To the little things…

On a Saturday morning there’s nothing like waking up early and getting ahead of the city.  Getting up ahead of the crowds and traffic gives me the feeling that I’m enjoying something that the rest of the city is missing out on…that something is the beautiful city of Washington DC. 

I am definitely showing my age as I can remember a time, not to long ago, when waking up at 8 or 9am on a Saturday was considered blasphemous.   No one tells you that one of the hallmarks of aging is an internal alarm that won’t let you sleep late on the weekends!

I woke up early this Saturday and went to the apple store to get my iPad2 activated and to learn how to sync my iPhone to my laptop (which for now is a Dell).  It was a pleasant enough experience.  You know how the apple store seems to glisten and sparkle to the point where you feel like you could eat off the floor….as I sat in the sparkly/gleaming apple store I started thinking about how each of us changes. Some changes are monumental, some changes are subtle but each change reveals a bit about who we are. 

I remember when the first iPhone came out and I had no interest in it at all. There was something about apple enthusiasts that used to drive me up a wall – I thought of them as groupies. I became even more annoyed when I went to grad school and every single student in the class had a Mac. I would think to myself “don’t they feel like clones?”  I guess I was just a plain ole hater.  I also never liked the fact that the iPhone was tethered to AT&T. BUT there was always an inkling in me that if the iPhone was offered on my network I just might give it a whirl.

Long story short, I gave the Verizon iPhone a whirl and I love it.  I am actually shocked at how much I love it. And to add to my collection I was given the ipad2 for my birthday (which I am enjoying…this post was written on my iPad2).

It turns out that I’m well on my way to becoming an apple groupie AND surprise surprise – if you would have told me this two years ago I would have scoffed at the notion.

Ahhhh, what we think we know about ourselves!  What we think we understand about who we’ll be…how presumptuous of us! 

This new found attraction to Mac products is a surprise to me and I often say the best surprises in life come when you surprise yourself. But that’s one of the most exciting things about life- you never know what new thing you’ll pick up or what new interest you’ll find. Granted, apple products aren’t new but they’re new to me and that’s pretty damn cool…sometimes in life it’s the little things that count.

Here’s to the little things-happy Monday!

This Weekend…

The only bad thing about reading a good book is that one day you will finish it.  Of course, this is an obvious observation BUT when you find a book that you can literally get lost in, as you get closer to the end you start to dread it.

I am delighted and saddened to say that I just finished reading ‘The Help’ and it was a beautiful story.  I laughed, I teared up and I sat in awe of the power of words and the art of story telling.  If you’re looking to treat yourself this weekend, put this book on your list and dive right in…other good ideas for treating yourself you ask???

Paint your nails a pretty bright red color…

Enjoy a nice (and inexpensive) glass of Pinot Noir…

Put on a high heel – it’s summer, why not try a wedge?…

Throw on a fabulous cocktail ring.

– Have a great weekend!

love.

This week my parents celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary.  Add the six years prior to 1975 – they met as freshman at the then Hampton Institute – and they’ve been together for 42 years give or take the college break–ups and make-ups.

As a kid I definitely had the normal arguments and disagreements with my parents but I never went through a period when I thought my parents weren’t cool.

Growing up I remember a house with a lot of love, laughter, music, and family friends.  My parents made love and partnership look easy and I appreciate them for that.

As I grow older I see that despite what you may see from the outside love is not a fairy tale, it is hard work.  Loving someone isn’t just a feeling it’s an active and ever-evolving process…it’s a commitment to compromise and it’s a commitment to be each other’s partner through the good times and bad.

In the minds eye of a young girl I love the fact that I was able to believe in the fairy tale of my parent’s romance.  And now as an adult I love the fact that I can transition that fairy tale into a real life understanding of what they actually committed to for all of these years.

I can see now that it hasn’t been a fairy tale at all…it has been something better…it has been something worth working and fighting for…it has been ever-evolving, lasting friendship, love, and partnership.

My parents love has made me the woman that I am today, it has made me a better person, it has taught me how to love others, and it has given me the strength and courage to tell people how I want to be loved.

So today I celebrate love and real life.  May each of us get hip to real-love, not fairy-tale love…love that is ever-evolving, love that is worth working and fighting for.

peace.

Dear AARP – Nobody Likes a ‘Gun Jumper’

The older I get the harder and harder it becomes to resist the use of clichés…staying true to the inevitable I must say that it’s absolutely amazing how fast time flies by.  I’ve been writing this blog for over two years – two years, and I’ve come full circle with one of my favorite posts, a post entitled ‘Christina 3.0’ https://thedailystride.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/christina-3-0/ this was a post about my process of coming to terms with the big 3-0. 

Now two years later I’m a fresh 32 and I’m not having the same fears and anxieties that I had with 30 or at least I wasn’t having the same fears and anxieties until I got a letter in the mail from the AARP.

There’s nothing like a letter welcoming you into the 50+ club when you’ve only just recently embraced the 30 and over club.  And how ironic is it that I got the letter from the AARP a week before my 32nd birthday???  Just as I was telling myself that this incessant aging wasn’t a problem this hilarious but really annoying mistake kicked my neurosis right back into high gear.  But how could it not make me anxious – what with my first and last name on the envelope AND the not just one but TWO AARP benefits cards in all of their glory – ooooh white and gold! 

It was enough to make one literally burst out laughing while figuratively curling up in the fetal position and crying oneself to sleep.

…not that there’s anything wrong with 50+ it’s just that the AARP jumped the gun by about two decades on my membership and nobody likes a gun jumper.

To make it even worse, while looking through the mail I saw another letter from the AARP addressed to me and that’s when I decided that this awkward mishap had to stop.

I googled AARP, found the 877# and got in the cue to speak with an operator.  While I waited I was subjected to an automated message from Betty White, spewing her usual sass, something like “hey this is Betty White you might be feeling down because you’re about to turn 50 but get over it, I’m 85 and trust me membership has its benefits…!”  the longer the message played the words ‘make it stop’ kept playing over and over in my mind.  The operator finally came on the line and the conversation was comical.  She totally understood my dismay at having been added to the AARP list and we were both able to relate to the fact that we were just starting to digest 30+…she too was approaching her 32nd birthday.

So far 30+ is cool.  It’s definitely a change but I’m thankful for it.  I had an amazing weekend…drinks and partying at Darnell’s lounge/bar on Saturday, time with my old man on Sunday, and a special birthday on Monday – lunch and shopping with Mom and dinner and drinks with the boyfriend, all in all a great time! 

 

It’s “Christina” with an “A”

For the past couple of weeks I have been dealing with the awkward situation of having a client call me Christine via email and for a long while I was going with it.  I was thinking to myself – with each email – that maybe this would be the time that they read my email signature and realized it was ChristinA…but there was no such luck. 

I think email is one of the most awkward and perplexing mediums to be called the wrong name.  It just seems like someone has to try much harder to misspell your name via email.  After all – if I email the client first and my signature says Christina, where in the world does Christine come from?

After two weeks of being addressed as Christine I knew I had to take drastic yet polite measures…but what was I to do?  This emailing had been going back and forth for quite some time and I had let the name gaffe go unmentioned…how was I to find a subtle way to bring this up?  Well, I decided to face the situation head on.  I replied to the last straw email in which I was addressed as Christine and I said:

“Hi <insert client name> – It’s Christina, but no worries, people mistakenly call me “Christine” all the time….”

And just to be sure that the “e” “a” mix up was cleared up I decided to bold and underline the “a” in my name.  Too much??  {please insert awkward blank stare here}.

Sometimes I have to laugh at myself.

I honestly felt like this was the most direct and non passive-aggressive way to deal with this unintended mix up.  I thought about writing an email to my client and purposely misspelling their name – but then I thought to myself “you’re about to be 32-just say what you mean.”

So that’s the theme of today’s blog post folks, if push comes to shove (and shove turns to scuffle and scuffle turns to fight…I digress…) just say what you mean.

– Cheers.

What I’m Thankful For.

On the way in to work this morning I was thinking that it’s been a long time since I’ve written.  Inspiration used to hit me like lightening compelling me to write about an array of topics – from funny to serious – it would just hit me. 

The hits are coming less and less, not because my mind is void of humorous/compelling observations, more like my mind is on information overload.  Flitting from one thing to the next…there’s so much fodder for the blogosphere…what with high profile infidelity, Wiener’s inappropriate picture sent to twitter fans, the resurgence of Sarah Palin (blank stare), Kim Kardashian’s engagement (don’t shoot me), the ending of The Oprah Show, the aftermath of the capture of Bin Laden – there’s so much there.  How does a neurotic soul choose just one?

If I’m honest, over the last month I’ve been most captivated by the revelation of Arnold’s infidelity.  The level of betrayal that he heaped on his family is absolutely astonishing.  I cannot imagine the pain that his family is experiencing recounting encounters they each had with a former maid that committed the ultimate betrayal and the maid’s innocent child that they now realize was their kin. 

How is it even possible for someone to live a lie that is that outlandish?  WHY would someone even choose to live a lie that is that outlandish? 

Unfortunately married people commit adultery at alarming rates – however to have the nerve to allow the adulterous partner to interact with the family that they are betraying…to in full-consciousness condone the co-existence of the adulterous partner and innocent child with the innocent family seems pathological…the pre-meditation that this took is simply breathtaking.

I wonder two things:  1) If Arnoldwouldn’t have been a bodybuilder turned actor turned politician would he have ended up being a plain old psychopath?  2) Would it have been better if he would have kept the entire thing to himself?  I mean, he lived the lie for more than a decade – did he reveal this lie to make himself feel better because he just couldn’t take the betrayal anymore OR did he tell because someone threatened to out him?  If he lived it for that long, why not take it to the grave?

 This situation makes me thankful for the truthfulness in my life.  Of course we can never know for sure what someone else’s truth is but in the quest to invite truth into our own lives, we can work to extend truthfulness to others hoping that the grace that we set forth might somehow protect us – and this is something we must do on faith knowing that even the most truthful, most graceful people get betrayed.  When you think about the weight of faith it’s really something…faith and grace are required of us in the face of the fact that there is no guarantee that it will be extended to us. 

I guess it’s all a journey my friends.  Have a great week.

– Peace.