February 28, 2013

Be Happy

A sweet little clip about simple ways to be happy...

What holds you together?

After watching the *cutest* movie "In Her Shoes" the other week, I thought a great deal about this quote.  Two of the main characters are talking at this point in the movie.... Rose loses her job with her law firm and Simon, her former colleague, has always had a crush on her and is trying to ask her out.

Simon:  Look, I know this isn't my business, but I can't not say anything. You have rights, legal options for getting your job back.
Rose: I don't want it back.

Simon: You don't? I thought you loved it. You were always the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave at night.
Rose: I know. Not because I loved it.

Simon: Then why?

Rose: I don't know. Maybe... I was scared of what would happen if I wasn't there.

Simon: Oh, what? Like the place would fall apart without you?  With law freaks like you there? Never.

Rose: No, I wasn't worried about the office. I guess it was more... me... and what would happen to me
without those people to please...and those tasks to get done.  Like... maybe... those were the things holding me together. And without them, I'd...fall apart.

Simon: But you didn't.

Rose: I guess not.

Simon: So what does hold you together?  For me, it's the law, politics...the Sixers and good food. If you ever want to join me for a game or a meal...I hope you'll give me a call.

So....what holds you together?

Picture above, here.

Currently Coveting

The Lady & Her Pen is currently coveting these AGL flats...If you've never worn AGL you have yet to experience stepping in pure butter for your feet. I could wear AGL's all day long. I have sensitive tootsies and wear my only black pair to death. With jeans, leggings, skirts, you name it - I have wore out the soles, replaced them, and they are the best flat I have ever owed.  Once I slipped these on, Cinderella realized there was never a more perfect shoe carved for her feet.

*I will be saving my pennies for them come spring!*

Attilio Giusti Leombruni Toe Cap Ballet Flats, $298, from Nordstrom, here.

February 19, 2013

A Prayer for My Daughter - Joyce Maynard

Below is a favorite. More than a favorite...something I would want to frame and hang in my child's room someday. For all those that read this, my hope is that you'll find a point where you stop and think about your actions, your character, and who you have become, want to become, or are still growing and becoming. I hope you find comfort. If you are a daughter, I hope you find joy in wanting these things for yourself and your future. For the gentlmen that read my blog, I hope you'll pray for the young women in your life, and maybe even find some thoughts in here that make you think about your own daily choices. For all who read this, just take a moment to think about the person you have are today, and how you are still growing, learning, discovering, becoming the man or woman you were meant to be...and who you would like to be.

Parenting: A PRAYER FOR MY DAUGHTER by Joyce Maynard

For years people have said to me, about my children, "Enjoy them now. Just wait till they're teenagers." Well, my daughter became a teenager three days ago, and I'm still enjoying her. But it's true, everything is changing for us these days. Time was, my daughter wanted little more than to be like me. Time was, I chose her clothes, played Barbies with her, sat for hours making paper dolls at our kitchen table, held her hand as we skipped together down the street, singing Zippedeedoodah.

She loves me still, I know. But clearly, on a day to day basis, I drive her slightly crazy. She rolls her eyes at the kind of jeans I wear. Tries not to be seen in public with me, when I'm wearing my cowboy boots. Reminds me regularly -- in a tone of affectionate resignation -- to please put the cap back on the milk before I put it back in the fridge, and please, please, please remember that damp laundry, left in the dryer, will mildew. Hearing her stern tones to me on the subject of housekeeping, or the correct way of disciplining her younger brothers, you might have a hard time figuring out just who is the mother around here, and who is the daughter.

For all the advice my daughter gives me these days, I keep mine to her at a minimum. But silently, I found myself thinking, on her birthday, about the qualities I would most wish for her, the kinds of gifts I would give her, if I could. When I turned thirteen, my father wrote me a letter -- quoting from a poem by Yeats -- that he titled "A prayer for my daughter." This is mine:

I pray that my daughter will grow into a woman who likes and values herself.

I pray that my daughter will grow into a woman who values the thoughts and opinions of people she respects, but also, one who knows her own mind, and trusts herself sufficiently that she feels able to take an unpopular stand. I hope she is always sure enough of her own value that she won't rely exclusively on the approval of others, or define herself by who she knows or what she wears.

I pray that my daughter will recognize and respond to the feelings of others around her -- especially those in need of compassion.

And I pray that she will listen, also, to her own feelings, and respond to those. So often, I think, we work so hard at raising our children -- our daughters in particular -- to please others, that we neglect to teach them how to listen to their own feelings, meet their own needs, along the way.

We teach our daughters to be kind, and considerate, and charming. But we are not always so careful to teach them that it's also their right to speak up when they are being unfairly treated, when they are in pain, or when their needs are being neglected. I was 35 years old before I truly learned how to say no to people or demands that didn't feel right to me. I pray that my daughter learns that lesson sooner.

I pray that she never loses her respect and curiousity and interest in the world around her. I pray that she always views the world as rich and fascinating, that she keeps an open and questioning mind, that she never ceases to read, to learn, to ask questions, and that she never allows herself to be satisfied with the easy answer, the simple response. When she listens to the news, when she watches a television commercial, when she listens to the speach of a politician, when she reads a book, I hope she will always weigh what she takes in, against what she knows already, and what she still needs to find out.

I pray that she will always value people over things, deeds over words, and the voice of her own conscience over the concensus of the crowd.

I pray that she maintains respect and love for the natural world, and recognition of its preciousness and its fragility. And that she takes good care for her own precious self, her own irreplaceable health as part of that god-made natural world.

I pray that she will find work she loves to do -- and know the joy of working hard for something she cares about. I hope she carries through her life the goal of making a contribution to the world, and that she can take pride in how she spends her days.

I pray that she remains loyal to her family, and to her friends -- that she is open to new friendships, but that she never takes her old ones for granted. I hope she will be for her brothers (as I pray they will be, for her) someone they can always turn to, who knows them and loves them with unconditional love. And I hope she will always feel that there is no problem so large, no deed so terrible, that she cannot share it with her father and with me.

I hope she will someday find someone to love and value, who loves and values her in the ways she needs. I pray that she take time to find out who she is, what she needs, and what she has to give, before she makes a lifelong commitment to someone else. And if she finds such a person, I pray that she will tend that love as carefully as any gardener tends a garden.

I can't pray for a life without adversity -- because I don't believe that's possible to achieve -- and so I pray, instead, that whatever form of adversity she confronts, she will have the inner strength to face it.

I pray for her that she may one day have children herself, but only if it's her choice to do so. And if it is her choice, I pray that she may one day have a daughter who brings her as much joy as mine does.
Originally found here.

Baby "I Love You" Picture, here.

February 1, 2013

Pay It Forward

Happy Friday!

I pulled in line at Starbucks this morning. A minivan pulled around where we would be merging in line together. I was in line 'first'. I wasn't in a rush, but I was not running late. Something just came over me, and I felt like letting the minivan go ahead of me, just to be nice. I just thought of all the times we fight in line at these lines in Starbucks or other places and inch forward with our cars as if to say "I was here first!". Seems so silly. So I waved her forward and she waved back a thank you. The line was taking a long time this morning but I didn't really think anything of it. The minivan in front of me seemed to be ordering a complex order, but I just patiently sat there, listening to my music, thinking about the day ahead of me.  When it was finally my turn, I pulled up to the window to get my drink.  The Barista cheerfully said "Good Morning! Happy Friday!" I warmly smiled and replied, "Happy Friday!" and handed her my debit card. She said "The woman in the van in front of you paid for your coffee this morning!".  I was shocked. Here all I had done was simply let her go in front of me and exhibited a little bit of patience and kindness, and she bought my coffee that morning. Pulling out of the driveway I thought about what a random act of kindness that was, and how we are so quick to judge people and rush rush rush through the day - and when you stop and look for it - the simple kind small things are just right here for you to enjoy.  So let someone go first in the starbucks line...or let someone else have the parking spot... donate more clothes to goodwill...make a dish for a friend if you know she's incredibly busy... spend time with your family if you know they are lonely...call up an old relative or friend you have not talked to just for no reason at all...give your time and give it without expecting anything in return. Pay it forward today.