Sunday, November 29th, 2009
I awoke this morning, sat at the kitchen table, and opened the local paper. Before browsing the headlines, I sipped my fresh coffee and looked out onto the vibrant colors of turning leaves in the backyard. How lucky I am to be able to be able to take in this view, I thought.
I pulled by glance away from the window and began to read the paper. Within minutes all of my gratitude fell away like a bare foot on a mossy rock. I thought of Einstein’s famous quote “The biggest decision one will make in life is to decide whether the world is hostile, or whether it is friendly.” I knew what viewpoint I had chosen. And it clashed with the media’s chosen view. The paper was one big tome of disastrous, tragic things happening everywhere. I couldn’t help but wonder – did I really need any of this information?
There was the couple who died on Thanksgiving Day while digging for clams, and a man who perished when his sailboat capsized. Their were stories about the man who shot his two kids on Thanksgiving Day, and the couple who mocked our President’s State Dinner by crashing the party. And who could miss the breaking news about Black Friday early shoppers, boasting $1,000 in shoe purchases? (more…)
Saturday, November 28th, 2009
Last September my niece Sabrina returned from a visit to Wisconsin and handed me a package.
“It’s a birthday gift from my mom,” she grinned. “Open it!”
I hadn’t expected a birthday gift. As close as Chrissy and I are, we rarely exchange gifts (although she does have a habit of grabbing miscellaneous things from around her house and offering them up to me). I pulled the tissue away from the package and uncovered a rhinestone-encrusted tiara, spelling ”Happy Birthday.”
“Oh, my god. It’s perfect.”
Seems Chrissy was spreading her own formula for the female pick-me-up. We all have them. I’m not talking about a hike, or a massage, a night out with girlfriends. I’m referring to those little secret indulgent things we do for ourselves. I have a friend who is a believer in the healing effects of a late night burger and fries. Another wears seductive lingerie under t-shirt and jeans, knowing she is the only one who will see it. One girlfriend dons a cocktail dress at home with full make-up and has imaginary look-where-I-am-now conversations with old boyfriends. (more…)
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
I love my dinners with Harrison and Olivia. Each night we set the table, light two candles, grasp hands and have a silent meditation. We express something we are grateful for in the last twenty-four hours, and enjoy our dinner. It is a perfect way to set the day’s activities behind us, and settle into our family evening.
The conversations that ensue are often enlightening. One night Harrison and Olivia shared articles they had had read in Newsweek. I was amazed, considering I hadn’t picked up an issue from our coffee table in months. Other times we recap our days. There are the sibling spats and the kids telling me not to respond to my beeping iphone, too – all in a night’s conversation.
Tonight Harrison and I were alone, and he was in the mood to express his latest brainstorm. A filmmaker, a consumer advocate and a budding entrepreneur, he was rarely at a loss for ideas.
“Hey, mom. I have an idea for a reality show,” (more…)
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
I’m sitting in the airport, listening to a woman behind me talk to her dog on the phone. I know this because I’m guessing her child isn’t named “Miffy” of “Spot”. Or at least I hope not.
My horoscope today suggested that I live in the present. Eckhart Tolle would agree. However, I’ve decided to choose which present, because in any given moment, there is a lot to take in. The puppy-doting woman was entertaining, until she got a human on the phone and went into an elaborate description of the cruise buffet. The cluster of eight men walking through the airport with pointy felt hats and gray knickers were interesting (was there a direct flight from the Alps?), but they passed by too quickly before I could surmise about what sort of musical instruments they were hauling in the tube-shaped bags. I decided on the interior moment, sitting in the airport an author completing a tour, and reflected on the last 24 hours. (more…)