Seriously? Is It Just Me…

Archive for the ‘Life Lessons’ Category

Apparently my life has become a touch out of control lately, as I’m rather busy running around frantically doing…absolutely nothing. I wish I could say I have been busy writing a book, volunteering for a charity or cleaning out my closets but alas I’ve done none of those things.

If I’m perfectly honest, I have been spending the majority of my free time working my way (successfully I might add) through the five phases of the highly addictive mobile phone game, Angry Birds*. Oh, and I knocked out the Angry Birds’ season edition as well, but that’s hardly anything to boast about given that I should be posting a blog every week.

Angry Birds Addiction

Just Say No!

Unfortunately, my addiction to Angry Birds has caught up with me, as I’ve now waited until the last minute to pull together my presentation on “social media for today’s financial leaders” that I’m expected to give next week at my former/new employer, Bank Director’s, annual M&A conference in Scottsdale.

Of course, I’m panicking because I have no idea what to expect with a room full of mostly senior white men who have spent the majority of their careers successfully leading financial institutions rather than effectively using technology to communicate.

So this week, instead of spending the level of quality time I require on my blog posts, I’ve decided I need to focus on what the hell I’m going to say to these guys so that I can sound relatively intelligent. Therefore, while I’m off in sunny (Hallelujah, I get to see the sun again — don’t hate) Arizona next week, feel free to read a post or two from some bloggers who I’ve connected with over the past few months:

So How Does It Taste
For you foodies who like to eat with your eyes and ears
www.sohowsittaste.com

4 All the Single Ladies
Catch up on her friend turned boyfriend turned friend saga
4allthesingleladees.wordpress.com

Next Stop, Happiness
The personal journey of a woman coming to terms with her destiny
nextstophappiness.com

Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist
A blog version of a reality TV show train wreck – loves it!
blog.penelopetrunk.com

Okay, so now I’ve got to work on my presentation…oh wait, you know what would help me focus? Knowing what I’m going to wear during my session because really that is more important than what I have to say, seriously?

* If you have no free time but want to spend your time playing an awesomely entertaining yet mindless game, then check it out.

With the passing of each year, it sickens me how fast it goes by with no more than the sound of a whisper. Yet ringing loudly in my ears, are the adults’ voices from my childhood mocking my naive frustration at how slowly my life was taking at delivering the requisite milestones of youth. However, the beginning of a new year symbolizes hope, change and opportunity which are all reasons I enjoy this time of the year. (It’s certainly not for the weather, yikes).

As most bloggers are writing posts on memories from the previous year, or what they anticipate occurring in the upcoming year, I decided that I would reflect on the things I won’t do this year. More specifically, the things that I often find myself forgetting to do until I’m reminded too late that another year is gone.

Therefore, this year, I won’t forget:

1. To find time every morning to meditate, reflect and pray. The day always looks a little brighter after spending a few minutes alone with God.

2. To tell those whom I love how much they mean to me. Unfortunately, I’m not good at verbally sharing my thoughts and feelings. Maybe a text or short email to them every once in a while could be the message that makes their day survivable.

3. To remember my dreams and goals. Life is certainly meant to be enjoyed not endured, and moving towards a dream makes the valleys not as pointless and the peaks even more hopeful.

4. To spend time enjoying my own company. Interestingly enough, living alone you tend to often be alone, but I’m usually watching hours of reality TV marathons instead of journaling, taking a walk, or enjoying an afternoon latte.

5. To be more thankful. This is definitely a thought process that can change my life, and I know it first-hand and through the effects it has had on others. I’m not talking about Pollyanna-ing life, but truly finding something to be thankful for every day, even if it’s that I didn’t oversleep. I know it’s challenging to be thankful when life is throwing me a round of one-two punches, but if I can see the small things that are good, it could help me take my blows like a champ.

Recently, I read a quote by Eric Butterworth — “don’t go through life, grow through it”. Sometimes it’s just the small changes that you strive for that make it worthwhile. Life is certainly full of ups and downs, and this year, I don’t want to forget the good things when I find myself having to weather the bad times. So I hope that your 2011 will be prosperous and full of the little things you won’t forget to do.

Oh, and one more thing…

I won’t forget that I’m too old to be climbing five foot brick walls wearing six-inch heels and a tight dress. I’ll just expect to be thrown over the wall by a guy I barely know as I expose myself to the crowd, just like I did on New Year’s Eve in 2010. Seriously!

grinch

Cuddly as a Cactus

For the past few years, I’ve made it a habit to change my Instant Messenger avatar to the Grinch as my way of letting the world know how I truly feel about the holiday season. I have several reasons for dreading the month of December which thankfully isn’t the purpose of this post. However, despite my desire to remain cuddly as a cactus until the new year, I do find myself enjoying a few Christmas traditions.

One of those traditions is watching at least one variation of A Christmas Carol. While the original is a great version, I actually enjoy the knock offs more (who would ever have thought I would recommend a knock off of anything). One in particular is Ebbie, played by the Daytime Emmy snubbed Susan Lucci, as she works her way up the department store career ladder to find herself bitter, alone and…well a scrooge. Despite how poorly acted, written and shot this adaption of A Christmas Carol is, I always settle in to watch it, at least up until the part when Tiny Tim begins singing a painful version of “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

So why do I eagerly await the showing of this classic christmas tale? Well, because of the moral. At the end, when the Scrooge character wakes up full of the Christmas spirit, and realizes that he or she should have been giving not taking, that life is too short for frugality and resentment, and that this is the time of the year to spend with your family and friends, I can’t help but get teary-eyed. I hate to say this, but I am a little like Scrooge. I don’t enjoy this time of year, but after watching that movie I remember that being surrounded by people I love and who love me is a blessing.

This past weekend was another one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season; my girlfriends’ annual holiday party. We eat, drink fancy cocktails, and laugh so hard we shed tears. I wish I could tell you exactly what is so funny, or why such an electic group of women have so much fun together, but in my heart I know it’s simply the bond of friendship. Thinking back on the year my friends endured, I realized that:

  • One of us became a mother;
  • Another lost a very important person in her life;
  • A few of us struggled to find good jobs in a tough economy;
  • Two of us worked hard to raise beautiful and smart daughters;
  • Half of us fought to maintain a healthy relationship with our mothers;
  • Some of us endured a lonely night or two in search of the one;
  • And all of us were there for each other through it all.

So this holiday season I’m going to remember to smile a bit more as I cherish the times I spend with those I love and thank God for truly blessing us, every one. Seriously!

Smerry Christmas Ladies!

8 days of christmas

Our version of a friend contract!

Occasionally, a former male boss and I had would find ourselves having some rather random yet interesting conversations in lieu of working through a difficult project. On one particular day, we found ourselves discussing hair transplants and the process involved in restoring hair in places where there was none. Unfortunately, my supervisor was among the roughly 40 million men in the United States suffering from male pattern baldness (thank you Wikipedia for the stat). So naturally, he was for the procedure, while I was arguing against it since I, along with many women, prefer a man who embraces his baldness over one who fights it down to the last hair standing.

My boss was unexpectantly surprised that a young (I was at the time) single woman would find a bald man visually acceptable, if not attractive. This made me wonder if most men fighting against the battle of hair loss even realize that most women really don’t care that they are bald, and in fact many find a clean-shaven head a sexy quality in a man. However, this revelation does come with a few disclaimers that must be communicated before men start running through the streets shouting that thinning hair is the new do.

Bald man

Take it all off...

1. The combover is disturbing. I tend to think that even Donald Trump knows the attempt to hide a large bald area by forcing a handful of hair strands to cover it up is not a good look. Unfortunately, he has branded it to a point where anything different would probably result in the loss of millions of hard-earned dollars. So let’s all agree that The Donald can singlehandedly rock the combover, while the rest of balding men shave it off.

2. Bald ponytails are pathetic. I realize that it’s difficult to accept that parts of your head can grow hair like a weed while others have succumbed to a pathetic hair follicle death, however it’s truly sad to see a man who is bald on top sporting a long ponytail. It’s an oxymoron that is doing you no favors, so accept the baldness in its entirety and let it all go. Just think how much you’d save on shampoo.

3. Hair hats are stupid. Guys, I know that you think wearing a hat full of faux hair on the top takes you back to the days when you had the warmth of hair on your head, but it’s not sexy or cool. In fact, you look ridiculous and frankly it’s misleading. Whenever I see one of those hats I wonder what animal had to die to make a hat with that stupid hair style.

Since I like the look of a cleanly shaven bald head, I will use this post to personally let the balding guys of the world off the hook, and inform them that baldness can work to your advantage if you just embrace it. If you can swallow the fact that you belong to an ever-growing group of hairless men, and learn to rock it well and with confidence then you just might find yourself a beautiful woman who enjoys rubbing on that smooth head of yours. Seriously!

End note: My boss never got the hair plugs; I like to think it’s because of my exceptional debating skills.

Every year at Thanksgiving, as part of my family’s tradition, we go around the table and take turns saying one thing that we are thankful for. Then we toast each person’s statement by taking a sip of Manischewitz wine. No, we are not Jewish, but again thanks to my mother’s upbringing in the projects of New Jersey, she tends to channel a Jewish matriarch every now and again. Now, we all hate the super sweet grape wine, but the fact that it’s part of our giving thanks ritual, we refuse to give it up.

Of course, each year I’m always in such a hurry to make my required side dish that I forget to think through what I was going to be thankful for, which puts me in a panic because nothing ever seems to come to mind. When it’s my turn to give thanks, I ultimately give a general answer that involves being grateful for my family, friends and a job, which to be honest is still legitimate because without those things life can be pretty hard to manage.

However, as I’ve learned time and time again, one of the keys to finding happiness is to continuously give thanks to God for any and every thing. So this year, I started a gratitude journal where I would on a daily (er weekly) basis log the things that I was grateful for at that time. While not as consistent as I would have liked to have been, I did manage to write down quite a few things over this past year. So on this eve of Thanksgiving, I thought I would review my journal to see just how good my life has been over the past year. Here are a few things from my list that I thought would be beneficial to share:

  1. Thanking God for reminding me to be thankful.
  2. Thank You God for people who are comfortable rubbing on someone else to help relax them.
  3. Grateful that I’m not 16 anymore.
  4. Thanking God that I was able to wear my cutest shoes with no pain.
  5. Thank You God for rescuing the lost. I pray I’m next on your list.
  6. Thank You God for the incredible gift of a nephew.
  7. Thanking God for the beauty and calmness of candlelight.
  8. Thank You God for sisters!
  9. Thanking God for people who believe in me!
  10. Thankful for my mothers love, pride and encouragement.
  11. Thankful to live in a city that helps their own. Inspiring!
  12. Grateful for a Starbucks on every corner!
  13. Thanking God for the little things in life!
  14. The little things

  15. Grateful to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
  16. Thank You God for kind valets who let me park in their reserved spots.
  17. Thank You God for your confirmation message in the package of a great friend!
  18. Grateful for being able to laugh when I really want to cry.
  19. Thank You God for not getting angry at us because we don’t pray at every meal.
  20. I’m thankful for the unspoken love understood between two long time friends.
  21. Thanking God for not abandoning me when I was ready to abandon Him.

With over 250 items to choose from for this post, despite how difficult it was, I managed to end up being grateful for having so many things to be thankful for this year. May you and yours have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. Seriously!

About a week ago while getting my weekly entertainment news fix, I came across an article revealing that the young pop-country “songstress” (and I use that term loosely), Taylor Swift had indeed written a song about her now shattered love affair with John Mayer. My first reaction was, is she old enough to be dating him, but then without really caring what the answer was to that question I wondered what is the attraction to this guy?

Love Notes

La La Lie to Me Meee

If you know anything about celebrity gossip you are all to aware that while John is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and says incredibly ignorant and incoherent things to the media on a regular basis, he has a ex-girlfriend roster that reads like an all-star female cast movie blockbuster. From Jessica Simpson to Jennifer Anniston, to rumored attempts with Kim Kardashian and now the young Taylor Swift. If I’m being honest, I’m quite baffled.

Unfortunately, Americans tend to idolize their celebrities to the point where if they wobble or (gasp), actually fall of their star-studded pedestals, everyone cries in astonishment at their imperfections. However, I like to think of celebrities more like a snapshot of society’s gene pool as they tend to be just as wounded, scared and rejected as the rest of us. So when I think of John Mayer and his continuous move from relationship to relationship, I can’t help but attempt to find the parrallels of his issues with the rest of ours. Despite not knowing anything about him or his lady friends, a few things do stand out to me:

1. The saying that women fall in love with their ears and not their eyes is certainly true in this case. Clearly, the awkwardly shaped John is not the hottest male celebrity on the market, which tells me he must be doing a dynamite job serenading these beautiful blonde bombshells with the lyrics from his poetic songs.

2. That he must actually treat their bodies as a wonderland, which in layman terms means, he’s getting the job done in the bedroom. Let’s face it, a woman that is being treated right in the sack tends to stick like glue.

3. Even though recent girlfriends have witnessed John’s track record of breaking hearts, they still continue to go out with him against their better judgement and end up being sweep away in some lyrical emotional trap. My only guess is that these starlets also suffer from a bad case of “I’m special enough to tame this bad boy” syndrome. How’s that working for you, Taylor?

Sadly, it seems that this is simply just a celebrity version of the same scenarios regular folks go through on a daily basis; a man who is afraid of commitment seducing beautiful women who don’t think they are worthy of a good honest man doing the gut wrenching dating dance.

Of course, in this particular case my black sisters don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by this Yahoo, after he so inarticulately informed us all that he can’t bring himself to sleep with black women even though he thinks they’re hot (and I’m putting it mildly). I’m betting all the celebrity blondes who fell in his snare were wishing they were as lucky, seriously?

I’m probably dating myself here, but does anyone remember the movie When Harry Met Sally? If you haven’t seen it, you should rent it on NetFlix, if for no other reason then to see how cute Meg Ryan was before she let a plastic surgeon butcher her face. Tragic.

The movie is most famous for the classic scene where Sally proves to Harry in a public restaurant that women do indeed fake it, and do it very well. But the movie wasn’t about the big O, it was actually about the changing face of a friendship between a man and a woman. The following is part of a dialogue from the movie:

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Whenever I hear a woman who has been spending a lot of quality time with a guy say, “but we’re just friends”, I automatically think of this movie and shake my head. It may just be me, but I’m simply not convinced that it’s possible to truly be friends with a man — no strings attached. So can a man and a woman be nothing more than friends without someone wanting more? I’m not a dating guru, although after 20 years you would think I at least had a degree in it, but I have seen these scenarios all to often:

yes-no-maybe

What do you think?

1. You like him – he no like you. Painful! You hang on as “friends” in hopes that he will one day recognize that you are the woman of his dreams. You spend so much time trying to convince yourself that you are okay with being friends that you actually forget to be his friend.

2. He likes you – you no like him. Even more painful. You have to endure the puppy dog I love you eyes every time you hang out with him. He continually reminds you that you are just friends, but you can tell he he’s really just trying to convince himself.

3. After years of friendship, you decide that there’s “something there” so you take it to the next level. If you can get past the incredibly awkward period, you may stand a chance. But that interim period where you can’t figure out if this is a good idea or not makes it very difficult on all parties involved.

Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences, but it doesn’t seem possible to be friends with someone of the opposite sex without the awkwardness of attraction flying around the relationship. In my opinion, men are for “dating” and women are for friendships. If you truly want to be friends with a man, may I suggest a good gay one with a great fashion sense, seriously?


Soapbox Diaries from an Unplanned Single Life!

I hope you enjoy the random thoughts, observations and life lessons that I've learned along the way. It's called Seriously? because some days I just shake my head and say seriously, is this my life?


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