shining.

First World Problems. My term for all the inane things I find myself complaining about.

You know, like, “It’s so annoying that my iPhone battery doesn’t hold a charge.”

Or, “All my shoes don’t fit in my closet. I NEED a bigger closet.”

I’m pretty good at complaining. Kvetching. Belly-aching.

Not my favorite characteristic about myself. But I’ve been working on gratitude, working hard, and that means concentrating on being less of a whiny face. That’s why I felt compelled to write today. Simply because it’s a wonderfully good and uncomplicated day.

This was an exhausting week. I juggled a special kind of overwhelming workload that left me physically dizzy and a little delusional. But despite long hours, strange demands and spending way too much time in heels, I finished out the week feeling exuberant.

I worked hard. Found inspiration in new places. Got good news. Made friends. Had unexpected good talks. Squeezed in time for yoga, albeit at 5:30 a.m.

I don’t have any roses that I could stop and smell, but I did take extra time to snuggle the puppies. I finished a book. Painted my toes. And did I mention we got CABLE?

It all sounds simple enough, but sometimes in life we fail to point out the little things that go right, and focus on the little things that go wrong.

It’s hard not to sound cheesy when you express this sort of life loving. Most of the time, life is really, really hard. And sometimes it sucks. There are certainly dark days with no unicorns or rainbows to be found.

I guess those not-so-wonderful moments are worth all the struggles though, right? Because they help the good moments really shine.

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I scream. You scream. Snoopy screams.

This weekend I retrieved my 1989 Snoopy ice cream maker from my Mom’s house. Aside from orthodontics, this is the most important investment from my childhood.

Does it still work? Like a champ.

And since I was able to maneuver this delightful apparatus as a wee child, I am quite confident I’ll be able to make even better frosty treats as a quasi-adult.

It’s happening this weekend, stay tuned.

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happy friday

I took the day off. Just because. And I slept for 11 hours which made the decision totally worth it.

I think excessive sleeping is the human equivalent of when snakes shed their skin (molting, right – how do I know that…)? At any rate, I have shed my tired skin and am ready for the weekend.

For lots of fun art like this check out Society 6.

College Reflections

Every August, as students across the country return to school, it’s hard not to reflect on how life has changed since I was a student.

It was 11 years ago this week that I moved into my freshman dorm. I was absolutely terrified making the drive to Tempe from Tucson, and had no real idea of what to expect when I arrived on campus. I drove in my car with a friend, my mom followed behind us, with a truck full of things I felt I couldn’t live without.

I’ve never been someone who takes big changes on easily. I need time to marinate on new things before I really understand and embrace them. And this journey was one enormous life change – the biggest I had ever experienced.

When we arrived at my dorm, I felt excited, but anxious. I was hoping for three main things: 1) a normal room mate, 2) a private bathroom and 3) to not cry. Fortunately, I lucked out in all three areas, and had a relatively smooth experience unpacking and settling in. My mom helped me get situated (mid-day in 112-degree heat, bless her) and then we ate a quick dinner at Whataburger – the closest thing to campus. And then, after she finished helping me settle in and gave me lots of hugs, she left to drive back home.

I remember having this sudden and strange feeling of detachment when she left. I was in a new habitat, all on my own. Everything suddenly felt big and foreign. My dorm room was an oxymoron – crowded and lonely all at once.

I lived in Mariposa that year, a small, coed dorm on the south side of Arizona State University’s campus that had once been a motel – hence the private bathroom. My room mate, Lindy, was from Walla Walla, Washington and an incredibly sweet girl, albeit somewhat prone to gastrointestinal distress and excessive phone conversations with a boyfriend back at home. In the years since I graduated, my dorm has been leveled and rebuilt as a fancy complex, and it seems strange to have a big part of history for so many people just vanish.

As a freshman, I never imagined where the next year – heck – the next four years would take me, and how my college experience would define my future.

I couldn’t have imagined the amount of learning, growing, happiness and occasional sadness I would experience during my years at ASU. I made lifelong friends, met the man I would later marry and set off on a successful career path. I entered the university a scared teenager, and graduated a poised adult.

It’s hard to remember the best parts of college – isn’t it all just one massive highlight reel?

Making new friends. Attending and hating my first football game. Going jogging on campus when it was 112 degrees. The slightly unorthodox student health center. People watching on Palm Walk. The scary sorority girls who worked out in full makeup at the SRC. Road trips to Vegas and Cali. Learning how to cook a chicken breast. Earning my first and only C. Concerts. Trips home to relax and do laundry. The first time I drank too much. Keeping old friends and letting others go. Taking a class on The Beatles. Joining my sorority. Getting internships. Expensive parking passes. Love. Heartbreak. A fake ID. Room mate adventures. My first apartment. Grocery shopping alone. Fraternity parties. Hillel. Studying. Cards from mom and dad. Making good and bad decisions. Discovering my love for writing. Keeping my scholarship all eight semesters. Karaoke nights at The Vine. So many dinners at Chili’s. Loving and needing my big bro’s advice. The 2004 political debates. Graduation. Growing up.

I could probably go on forever.

Next month I’ll be attending a career event at my alma mater. As a presenter, not a student.

It’s hard not to feel a little old when I consider how much times has passed since college. But it makes me proud. And lucky. And excited to give back to another generation of students. When you wrap all of that up, it just seems awesome.

unsubscribing from politics

 

 

Here’s a profoundly deep thought: I’m sick of political ads.

They’re EVERYWHERE…Interrupting prime time television, scattered across neighbors’ yards and overflowing from my mailbox – and I can’t unsubscribe.

I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when I do, I prefer not to see backhanded insults and nastiness flying around, unless it’s part of an AMC drama. The ads leading up to the next election have been awful. Some are so inappropriate they should require ratings for using adult content and language.

In addition to the ads my television has been projectile vomiting at me, I’ve also been receiving a multitude of glossy political fliers in the mail, everyday, which I promptly dispose of without a second glance. I hate the fact that trees died for such a mediocre purpose; I figure they must’ve been badly behaved in a prior life.

And what about the signs? Don’t even get me started on the barrage of campaign signs littering every intersection in the state. It’s as if all the candidates actually banded together in an effort to rid the roadways of a single foot of open space, lest we drivers falter and actually keep our eyes on the road.

It’s just too much. Blech.

The ironic part of all this is that I’ve already voted by mail. Done-zo. And I did not turn to commercials, direct mail pieces or obnoxious signage to make my polling choices. It might sound outlandish, but I actually – get this – read up on the candidates myself before I voted.

I wonder how many people actually have a dramatic change in opinion based on a simple commercial. Whether it’s choosing paper towel brands or presidential candidates, I hesitate to think that 30-second ads really influence opinions that dramatically. The natural response to that question is of course, “If the ads don’t work, they’d stop paying for them.” But  is that really true? I have to wonder who determines how effective different ads are. It sounds hard. That person must be a Mathlete.

Most of the things that bug me about campaign season are things we learn not to do as children: no lying, no name-calling, no bragging and no tattling. It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

I think that if politicians chose to follow these basic rules, they’d see a big shift on election day. Because regardless of experience, credentials and endorsements, it always pays to be a good person.

 

 

 

 

It’s official.

I’m so excited that today I was welcomed into the elite ranks of 85 Broads. It’s an honor to become part of such a dynamic network of women.

You’ll have to read Janet’s bio to see why I’m so impressed by her and what she stands for, and all she’s done to help women succeed.

This article, while slightly outdated, paints an awesome picture of the group. Here’s my favorite excerpt:

Hanson says she’s spent her entire net worth — almost $7 million — to create and maintain 85 Broads. But this former investment banker says it’s the best trade she ever made. “I think people feel that perhaps that’s foolish because what’s the return? What’s the return profile on your investment?” Hanson says. “But it’s really important to me because my legacy will be proving to women that investing in each other is the only way to go.”

I couldn’t agree more.