Home Archive for February 2015
Do you remember last year? We called it the Snow Storm of 2014. You may remember I got stranded.
That's my cute little car I left behind when it was clear I wasn't going to make it out of that neighborhood until the ice melted. Yeah...good times!
I was convinced we wouldn't see the snow this year. (Wishful thinking?) But, alas, snow and ice we have seen. The good news is that each day the snow started to fall before I had left the house for work. We had a snow day last week and a day that started at 10:00. Tuesday I decided to use a vacay day rather than risk the crazy drive. Yesterday we started at 10:00. (See a theme?) Today our office message said our office would open at 10:00. There was 6 inches of snow on the ground. But I live close to a main road...and I knew that once I was on that I should be fine. Tomorrow is more likely to be icy...and I'd rather drive in snow.
So, off I went to the office. The road had been cleared and was mostly okay, though I'm really lucky that there were not many cars on the road. When I was about 2 miles from the office I noticed that street lights were out and there were no lights at the mall. It occurred to me that we might not have power.
Yep! Got to the office. I was the only one there. I checked my phone and there was a message that the office is now closed due to no power.
What are ya gonna do?
I turned around and came back home. I didn't have a problem until I got to our parking lot. Specifically, the parking space I tried to re-claim. Tires began to spin out. So, I called my husband to come help. He got it in the space. He made it look easy. Whew. Been home drinking hot tea and having a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and just enjoying the day.
But the story doesn't end there. Just a few minutes ago we got a knock on our door. A neighbor came to tell us that we had left the car's headlights on. Yeah, like four hours ago! Jordan was a trooper and went out to turn them off and start the car to make sure the battery wasn't dead.
Lessons? I am incredibly lucky and thankful for friends and neighbors.
The Rosie Project is told from Dr. Tillman's point of view. Don Tillman is socially awkward. He realizes this but is never quite sure where he went wrong.
Tillman's own views of the world are quite rigid and he has little tolerance for deviations. To Tillman, spontaneity is not a virtue but a flaw that can be "cured" with discipline and planning. Yet, to his chagrin, social mishaps keep happening.
Let me pause here. Dr. Tillman is a genetics professor and one of the first lectures we see him give is about Asperger's syndrome. He may or may not also have the syndrome, but I believe this is not the point. Many of us have what we believe to be "completely reasonable" ideas about how things ought to be. I don't believe anyone can be objective about their own perceptions of the world.
Part of the fun of the journey with Dr. Tillman is that you can see how he falls into social faux pas. He seems used to the social mishaps "by now." One of my favorite scenes is when he is going to meet Rosie at a very "posh" restaurant and she is not early. (Which means to Tillman, of course, that she is not "on time.") In a matter of minutes a misunderstanding erupts to an embarrassing scene just as Rosie shows up.
"No one was seriously hurt," Tillman says, "but it was an awkward social situation, and I could feel my mind shutting down." When Rosie looks to Tillman, he says, "You're late, we have a social problem." [Of course, that's an understatement.]
Rosie, is a smart, self confident woman with an edge. She has bite. I love that. She is very comfortable with spontaneity. In fact, she sometimes insists on it. Rosie contradicts everything Tillman believes to be the "correct" approach to the world. Their interactions become magic.
I'd love to know if you've read it what your favorite part(s) are. I re-read much of it today just for fun.
I love this quote from Ms. Steinem. She articulated how I often find myself making decisions and living my life.
This weekend, Jordan and I reminisced about the weekend (five years ago) we contemplated the possibility of leaving Seattle and moving to Durham. We were in Durham for just a short weekend, to celebrate my Dad's 80th! The idea of moving back to my home town really hadn't been in our existing plans. But, a few conversations started that weekend and Jordan and I began to think...maybe moving to Durham is exactly what we should do. And in that afternoon, Jordan and I allowed ourselves to dream of that as a new future for us.
Once we envisioned the possibilities, we could choose to follow them to reality. I remember Jordan and I were both sort of shocked that this idea / possibility was coming up. Just a year earlier, when a cousin asked if we were ever "moving back", I had emphatically said..."Oh no, we we love it too much in the Seattle area." --That was true. And it was still true on that day when we began to think about "moving back". As we talked, Jordan and I realized that we both wanted to pursue the move back east.
Later, we told Dad we would be moving to Durham. Side note: My Dad and I do not approach decision making in the same way. He and I may come to the same conclusion/decision, but we definitely come at it from different angles. Dad had lots of questions like: "What about your job? How will you get a new job when you live out there?"
As an INFJ, I find those questions tedious. The decision had been made. There was no need to get caught up in and distracted by the details. What I wanted my Dad to do, at that moment, was to simply celebrate that we were going to move closer to him, but he wasn't able to accept that our moving back was "real". He seemed to think that questions needed to be asked and answered before we could come to the decision.
But that isn't how it works for me. For me, the decision comes first and then the details can get sorted out. For me, the details are simply the logistics of implementing the pre-determined decision.
I'm certainly not saying that this is how decisions and planning should work for everyone. For me, unanswered questions are simply that, "unanswered". Not every question needs an answer to move forward. In fact, often just the act of moving forward allows things to begin to fall into place naturally. At least that is how things have worked for me.
So, if you ask me...I say: Dream First...then Plan.
"Scraping the sides of the mixing bowl, I began to notice just how satiny the fudge batter was. I made swirls and figure eights with my spatula. In transferring heaping spoonfuls of espresso-hued chocolate cream to the cake tins, I reveled in the lightness of texture, the airiness of what I was working with. A scoop in the pan, a scoop in the mouth. I then watched through the oven door as the cakes materialized, rising to fill their nine-inch pans."
I closed my eyes and soaked in the in the sensual description of perfection.
For the majority of her life, Mitchell was dangerously over weight. This honest memoir, though, is more than a weight loss story. Mitchell tells a heartbreakingly matter of fact story of a childhood with an unpredictable, alcoholic father. Mitchell tells this story with an even hand. She examines the love story of her mother and father. Their story has a sweetness to it.
Mitchell also tells her story of being the "fat girl" in school. It is inspiring that she does not live her life as a cliche. In fact, Mitchell's junior and senior years were filled with friends and dating and high school activities. She did not define herself by her weight.
Mitchell's story includes lifelong friends that become sisters. There are several times when we see that her friends genuine giving spirits. One of my favorites is when she and Kate go to the YMCA. As Mitchell tried to decide which cardio machine to use, asking of them, "Which of you will make me feel least hopeless?" She chose the elliptical machine and moved her body for a full thirty minutes. When she and Kate finished the workout and returned to the locker room Kate said "Well that was terrible."
And that is exactly what I have thought during and after many of my workouts. How refreshing to have a friend commiserate so honestly.
As Mitchell kick starts her journey to health, she holds on to a question that becomes a mantra: "Can you do it today? ...Can you exercise today, Andie? Not tomorrow, not the next day, not even a month from now. Today?" She found that, yes, she could do it "today". And she built upon that.
I enjoyed Mitchell's writing and will likely be reading parts of the story again as I work on my own journey.