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Showing posts from 2015

If Dino had lived...

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Bridgewater Soccer Mom ponders her ultimate what-if... Plan or fate? What decides the trajectory of an individual's life? As I look back on my journey, it is hard not to wonder my biggest what if. If Dino had lived, would I still be me?
If Dino had lived would I have followed a less traditional path? Instead of living here in Bridgewater, a married mom to two teenagers with a "9-5 job" (well, 8-5), would I have followed in both of my brothers' footsteps and moved to California? Dino had a special gift - tinkering with engines - and a special passion - race cars - ultimately he became a Formula One race car mechanic, training under the Senior Ferrari and turning it into a business. He ran in a wild crowd, married a tall wild soul and by all accounts had a LOT of fun. What chances would I have taken? He prioritized fun in his life - do I do the same?
If Dino had lived would I trust people more?
When he died, my Mom, sister and I were in New York. (You can read more abou…

Eighteen

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My babygirl turned 18 on Saturday. 
It was a near perfect day for her. She woke up to French toast and then ran her final cross country race on a beautiful day. She didn't set a personal record, but she did run this challenging course in under 24.5 minutes. While at the race, her boyfriend decorated her bedroom, so she arrived to pink and blue streamers. She was thrilled at the surprise. 
The highlight for any girl is the party. Mamma cleaned for hours, then set a gorgeous table for seven young ladies. They dined on what girls that age like best (pasta) and talked almost non-stop. Best of all... Since I cooked, cleared, did dishes and took care of the details, while they dined, I got to be in the kitchen with them, listening to their chatter. It reminded me of countless hours of carpooling, when I got the scoop on what really goes on in their heads.
That's a secret in parenting. Kids talk in the car, so once they get their licences, moms lose insight into their lives.  On Sat…

May I Offer a Little Advice?

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Yesterday I spoke with a friend. Her family member is ill (which I learned from Facebook) so I wanted to check in. Turns out she has a lot on her plate, plus her boyfriend broke up with her.

My harsh response began with the letter F and ended with HIM!  I repeated this seven times. Every time she began a rebuttal with, "but...." so I proceeded to list ways that she is fantastic and she deserves better.

I need to do the same for myself. Take responsibility and focus on being happier and healthier. If you are reading this, you should know that you deserve the same.

For me specifically, this means focusing on my health and on the people who matter to me and taking the same advice I give my loved ones:
"Dad, you should go to sleep earlier." "Husband, turn off the TV and get fresh air.""C, be more empathetic - remember not everyone is as fortunate as you.""N, clean your room!" These are things I should say more to myself:

No, I don't need…

Sunday's Creative Spirit

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I used to blog a lot. Lately I've come back to it. It feels good to use my creative juices and share ideas, thoughts and beliefs. And to multitask. I'm writing this in my living room between trips to the kitchen - and the front porch, where Diego is soaking in the vitamin D.

I'm writing this on a beautiful - in fact, almost perfect - Sunday morning. My family is all upstairs sleeping despite the sounds of mixing, chopping and pre-heating, with beep-beeps chirping from my oven. I am trying a recipe I found on pinterest. This is the second time in a week that I'm creating something inspired by this online bulletin board. Where was pinterest when I was a stay-at-home Mom with time to cook, bake and otherwise create? Ah, progress. When I retired there will be an app or other yet-to-be-dreamed solution to make a commute more fun.

Last Sunday was almost perfect - the only thing missing was my family. I woke on Long Beach Island and started the day with beach yoga. There'…

Decisions, Decisions

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It's never easy for me to make a decision - I'm always second-guessing myself. Even "do you want fries with that?" gives me pause. Fries: the evil of all food. No nutritional value, no actual potatoes, lots of salt - even sugar (probably) and God only knows what they fry them in. But...

Fries - YUM, YUM, YUM!

The ultimate in "no means yes". I say no, the kids say yes and I steal some anyway, much to their chagrin - "If you wanted fries, you should have ordered your own!" True, dat!

But, it was the right decision to say no.

Looking back on the last 25 years you might think I confidently made a series of quick decisions leading to drastic changes. Some were. Let's get married. Ok, we survived a couple of years of marriage. Let's have a baby... Ok. We did that. Let's quit our jobs and move abroad....
Many of the biggest decisions, though, came from mitigating factors and happened to me more than me choosing them: moving for T's job …

Morning musings

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Guess what happened? One of my friends read that I'd blogged and she sent me a card. She sat down (presumably) at the table in her bright and welcoming kitchen and took pen to paper, wrote an update of what she's up to and sent it in the mail. And guess what else? When I received it, I was thrilled!! I felt loved. Tangible proof that a friend was thinking of me.
Recently, I knit an infinity scarf for a friend who is facing so many daunting challenges that I've almost lost count.  Parkinson's Disease tops the list. Last week she mentioned on Facebook that she'd lost control of her hands. I hope that there's more than a little karma here. 
From time to time I feel overwhelmed. This morning is one of the times when I feel the angst growing in my breast. It feels like a hint of bronchitis, except unlike with illness, if I breathe deeply, the air flows unimpeded. It might be lack of sleep. Diego (our mutt) had me up at 2 am. He was constipated... And still is, desp…

5 Opportunities in Summer 2015

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In the past four months, I have started seven blog posts... and completed none. I'm a little disappointed with myself. In light of this I'm going to challenge myself to write and post an interesting blog by the time the train I'm riding arrives in Somerville. We are somewhere between Union and Cranford.

My world seems to be in a state of flux on almost all fronts. Some aspects of my life might be different in a year, others definitely will.
Next August, I can assume, my daughter will be preparing to leave for college. Life will surely change without my lovely girl.
The company where I work is also undergoing changes. As is often the case, this had meant new challenges and an increased workload. This week I spent at least 5 hours learning new skills. In addition I am collaborating with a team called a "center of excellence." It is unclear how I fit in with this group of (mostly) designers, but I enjoy seeing how creative my "new" are. It's invigo…

Winter Rut

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I'm just going to have to admit it. My commute is getting to me. Life seems to have turned into an endless train ride broken up by work and " nighttime naps at home". I truly wonder if my kids are getting fed leftovers. No, not day-old meatloaf, but the sloppy seconds of Mom's attention. Even in my mid 40s I still need the positive feedback of my dad, my boss, my in-laws, friends and lots of people. So, why shouldn't my teenagers? Perhaps worse than "neglecting" my kids, I'm not making good choices for myself. Yesterday's lunch was healthy, but pretty much everything else I ate gave the instant gratification to the tongue, followed by feeling bloated and guilty. (I don't regret the raspberry bar for my lunch-dessert, calories be damned!). Haven't run in more than a week.  Haven't folded laundry in even longer. Haven't seen most of my friends in many weeks. Didn't even call MR on her birthday.  Clean clothes are a necessity, b…

Combating Stress in 2015

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New Year Begins with Plenty to Do and Here's How to Do It (Or Not)
Our guests left weeks ago, yet 2015 has hit me hard. My workday and the pressure of "women can (read: should) have it all" continues to challenge me.

More than my 9 hours at the office, plus 3+ hour commute and coming home to a messy kitchen needing to be used to make dinner (you know the drill: gotta get the clean dishes out of the dishwasher, before you can put the dirty dishes in, wipe down the space to prep dinner only to make more mess cooking, rinse and repeat), it's the outside world permeating in my thin skin: world news of hostility in so many places I've lost count, domestic politics (don't get me started), unfinished business of 2014 that everyone seems to have forgotten (e.g: where the hell are those Nigerian girls???) and stressful undertones in the home I share with my husband and two sometimes-moody teenagers. January is the most stressful time at T's job, N&C both have…

2015 Off to a Running Start

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If you're like me, your New Years resolutions last about as long as your dying Christmas tree. With every passing day more needles fall off and eventually you have to admit defeat and hide the body (aka the dead tree or my 16-pack abs). The same goes with my resolutions. Out of sight by Epiphany.

This year I'm not making any resolutions. I have more than enough on my plate. All I want to do for my 2015 resolution (and God help me if I'm cursing myself just by writing it down, AND hitting publish) is very simple:

FINISH WHAT I START!

Even this, is just an echo of the Ghost of Resolutions past. "Live more simply"? Ha - since that blog was posted I went back to full time work and changed jobs to one with a 1 hour 40 minute (on a good day, each way) commute. I don't live life simply, I don't think I can.

But finish what I start - why does that scare the hell out of me? Finish a book before starting another. Send my Christmas cards that I put in envelopes wee…