Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Choosing Happy

The last two days I've been participating in a social experiment entitled "100 Happy Days".  Over the last month I've seen Instagram posts and tweets with that hashtag and figuring it to be the latest social media trend, I decided to avoid it but Sunday evening, I saw a post which gave me a better understanding of '100 happy days' and for a myriad of reasons, I decided to participate.
This month and last month, there has been a certain theme to my conversations with friends, a feeling of life having not turned out the way they thought it would; marriage not being as blissful, kids not being as well behaved, being married and not being able to have children, to not being married at all or not as successful at work, or not making a certain amount of money within a certain time frame, and on and on.  Everyone I talked to seemed to share this sentiment of not being happy exactly where they are, with exactly what they have at this moment.  It led me to wonder if this is a consequence of choices or a consequence of settling. The more I've considered it, the more I believe it is about choices, so Sunday when I saw the 100 happy days post describing the experiment as a choice, it struck a nerve.  
For me the experiment does not stand as a test to be happy all day, every day for 100 consecutive days but instead as a choice to find at least ONE piece of joy in each day, every day for 100 days.  It is often I see and hear and even experience it myself, where something goes wrong and it robs the joy from the day, one little thing makes it difficult to find our way back to happy.  How ironic that happiness can be so fleeting while anger and misery so lasting.  But we can all make a different choice.  I am choosing a happiness that lasts. I am choosing to find at least one piece of joy in every day for the next 98 days.  Won't you join me?  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book: Strings Attached

A little over a month ago, I made a deal with myself that I would get back to reading books.  As a child, I read so much, I needed glasses by the age of 10 and by the age of 12, my vision had deteriorated to the point I could only see the big 'E' on the top row of the optometrist's letter board.  Since that time, my vision has remained largely the same, improving and then alternately regressing slightly.  I wish I could say my book reading habits have remained the same, that is, devouring whole books in a single day, but sadly they have not.  Time is a frequent scapegoat for why most things are left undone, and I too, like to blame it for this decline.  However, a more accurate culprit would most likely be, intention.

So, at the end of October, I made it my intention to get back to reading books.  I decided if time was the culprit, surely I could read at least one book per month.  I made this pact on October 27th and have just finished my 3rd book, Strings Attached: One tough teacher and the gift of great expectations, by Joanne Lipman & Melanie Kupchynsky.   It was a great read and left me a feeling quite sentimental.  In fact, so sentimental I felt moved to write.  Won't you hear me out?

I spent quite a bit of time thinking of my mom and her "tough love" way of being throughout my childhood while reading this book.  I recalled the memories of bringing home B's on report cards and being happy to show her to which she responded, "A 'B'?!? My child doesn't bring home B's!!" and to then dismiss me to go study.  Or when I bought home A's and she inquired as to why the A's weren't A+'s.  There was also the time I misspelled "bias" in the 6th grade spelling bee.  When I returned home that evening, I had to write a one-page paper on "bias"and its importance in the world.  That paper was hung by the door to my bedroom, on full view so that I would never forget "bias is a thing that can make or break you".  And although we had a dishwasher at home, my mom never let me use it, claiming "doing things the hard way built character." She would often use that philosophy as a metaphor for dealing with difficulties in life.

Growing up, I thought my mom was tough and I often felt nothing I did would ever please her.  But, I worked hard in my attempts.  I graduated high school with a 4.6 GPA (AP and honors classes were weighted higher) and my first college GPA was a 4.0.  With enough lecturing from my mom, I eventually began to believe I could do anything I put my mind to.  I remember once arguing with the quarterback of the high school football team that if I worked hard enough, I could run 40 yards in under 5 seconds.  

My mom's tough love continues to inspire me to work hard.  I understand that the big things in life won't be easy.  Difficulty never deters me.  I dig in deep and ultimately, I know I am built for the challenges.  Sometimes people tell me it's almost as if I believe I can will things to turn out the way I want.  But it's not that I believe I can will the world to my whims, but moreso I believe, if I work hard and persist, my efforts will give way to my desires.

Strings Attached is a book about how great expectations can lead to success but is also a book about friendship.  I thought a lot about my friends while reading this book, those near and far; the friends I talk to daily and those who have dedicated their lives to teaching and those I don't talk to as often but when we do talk, we pick up right where we left off as if not a second has passed since we last spoke.  I thought a lot about how life throws us curves and how things don't often turn out as we had hoped.  I thought about how life can be "messy" and yet,  beautiful.  I thought all these things as I poured over the words of this book and I felt grateful my life.  Grateful for tough love and great expectations.  Grateful for family.  Grateful for friends.  Grateful for today and grateful for this very moment.

As my life continues, I know I will from time to time think back on this story and the people in it.  And I will remember how one person living a life with passion can positively impact the world. I've always believed that the best works of art make you feel something; joy, anger, love, sadness, nostalgia.  Strings Attached stirred up all of these emotions and then some.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pinning and Pining for Glam

I don't know what got into me this morning but I haven't been on Pinterest in months, until this morning when I embarked upon on a small pinning spree. The spree could have resulted because I snoozed through my morning workout or because I showed up to my client's job site unkempt and wearing running clothes and just felt like I needed a little bit of glam in my life but whatever the case, these dresses are fabulous and should be in my closet! 

                 Dolce & Gabbana
   Photo credit: rus.dolcegabbana.com

                          Zac Posen
   Photo credit:   
   www.louboosandshoes.blogspot.com

                  
                        Zuhair Murad
Photo credit: www.weddinginspirasi.com

   Photo credit:     
   www.oneposhlife.tumblr.com

   Photo credit:  
   www.oneposhlife.tumblr.com






Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Max Glam

Walking around in Georgetown last week and spotted these lovely chairs in the Jonathan Adler store window. I love these! So glam! 

Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in linen.
Photo credit: www.jonathanadler.com

        Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in     
                         shearling. 
    Photo credit: www.jonathanadler.com

       Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in   
                           shearling.
                      Photo my own.

   Jonathan Adler "Maxime" chair in linen
                     Photo my own.




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Penelope and CoCo

This blog really should just be a shoe blog because it seems shoes are what I post about most. But nevertheless, it seems I am late to the Penelope and CoCo shoe party. Penelope and Coco is a brand based out of Los Angeles that manufactures fab, fab, fab shoes made in the USA.  My favorites are featured below.

          "Edie" 
          Photo credit:
          www.penelopeandcoco.com

       "Farrah"
       Photo credit: 
       www.penelopeandcoco.com
     Photo credit:
     www.penelopeandcoco.com
       "Millie"
       Photo credit: 
       www.penelopeandcoco.com


    Photo credit: 
    www.afendibagandabadattitude.com





Friday, August 16, 2013

Men and tortoise shell

Saw a man last night wearing tortoise shell glasses. I was intrigued. Well, to be fair, I am always intrigued by men who take care to be fashionable. Only now, I am left wondering, why don't more men wear tortoise shell??

    Photo credit: www.blog.inonit.in

    Photo credit:
    www.ivegotthemeanreds.tumblr.com

   Photo credit: www.outspokennyc.com