right now. I am still trying to find my way while at the same time helping two little kids find their ways…
My resolutions this year are to believe/trust in myself, believe in my kids, believe in the kindness and beauty in others, smile/laugh more, make others smile/laugh more, create songs and sing a song (Carpenter’s lyrics link).
Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud, sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song .
Happy New Year to all of you my loyal readers and everyone else who happens upon my blog when searching for something to help them with their life, their posts, their kids, or their businesses. May you find the courage to follow your dreams…in other words your heart! <3 <— that’s a heart symbol for those of you who didn’t know that.
We’ve all heard the saying “You only live once,” so may you conquer your fear just a little bit at a time to live life (at least next year) grandly and to it’s fullest. It’s not easy but it’s worth it…even if you get what “it” means for a few short minutes…you will never forget, can never go back, and will never compromise to the point that you lose yourself again.
I hope you are all having a great Christmas Day. Ours was full of presents and things in our stockings…well at least the kid’s stockings. They already tangled up their slinky’s that I got from the dollar bins at Michael’s. Even mom got a gift from Santa (from a very talented cousin) and from the kids (a camera and a tool kit!). They got some gift cards from Grandma so they will get to buy even more presents!
The kids are surprised that Santa came and gave them more than one gift and ate the cookies/sweet breads we left for him overnight. My 8 year old kind of knows but wants to believe anyway because he knows if he believes he’ll get presents…smart kid.
The kids got more than they needed/wanted and are already playing with their gifts. One required some C batteries, which I don’t have. Most toys don’t seem to use C batteries these days. The Husky Powertek screwdriver has come in handy to open all these battery compartments! Now, I have to find some tweezers to get something out that my son got stuck in his new soccer ball that he gets to decorate!
So Merry Christmas to you all. No matter what religion you might follow, ’tis the season to be jolly, giving, and take some time to enjoy the excitement generated by the children in your lives. Oh and eat some Japanese food since all the other restaurants are closed. Our favorite is Kobe steakhouse so we’ll be there later today. Ho, Ho, Ho!
Thanks to the generous help of my neighbor, the trees I mentioned in my Planting Trees post have now been planted this Christmas Eve morning. It took almost a couple of hours to plant both. It was the first time my kids and I had ever really planted trees and it was a fun experience. And as if to say the timing was right, it rained for about an hour a couple of hours after we finished to give those tries a nice drink.
I think it’s a good skill to have to learn how to work with the earth. I used to mow our lawn when I was a kid and lived in Lubbock, Texas when I say about 11-13 years old until I accidentally ran over the power cord a couple of times. I think my mom decided it was safer to hire someone to mow the lawn then. Although, I drove her crazy as a teenager, I think she still wanted me to live. I like to have plants around the house…even though they are in the background. It’s nice to have green living things (with no pollen) in the house.
I told my kids that when they were older they could drive by the house in the neighborhood and tell their kids that they helped plant those big Oak and Elm trees because my guess is we probably won’t be living in this house by the time the trees we planted are as big as the other trees in our neighborhood. The process got me wanting to plant another tree where the one we had rotted/fell down a few years ago. There are deer in our neighborhood so it will have to be a tree (maybe a flowering one like a crepe myrtle) that they don’t like to eat.
Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s to planting of new things and growing of new businesses in the New Year! (Yeah, I know that was an entrepreneurial stretch!)
This past year has been one of my most challenging personally, and I am so thankful for many things including my friends, family, my kids, my kid’s teachers, and the fact that I managed not to jump off the Entrepreneurial Ledge. [Check out Fred Wilson's post: Thanks for the Entrepreneurs. I'm thankful for them too since they are the main motivation for me to go to work everyday...other than my neat co-workers!] There were times that some people certainly pushed me to the limit (some intentionally and others unintentionally) but somehow by the grace of God, I kept it mostly together and didn’t completely fall apart. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I have started to see some light in the green and inviting clearing ahead.
I wonder if there is a handsome man on a white horse waiting to understand me, connect with me, make me laugh, and take me away to an easier life waiting in that clearing. But that sort of stuff just happens in fairy tales like Tangled (based on Rapunzel), which the kids, their cousins, my cousin and I saw over the break. It was a great movie, but I left wondering why we perpetuate this ‘night in shining armor’ fairly tales to our kids when no one falls in love in 3 days and princesses (women) don’t get rescued from evil parents/mothers by handsome thieves who turn good to get the girl. Everyone always lives “happily ever after” in these fairy tales, and they leave out the part where Rapunzel will eventually need loads of therapy to get over the fact some evil old lady kidnapped her, used her for her powers, locked her up in a tower for 17 years, and pretended to be her mother. During that time she also made her feel not worthy to live her own life and made her doubt her survival skills. Talk about ‘trust issues!’ Prince Charming (a.k.a. Robin Hood type) won’t know what hit him after their kids are born.
Anyway, I digress. I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving as I had time with family, and the kids and I were able to just be and relax. We ate a wonderful tasting brined turkey with mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and sweet potatoes. We also had three fabulous pies and my favorite was the berry/strawberry/raspberry one. Yummy! I was in charge of the sweet potatoes and they turned out fairly well…especially with the marshmallows on top. Oh and a family tradition is crab curry. It was delicious and very meaty for crab! We even did (first time ever) the classic singing of Christmas music around the piano and the kids were fascinated to see the grownups behave so musically. I think it surprised them. My son even played us some songs on the piano he had learned. All in all, the trip was short, the conversation enlightening, the feeling peaceful which made it a wonderful Thanksgiving trip. It made me wish I lived closer to my family.
I hope all of you out there had a nice Thanksgiving and that you had an opportunity to think about all the things you have to be thankful for…not just during this time of year but always!