It was sitting in my apartment building's foyer. Sometimes people in my building leave things they no longer want on a table just next to the stairs as a sort of "take it or it's getting thrown out" free yard sale. It was a pretty sad looking little plant with all its withered leaves and dried up soil, but as I started to pass it on my way up the steps I noticed a pop of green (my favorite color!). After picking out all the dead and dried pieces I discovered a few surviving leaves (leaves? I think it's a cactus breed. What the heck do you call their equivalent of "leaves?"). I felt bad for the little guy! Drawn to it, even. I couldn't just leave it pathetically sitting there, waiting to be thrown out.
So I found this plant...and I've decided to try and save it. Since I don't know what it is or where to begin caring for it I'll be walking it down my block to the local nursery tomorrow. Which won't make me look silly at all...carrying a half dead plant down my busy street on a Saturday.
But I don't care. Every life deserves a second shot, right?
Happy 25th Birthday, darling! I'm so excited for this next chapter of your life. It's been great tearing up this city with you over the past few months--I can't believe how much we've been able to see and do. I'm super grateful for our time together; it's made my own transition periods so much more fun and loving and light. I feel very lucky to have you!
If I had to narrow it down, these are my top 10 wishes for you on your 25th trip around the sun:
1. Lots of travel. See the world, embrace every adventure, explore, explore, explore.
2. That you say "yes!" often, but that you reserve the right to know in your heart when to say no, too.
3. More kissing. Good kissing. Kissing is the best!
4. A coffee table. Seriously, girl, you need a coffee table.
5. The perfect friends for every stage of your life. Golden Girls style.
6. Speaking of Golden Girls, I wish that you finally find that episode where Sophia comes into the kitchen waving a butcher knife...
7. I wish that you never straighten your annoyingly perfect/natural mermaid hair again. It's like slapping God in the face.
8. That you never stop dancing. Your whole being lights up when you're working your swagger on the dance floor! Why walk when you can dance? Shake what yo mama gave ya.
9. That you realize how incredibly special you are. That you own your worthiness. That you acknowledge you are capable of greatness and have the ability to contribute really beautiful things to this world. That you believe everything will be OK, even when it seems like it won't. That you embrace change. That you feel loved. That you continue to give out love. That you wake up every morning, look in the mirror and affirm what everyone else already knows; you are beautiful!!
10. A tan :)
Cheers to you, sweet girl! Can't wait to celebrate tonight :)
Today is my last morning puppy sitting for my little meatball niece and I've gotta say, I'm pretty bummed to be leaving her! After a solid 8 days practically glued to one another I'm walking away with a few life lessons that I figured I'd share here....
1. If you want something done, you've gotta take action. Please note exhibit A to the left; Lucy not wanting to share the bed with Auntie Drea, thus pushing her off. (I will not be walking away with lessons in "sharing" from Lucy).
Nutsy coo coo.
2. Be you. Ridiculous, goofy, wild, silly, authentic you. People will love you anyway. Or perhaps more importantly, the *right* people will love you anyway.
Cuddles with Auntie Jenny
3. Show love to everyone...
My snuggle bug.
.....(but save a little extra for your favorites).....
4. Relax. Chill out. It's OK to take it slow sometimes. Everyone needs a break.
5. Remember to play. Life will fly by--it's important to enjoy the time that we have. Play makes people happier, healthier, more content. Play makes the days seem brighter. Play is fun and fun is the best!
Thanks for the fun week, little booger! I'll see you soon :)
It's all happening.
My girlfriend (or as I like to call her since we spend so much time together, my boyfriend) Drea and I enjoyed a glass of wine (or 3) on the roof deck this weekend. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon of sunshine and easy company with a side of heart to heart conversation. If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm a sucker for a heart to heart over a bottle of wine...Or a couple of beers...Margaritas work well, too. I'm not particularly picky. After I expressed concern over my habit of sometimes jumping 100% into things for fear that *not* giving something (or someone) my all right from the start would result in my quickly losing said someone she replied with a thought that resonated with me.
"When I was little and used to dance, my ballet teacher would tell us at the barre to 'point our toe in the puddle' to get the correct posture and form. Sometimes when I'm approaching a new scenario or relationship, I think of that. Like it's OK...appropriate, even... for me to dip my toe in first to test the water."
She also reminded me of a very important fact: I'm already leading a fabulous, wonderful, compelling life. I am genuinely very happy in the now. Anything or anyone that may enter from this point forward is either going to fit and add to my wonderful life...that I've created for myself, which is a key element...or they're not. Then we move forward. We keep living our lives for ourselves and the people we love and cherish. It's as simple as that.
So, as it is with all things "life", I think it's a balancing act. Point my toe in the puddle. But be authentic and open. Be adventurous and as much of a "yes!" woman as possible, but also reserve the right to test the waters before plunging in head first. I have always been one to lead with my heart and I'm not ashamed of that; it's who I really am. But the most important thing to remember is to not lose yourself in the darkness. Be grateful for the chance--be grateful for all chances--and then be grateful for whatever outcome was meant to be. Express this gratitude whenever possible, too. Holding it in prevents those energies from taking true flight. Who cares if people think you're a little nutty for saying "thank you!" so often? Let's be serious--I want people to like me. But I don't mind if they don't.
I know I've really been living my life the way it's meant to be lived lately. That may sound silly, but I feel compelled to put it out there. I get reminders and encouragement all the time from friends, family, the Universe. I get reminders in the form of meeting really rad new people, being exposed to new and exciting things, having a plethora of adventure surrounding me, in emails and kind words. Just last week a sweet friend emailed about a great trip to Hawaii she was on;
"Also, I couldn't help but think of you many times this week. This has been like the best vacation ever. Brendan and I have been commenting on how lucky we are to be able to have these experiences. I have honed in on my inner Trish and have been nothing but grateful for this lovely week we've had together!"
This just about burst my heart wide open. I am so humbled and thrilled to know someone was not only feeling so grateful and present in their life but that I may have helped to influence that. Wow. Life. Just...wow.
And in true best friend fashion, my Aubs posted this quote on my Facebook wall a few days ago:
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
— Louise Erdrich
It really, truly, genuinely is happening. All around me beautiful friends remind me of this daily. I'm tasting as much of life as I can and that is enough to help me sleep soundly at night.
Yoda puppy says we are going to be just fine.
In Gratitude, always.
While most of the country seems to be settling into the comforts of fall--cooler temperatures, changing leaves, football and the return of the Pumpkin Spice latte--SF has finally...finally...blessed us with some summer days. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to enjoy said summer days from the awesomeness that is the roof deck of my dear friends (and parents to Lucy!) while they are vacationing. Sweeping views, sunny warmth, a glass of wine, the company of friends and one little lover of a bulldog puppy? I'm not sure it gets much better than this.
And for those of you who read Brooke's post on her baby, Lucy, and took the time to send your love and good thoughts...thank you. Lucy is doing MUCH better and we have high hopes for her full recovery leading into a long and happily drooly life. This is just another example for me of the power of people coming together to manifest a miracle. I am so, so grateful for your help!
Love and Light,
If there is one thing Jenny knows about me and fashion, it's that I would pretty much choose to live in Stevie Nicks attire every day if I could. So, this weekend she dressed me up in a few different hippie mama looks that were just to die for. I'd snagged a pair of awesome flare jeans a few weeks ago, so we started with pairing my Chinese Laundry clog heels and a few tops to them. I rocked these jeans in Portland last month and I couldn't resist sharing the following photo, first, of my friend's roomie and I posing before Karaoke. I think he out modeled me....
The romance of a beautifully made peasant top gets me every.single.time.
Jenny is also well aware of my love for the Kardashian family and their incredible sense of style. I love getting texts from her that say "Just got in a great Kardashian top!". This guy is definitely a hippie version of something a Kardashian sister would rock. Thus, I loved it!
This outfit was my favorite of the day. It reminded us of Priscilla Presley :) Jenny recommended trying this with a pair of my Zodiac boots, too, for more of a fall look.
I'm horrible at taking outfits from season to season. Once the weather turns, I pretty much switch over to a completely different wardrobe, which big time limits my style and options. Luckily, Jenny is an ace at it! Take this lace maxi, for example. It's gorgeous but would be totally impractical to wear past summer months....or so I thought....
Thanks to Jenny's layering suggestion, this guy could totally be worn into the fall! I love how Rachel Zoe-esque this turned out :)
I'm also pretty terrible at day-to-night looks. I hate feeling like I have to go home in between work and happy hour to freshen up and change. It cuts into my cocktails time! But Jenny's simple suggestion of a well fitted blazer (by Gap) and fun flats (Schutz Shoes) for day being removed and replaced by lace up oxfords (Chinese Laundry) was just the ticket this dress by Ladakh needed!
Are you totally jealous of me having such a bad ass best friend stylist yet?
She's here! She's here! She's being dragged to work with me today to help me prep for the big Weebly move (blog to come!) and then we are off to Stanford to move her in for her year of graduate studies in environmental engineering (ooooh she's so smart). Yay! Family! Family that are friends! West coast reunions! Woot!
Oh I am just so happy. Let the cousin adventures begin!
Love and Light,
I'm really digging the Facebook reminders of my statuses one/two years ago to the date. It's kinda fun seeing where I was and so far it hasn't been *too* embarrassing to be reminded of thoughts I once felt were public-forum worthy. So far. Phew.
This status from one year ago yesterday rang more true for me in the moment I reread it than when I first posted it, which of course was a pretty rad feeling:
"I think that we are here to share lives. I believe in that. And even if you aren't sharing your life with someone at this moment, you are still sharing your life with yourself." -Hilary Swank
Sneaky little Universe.
On a completely unrelated note, here's how I spent my day in bed recuperating yesterday:
I'm very, very fortunate to work for a company that is so supportive of its employees health. Thanks to them I was able to rest easily in my snuggly bed while enjoying my new Kindle purchase and sipping on tea. You know, just sharing my life with myself :)
My darling cousin sent me this quote last week (side note: the key to my heart lies in emails containing the words "this made me think of you") and I wanted to share it here as Food For Thought.
I can't tell you how many times I've been chugging along in life only aware of the next step in front of me. The past few years in particular have been a bit of a whirlwind for me; there was, admittedly, a lot of sadness and confusion to be found. I dealt out hurt to others just as I took in a fair share myself. It often felt as if I was blindly taking steps forward, trying to focus on slivers of hope when I felt brave enough to look for them. It all felt so...heavy. Each move felt humbling, embarrassing, guilt ridden or painful. But I kept taking them. One uncertain baby step at a time. Stumble. Fall. Get up. Rinse. Repeat. I kept moving forward. As my mom likes to say, I pulled myself up by my boot straps.
And eventually I looked up.
And I'd reached San Francisco.
And I am very, very happy.
Love and Light,
As I'm currently laid up in bed with a nasty case of food poisoning (am I burning hot or freezing cold? I wish this you-ate-shitty-food-fever with a side of terrible tummy pains would decide already) I find myself actually feeling grateful;
1. For the HP Touchpad Clint mailed to me, preloaded with lots of great movies and TV shows. Should I start with season 1 of Modern Family or watch Baby Mama for the 358th time?
2. Or maybe it's a How to Train Your Dragon kinda morning?
3. For my quiet apartment building. The few moments I slip in and out of sleep after being up all night are peaceful.
4. My sweet and caring SF besties for calling to check on me and offering to bring by Pedialyte.
5. The beauty of email letting me still get a few work things done. Feeling disconnected is something my generation truly hates...
6. ...even though being fully disconnected every once and awhile is probably good for us.
7. Feeling secure in the knowledge that if this continues to get worse it would be OK for me to make a trip to the ER for an IV, thanks to having insurance.
8. Also feeling secure in the knowledge that I'm already starting to feel less like death, as I did when I woke up at 3am, thus probably not needing to go to the ER.
9. The fluffy new pillows I bought a few weeks ago. They can eat me if they want to.
10. Note to self: don't eat ballpark food.
11. Bigger note to self: get back to eating healthy. This feels like crap.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining a few of my new buddies for a home cooked meal at a beautiful home just over the bridge in Belvedere. It was a bit of a last minute plan (don't those always end up being the most fun?) concocted by 3 super sweet and funny guys and their spoils from the local farmer's market that day. I was cuddling with Drea in bed watching football (yay Eagles!), already having a lovely and relaxing day when I got the offer. One of the guys is a chef (and owner of a handful of my favorite restaurants in my neighborhood) and another has always held a passion for all things culinary so I knew I was in for a real treat when they messaged me asking us to join them...
I'm grateful for my sweet, quiet little Sunday enjoyed in the company of new friends. The food was above and beyond what any friend has ever cooked for me before (a gal could get used to this), the conversation was fun and easy and the weather/wine combination was the perfect way to ease back into the work week. I was asleep by 10pm--pretty clutch for a granny like me these days :) I've found that the more I say "yes" to new experiences, including new people, the more I am really loving life and all that it has to offer. Yesterday was the perfect example of what being open can bring you and I'm especially thankful for the comfort of being myself (sweat pants, messy pony tail and all) around a group of people also comfortable being who they are. Things just flow better when we let down our guards. Apparently things can end up tasting better, too :)
I read a great interview with Secretary Hillary Clinton in my September 2011 Glamour Magazine while sipping cocktails by the pool. I've never held much of an opinion towards Secretary Clinton one way or another, but this article served to spark my interest in her specific brand of politics. One quote in particular really struck me.
Secretary Clinton says; "I was talking to a friend and very successful businessman the other day, and he said 'The thing that still annoys me more than anything is that I see all these young women who are so much more capable than they allow themselves to believe. And I see so many young men who are so much less capable but who believe they are God's gift to the world.'..."
Now, I want to preface the following sentiments by saying there are, of course, many great men out there who talk the talk AND walk the walk. There are many great men who contribute wonderful things to our society from a place of genuine capability and I am grateful for them. I see this first hand at my office daily. I see creativity, hard work, kindness and authenticity flow from all 12 of my male coworkers. I cherish my time with each of them and I know how fortunate I am to be a part of their team. But throughout the last 5 years of my "grown up" career days I have also encountered several men who have forced me to take a step back and think whoa, how did you make it this far? Do you actually have anything to back up what you're saying/doing or is this act of arrogance just that--an arrogant act?
How capable are you allowing yourself to be? When I think about this question I think about all of the women in my life. I think about the numerous times I've listened to my friends doubt themselves over and over again; in relationships, careers, family matters and even seemingly simple day-to-day decision making. And then I think about how smart they are. How caring and loving, feisty and passionate, loyal and honest or witty and articulate they can be. I think about what powerful, powerful beings they were created to become...and my heart breaks to know so many of them don't see this within themselves. We, as women, have become so good at being one another's cheerleaders (and this is great! I'm a big fan of this), but in the process we've neglected to be the biggest cheerleader for ourselves. This may not be true for all, but it is certainly true for many. We can pour out hours worth of genuine encouragement for the people we love and believe in, but we can barely squeak out a few spare drops to nourish our own growth.
When did we become so hesitant to trust our instincts and have faith in our talents? At what age did a divide between men and women and their "I am capable" confidence begin to form? Frankly, it's boggling.
Ladies (hell, ladies AND my less-than-confident fellas)- You are allowed to be rad.
You are allowed to take risks. Encouraged to take risks.
You are allowed to, as Secretary Clinton says, "dip your feet in the pond and see if you want to swim."
You are allowed to acknowledge your talents, your hard work, your accomplishments--own them! Rock them! I beg you, have the will to share them with others!
Whatever it is that makes your pulse race, go for it. Our passions are so often our callings; it's time we start honoring them. Don't settle. Keep pushing. You are so much more capable then you are allowing yourself to be.
I raise my poolside cocktails to you, Secretary Clinton. Thanks for the reminder to be rad.
Guest post by Brooke Reed
Hello fellow readers of The Grateful Life. My name is Brooke and I am the proud mama of someone loyal “Grateful” readers know very well: Lucy the bulldog puppy. Let me rephrase: Lucy the greatest, sweetest, prettiest bulldog puppy in the world. Anyone who has met her will agree with me that I am not embellishing on that title one bit.
I asked Trish to let me infiltrate her blog today so that I could write about something very important to me, and ask you, her readers, for some help. As Lucy’s favorite auntie, Trish generously agreed. This past Tuesday at 4:30 in the morning, Lucy’s papa Dave and I had to rush Lucy to the vet because it turns out she has a severe case of aspirated pneumonia, and she was not getting enough oxygen on her own to keep her organs functioning properly. Since then, she has been placed in an oxygenated doggy pen and is being treated with several kinds of antibiotics, and each day the vets sound less and less optimistic about her recovery. We have been told to prepare for the worst.
Her tongue is out about 85% of the time.
We got Lucy in June, when she was just 8 weeks old. I am fortunate enough to work in my family’s law firm, and I arranged to work from home this summer while raising her. She eventually started to go to day care 2 times per week, but for the most part, she and I spent almost all of our time together for three months straight. We developed a very special bond, one that my boyfriend Dave was often jealous of; she liked to follow me around the house from room to room, would only sleep on my lap, and would bark when I would leave the house, even if Dave or others were still around. As cheesy as it is, other than Dave, she became my best friend – “man’s” best friend be damned; she became girl’s best friend to me. I would find myself thinking about her and missing her even if I was gone only for an hour. I was and still am sure that she’s the best dog in the world. She has an extremely laid back personality, and yet she’s also so goofy. Just look at that tongue! She makes every person that greets her feel like they’re her favorite person in the world, and yet she always manages to come back to Dave and me to remind us she loves us most. We’ve only had her for three months, but she’s become a very important part of our lives. Which is why this news has been so devastating to us.
Lucy in her oxygen pen.
After Lucy had been in the hospital for around 36 hours, her vet called to tell me that things had gotten worse, and they had to turn up her oxygen, which wasn’t a good sign. For the first time, Dave and I realized that she may not make it.
Dave and I went to visit Lucy that evening. When we got there, her breathing was extremely labored, and she looked very uncomfortable. The night vet came to tell us she wanted to start Lucy on a new antibiotic because she wasn’t responding to the others, but that we would need to go pick it up down the street at Walgreens. I was a mess. Sitting on a chair in Walgreens while waiting for the prescription, tears ran down my face. Not normally a public crier, I texted Trish: “I’m becoming you, I keep crying in public :)” She responded in usual, wonderful Trish fashion: “Oh god hunny, embrace it. What’s to be ashamed of? Because you have a heart and sometimes that motherfucker hurts? You love big and that’s the risk we take.” Enter more tears. And more. And more. We went back to the hospital, and while we waited to give the vet the pills and see Lucy, I sobbed. I sat in the vet waiting room amidst other vet patrons and just sobbed my little heart out. I looked over at Dave and asked “what if this is the last time we ever see her?” He was silent. I then sobbed some more. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure vet waiting rooms have seen their fair share of tears. A special thank you to Pets Unlimited for keeping boxes of tissues all over your waiting room.
We finally went in to say goodnight to Lucy, and while I had put on a brave face in front of the vet every other time, there was no hiding the fact that I had been crying. A lot. Seeing this, she let us briefly open the door to Lucy’s oxygen crate long enough to pet and snuggle her a bit, which they hadn’t been letting us do before. Petting my favorite little wrinkly face was the most cathartic thing in the world right then. I took a deep breath, stopped my sniffling, and leaned over and told Lucy bravely “we’ll take you home with us soon. I promise.”
That night Dave and I mourned, as if we had lost her.
Sad, right? But this blog isn’t about sadness, is it? It’s about gratitude. And somehow, through all of this, I am grateful. I’m grateful Lucy came into my life, even if it only ends up being a short time. I’m grateful that she’s still alive, and hasn’t gotten any worse for 2 days, which is a very good sign. I’m grateful that I have a wonderful, supportive boyfriend that has been so comforting to me, even while I know he is hurting inside too. I’m grateful that my friends and family have been there for me this week, understanding how important Lucy has become to me, and expressing to me how much Lucy has come to mean to them as well.
But most of all, I’m grateful that Lucy’s breeder has told us about puppies with aspirated pneumonia who may go weeks before they recover, and who has been helping Dave and me formulate a plan to save Lucy. I’m grateful that the vet didn’t call us crazy when we told her we want to buy all the medical equipment and start caring for her at home in a few days, despite her lack of progress. I’m grateful that if we give Lucy our time and energy, she has a fighting chance. I’m grateful that we have the means to care for Lucy, something many, if not most pet owners in this situation wouldn’t have. I’m grateful that my family will let me take time off work to give Lucy 24/7 care until she gets better. I’m grateful for Trish and Kim who have offered to help care for her when I can’t be around, and for my other wonderful friends that I know will offer their assistance as well.
And I’m grateful for this chance Trish has given me to reach out to readers about Lucy. I would like to ask you all to think good thoughts about Lucy, and wish her well, whether you choose to do that through prayer, energy, or even just think about her once or twice in your head after reading this. I’m not traditionally very hokey, nor am I religious, but I feel like asking as many people out there to think good thoughts can’t hurt, right? Even if she doesn’t survive, it would just mean so much to me that people are reading this and thinking about her and understand why she means so much to me, to Dave, to Trish, and to everyone who knows her. Sure she’s just a dog, but she’s more than that to me, and I’m sure those of you who have or have had pets can sympathize.
I miss you, Monkey. Get better soon.
A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of soaking up the sun in Dolores Park with some gal pals after a delish brunch at a New York style Jewish deli (bagels and lox = oh so yum). Much to my extreme pleasure, an impromptu (and fabulous) performance ended up occurring right in front of us which I was able to capture about a minute of, below. I'm pretty sure Ms. Gaga would be thrilled with this little monster and his fierceness. Please note my "hair down!!" comment about a quarter of the way thru (I mean hello, his hair is glorious!)...
Don't you just love this guy?! I love how quirky the folks in my city can be. I also love how supportive of our quirkiness we tend to be towards one another. Immediately following this little performance the whole park erupted into cheers and applause and you could just tell the young man was in his Gaga GLORY. I truly don't believe a single person was judging him or making fun of him; we all genuinely loved his dance skills and applauded his spirit! So stinkin cute.
Don't be afraid to be who you really are. Don't be afraid to accept others for who they really are, either. Life is much more fun when we let our little monster flags fly, you know?