A beautiful word or thought that is not accompanied by corresponding acts is like a bright flower that bears no fruit. It would not produce any effect. ~The Buddha

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Live and learn....

A few of my friends recently told me I should write about relationships.  Maybe they didn't see my Oatmeal post, or the one about Valentine's Day, but they were a step in the right direction.  

Of course, my initial reaction is...me?  Somehow, I find this amusing since I apparently am not very good at marriage (twice divorced) and my relationship with my daughter is the longest I've had.  I don't mean that in a bad way, it just doesn't make me a relationship expert, but I will say, I have lived and learned, and that's the place I come from.

It wasn't that I wasn't good at marriage, really, I just didn't make good choices.  I was raised on fairy tales.  You know, Cinderella marries the handsome prince and they live happily-ever-after.  

Commitment I understood, but nobody mentioned the fundamentals that make a marriage work like shared goals/priorities and values.  I only learned about that after I was married the first time, and it wasn't in therapy.  My 'aha' moment came while I was driving and listening to a show on the radio about relationships.  A light bulb went off in my head when I realized that's what was fundamentally wrong with my marriage.  What an eye-opener, and from there, I approached my next, what I thought would be a long-term, relationship in a whole new light.  I had taken the time, to grow as a person, and I was more emotionally equipped plus I had heard Dr. Phil talk at a seminar in Boston.  This was just after his first book was published and long before his talk show.  He talked and I listened, and my biggest takeaway at the time was that I didn't have to be half of a relationship to be a whole person.  It didn't exactly match-up with the whole fairytale ending, but I could completely relate.  By that time I was living and working in Boston, and I had great friends, and a nice life.  I wasn't looking for a relationship the next time around and so it caught me by surprise.  It just never occurred to me that someone would actually lie about his values which led to the imploding of the 2nd marriage in under one year.

It's been 10 years since then, and although I never swore off the idea that the "third time is the charm" I haven't exactly been out there looking either.  Until lately, it had been years since I even ventured out for a 'girl's night.'  At this point in my life, commitment has big shoes to fill, or maybe it's just that I finally expect more.  Now I want what is defined as mature love (about.com) that is built for the long haul.  The concept is pretty basic, and frankly I think we learned these behaviors in Kindergarten.  Now I just want them in my relationship.  Mature love includes acceptance, emotional support, commitment, calmness, respect, caring, kindness, friendship, and consideration.  To encapsulate that and more, I want to be 'cherished.'  In the Merriam Webster Dictionary, to be cherished is defined as, a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for, and b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection.  

It's about time...   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It's the first day of Spring, and it couldn't have come soon enough!  Of course, there were tell tale signs of the season approaching.  First, our local Dairy Queen, that closes for the winter, posted their sign announcing that they would re-open on March 19th for the season.  P.S. They actually opened on the 18th!  Then I noticed some crocuses popping up when I was walking last weekend, and this weekend daffodils were sprouting.  Next came the time change and the longer days.  

Then of course, there's March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament and playing a bracket.  I don't follow 'bracketology' but I do like to make predictions and fill out my own bracket for the final four.  As a rule, I don't follow the NBA, and I rarely watch college basketball, but I do get caught up in the tournament.  It started years ago, working somewhere completely different, when I filled out a bracket and entered the company pool.  I did it in the spirit of being a 'team player' and I didn't win, but I was hooked.  This year is no exception.  I found the bracket on the espn.com website, gave some thoughtful consideration to my choices, and boldly filled out my bracket.  I did pretty well in the first round, but in the second round, I wasn't quite so lucky.  Only two of 'my' teams that I predicted would make it to the final four are still standing.  Fortunately, they are my final two.  

Spring is also a time of renewal, and the Easter season.  In the coming weeks everything will get green again, and flowers and shrubs will start blooming.  The Easter candy is already on sale, and it will be time to color eggs soon.  Spring brings with it an energy that lifts my spirits. I've always been much more motivated to 'begin again' at this time of year versus New Year's.  And this year, after one of the worst winter's on record, I'm especially looking forward to the change of season!  You?      

P.S. I'm completely ignoring the fact that it's been snowing on and off today, and we may get a couple of inches between now and Thursday.  I see nothing....     

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shamrock Shake

Remember the McDonald's Shamrock Shake?  Well, they didn't seem to be advertising this year, so I found the recipe online.  Turns out the shake is on the McDonald's menu locally, but many locations were out.  Oh well, this is a tasty rendition! 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Recently, on vacation, I received one of the nicest compliments. As a little background, we see some of the same families year after year because everyone shares the same February vacation, and we all come from various places to spend the week at the same timeshare complex in sunny Florida. 

One woman, I'll call her "Donna," mom of 4, puts herself in a rather teeny bikini considering she could use a little, well, much more support. While I'm sure this suit works in her own backyard when she's splashing with her kids in their own pool, it really doesn't work, in my opinion, for a family barbecue or at a family resort. While sitting at the pool one sunny afternoon, "Donna" came over to talk to one of my friends. He and his wife were going to see the space shuttle launch and she wanted more information. Apparently she was considering the adventure for her family. I can't remember where his wife was at the time, but my friend told her about the trip, and then when she walked away, he asked me her name. I told him, and he replied, "you should talk to her." Puzzled, I asked, "I should talk to her?...about?" and he said, "modesty."

At the time, I was amused and chuckled, but later I realized that was really a very nice compliment.  I do take great care to consider my bathing suit choices, and even though I'm in shape, I wear a tankini with a full bottom, and a supportive top.  I also use a cover-up when I get up to walk around.  I'm not one to run around in a skimpy bikini whether I could pull it off or not.  Turns out I'm modest, and that's good with me.

P.S. The same friend gave me another compliment when he asked if he could guess my age.  This time, his wife was sitting with me, and both she and I thought he was treading in dangerous waters, until his first guess was 38!  Whew!  

Friday, March 4, 2011


So I'm back in the saddle again!  I didn't stop writing, but I did escape to Florida for winter break.  I spent a week by the pool soaking in the sunshine and reading or playing in the water with my daughter.  We also spent some time on the beach, collecting shells, and standing at the edge of the surf looking at the sharks out in the water. 

I've spent the last week settling back into our routine, getting used to the cold again, and catching up at work. 

I have some new topics to blog about and I'll get to them in the coming weeks.  For now, I'm going to tell you about the books.  The first one, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," has been on the New York Bestseller's List and was given to me by a girlfriend.  To be honest, I had not heard of it.  It's a dog's story told by the dog, Enzo, and it's brilliant.  The dog reflects back on his life, starting from when he was adopted as a puppy, and how his life changed with each stage in his owner's life.  It's well told, and very touching, and if you've ever owned a dog, I highly recommend this book.  

As a follow-up I read "The Blue Bistro" by Elin Hilderbrand.  This is the second book by this author that I've read, and both have stories built around life on Nantucket.  I've spent time on the island myself, and it's fun to read a book when I know the places she's referenced.  It's definitely 'chic-lit' and not a complicated story, but I would say pick it up if you  are looking for a good beach read.

Right before we left for the airport to come home, I finished, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  I have to admit I was intimidated by this trilogy and it took me a long time to hop on the band wagon.  I had heard that it was hard to get into because it's based in Sweden and there are a lot of of Swedish references, but if you could make it past the first 75 pages it was really very good.  Well, I was hooked before page 30.  It's a fast paced, intricately told thriller with plenty of twists and turns. I will be reading the rest of the series, and I've already picked up "The Girl who Played with Fire!" 

What are you reading?