Thursday, October 23, 2008


I don't usually blog at work, but I don't think any colleagues read this, so I think I'm safe...

October is a crazy busy time of year for me at work. It's the same every year - planning a week's worth of training programs, getting the attorneys to do their evaluations, projecting headcount figures and part of the budget for next year. All the while distracted by what the kids and Mark and I will be for Halloween.

Yet every October, I start out thinking that "it's not going to be that stressful, tiring, that much work this year." Maybe because I've been doing these same tasks every October for at least the past 5 years and think that it's mostly routine - yet it always is as stressful, tiring and as much (or more) work as the year before, and the year before that... Still, I can't help but go into it with a sense of optimism.

Because I'm an optimist. If something bad happens, my immediate reaction is: "Okay, what's going to make it better? Not..."oh my God, this is the worst possible thing." I believe that bad thing cannot be the focus, because it will be fed by my negative thoughts and become a stronger bad thing. So my focus instead is on what will make it better.

Some people think that is unrealistic - that it is just my way of not facing reality - that this bad thing is there, and the possibility of it getting worse is very real, and what if that worse thing does happen? I know that. I realize that bad things do get worse. And if that bad thing gets worse, I'll face it when it does. But in the meantime, my energy is focused on believing it will get better. Because that does happen too. In my 38+ years of life, I've learned that some bad things get worse, and some get better. So I make the choice to focus my energy on the possible better, not the possible worse.

So next October will inevitably come, and I'll go into it thinking, this year will not be that bad. And I might be wrong. But I believe that someday, I'll be right.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I was with a few friends earlier tonight for an informal 40th surprise party; and only now that I think about it, I realize how different we are from each other. There was: our nanny - who is really a part of our family - and her husband, 21 yr. old daughter and 11 yr. old son; her niece and nephew and their 1 yr. old daughter; all of them are Mexican. The birthday "boy", his wife and 2 daughters (3 and 1) are black. And finally, the couple with their 3 yr. old daughter (who are expecting a second baby in the Spring) are from India.

When I was 8 or 5 - my kids ages - I had very little interaction with families not like mine- white, middle class, suburban. I would never have been exposed to a night like tonight because all of my parents friends were white, middle class, suburban. I didn't sit in a classroom with someone who had a different color skin than me until I got to high school. And even then, the only minority represented was a handful of black girls.

How times have changed. For the better. My kids live a completely opposite childhood from mine. Differences in people's skin color, language, accent, mean absolutely nothing to them. They spend their school day with children who are so diverse that their school is nicknamed "the Rainbow school."

I started this blog by saying how different we all were - but as I write more I realize we're really much more alike than different. We all work to provide for our family, we all get together with friends for life celebrations, and we all teach our kids that people are people - no matter what they look like, what language they speak or what neighborhood they live in.

Hopefully, my kids will never have to teach the same lesson to their kids - it will just be a part of their life.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dancing with the Stars

I started writing about the tanking stock market and the economy - but I got depressed and angry. So I stopped.

Then I started watching Dancing with the Stars. It's anything but depressing. I never watched this show before last week. But now I'd be happy to watch it any day. It doesn't bother me like some "reality" shows like Survivor or Big Brother. It's entertaining, fun, and the stars look like they are really having a great time. I could do without all the "fluff" but I guess they do have to fill up two hours. And the Stars don't trash each other - they like doing what they are doing and they don't have to scheme, plot, and bad mouth each other to succeed.

My favorite is Warren Sapp - he's having a GREAT time. For such a big guy, he can move pretty gracefully. He's really enjoying it and just having fun.

Watching the show is just plain fun. Mindless, enjoyable, fun. It's great to lose yourself for an hour or two just watching people dance. Makes me want to take a dance class.

Now that's exercise I might actually enjoy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall and Baseball

I love fall. The leaves changing, the cripsness in the air, getting my fall and winter wardrobe out of the closet, and many other reasons. But what also defines fall for me is baseball.

I've always been a sports chick. As a kid, I played sports with my town boys and girls club, and at my elementary school. I played basketball, bowling, and softball - because back in the 70's, girls didn't play baseball. And I loved watching sports too: football, basketball, but especially baseball. I went to baseball games at Yankee Staduim as a kid - and have always loved the sport. I still love going to games when I can and was lucky enough - thanks to my Red Sox fan husband committing what is probably considered illegal in Red Sox Nation - to go to a game this past July during the last season in the original house that Ruth built.

Baseball has become a part of my life like no other sport. I can't really explain it. It is still my favorite sport to watch or attend in person. I don't watch much during the summer - it's such a busy time of year. But when fall rolls around, and playoffs start, I'm there. I'm watching whoever is playing - be it the Yankees, Red Sox, or other teams I could care less about. I've got "fall fever" for baseball. I just love it.

Of course, I'd love it a little more if the Yankees were playing - but there's always next year.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ahh... the video game. I'm old enough to remember Atari and Pong, and then the way more advanced Asteriods, Frogger and Pac Man - and let's not forget the Gloria Steinem version, Ms. Pac Man. And now... along comes the Wii. We thought we were teaching our son this great lesson in that whatever allowance he saved from January until his birthday (last week) we would match it and buy a Wii. He saved about $100; we matched it 2-1, and now the Wii takes up a prominent place near the big screen TV.

We try to be good parents - in that we limit our kids to 1/2 hour a day on the Wii - which would sometimes become more like an hour if they behaved extra well, or if friends were over. And it didn't bother me so much when they were playing tennis, bowling, or boxing because at least they were moving around. Now I know those don't take a lot of physical activity, but at least you're standing and moving your arms to play those. And now we've moved on to Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Smash Bros. Brawl. And we've gone back in time - almost counter to what I thought the Wii was supposed to accomplish. For those games, the player is back to sitting on the couch, a controller in each hand, with non-stop fingers moving on both remotes.

But... is there anything really wrong with that? We all grew up with some influence our parents thought bad for us - be it Atari, the Walkman, or Madonna. And we are came out okay in the end. So if my kids get plenty of time outside to balance the 1/2 hr. to hour they spend playing Wii and if they do everything they are expected to do (chores, get dressed, brush teeth) before turning it on, I'm pretty confident they will turn out okay too.

And I'm really looking forward to Santa bringing me the Wii fit for Christmas.