Beginning Where We Left Off

I don’t just appreciate this quality from my foliage, it is a quality I like in my friends too.

I like a friend who, even if you haven’t seen them in a while you don’t have that awkward “catching up” phase.

I like friends who require very little eggshell walking.

I like friends you’ve had long enough, and that you know well enough that you can order their drink to be waiting for them before they arrive at the table.

And like the tree I have in my front yard, I like to just begin where we left off.

No idle chit chat.

No shallow small talk.

Not with my friends, we like to jump right into the deep end.

Exactly like I do with you guys.

Carry on,
xox

#Ilovemytribe


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Be A Matador — An Absurdly French Conversation

“Be a matador” he yelled as I whimpered pitifully in the middle of a six-lane highway, traffic whizzing by us on both sides.

Not waiting for a break in the traffic he had grabbed my hand and run us between cars out to a place I try REALLY hard to never find myself. The middle of a busy street.

I hate that shit.
I will NOT play chicken, I’ll wait, or walk to the corner crosswalk thank you very much.

But to my French husband jaywalking on a busy boulevard is in his blood, a skill learned as a youth on the impossibly dangerous streets of Paris.

It is not a chicken sport. It is a bullfight. And he/we were Matadors.

Gulp.

Me: (leaning in, yelling above the noise of the cars) Wha…what? Did you say a matador?

Husband: Yes! Stand still! Don’t let the cars smell your fear.

Me: (Squeezing his hand like a vice grip, hoping to illicit pain) Are you crazy? What are you talking about?

Husband: (Yelling back at me through a smirk) Listen to me! All the greatest Matadors are French!

Me: You’re kidding me right? They are NOT French, they’re Spanish!

Did you see what he did there? He took my mind off of my predicament, knowing I would argue with him. Well played husband, well played.

Husband: I’m telling you, they’re French! They’re called Coreadors.

I was laughing nervously. Mostly at the absurdity of the conversation. I’m sure I appeared squirmy, uncomfortable and maybe a little hysterical. That comes from knowing that you’re probably going to end up as a splat on the windshield of a Prius.

Me: Shut. Up! They are NOT!

Husband: (Leaning in, yelling above traffic) Or Toreadors. Those are the guys on horseback. 

Me: (Feeling queasy. close enough to death to relate to the bull) Uhhh! Stop! Bullfighting is barbaric! The French don’t have bullfighting! They’re WAY too civilized for that!

Husband: (Amused by my argument) That’s what YOU think!

By the way, can you believe we were still standing in the middle of a busy street? Me either, but we were!

Me: (Wishing I’d ordered the french toast as my last meal) Egads. Bullfighting. Brutal. Whoever thought that was a good idea?

Husband: The Romans.

Me: Figures.

With that, the last car hurtled past us and he yanked my hand and ran me to the safety of the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. We were both laughing, not at bullfighting because it’s a horrible practice*—but at the absurdity of our conversation.

Husband: God, you can be such a baby!

Me: God, you’re weird! And damn, the Romans were assholes!

Some story on the radio in the car changed the subject, but I had to share this.

Words from a French wise guy I know—When you’re in the middle of chaos—stand still—be a matador.

Carry on,
xox

*Don’t get your panties in a bunch. I am in no way condoning bullfighting and no bulls were killed in the telling of this story.


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Wow. Yes. Amen

Right?
Okay. Add to that:

Low rise skinny jeans.

Any TV playing cable news.

All of my diet books & all seven, three of my vegan/paleo cookbooks.

All of my shoes except flip flops.

What are you getting rid of this weekend that doesn’t bring you joy?

Carry on,
xox


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I Watched A Hawk Waste Time

“Nature is efficient, it doesn’t waste time.”

As I huffed and puffed my way up the hill, hoodie up protecting my ears from the freezing (58 degrees) winds, shoes caked with mud from the recent rains, all I could do was question my sanity—demonstrated by the fact that I’d decided to “switch things up” and go the opposite way that I usually do—which is markedly harder—and freakishly longer—and that I don’t have time for this shit, I’ve got things to do!

Don’t argue with me. I understand when you tell me that it shouldn’t be harder OR longer, that it is physically impossible for that to be true, blah, blah, blah…

HEY, GO TO HELL! I have one of those step counting thingies which said I climbed 31 flights of steps today as opposed to 17 flights on a regular day, and we all know those things don’t lie.

Feeling every. single. extra. step. I was called to sit on a bench at the apex of one of the hills. I have to mention that the view of the San Fernando Valley from that bench is spectacular.

Yet, in the fifteen plus years that I’ve hiked that hill, I have NEVER been called to cop a squat on that bench.
Not when the ninety plus degree weather was making me nauseous.
Not when I’ve been caught in the rain.
Not when my plantar fasciitis had me limping like Quasimodo in yoga pants up the entire hill.
Not even when it was the best seat in the house for some of our recent brush fires.

Nope. I blast past that bench as I silently judge anyone who sits there.

Must be nice to just be able to sit and waste time, I think in that judgy tone of voice that inhabits your head when you see someone doing something which never occurred to you to do, or you feel unworthy of attempting.

So when the bench called me I was surprised. Taken aback.

Wha…what? I stammered back. Are you talking to me?
My face laughed a little. My head turned right as I looked in its direction but the rest of my body continued full steam ahead straight up the hill.

Why don’t you come sit for a while? It said again.

Listen, I have a heart-rate to maintain

That’s when I observed my body in full speed-walking mode, make a very impressive u-turn in one sweeping motion and end up planting my ass on that bench.

Huh.

I sat there self-consciously for a minute or two staring straight ahead, catching my breath.

That’s when I saw him enter. Like a highly choreographed actor, he came gliding into view from stage left, out above the trees, but right at eye level. A stunning red-tailed hawk hovering in one place, artfully surfing the wind currents.

I sat mesmerized. So enthralled I neglected to take his picture. It was that wonderful and I would have missed his graceful dance had I not heeded The Calling of the Bench.
Or was it the hawk calling me from the wings to sit and witness his perfectly timed entrance and beautiful dance?

Huh.

He seemed to be having a ball; maintaining his altitude, wings majestically out stretched, big smile on his face (I’m just assuming that last one). He didn’t seem worried about the rest of his day, about how the hunting would be and catching his dinner. He seemed unaware of the occasional smaller birds that tried to join him and couldn’t.

He was having fun wasting time. Actually, he seemed unaware of time at all.

Huh.

I was reminded of that quote I once heard, “We have twenty-four hours in a day. Eight hours to work, eight hours to sleep, and eight hours to do whatever else makes us happy.”

I sat there and watched him for about ten minutes which is a really long time to sit on a random bench—on the top of a hill—in the middle of a hike. It felt suspiciously like time-wasting but it made me happy so I put it in that eight-hour category.

Hey, leave it to nature to school me. If that gorgeous hawk who must hunt and catch his prey if he wants to eat, has the wherewithal to just enjoy life and waste a little time, then me with my refrigerator full of food (and some trail mix in my car), can follow his example.

So…who do you think called me to sit? The bench or the hawk?

Carry on,
xox


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Past The End of Time ~ Reprise

Past the End Of Time

I was looking through some of the OLD posts from so long ago they were written on papyrus, and I came across this love poem. This was before it was explained to me by someone who should know that love never dies—that it crosses over with the person beyond death.

Don’t you love knowing that? I do. That we can love someone past the end of our time here?
My wish is that you guys get the same warm tinglies that I got when I read it again.
xox


If our souls live forever,
marking time inside each day,
if we share in this endeavor,
then I guess it’s safe to say,
I will love you past the end of time.

As we share this mortal coil,
and we wear a suit of skin,
never stopping at the endings,
waiting for each lifetime to begin,
There, I will love you past the end of time.

Life may bring the next adventure,
we never know where it will lead,
I will wait for you, my darling,
I will not miss you, there’s no need,
for I will love you past the end of time.

JB to her beloved RB


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I Took The Truth For Granted

 

“If you are going to tell people the truth be funny or they will kill you.” ~ Billy Wilder

I took the truth for granted and I’d bet my mothers Sees fudge recipe that you did too.

I love the truth. It’s solid even if it’s messy and it’s so much less complicated than lying.

We’re all grown-ups here, we know we can expect some lying in our daily lives.  Used car salesmen, the waiter who insists the coffee is decaf, and normal, run-of-the-mill politicians.

I miss the truth.

Heck, I’ve lied before and not just a little white lie. It wasn’t black, like saying the dingo ate my baby, it was more brownish-grey, like no, I’m not attracted to that other guy. Anyhow, all I can tell you is that I don’t possess the skill it takes to be a gifted liar. It tore me up. I couldn’t sleep, I lost weight.

Now I don’t have the bandwidth to lie. I could never remember the fabricated story I’d have to tell so even the simplest question could trip me up.

The truth is simple. It’s easy. I read a study once where they had figured out through years of studying vigorous lying that the longer and more complicated an explanation was —the more likely it was to be untrue.

Truth is quiet, lying is loud.

Truth feels like a deep breath after you realize you’ve been shallow breathing again.

Truth is like watching murky water clear up. Once it reveals the beautifully colored fish and the multi-colored rocky bottom, you discover you aren’t in deep water after all. Nope, it’s shallow as shit and you can stop furiously dog padding and just put your feet down.

Truth is the difference between squinting to read the small print, and going and getting your glasses.
Instant clarity.

Clarity is truth’s sidekick. Together they calm us down. We know where we stand. We can see the bottom, read the small print.

I never realized how much I counted on those two until recently. I took truth for granted. It never occurred to me how scary watching someone repeatedly lie could be.

But all is not lost. Here’s what I know for sure. From one really bad lying liar to you.

Liars get cocky. They make mistakes. They forget about all the past bragging, the hidden cameras, the blind ambition of the hyenas in the room—and this one simple fact:

Truth, like that stubborn splinter in your finger always works its way to the surface.

I take solace in knowing that.

Carry on,
xox


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Trust Me, I Can’t Be Trusted

“Trust is like an eraser, it gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.”

Don’t task me with bringing the fruit salad to brunch. I cannot be trusted to pick ripe fruit so I screw it up every time.

Once, emboldened by the misguided faith that I’d picked well, I waited until the last possible minute to cut up the fruit and ensemble the salad. The peaches were as hard as baseballs, the strawberries were moldy and lo and behold I had chosen not one, not two, but three worm infested melons. A cantaloupe, a honeydew, and a casaba to be exact.

Cue the screaming.

You ‘d think at this stage of my life I’d have knocked on enough melons to know the difference, but alas, that is NOT the case. (For decades the same could be said for my ability to pick men.)

Now I know my shortcomings and after that horrendous episode I will volunteer for dessert duty (excluding fruit torts), or the cheese plate. Always the cheese plate. If you can have your pick of what to bring to a soiree, pick cheese. It’s next to impossible to screw up a cheese plate. (Unless you bring Velveeta. Although…at a wedding back in the day they served sliced Velveeta with a sharp cheddar and some brie and many of us scoffed. How incredibly low brow!  Then, some of us covertly loaded up our napkins and scarfed it up secretly in a dark corner.)

I cannot be trusted to pick out glasses that compliment my features. I repeatedly go for style over substance, trendy and oversized. I am neither a millennial nor a hipster so I cannot carry off trendy trends but don’t tell that to my oversized purple cat eye frames.

I should stick to timeless. Classic style frames and cheese plates.

I cannot be trusted to know off the top of my head how to get anywhere.

And by anywhere I mean ANYWHERE.

I could not find my way out of a paper bag without GPS.
Don’t follow me because I can be counted on to walk in the opposite direction of where we’re headed.

Not just sometimes. EVERYTIME!

It’s a joke. But not a funny one. Unless you’re my husband who finds it endearing and thinks it’s hilarious.

You must always marry a man who laughs at your shortcomings.

I am a continuous source of entertainment for the man. 

So in closing, pick the cheese plate, stay away from the fruit, don’t attempt purple cat eye frames (you’ve been warned), and pick a man who thinks wormy melons and watching you walk with determination in the wrong direction is a riot.

Carry on,
xox


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Finding Balance Between Now And The Future ~ A Jason Silva Sunday

“What if your intuition was your future informing your present?”
~ Me


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Green Lights and Open Doors

Recently, a very wise woman after careful consideration, said this to my husband: What if you viewed life as a series of green lights and open doors?

My husband is a serial problem solver. No puzzle is too complex to solve. No obstacle insurmountable.

If you need any problem worked over by a pro—he’s your man.

Great quality, right? It is, with one exception: He’s never out of work! He attracts problems. He sees flaws a mile away. Puzzles with missing pieces find him.

He is the “Obstacle Whisperer.”

Since that wise woman wasn’t me, the suggestion was well received. Profound. All of you wives know how that works.

Actually, it’s better than that. He didn’t hear her say it—It went right by him!

But I did.

That’s because our intrepid trouble-shooter was in full on sniper mode, getting in position on some rooftop somehwhere—in his head—because that’s what happens when you’re awesome at something—the Universe provides, and there is always more than enough trouble to shoot. Problems to kill. Mayhem to murder.

Right?

I mean, there’s so much trouble to shoot out there that in his field, design and building—people pay him to take some off their plate.

This is also the way he looks at everything in life. Show me the problem and I’ll solve it.

That wise woman talked to him for about ten minutes and had him pegged. She totally admired that about him but thought maybe it had begun to wear on him a little. Everything had begun to feel like too much of a burden. Pretty much like it has for all of us, myself included.

Some of us are addicted to the struggle. We’re always trying to get to the “bottom of something.” Well, guess what you guys?

THERE IS NO BOTTOM.

That’s why I loved her suggestion so much I had to share it.

These days I like smooth sailing. Less complicated living. Less fucks given. Minimum drama. And it’s just a simple tweak away.

What if you viewed life as a series of green lights and open doors?

Just writing that makes my shoulders go back where they belong instead of wearing them as earrings.

My husband and I have invented a shorthand to remind each other—Green Doors.

That’s all.
Carry on,
xox


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10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Make A Change—Flashback

This was written waaaaay back in the fifteen minutes when I was eating healthy. But the questions are more useful than ever!
Carry on,
xox


The house is still. It’s the middle of the night, so that’s appropriate.

The only sound I can hear is the whrrrrr of the refrigerator motor, which spends its nights keeping my kale and green drink ingredients fresh.
Damn you stainless steel box of cold air (yelled dramatically while waving a fist).

Rant Alert:
Why can’t my protein, vegetable laden juices taste like a chocolate malt?
Is that too much to ask?
I’m submitting a formal complaint right here and now. This healthy shit has GOT to start tasting better…or else…

Anyway…
My refrigerator has undergone a recent renaissance.
It seems to follow my life’s trajectory. It’s all cleanses, and bitter greens and shit.
I’m home most days writing, so I give myself very few choices so I won’t cheat on fat infused deliciousness. As a matter of fact, there is nothing delicious within a three-mile radius. I’d have to get in my car and drive to get it, and my laziness overrules any craving for carbs, so I think technically, I’m not an addict, which gives me some solace.

What I am is a clear channel…with a bad attitude…in dire need of a cheeseburger.

Back in the day, for about two decades, the freezer in my apartment contained two things: vodka and cigarettes (if you’re just the casual smoker, keeping cigs in the freezer keeps them fresh) not even an ice cube dared show its face. Later ground coffee replaced the cigarettes.

Quick story about how THAT happened.

Back in ’93 when I had my first “energy work” done, a friend came by the apartment to get the skinny. Remember, I had been violently ill for three days.
She was a regular, so she knew about the cigscicles and since she could tell my story was going be juicy, and warrant a smoke, she walked over to the kitchen, which was just to the left of where I was sitting, on the couch, and opened the freezer. Suddenly, she stepped back like she saw a ghost – and slammed the thing shut.
I watched it all happen, puzzled.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her with my head tilted sideways like a dog hearing a high pitched whistle.

My friend still standing in front of the closed freezer door says, “A voice just told me: DONT SMOKE AROUND HER!”
“What?”
“I’d better go.”

Man, the disembodied voices in my apartment in those days were bossy! (PS. Nothing’s changed.)

“Sit your ass down, I’ve got a story to tell.” I barked from the other room.
And THAT was the end of my casual smoking. I tried one occasionally in the years that followed but they made me feel awful, and when something stops being fun, I quit doing it.

Think Jane Fonda Workouts and hot yoga.

So, back to the middle of the night as I tossed and turned and awfulized; mulling over this decision or that.
I finally made the first decision and that was to switch my brain from FU mode to productive mode, remembering all the recent things I’ve heard and read on making life altering choices and decisions.

So, to save you the obsessing, the time, and trouble, here is a list of the things you should ask yourself:

1) Will I regret not making this change? (Regrets are like walking around with a wet coat on. They are killjoys.)

2) Why exactly am I hesitant/ indecisive? Make a list. (The list that you make in light of day will always be shorter than the phone book sized one you make at three AM…just sayin’).

3) What doors will close if I make this change? Do I care? (That one makes my butt cheeks clench)

4) Which choice will make the better story? (Kinda like the movie viewing analogy from Saturday’s post.)

5) How does the choice or change FEEL? (That really should be number one. Check your kishke.)

6) What’s the worst thing that can happen? (Rewind your three AM worries, they’re ALL there).

7) What’s the BEST thing that can happen? (Tiny little list, usually written on a Post-It with a question mark at the end. )

8) What would I tell my best friend to do? (Sans all jealousy, competitiveness, and ego).

9) What’s the “next right thing” to do to stay free of ego? (In other words, check your motivation. Is it pure? Not really? THERE’S your answer.)

10) What choice or change would make me the proudest in five years? (That’s often the clincher for me. Can’t say I’m too proud of myself when I play it safe.)

There you have it. I hope this helps. Clarity is key to making the best choices. That and chocolate.

Love you all,
Xox


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