I about to go all postal on Spring.
One day the crocuses arrive. HOORAY!
Then a week of bitter cold and wind.
A day of 60+ F weather. YAY!
And 2 and half weeks of ambivalent snow flurries, sleet and rain….
By now I’m sure Mother Nature wants a pound of flesh, which I have plenty (ready to negotiate when you are Madame Nature!) Just. Make. It. Stop.
I know, I know. The wimpy California girl in the Northeast can’t hack it, but I lived about half my life out here and this seems an especially tough winter by even the hardy native standards.
So take the pound(s) of flesh, preferably off my backside, if this will make it stop.
Seems fair trade – I’d look better in the bikini at least.
Oh and because I loved it so- here’s the Trailer for “Get Shorty”.
Got to rent that again….
The Business of Life mourns with, and for, the people of Japan.
I was once the reluctant exchange student. To Japan.
I wanted to go to Germany. At sixteen, the prospect of drinking beer openly and freely on a boondoggle of a summer excursion was, needless to say, tempting. But that particular summer, a few nasty bombers blew up some clubs where Americans like to hang-out, and my mom, hip to my ways, made a strategic decision to send me to the Land of Rising Sun. My father, a huge Japanophile, just wished he could hitch a ride…
Did you know you can buy beer there on the sidewalk, in vending machines?
Did you also know, your average 16 year-old American teenager is mistaken for a 22 year-old all the time.
ALL. THE. TIME.
So after initially hating it, I came to embrace Japan.
And then her people and history.
Sure the prospect of having fun (and I did let me tell you) was my mind’s entrée into Japan, it was the catalyst for my growing-up — the moment that you see outside of just you, your needs and wants, and start connecting with the cosmos. Appreciate.
I guess I really started to “see”.
A true “A-ha!” moment at its goofy best, I saw Japan as so full of wonder and possibility:
These people are lovely and kind.
These people worship beauty in the simple.
These people think of others before themselves.
These people “feast with their eyes first, then with the mouth,” as one of my host grand-father once said. Beauty is a valued part of every day action and activity.
These people have great electronics. Oh yeah.
So to wake-up to a Japan torn by quake and tsunami was… heart-breaking. They believed long ago that the islands of Japan rode on the back a giant catfish named Namazu, and when the fish thrashed about, the land shook.
It thrashed today.
I pray for them.
I pray for my lovely host families. I pray for my business school friends from Japan. I hope they are safe. I pray for the people of Japan and the surrounding areas affected.
To help, check out USA Today’s page on “How to help the victims of the Japanese Earthquake,” with links to Red Cross and other organizations that are on-site right now, helping.
The Business of Life is… fighting the good fight.
It’s about righting the equation between women and men. Equal pay for equal work, the right for women to feel safe, get an education and just treated in manner that is fair. Not too much to ask, for Annie this is a Brava! for the Diva.
And there is no better person than James Bond to deliver it. This is a clever ad and it’s delivered beautifully.
Bravo for Daniel Craig for being up for the challenge– it was an inspired choice to use his most famous character to deliver the message, and an extra super bonus to have Dame Judi Dench for the voice over.
Annie, Daniel, Judi and WeAreEquals– you rock.
The Business of Life ponders the age-old question… are you good or lucky?
I once had a curmudgeonly Business school professor that barked the question, often, “Soooo… are you good or just lucky?”
Usually to me. And I think I was quite often the latter. (I know false modesty, but it felt appropriate at this point.)
As I watch my twins grow, their personalities so very distinct — almost to the extreme — I see this come into play, but in an different way ….
Do you learn the easy or the hard way?
I mean how many times do you need to make a mistake for it to take and it not be repeated? Or do you absorb advice and circumvent the mistake in the first place?
Do you learn the hard way? The easy way? Are you receptive to critique?
For full disclosure I’m the hard way. Younger I was hated criticism, I took it personally. ”I’ll do it myself” was a classic Betsy-ism: I rebuked help and taught myself how to swim at four. But I also am a late bloomer most senses of the word. I could have spare myself a great deal of pain, frustration and set-backs had I been even a wee-bit more receptive and acute. One of my children is this to the extreme — and it is pure nature. Super-über responsible from birth, a genius at social cues– and super sensitive, giving and tentative to a fault. She slows down, looks then carefully steps over to the safest spot. My other is hard all the way, but completely fearless, creative problem-solver and mad fun. He runs, leaping gleefully into the abyss. He’ll figure it out along the way.
Good or Lucky? Hard or Easy? The jury is out here. I believe that per the personality, there is optimal balance to be sought. Time and experiences are the teachers here. I think my job is to make sure my daughter pushes her comfort zone to take the chances making up the joy/excitement of being alive and to make sure my son doesn’t not push too hard (e.g. stay alive, not too-terribly banged up).
I watch with interest…
Sometimes The Business of Life is… getting back to “normal.”
Just a quick post. Nothing much to report.
Actually, I lie — there is a lot — just not much in me to report it.
When we returned from California after the funeral, everyone was ill. Everyone. Actually most were ill the entire time and the kids still seem so.
Needless to say, I’ve been playing catch up and though the ideas to write about, things I’d like to share keep rolling in, I just haven’t been up to actually put hands on Nigel.
(Before y’all get flustered, Nigel is my sweet and faithful MacBook.)
I’ve been walking by him, ignoring him outside surfing Perez Hilton, ordering birthday party gifts and booking my kids birthday party at someplace that has a zillion trampolines. Seriously… they do Dodgeball with trampolines!
The journey back starts with a step and so I post.
A few days ago the decision was made for my father to go home. To die.
I am going to California, as soon as weather allows, to be with him.
I can think of no tougher time than now.
I can think of no more heartbreaking moment than the cerebral act of letting go.
It also doesn’t get more personal than the passing of a loved one. And I take this very, very personally.
But, I cannot think of a better option for my father than this.
Death is a part of life, I’ve come to figure out that the processes of dying is also a part of the process of living.
It doesn’t make it easier.
I could never figure out… well not figure out… but maybe the better word is appreciate, Courtney Love’s album title “Live Through This,” released days after the suicide of Kirk Cobain. I do now, because that’s exactly what you have to do… live through this… and make sure you come out the other side intact. Not bitter. Not damaged. Not back to normal — you can’t expect that — but with your sanity and wits intact. I still have to get up, I still have the little ones to dress, feed, help with their 20 mins of reading a night, and make sure that lunch isn’t a fistful of Oreos and a juice box (though I don’t think my nutrition lately has been much better.)
But I see how the next few weeks are going to play out….
It’s as if there’s a tidal wave I can see far off. It’s been there, but now it’s coming straight at me, the water has receded from the beach, exposing miles of barren, skeletal sand. Now the wave is closer, much closer and it’s cresting higher and higher.
I can’t outrun it.
I can’t seek shelter.
It will hit. And hit hard.
So here I am. Bracing myself for it.
The Business of Life seems to be a Crossroads…. I’ve been a bad blogger lately, not posting.
Folks, I’m sorry about not being attentive but the truth of the matter is that I’ve been really tired. Frustrated with a capital F. A drift.
I usually have an opinion. A direction. A fabulous edge. Some chutzpah.
The twinkle seems to have taken a break lately. Not that I don’t know what to write, I have ideas but it’s in the intersection of execution and time that have been on differing planes and not intersecting. It’s like the drunk test, you know the one, where you close the eyes and try to bring your two index fingers together… except you don’t. Or can’t. They keep missing.
And I’m sober.
Perhaps I’m hitting bottom. (Does one know “Heeeeyyy THIS is bottom!” ’cause I’m not feeling it.)
I think I might just start writing about what I want in my life.
Perhaps that will help me figure out a path.
When dealing with the crappy side of The BusinessofLife, it is best to try to look for the bright side. Or at least try to laugh.
Back from California. Back from seeing my father.
There is no easy way to say this, but my father’s life is coming to an end. We’ve stopped all treatment, focusing on letting his last remaining days be as comfortable as possible, someplace where he’s close to my Mom. There is no way around it but it sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.
I’ve spent the better part of the last week and a half digesting this. Unable to do anything but barest of bare minimums and I’ve been missing apts, swimming classes, not returning phone calls, and most obviously to you, not blogging. I wish I was the type in crisis to hunker down and work, or to not eat and lose the weight I seem to not be able to get rid of (it’s happened in the past so I’m, like, “what the HELL?!?!”) but I’m like a zombie. Imagining myself as a slow moving slow, possibly moaning, probably un-showered, and with a blank stare on my face, zombie.
I’ve gone through the process of grieving before. Usually I keep it together, stop eating (oh hell-o dear, sweet size 2 pants!) and then FREAK when I see something that reminds me of that person: scarf, wine, a meal, a place.
This seems to be different. I’m handling it different. Maybe because my father is still alive and is in the process of dying. Perhaps the confusion is there. I don’t know.
But I’m grateful to have seen him and to be with him and my mother. A hug. A kiss. A smile. These are treasures that I’m packing away forever.
I’m spending this week looking for The Bright Side. Of Life.
“Cause living doesn’t stop.
Joy can be found.
Ahh and this somehow seems fitting… I’ve been humming “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”…
Sometimes of The Business of Life is… go back to the basics. Clothes. Food. Music. Education, even.
Every night the twins have to read, at least, 15 mins. Whatever they want. Silently. Focused.
I love to read. I mean LOVE LOVE LOVE to read. I read everything (sort of make sense that I worship all things media– I soak it in.)
But rarely do I read, unless you count sneaking in as much Star Magazine as the 17 y.o. checkout girl will give me before it’s my turn at the register…
Well no more my friends. I am giving myself homework.
15 mins of reading. Homework or LEGO instrutions don’t count. Emails about hockey, Boy Scouts, Brownies or the latest sale from JCrew don’t either.
I’m bring back reading for pleasure.
Sometimes The Business of LIfe is … contemplating the forks in the road.
Boy I expected to have this written by last night but I totally sacked out on my couch at 9pm. Unbelievable, but true.
I am confounded at this point by the choices. To stay awake. Do the work. To sleep. To take a break. The opportunity costs of choosing something different to focus on another. To lose time with my children. Time with my husband. Time with my friends. Time for myself. Losing opportunities with new ventures and adventures.
With but one person and 24 hours there is always the need to choose.
Forks in the road present themselves on a daily, often hourly basis.
How can we chose wisely?