To Better Days

On this last day of 2017, I leave you with words not my own.  To me, this is the ultimate New Year’s song, because it reminds me that I can start fresh if I want to.  Anything and everything is possible again.  I like the idea of forgiving everyone tonight, and maybe the thought that everyone will forgive me.

May 2018 bring you all what you need!  Much love to you all!!

Better Days- The Goo Goo Dolls

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
‘Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again
I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that’s faith and trust and peace while we’re alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there’s ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them
So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again
I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again
Songwriters: JOHN RZEZNIK
© BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Happy New Year!!

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Fortune Cookie Wisdom

The onset of the new year always makes me nostalgic.  I think about fond memories of the past year, and the past in general. And then I think about the future. I think about all the good things that are in store for me.  and sometimes the thoughts about the past, the present and the future all sort of blend together.

A few weeks ago, we ordered Chinese take out.  For the most part, NYC restaurants go longer send fortune cookies and Chinese noodles with the food.  We’re more “elevated” here, or cost conscious, or “cheap” to do that.  But one neighborhood place still sends out the cookies along with the wonton soup and fried veggie dumplings.

“Reconcile with an old friend.  All has been forgotten.”

That’s what the fortune said.  I placed it on my magnet board, because oddly, I’ve been thinking about an old friend.  I considered reaching out to this old friend, right around the time I got the fortune.   Weird, right?  Is it a sign?  Or am I just trying to make it a sign?

I’m not one to hold grudges- I think that life is too short.  I don’t like being at odds with people- I think it is a waste of energy that should be used positively instead of negatively.  It takes the same amount of energy to be happy as it does to be mad.  These are not some sort of fortune cookie wisdom- these are my own personal mantras.  These are things I try to live and practice.  And to be fair, I probably did once see them on a fortune cookie.

But back to the actual situation.  I had a falling out with a friend a few years ago.  To be clear- both of us were wrong and both of us were right.  It was a pretty evenly sided falling out.  But I miss talking to this person because they are smart and funny.  And a whole bunch of other things, but we will leave it at,  their absence in my life is felt.

So now, do i reach out to this person?  According to the fortune cookie, they are ready to make amends.  But, are they?  I might need to get an order of wonton soup just to get a fortune.  (Actually, I’ll need to order two things because I need two fortunes cookies- if I only get one I will just give it to my daughter, and I will be fortuneless)

Are some things better left alone?  Are some friendships meant to die out?  These are going to be thoughts for the upcoming year- be prepared for some blogs about them.

Happy New Year!!!

The Future is Now

I don’t have resolutions.  People don’t tend to stick to resolutions- resolutions end as the month of February begins.  I always hate going to the gym in January- 1 million new members join and show up.  he gym gets crowded.  On February 1st, we will retain 5 new members.  The rest are just making the gym happy by paying dues.

I have goals.  I make a plan.  I break the goal into little steps.  I write those down in my planner.  These are my goals, both big and small.

  1. Last year, one of my new goals was to make sure I saw my 5 closest local friends once a month.  I did a great job with keeping that, though sometimes monthly wasn’t possible.  It was really nice being able to connect with my friends in real time as opposed to texting.
  2. Last year I also began unsubscribing to the random promotional emails I get.  I still have so many.  this year I plan on getting rid of the store emails.
  3. I am not shopping specifically because there is a sale.  I end up with things I do not want/need.  I would rather pay more for something I love.
  4. Eating healthy.  Of course there are many definitions of this, like, I ate blueberry crumble pie for breakfast the other day and I decided it was healthy because duh, blueberries and the topping was made of oats and nuts.  As far as my brain was concerned I was eating granola and fruit with milk. (I can’t have pie without whipped cream)
  5. Novel.  I plan on finishing my novel and 2nd draft.
  6. Literary agent.  Yes.  I need one.
  7. Blogging- 5 days a week assuming I have internet connection.
  8. Date nights with husband 1-2 times a week, one of those being couples/group date thing
  9. One activity with my daughter
  10. Dropping 12 pounds that crept up on me
  11. Knitting.  I’ve always wanted to learn
  12. Getting a little better at photography
  13. reading 50 books – (I fell a little short this year- I stand at 45- I may read 4 picture books and finish book I’m reading
  14. Organize blog reading time better.  I have so many blogs I want to read, but I need to find a better way to incorporate reading them.  This is a work in progress cause i don’t know the best way yet
  15. Trying to be a little more stylish.  No idea how I’m going to break this up into little pieces and plan it out.  This could be a tough one. (says the woman currently in a stained sweatshirt, leggings and faux fur lined boots- it’s 15 degrees in NYC but feels like 2 in my apartment)
  16. Try different teas.  I tend to get into a tea rut where I drink my old standbys.  I want to be more adventurous.
  17. Exercise at least 5 days a weeks and make sure I do weights at least twice.  I tend to do my cardio but I’m really bad at the weights thing, but I know it’s necessary
  18. Ok- this isn’t a goal but an anecdote of sorts.  My daughter, though a battle worn and urbane 16 year old, also has a soft, whimsical side.  In NYC we have internet kiosks, places on street corners that used to house pay phones now have places where you can charge your device or scroll the internet.  On Christmas Eve these kiosks had a special call Santa feature.  As we walked home from the restaurant where we had family dinner, My daughter asked me to come with her to “Call Santa.”  We smiled as the Santa voice came on and asked if she’d been good (questionable) and what she wanted.  She smiled and laughed, the 5 year old coming out in her eyes, and she said “Santa, how about putting a good word for me at ___________( the impossible to get into college she wants).  The Early action decisions come out before Christmas next year.”  So this isn’t a goal, it isn’t a wish, it’s just me knowing I have to put on my Mom pants in 2018 and help my kid in whatever capacity she needs me- so I need the strength to help her.

 

Happy New Year to you all and hoping 2018 is spectacular.

A Look Back

I had so many blog ideas for this week- yet I just don’t have the inclination to write them, so  I’m going to reflect on my year.  Here goes.

  1. I started my blog.  This was by far the biggest and most positive thing I did this year.  I was feeling a bit blue as I circled 53, and I needed a jump start.  Blogging was a perfect outlet.
  2. Writing class.  This was also a great move for me.  The class broke down the writing process into steps.  It’s not a formula, but a series of devices that help to tell a story.  This was a positive influence on my writing.  I am taking Fiction 2 beginning in January.
  3. Novel.  I am 3/4 of the way through the first draft.  I can see the finish.  I have also begun retooling the beginning because I’m realizing plot holes.  My plan is to be finished with 1st draft by the end of January, with second draft completed by March.
  4. StitchFix.  I don’t have to shop for clothes anymore.  Yay.  (No money or compensation for the mention)
  5. Writing Group.  I met two wonderful women in writing class and we have formed a little writing circle.  It works.  They are writing books that are a similar type to mine.  This is going to be invaluable.
  6. I just began watching “The Crown.”  LOVE IT.  Thank you Netflix.
  7. Speaking of TV- I noticed I watched a lot less of it this year.  I can only consider this a good thing
  8. Finally got to see U2 live.  Amazing.
  9. Dear Evan Hanson and Hamilton.  Saw both of Broadway.  Spectacular.  truly amazing theater.
  10. The Big Sick.  One of best romantic comedies ever.
  11. The Shape of Water.  Totally overrated.  Sorry.
  12. Trip to Paris with my daughter.  Five days of perfection.  Is there anything wrong with Paris?  Oh yeah- it’s too far away to visit every weekend.
  13. Went to Lincoln Center to hear Philharmonic celebrate Bernstein’s birthday.  Rhapsody in Blue.  I don’t know if there is a better piece of music.
  14. Acadia National Park.  One of the most gorgeous places on earth.  So glad I got to see it.
  15. Best books- “The Children Act” by Ian McEwan and “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman.  Loved both.
  16.   But of all the things this year- my most wonderful and powerful memory is meeting all of my blogging buddies, forming a little blogging community.  It’s hard to make friends at any point, but especially as you get older.  Meeting all of you has been wonderful.
  17. 2017.  It has been a wonderful year.

Holiday Round Up

I’m still a bit giddy from the holiday season.  I was going to write something thought provoking today, but I thought- why start now…..So here is a little compilation of my holiday memories.  In no particular order:

  1. One of my favorite Christmas Movies is the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” directed by Brian Hurst, starring Alistair Sim.  This year, The Morgan Library ran a showing of it.  The Morgan Library also has a first edition of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens on display.  I enjoyed going to this event this year, especially as this version of the story was not shown on TV this year.  (in my neck of the woods anyway)
  2. We saw Pentatonix live at the Beacon Theater in NYC.  They are just amazing.  Absolutely spectacular show.  Thrilled that we got to see them live.
  3. Holiday decorations.  The past few days I displayed photos of my window shopping along 5th and 6th Avenues.  While there were many wonderful decorations, Saks Fifth Avenue based their windows on Snow White, as it is the 80th anniversary.  Love Snow White.  Love the windows.  Perfect.  Saks won holiday decorations.
  4. I did most of my shopping online this year.  I never thought I would say it, but there you have it.  Great prices and free shipping made it hard not to partake.
  5. I’ve been thinking about this 3 gift thing that many people are embracing (or say they are embracing)  The theory is you gift someone 3 gifts:  one they want, one they need, and one they read.  As someone trying to embrace a minimalist lifestyle, I think this is wonderful.  As someone who likes to give her daughter lots of gifts I do not.  I find it hard to not shower my kid with gifts, especially while she is young.  I will also add that my kid did receive 3 books (one of which was an AP review guide), new sneakers (needed) and a few practical items.  She did receive her big “want” which was a small photo printer.  I can’t reconcile my need to downsize with my need to see my kid open things.  I don’t know if I actually care.
  6. Spending two days with my parents is trying.   I always wonder why I’m just a tad “off”, and then I spend time with them and I wonder how I am so “normal”.  Seriously- the sheer fact that I am able to function is a testament to my Darwinian need to survive and adapt.  My Mother is just…..too complex to discuss in this post.
  7. The best party I attended this year was hosted by some accounting organization.  I know- accountants can party.  Shocked I tell you.  Shocked.
  8. I received 38 holiday cards this year.  34 of them contained a picture.  The 4 without a picture were sent by my parents, building staff, dentist and one cousin.  My conclusion is, once someone’s children reach the age of 18, they no longer send out cards.  By this calculation, we will stop receiving cards within the next 10 years.
  9. I enjoy holiday shopping in the little markets that open up around NYC every holiday season, but as stated, I don’t like shopping in stores.  Chaos and disorganization reign in stores.  Yuck.
  10. I managed to not gain any weight over the season.  Nor did I lose any.  This was my goal- to maintain my weight loss.  I love food, and the things served this time of year.  I knew that I needed to indulge a little.
  11. Having a cold in the middle of the season was hideous.  Am going to take better care of myself next year.

And there you have it.  i wasn’t in the mood to write a thought provoking post, but this recap of my season took twice as long to write as a regular post.  I think I’m still tired.  this Christmas Day on a Monday thing just threw me off.  I kept thinking that Christmas should have been on Sunday.  Guess I will feel same way next week with New Year’s.

Only two more parties!!!!

Everybody Matters

As I  wrapped presents yesterday, my first thought was “Did I buy my daughter enough?”  Seriously.  Pile of boxes and gift bags, and I thought, is it enough?

My Mom left me a voicemail the other day.  Christmas is at my house this year, which means I’ll be cooking.  You know- cooking a meal, like I do pretty much every day.  She asked my if I was buying food.  She actually left me a voicemail saying “Are you buying food for Christmas Day?”

Last night I attended the Winter Concert at my daughter’s school.  A packed auditorium showcased beautiful, talented children playing their instruments and singing.  Smiling and laughing.  A room full of parents beamed with pride, a tear or two shed,  as we watched our amazing children.

Tomorrow, my family and I will head to Fifth and Sixth Avenues in NYC to see all the beautiful decorations.  The city is perfection in December- all sparkly and festive and magical.  There is also this ridiculous bakery right near Rock Center that makes this chocolate icebox cake that is dream worthy.

What am I saying with this odd assortment of anecdotes?  I am very lucky.  My Mother may be crazy, but she’s there.  My Daughter is healthy and amazing and doesn’t ask for much.  My husband is a pretty decent guy.   I am content.  I am blissfully happy the whole month of December, and the other 11 months are pretty good too.

But then I read the blogs of some of my blog friends.  As I was sick last week, I’ve been sort of playing catch up.  Some of my blog friends, well, they’re not so good right now.  And I’m sure I pass people on the street that are not so good right now.   I know there are many people who struggle during the holiday season.  I wish it weren’t so, but there you have it.

This is one of those powerless moments for me.  I am really not qualified to help anyone.  All I can do is tell people that I’m thinking of them during this rough patch, that they are in my thoughts and prayers.  It’s all I can do.

No one has a perfect life.  No one actually lives on their Pinterest page.  When you read someone’s Holiday Letter, remember all the things that they are leaving out- they’re just spinning the highlight reel.  Every single person goes through something in their lives.  No one gets a free pass from grief or depression or just plain bad luck.  We all suffer in some way.  But we need to soldier on.   Because that’s what life is: tunneling through the shit to find the gold.

But sometimes we need help, we need someone to hand us the shovel.  Please  go to a qualified shovel specialist.  There are people out there that can and will help.  Know that there really are people who care.

And to everyone else- remember- sometimes all that’s needed is a kind word.  Sometimes telling someone that you are there is enough.  Remind yourself that everyone else might not be as happy as you are.  A little kindness goes a long way.

So my holiday wish to you all is simple.

Be kind.

Be thoughtful.

Know that you matter.

Know that everyone matters.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

Peace and Joy to you all!!!

 

200 Posts!!

Ok- I don’t know how it happened, but here you are- my 200th post!!

I almost feel bad writing today, and claiming this as 200, because I had 3 days of non-posts where either me or my computer had a virus….but the wordpress Gods said that yesterday was officially 199, so here are some random thoughts on my blogsperience.

  1. I hate creating a title.  Seriously.  I think it takes me longer to write the headline than it takes to write the blog.  I’m not that clever, and I can rarely sum up what I’m writing about.  Perhaps because I am sometimes lost in thought.  Like, I can’t even remember how this paragraph started.
  2. I am horrible at grammar and spelling.  I had this conversation with Jay the other day- I don’t notice these types of errors/ mistakes unless they are glaring.  I’m more focused on content.  I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.  Probably bad, because I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will need to hire a copy editor before I send out my novel
  3. I can’t believe I find things to write about 1 day a week, much less 5.  My life is boring.  Yet, I manage to pump out 500-1000 words.  Go figure.
  4. I can’t write/blog when my family is home.  They are distracting.  Well, my Husband is.  I will be at a critical spot, where I have come to some sort of blog epiphany, and then he’ll start talking.  About nonsensical things.  Which is cute- but not when I’m trying to solve the problems of the world.  So, my not solving the problems of the world falls squarely on his shoulders.
  5. I have a lot of opinions.  No really.  I do.
  6. I look forward to blogging every day.  I hated when I was sick and my mind was cold addled.  Blogging has become cathartic.
  7. I have made so many wonderful friends blogging.  I look forward to reading and commenting with so many of you!!  I get excited when I see that you’ve posted, and I look forward to reading of your adventures, and misadventures.  I cry with you all, and laugh with you all.  I am humbled by your strength and perseverance.  I am awed by your wit.  I am emboldened by your honesty.  Thank you!! You all give me hope!
  8. I love comments!!  I love when people feel moved enough to tell me what they think!  And I love when people don’t agree with me, because I value the other side of any argument
  9. I don’t really talk about “likes” or “follows”.  That’s not the reason I blog.  I blog because I love it.  Plain and simple.  But I would be remiss if I did not mention that I have exceeded 1000 followers.  I know?  Right?  How the hell did that happen?  So to all of you who have decided to learn about me and laugh at me (or with me) THANK YOU!!  Seriously- I am humbled to feel that maybe I’ve made any sort of impact in someone’s life.  It is an honor to know all of you!

And there you have it!

Onward and upward!