Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the truth about VD ;)

Ok team, so for some reason, I've heard more than the usual grumbling about Valentine's Day this year, and I think it's time somebody gave it to you straight. 

When we were growing up, every single kid showed up to school on Valentine's Day just a little bit nervous about what might happen.  Maybe you were giving a valentine to someone you hoped liked you as "more than just a friend."  Or maybe you heard from some kids at school that so-and-so liked you, and you hoped beyond hope that he or she would give you one of the "special" valentines this year.  Most of you agonized over who got what valentine - careful not to convey the wrong message to the boy or girl who spit during band practice, but sure to include an extra heart or two on the envelope of the valentine for your crush.  Valentine's Day, even then, was hell.  We went home from school on Valentine's Day having a pretty good sense of whether or not the person we liked actually liked us back.

And guess what... nothing has really changed since then.

People (generally guys) always say things "Valentine's Day is so stupid" or "Why do we have to have a holiday to tell someone they're loved?"  What I want to know, is why does it have to be so painful to let someone know you like them, love them, appreciate them, respect them or want the best for them?  That's what it's really about.  Who cares if there's one day a year devoted to it?  Who cares if Hallmark gets involved and it's the highest sales day of the year for chocolate shops?  Who cares if "giving flowers on Valentine's Day is too cliche?" 

I would ask the Valentine's Day naysayers if they give chocolates or flowers any other day of the year.  Most likely, the answer to that question is no.  And what's really going on is that your significant other is hoping, really hoping, that maybe Valentine's Day will give you an excuse to actually be sweet (and maybe even a little bit romantic)... cliche or not.

I highly doubt that you would ever hear someone who regularly gets flowers, chocolates or other romantic gestures complain about his or her significant other forgetting, ignoring or totally blowing Valentine's Day.  Those people never complain - either because their significant other has enough common sense to also be romantic on Valentine's Day or they really, truly don't care about romance on Valentine's Day because they get enough of it every other day of the year.

The people who are disappointed about a lack of TLC on v-day are those who don't get it any other day and wake up on Valentine's morning a little bit nervous, a little bit excited that maybe today would be the day where the person they like lets them know they're liked back.  That's really all this day is about.

So for those of you who may have screwed it up royally this year, on the one day someone was hoping for you to tell them how much they're liked, loved, appreciated or respected... please know that there really are 364 other days this year for you to clean up your act. At the end of the day, everyone deep down just wants to know they're liked, holiday or no holiday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I hope there’s love at the end of your day to take you away.
– Dr. Dog

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

robots and spam

After my most recent post, I woke up the next morning to an email notification letting me know that someone had posted a comment to my blog.  For the first time ever, the commenter wasn't my mom, best friend, aunt, dogsitter or law school classmate. It was someone I didn't even know.  A complete stranger had posted to my blog.  As I lay in bed reading my email notification (yes, I can admit it, I check my email immediately after my alarm goes off), it hit me:  I was big time nowTotally blogospherely legit.  My blog was out there in cyberspace, and random people were reading it. And they were commenting. You have got to be kidding me.  This "viral" thing really DOES happen on its own, doesn't it?  As I patted myself on the back for my literary popularity, I clicked to my blog and read the comment:

Criminal lawyer make good support on client need and make that free from legal harassments. That has the best law situation which make it excellence.  Best Criminal Lawyers in Toronto. -posted by robertducket

Hmm.  That's weird.  Ok, so maybe I was attracting illiterate fans.  A fan is a fan though, right?  Wrong.  Not when the fan is a robot.  Robertducket was a robot.  So was Marry Lee, who posted shortly after robertducket and told me: The article is worth while reading, I like it very much and which you shared the info in this post is very useful. Thanks for sharing a wonderful post.  

It took a consult with our social media strategist for me to quickly learn the purpose of those "enter the numbers and letters you see below" boxes.  It's to fight off robots, and clearly, I had been infiltrated.

I'm still oddly flattered by the fact that the robots chose me.  There has to be some sort of code that assesses which blogs are read frequently enough to be worth spamming... right?  That's what I'm telling myself anyway. 

My robot attack is definitely a good step in the viral direction. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

blog on a receipt

[This post, like so many others, started weeks ago.  Unlike the others, it began on a receipt.  I was incredibly inspired at the time,  but I never got around to finishing this post.  Last Friday night, I spent the evening with these ladies - the fruit of this night in Albany and the blog post on a receipt].

I am sitting here, writing this post on the back of a receipt.  It's the perfect emotional storm for this girl, who's on a work trip to Albany.  Having recently gone gluten-free (that's a post in itself), I'm happy to "blame" my work meal of choice on a dietary necessity.  It's a BYOB restaurant, and I'm at sea level... which means I can easily consume a bottle of wine on my own, without qualms or apologies.
- Receipt blog (the beginning of gratitude-filled introspection)

I spent most of last week out in Albany on a (very successful and inspiring) work trip.  We're finally getting to that place where you can see the client transitioning to your side and you really feel like a team.  It's the place where you know the relationship that has been forming organically over the last few months is finally solidifying.  And it's genuine.  It's the best.

Our last night in upstate New York, I was on my own for dinner, which was a welcome reprieve after a day of non-stop presentations.  Yelp is the greatest resource while traveling, and I found an excellently-rated BYOB sushi restaurant within walking distance from my hotel.  Victory.

My hotel was also located adjacent to the Albany Law School, so I wasn't surprised to be seated next to a table of law school girl friends.  I was by myself and had accidentally left my Twilight book at the hotel, so I didn't have a whole to do besides listen to their conversation.  Well, that and consume the entire bottle of wine I had brought with me (it was BYOB after all...).  A couple glasses in, I was engrossed in the story of how one of the girls was so pissed at "Mike" because he didn't call her over Christmas break.  Apparently, she and Mike had been dabbling in being more than friends (and of course, but "dabbling," I mean "diddling").  She had even given Mike her Trust & Estates outline during finals.  Mike never really got Trusts like she did.  She didn't have to do that for him.  And after all that, he didn't even text her once over break.  She really didn't want to go back to class the following Monday.  A la "He's Just Not That Into You," her friends gave her every reason in the book for why she didn't hear from Mike.  Mike was probably just spending a lot of time with his family.  He probably didn't want to bother her while she was with her family.  Yeah, he was probably just being respectful.  He knew how close she was with her family, after all.

The conversation then turned to how good it was to be back and how they had all missed each other, even if it had been nice to be home for Christmas.  The sushi had been gone for awhile (both theirs and mine), and the girls were at that point in the night where they needed to decide whether to order another bottle of wine and go for it or call it an early night.  Unfortunately for the sake of my entertainment, they decided not to order the second (or maybe it would have been their third) bottle, and I was soon left to my own thoughts and the regret of leaving my laptop at the hotel.

I poured another glass of wine (because it would have been wasteful not to). 

We were those girls once.  Hours spent in study rooms and Thursday nights at sushi dinners.  So much angst and advice in each locale.  We (ok, I) also had had a "Mike," Trust & Estates outlines and resentment for the cost of law books.  We too had enjoyed our Christmas breaks, but somehow felt that getting back to school and returning to our group was what really felt like coming home. 

I suddenly missed my girlfriends so badly it hurt.  So, I comprised a group text to tell them where I was and how much my neighbors reminded me of us back in the day.  Then the texts from across the country began pouring in.  And I found myself laughing out loud or outright crying, depending on the text. (The servers at the sushi restaurant thought I was absolutely nuts).  More than any other emotion, though, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for the girls in my life.  We got lucky.  Really, really lucky.

We're all spread out now, doing very different things with our lives.  Salt Lake to Chicago to (soon-to-be) St. Louis.  There have been heartbreaks and weddings.  Breakups and babies.  Vacations and embarrassmentBirthdays and come to Jesuses (and other come to Jesuses). We've run marathons and adopted puppies... And I'm amazed at how quickly the time passes.

Those Albany law school girls have so much ahead of themselves, and things are going to change for them like they changed for us.  I hope they know how lucky they are.  With law school, it's easy to lose track of the gratitude in the grueling (there's a "forest in the trees" comment somewhere here too), and at the risk of sounding cliche, or even outright cheesy, my friends were the best thing to come out of law school for me.  Lord knows it wasn't the "being a lawyer" part.  And it certainly wasn't the debt part.

People ask me all the time if I regret going to law school, spending all that money on a career I ended up hating, wasting time learning something I may never actually use.  My answer has always been, and will continue to be, the same: Never.  I met some of the greatest women in the world because of law school, and it wouldn't trade that for anything. 

I love being unexpectedly reminded of what really matters.   

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Writing is like prostitution.  First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money."  -Moliere

Friday, January 27, 2012

between the eyes

Yoga keeps me honest.   Especially in the routine parts of my life - the things I do on a daily basis without really thinking about them.  Running with the dog this morning, I could feel every muscle of my body, thanks to an intense flow class earlier this week.  I had gotten away from yoga while training for the Chicago Marathon.  While I had had a great run (both literally and figuratively), those weeks had easily turned into months.  And my yoga mat never left the backseat of my car.

I hadn't really been feeling (or acting) like myself, and I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that felt different.  Don't get me wrong... I was having an awesome time.  Way more fun than 28 year olds should be having.  And part of me felt like I was in college again.  While I didn't really do anything "wrong" or "bad" (acknowledging of course that morality is a bit relative), I felt reckless, and I didn't like it one bit.  More than anything, I didn't feel like myself.  I didn't feel centered.

Getting back to yoga was something I had been meaning to do for months, but I had just never got around to it.  Instead, I went through the motions of my daily routine.  Sure, I was running.  But I never really pushed myself or changed my route.  Instead, I just got through the same 5 mile loop day in and day out, just to be able to check the box next to "workout" for that day.  Something needed to change.

So, I held my breath and purchased an unlimited month at Core Power Yoga. And I finally feel like I'm getting back to my old self again.  The craziest part is, I didn't fully recognize that something was "wrong" until I realized it was back to being right.  I'm thinking, and I'm present.  I'm acting with intention.  I'm reading. I'm aware of just how freaking lucky I am.  I'm engaging.  I know that I have enough.  I know that I am enough.  I remember to look at the big picture.  I know I need people.  I'm inspired.

All of this from spending a few hours a week on my mat, sweating my butt off next to complete strangers and asking myself to do just a little bit better while also demanding that I be satisfied with where I'm at.  This is an incredibly difficult balance for me to achieve.

At dinner, a friend suggested that I look into a blog she knew I would love.  I went home that night and stayed up for hours reading... and reading... and reading.  It's called Momastery, and it will rock your world (whether you're a mom or not).  Every now and then, a writer hits me right between the eyes and inspires me to do more.  To be more honest.  To write more freely.  To not be afraid.  Glennon's words and her story do even more than that to me.  I honestly don't know that I will ever be the same having read her work.

In writing this post, I'm suddenly struck by the irony of the phrase "between the eyes."  I'm sure the yogis out there got it the moment I said it.  But there's also another phrase that goes something like: "if you have to explain it, then you didn't deliver it properly."  So, I'll leave it here and hope my delivery was effective enough to make my point.  And if not, then I guess I'll have to do better next time.