Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The obvious theme around this time of the year is of course, gratitude. With the state of the economy and a tentative job market, its forced us all to re-evaluate what's truly important in our lives. Just watch any of the Housewives of Atlanta, OC, or New Jersey and they're all talking about "scaling back" or foreclosing on their mansions and these women don't even work real jobs!! So, for the average non millionaire like myself, that's exactly what I've been doing. I now make a serious effort to live off an allowance and cut back where I can. And instead of cursing my paltry paycheck and taunting my husband with names like "the budget nazi", I'm just thankful for a job in healthcare and that at least one of us is good in arithmetic. 

In tenuous times like these, I've been forced to look at all the stuff I've amassed, relationships I've built, and assess what I do with my time and wonder...just how happy am I? Well, after being on monetary lockdown and no longer being able to spend frivolously, I realized that this concept isn't only applicable in matters of the Benjamins but also in how I live my life. After accumulating way too many acquaintances, housing knick knacks I never use, and wasting time on absolutely nothing, its become apparent that now is the time to start trimming the fat. So, after doing my own "number crunching" and with some serious contemplation- I realized that simplicity in every aspect of life is essential. My version of scaling back however, isn't about moving into a smaller mansion or exchanging a Maserati for a BMW, but instead it's loving and appreciating what I already have and to live a life of gratitude even when we start to live in abundance again. And you...what are you thankful for? Do tell...

Sunday, November 22, 2009


A few months ago, I experienced some of my happiest moments since moving to Hawaii. A shift in energy caused a chain reaction of positivity and suddenly, I found myself enmeshed in some uncharacteristic behavior like, working out, meditating, and entering contests that I would actually win. Beaming with hope and prosperity, I couldn't imagine life getting any better. In fact, I was so optimistic that I even forgot about being homesick and began to let things roll off my back. Without road rage, impatience, and a need to question why idiots exist...i soon began to wonder just what the hell happened to me? In the midst of this new dawning, I started setting realistic goals, checked things off my to-do list, enjoyed an on-again loving relationship with my husband, and finally- a glimmer of light from the end of the tunnel. Though deep in my heart, my inner pessimist wondered just how long these moments of bliss would actually last?  

Then slowly out of nowhere, just as fast as the good fortune came....so did the bad. A string of disheartening events prompted a downward spiral and I immediately found myself retreating back to basics. The negativity, insecurity, and doubt came rolling back into the picture and there I was feeling just like my old self again. I exercised less, made excuses not to write, and wondered if my perfect marriage was merely a figment of my imagination. And while under normal circumstances I would've allowed myself to dig a much deeper hole, this time seemed to be different. By experiencing the hints of an upswing I realized that my darkest days are far behind me. And while its been interesting getting used to the abnormalness of being cheery and genuinely optimistic, I must say- I do look forward to movin' on up!  And you, do you finally have a piece of the pie? Do tell...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Isn't That Special?!

Through the years, I've learned to appreciate the unique qualities that make the people I love who they are. For example, my husband is fiercely competitive and confidently opinionated. My daughter- introspective and deeply passionate. My puppy- sweet, innocent, and genuine. And me, well- I guess I'm the black sheep of the family as jumping to conclusions and impulsive decision making seem to be some of my better known characteristics. I've never been a fan of "thinking things over" or answering questions with a maybe. If something feels right like, happy hour and buffalo wings - that's an automatic and ecstatic, YES!! But torturous and painful encounters like small talk with people I have nothing in common with or socializing with high school volleyball parents, tend to evoke a very spirited, HELL NO! I've come to a point in my life where I respect someones blatant avoidance of me verses them showing any hint of blatant fakeness. I don't do second chances and once lines have been crossed- it's safe to say that there's no turning back.

Most of the healthy social outlook outlined above comes after years of realizing that not everybody gets you and the few that try, are the one's worth holding on to. I feel extremely blessed for having at least 2 people and a dog accept and love me for who I am. And while I am fully aware that I've become a bit anti social and less enthusiastic about making new friends- I know it's because i've accepted being happy with what I have and who I am. God only knows when my circumstances will change...a book deal here, an Oprah appearance there, and possibly hosting my own tv show would be an incredible twist of fate. But regardless of if and when...i do know for sure that- I couldn't be happier. And you...what makes you so special? Do tell...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Insecurity Blanket

I'd like to think that I always had the ability to easily walk away from tumultuous relationships, unhealthy situations, and bad breakups. But in reality- I probably lingered way longer than I should've. The thing about anything messy and complicated is of course, the element of drama. Who doesn't love the big blowups, confrontations, or having the last laugh? I admit, I've been known to relish in all of the above. I've had my fair share of fights over nothing, feelings of insecurities over ex-girlfriends, and a strong desire to be right even when I'm dead wrong. Its truly been exhausting starring, producing, and directing my version of, "As Leslie's world turns". When your habits include blowing things out of proportion, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and expecting the worst- you're bound to live in world full of questions. Answers certainly didn't come easy for me- I can't help but to question everything. If the moon and stars were perfectly aligned and my life was going just the way I wanted it to- somehow, I would feel like it's all too good to be true. When my now husband asked me to marry him in 1999- i think my first response was, "Are you sure?" And when I received any sort of compliments, I would skeptically say, "Are you serious?" 

Looking back, I attribute much of my doubtfulness and need for the drama, drama, drama to a mean case of insecurity. I found it much easier to hide behind being defensive and angry than to actually accept that perhaps I wasn't the smartest, prettiest, and wittiest woman whose ever walked the planet. (although, let's face it- this may be up for debate!!) But, as the years pile on, so do life's lessons about loss, authenticity, and appreciating what you have. By stepping away from my man made soap opera and allowing some time to flourish, I was able to find out what really matters in life. And let me tell you...it's not about what she said, he said, she said about me, who's in my circle of trust, or how much money I make. I found that being caught up in things like office politics, gossip, and vendetta's are completely, unequivocally, and totally a waste of time and energy. And nowadays, my questions tend to center around whether I'm being the best that I can be, am I doing what's right for my family, and am I appreciating life the way I should? And you...what do you question? Do tell...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Living Years...

I woke up the other day and found a message waiting in my in box. I felt the email energy and knew just who it would be from. For a few days, I had been corresponding with someone and expected a tit back for my tat. And sure enough- there it was. I’d been secretly fretting over the response and hoped as mature adults, we could see each other’s point of view. I skimmed the email, heart racing, and the first thing that came to my mind at 6:30 in the morning was, “Oh please! You’re so clueless.” And just like that, I scampered around my bedroom, got ready for the gym, and nonchalantly mentioned the email to my husband. We both laughed, went back and forth about conspiracy theories, and inevitably concluded that some people really suck at communicating! After spending seven and a half more minutes of my life on this nonsense-  I decided that I wouldn’t waste another second worrying, complaining, or obsessing about something I had no control over.


In all honesty, this same scenario would’ve had the “old me” reeling for days. I can picture it now…I imagine reading the email, jolting my husband out of his peaceful sleep, and evoking my inner sailor’s penchant for curse words and angry snarls. With hands flailing and visions of committing lewd acts on my cyber nemesis- I would’ve simply allowed myself to stew on frustration and conclude that not only do people suck at communicating, but that the chip on my shoulder seemed to be getting heavier by the minute. My long and tumultuous love affair with over reacting, sweating the small stuff, and feeling powerless to change was after all, a nasty habit that I just couldn’t shake.  And while I’d love to tell you that one day I woke up, read a dozen “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, and made 3 decades of carefully crafted insecurities magically disappear- we all know that things are never as easy as they seem. 

But, with a little soul searching and honesty I began to welcome clarity and perspective into my life. Instead of letting my pride and ego ruin my sensibility, I began to do, say, and act from the heart. I let my guard down in order to experience a world outside my comfort zone,  and I began to regain control over who, where, and what I am. In my dad's last letter to my siblings and I he wrote, “it’s not what life did to you but what you’ve done in your life.” For a man with so little time in this world, he sure knew how to live! And you...are you living the dream? Do tell...


Friday, October 9, 2009

Head Check

When I look back on these past few years, I can’t help but to conclude that my best friend and worst enemy has brought out my brilliance and self-destruction, my confidence and insecurity, and decades worth of both, happiness and pain. No, no- it isn't my husband…I have other colorful descriptives for him which I’ll save for another day. But instead my little frenemy is called…down time. Since moving to Hawaii, I seem to have a lot of it and while most would kill for 5 minutes of peace and quiet, trust me…being alone with your thoughts isn’t always tranquil. Back in Jersey, surrounded by the noise of the city, the distraction of family, and a rolodex of friends willing to grab a late night cocktail on any given day, I found little to no time to amuse myself as the constant stimulation kept me wired, exhausted, and craving for an island locale complete with a pina colada and some SPF 50. Now that my wish has come true and not only do I live on an island with copious amounts of fruity, tropical drinks, and an endless supply of sun, but I’ve also managed to shed some of the fatigue and go, go, go of the east coast..

I call this, my decompression period. With time to think, reflect, and find ways to amuse myself- it hasn’t always been fun or pretty but truthfully, it has been enlightening. Before I figured out what to do with all this spare time, I used to use it as a vehicle for feeling sorry for myself, daydreaming about my big break, or finding reasons to be annoyed with life. Ironically, while living in Jersey- these were precisely the same complaints I just loved to stew on. And now, being in Hawaii I had even more time to do it. My reality check came when I found myself canoodling with people who were just as pessimistic and cynical as I was. It dawned on me that if living a life of leisure surrounded by a gorgeous backdrop and balmy weather with more free time than I could handle wasn’t the problem then neither was the fast paced east coast, surrounded by more family and friends than I knew what to do with. So, what is the problem, you say? Well, it turns out...the real enemy is all in my head.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The pleasure is all mine...

Over the years, I've gotten myself into a few sticky situations. After much reflection, I attribute this to my insatiable impulsivity and a desire to live in the moment. The combination seems to have worked thus far however, my track record speaks for itself.  Not one for long term employment, or easily dissuade by challenges, I often take on my fair share of risks and then question, "what the hell was I thinking?" Not only does this apply to my experiences but also to the people i've met along the way. Eager to make a connection and hoping to develop new friendships- I've often come to the same, sad conclusion as stated above. 

Unfortunately- not every relationship/experience/opportunity is meant to be. I've found that my impulsiveness has lead me on a never ending search for the next big thing with results that are far more interesting than they are fruitful. 20 jobs in the last decade and a half, a move to an island, and 3 honest attempts at a career change has me thinking that i've been a bit distracted in my adult years. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with being the company "lifer" or nurturing friendships for the sake of a warm body and a shoulder to cry on. How could I know i didn't give up too easily when I barely gave people, places, and things a fighting chance or at least 25 months to prove otherwise? 

Well, along with the gift of impatience- I've also developed the habit of not questioning my decisions, I refuse to beat myself up over the past, and have thoroughly enjoyed being exactly who I am. In the end, its been my pursuit for happiness, my quest for living the dream, and for always following my heart even when the path leads me off course, which inevitably brings me closer to where I want to be. And you...where are you going? Do tell...