Lead image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
I’ve been preparing for a work offsite event that is taking place this week. If you’ve ever been to one, you know these things tend to happen away from the regular office environment and can sometimes involve one or more overnights.
If you’ve ever planned one of these events, you’d also know that the organizing end can feel like simultaneously having a party and a performance review: it’s exciting, you want everyone to have a good time and you personally want to have chance to enjoy and get the most out of it.
my delightful and precious unicorn in her sweet pajamas
Growing up is tough business. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my middle or high school years. Navigating the social circles, fighting for my freedom, starting to find my voice, trying to shape who I am and where I fit in the world, meeting and losing friends, experiencing first love…and that’s before I’ve even started to tackle the accelerating homework and school pressure because college is just a few years away. Nope, I’m very happy to have survived that… The only thing that makes it worse is when there are bullies, “mean girls,” and tormentors amplifying the noise that already exists in an adolescents’ head. I had my fair share of experiences as a kid with these types of people–and it was agony–and I know from FB that most people have experienced it too.
Ok, so I’ll admit it, I’d never done it before so I was nervous. They say the first time is always the hardest and you just have to jump in head first. Switching it up and gaining exposure to something different is important, right?!? Well after about a month of planning, today was the day. It was going to happen…
When I was growing up, my father taught me to play Scrabble. Not by coaching me through a game, side-by-side as players on the same team, but by being a worthy counterpart in a back and forth exchange on the board. Through this methodology I too became a worthy opponent, a skill I am very proud to have today because it connects me to him, his strengths, his values and is a reminder of fond memories.
Throughout my life, some of the most meaningful and transformative moments I can recall were the conversations I had with my Dad. Some may call them “heart-to-hearts” but that would be underestimating the range and scope of what we would talk about. Similar to our Scrabble matches, he never “dumbed down” an intellectual conversation–not in his interpretations or his expectations of how I was to participate–which challenged me to meet him, or at least make a valiant effort to get there.
I believe inpsychics and mediums. Feel free to judge, roll your eyes, laugh or anything else you feel may be necessary. I’ve encountered all that and worse. A while back I was taught not to hide or be ashamed of the things I truly believe in, and this is one of those things. I also understand that it is not for everyone, and I have no judgement or scorn for those who feel differently.
Image courtesy of shuttershock (c) Kristijan Zontar
I’m usually prompted to source new gift ideas because I am shopping for an event or occasion. Recently fantastical ideas have just surfaced unsolicited by way of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (gotta love social media) and old-fashioned word-of-mouth in a lovely happenstance kind of fashion. So these are some AH-MAY-ZING looking tokens that I am dying to find the right occasion for–and I already have a few in mind–so I just had to share, and pay that good-gifting-kharma forward. Enjoy!
I’m stressing out. It’s almost back to school and this year is a big one for our family. See, my daughter is entering 8th grade and my son is going into the 5th and in New York City, that means we are beginning the high school and middle school application process for each respective aforementioned offspring. “What’s the big deal?” some of you many be asking–particularly if you live away from this insane place where middle and high school placement isn’t treated like college admissions.
Me, age 22, by the pool at our family weekend house, August 1997 (yes, I’ve always had short hair)
Last weekend we went to stay with some friends at their weekend house in Upstate New York‘s Hudson Valley. It was a lovely break from a city weekend which can become a bit tedious come late August…and their home was amazing. I say amazing for a few reasons: the company, the hospitality and food were all incredible. But upon further reflection, the weekend reminded me of my own childhood getaways to the Hudson Valley–particularly watching another family enact their own lovely and loving everyday ballet–and I caught myself saying: “I remember…” more than once (sometimes aloud and sometimes to myself).