Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Story of Your Life

Most of you know that I read a lot. Usually, I have three or more books going at the same time. Right now, I've got two. I'm trying to focus. Anyway, I just finished a book that was so good that I want to tell you all about it.

The book is called, "How I Learned to Live a Better Story: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". This memoir offers insights on how you can change your story if the one you're living isn't the one you want to be living.

Stories connect us together. Since the beginning, stories weave the fabric of our lives, and they resonate with us on a deeper level than statistics, which tell us something, but they don't activate our emotions or remind us of our humanity.

This book will make you ponder whether the story you're living is the one that you want to live. It made me stop and reflect on where I'm at and where I'm headed. I'm fairly reflective as it is, but even so I get caught up in the busyness that is our modern day life. Heck, I just joined Hootsuite so I can manage all my social networking sites in one place. Just one problem I'm not sure how to use it.

That modern world is one topic that the author Donald Miller explores as well. The marketing machine and the quest for more hasn't actually made people happier. Maybe it offers a momentary happiness, but then it goes away. Getting back to basics to a simpler life is known to do more to foster contentment.

Last year was such a difficult year for me, and now I am reclaiming who I am and truly identifying what it is that makes me happy and brings me joy. It isn't more stuff. It's enjoying the experience of life and finding meaning. Read the book and let me know what you think!

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of School

Today my nephews Luke and Adam started their first day of school in a new school. My nephew Adam was a bit nervous, and he asked, "Who will I sit by at lunch?" Such an insightful question from a seven-year-old. I told him to talk to someone who's nice in his class and ask if he could sit by him or her at lunch. (I hope that worked!)

The truth is that we all struggle sometimes with who to sit by. I did explain to Luke and Adam that each place I've lived has introduced me to some amazing people who have brought so much to my life. Even though moving is difficult it brings new experiences, new perspectives, and new friends.

These people in our lives are part of our history. It doesn't mean that you can easily stay in touch with everyone other than catching up on Facebook, but it does mean that once there's a connection, at some level you are always connected. Really we are all connected in this tangled web of humanity.

This weekend I found out that it was time to say goodbye to an old friend from high school. Seeing the outpouring of love for his sister and family it makes you realize that we all are in this together.

So when you meet someone new invite them to sit by you. They might be that new friend you are destined to meet. And they might need a friend more than you know.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Run don't walk to see "The Help"

Get out your tissues, because this movie will make you cry. I read the book a long time ago before it even became a sensation, and I kept telling other people to read it, too. A lot of times when a book is made into a movie I'm disappointed, but this time I really felt like they got it right.

"The Help" delivers, and it gives you a glimpse of what it was like to live in the South, during a period when separate but equal was touted and believed by many.

What makes this movie and the book so memorable and touching is that in both the book and the movie the characters are fleshed out and they come to life with color, sass, and fullness. You also feel like you are experiencing the good, the bad, and the beautiful moments right along beside them.

To be honest there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I even suspect that the guy who was dragged there by his girlfriend shed some tears, but I'm sure there was just something in his eye.

I saw the movie with my mom, which made it more special. She had read the book, too, and we both were excited and nervous to see it. We both were afraid the movie wouldn't strike the same chord as the book, but it turned out that both versions delivered.

The main theme of the movie was courage, which is something we all need a little more of in ourselves and in this world. May we all have courage when it's needed. Be couragous and be bold!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Birthday Daze

Since I have a tradition of celebrating my birthday for at least a week or sometimes longer it tends to get a bit out of hand. So fun! This year was no exception. I celebrated before my birthday and during my birthday as well as after my birthday with friends and family.

This year it was decided to visit Los Angeles for the birthday weekend. The idea was to celebrate in style...and find a spot by the beach and a pool. We did it all. There's really nothing better than a girls' trip. It reminds you how much girl's rule.

Then you get home and realize that you've overindulged in food and drink, and that it's time to take care of yourself. Also, not a good idea to schedule a doctor's visit the week after the festivities. So I'm cutting out sugar (mostly), watching what I'm eating and logging it in MyFitnessPal, and getting back to exercise. Wish me luck!

Oh and I'm getting a new scale as for the first time ever I weighed four pounds less at the doctor's office. Now that's a birthday present.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Life's a beach!

Sometimes it's hard to just enjoy each day as it comes. This is especially true when you're anticipating an exciting trip. I'm headed to Cali to meet Ruth and Mary Beth for my birthday extravaganza. It is said that a lot of what makes a trip so great is the anticipation. Looking forward to vacations, fun events, or visitors is part of the fun.

That being said there are opportunities for greatness each day or at least moments to savor. For example, yesterday two grants (complicated ones at that) were turned in on time and they really were well done. If I say so myself. That was such a nice accomplishment! Then I had the evening to get laundry finished before my trip. My friend Lo stopped by so we had a glass of wine. Then I watched "Blind Side" for the second time, and it made me teary. Overall, a good day for a Monday.

Today, I am playing catchup to dig myself out after the grants. So that feels good. And tonight my friend Carrie is taking me out for an early birthday dinner. I always say you should have a birthday month! We're going to hop around some galleries, and then grab drinks and dinner. Today is going to be so fun. I dressed up!

So what does tomorrow hold? Well I'm attending a yoga breathing workshop in the morning, and who knows what else. See each day is good. Life's a beach, and it truly will be this weekend when I'm at the beach soaking up the sun.