Strong Enough

I have 6 tattoos. When I write that, it seems like a shockingly high number and that I’m some sort of deviant….but it isn’t, and I’m not. I promise. ;-) My tattoos (or pictures, as the Wee One lovingly refers to them) are cute, small, and in safe places. I do not resemble this guy:   My mother asked me how many I had the other day, and when I answered her, the unimpressed look was clearly etched on her face. I’m well accustomed to that look having received it for most of my life, so it was no big whoop. I did let her know that I’m not done yet…that I have (at least) one more tattoo to get. Not to fret, my pets, it’s not the same as that one above (heh heh); instead, I want the phrase Satis Sum, tattooed to the inside of my wrist. Satis Sum is Latin for I am enough…perhaps my hardest struggle in life. I never, ever feel anywhere close to good enough. For anything. Ever. It’s hard.:-(

One of my newest pictures :)

One of my newest pictures :)

I happened across this article the other day entirely by accident (I was Googling kitten pictures. Again. I’ve no idea how this article came up – we’re going to go with divine intervention.)…and it couldn’t be more appropriate for me. I kept it open on my iPad for three days, reading parts of it over and over again, hoping like hell that some of the words would seep into my extraordinarily thick skull. It bugged me, taunting me every time I opened a window to do some online shopping (which happens far too much) or read Jezebel. Behold 20 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough:

Truth be told, you can’t berate yourself into a better version of yourself.  And even though I know this, I sometimes still fall victim to my own negative thinking.  Sometimes I’m downright rude to myself.  I make a mistake, or fall short of my own expectations, and instead of treating it as a learning opportunity, I beat myself up about it. I’m sure you can relate.  We’ve all been there.  We all have bad days and moments of self-doubt. Sometimes the pressure coming from peers, family, work, and society in general is enough to make us feel completely broken inside.  If we don’t have the “right” job, relationship, lifestyle, and so forth, by a certain age or timeframe, we assume we’re just “not good enough.” 

So what can we do about it?   Here’s how I handle it: Every time I catch myself thinking I’m not good enough, I immediately write down an opposing thought that debunks my negativity. I’ve been doing this for the past several years and it’s made a tremendous difference in my life. I challenge you to do the same. If you need a little extra inspiration, here are some things I’ve come up with – 20 good reminders when you’re feeling “not good enough”:

Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you. – YOU are walking your own path. Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel. Forget what everyone else is doing and achieving. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life.

Where you are right now is a necessary step. – Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on our ideals, that it is not where we should be or want to be. But the truth is, where you are right now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.

Everything is coming together… maybe not immediately, but gradually. – When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Pain is part of growing. Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

It is your resistance to “what is” that causes your suffering. – Remember, happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with “what is,” rather than wishing for and worrying about “what is not.” “What is” is what’s supposed to be, or it would not be. The rest is just you, arguing with life. Think about that for a minute. This means your suffering only ever occurs when you resist how things are.

You cannot control everything that happens to you; you can only control the way you respond to what happens. In your response is your power.

Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace. – Choose to be miserable and you’ll find plenty of reasons to be miserable. Choose to be peaceful and you’ll find plenty of reasons to be at peace. Think about it. Are you skilled at making yourself miserable? With those same skills you can make yourself motivated, effective and fulfilled. Do so.

You are always good enough to try, and that’s what’s important in the end. – Everything you achieve comes from something you attempt. Make the attempt. Trust me, twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. Give yourself a chance.

There’s always something small you can do. – There is absolutely nothing about your present situation that prevents you from moving forward, one tiny step at a time. Remember, vision without action is just a daydream; vision must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, you must step up the stairs. And all you have to do is take one step at a time. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take that step.

Failures are really just lessons that need to be learned. – No day is ever wasted when you live it with purpose and presence. Value and enjoy the journey, even when there are detours along the way.

Yesterday’s impossibilities may be possible today. – Experience is the hardest kind of teacher; it gives you the test first and the lesson afterward. But this is really a blessing. It means you’re growing stronger and more capable with every passing day. So don’t you dare give up on today because of the way things looked yesterday. Don’t even think about it. What “might happen” can only stop you if you let it. – Rather than worrying about what might happen, move forward and use your energy and intelligence to deal with what does actually happen.

The quality of your vision drives the quality of your life. – It’s up to you how you visualize things and what you focus on. Forget what you don’t like. Focus on what excites you. If you see a possibility, explore it. If you have a dream, live it. Those who are passionate and excited about what they’re doing have an advantage that is nearly impossible to conquer. Be one of these people. 

You don’t need to get everyone’s approval first. – Stop listening to what the world says you should want. Start listening to who you are. Truth be told, there are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them.

What you’re capable of achieving is greatly based on how much you want it. – When it means enough to you, then you can do it. When you are willing and committed and persistent, you will get yourself there, every time. Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural outcome of consistently applying your focused effort to what you want. The fatigue might be there sometimes, but you must understand that putting it aside is the single most important factor in succeeding.

Your best bet is to give yourself no other choice. – It’s amazing what you can do when you have no other choice. In fact, achievement consists mostly of giving yourself no other choice. You are more than good enough; you just have to own it – you have to own everything you are and everything you’re up against. If you believe your troubles are too powerful, then you’ll never allow yourself to rise above them. Stop fretting. Quit worrying. Don’t complain. You know what you must do. So do it.

You have to work hard on yourself too. – Self-respect, self-love, self-worth… there’s a reason they all start with “self.” You can’t receive them from anyone else. Earn the respect of others by having the audacity to respect yourself. Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with pots of gold at both ends. It’s your responsibility, above all, to see your own value. And this responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and deciding for you; it means learning to use your own brains and intuition to make things happen – hence, grappling with hard work.

You are stronger than whatever is troubling you. – Use each setback, each disappointment as a cue to push on ahead with more determination than ever before. When something bad happens, you can either let it define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you. The choice is yours. So pump yourself up! You are a lot stronger than you think you are. You may not be where you want to be yet, but look how far you’ve come. Celebrate the fact that you’re not where you used to be.

For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else. – Appreciate what you have today. Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. No regrets, just lessons. No worries, just acceptance. No expectations, just gratitude. Life is too short. The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end. So stop re-reading the bad one already, and turn the page.

You have made the best of some tough situations. – Smiling doesn’t always mean you’re happy with everything. Sometimes it just means you’re strong and smart enough to accept it and make the best of it.

Your scars are symbols of your strength. – Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph. So don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

You are still here trying. – If you have no other testimony right now, you have this one: “I’m still here trying.” Be positive, patient and persistent. The more you feel like quitting, the more there is to be gained by continuing to do all three. Because the strongest people aren’t the people who always win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.

Afterthoughts The wisest, most loving, and well rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair. These people have experienced many ups and downs, and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding and a deep loving wisdom. People like this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of time. And you’re getting there.

 

Good, right? There are so many things here that hit home with me so hard I felt the wallop on my head.  The second point the author made about the place you are right now being necessary was SO powerful to me, a compulsive planner who sometimes (frequently) has a hard time enjoying the present because I’ve got my eye on the next step and a better future. What’s so bad about relaxing into the moment and just enjoying it? Nothing, I tell you. I need to smarten up.

The idea of always being good enough to try is a beautiful one…I love that, don’t you? :) They also wrote about not needing the approval of others – again, a wretched struggle for a people-pleaser like me. I’m always trying to make everyone else happy, a Pollyanna constantly seeking the approving nod of everyone she meets – how ridiculous is that???! Who cares if other people approve of what I do??? It’s something I need to work on, that’s for sure. My need for constant reassurance and positive affirmation is annoying as hell to me…how does anyone else put up with me?!?!??! Grr!!!

I love the point the author made about working hard on yourself, and how important that is. It’s no secret that I am probably my own harshest critic – you’ll rarely hear me say anything terribly nice about myself…and I don’t really know why, since I’m not that bad, am I? (Except for today – I’m a hot mess today. I got to work, was here for a good 45 minutes before I looked in the mirror…and realized that I had forgotten to put makeup on! Yikes! I didn’t have time to go home, so I started digging through my purse – I found an eyeliner, bits of last week’s bagel, mascara, and plum-colored lipstick. I proceeded to throw out the bagel – how gross am I? – and put the lipstick on as eye shadow, doing what I could – see Exhibit A) At least I’m trying, right? ;)

Exhibit A - plum lipstick eye shadow. :)

Exhibit A – plum lipstick eye shadow. :)

 

Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough for something/someone/everything/everyone? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you – and, if it’s any consolation to you, my darlings…you’re ALWAYS more than good enough for me. :)  Je vous aime. :)

xxx

Yummy Yummy Yummy

I had an AMAZING meal recently….can’t wait to tell you all about it! (Disclaimer: This is a common theme with me, I know….I eat lots of good meals, which explains my caboose. Oh well. ) I visited the restaurant Cured at the Pearl Brewery here in San Antonio. First – let’s talk about the Pearl….what a great, great place. There’s so much to see and do there, everything is really beautiful, and it’s such a great area to be in. I frequently dream of selling the house and buying a condo down there, just to be in the thick of the action (but the commute to work would be a bitch). Love it. :-)

Anyway…Cured! The building is looooovely (built in 1904, it was originally the administration building for the brewery), as was the menu. This charcuterie-themed place is certainly not for vegans (she says in the understatement of the year!), and if you are a meat and potatoes traditionalist, you might be in trouble. However, if you have a slightly adventurous palate and a LOVE of amazing food…then you are in for a treat!! :-) Here’s what I ate:

 

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Welcome to Cured :-)

Some sort of marrow thing...I can't recall the details, but as long as I live, I will NEVER forget the amazing taste of this on the end of my tongue. Divine.

Some sort of marrow thing…I can’t recall the details, but as long as I live, I will NEVER forget the amazing taste of this on the end of my tongue. Divine.

Behold the charcuterie plate...there was whipped pork butter, duck ham, chicken liver mousse, pork belly, rillettes...I could go on. So. Bloody. Good. Yum. :-)

Behold the charcuterie plate…there was whipped pork butter, duck ham, chicken liver mousse, pork belly, rillettes…I could go on. So. Bloody. Good. Yum. :-)

This is their version of poutine....pork cheek poutine, cheese, mildly pickled cauliflower on top (random but freaking AWESOME). I just can't even tell you how fabulous this was...yummy!!! :-)

This is their version of poutine….pork cheek poutine, cheese, mildly pickled cauliflower on top (random but freaking AWESOME). I just can’t even tell you how fabulous this was…yummy!!! :-)

Charcuterie goodness from another angle - my attempts at arty photography ;-)

Charcuterie goodness from another angle – my attempts at arty photography ;-)

Sweetbreads. Google them....delicious. :-)

Sweetbreads. Google them….delicious. :-)

 

Doesn’t everything look AMAZING???? It absolutely was!!! The service was excellent (attentive, but not up my keister) – the manager came to chat and invited me back for Happy Hour sometime (you should see me do Happy Hour….I’m pretty good at it!!;-) ), regaling me with tales of drink specials and a burger that’s 20% bacon and 80% beef (if just the thought of that doesn’t get your mouth watering, then there’s something wrong with you and you ought to see a specialist ASAP)…the whole experience was top notch. :-)

 

I can’t wait to go back!!! :-)

xxx

Arabian Nights

It is not much of a secret that I love food – I’m always writing about restaurants or recipes or bowls of Lucky Charms that I scarfed (which happens a lot – no judgment). I love trying new places and types of food, and there’s pretty much nothing I won’t try (eating a delicious dish of sheep brain in Greece pretty much cured me of being precious about what I ate!) ….I love food. I’ve never eaten Moroccan food before, so I was pretty pumped to recently visit San Antonio eatery Moroccan Bites to sample their tasty morsels…however, I must admit to being somewhat nervous, having never partaken in the glories of Moroccan food before. Do you remember that scene in the movie “Along Came Polly” where Ben Stiller eats Moroccan for the first time on a date with Jennifer Anniston, proceeds to basically explode out his arse in the bathroom of her apartment, resulting in tons of shame and the need to use a loofah to try to unplug the pot? I did not want to have that happen to me. :-(

Good news, folks….my meal was a success!!! (And no loofahs were harmed in the course of the evening) Here’s what I had:

 

 

My dinner - Kefta Tagine....HEAVENLY!! I love some good balls! ;)

My dinner – Kefta Tagine….HEAVENLY!! I love some good balls! ;)

 

An appetizer of olives and cauliflower and yumminess! :)

An appetizer of olives and cauliflower and yumminess! :)

 

Mint tea...it's my jam. I'm almost embarrassed that I just said that in a sentence. Oh well. ;)

Mint tea…it’s my jam. I’m almost embarrassed that I just said that in a sentence. Oh well. ;)

 

The restaurant was really cool, and I’m right in love with Moroccan decor. (Fun Fact: I desperately want to redo my bedroom into a Moroccan-themed, hot Arabian nights kind of boudoir…sounds fun, eh? :-) ) Here are a couple pictures:

These lights belong in my bedroom!

These lights belong in my bedroom!

 

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Pretty, eh? :)

 

I've got a fondness for beautiful knockers ;)

I’ve got a fondness for beautiful knockers ;)

I can’t wait to go back here…the pastries are insane they are so delicious, the mint tea is friggin’ divine….and the food. Yum. The food. :-) Check it out, friends! You won’t be disappointed. :-)

xxx

Reblog: I’m Old Fashioned

Reprinting this from June of 2013…because you can never talk too much about the art of the woo! ;)

 

I’m old-fashioned. That’s a mighty strange statement for someone like me to make – but it is so true. Even though I’m a girl who lives and breathes by technology, feels like I’m coming down with hives if I don’t keep up-to-date on the latest pop culture news from my Twitter feed, and can’t fathom going a whole day without the Internet/my Kindle/Instagram/Jezebel and XO Jane, I am still, at heart, a very old-fashioned, traditional girl. Let my tattooed, multiply pierced self explain. ;)

quote-Jason-Sudeikis-being-polite-and-grateful-will-make-people-228510

I believe in manners. I am always polite – even when I’m cross with someone and I’m snippy, I’m still polite. I abhor rudeness in others, and I find the lack of manners frequently on display in the world these days to be deplorable. I don’t understand people who clearly know better  behaving badly – there’s simply no excuse. People need to be kind to everyone they encounter in their day, whether they know them or not, it’s as simple as that. I find it embarrassing when others behave badly, and I have to admit that it completely and utterly turns me off those people…which probably makes me shallow, but…c’est la vie. Life is too short to spend with people who believe that treating others poorly is a viable option in life. It’s just vile.

I believe that men should always open the door for women, and that if you are the first at the door, regardless of whether you pee standing up or sitting down, you hold the door open for everyone coming and going. I believe that men should open car doors for ladies, whether they are someone they are shagging or not. I believe that looking people in the eyes is critical when you speak to them – people who don’t make me mighty nervous indeed.

I think that inviting someone to spend time with you at the last minute is kind of rude – I know that sometimes last minute things pop up, and that’s cool…but generally, if you want the pleasure of someone’s company, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL AND ASK THEM. Don’t just text – call. If you know that you have a weekend evening free and you want to have dinner with Bobby and Sue, call them as early as possible and invite them to join you for dinner – expecting someone to be free at the last minute is bloody tacky and just plain rude, if you ask me.

How it ought to be...LOVE this! :)

How it ought to be…LOVE this! :)

“The vampire could woo any woman with his charisma and his charm, but he only wishes to romance her.. for eternity.” 

- Mr. Depravity

I was talking with someone the other day about the art of ‘woo’ing – something which I think is sorely (and sadly) missing from society today. People today don’t woo each other nearly enough – and yes, while wooing is traditionally something that men are meant to do for the women they are sweet on (see what I mean? even the expressions that I use are old-fashioned), ladies can do some wooing, too. A lot of people think that wooing means showering a lady with expensive gifts and trips and dinners at the finest restaurants in town – and, while all of those things sound ever-so-lovely, they absolutely aren’t necessary parts of the woo. The woo can be made up of simple things like writing your Sweet a wee poem and sending it to them to brighten their day – your words cost you nothing, and if you aren’t much of a poet, Google rhyming words and you’ll get through it just fine. How about calling them up early in the week and asking them on a proper date? Fun, right?? Even if it’s a generally assumed thing that you two will be spending time together over the weekend, still pick up that phone and call and ask – that feeling is just plain awesome. :) Give your girl a flower sometime – notice that I didn’t say flowers, because I know that the cost of those things can add up! Give her one beautiful stem of something that you know that she loves – it will win you a ton of wooing points! :) A final word on wooing, and this is directed at ladies and gentlemen alike: don’t ever ever stop wooing your love, whether you’ve been together for three months, three years, or three decades. Don’t ever let the woo stop – keep that shit going FOREVER! It will absolutely do wonders for your relationship, and it feels good – for both of you. I promise. :)

Hahaha :)

Hahaha :)

I read an article online entitled “How to Make a Woman Fall in Love With You” – here are the easy steps to follow! (and ladies, I imagine they can be adapted to fit a man as well) Try not to laugh….
ATTENTION ALL ROMEOS: For the following article to be of any use to you whatsoever, it is mandatory that you and your love interest meet at least once in person (and NOT in your dreams). This article is based on actual love, and not virtual love. Upon meeting her, it is vital that you know the right questions to ask the girl, in order to get to know her, only after which can you entertain any possible hopes of her falling in love with you.

Those of you who have skipped reading the above disclaimer and have directly landed on this line of text, stop right here. The future of your love life has been decided right here, right now. You will remain SINGLE all your life. Stop wasting time thinking about how to make her fall in love with you. No amount of dating tips will ever be of any help to you whatsoever. You, my friend, will forever remain an Adam sans a madam. You wanna know why? Because you weren’t attentive enough, you missed reading the first paragraph, and in doing so, you violated rule number one!

The Ultimate Guide to Make a Woman Fall for You

Rule #1: You CANNOT win the heart of any woman on this planet unless you remain alert and pay attention to detail. You HAVE to be on full systems alert when with a woman – watch every movement of hers and listen to each and every word she says (And I do sympathize with you because I am yet to meet a woman who is not a chatterbox!). No matter where or at what time of the day (or night) the two of you meet; no matter how tired, sleepy or hungry you may be, you instantly need to power on your love battery and be on full alert. Look at her, listen to her and show an interest in what she is saying. Women do not like men who talk, talk, talk and never listen. Chances of love and romance are directly proportional to your ethical listening abilities. (Ethical listening is nothing but focusing your ears on her vocals and your eyes above her neck). If and when you get a chance to say a few words, choose those which will showcase your intelligence, rather than those which will expose the lack of it.

Rule #2: Please be yourself. This is the universal dating tip for men all over the world. You don’t have to be a Brad Pitt in order to woo your woman. If you’re not exactly tall, dark and handsome, that’s fine. Win her over with your heart, not with your looks. Remember, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. You’ll fall flat on your face and your love story will instantly become history.

Rule #3: Become indispensable to her. PLEASE NOTE: Follow Rule #1 and read the rest of this rule, or else you may end up becoming her best friend to whom she comes crying after fighting with her boyfriend or fiance. By becoming indispensable, I mean becoming her friend and much more. That ‘much more’ is the difference between being relegated to just a friend and becoming the special one that she loves. There is no universal definition for that ‘much more’, it is something that you need to figure out for yourself. If you can’t, fine. All the best in being her best brotherly friend for life!

Rule #4: Be romantic in an innovative way. There are plenty of ways (both successful and otherwise) of wooing a woman. Many of them involve doing the same age-old things such as gifting mixed tapes, presenting heart-shaped pendants, writing cheesy poems, etc. Some of them do work, whereas most are perceived to be extremely stereotyped and clichéd by women of the 21st century. So if your girl happens to be a rebel or a fiercely independent woman who is in tune with modern times and thoughts, then writing a silly sonnet on a pink paper sprayed with some run-of-the-mill chloroform-type cologne will only guarantee you a few more months of bachelorhood. Find out what your woman’s interests are, what are her likes, her dislikes and act accordingly. Don’t take a lady who loves opera to an Avril Lavigne concert! If your Juliet happens to be a typical girl-next-door who has a fancy for all that is pink and mushy, then be a Romeo of the highest order! Gift your princess a couple of Mills & Boon’s and be her knight in shining armor. Shower her with a few lovey-dovey romantic gifts. Make Shakespeare look down from the heavens and weep a tear or two. Show your romantic side in a way that is both creative and equally appealing to your lady love.

Rule #5: Last but definitely not the least, show that you care for her. This is a very important piece of relationship advice. Show her that you are a genuine fellow who is here to stay and that you are not a fair weather friend. Be there for her when she needs help. Support your woman through thick and thin. Once again, do NOT go overboard with this. Calling her every ten minutes to check on her will only ensure that you end up spending New Year’s Eve with Steve, instead of Eve.

These five rules are the fundamentals of sowing the seed of love in the heart of your darling dove. Following them religiously (and sensibly!) may make your woman see you in a different light… the light of love, adoration and romantic companionship. That is the secret to make a girl fall in love with you. It may take some time. But you shouldn’t lose hope. After all, if Rome wasn’t built in a day, how can it be any different for romance?

While I think this author did make a few good points, there is some straight-up lunacy in here. Let’s break it down, shall we? Rule #1 is correct – listen to us, dammit! There are few things as irritating as sitting across the table from a person who doesn’t so much talk as they do lecture, thinking that they are all-knowing and wise about every topic under the sun, and trying not to fall asleep as they pontificate yet again on every subject that gets brought up. I find it particularly delightful when I hear people who have never worked in the Education industry attempt to lecture ME on the problems with teachers and education today. Squeeze me??! Baking powder??! WTF, people??! It’s plain obnoxious and rude – and is certainly not a way to endear yourself, friends. I don’t agree with the writer that men should never talk – that would get mighty boring mighty quickly, but…shouldn’t it be a 50-50 kind of thing? :)

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Rule #2 is accurate – be yourself. This goes for men and women equally – the pressure and effort of pretending to be someone else is freaking exhausting, so…why bother? Rule #3 is also good – it is always nice to have someone around that you know that you can rely on. Personally, I find it hard to get that way with people (probably stems from a lifetime of folks letting me down, and a lifetime of me allowing them to let me down) – but, when it happens that I feel that I can count on someone, rely on them for anything and everything, and really feel that they’ve got my back, well…that’s just about the best thing EVER. :)

I love Rule #4 – be romantic in an innovative way! This is the woo, folks! :) I love this!! :) I may not agree with everything that is written up there about this, but oh lordy am I a fan of innovative romance. I think things like fun, unconventional dates are terrific, as are silly little happies designed solely to bring a smile to your face – those can’t be beat! For example, let’s say your Sweet rolls up one day with a Coconut Water for you while loudly declaring that they are NUTS about you (get it? Nuts – coconut??! :) ), simply because they know that you LOOOOOOVE that stuff and that hydration is important – it’s not a big deal, but it lets you know that they thought about you and they care. Awesome, right?! :) I know!! :) I personally love mix tapes (or playlists, whatever the kids are calling them these days), Chocolate-Covered Cherry Jelly Bellys, assorted other sweet treats, movie recommendations, poems, pretty much anything that lets me know that someone is thinking of me. :) I LOVE that! :) Every girl on this earth will, too – come to think of it, so will most every man! :)

Rule #5 is a no-brainer – we should always always show those around us that we care, every single day. You never know when your number will be up and wouldn’t it be awful to shuffle off this mortal coil without letting those that around you know how precious they are to you? Exactly. Be supportive, be respectful, and be there. Pretty simple advice, oui? :)


what-make-people-fall-in-love

 

Now, go on….get out there and woo. :) Let me know how it goes. :)

xxx

 

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Mama

In her lovely and brilliant book Bossypants , the magnificent Tina Fey pens this prayer for her daughter – let’s read it together, shall we? :-)

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The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither the Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie- the- Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller- coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For Childhood is short— a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day— And Adulthood is long and Dry- Humping in Cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M ., all- at- once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.”

And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen

 

Isn’t that just the very best? I know. I love it, too. :-) My Wee One has been going through a few growing pains lately and giving me (her old, beloved mother) some major heartburn….so thinking of wisdom like this does much to make me feel better.

Parenting. NOT for the weak of heart. ;-)

Xxx

 

PS: My Wee One is only allowed to have tattoos when she’s an adult, if she chooses what she wants carefully and thinks it over for a full year prior to getting it (my Dad’s rule, and it’s a good one), if the pictures are small enough so as not to hinder her career choices – and if she lets me go with her. :-)

PS: I am so in love with this line – May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Heehee!!!! :-)

 

 

Unicorns

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In the millions of people that exist in this world, it is so hard to stand out, to be yourself, to forge your own path…to truly be unique. There is so much pressure on us to conform and to look and be just like everyone else, which is bloody tragic. We should celebrate the unicorns among us, applauding their independent, pioneering spirit instead of making fun of them for being special butterflies, don’t you think? :-)

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Poindexter – My Spirit Animal

 

 

I work in a high school, so I spend my days around teenagers, and I see their angst up close and personal. I thought that being a teen girl was rough on me in the late ’80s, but every day I say a silent prayer that I’m not coming of age these days….I don’t know how I’d survive. Seriously. There were no cell phones to take video of me wearing gross outfits from Au Coton Canada (see Exhibit A), no footage of me drinking entirely too much at a fancy wedding/flirting with bartenders twice my age/dancing and barfing into a potted plant (I was 15, and driving the hot mess express that night) and no Internet coverage of a botched haircut that had me bear more than a passing resemblance to Poindexter from ‘Revenge of the Nerds’. I’m so grateful that I came into myself without having to fret about cyber bullying and other assorted stupidity shown by young people today. Kids can be so cruel…and holy hell are girls MEAN. Times back then were rough enough, especially for an odd bird like me who NEVER fit in.

Exhibit A. I wish I was still this thin, and I'm happy to report that I still have these friggin awesome pink sunglasses at my house...but that outfit. Those paper bag shorts. Thanks, Au Coton.

Exhibit A. I wish I was still this thin, and I’m happy to report that I still have these friggin awesome pink sunglasses at my house…but that outfit. Those paper bag shorts. Thanks, Au Coton.

 

When I was young, I alternated between wanting desperately to be like everybody else, but still wanting/needing to jig to the tune of my own fiddler.  I would try to do things like everyone else (apart from wearing those classic 1980s Asics Tigers volleyball shoes -everyone wore those except for me…they made my feet look like skis, for real), but most of my attempts were failures because the stuff others did just didn’t work on me.  I always dressed differently (one girl from my class wore sweats to school ALL THE TIME like it was her bloody job – and she was popular. How? She was also the biggest bitch in the known universe as well, but….that’s another story for another day) – I didn’t wear most of the things that the popular peeps wore (still don’t). I didn’t listen to the same music as most others (as evidenced by the fact that I wore out not one but two copies of my Crash Vegas cassette tape that I’m pretty sure nobody owned but the band, their family, and me – I still listen to their song “Smoke” and cry. Every time.) I am very much my own person, and I’m not easily influenced by others (if you’d like to confirm this, let me know…I can give you a list of names of people who’ve tried to change me and failed miserably). A very sweet person recently said about me “How the hell are you so entertaining?” and followed that with “there is something indefinable about you'”. Isn’t that bloody awesome? I’ve never wanted anything more than to be entertaining and different from everyone else. WOOHOO!!! I love it when people get me. :-)
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While researching the idea of embracing your uniqueness (AKA trying to find research that justifies my inclination towards unusual behavior), I came across this little gem – ‘Being Unique Matters’. Give it a read:

Why do you care? Really take a moment to reflect on this: why do you concern yourself with what others think about you? You are a unique, gifted, and special individual. That is a fact. Now let that be your starting point and your living point. Here are a few thoughts on why you should dare to be different, celebrate the special uniqueness that is you, and not worry about what others think.

Your Uniqueness and Life Have Taken You Places

Every human being that has ever lived, or ever will live, is unique. You are truly one of a kind. We all know that we, as humans, share the usual bits and pieces that most of us have in common, such as certain essential body parts — a head, a heart, a brain, and so on. But the similarity ends there.

Your life experiences thus far have made you the person you are today. The way you were brought up by your parents and the things that you learned in your childhood have come together to make you different from everyone else. You may have learned some things in a similar way to other children, such as having respect for your fellow man, the need to “clean up your room!”, or to brush your teeth twice a day, and so on. Yet you will have also learned many things that other children did not, such as how to care for a rabbit, or play a musical instrument, or build a fort in the woods, or solve complicated math equations.

It is the combination of everything that you have learned and the various things that you have done that make you truly different from everyone else on this planet. Others may share some of your talents and abilities, but there is no one who is identical to you. It is rather like an artist painting a picture; even if another artist were to copy the picture as closely as possible it would never be identical. Different brush strokes or combinations of paint would have been used, and each masterpiece is its own.

So since you are unique, why not celebrate that fact? Dare to be your own person and disregard what others may think.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
~ Cecil Beaton

Don’t Conform to the Norm

We are brought up in our schools to conform; to be the same as everyone else. It has gotten to the point now where some of our teachers are not allowing children to win prizes for coming in first place on school sports day, because those who lagged behind would feel different and “left out”. Some schools have discontinued having a sports day altogether, so that little Corey won’t get upset that little Johnny won a prize.

This is insane. The fact is that little Johnny is a faster runner than Corey. However, it is also the case that Corey is far better at math than Johnny. We need to celebrate and accentuate these uniquenesses. It is because of the very fact that we are different that makes all of us so wonderful and special.

Being Different Leads to Innovation and Critical Thinking

This attitude that everyone should be the same is stifling inventiveness and individual thinking. How far would we have gotten if Albert Einstein had been obliged to conform to the same mores as his peers? He dared to think differently. One might even say that he dared to think. The contribution of just this one man has made the world a far better place than it was. There are and have been, of course, many others, but if some of the teachers of today have their way these individuals will become a rarity.

So celebrate the fact that you are unique and that you have a contribution to make to this world. When you pass on you will have inevitably made an impact on it. Others will have been affected by your life and your presence here, whether you realize it or not. Those that you loved and who loved you will have been changed in a way that could not have happened had you never lived.

What Follows? What’s Next?

It follows from all this that you should feel free to live your life in the best manner as you can. But in that pursuit, be a true, authentic, and real individual. Don’t hide behind the shadows of fakery and deception. If you wish to dress differently from others, then do so. If you want to climb a mountain, or explore a desert, do it! Don’t worry what others think.

You only have one life. Provided that the way you live it doesn’t harm anyone, you have the opportunity – one might even say the duty – to live it the way you see fit.

 

Good, eh? I love the concept of being daring…for so much of what we do and who we are depends upon how bold and brave we can be.  Have you heard Brené Brown’s TedTalk on The Power of Vulnerability? If not, then you really need to…life-changing. So awesome. :-) She shares this Teddy Roosevelt quote from 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

 

So, go forth and conquer, my sweet friends…be who you are, don’t mind anyone else’s opinion. Be a unicorn, dare greatly – I know you are destined for amazing things! :-)

 

xxx

 

 

Don’t Get Me Wrong

My list of faults is huge: I rush through most things in life, I’m really hard on myself (which can be extremely annoying to be around), I’m so impatient that it’s just disgusting, my face – nose in particular – is pretty jacked up, I never know when enough is enough, my arse is too wide…I could go on and on. I am, however, the very first person to admit my mistakes and shortcomings and acknowledge when I’ve done something wrong – I am a real believer in personal responsibility. I’m really struggling with the fact that not everyone operates the same way – and it’s really frustrating me.
I find it so annoying in the workplace when people refuse to take responsibility for their actions. If I screw up, I admit it and apologize – and then I ask forgiveness and immediately fix the problem. I always observe that order – acknowledge the problem, accept responsibility, and repair the situation. It’s remarkably simple. You’d be surprised how few people operate this way, though. A few weeks ago, someone in my workplace made a catastrophic error which impacted over 150 students, and caused me a TON of work and headaches. I understand that errors happen, and I had no anger over that, just annoyance. However, the part that really upset me happened next: the perpetrator didn’t come and help fix the situation, despite repeated requests to do so. Nor did she dispatch any of her staff to come over and help. Nothing. She sat on her tuffet and did sweet bugger all. It was bloody shameful. This happened four weeks ago – and I’m STILL mad….and I never hold a grudge. The reason that I think this all went down this way was due to an inadequacy on the part of her supervisor – she wasn’t reprimanded, there were no consequences….nothing. I just don’t get it – and, even worse, I don’t understand why I’m still so hung up on this. :-(

take-responsibility

I came across this article on “Taking Responsibility For Your Actions” – give it a look:

When we make excuses or try to blame other people or external factors for the eventual outcome of something, not only are we failing to take responsibility, but we are demonstrating a character trait which is very common in people who fail to succeed in anything.

In shouldering responsibility ourselves, we are giving ourselves the power to shape the outcome ourselves and are therefore taking an active and not a passive role in how the outcome turns out.

Realisation
It’s only when you accept that everything you are or ever will be is up to you, that you are able to get rid of the negativity of excuse making that can so often prevent you from succeeding. You may find yourself in your current position in both your personal and professional life and remain convinced that if all’s not going well, then it’s ‘so and so’s fault’. However, we all have free will which means that we are completely responsible for all of our successes and failures and of our happiness or state of unhappiness.
When we realise this it can, at first, seem like a huge responsibility which we are placing on our shoulders but when you rationalise it and accept that you are responsible for every action you take and every decision you make, that there is virtually nothing that you can’t achieve, have or accomplish if you accept that it’s within yourself and yourself only, to reach your ultimate goal.

Get Out Clauses Don’t Work
One of our biggest problems is that we don’t like to fail and, more importantly, we don’t like to be seen to fail. The problem with that train of thought, however, is that we then tend to set ourselves a goal but at the same time we create an excuse to keep as a ‘spare card’ we can use so that if we don’t succeed, we can blame something or somebody else. However, the more personal responsibility we take, the more in control we are and the more control we have, the more likely we will reach our goal as there will be no excuses to fall back on if we fail.
Therefore, taking responsibility for our actions equals success. It also makes us feel good about ourselves and rids us of negative personality traits such as anger, fear, resentment, hostility and doubt.

Replacing the Negative
If you’ve ever been around somebody who always appears to be ‘down on their luck’, you’ll have noticed that their whole personality seems to be riddled with negative comments and that they have nothing positive to say. It’s quite true that you can’t really hold both a positive and negative feeling at the same time, so by replacing the negative with a positive, it stops you from feeling unhappy as you have come to accept that you are now going to be solely responsible for how you feel, not other people or other external factors.
Accepting Responsibility
Once you accept total responsibility for everything that happens to you in life, you will soon discover that this also enables you to find solutions to life’s difficulties far more quickly.
For example, take work colleagues or someone you are in a personal relationship with. Say you’re having problems with them and it is causing you stress. A negative person who likes to apportion blame might say, “Since I met so and so, it’s been nothing but trouble” whereas somebody who accepts total responsibility might say, “Hang on a moment; I am responsible for having this person or these people in my life. I took that job or I embarked upon this relationship – no-one forced me to.” Therefore, if they’re not happy with the situation and have taken responsibility for it, they are also able to find the solution – in this case, by leaving the job or getting out of an unhealthy relationship.

Similarly, what about those who are feeling bitter because people earn more than they do. Well, whose fault is that? If you accept total responsibility, then you’ll look to do something about it if it’s important to you. Find out how you can earn more money. Speak to others and find out what it is they are doing differently to you then start applying all that knowledge to make the changes you need to make to create the kind of life you want.

 In accepting responsibility, you are accepting a willingness to develop your character and in doing that, the stronger your character will become and your life will be improved as a consequence. 

Most of us will have come across descriptions of successful people where words such as ‘persistence’, ‘perseverance’, ‘tenacity’ and ‘stickability’ have been used to describe them.

It is a fact that when we adopt these kinds of traits and incorporate them into our daily lives, we are much better equipped to face challenges and to overcome adversity.

We’ll all have plenty of experience from when we were children at being encouraged to persevere with things. The first time we got on a bike or our early attempts at learning to swim are both prime examples where we’d still be unable to do both these things if we had not demonstrated ‘stickability’.

However, as we become adults, we’re often faced with other kinds of challenges and, whilst many of us have kept up with a philosophy of perseverance, others have taken the decision to quit at the first sign of difficulty. It might be a job we’ve quit soon after starting without really giving it a chance or a home DIY project that showed signs of being too daunting. Whatever the reason, sometimes as adults we’re so aware of the desperate need not to be seen to stumble that we often quit at the first sign of a hurdle looming. However, it’s ultimately the people who keep on trying when things get rocky that reap the greatest reward in the end.

Tips to Perseverance

Many of us become trapped in a state of inertia, often because we are too afraid to try anything new in case people question us or decide to mock our ideas or plans. As adults, people tend to ‘pigeon hole’ others. They think they know who they are and by categorising them, they make an evaluation or judgement which, by and large, formulates their opinions of them. Often, the way this is done is through our jobs or our choice of partners. Therefore, when someone decides to make a radical step towards changing their career to go and do something entirely different or they choose to start a new relationship, this can often be met by critical comments about your new goals and aspirations.

 

This is known as ‘dream stealing’ and even so-called ‘friends’ can sometimes be guilty of this. Perhaps, they think you’re going to leave them behind?

The way to tackle this is to be absolutely clear that you are not going to be sidetracked from achieving your new goals. Harness the support of individuals who are backing you to succeed. You might not necessarily have to sacrifice old friends but it’s important that you don’t let any negative comments force you to deviate from your aims.

Be Healthy

Adopt a healthy lifestyle, if you haven’t done so already. Good nutrition and regular exercise will increase your energy and stamina which are both required for perseverance. When you feel healthy and energised, this will have knock on effects and will also nurture feelings of optimism, resilience, self-confidence, focus and clarity of mind.

Ask an Expert

When considering what your ultimate goals are, look at those who have achieved something similar in the past and try to seek advice from them. Those who have been there before you will be best placed to help and, no doubt, they’ll have made some mistakes along the way which they’ll be able to tell you about which, if you avoid making the same ones, will speed up the time it takes to reach your goals.

Finish What You Start

Don’t make excuses and put your goals onto ‘stall mode’. If you encounter difficulties, identify them and work out a solution, in other words, persevere!

So many projects and goals get left unfinished or unattained because people stop the moment they’re faced with a challenge. Programs get put on ‘indefinite hold’ and the longer that goes on, the more difficult it is to pick up the baton again and…. remember those ‘doom mongers’? They’ll be there ready and waiting and only too willing to say, ‘I told you so’. So, what better reason than to plough on and just treat any obstacles as hurdles simply waiting to be overcome.

Concentrate on what you CAN do as opposed to what you CAN’T. Keep moving forward, but remember it’s not a sprint. Move forward at your own pace and don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t bear any grudges or resentment towards those who seem to be questioning your judgement or abilities in your new quest. Simply forgive them and carry on. Harbouring a grudge will only fill you with negative energy which will not serve any useful purpose and will only sap you of energy and strength.

Fundamentally, adopt a ‘don’t quit’ attitude. Nothing truly worthwhile was ever obtained without some kind of hardship or a bit of a struggle or sacrifice so focus on the road ahead and stick to it, no matter what obstacles emerge along the way.

Life-Wise-Meaningful-Inspirational-Inspiring-Motivational-Quotes-428

Good stuff, eh? I know – and it applies to your personal as well as your professional life. I haven’t always been as good at taking responsibility for the things I do personally, but I have been really working on this. There have been times when I have treated people poorly – never intentionally, but because I had my own agenda and they weren’t really part of it. I have not always been as kind as I should have been…and I deeply regret that. I have endeavored to be nicer to people (and not such an asshole) – and, hopefully, if you know me in person, you will know that I’m getting better at this. (I am, right?) However, it’s so hard to admit when you’re wrong, to admit that you’ve been inappropriate/selfish/out of order/a hosebag…but didn’t somebody really wise once say that the truth will set you free?

 

Bring on the freedom. :)

 

xxx

 

Falling

Even Grover is ready for fall!! :-)

Even Grover is ready for fall!! :-)

It’s fall now…my favorite season. :-) The sights, the smells, the crispness in the air, the excitement of things to come…I love it all. :-) While most folks associate spring with new beginnings, I’m more inclined to think of fall as a time for fresh starts: a new school year, a new wardrobe, new notebooks and pens (I’m such a nerd), and new changes. This year, I’m really embracing this idea – I’ve had the flooring changed on the stairs and in the playroom upstairs, the kitchen/living room/dining room are being painted, and the house smells like cinnamon, pumpkin and apple candles. I’m hoping to go and do some winery tasting tours in the nearby Hill Country in the next month or so, and I would love love LOVE to find an apple orchard to pick some apples and make fresh apple crisp. :-) (anybody in the area know where I can go?)  I’m so excited for the pumpkin patch to open, I want to go to a corn maze, and I’m hoping to check out Lost Maples State Park, to actually get to see changing leaves!! Imagine!!! :-) Bring on the fall!!! :-)

Last year's pumpkin patch picture...can't wait for this year!!

Last year’s pumpkin patch picture…can’t wait for this year!!

I’ve been really trying to cut back on the hours that I spend at work lately – this past week wasn’t my best (it was Homecoming weekend, so I had a ton of responsibilities – and a miserable cold which left me feeling like crap and sounding like Kathleen Turner), but I think I’m in a much better place than I was last year. I’ve been having more time to see friends, I’ve been getting out for some lovely meals, and I’ve been feeling happier and not so overwhelmed. I’m feeling so much more settled at work, as if I’ve finally caught up and am no longer required to run around like a headless chicken all the time. This coming week will be my one year anniversary at my new job, and I’m so excited to celebrate! :-) I’m so happy to have had this amazing opportunity in the first place, I’m super excited that I haven’t screwed up too terribly badly (although that probably depends on who you ask), and I’m so proud of the good things I’ve managed to accomplish. I am so lucky that I get to work with some truly fantastic people every day, and this job has introduced me to some majorly amazing people that are changing my life. :-) I’m so very, very lucky. :-)

Pretty :-)

Pretty :-)

Whats your favorite season? What are you most looking forward to this fall? :-) I hope you can find time to do the things you want to do…and let me know if you want to join in on my pumpkin patch/winery tour fun! :-)

xxx

 

Spanish Walk

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I love going to Tapas bars – and not just for the excellent sangria. I love Spanish food, I love sharing things around the table and trying bits of everything…and I always feel like meals eaten this way facilitate good conversation and fun times. I clearly put too much thought into this kind of stuff, but…oh well. Whatevs. Anyway, I visited San Antonio tapas restaurant and bar Espana recently – and had a gorgeous meal! I’ve been here a ton of times, but it’s been over a year since my last visit…and I can’t think of a single reason why I’ve stayed away so long. It was delightful!! Here’s a couple of pictures of the place:
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My obsession with light fixtures continues...I'm SO the daughter of an electrician!!

My obsession with light fixtures continues…I’m SO the daughter of an electrician!!

Let’s talk about the food! :-) (it’s really no wonder that my caboose isn’t narrow…I love food, I love going out to eat great meals, and I have such an appreciation for taste and flavor. Oh well….I’d rather be happy than skinny ;-) ) I ordered my first sangria as soon as my arse hit my seat – and I didn’t look back. First up was a cheese and spinach dip served with chips – the cheese used in this masterpiece was manchego….meaning I was a happy girl. :-) Manchego is YUM. :-) I had a piece of an Espanola pizza made with manchego again (happy happy) and some gorgeous Serrano ham, chorizo, and fresh tomato. It was lovely, but not the highlight of the meal. Here’s the manchego and spinach dip:
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Next up was a hot sampler, which included paella, tortilla espanola, albondigas (which are meatballs smothered in a garlic white wine sauce with fried potatoes – these things were the absolute bomb, no lie….AMAZING!), croquetas (crisp fried shells with a creamy center of cheese and Serrano ham), and pollo al jerez (beautifully cooked strips of chicken breast and green olives sautéed with sherry). I liked a lot of stuff on this platter, but the real deal was the final item – the meat and cheese platter. It was a beautiful mix of manchego cheese, Serrano ham, chorizo, and a third meat (which reminded me of Italian soppressata), with grapes and apple slices on the side. I LOVED this! :)

 

The hot tapas sampler :)

The hot tapas sampler :)

 

Mmm....cheese...meat.... :)

Mmm….cheese…meat…. :)

 

All in all, yet again another lovely meal (I eat like a queen some days, I know….sorry) – the atmosphere, the food, the people, the sangria. It just couldn’t be beat! Hope to see you soon at Espana! :)

 

xxx

Big Time

How do you define success? Is it the amount of moolah in your savings account? How about the value of your stock portfolio? The German car that’s parked in your garage? How about the casa to which that garage is attached? All of those things are nice (some of them are REALLY nice), but does having them equal success? What does success mean to you?

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There’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to feeling personally successful. Since the very definition of success is different for each of us, this battle is so intensely personal. For example, the family structure that the Wee One and I have is by no means conventional, but it works for us. Some people may look at the fact that she moves between our home, her father’s house, and my parents on a regular basis as problematic, however it has provided her with a really good foundation. She is a lovely, well-mannered, sweet little thing…and she seems to be very happy. Her smiles and kindness towards those around her are great indications of my success to me – she’s turning out pretty well so far. Let’s cross the fingers that we emerge from the teenaged years relatively unscathed!! ;-)

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Other folks define their success solely by their careers…which I think is narrow, but to each their own. I get asked from time to time what my ambitions are. Generally, I think people are trying to ascertain my desired career trajectory (which is cool that they care)….although I don’t really have a good answer for them. I have all sorts of ideas of jobs that I think would be groovy, but I love my current school so much that I never want to leave. Instead, I tell them that I want to spend my life being the kind of person that people will have good things to say about. Being kind and treating people well matters more to me than just about anything. The thought of me being an asshole is just not something that I can accept. Now, don’t think that I’m some sweet Pollyanna who is a doormat and a wallflower rolled into one ball of insipid fun. I can – and do! – definitely stand up for myself, but I try to do it as politely as possible. I believe that regardless of what I achieve in this lifetime, the most important things are being a good person, and raising an even better one. Everything else is just gravy. :-)

Some people care a whole whole lot about owning stuff….it’s kind of that old strange mentality of he with the most toys wins. Do you agree? While I think it would be super- nice to own all the finest things that I could ever possibly want, I know that thinking is highly impractical. Nice things are nice to have, don’t get me wrong….but they don’t matter nearly as much as people. I think that remembering the things that are important in life –  your family, your friends, your Boo, your spirituality, your home life – are the things that make you successful. :-)

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I don’t define success by having a busy and productive life, either…if I did, then I would be San Antonio’s version of Bill Gates or some other Titan of industry. I’m aware that I’m a bit more of a go getter than the average bear…but I don’t think I’m too terribly unusual. Are you a super-busy person? Do you like being that way? Or, do you prefer having very little going on in your life?  I am a super-busy bee, which is pretty much how I roll, but locating like-minded people can be TOUGH, friends! Do you know how bloody many people are kinda lazy? Content to just sit there, see how it goes, let life happen to them? Way too many, friends….trust me, I seem to find all of them. What ever happened to ambition? Motivation? Getting shit done so that you can make your dreams come true? I just don’t get it. Life will go on, friends, whether you want it to or not. Rather than being a passive passenger, wouldn’t you prefer instead to be an active actinger? ( so not a word, but it bloody well should be) I find this to be such a huge issue, and I’m not sure why. I am not in charge of somebody else’s destiny, any more than they are responsible for mine. I need to do me – and let them do them. It just bugs me. Apparently I need a hobby. Perhaps I should take up knitting? ;-)

I think that when it comes to contemplating success, it may be time to reshape our thinking. There’s been articles recently on the optimum salary for happiness…have you heard about this? It’s not $500,000 or even $250,000 (nice though that would be!)- it’s $75,000. A nice chunk of change, yes? But not as high as I’d have thought. You? Researchers have found that anything above that amount provides negligible happiness, and often more headaches. You can read that study here…I’m fascinated by it. :-). 

All of these things can lead to success, depending on how you look at it. I think they real key is determining what matters to you, figuring out the things that you need to feel happy and successful, and then planning and working like a mo’fo to make sure you achieve them. Good luck – I know you can do it! :-)

Xxx