Les Petits Learn-ed Scholars

At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey
Lemony Snicket

Found this quote on Lindsay's blog and it made me think of the days when I used to tutor two children down the street in my college summers.  We would sit in the cool air conditioning, elbows supporting our heavy afternoon minds and read the entire series of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I remember the little "o's" their lips would make as they read, and the quizzical looks that would cross their faces when they came to a tough-to-sound-out word or a puzzling plot twist.  I would wait, give them some time to work it out in their own way, and more often than not I was pleasantly surprised by the discussions they would initiate.

Though I am a lover of literary classics, sometimes I find the best messages are in between the sticky pages of children's books.  Le Petit Prince taught us that "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Thank you, little ones, for teaching me more in one summer afternoon than any degree ever could.



Isn't it funny how finite the space in our life can be?  We pack it to the brim with responsibilites, and relationships, and passions, and when we try to add just one more thing, one more drop, a little spills over and we have to take something out of the cup to drink it all down.

I'm sorry to say that is what happened with you, dear -ed chroniclers.  I filled my life with family road trips, and work projects, and book club, and late night phone calls, and early morning gym sessions.  And before I knew it, I'd gone a week without a hello.  Though I'm sorry to have neglected you lately, I am not sorry that my life has been at the brim.  A full life is a happy life--and I'm not just talking about activities.  A life full of love, and laughter, and little e-mails 'hello' is the happiest of all.

You only have one life, and who knows how tall the glass will be.  Fill it until it spills over, and then gulp down the delicious nectar squeezed out of every experience.  Trust me, there's room for a walk in the sunshine, and a margarita with the girls among your laundry and grocery shopping.  And I guarantee, your thirst will never be quenched until you drink every last drop, every last drop, every last drop.

pic: weheartit


Week, End-ed.

Finally, this long week has come to a close and I can look forward to a mini-break filled with the following:

An hour alone with my book, uninteruppted.
(No, that's not me.)

A birthday meal of shrimp and grits with Mom & Dad
(Happy Birthday Mommy dearest!)

Massive Crumbs cupcakes for Mom's sweet tooth.
A race along the river, baby sister's in the Big East!

 A long drive home in the rain, 
listening to Mom's jazz music.

 A lazy Sunday evening spent under the covers.



Sometimes we all need a mental health day.  A day to dump all of our thoughts out on the table, sort through them and only let the good ones back in.

If I ever needed one, today would be the day.  For some reason, my brain switch turned on last night.  You know the switch that all of a sudden causes your mind to run a million miles a minute, carrying frantic questions from one side to another, bouncing off the sides of your skull before landing on your tongue and bursting into language?  Next thing you know, you're asking questions like "where do you see us two years from now?" and "will it ever feel like it's enough?"

And the truth is, when we ask these questions, no answer is ever going to be the right one.  Because the truth isn't enough: "I love you." and "I don't know."  And a lie is a lie. 

If only we could learn to let life live, without questioning every next step.  If only we could unload all of the anxious thoughts and nagging questions, turn off the switch, and trust it.




The countdown has begun.  Fourty-five days from today, I will be lounging on a beach chaise, tropical rum punch in hand, boyfriend, good book, and good friends by my side. 

Fourty-five days seems like forever, but it also is the perfect amount of time to focus on sculpting the bikini body I picture in those beach dreams of mine.  Yesterday began lent #2, except this time I'm not sacrificing for God, I'm sacrificing for me, which ironically is a bit more difficult.  After overdosing on chocolate post-Easter, I've decided to give up sweets and junk food of all kinds, promising myself a good workout at least 4-5 days a week.  Though it's a bit of a vain project, I know it will help me think, move, and feel better.

During my project, I've quickly realized what is effective and what simply won't work.  It is essential to set a goal, lay out the exact parameters, and challenge yourself to meet the goal.  Without a conscious effort, nothing can be achieved.

It's also important to track your progress.  An analysis of how you're doing serves as great motivation to keep going.  So on that note, I've started using the Self Magazine food/workout log to track my caloric intake and burn.  I highly recommend signing up. (It's free and easy!) 

What are your springtime resolutions?

Ah, spring, what a perfect time to eat like a rabbit.


Thought, provok-ed.

"Too old to be an acrobat, too young to die." --from this month's book club pick, Let the Great World Spin.

When we're young enough to do it all, we can't see it.  When we can finally see it all, we're too old to do it.  The world works in frustratingly mysterious ways.  What will you do in this world of trapezes?




Last night at dinner, the topic of conversation turned to books, the book business in particular.  As I sipped my dirty martini (divine!) and he threw back a Sam Adams, questions and ideas flew back and forth across the table.

For the first time, I really had the opportunity to explain the publishing industry, and to my surprise, he had a genuine interest in all that I said.  Finally, when I paused to take a breath (and guzzle a bit more vodka), he leaned in.  "You should write a book, babe."

It's always been a dream, one I assume most bloggers share.  Something I've always hoped to do.  Number one on the bucket list.  However, it's always been a bit of a silent dream.  Not one I'm willing to shout too loudly.  But, hearing it out loud from another's lips made it seem more concrete.

"I will."

Sometimes all it takes is a bit of encouragement; the wings of dreams don't work without a little wind underneath them.  So, I encourage you to surround yourself with people who support you and the things you love.  They just may be the ones to make them happen.



I fear-ed it was so.

So this morning was eventful.  I almost died on my elevator ride to work.  As the metal box shot 23 stories into the sky, slammed into the ceiling barrier, and then clamped the doors shut as I hung in limbo between floors, I, unlike most normal people, thought 'sweet! material for my next blog post!'

Later on, I got to thinking about fear.  I've never been afraid of elevators, or heights, or strangers.  No, my phobias are a bit more unique.  Like my fear of birds, and divorce, and boob sweat.  Or my fear of cutting my finger on aluminum cans, replying all to an email that was meant to be private, or being told I'm an awful writer. We're all afraid of something.

And it's true that fear is the best motivator.  I can imagine if I were afraid of plummeting 23 floors to my death that I would be able to claw those elevator doors open with my bare hands.  I think the best we can do is learn to play off our fears, use them to push us to our potential. 

What will fear do for you? 



Rust-ed out.

"It's better to wear out than to rust out," Mom always says.

Go a mile further.  Reach an inch higher.  Hug a second longer.
And above all, love.


Rest-ed in Peace

This weekend I had to say a very difficult goodbye.  Dixie, our 14 year old Golden Retriever, started having seizures Friday night and by Easter morning it was clear she would not ever return to her bubbly self.  Despite her age, she always acted like a puppy, so to see her unable to even lift her head when we put a piece of chicken to her nose was devastating.  Thankfully, and perhaps by some cosmic miracle, all members of our family were home for the holiday and able to be in the room with our girl when she took her last doggy breath.

In a way, I believe her passing on Easter was symbolic.  We always said she was a saint--the back door left wide open and she'd sit at the top of the stairs, watching the chipmunks patiently and protecting her family from intruders, never once wandering off or harming a soul.  She'd rest her nose lovingly in your lap after a long day to let you know someone was there when you felt alone in the world.  She'd gently nudge your elbow for a pat because there was never enough love to go around.

I love you my poopy pup, my baby girl.  May your heaven be filled with filet mignon, long walks, and plenty of sloppy love.


Questions Answer-ed by More Questions.

This morning I bumped into a friendly co-worker in the ladies' room.  I asked her how she was, and she paused for a second before replying, "I'm alright."  Feeling like there was something behind this response, I pushed a bit further.

"Just alright?"

She promised she'd send me a link to a video she had watched earlier that morning and I would understand.  About an hour later, this link popped up in my inbox and I ate up the 15 minute video of a commencement speech by Steve Jobs.  I highly recommend taking the time to watch this inspirational clip--but beware, it will make you think.

Basically, his message to the graduating class of Stanford was to seize the day.  Do what you love. And live every day like it was your last because one day it will be.  These are all old adages we've heard a million times before, but for some reason, they sounded fresh coming from him.

So this is my challenge to you.  Answer this question: If today was your last day, would you want to do what you did today?

Simple enough, right?  The answer will certainly guide you to the next question.  The real question is how will you answer that?