gratitude-a-thon day 71: easter

I love to decorate eggs. I did dozens and dozens when I was a kid.

My dad was Jewish and my mom was Catholic. When they married, they decided to give up their religions, and raise their children with no religion, allowing us to choose when we grew up. (Course, this was impossible, since we did not have any religious education.) But we did have all the Catholic holidays, because my mother’s family, who all lived 15 minutes away, were Catholic. And the town I grew up in was all Catholic. (I will get into this in another post in more detail one day.)

For my family, Easter is a re-birth of the earth and a celebration of spring. And getting really creative with eggs. And a reason to eat a lot of candy. And a lot of ham. And more candy. With candy for dessert. Topped off with a midnight snack of candy.

Hope you and your peeps (get it!!!!!)  have a happy day.

gratitude-a-thon day 70: pink

First of all, contrary to popular opinion, I was NOT the oldest person at the Pink concert. By a long shot! I have always really liked her because she has a super empowering message. But what surprised me more than anything was her show. She made Lady Gaga’s show look like a still life. She is an athlete and gymnast and apparently NOT RISK AVERSE! This video was my favorite part of the concert. I literally felt like I was going to spontaneously combust because I was, and there’s just no other word for it, although I don’t like this word, but here it is–DELIGHTED!  it was unexpected and insane. I’ll actually never forget it. She’s coming back in December. For a big dose of happy, you should see her.

gratitide-a-thon day 68: Eutopia

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Here we are on the Vineyard together. In happier times, BEFORE I KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO MOVE!

And so it is one more goodbye.

Last night, I went To Eutopia for a glass of champagne. This is where I have been training for the past eight years. With back problems since my senior year of college, I have had to find my way. And for me, Eutopia was a big fat guiding light. The owner, Colleen Quinn, started as my trainer, but ended up as one of my closest friends. She has decided to move to Northern California, which means that I won’t be able to see her twice a week anymore, unless I want to get on a plane for five hours. I am excited for her. I love California and have always wanted to live there, so the fact that she gets to, gives me a vicarious thrill. I think she will love it there. But WHAT ABOUT ME? If I look at it from that perspective, ugh, think major waterworks. The loss of another pillar in my life is hard to swallow.

But let me tell you why I am sad. And why I am so grateful to have met Colleen. She is a physical therapist, who decided her passion was to open a studio for personal training. Her specific way of training, focuses on core stability and a number of other trade secrets I won’t get into. On Washington Street in Brookline Village, she created a sunny, yellow studio, where I slowly learned to trust my body. I not only became strong, I became more aware. I not only learned about my physical self, I also learned about my emotional self. And when I would start having an issue with my back, she was able to treat it like physical therapist, because she is one. What a win, win situation. What a safe haven for someone with a precarious spine. What a fucking miracle.

Colleen is the 9th of 10 children. She is smart, and gorgeous, and funny and curious and thoughtful. We have solved many of the world’s problems in her studio, while I was doing planks. We have laughed until we created permanent smile lines. We have celebrated and mourned the gains and losses in both of our lives. She has seen both of my kids for different physical issues. She has helped my husband, who thinks she is God. She has taken care of my dog. We have spent time on the Vineyard together, our sacred place, and texted during the entire season of The Voice. She is a little bit sister, a little bit magician, and a little bit miracle worker.

I will never be able to compose a big enough thank you to her. I will never get over the hole she will leave in my life. But I am learning that this is what life is, gain. Loss. Gain. Loss. Gain.Loss. Rolling with it all is key. I feel wobbly this morning, knowing that the stability I have felt knowing Colleen was three blocks away is a thing of my past. But I will just have to rely on the stability she gave me in the space she lovingly and passionately created at Eutopia. I will even miss the building, because so many good things happened for me there. A law firm is moving into the space, and I’m half worried that I might show up during my regular sessions and start doing sit ups in the middle of a meeting.

I am attached to this space. It’s been part of me for eight years, plus I have grown so much there. If those walls could talk, they would make you laugh and cry.

God, I hate goodbye’s. Beginnings are sort of awkward, but exciting, middle’s are comfortable and cozy, but endings just plain suck. I already miss the regularity of my sessions. But Eutopia’s tag line was Redefine Yourself. And it appears that’s exactly what I’ll have to do.

gratitude-a-thon day 67: the believers

We are all equal. Yup. That’s what I believe.

Yesterday on Facebook, my newsfeed turned pink and red. Everybody changed their profile pictures to a red box with two pink stripes. This was done in support of the gay marriage ruling, currently hanging in the balance, in the Supreme Court. It was in an effort to tell the Facebook world that we believe in human rights. Because make no mistake that what this issue is, is one of human rights.

What I find so interesting is the idea that somehow if you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender you are somehow less of a person than I am, than Justice Scalia, the lifelong gay fearing loser who is so smart he made it to the Supreme Court. How do you go to sleep at night feeling like you are above, better, superior? No, really, what must it be like?

I have no superior feelings. I am just another person fighting the good fight to be happy and fulfilled and live a meaningful life with people I love. That’s it. That’s all. And that’s all I want for all people. To be able to have the same legal rights, the same shot at happy and fulfilled. My, my the fabric of society could go down the crapper if we allow gay people to legally marry. Well, that’s a crapper I’m willing to live my life in. Because that’s fair. If I get a slice, then you should get a slice too.

I ask that today, all you pink and red FBer folk, keep your eye on the prize and say your prayers to whoever your personal God is, that the Supreme Court will come to its senses and remember we are all people. All the same. All equal. Keep it in your heart today. Send it out into the world. It’s time.

gratitude–a-thon day 66: salt

No, it’s not cocaine, it’s salt. And I”m addicted.

I have an unhealthy relationship with salt. A sprinkle here, a sprinkle there, and I’m a happy eater. Even more than that, give me my lover, potato chips, deep fried and covered in just the right amount of salt and I’m feeling me some nirvana (I don’t eat them much, but I would like to eat them at every meal, every day, until the end of time).

You need salt for a healthy diet, but not nearly as much as I eat, or would like to eat. The daily salt requirement is 2,000 miligrams per day. I have no idea what that looks like, but I’m betting I’m over the limit by like a bajillion grains. And I’m not an unhealthy eater, really. I eat tons of vegetables (which I like to eat with salt) and lots of fruits, and I try to stay away from processed foods (which have insane amounts of salt) and stick with lean cuts of meat and chicken, but when I cook whatever it is I’m cooking, salt is one of the starring ingredients. Dancing on my food like the Rockettes. You would think my blood pressure would be somewhere near Pluto with the amount of salt I eat, but it’s not, it’s actually low. Still I would like to eat less of it, but can’t really imagine a life without the stuff.

You’d think I might be able to appeal to my vain self to reduce my salty intake. But even though the shaker gives me puffy eyes, and a bloaty tummy, I still continue to reach for the glass S. You should see me after a night at the movies, chomping down on movie popcorn, a vice and huge indulgence. I look a lot like a blowfish, which of course, is one of my best looks. And don’t even start me on Chinese food, or barbecue–I get that Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters look. Again, it’s me at my cutest.

People say, “Use herbs.” And I do, but guess what–herbs are not salty. They do not provide the satisfaction to my salt loving self that leaves me feeling satisfied. Herbs are lovely. They are just not salty.

I have had all sorts of salt. I love thick and crunchy Kosher salt. I adore lemon pepper salt. I have had black salt from Hawaii and pink salt, and rosemary salt. And oddly, I used to collect salt and pepper shakers. I had like 40 sets and was always trolling for more. I outgrew that little hobby, but not the salt. It seems obvious to me that if I had a salt lick in my backyard, I would probably be out there like an animal licking it everyday. And so it is, with shaker in hand, that I salute salt today. I love that stuff. I wish I didn’t love it quite so much, but there it is.


gratitude-a-thon day 65: covered hair elastics

These little babies have changed the life of my hair. Not to mention my daughter’s pony tail, that is the actual width of a real pony.

The gratitude game doesn’t require something big. It just requires you to stop for a moment and think about one little, or big, or medium-sized thing that you feel grateful for. There is nothing so small, that it can’t help you focus on what’s good. So, today, I give gratitude for covered hair elastics. Yup! That’s my gratitude. (Don’t be all judge-y, that’s what it is.) Now, I’ll tell you why and maybe you’ll get it. When I was a kid, I had really, really long hair (except for that time my sister Joni cut it up to my chin while my parents were out, and was grounded for nearly the rest of her life). My mom would always say, “wear it away from your face.” I didn’t really love doing that, and when you’re young, does anyone really like to do what their mom says, or should I say, do daughters like to do what their mom’s say? Because I would say no (and so would my daughter). Anyway, back in the day, all we had were elastic band elastics. I do not recall having covered elastics! Now, I am admit to being old, but I didn’t grow up during the rise of the dinosaur. And yet, I’m telling you that I don’t think we had covered elastics! So, when I would put my hair in a ponytail, it would inevitably get stuck in the damn elastic and it would hurt like all sorts of hell to get the thing out. In general, there would be scissors, and possibly a section of hair gone that my mom would ususally say, “Nobody will notice that,” with a dismissive expression that really meant, “that’s the first thing anyone will notice.”

I don’t know when the “covered” elastic was invented, but did this person get the Nobel Prize in hair accoutrement? My daughter, who has four times the amount of hair that I have (seriously, this girl is possibly part horse), would not even be able to go to soccer practice, or do anything without this stretchy invention (which I wish I’d thought of, and don’t understand why I didn’t think of). So, there it is, the hair elastic is it, for me today, in the gratitude department. And that’s really all it takes. One little thing to stop and give thanks for. What’s your little gratitude today? Give me a holler and let me know. As you can see from this post, it can’t be too small.