Sunday, March 5, 2023

Slap, Slap... STOP!

 gettyimages.com Creator: Kevin Mazur | Credit: WireImage

Words are not violence. But boy, did Chris Rock use them to hurt last night!

Chris closed his Netflix special by finally addressing the Will Smith slap and as expected from a comic master he knew where to land a punch. It was brutal. He took on Will, Jada and ended with a swipe at Will's family situation- both his marriage and how he was raised by his parents. 

It was a masterful use of language and comedic timing but all I could think was that amount of anger is a sign that while his face may have healed his emotions are as raw and bruised as they were a year ago. 

Will was clearly wrong. Jada was not helpful. Chris not always an angel himself.

While fans of each are now taking sides I can't help thinking: make it STOP!!

These are good people who let things get out of hand. And yes, Will was definitely the asshole that night, but he has also apologized publicly as well. Not saying Chris should forgive someone who hit him- no one should have to forgive an abuser. But look at what these three humans use to bring out in each other: laughter and love.

It's just beyond sad that hurt lead to more hurt. 

It's Will's responsibility to make this right since it was his temper that lead to the violence. Saying you're sorry is not enough for causing physical harm to another person. He is worth an estimated $350M. Maybe a big chunk of that should be his penance. Offer Chris $25M and see if that takes away not just the sting but helps demonstrate that Will values him and knows what he did was real damage to not just his person but his wellbeing and pride. And maybe then Chris could use a big chunk of his big chunk to sponsor a Boys & Girls Club. 

Not to Oprah-fy everything, but this could have really been an opportunity to show how two men who have both had been bullied growing up can settle their differences and repair damage they received and then created in their lives. After all, Chris had done an amazing job talking about the harm he caused cheating on his wife. His Tamborine special was a brave and enlightened way to share what he learned about marriage. What could these three have created to make a difference in our messed up world?!

It wasn't done to me, but I am nonetheless sad that two of my favorite entertainers are putting more hate and slaps out for us to witness. Don't like it and would really really like it to stop  πŸ₯Ί    

Monday, January 2, 2023

Theme 2023



Being isolated on and off for the last couple years made people crave being close, yet we were all a little rusty with our social skills. So while it was great to be with people, I still found things to be kinda... surfacey.

This year I want to get DEEP with people and myself. And not like tell me about your childhood deep-- just not shallow, small talk, busy making. I was also reminded while visiting my family in Florida over the holidays that low-tide leaves things mucky and to get to calm and clear you need to go deep into the water and away from the choppy surface 🌊

So that's where I hope to spend 2023... in deep conversations, in deep thought, in deep work, in deep love! Even if it's just dating with an openness to not be stingy and closed off from the possibility of all the ways love can show up in our lives or checking in with friends and getting to the core of how they really are doing not just the pleasantries. 

What about you? 

Come join in if you haven't created your year yet and check out past themes if you want to get some inspiration. And remember: there is no right way to create a theme or year- you do you!

Cheers to 2023 πŸŽŠπŸ₯‚ and all the DEEP JOY that can be for YOU and for ME πŸ€—

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Creating YOUR Year ... 🎊 πŸ–Œ️



2022 was good (and Happy Happy) ... but I believe 2023 is going to be even deeper, richer and more ME! Hope the same for YOU!!


Happy Mapping and Cheers to a DEEP & JOYFUL 2023

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy Life

How can we have a Happy Life?

Well I think it's going to be a unique recipe for each of us and it's not often going to come in the exact way, form or timing we are always hoping for. Ugh, that's annoying!

But for me, it's gratitude, perspective, and remembering how lucky we are to be alive! 

You can read my opining on How to Happy in this year's posts

But I wanted to leave you with a little gem my sister recently shared when she was talking about finding the best family to adopt the pets she helps volunteer for. She loves the animals and wants to find the "perfect" home for each of them, but often reminds herself:
 Sometimes a good life is a great outcome.
Same for us. I thought I was going to have a different life. Whatever I pictured, this is not it! 

So I try and find happiness in the one I am living. AND explore what might make it great while enjoying the good. Am I thrilled to be dating at this age? 😳  Not quite- but I put it on this years map and found two guys I really liked and had a wonderful time with 😍. Is it fun to watch my folks age? No, but they are still a blast to be around and well so I enjoy them at a slower pace. My body, my finances, my relationships, name a category- I'm not where I would ideally like to be. But I practice being happy where I am and it does actually make things better. 

Take a quick inventory of 2022 and appreciate all the happy moments you've had... 
now see if you can let go of the perfect and enjoy the good. And from that place create a 2023 that will bring you joy going forward. Cheers to having a Happy Happy life 🍷 😘

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Happy Hugs


I'm a hugger πŸ€—. I think hugging someone you care about is one of the greatest highs there is. I would also throw hand holding and general non-sexual touch into that category as well. 

When I saw this clip with Trevor Noah I got chills because it is so so true and so so avoided as a topic regarding both physical and mental health. Sex is great, but touch is essential to life!

Even before Covid we were a world with too little touch and since then it's part of the reason I think we are still a little crispy and numb. And not just for the reasons Trevor mentions. I think a lot of women are hesitant to give out affection to not lead others on and to protect themselves from creepy behavior that is unwanted and unwelcome. But I know how folks long to be held and connected with so we need to find a way to bring closeness into the way we are with people we can trust and care about. 

There are many men in my life who have shared how lonely and affection starved they are. Of course some women as well, but they often can get their touch from other women even if it is as simple as getting a hug from a friend or the touch from a pedicure. Men are just not as touchy with each other or in their everyday life.

I was in a car accident a few weeks ago and my back, neck and shoulders were sprained and/or twisted and so I've been getting therapeutic massage. The other day while on the table with my masseuse Scott working his magic, all I could think is there would be less war, hate and sadness in the world if people had this kind of touch as part of their lives. And yes a trained professional is not something that we all can (or want to) avail ourselves of regularly, but a hug, a touch, an energy exchange with people we know and care about is.

Earlier in the year I was dating a guy who you might remember as the great kisser, and though our chemistry was tingly one of the things I remember most is when we were sitting on the couch and he picked up my foot and put it on his leg and just held it there while we talked. 
It wasn't sexual it was just he wanted to feel connected while we spoke to each other. Melt!

And trust me if you were on the dating scene you would be startled by how many men list physical touch as their love-language. Or how they desperately crave a partner who will kiss them. Again, I think this is less about the sex and more about the intimacy of being connected to someone. You know I love words but I think touch is probably the thing most needed by men and the one they are most afraid to ask for so it often comes out as being related to sex. 

Recently I reunited with an old male friend and when we hugged it was like we hadn't been apart all that time. Nothing sexual, all emotional. That is what touch can do-- it can reconnect us with each other and even the good vibes in ourselves if we involve an expert like Scott. 

Not the lean, but you get the idea.
My Dad and I have this thing where when we are in the kitchen waiting for something to cook or for my family to get ready to leave for dinner we lean on each other (from the side). I can't remember exactly when it started, for sure by highschool when I got to be almost his height. He can't do this with my sister- she would tip over, or my brother- he would tip him over- so it's our thing. I treasure the feel of his lean and I know it's his way of being affectionate with the daughter who maybe needed it a little more than my siblings.    

So I leave you with this... who would welcome a hug/touch from you today? Who needs to feel your physical presence? Give a hug, get a hug... Happy Happy touch to you πŸ€—     

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Happy Moments

Many years ago while in search of a therapist I ran across a woman who looked almost exactly like this pic of Goldie Hawn, including sitting legs crossed on her couch while she spoke to me. I can't quite remember her name, but I can remember this nugget clearly:
the key to happiness is to notice the little moments of our life
I remember thinking she was lovely and all but that was way too hippy-dippy for me so I moved on.

Well now that I'm older I totally see what she means. We don't remember the hours in our days, we remember the brief moments that made us feel alive and stick with us. One of my first real stick-with-me-moments was the day I was graduating from high school and not for the reasons you might think. It was because I noticed how my forest green gown perfectly matched the venue we graduated at: Ravinia. It felt like we were all one, in this big group of people (friends, family, teachers) I cared about, in this beautiful place 🌲🌳🌲🌳... and that felt emotional and magical.

I have attended many concerts there since and I always make a point of pausing for a moment to feel the audience sing in unison. Yes, I like the performer/s on stage, but it's the unison that gives me chills. People harmonizing together in joy is one of the best things to ever be in the middle of.

Seeing my book on the shelf after a year and half of work to write it- a moment!

When I feel sad or stressed I try and look for little moments of joy and it changes my mood immediately. And it doesn't have to be anything big. The other day I enjoyed a perfectly ripe mango and the moment was wonderful - the color, the smell and the taste- JOY!

Last week my family and some dear friends got together at a lovely winery to surprise my step-mom Bobbie for her 80th. The wine, food and chocolates were fantastic but the moment for me was when I read a poem I had written and I looked up and and she was teary (which is very rare for her). She said as a step-parent you don't always know if you've made a difference in your kids' lives and it meant a lot to hear she had 😊

Music, plants, food, wine, loved ones, a movie, a song lyric, a sunset, a kiss ... there are many things that make me stop in awe of how beautiful life is. So yes, that therapist was right all those years ago-- moments are what make our lives happy. Therefore if we want more happy, we need to stop and breathe in a few more as we live ours.

And if this reminds you of anyone who's helped make a happy moment for you, please share that with them, it'll probably create another one just enjoying the memory of it together.  

Cheers to Bobbie πŸŽ‚ and all the bonus parents that enrich our world, to the therapists that leave us with nuggets, and to the Happy Moments of our lives 🍷 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Happy Conscience

For those that don't know I at one time had a little thing for Louis CK. I know, I know but gather yourself and let's move on to the insight this brings me to...

We had been chatting about a Happy Mind and one of the keys to that is a clear conscience free of shame, guilt, regret and bad vibes. If we are haunted by things we've done, even if we have lots of happy in our life, this shadow of darkness will follow us.

There is a reason that 12-step programs include steps of inventorying and making amends to people that we've wronged and most religions have some form of atonement for bad acts we've committed. 

Recently an ex texted to say they were sorry about how things didn't work out with us and they hope I will forgive them someday. And it reminded me of Louis CK's big SORRY sign 😏

Sure it's nice to hear someone is sorry but it only counts in my book if they clean up the mess they made along with the words they speak (or in LCK's case, stand in front of). The onus is not on the person that's been wronged to forgive someone if it's just blah, blah, blah to make them feel less guilty. True forgiveness is earned by correcting the behavior, owning what they did, and restitution to make things at a minimum as repaired as possible. 

You're sorry?
What for? 
Where did you own what you did? 
What have you done to clean up your mess? 
And where is the restitution to make up for the damage you wrought?

We all mess up. We all cause pain even when we're not trying to hurt someone; but when we know we did something truly bad we can't just text/statement it away. 

LCK used humor and the fact that some fans didn't care what he did to salve/ignore his guilt. Not good enough. He owes the women he harassed compensation for what he did to them. There were women who suffered career and other real damage from his actions. The 10ft tall sign was bright and flashy alright and I did actually watch his special to see what he had to say- but there was no sorry in his act or actions. 

Again, the human condition is we all have a level of meanness in us, none of us is so saintly that we don't ever do anything wrong. It's hard, painful and sometimes costly to clean up our messes so we mostly don't go there. What a waste because if we cleared our conscience and did the hard part we would have a happy healthy mind, heart and future. 

How important is cleaning up our conscience? Well, it's the second chapter in my book, only the one about love comes before it. Because a festering ick in our life just gets ickier!

Someone once described a clear conscience as being able to walk into any room with your head held high no matter who you might run into and I think that's a pretty good visual. 

The irony is if we summon the strength to own our messes there is a pop of relief, peace and closure that is worth the effort and humility on the other side. 

So if you're regretting something you've done or your conscience is not clear, don't let your pride, stubbornness or fear stop you from getting things handled. Map out what is there for you and don't get overwhelmed, but just do a little step at a time to clean up your karma.

Otherwise, you'll be the one sorry you didn't 😌

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Happy Birthday



Today is my Birthday!! When we went out last weekend my dear friend Vickie asked me a question her husband Bill, also a close friend and talented artist, asks her on her birthday

What have you learned about yourself this year? 

and so I wanted to share what I told her.... 

What struck me is how we are back to almost normal again and I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing. Of course the return to living is truly wonderful but that we have seemingly forgot all that we went through (and lost) is a bit surreal to me. 

Two years ago at this time I was celebrating my birthday on the phone/zoom with my friends and then alone with a cocktail on my deck having a drink to my health; my birthday wish was for the end of the isolation once the vaccine was approved

As you can see by my cheeky post thanking my friends for their bday messages- what I was looking forward to most was hugging and being with people again πŸ€— . And here we are two years later and I think we've forgotten and are taking for granted how great it is to be back out in the world. I know I have.

I actually was getting ready to push meeting Vickie until next weekend because I was feeling tired Sunday morning and then I remembered how two years ago I would have done anything to be able to be out to lunch with a friend. 

Bad dates, family obligations, long check out lines-- pick a gripe we have now and boy would I have loved to have been doing any of them that summer. 

So much has changed since around that time. New home, new job, have had some great dates (and kisses) and gotten settled into my blondness. All in the last two years. 

Lucky me, I got to spend time with my sister at the art museum and strolling around Long Grove with Vickie last weekend and some more plans in the upcoming days... so my birthday this year has been fantastic!! But what has made it even happier is remembering how precious it was to have all that alone time so that I now treasure even more the time I get to be with those I love (or even like a lot πŸ˜‰).

So Happy Happy Birthday to ME!! And here's hoping this reminder is a little gift to you that each year is to be celebrated and to be out in the world and healthy is the greatest of joys! 

Cheers to You, Me and all there is yet to be 🍷🍸🍹