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Day 310: stormy weather

7 Nov

It’s stormy around here. 
So much so I am writing my post now, in case the power goes out.

The wind and rain are driving into the house and the windows.
The waves are crashing all around us.

It’s amazing how bright and blue the sky can be one day…
How dark and dreary the next.

It doesn’t help that I totally screwed up my schedule today and missed seeing a friend by an hour and a half. I have no idea how a 10am turned into an 11:30 on my calendar.

But it completely messed up my day.

It reminds me of two very important things: 
1. We all make mistakes.
2. It sucks to make mistakes.

Oh yeah and one more thing…
I really hate it when I make mistakes.

And why is the hardest part (possibly the fearless part) not being so hard on myself?

Like I said…
Stormy weather. 

Day 355: when serendipity has other plans

21 Dec

(Submitted at Gate 23 Houston airport via iPad. Not a small feat. Will post photo tomorrow when I have real computer access.)

We just arrived in Houston on our way to Seattle. We arrived at Gate E3 and our next flight leaves out of Gate E2. Justin and I both looked at each other thinking of serendipity and said “That NEVER happens!”

Turns out it doesn’t.

After eating a sit down dinner (including alligator bites) we arrived at our gate only to find a plane headed to Mexico. Gate change. Off to Gate C23.
On our way to C23, in the middle of the airport hustle and bustle we heard a joyous cry and stopped in our tracks. It was Kim and Dave Justin’s cousins! There we all were heading to different gates amongst gate changes and holiday travel taking us to different parts of the country. As if we were supposed to meet in the middle. As if serendipity wanted to say happy holidays.

Day 309: my favorite shirt :: holes and all

5 Nov

My favorite shirt is made of an ultra-thin cotton weave, is light and soft, and long sleeved.  Now it has more holes than I can count. Or mend. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I would buy a new one if I could, but of course I can’t— not yet anyway.

Someday I will replace my favorite shirt.
But right now, it still reigns.

This shirt was one of the first items I purchased after my divorce, after I lost over 30 pounds in the process, as well as losing most of everything I owned.  When it was all said and done, I didn’t fit into what was left of my life, including the clothing.

So I bought a few things for the new me, including two staples:
My favorite shirt.
My favorite pair of jeans.

Both are now tattered and torn.  But both are all mine, all me and alright just as they are.

They have been to Mexico with me, to the west coast, east coast, north, south and everything in between. They have been to the beach and to the mountains, through sand and through snow, on boats and buses.

Today my favorite shirt went bowling with two of my favorite friends:  Laura and Lisa.

Someday I will buy a new favorite shirt, I’m sure, but it’s hard to imagine getting rid of my wonderful old favorite shirt.

Because just like my favorite girlfriends, my favorite shirt has seen me through some of the hardest and most wonderful years of my life — and still fits just right. Tatters and all.

Day 305: sweet consumerism :: what will you buy?

1 Nov

Sixty more days to go over here at The Promise 365.
If there is one question I get over and over, it’s “What’s the first thing you will buy when this is over?”

It’s a good question.
I vacillate.

Sometimes I just want to run down 5th Avenue with Holly Getty at my side and breeze in and out of the Three B’s (Bergdorf, Barneys and Bloomingdales).

Some days, I just want to slip into T.J.Maxx to discover what is on the rack.

Still, other days, all I really daydream about is buying a really good pair of jeans, that aren’t frayed all over the bottoms of the legs.  And fit perfectly.  And are long enough.  And don’t creep up or down my backside.

Who knows what I’ll buy when this promise is over?
It’s a story to be continued for sure.

What I do know is that I will never spend the same way again.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about purchasing and not purchasing this year.

And, I am struck by the way we spend things — our life, our time, our money.

I know for sure that I never want to buy out of impulse ever again.
I only want to buy from a place of love.

Which reminds me of a story…

I once worked at an art gallery.
I was an internet entrepreneur and the market was quickly going south.  This was web 1.0, the beginning of eCommerce as we know it, except it was just the birth of advertising based business models.  Which we all learned too late, didn’t work.

So I had to get a day job to support my other day job.
Enter Michalopoulos art gallery in Boston.

It was perfect.  I could sit at a desk all day long in front of a computer in the quiet splendor of paintings all around me.

All I had to do was answer questions for potential buyers.
OF ART.  What could be easier?

One day, at the gallery, I heard a voice.
A very familiar voice of a man.

I turned around and noticed that not only did I recognize his voice, I recognized him.  He was a very famous morning newscaster on a very popular, national morning show.

He inquired about a beautiful painting of a large and wondrous tree.
I gave him all of the information.

He told me he wanted to think about it (it was a purchase over $10,000) and he would call me back about it.  With that, he left the gallery.

A few minutes later I received a call.
It was that same famous man. He wanted to know if I could give him a 50% discount on the art piece so that the artist could say it was in the “Collection Of” this famous man.

I was perplexed but offered to find out the answer.
Of course the answer was no!  So I called Mr. Famous back and broke the news, the best I could do was a 20% discount.  He was miffed.

And I was a little sad.
Because I knew this very famous man had the money to pay full price, and my starving internet entrepreneur budget could have used the commission boost!

Just a few short days later another man entered the gallery.
He was immediately drawn to the same wondrous painting of that beautiful tree.

He asked me what time the gallery closed. I told him. He said he was meeting his family for dinner but would be back.

He never returned.
So I shut off all the lights and closed up shop.

Just as I approached the front door to lock it up, I saw the man scrambling to get to the door — with his two daughters in tow.

He begged me to let him in the gallery so he could show his daughters the painting.  I agreed, even though it was late, I was tired and still had a T ride home to Somerville.

His daughters approved of the painting, and he announced on the spot that he wanted to purchase it.  He dug out cash from his wallet and asked if it was enough to put the painting on hold until he could return the next day.

I looked at the thousands of dollars he handed over to me and obliged.
Sure thing!

The next day he purchased the painting, and beyond my personal relief of adding a commission to my bank account I had an even deeper understanding.

The painting went to the right person.
And it was bought out of love.

So, I don’t know what I will buy next year.
But, I do know this: when I do start buying it won’t be out of impulse.  And, it won’t be out of creating a collection.

It will come from a deeper, more meaningful place.

Day 303: you can do anything – even when the internet doesn’t work

30 Oct

As I have said before: you can do anything. Even when it doesn’t feel like it. (Gasp! Even when the Internet goes down.) This may not be perfect but it’s posted and I’m keeping my promise.

There are days when everything seems to go wrong. Like almost running out of gas, and the Internet not working, and accidentally deleting all the movies on my computer.

Yes, this was (still is) my day.

There are worse scenarios of course (like the book I am reading: Man’s Search For Meaning and it’s details of living with, through and beyond Nazi concentration camps.)

There is always a worst case scenario, right?

At least there was a gas station within a few miles. There is thankfully Rob Berkley to help with my computer woes. And, at the very least there is this thing called an iPhone
that has 3G even when the island has apparently lost all connection with the Internet.

Day 176: is it better or worse?

25 Jun

I can’t recall a time when I could see clearly without glasses or contacts.

I was blessed to be one of those children in the elementary school group photo with big frames covering her face (to make it worse it was the eighties: read very large frames).

To make it even better I was usually found in the back row of the photo as just a floating four-eyed head.  Tall girls in the back.  And, if that wasn’t fashionable enough, you can also add girl-with-glasses-who-played-sports to the list.

Do you see the picture clearly now?

I begged for contacts as soon as I discovered what those little plastic discs did to the naked human eye:  they replaced goggles and frames.  Brilliant!

My parents didn’t budge on the “no contacts rule” until I was well into high school.  Apparently they didn’t understand the direct ratio of glasses to no dates.  (Actually they probably did and it was their secret ploy to keep me on the sidelines.)

Finally the day arrived when contacts became my best friend and I bravely opened up my eye lids with two fingers and placed those squirmy little plastic things right on top of my pupil long enough to stick them in place and blink.

They’ve been with me ever since.

Today, I made my annual trip to the eye doctor and found myself explaining most of this to the poor optometrist measuring my eyeballs as he squirted a puff of air into each of them.

I’m sure he has never heard a sob story quite as pitiful.

As he worked away I blabbered on and on and he asked me over and over to pick between two lenses:  “Better?”  Flip.  “Worse?”  Flip.  “Is this one better or worse?”

He sent me away with a new prescription in hand.
As he handed the little piece of paper with my new prescription scrawled in handwriting over to me he made a point several times of saying. “it’s not worse, just different than what you had before.”

I’m sure he’s right.

I’m also sure those glasses in elementary school were a pretty good idea back then too.  It makes me wonder what I’ll think about the new frames I picked out today, oh, in say fifteen years?

When that time comes will someone please remind me: 
“It’s not worse, just different.”

Day 173: pop quiz! a cause for celebration

22 Jun

Today ends with a few things to celebrate around here:

1)  I spent the afternoon in Starbucks and DID NOT order a Mocha!

2)  Two of our favorite people in this world sold their house on different coasts on the same day! (and not to each other)

3)  The best news of all, the Pup Report came back with no new news ~ which is good news!

All cause for celebration if you ask me.

Looks like our little guy will spend the next few weeks on bed rest in order to hopefully heal up and get well soon.

Our little Pup’s condition had me thinking hard over the last few days about how much good health is something to celebrate, nourish, and protect.

So here’s to your good health.

And here’s your Pop Quiz:
How do you want to celebrate your good health?
What do you want to keep doing?
What do you want to stop doing?
What do you want to add in?

I hope you have a moment to ponder this too.
I’ll share my own answers tomorrow.

Until then….

Day 68: pup n’ boots

9 Mar

Packing successful.
Sweater, check!
Stockings, check!
Suits, check!

Shopping, check! —-> I mean, noooooo.
No Shopping, check!

I am officially packed for snow.
Maybe with my rain boots instead of snow boots, but they will do.  Boots and all, nothing new was purchased. Whew!

I had a little help of course from my friend Pup.
He didn’t like the idea of a bag being packed without his supervision.

If only he knew where I was going.
If he knew I am traveling to the S.N.O.W. zone of Michigan — something that this little fellow for all his lying around in the sun, loves — he might be whining instead of wagging.

I feel pretty lucky actually.
I get to hang out with Ms. Debbie Phillips for an entire weekend at the R.E.N.E.W. event in Alpena, Michigan, where she is the keynote speaker.  Set up in part by a very dear Woman on Fire, Ms. Mary Ellen Jones, this weekend is all about transformation.

Are you ready for a little transformation?
Spring is almost here (officially March 20)
Daylight savings is just around the corner too (this Sunday)

I actually read about some transformation statistics today on DailyWorth:
It includes a link to the US government issued “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.”

In just a few decades, women are now earning more college degrees and graduate degrees than men. Women do more volunteer work and they still living longer than men.

But, there are some pretty sad facts too.
Along with lower wages and more depression, women seem to have some heavy lifting to do towards equality.

So here’s my thought of the day:
I believe transformation can be fast.

The first report on women was issued in 1962.
The next will be issued around 2060.

As I do my final packing for the R.E.N.E.W. conference,
I can’t help but wonder where women will be in another 49 years.

My hope is we all (men and women) are headed for brighter days.
With a lot less baggage to carry around.
(really cute boots excluded of course!)

Day 51: mocha cookie crush recipe

20 Feb

I may have a culinary defect, but baby, can I can bake!
Seriously. I began my adventures in baking as a little girl.

I pined for a Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven.
Boy did I want one. Remember those commercials on TV?

My mother, Mama Sling, was an exceptional baker (and cooker for that matter).

She thought it was pure crazy that her daughter wanted a light bulb operated plastic oven. Especially, since there was a real oven in our house, located in the kitchen. Oh, yeah, the kitchen. Where’s that?

Click below if you want a little time warp commercial action. Light bulb not included.

I took to baking.
My specialty was of course the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the back of the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip bag. Hey, a girl’s got to start somewhere.

Twenty years later, I am focused on being good to my head, heart, body and soul.
The Promise 365 has me finding relief for my sweet tooth without turning to a bag of NESTLÉ chocolates.

Because I can eat the whole yellow bag if given a chance.
Really. I can even eat a tub of raw cookie dough (Lisa and Laura, vouch for me here).

Imagine my delight at finding the Chewy Mocha Dream.
Ringing in at 56 calories and touting no flour, all I can say about these cookies is …yum.

Hello Mocha McDreamy!
The cookies are somewhere between a brownie and a cookie. They do get a little sticky but so worth the finger licking exercise.

If you find yourself in need of a mocha moment, here is the recipe from Clean Eating magazine’s February issue. I tried to find an online link to no avail, so my typed version is below. (If you want to buy the real issue head straight to your local doors closing Chapter 11 Borders, it will be 40% off.)

Tomorrow I will share more green smoothie adventures. But, let us keep our priorities straight: chocolate is way more important, your mocha dream is waiting…

chocolate walnut brownie cookies
makes 24 cookies
hands on time 15 min.
total time 35 to 39 min.

six egg whites
pinch sea salt
3/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (make sure instant)
one half teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ounce dark chocolate 70% cocoa or more chopped
1/2 cup chopped unsalted walnuts

line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
preheat oven to 350 degrees F
in large bowl beat egg whites with salt using electric beater until soft peaks form
gradually add cane juice and continue beating until stiff peaks form
add cocoa powder, espresso, vanilla, chocolate, and walnuts
mix until combined (no need to fold, mixture will lose some volume)
drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets, dividing evenly

bake one cookie sheet at a time on oven’s middle rack for 10 to 12 min, per sheet, until cookies are no longer shiny

56 calories per cookie

Clean Eating, February Issue

Day 14: three secret words

14 Jan

I had the most amazing experience today.

My style points were uncovered by the talented Holly Getty.

Last week, after I wrote about Holly’s professional shopping tips she offered to do my “style points”.

Fabulous! I thought. I’m so excited! Bring it on!
Wait. What’s a style point?

I didn’t really know what I was getting into or what this process was all about.
Turns out, it was closet-changing.

Through a really amazing visualization technique Holly guided me to three very powerful words.  Each word stands for something very personal and empowering. I couldn’t possibly do the process justice by writing about it here.

But, I do know this: I will never look at my closet the same again.

Each of these words holds a nugget of intelligence that far surpasses any advice I have ever read in a magazine. It is more empowering than tips on how to conceal a pear shape, apple shape or any other fruit you may be dressing.

Want to know my three secret words?

Here are my style points …drum roll please:

Naturally Glamorous

They probably mean nothing to anyone else. But they represent the world to me.
Possibly because they come from inside instead of covering up the outside.

Next up: I want to clean out my closet and uncover the clothes that represent each of these style points. So I can feel as loved, bright and naturally glamorous as possible every day!

Thank you Holly.

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