Bloganuary Day 18: What book is next on your reading list?

OK- so they have me talking about books…

Let’s start with what I recently finished:

  1. When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash
  2. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  3. The Maid by Nita Prose (is that her real name- I mean really- an author named prose?)

What I’m reading now:

  1. Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
  2. The Best of Me by David Sedaris
  3. The Home Edit Life: The Complete Guide to Organizing Absolutely everything at work, home and on the go by Clea Shearer
  4. The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson
  5. A Deadly Affair by Agatha Christie
  6. A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel
  7. The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

WHAT’S NEXT:

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

Mommy, Fix It

The Book: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

The Quote: What she remembered was the extraordinary, astonishing pain, and her fury with her Mother for not fixing it. She didn’t expect her dad or the doctors to fix it. She expected her mother to fix it.

Do we have higher expectations of Mother’s than anyone else?

Do we think that Mother’s can do the extraordinary? That Mother’s are omnipotent? That Mom’s just get it done?

Are daughters more apt to rely on Mom’s, with sons relying more on Dad’s- or does everyone reach out to their Mom’s?

I’m going to try to not butt my two cents in, and leave this open for the group:

Discuss

Bloganuary Day 17: What is a superpower you’d love to have?

I have two favorite Christmas movies: A Christmas Carol (1951) and It’s a Wonderful Life. I watch them every year on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

If you know anything about either of these movies, you will know that they both have spirit guides, so to speak, who are able to show the character what the future holds. In both cases, it enables the main characters to change their ways and thoughts.

Powerful stuff.

I wish I could be a spirit guide so that I could show people what the future holds if they continue to do things as they do.

I don’t think people think too much about the consequences of their actions. I think people just act or react, without much thought to what will actually happen. They errantly assume that something is right, without fully weighing all the things about it that could be wrong. Sometimes people see things as they see them, instead of the way that they really are… While it’s lovely to have ideals, they rarely work in actual practice…

I know it boils down to the half empty/half full scenario…people get locked into how they look at things and can’t see the other side- but sometimes you have to look straight at it and just say:

“This is a glass. The glass has water in it. Where do we go from here? What happens if we drink it? Spill it? Add more water? Drop the glass? Drink half the water? “

I would like to show people the different scenarios that the glass with water in it could take- not just the cut and dry half empty half full…

I want to be your guide to the future- the real future- not the fantasy one…

Step Away

The Book- Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

The Quote- That was the secret of a happy marriage: step away from the rage.

Is the secret to a happy marriage to simply take a step back sometimes?

When my daughter was home for break my Husband did/said something stupid. My daughter asked why I didn’t say something to him. I replied:

“In marriage, as in parenting, sometimes you need to take a step back from the stupid. You have to choose your battles, and decide if the battle is the one to take a stand on.”

First off- which quote is better- mine or the one from the book?

Secondly, is the secret to life not 42, but is it really just stepping back?

The people we are closest to are going to annoy us at least once a day. No two people get along perfectly 24/7/365- I know this for a fact because we just had a situation where people were together 24/7/365, and there was a lot of anger and sadness or for the sake of this piece, rage…

Do we need to harp on them every time they don’t load the dishwasher correctly, or they leave their shoes in the hallway? Annoyed because they are wearing an old concert T shirt that is 20 years old and has no arm pits anymore? Disgruntled because they don’t want to watch the same TV show?

If you have a partner, or a child living with you, how often do you point out their mistakes? Or what are mistakes in your eyes?

For homework, I want you to count how many times you nag your partner/child and why.

How many of these things are life threatening? How many of these things needed to be mentioned, and how many of them could have been stepped away from?

Do you step away more than you engage? How does it work for you?

Discuss.

BloganuaryDay 16: What is a cause you passionate about, and why?

Just say no to Censorship

All sides should be allowed to have an opinion and state it openly, whether it’s on a stage, on screen or on the pages of a book.

Those who have censored things end up being on the wrong side of history. They prove to be bullies. They prove to be all about intimidation.

Stop telling people that they are wrong just because you don’t agree with them. Stop books and tv shows and movies from being banned.

Allow everyone to have a voice. Don’t allow anyone to become disenfranchised.

Say NO to banning the written and spoken word.

What Inspired Me: January 16

  1. So I walked around my neighborhood and snapped a few pictures…
  2. My second favorite winter food is Thai curry- this was a delicious green curry with chicken
  3. Galleries 163 and 164 at the Met are Greek BC- the work is just beautiful. Gallery 233 is a special exhibit: Shell and Resin: Korean Mother of Pearl and Lacquer. This was another small but well curated and beautiful exhibit. The pieces are just spectacular.
  4. TV this week includes the return of Masterpiece: Around the World in 80 Days, All Creatures Great and Small and Vienna Blood. All wonderful!!!

Bloganuary Day 15: What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?

Forgive.

Forgive.

Forgive.

Some people errantly think that forgiving shows weakness, that it lets the offender off the hook for whatever the misdeed was.

The people that think that way are quite misguided.

We forgive others so that we can get on with our lives. We forgive because holding on to the anger is stagnating.

If someone wronged you, and you hold on to that hurt, they still have power over you. Why do you want someone else to continue to have power over you?

I get that some things are unforgivable- that some wrongs are so egregious that you can’t for one second think about forgiving. And I’m not saying that you have to go up to that person and shake their hand and then have a coffee. You don’t ever have to tell the person that you forgive them. You can keep that forgiveness a secret between your head and your heart. I’m saying that in your heart you should just remember that what’s done is really done, and all the hostility that you’re holding in your heart should be pushed away to make room for something better, something that will make you more whole than you are right now.

There’s a statute of limitations on how long you can blame someone else. Ask yourself if you are living the best life that you can, or if you are letting the actions of others drag you down. Does it really make you feel better to blame someone else?

Forgive.

It’s for you.

Allow yourself to let it go and move on.

Gratitude Saturday- January 15

My daughter went back to DC this week.

My Husband is presently skiing somewhere north of New York City.

Of course I am grateful for all of this.

However, this morning I could not find my ipad.

Quelle horreur!

So I texted my husband and daughter to send a “Find my iphone” beep…

I am grateful for the multiple tracking devices at our disposal…

Bloganuary Day 14: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame

I am currently on my second marriage, but you never know how things will work out, so feel free to send me a resume to have on hand in case the day comes that I am shopping for a 3rd husband…always good to be prepared…

But to the more serious question:

getting divorced was not easy.

Let’s start with the feeling of failure. I picked a crappy guy. I failed at what should have been easy- loving someone who loved me. When I was younger, I was very afraid of making mistakes, and I did not have much resiliency. I was not so great at bouncing back. So admitting to myself that I have erred so badly…it was a lot for me to take. I stayed in the marriage way longer than I should have because I couldn’t accept that I made a mistake.

Of course, my Mother was scandalized. To this day I think she still carries a veil of shame that both her daughters are divorced- she’s actually said “How bad was I as a mother that both my daughters be divorced.” For those paying attention, my divorce became all about my Mother.

Then, there was my Mother telling me to try counseling. To give him another go. to try to work it out. And while I know that many do jump out of marriages too quickly without putting in the work, this was not the case. My Mother was just couldn’t accept the divorce- her daughter was not supposed to get divorced. The worst part was, she knew he was a piece of crap. But my Mother is overly ruled by appearances- she doesn’t like the way divorce looks- and if you know my Mother you will know that she’s always right- in fact- she will make sure she tells you how right she is about everything and how she is the smartest person in the room, and one day I will appreciate how smart she is…

So the challenge became not only divorcing my ex husband, but getting over my Mother’s disappointment at my life choices.

With much self reflection and a ton of books from the personal growth section at Barnes and Noble, I was able to become a mainly functioning person. When I had a child my number one goal was to help her become a resilient, confident person. And my personal note to self was to never make her feel guilty if she makes a mistake, just be there to support her in whatever way she needs.

Anything Can Happen Friday: The Kitchen Issue

I like to make things in my slow cooker. It’s easy. I throw a bunch of stuff in, turn the dial, and then go about my day.

The other day I made a chicken stew type of thing: thighs, carrots, celery, onions…thyme, rosemary, blah blah blah…

After dinner was over, I went to put the remaining stew into freezer bags so that my husband would have leftovers for lunch.

Here’s where the problem begins. I shut off the slow cooker, but after the infamous “This is Us” episode I am clearly a little over cautious about my slow cooker, so I always unplug it right away.

This is a good thing.

Except,

I need a crock of cooking utensils on the counter, and they sit right in front of the electric outlet. As I use some non stick cookware, most of my utensils are plastic. Except for the big fork. (which, btw I don’t normally keep in the crock because I don’t use it while cooking but when your family helps and puts things in the wrong spot, how much grief do you give them?)

So the big fork leaned up against the outlet.

And I unplugged the crock pot, not realizing that the fork was against the outlet,

And everything started sparking.

Spark spark spark

And all I could think was let me grab the fire extinguisher…

Then I though OMG did I ever make sure that the fire extinguisher is still operational as we’ve never actually used the fire extinguisher and I have no idea how old it is and I know they have expiration dates and I recently yelled at my Mother who thinks her twenty five year old extinguisher is still good…

One spark and you rethink your entire life trajectory…

Two sparks and you’re cursing yourself about your lack of fire safety preparedness, because you think your taping fire safety rules to the back of your apartment door is really going to help in the event of an actual fire…

And then nothing.

No more sparks.

The fuse did blow though, so the side of my kitchen that also houses my stove and fridge is now de-electrified…

And I’m afraid to reset the fuse…

Because you know: spark spark spark

So I call the super…

and he comes down and assures me that everything worked like it should. The socket shut itself off. Which it’s supposed to do in this case (you know- where you have to push the reset button and all) and the fuse blew, which it’s supposed to do…

And he resets the fuse for me…

The digital panel on my stove starts blinking 1200, and my fridge hums back to life…

and no sparks…

Of course, I threw out the slow cooker- I was too afraid to use it once it scared the ^%$#%$ out of me…

And I did purchase a new slow cooker, a much better one than the recently departed one I got at Target for 10$ on a super sale…

Because if I don’t jump on the slow cooker horse again, I’ll be too scared to try again.

Sometimes things scare us…but we have to push through.