Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting Crafty

When my friend Kathianne suggested we meet for a "nourishing craft project," I'll admit that I was skeptical. I don't do crafts. I can't cut straight lines, my stick figures are unrecognizable and I'm too impatient to properly frost cupcakes or wrap presents. I'd like to say I'm lazy and impatient, but in all honesty, I'm a perfectionist--better not to try at all than try and fail.

But I love Kathianne, so I figured it would be fun girl time, if nothing else. That, and you have to admire a woman who keeps an entire craft store in her one-bedroom loft apartment!

She asked me and our fellow Launching Lady Angela to make signs for our mirrors and scales. The idea was to write affirming messages to remind us of our inner worth and beauty. At first, I had trouble deciding on my message. And then I realized that today is the first official day of marathon training, so I decided on "You can do 26.2!" I decorated my sign in TNT green and purple, with an extra dash of glitter, just because it makes Kathianne giggle.

We also did on-air interviews with Angela's new Flip phone (so adorable--totally coveting it now, in spite of yesterday's post!). I just love how Angela was able to extract so much meaning from this simple project--the importance of nourishing your spirit and creativity, the connection between creativity and entrepreneurship, the joy of connecting with girlfriends. Plus, we even had snack time (though fresh berries and goat cheese, rather than graham crackers or goldfish)!

I definitely left Kathianne's feeling calm, refreshed and inspired. Who knows--maybe there is a craft goddess lurking inside of me! ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

On Becoming a Grown-up

As I spent my entire evening sitting at the kitchen table, paying bills, budgeting and finishing up work for a client, it hit me: I'm a grown-up. I gave up bar-hopping a long time ago, but in recent months, I've given up the seemingly inconsequential things--eating out, fashion magazines, bottled water, cute shirts on sale, drinks, dinners out with friends--in the hopes of better, more meaningful things to come. At first, it felt like nickle & diming. Does that $5 In Style magazine really make a difference? What about that $20 pasta dinner when I was too tired to cook? Certainly I deserve indulgences every now and then. Such an insignificant amount of money can't possibly be that meaningful?

Yes, it can, and even more than monetarily. Because these things are fleeting, momentary gratifications that indulge my child self--the ever-petulant teenager who wants what she wants and wants it now.

But the things I want now are much simpler--cheaper in cost, more difficult to find. Sufficient sleep, engaging conversation, like-minded friends, nourishment of body and soul, stolen moments, whole foods, time for reflection, openness to grace--these are life's real treasures.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -Matthew 6:21

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shoot Me Now

I've always feared doctors. When I was younger, if I got wind of a doctor's appointment.,I would go to our backyard and climb the highest tree and stage a sit-in until I got too hungry or tired to protest any more. It once took four nurses and a doctor to hold me down for a single shot (and yes, I'm still very proud of this feat!). I even went 16 years without a tetanus shot before anyone noticed. That's how much I hate needles.

Luckily, I had no idea what was in store for me at the orthopedist's office last Friday, or I would've never walked through the door. I was told prior to my visit that I would have an EMG test, but I was too busy to google it--a good thing, because as we all know, even reading about the slightest sniffle on WebMD will have you convinced you are dying a slow, uncertain death.

When I arrived in the exam room, I was given some information about the procedure:

An electromyogram (EMG) is a test that is used to record the electrical activity of muscles...blah, blah, blah...a needle is inserted through the skin into the muscle...

NEEDLE???? Into my muscle?!? Without moral support or Valium?

And that's not even the worst part--ELECTRODES! Up and down my right shoulder, arm and hand, followed by a series of electric shocks that broke me faster than Jack Bauer can extract information from a terrorist. I felt wave after wave of nausea, broke into a cold sweat and seriously contemplated crying out for my Mommy. I would've confessed to anything--that jelly bracelet I stole from the grocery store when I was eight, the unpaid parking tickets at Furman, the two Blockbuster movies I never returned...

Only the music of Celine Dion could've made it more painful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Time’s a Wastin’

Remember when you were little and went to the doctor, and after all the screaming and wiggling and needles you got a lollipop? And somehow that made it all better?

Well, after spending most of the week stuck in doctors' offices where appointment times are as arbitrary as Comcast's installation windows and the only reading material is People magazine pre Jon & Kate split, I want my lollipop, dammit. Free wi-fi, a cosmo, the most recent issue of US Weekly--something to pass the time other than staring at Facebook on my CrackBerry and praying one of my 800+ friends has posted an interesting status update.

Or maybe I'll bring a Tootsie Pop, and count the number of licks it takes to get to the center--I guarantee I'll find out before I see the inside of an exam room.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

So, it's 5am. And I'm awake. And not because I was out at some fabulous party or up working on the next great American novel--if only the cause were that glamorous. Instead, I'm awake because I happen to own one of the most seductive pieces of technology ever---the BlackBerry.

It started innocently--after a few hours of tossing and turning, I wanted to know the time. Did I check my husband's alarm clock or the clock on the thermostat? Oh, no. I had to reach for the BlackBerry.

First, just a peek at the time. Then, a glance at the inbox, followed by a glance at my messages. Messages! Nothing but line after line of bold text, calling out to be read. Which I did, which lead [sic--there's a reason I'm generally not up at this hour] to a major panic--complete with hives, bloody nose and a rush downstairs for the laptop--about an overnight email deployment for a client, as one of the recipients said his email was blank. Which had a very rational explanation--his email didn't support html--which of course, I would've realized sans panic if I'd simply waited until a reasonable hour to check my email.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Less is More

My husband and I spent the weekend budgeting, which is about as fun as a trip to the dentist or gynecologist. Although I've known deep down that grand vacations and shopping sprees are luxuries of the past, it's quite different to see those numbers in black and white. Or red, as the case may be.

In the midst of my "woe is me" moment, I read my friend Jim Osterman's most recent Facebook post, "Leukemia is Recession Proof." And he's right. Leukemia is recession proof. Poverty is recession proof. Hunger is recession proof. Suffering is recession proof.

And as I thought about my "sacrifices"--fewer dinners out, vacations closer to home, shopping at Old Navy instead of Saks--I realized how incredibly spoiled and blessed I am. How insignificant these "sacrifices" are in comparison to those battling illness, poverty, hunger, abuse, oppression. How instead of complaining about how little I have, to remember my blessings and to share those with others. Time, heart, spirit, support, love, prayer, kindness. In gratitude for all I have been given and all I still have to offer.

Monday, July 6, 2009


As I ironed some of my husband's shirts tonight, I could not help but be grateful for the modern era. While I may be able to rock a full skirt and an apron, I'm completely lacking in domestic skills. I can't sew on a button, I kill all living green things, I can't properly pare an apple or chop an onion, I'm morally opposed to making beds, vacuuming makes me sneeze and my culinary specialty is spaghetti. I think the only reason I do laundry is because it results in clean clothes! And I like entertaining because it involves two of my favorite pastimes, talking and drinking wine.

And so, I raise a glass to our feminist foremothers, who paved the way for me to work at home, clutter, dust and all!


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