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Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning

Month

March 2007

Favorite Posts

In a recent discussion with a friend about blogging, she asked me if I ever go back and read my older posts.  I said yes.  So then she asked if I have favorite posts.  I said I had not thought about it.  She said, "So think about it."  So I did.  And here they are, in no particular order:

Ode to Curves

It Must Be All That Thin Air

Tonight I Sit in A Gray Mushroom Cloud

Dead Fish

I Want

Christmas Time, and A Marriage Saved

Back on the High Horse Again!

Even Cats Get Colds

The F Word

Sarna and Arks V. The Gremlin

Smarty Takes A Bus To The Airport

Hell Yeah!

Confession

Acquiring Minds

Bridezilla’s Revenge

Fingerpainting

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Tag You’re It!

Wow, I’ve been tagged!  My friend at Light-Skinned-ed Girl tagged me with a Thinking Blogger Award.  I am flattered and really excited.  And now it’s my duty to tag five other blogs that make me think…so many blogs, so little time!

First of all, let me say I would have tagged Light-Skinned-ed Girl had I known about this award – her perspective and view of the world are always enlightening to me.  Do you ever think about your race?  Does that really ever factor into how you feel day to day?  Can you recall more times that a bad hair day has impacted your day than the color of your skin?  If yes, then read her blog and open your mind.  I read her stuff and am often saying "I had no idea." 

So I need to choose five blogs that make me think…well, there are several but in no particular order, here are five that I find I go back to repeatedly:

37Days: This is a reality check blog.  It’s filled with inspiration and interesting thoughts.  Start here to learn what it’s all about.

Violent Acres: Fasten your seatbelt, folks, this blog will make you want to strangle the author, or yourself when you realize you secretly agree with some (or all) of what she writes.  I doubt she is a person who cares about awards like Thinking Blogger, but she makes me think, so there we go.

Slow Leadership: I am into ideas of leadership, and this blog has lots of discussion around that topic…but it’s about so much more.  I find I bookmark posts from this blog all the time.

Ben Casnocha: Ben’s blog is history in the making.  He is young, extremely well accomplished, tireless and a thinker.  Interestingly, for someone so accomplished already (high school superstar, has built businesses, regularly called upon by large media organizations to discuss his ideas) he is also multi-dimensional.  So often you meet people of extreme success and they really only have one vertical in their lives where they have focused.  This is not the case with Ben, and it’s clear to me, he is one to watch.

The Mind Body Blog: I am into awareness and meditation, and the power of now.  The author of this blog writes about these ideas and  how he incorporates them into his life.  When I read his blog, I am always brought back to the NOW as opposed to yesterday and tomorrow, neither of which mean anything without now.

Why I Hated Georgetown

Hate is such a strong word.  I am not sure it’s totally appropriate in this instance, but I really don’t look back on much of my college experience fondly.  And since you only get one shot at college, and I did not like mine so much, I have taken to casually using the word "hate" when describing my Georgetown experience.

I need to get over this and be real.  First of all, it does not really matter since it’s in the past.  But now in my mid 30s (or as my father would say, middle-aged…thanks, Dad) I am increasingly sentimental and increasingly saddened that I did not enjoy those four years more than I did.

What this really comes down to is accepting who I was at that time, and realizing my lack of good memories was as much about me as the place.

So what is this all about?  After years of thinking about it, I am ready to admit it was simply my own insecurity that created – and has fostered – such ill feelings about my college experience.  I felt totally out of place at Georgetown.  I never felt like I fit in.  I was incredibly jealous that so many people had more money than I did.  I had to hold down jobs and resented that I could not go on vacations with other students.  I did not feel smart.  I was embarrassed that I did not know what Phillips Academy was, or Groton or Middlesex, for that matter.  I was angry that my high school – supposedly one of the best in the country – gave us multiple choice tests and did not ask us to write.  I was mortified that my high school extracurricular activities did not include field hockey…and that, frankly, that was not an option at my school.  I had to fake knowledge of things that seemed so natural to everyone else (What is investment banking?  What is this McKinsey place people are talking about?  Where is Gstaad?  What is Wharton?).  I was even embarrassed with my close friends (and yes, I did have friends there) when we went away to their summer houses and I did not know how to water ski.  I did not grow up going to camp or with a lake house, how would I know how to water ski?  And I was too afraid of looking silly to simply enjoy learning to water ski at that time.  For me, it was like the after school special of not knowing anyone to sit with in the cafeteria, and feeling worthless because it seemed everyone else had tons of friends, endless knowledge, ease in social situations.  And of course, knew how to ski, play golf and tennis. 

It was a tough time.  I had never not fit in, and it never occurred to me that I would feel this way during the years that everyone said would be the best of my life. 

So here I am, at 34…still thinking about and regretting how I spent my years at Georgetown, and wishing I had the fabulous college memories everyone else seems to have.  I still believe I met a lot of people I simply did not like – and that was not all based on my psyche.  Some people just suck.  But now I realize, am ready to admit, and more importantly accept, that much of my sub-par experience was because of where I was at that time.

Most importantly, memories are great but what you have today is what really matters.  And I count two of my closest friends in the world from Georgetown.  They alone were worth any yuck I felt.

Do This ASAP

I have been accused of being bossy.  Well, if that is true, it’s usually because I am right, so do what I say.

Go see The Lives of Others.  We saw it yesterday, after my Olympic-like performance half marathon and before Georgetown, the alma mater I love to hate…no baggage there, really…made it to the Final Four (woo hoo!).

It is a deepy human, touching film with nuances, history and truth. 

Since it won the Oscar, this film’s greatness is not my original idea.  So don’t take my word for it – Oscar says "see this movie".

Running and Life Lessons

Yesterday I rediscovered my youth.  I ran a half-marathon, which is a distance I have not even come to close to in more than ten years.  In 1996 I ran the NYC Marathon, and as part of training for that, ran several half marathons…since then my running has been, let’s say, a tad more CHILL than that.

But I needed a goal a few months ago, and the More Half Marathon, it was.  I must admit, I was nervous.  I had trained, though I missed a few runs and had a couple too many rum drinks last week in Jamaica (carbo loading?), but regardless of how much time you put in, there is always the risk that you have a bad day.  That is one of the great lessons of running – one day you can feel like a rock star and run with speed and ease, another – for no apparent reason – you feel like a pile of doo right out of the gate.  Like life, in running, no matter how much you prepare, there are things that are out of your control.

Similarly, as I ran I was reminded why the phrase "this too shall pass" is too true.  At mile 3 (yes, 3…only 10 more to go!) I hit a wall.  It was the hill on the north end of Central Park and damn if that fucker (it is a fucker) did not kick my ass.  My legs felt like lead and I was winded.  Then I panicked as I imagined feeling like death for 10 more miles.  And then something distracted me, a song, a person…not sure what…and I looked up and realized I had hit mile 5.  Well, how the heck did that happen?  And I felt great.  Evidence of This Too Shall Pass.  It passed, and the next time around that same hill (we had to run it twice) my mantra was TTSP as I once again stammered to the top.  And felt fine once again.  Life lesson, ya’ll.

And the race continued on.  4 miles to go at that point, after putting in the first 9.  I was looking forward to seeing the Big H cheer me on at mile 12, our agreed upon meeting point.  I approached 12, fluffed my hair a bit (I really did), hoped I did not have salt laden cheeks and prayed there was no Gu Loogey on my chin.  I hit mile 12…no husband.  Where the hell was he!!??!?!   I started to think "Could he have been in an accident?  He was riding his bike up here.  Could he simply be LATE????  Oh my god, if he is LATE I will KILL him!  What if his bike tire popped…or what if he just forgot to fill the damn thing!!!"

At this point my mind as well as my legs are racing and I am at one moment panicked a taxi cab has mowed him down and the next I am plotting his destruction since CLEARLY he has forgotten about me, or is late or something else inexcusable. 

And then there he was.  Arms up, coffee in hand, sunglasses on, on the side of the course at mile 12.5.  No bike.  He got there and thought he had missed me and did not want to go to mile 12 as it was too far back so he waited there.  Arms up.  And he was a sight to behold.  I was thrilled. 

After seeing him and yelling at a man for crossing the course right in front of me (I mean, what an idiot – there were 6,000 women running and dude decides to meander across the road???).  Needless to say, I was spicy.  So I used that to pour it on at the end and finish in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 17 seconds.  My goal was 2 hours 10 minutes.

I crossed the finish line, got my medal and found my husband.  I had reaffirmed – and employed – a few life lessons along the way, I only NEARLY murdered the Big H and quickly forgave myself (for my hasty assumptions) and there was but one pedestrian who suffered my verbal warfare as he crossed the road (he was one second from being human roadkill).  And that was all before 10:30AM on a Sunday.

What a way to start a day.

Rocky!

I am proud to say, I am a total sucker for boxing movies.  Rocky movies in particular…and I am proud to say, this includes the latest one, the one that came out in 2006, what was it, Rocky 12?  No, that’s not right…I believe it’s called Rocky Balboa.  And it’s cheesy, laughable, and ridiculous as Rocky waxes philosophic throughout…and I loved EVERY second of it.  And I would watch it again.  It was a little embarrassing to let out an audible cheer on the airplane as I watched the end (so no, I did not pay to see it…but I WOULD).

·        Maybe it’s because the movie reminds me of being a kid and watching Rocky, Rocky 2, Rocky 3, etc.  Every time I see one, it takes me right back to our couch in the TV room in the house where I grew up.  My sister and I would sit there, eat buttered matzo (for another post), stay up too late and watch the movies over and over.

·        Maybe it’s the music – it’s damn near impossible to listen to that music and not feel like working out like a champion.

·        Maybe it’s the cheesy heart and soul of a champion they try to convey, and there has always been a part of me that believes I am destined to be great somehow (This, my friends, is true.  I have no idea what “great” actually means in my case, but I know I have seeds of greatness in me somewhere DYING to come out.).

·        Maybe it’s because “boxer” is on my Things I Would Do If I Were Not A Venture Capitalist list.  I always thought it would be cool to be a physical bad ass for a living.  Not so sure I would like taking beatings every day, but IMAGINE the biceps.

I really don’t know what it is, but I am a sucker for Rocky movies and am now a card carrying Sylvester Stallone fan.  He is on my list of who I would invite to a dinner party (along with Cleopatra, Nina Simone, Queen Victoria, Benjamin Franklin and the Notorious B.I.G.  All dead people, except me and Sly.  What the hell would I serve?)  Who would you invite?

A couple of quotes from Rocky Balboa:

“The older I get, the more things I leave behind.”

“It’s not how hard you hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

I mean this is powerful stuff, people!

Not sure my sister and I have ever decided which of the Rocky movies is our favorite.  Time to bust them out again and have a Rocky Marathon.  I may even subject the Big H to the marathon.

Side note: that last idea – subjecting my husband to a day of Rocky movies – makes me a great chick!  There it is, the greatness I was alluding to.  Not a Chick Flicks marathon (we are not talking Four Weddings and a Funeral here with a Knotting Hill chaser).  No no…Rocky movies.  I am so doing that.

Booo to South Carolina

There are times when I am light and airy on this blog.  Not today.   I read an article this morning that has my knickers in a twist.  Check this out.  In South Carolina a bill was approved that would require a woman to view an ultrasound of her fetus before she has an abortion.  Under any circumstance.  If she was raped.  If she is a victim of incest.  No matter.

Pure punishment of evil evil women.  And the father?  No mention of him whatsoever.  It’s insulting and condescending to women, in addition to simply being (in my opinion) WRONG.  Senators, get the hell out of my body.

I wonder if anywhere in our justice system in addition to sending a murderer to prison, we force them to watch or listen to evidence of their transgression over and over (assuming of course that evidence exists).  Ummm, nope.  Just women who don’t want to have a child.

I am now boycotting South Carolina (not sure what that would mean…no trips to Charleston?  but I will find some way!).  This kind of crap makes me want to march on the very lawns of the legislators that think this makes sense. 

Don’t Lie to Yourself; Own Your Time

When you have a moment, read this post.  The messages are well said – could not have written it better myself.  I want to keep all of this in mind about how I spend my time.  A couple favorite quotes:

"“I really meant to do it, but I didn’t have the time.”  What this statement actually means is either “I didn’t want to,“ or “I didn’t know how to,“ or “I spent the time doing something else more important to me.“  Lack of time is an attractive excuse, because it implies that you’re blameless—a helpless victim of stress, overwork, and external circumstances."

"So if you’re continually telling people that you’d like to relax more, achieve a better work/life balance, improve your education, plan to set up your own business, spend more time with your family, or generally sort out your life, but you don’t have time, you’re not telling the truth. Those things are lower down your list of priorities than whatever it is that you’re spending all that time on. So be honest with yourself. Admit who’s choosing to spend his or her time that way. And if you still want to do what you claim you want, push something else out of the way and make the time."

Radio Silent

Been a week or so filled with things other than blogging.   Still here, but spending my time other ways:

Obviously there is work which is taking time – that is always the case.

I am training for a half marathon and have been spending a fair amount of time running (and eating to recover!).  We are getting ready for a long weekend, so won’t be around the next couple of days.  Have been spending tons of time cooking – at least over last weekend.  Had a dinner party that required a fair amount of prep (Menu: white bean puree with truffle oil, broccoli rabe soup with creme fraiche, pork roast with fennel, salad, creme brulee).  I am making myself hungry.  Also been spending time catching up on other blogs, mostly for work.  Saw King Lear at the Public Theater – awesome performance.

But really the reason I have not written is I have not had much to say.  I have been working on quieting my mind a bit, rather than encouraging whipping myself into a thought frenzy.

I am sure this will not last.  Perhaps after a time in Jamaica, mon, I will be ready to roll again. 

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