Recently I had a conversation with some random person who told me his ten commandments for life. I decided to come up with my own.
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Rule number one: Show up. If my life had a motto, this wold be it. I have used it to get me through many a tough time. Sometimes life is crazy and scary and completely out of control. Your just want to hide and hope it will go away. Take this magic little pill: just show up. You don’t kneed to know what to do or how to do it. Just put one foot in front of the other, and the path will reveal itself. I can’t tell you how many times  this has gotten me to where I needed to be.

Rule number two:  if it makes you happy, do it. Selfish? Maybe. Is that so bad to put yourself first? I’m not talking about doing something that is going to hurt someone. You are hopefully wise enough to distinguish right from wrong. I’m talking about following your bliss. Care about how you feel. If you don’t, who will?

Rule number three: Do what you can while you can with what you have. Tomorrow the money might not be there, the health might not be there, or the opportunity. The time is now. Don’t waste it. Tell the ones you love you love them while they are still around. Eat the donut(s). Do that thing. You know what I’m talking about: THAT thing. You will never live this moment again.

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Rule number four: Forgive. My dad always used to say, “forgive and forget.” Well I’m not Jesus, nor do I have Alzheimer’s, but I found that forgiveness is actually possible. Learning that was nothing short of a revelation for me. Sure forgiveness the most beautiful, amazing, life-altering, and soul lightening gift I have ever received. Bitterness is poison that only we taste, not the person we are mad it. If time and distance from your situation allows, do it (see rule #3).

I always thought that phrase, “forgiveness is the gift you give yourself,” was a bunch of crap. It’s not.

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Rule number five: Trust that the Universe is working in your favour, and everything is going to be okay. Better than okay my lovelies! There was a time when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I genuinely thought my life was over. Things were so bad that even if I could have whatever I wished for, my head wasn’t even capable of finding the wish that could right the wrongs. I don’t know how it happened exactly (I think it has a lot to do with rule number one), but I’m ok again. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful in its imperfection, and I am indeed okay. So will you be.

Number six: Be what you want. If you want love, give love. If you need peace, be a source of peace for someone else. If you need help, help someone. Try it. It will make you feel good in the process.

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Rule number seven: Show gratitude. Become aware of your many blessings. Train your brain to find the good. There will be days when this feels close to impossible, but there is always something. There is the warmth of the sun that shines on your skin, and your two eyes that open every morning. When you can appreciate those things that we often take for granted, life gets a lot sweeter. When you are aware of the good, the universe rewards you with more good.

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Number eight: Know that you are powerful. Yeah, it doesn’t always feel like it, but you are. You are the number one player in this story that is your life, and you decide how things go. Don’t make yourself small, the victim of unfortunate circumstances. Act when you feel inspired. You know what to do, deep down. Do it. Don’t let life just happen to you.

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Number nine: Embrace your weird. It’s okay to be different. The wold would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same. Let your weird light shine so that the other wierdos can find you. Wierd is a side effect of awesome.

Last but not least: Be kind. Sometimes that goodness you need isn’t there, but maybe, in some small way, we can give that goodness to someone else who needs it. I guess this is very much like #6, but it’s more focused on radiating good without the need of getting anything back. The world needs that. Even if you can only do that by giving a kind smile or by telling someone they look pretty today, be that person. You never know what kind of power a small kindness can have. Maybe your small light is the only light someone gets on a really bad day. I can’t tell you how many times a small act of kindness can ripple into something huge.

What about you? What would your rules be?

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Hello dollies!

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything, almost a month. I always write to you on my sister’s computer, but it was having technical difficulties which are now resolved. I am happy to say that all is well.

Let me start with a short recap. I didn’t get that promotion I applied for, but I am totally ok with that. I don’t think the position was actually suited to me. Still I put myself out there, and as a result, I was gifted with a new direction. You see, I was kind of a aimless as far as what I wanted my career path to be within my company, but as a result of the failed interview, I had a fantastic conversation with one of the bosses which really  helped me to figure out a route that I know would really be suited to me. I am very pleased I didn’t get the job, because now that I know the job I want, I don’t really want anything else.

All is well with Birdy and I. We had a couple of delicious trips to The Standard Spa, a few slumber parties, and in a most unladylike fashion, Moi invited herself over for Thanksgiving dinner. No regrets, I’d do it again. It was a lovely evening and I had a wonderful time. Birdy’s family are so welcoming to me, and that feeling of being included is one that I have always craved. I have been making the drive to Birdy’s place and getting more and more comfortable with driving on the highway. I am very proud of myself.

Work has been fun. Well, not work per say, but the work environment. My company goes all out for the holidays. We had the most fantastic pot luck. The manager of our district even cooked us turkeys! How cool is that? Then, yesterday, two of my co workers and I hung out after work and went to one of my favourite restaurants. I over ate … a lot … but whatevs. I know it may sound a bit strange, but I’ve never hung out with a co-worker outside of work before.  Once upon a time I was an isolated housewife who spoke to barely anyone. Now I actually have friends — they aren’t even imaginary! It is a novelty that I am still getting used to.

With Thanksgiving, the pot luck, going out to eat, and all the holiday fun, my diet has kind of gone to shit. Before all this started I reached just under 118 pounds. It was a f’ing pre-Christmas miracle. I dare not weight myself now. I am confident I’ll get myself back in gear. I have to. I just bought this beautiful dress I’ve been lusting after for about 6 months in the Black Friday sales online, and I am determined to look as ultra fab in it as I do in my imagination!

I am happy my loves. When was the last time I wrote that? I have everything I need and everything I want, and I am grateful beyond measure. Of course, we can always gild the lily a bit, no? I will just preface my list by admitting that the things I want most can’t be bought. They will require lots of good energy and patience. The other things, just cherries on the cake. If end up with none, I would not be even the tiniest bit sad. If I had a tree, these are the things I should like to be under it.

Birdy with a big red bow on him. I don’t know if he has the patience to crouch under a tree all night so he can surprise me for when I wake, but I can dream, no? Maybe he can even pop out of a cake or something. I think I’d like that very much.

A fabulous Norma Kamali bathing suit for when I luxuriate at The Standard. I love the retro glamour of it. It is just so Old  Hollywood.
Note: the ribbon on Birdy should match the color of my swimsuit.

Bill Mio swimsuit by Norma Kamali

The Curator Collection mascara set by Hourglass. I tried it NYC. Fantastic.

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A MacBook Pro. I’ve not owned a computer since moving back to the US, I think I’d quite like one. One with a big ass screen to match my expanding thighs. It’s all about balance dollies!

A fabulous getaway to somewhere I’ve never been. The ticket should come in a gold envelope methinks. Perhaps it can be tucked into an uber designer carry on.

OMG, am I not so good at making up presents?! We haven’t even scratched the surface. You see, just when you think you’ve witnessed the bottom of my batshit crazy… BOOM! There’s the bat shit crazy underground garage! And the garage has levels dontcha know?!

So tell me my dears, what is on your list? I know you have one, even if it’s not written down. Have you treated yourself to anything special?

One of my favorite posts on my blog  is 100 Things I love. It’s so important to never forget all the good things, of which there are so many. I have been having some very dark days, but I know that everything is going to be okay. I will get through it, and I will come out of this better than ever. This I know. I have to trust that whatever has happened, happened for my greatest good. In the meantime, there are so many good things to focus on. Let’s  start with 100 …

  1. Walking barefoot in the grass
  2. My job. Yep, completely true. I may complain at times, but I know that this is one of my greatest blessings.
  3. The Owl and the Pussycat — something that my grandfather used to read me.
  4. Knowing undoubtedly, that no matter what cruelty there exists, that it is outweighed by kindness. Not just a by a little, but exponentially.
  5. When it’s raining, but I’m dry and cozy.
  6. Binge watching a really excellent series on Netflix. GLOW is my drug of choice at the moment. It’s fun and frivolous with lots of cool songs from the 80s.
  7. Fridays
  8. Making choices from a place of love rather than fear.
  9. Art that makes me feel something
  10. Grilled cheese sandwiches: that moment when you cut it in half and pull the two pieces apart, watching the cheese stretch.
  11. Kind shoulders to cry on for those days that u need one.
  12. Pay checks
  13. When a man holds the door open for me.
  14. Plane journeys
  15. A good conversation. It’s an art. So many people are surprisingly under skilled in it.
  16. The Classic Gateway Theater in Ft Lauderdale, in all its retro chic glory.Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 10.57.27 AM
  17. When people have a smile in their voice. I wonder if there is a word for that. There should be.
  18. When I get recognition for something I did right at work.
  19. Birthday cake
  20. Accessories, especially shoes. They don’t care if my ass looks less than ideal.
  21. Adventures
  22. Treating myself to an overpriced goodie “just because”
  23. When someone gives me their undivided attention
  24. Leaving my comfort zone and proving to myself I am capable and stronger than I knew
  25. Having choices
  26. Calling in sick from work and going to the mall
  27. Skeletor memes (perhaps you’ve noticed)61564192
  28. When you realize that life goes on despite losing that person who you didn’t think you could live with out.
  29. Smiles from strangers and being brave enough to smile back (for shy people, sometimes this does require bravery).
  30. The Kindness Rock Project. I learned about this from one of my customers. I thought it was such a beautiful concept. I’d love to find one, and I’m inspired to make a few. 
  31. My new friend MJ. I don’t meet friends that often, so our new friendship is very special to me. We have so much in common. She is Birdy’s brother’s widow.  I simply adore her. 
  32. Old friends, the ones that stick around and stand the test of time.
  33. Blackened grouper tacos by the water at Jimbo’s SandbarThe feeling of hope.
  34. Instagram: if you are not following me, what are you waiting for?
  35. When goodies come in the mail
  36. Knowing “I can handle it.” That never used to be the case.
  37. Generosity of spirit
  38. Moments of synchronicity
  39. Chris Rock. I saw him at The HardRock in March. I think he is one of the funniest comedians out there.
  40. Sitting outside on the porch reading a good book or flipping through a magazine
  41. Days when I go shopping and lots of cool clothes fit me … and I have the money to buy them.
  42. The Law of Attraction
  43. Being brave
  44. Letting go
  45. Conversations so enthralling that you don’t even notice the passage of time
  46. Rago shapewear: it hides a multitude of sins. Muffin tops are now a thing of the past. They may not appeal to everyone’s taste lookswise, but these put Spanx to shame.
  47. When the tables turn and you are now in the position of power …. Soooo yummy! 
  48. When I can get away with being a slacker
  49. Gifts with purchase
  50. Authentic connections
  51. Standing up for myself
  52. Fantasizing about my next epic binge Untitled
  53. French toast at the Landmarc in New York
  54. When someone makes me smile so much that I feel like my face is going to crack
  55. The moments when I feel my power, and a secret smile comes over me.
  56. Ice cream sundaes at uber cute The Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale, AZ.
  57. Getting a bargain on something gorgeous. Did I ever tell you that I am a bargain hunting goddess?!?! Yep. Totally true.
  58. Laundry when it is fresh from the drier. It’s clean and warm and it smells so good.
  59. Nice colleagues, it makes the day go by so much better. I’ve been so completely blessed in this department
  60. Florence + the Machine. Florence is a queen.
  61. Getting lost and finding wonderful places in the process. 
  62. My Fitbit. It changed the way I live. I do tons of walking now, I get out into the sunshine, and it even inspired me to start taking vitamins now that I’m going to be all healthy and shit.
  63. Being in a position to give
  64. Uplifting quotes, I collect them.963af50b626ee0bf58bcb455a3cfde0e
  65. I recently discovered the awesomeness that is Carla Harris. The woman is a powerhouse. She has such good, strong, positive energy. She talks a lot about business, but I find that her pearls of wisdom can be used for a lot more than  climbing the corporate ladder.
  66. Getting my hair done at a fancy salon.
  67. The Guerrilla Girls
  68. Those who are brave enough to dream despite having fallen
  69. Feather blankets, one day I shall have one.
  70. Alphonso mangoes — unfortunately not something I’ve ever seen in the US, but it is probably the most Devine fruit I’ve ever tasted.
  71. People who genuinely want to see you do well in life.
  72. Paintings by Edward Hopper — especially his paintings of women.f56e83ede92a459ec8823934fa812bc3
  73. Listening to my horoscope (sometimes I refer to it as my “horrorscope.”) I’m not sure if I believe it, but it sure is amusing to me.
  74. Handsome man candy
  75. Decluttering: my room, my heart, and my head.
  76. Celebrating my birthday in Paris this year with my very dear friend.
  77. Layering my face in tons of $800 face creme at the duty free shop in Paris before returning home on my flight back to America. I’m so naughty … but my skin looked great and hydrated, so not sorry.
  78. Ladybugs
  79. Robert Indiana’s love sculptures. I look for them whenever I travel somewhere new.Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 10.51.11 AM
  80. That feeling I get when I know I’ve helped someone.
  81. Ralph Smart / Infinite Waters
  82. Moments when I am wrapped in perfect peace
  83. Sing Street, a great movie. 
  84. Butterflies: I asked the Universe for a sign, and she returned me the butterfly I asked to see. Since then I’ve been seeing quite a few. Tons actually.
  85. Bookstores
  86. Airline credit: enough to book a mini getaway to NYC methinks! Fingers are itchy to book my next adventure. This time I think I might explore Brooklyn a little.
  87. Carb loading — and no, I’m not an athlete. I’m just a piggy.
  88. Writing in my gratitude journal.
  89. Kind gestures: making them and receiving them.
  90. When someone from afar reached out to me to remind me that they still have my back.
  91. Seeing the Eiffel Tower glitter in the dark. It’s nothing short of magic.c15bb630ba0733c7685d578f83d7bd4d--eiffel-tower-lights-eiffel-towers
  92. Being able to extract the beautiful memories from my past relationships and learning to focus on those good parts. Inside the pain, you can always find some beauty if you look hard enough.
  93.  Yoga. I used to do it when I lived in London, and now I’m taking it up again. I did my first yoga class yesterday. 
  94. Constantly coming closer to the core of my authenticity. With every year that passes, I become more and more myself, and I really love who that person is.
  95. Jim Carey. Not because he is funny, but because of this
  96. I was issued a corporate credit card … wow, like I’m a business woman or something! I wonder if I’ll get the chance to use it.
  97. Those intrinsic things about individuals that make us unique. They are our special gifts that can never be stolen.
  98. My unbreakable heart.
  99. Over priced candles for bubble bath experiences.
  100. Love

There is so much to love. I am making myself ready to be able to love even more. That’s partly why I exist I think: to love, to appreciate and take joy in all these wonderful things, and then to discover even more to love. I can think of nothing better. Truly.

What do you love? I invite all my readers to take up this challenge with me and name 100 things that you love too. You would be surprised by the magic that results. I genuinely believe if we are greatful, we attract more things to be greatful for. It’s basic Law of Attraction daaahlings, and this stuff works. Send me a link so I can check yours out if you decide to do a list of your own.

Well, I try, but occasionally the bitch switch gets flipped.
Well, I try, but occasionally the bitch switch gets flipped.

Sometimes it’s easy for me to get upset and overwhelmed. Pettyness and cruelty offend me quite deeply. My tolerance isn’t what it used to be. Yesterday my bitchy manager at work decided to “write me up” (what am I, five years old?) for texting at my desk. I’m told next time I’m going to get fired. “Stupid cow,” I want to yell, “I have eaten dinners that cost more than your weekly salary, how dare you.” And then I remember that I actually need my shitty job, that I’m poor now. But what kind of woman does that to another woman? She knows I’m a divorcee with a meager salary. Yeah, it takes a special woman to want to take the food off another woman’s table, and that kind of woman deserves a special place… in hell. Damn, I’ve come a long way from being a doctor’s wife. Remembering that, well it kind of hurts sometimes. Amidst my frustration, when I got to the safety of the lunch room, I could feel the heat engulfing my face… and then, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit,  the tears came. Feelings of shame (of my new status in life) mixed with feeling kind of sorry for myself, and anger: those emotions settled in my eyes, and rolled out as tears.

What is a girl to do when everything is gone? I’ll tell you the answer. It’s something I have been training myself to do. Some days I have more success at it than others.

0532a2d63deebb03fa314f919e7f91a6The trick is this: love the little things. Without trying to get all religious on you guys, let me just say that I believe in God. I feel that God scattered beauty and goodness all over the world, but we become blind to those blessings. We just get so wrapped up in the crap. So what exactly am I talking about? I’m talking about the way the sun feels when it warms your skin, a beautiful flower or a pretty bird, the peace of a hot cup of tea, the way that art and poetry had the power to lift the human spirit. There is so much beauty out there my lovelies. It is ours if only we choose to grab it. It’s there if you’ve got loads of money or if you don’t have two pennies to rub together. You just need to train your eye to look for those things: a kind smile from a stranger, some sweet words from a friend, a chubby pink cheeked child with grubby hands… the list is a mile long. Just look for it. I feel like these are God’s signs that everything is going to be okay. They are out there. Find them. Grab them. Recognize them for what they are. And when your boss is giving you shit an you feel low and a bit scared, take those things out of your memory box in your head and know that you will get through this. And you will get through it. What other choice is there?

And now, my lovelies, join me in giving my supervisor the one fingered salute! Just because I keep my mouth shut at work, does not mean I can’t handle some lame bitch. I invented bitchcraft daaahling.

Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise--Victor Hugo
Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise–Victor Hugo

I used to think that Napoleon was the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I thought that after all my hardships, one day we would start a life together, and finally I’d get my “Happily Ever After.” There was nothing I wanted more. I pictured myself with him as my loving and handsome husband, and I imagined the lovely home we would share. For goodness sakes, I can’t tell you how many times I would doodle my name on a piece of paper using his last name. Shortly after I came back to Florida, however, I got a rude awakening: he dumped me. I thought my world was over. What was I going to do now that the tunnel had caved in, and the light was no more? I was trapped in a very dark and lonely place… or at least, that’s what I thought. I thought wrong.

I am far from the end of my journey, but I have come to discover that for me, there was no miraculous light at the end of the tunnel. I think I tricked myself into thinking that, because that is what I needed to believe at the moment. Actually, there was something else: a thousand teeny points of light which guide me just enough so that I know where to rest my next footstep. What are those little flecks of light? They are the kind words from a friend, a helping hand from a stranger, and even being able to come to the rescue of someone else. These little things get me through my day. They are my mother’s cheerful “hello”, the feeling of the sun on my skin, a coconut macaroon, and comments from my readers. It’s when during the quiet times at work, us girls start talking about our favorite tv shows and share our funny stories.

Sometimes, as I look for my way out of the tunnel, those little lights are scarce, but they are always there, I just need to learn to become accustomed to finding them. Slowly, I am getting better at it. There is a secret about these lights, which are made up of hope, love, and happiness: if you collected them all and fused them together, you would create a light even brighter than the imagined one that you thought was waiting for you. You would be collecting something that nobody could snatch away. It is a a light that you get to keep with you till the very end.

Let's get into the Thanksgiving spirit, shall we? Grab yourself a turkey leg. Do it like a boss!
Let’s get into the Thanksgiving spirit, shall we? Grab yourself a turkey leg. Do it like a boss!

Of all the holidays I missed most while I lived in the UK, it was most definitely Thanksgiving. In all honesty, it wasn’t about the sitting around the table with my loved ones and giving thanks, it was about the unabashed food orgy. I’m always down with that! Well, this year, I find myself back in the USA, and I will indeed be with my family, and I am also totally going to be wearing some elasticated stretch pants (I can afford to now, I’ve lost a good amount of weight on the “grief diet”) but, for the first time I’m also going to give thanks. I have a lot to be thankful for this year, despite all the craziness.

Ha, at least they are not asking me why I'm single.
I’m single, but I’m not alone.

1. Friends: The best thing that came out of this year is some wonderful friendships. It’s strange because, I have had very few friends in my life. From the time I was 17, until quite recently, I have always had a man in my life. I made them the center of my world, and nobody else mattered. Friendships were not to important to me, I could take them or leave them. I was stupid. Today, there is no man in my life, but I have more friends now than I have ever had before. Not just acquaintances, but people that I genuinely care for, and they care for me in return. It is a new experience, and a good one… but if God is reading this, I’d also like a man LOL.

Yay.... I love being warm and toasty!
Yay…. I love being warm and toasty!

2. Being back in America: Okay, well if I’m completely honest, this wasn’t what I wanted at all… but this is what I got, and it’s not so bad. First of all, I truly believe that the people here are the friendliest around. They smile at you, and they say hello. People here talk to strangers. Trust me, this does not happen in the UK. I like it. Being in Florida is also awesome because of the warmth and the sunshine. If I were in England right now, during this time of year, my nose would be running, I’d have dry skin and eyes from the heaters, and I’d be wearing my coat in the house. Winter in the UK was a perpetual state of discomfort for me, I never got used to it. Plus, the daylight hours are very short. Sometimes nightfall starts around 3:30. I totally don’t miss that.

I'd make for a very curious super hero, but ever so slowly, I am saving myself.
I’d make for a very curious super hero, but ever so slowly, I am saving myself.

3. And speaking of warmth, there’s something else I’m thankful for: after many, many years, I feel a fire burning inside of me again. Sometimes it’s and angry fire, a fire that burns out of rage. Sometimes it’s a fire of survival: a fire that burns because I know that I’m on on my own now, and I’ve got to fight to do this on my own. This fire is something I thought was totally extinguished. It happened shortly after I got married. For so many years I used to sit back and just let my husband deal with the hard things. Now I don’t have that choice anymore. I am learning that I actually can do it on my own, and I am so f’ing proud of myself that I am getting back on my feet.  It’s been a dark year, but they say fire burns brighter in the darkness. Some women are lost in the fire, and some women are built from it. Well, I’m not sure which one I am, but I can tell you that I’m toasting marshmallows LOL.

So, this Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for? Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy holiday.