Wednesday, April 29

Blowing Away

A few weeks ago a friend of Matt's, who of course I've become friendly with, wrote on my Facebook wall that she wanted to have a girls night with me. At first I thought, okay is there something she needs to talk about? But then I realized that she just wanted us to become friends. I thought, she must be feeling like she doesn't have enough female connections and is reaching out, and that is cool.
So we set a date and met up last night. She said in a G-Chat as we were planning that she was determined to get to know me, and know me she did.
After mentioning a vacation her and her husband have planned to Italy in July and asking if I've ever been, she got to know me very well. I launched in to my story, our story, of the last 3 years of my life, or really the first months after my Dad's death.
I could see her emotion on her face, her searching for something to say and all she could say is, "Wow. You're so strong." Then she said,"And you, you jsut talk about it, you just put it out there." I honestly think that is what blew her away more than my story. People don't talk about death. They don't talk about the things that scare them. I think they need to, I think it is necessary to living a balanced and grounded life.
It makes me want to pick the memoir back up again. I need to keep putting down my story, so others are less scared to tell theirs. It is good to blow people away, and to be blown away every once in a while at how powerful you can be just by speaking your experiences.

Thursday, April 23

Beautiful Life

I try to drink a cup of Slim Life Green Tea every morning. It tastes good, and I like what green tea does for me. I look forward to the little quotes that Yogi Teas put on their tabs at the end of the tea bag.
This morning it read, "The beauty of life is to experience yourself."
Something I've struggled with in the past few years is feeling balanced, grounded and present in the moment. I haven't been experiencing myself, who I am in the everyday. Well, I take that back, because I feel as though over the last 6 months I have been centering myself in who I am and where I am. Being unemployed, and having a lot of time on yours hands, after a major life event helps ground you. I took the time, while looking for a job, to enjoy myself. I took walks in the park, I spent time with friends, I spent time with my new husband. We let ourselves get wrapped up in each other and in who we were and where we were going.
So, back to the present moment. I read the tag this morning and thought, “Yeah, that is the beauty of life.” To know who you are, to be confident and assured in yourself. To let yourself be true to your nature and your nurture.
I will be honest in this exploration and say that in the past month Yoga has helped me become more grounded in myself. I leave a class refreshed and calmed, walking higher and slower. That is good for me, I need that.
The part of my nature that dominates is moving fast, and I don't want to move so fast that I'm not experiencing myself and what is beautiful in that.
I know there is a piece of me that is calm, a piece of me that can sit in a moment and take it in piece by piece and savor it and revel in the quietness and enjoyment. I want to balance that with my fast talking, fast walking, get it all done now side. Part of the reason Matt is the perfect husband for me is that he nurtures that piece of me, encourages me, pushes me, helps me slow down.
Right now I feel more grounded in moments than I have in some time, and what amazes me is there are so many things I want, so many more pieces of my life I want to build and put in to place- but I'm not allowing that planning to pull me out of these moments, I'm not living in the future as I used to. I know they will happen, I know I will get there.
I also now that life is beautiful, especially when I slow down and experience myself.

Wednesday, April 15

Umbrella Etiquette

I "studied" abroad in London. I put that in quotes, because I actually did a work abroad program where I got an internship and had to take one class (I took "Modern Theater and the London Stage which meant getting to see some plays for free!") and then write a paper about my internship/experiences after the program.
Point is, I lived in London from January-April. It rained while I was there.
One of the first things I noticed when walking the London streets during the frequent showers was how efficient people were with their umbrellas. I enjoyed watching the rising and falling tops of umbrellas as their owners navigated the busy streets. I was fascinated by this practice and immediately instituted it. Really, I had to in order to get by walking to and from work, the tube, the pub, you get the point.
Why haven't American's caught on to this? I walk through rainy New York and want to yell at everyone who walks around clueless with their umbrella getting in everyone's way. Just lift it up, you won't get wet, in fact you'll help your fellow New Yorker who is trying to get around you not get wet. Even when I lift mine up, people don't lower theirs a bit to let me get around them more easily, do they not get it?
I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. New Yorkers may be known for moving quickly, but I think that stereotype needs to be corrected. New Yorkers just don't care about what is going on around them. If they want to walk quickly, they will. If they want to stand in the middle of the sidewalk with their dogs wandering out in a radius around them talking on their cell phone, they will. If they want to walk really slowly and weave across the entire sidewalk so that no one can pass them, they will. New Yorkers just don't care.

There should be classes for this stuff.

End rant.

Monday, April 13


Passover, as most Jewish holidays, is about food and story telling. We gather family or friends, or friends and family and participate in a Seder. Seder means order. The story is told in a particular order with certain steps to take as you go through it. That doesn't mean you can't skip, you can, and most Reform Jews do, liberally.
On Passover we tell the story of the Jews' exodus from Egypt where they were enslaved. Jewish men used lamb blood to mark the houses of Jews so that when the Angel of Death came to smite each Egyptian's first born (the final plague) those houses would be Passed-Over.

This is the first year I've truly let myself be a part of Passover. Last year there was a family Seder, but I wasn't committed and I didn't keep Passidic (Not eating leavened things to remember how quickly the Jews had to flee Egypt, not allowing their bread to rise)
After my Dad died, I didn't want to celebrate anything, and in the eyes of Judaism I shouldn't have for a full year. So, when Passover came around in the first Spring since my Dad had died, I let it pass me by. I wasn't ready to connect to it again until this year.
At my Mom's Seder we utilized the Haggadah (The book used for the Seder) my Dad had put together many years ago. His Seder was comprimised of this Haggadah (bits and pieces he had taken from other Haggadah's) and the stack of reference materials he'd come to the table with, should any interesting points need to be raised. He loved learning and teaching.
As we sat down on Saturday night I realized how long it had been since I'd let myself fully participate in a Seder. The years before my Dad died I was busy with other things, I went to a couple of family Seder's but the meaning never really sunk in, and at one I was so doped on pain meds from having my Wisdom Teeth out that I was asleep half the time.
I took pleasure in going through the Haggadah my Dad had put together. I thought about how thrilled he'd be that we were using it, that we were discussing points, that all these people who have been in our life for so long were back together again celebrating the Holiday.
At one point we were reading a page and our family friend Mark said, "I have Eric's copy (indeed the front did have Eric written on it) and this page is crossed out." We all laughed, he put in skips! So we skipped!
As we went through the night and I spoke with people I hadn't seen in years about how nice it was to all be back in this capacity again, I realized what I had been missing out on. I'd been avoiding Passover because it was a holiday that meant a lot to my Dad. The history, the sharing of view points, the telling of stories, these were all things he loved so much about Judaism. All things that I'm sure he wants me to enjoy, to carry on, to take part in fully. I realized that these past few years I was being passed over, or maybe I was passing over experiences I should have been a part of. I thought I was passing over the pain, but with all things related to grief you can't pass it over, no matter what you put on your doorpost it is coming for you, sooner or later.
So as continue to avoid the leavened items in my kitchen (If I was Orthodox they would all be thrown out!) I look forward to many Passovers to come, Passovers that I fully participate in, and hopefully many Seder's I will be host with a Haggadah put together in honor of my Dad.

Saturday, April 4

Rambling on a Mac

I'm trying out my Bro's new MacBook so I feel like doing something where I get to use the keyboard a lot because I really like the feel of it. So you lucky readers get a blog post since I don't have any emails to respond to and facebook and twitter are boring me.
I'm sitting at the kitchen table. An Orchid my Mom got when she had surgery the year before my Dad died is blooming again after 3+ years. It is beautiful. 8 or so flowers, white in the center with soft pinks on lining the edges of the flowers.
I talked to a co-worker about loving Orchids today. He spoke about a friend's father that grew them when he was younger and all the different plants he had and what he did to take care of him. I referenced the Orchid Thief and he chuckled. I felt good. I am by no means an expert, but I love the plants and it felt kind of like I was admitted to the club to be able to make a reference to the book that went over well. It makes me want to buy another orchid and not kill it this time. I have a green thumb, but I can't seem to keep them alive. I know it has more to do with my apartment than me and I'm not willing to invest in a heat lamp.
I had a massage today at work (brought in a massage therapist to give massages to employees for $1/minute to help her raise money for team in training) that hurt, in a good way. She really worked out some shit in my shoulders, I feel lighter.
I'm looking forward to going back to Yoga next week, I want to do a couple more beginner classes and then get in to the hot power yoga. yeah!
Ramble ramble- I love this Mac keyboard. Time to sign off though.

Wednesday, April 1

Dogs and Kids

Things I've learned so far dog sitting about how Matt and I will be as parents:

1. I will be the disciplinarian day to day, but Matt will be bad cop and I'll be good cop.
2. Matt will be uptight about things I'll let kids get away with.
3. We'll both be very loving and involved parents, duh I already knew this one.
4. We'll love having fun with our children.
5. Matt will want to have family time in bed, where we all cuddle up and watch a movie
6. We'll completely share the poop duty.
7. I'll probably take over the food duty for the most part.
8. Matt will be the patient one.
9. I'll be the parent who is up front with the faster kid and Matt will be behind with the kid who wants to lag and be slower.
10. We're going to be great!