gratitude-a-thon day 767:girl power in the new year

Let’s end the year with some awesome women folk who have been killing it lately.

Carrie Fisher’s response to internet trolls discussing her looks is the best tweet of the year. “Blow me” away!

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Also this. Take notice. No matter how you slice it, being born beautiful is not something you can put on your resume. And guess what? It doesn’t last. Truth.

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Kennedy Center Honors gave the spotlight to Aretha in honor of Carole King. She SLAYED and totally stole the show, as usual. She even brought the prez to tears. She’s natural, alright. A natural STAR.

 

 

Sheryl Sandberg’s new year’s post about her resolution for the next year is a beauty. Read it here, because it won’t cut and paste!

One of my resolutions is to spend more time with my amazing women friends. Girls are good. Friends are essential. Nothing more powerful.

Happy new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 766: writing it down, giving it up, starting again

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Another new year is on the horizon. See it, just over the mountains, ok, just over the traffic on 128, but it’s there. DO YOU SEE IT?

There’s a so much pressure to make resolutions, isn’t there? To commit to ink, be it from a pen, or your computer keys, what it is you will change, do better, smarter, when that ball drops in Time Square and we go from writing 2015 to writing 2016, although if you’re like me, you’ve got at least three or so more month of writing 2015, before you remember to write 2016.

I am all about resolutions, but usually about 24 hours after I toil at creating my list, I break one or two , if not more of my pledges to be a more perfect Toni (AS IF). I mean, I see that brand new calendar waiting for me, and I want to start fresh, stop doing some of the annoying things I do that don’t work for me, and turn over a new fresh leaf, but I don’t know if it has a thing to do with relolutions. I think it’s less in the wrting, and more in the action. See, the older I get (which seems to go along with this whole new year’s thing) the more I understand instinctually how to make something change. (Here’s the secret: you do it differently, or in some cases, you just fucking do it)

The other day my sister and I were talking about the difference between strategy and motivation. I realized after we spoke that most of the way I get shit done is by motivating myself and not by using strategies. For instance, I have had a painful back problem since I was in my early 20’s. To keep my back strong is one of the ways I can help not to have pain episodes. I hate pain so much that i will exercise to stay out of pain. It’s a very convincing motivation. Boom. There it is. If I put on a few pounds, I motivate myself by getting on the scale, or putting on my jeans. If the numbers are up, or my jeans don’t zip, I am motivated to slash my calories, and stop eating potato chips (SO HARD), because I really hate being fat. Like, really hate it. It makes me feel awful about myself, even though politically, I don’t want it to. Plus, if I can’t fit into my clothes, I would have to walk around naked, and that would just really be embarrassing for EVERYBODY.

Anyway, I like the tradition of writing down the stuff you want to ditch, and burning it in a fire place, or a bonfire, or just with a match (this last one is tricky, so be careful). I hope to do this exercise on December 31. It will motivate me to say goodbye to the crap, and hello to the stunning, hopeful, bright and shiny new day.

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 765: when you’re too busy to gratitude-ify

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It’s not that the holiday season doesn’t present a lot to be grateful for, it’s that it makes you busy and tired and not able to sit yourself down to gratitude-ify.

Some stuff that I’ve been hella grateful for this past week:

  1. My kids. So good to have Jake on this side of the country. I miss him so much when he’s at school. I even love the big fat mess his room is.
  2. White lights. White lights. White lights. The more, the better.
  3. The smell of pine needles is happy.
  4. Friends are good. I love mine.
  5. I did not, despite my best efforts, ever get my holiday card out this year (LOSER), but I absolutely love getting a card in the mail. Especially those with photos.
  6. My sister’s turkey (via Uncle Louie) was delicious.
  7. My friend Danielle made me the pretzel crack. And my friend Karen gave me the a tub of the best potato chips this girl has ever eaten. (Not actually sure if these two are friends or not, come to think of it).
  8. We have been sold out of Star Wars for three days. We’re in today, YES.
  9. I got a new client right before Christmas, and I am really excited to start their project!
  10. I love my bed. Have I ever mentioned that?

gratitude-a-thon day 765: more gifts

I forgot some of my everyday gifts yesterday. So, here I am on Christmas Eve to add to my gift list.

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How could I not mention my hair stylist? I’ve known Ron for 23 years! Yes, he’s been working on this do for that long. We’ve had perms, bangs, highlights, layers, and a billion laughs. Can’t think of anybody I’d rather hang out with every three weeks. YES, I dye my hair every three fucking weeks, or I’d be Barbara Bush.

 

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You’ll love Me You and Lu, that’s a picture of their dog, Lulu.

 

My dog walkers are really the best. Me You and Lu is a great company. Riley gets a 45 minute walk everyday around 11 with some other dogs, and comes back pooped! This is especially nice in the dead of winter, or heat of summer, when you really don’t want to give your dog that long walk because you’re too cold or too hot! They’re professional, nurturing, warm and caring people. I can’t speak highly enough about these guys.  I feel so lucky to have found them. I trust them with my dog, which is like trusting them with my kids (which I’d also do)!

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The people at Whole Foods are such good people. I feel like I shop everyday, so much in fact, I feel like one day the management there will come out and give me a paycheck. How is it that the staff is always friendly and nice? They’re helpful and always ready with a chat or a smile. Makes the drudgery of grocergy shlogging so much easier and more pleasant. GRATITUDE, AISLE FOUR.

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If Joanne can’t find you what you’re looking for, it doesn’t exist.

The girls at Portobello Road in Chestnut Hill are great. You need a present (for yourself, or someone else), they’ll help you find one, whether you’re leisurely shopping, or in a rush. This is an experienced team, and they’ll help you get the job done. And if you’re looking for stuff for yourself, you can rely on them to give you the help you need with sizes, and the honesty you need with fit. Need a last minute gift, head on over right now!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all. And to all an awesome, Santa-filled night.

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 763: everyday gifts

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There are some gifts that I get all year round. Seems sort of appropo that I mention them during this holiday season.

  1. My trainer moved to California. We still do a Skype session every week. I should say she is not just my trainer, SHE IS ALSO MY FRIEND/SISTER/PARTNER IN CHANGING THE WORLD. I love her so much, for her intelligence, and grace, and for having my back, LITERALLY. Also, she is one of the people who can make me laugh until I cry UNCLE.
  2. I have some of the most extraordinary friends. Old, new, deep, Facebook. This is a stroke of big time luck. Friends are what keeps me going like the Energizer bunny. Without them, I’d be nuthin’.
  3. I get a massage every other week. This is a little indulgence I have granted myself. My masseusse can literally transform me in an hour. Her talent defies description, but she is also super smart, and she helps me to see what might be causing all the knots, too.
  4. My dog Riley keeps me balanced when insanity roars. I never knew a canine could or would play such an important role in my life.
  5. I have some Facebook friends who keep me going when I’m stuck at my computer doing work. We will have a short conversation, or joke around, or share a picture, and that little break will perk me up to finish my project. I should also say, that the love I feel from so many people on Facebook, who I don’t see ever, or even know that well, except through Facebook, feels real and sincere. Old high school friends who I didn’t know well back then, new friends I would like to know more. I know there’s lots of stuff that goes down on FB that makes people think it’s shit, but for me, it’s been nothing but fun.
  6. I am always super grateful for all of my family, from cousins, to my sisters, husband and kids. GRATEFUL CUP RUNNETH OVER.
  7. Don’t you just love a good candle? Sometimes that’s all I need. A good candle.
  8. Transparent, Season 2, so beautifully written and composed, it inspired me to think more about story telling.
  9. POTATO CHIPS.
  10. POTATO CHIPS.

gratitude-a-thon day 760: santa!

There was this one Christmas eve.  I was probably about eight. We had our neighborhood over to partake in holiday shenanigans, which consisted of eating and drinking too much while the kids ran around.

The radio was blaring Christmas songs, when the announcer came on and said, “We’re tracking Santa on radar. We’ll be doing that all night, and let you know of his progress.” His voice was serious, not jokey, and I felt a bolt of the oldest-and-biggest-lie-in-the-world’s utter magic course through my body. Santa was coming. He was on radar! The radio guy said so!

This memory is like a little film clip that plays every December. Some radio D.J. gave it to me almost 50 years ago, and if I knew who he was, I ‘d go to his house and thank him for one of the best damn gifts I’ve ever received.

gratitude-a-thon day 759: small bites friday

If I went to a party where this dude was, I’d hit the holiday punch HARD.

APTOPIX World Premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Arriv

Fans cheer in the stands at world premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

 

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A little “then and now” shot.

 

And Star Wars has hit the theaters, shattering all records, and expectations. May the force be with you. And also with you.

Riley, please take notice!

Funniest commercials of the year. I love an end-of-year roundup!

I am grossly and sadly behind in my holiday shopping this year. Ideas welcome!

This is an awesome homework assignment.

All hail creator of the Saturday Night Live Spartan cheerleader skit. THE FUNNIEST. CHA CHA BOOCHIE, CHA CHA BOOCHIE ROLL CALL.

gratitude-a-thon day 758: you’re grounded

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To be grounded. To plant yourself on the good earth. This is money.

Sometimes my mind soars, and my body races, and I become untethered to the things that mean the most to me. Being too busy, carrying around a cavernous sack of stress, watching too much news can make me forget what matters.

When I’m floaty like this, I  have been taught to stand or sit and concentrate on the fact that my feet are on the ground. I think about how they hold me up. I pretend they are reaching down into the middle of the earth. This is what I do when I’m flying too fast, when I’m getting ahead of myself, when I’m a helium balloon  accidentally let go and heading for Mars.

I ground down. Into the earth. Plant myself like a precious flower. It works.

gratitude-a-thon day 758: no more S.A.T. books in this house

 

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Child #2 has been accepted to college! No more lame tours, obsessive googling of G.P.A.’s, middle-of-the-night panic. Kick the S.A.T. books to the curb. We are done. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, despite his puppy school prowess, RILEY IS NOT GOING TO COLLEGE.

We have been very lucky over here, to have both our kids get into their first choice schools. This doesn’t always happen, and we are counting our expensive blessings. But, although things went our way, I have to say that I find the whole college process to be extremely dehumanizing. As I reminded a friend’s incredibly brilliant daughter who found out she didn’t get into her first choice the other day, DON’T FORGET YOU ARE THE SAME AWESOME KID YOU WERE THE DAY BEFORE THIS STUPID REJECTION. And this is truth. But you don’t feel like the same awesome kid, you feel like you’re somehow less.

And that shouldn’t be what college is about.

Especially, if you’re a superstar student, which this girl is. She is actually a  cool cat, and has already moved on. But how many kids kill themselves in high school reaching for the brass ring of acceptance letters and are left empty-handed? From what I can see, plenty.

Then there is the whole issue of money. The ability to pay for college has become a factor in your acceptability.  Shouldn’t that be illegal? Once again, people with financial security have a leg up. I’m on the right side of it, but I find it a dismal state of affairs.

But I digress, Ally Lansbury is officially playing soccer for Trinity College, class of 2020! She is amazing, and awesome, and about to kick some serious ass. Go Bantams. Go Ally! COULDN’T BE PROUDER.