Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hollywood or Independent

What is your favorite ending to a movie or book?  Are you a "Hollywood" type:  everything works out exactly how they have taught us it would.  The hero saves the day.  No one dies - or at least not the main characters.  And yes, it might get tough, but love wins in the end.  Always.  It's a "Hollywood ending"

Of course there are exceptions to the Hollywood ending, but even if the hero/heroine dies - everyone else is better.  Sad, but their lives have been completed.

Are you more of an Independent type movie/book lover?  The one where things don't wrap up so nicely.  People get hurt - but you know they feel and are raw and are human.  It's the book you keep thinking about.  Years later, in the back of your mind, you wonder what those people are doing?  You hope they are doing okay.  (Yes, we all realize they are fictional characters, but we hope they are doing well).

I like both.  I really like it when you read an Independent Book - and it goes Hollywood, only to leave you hanging there at the end.  Or all sad and messed up, because it didn't end the way they were leading you on or vice verse. (Almost Famous; Country Strong; Honeymoon in Vegas)

With life, I'm not sure if I lean towards Independent or Hollywood.  I definitely think my own way and I will try things against the norm.  BUT I want to go against the norm and get my Hollywood ending.  Deep inside me there is a made for TV movie just wanting to come out.  And if that ever happened, I would be so appalled I wouldn't be able to think straight.

I'm going to ramble here for a minute and it might not make sense, but I have to get it all out.

     I had to come back to Hawaii. I had to come to terms with    pieces of my life. I needed to figure some things out. Put the pieces of the puzzle back together. 

I'm an independent film type of girl.  When happily ever after doesn't work out - it's OK.  And for a moment, I believed in Hollywood.  Something I haven't done for years.  Then Hollywood, reminded me, you are an Independent film kinda gal.  Don't go changing whom you really are.  That's just pretend.  Hollywood isn't real.  

So, today, I venture off my regular island schedule.  I stayed at the house too late.  I cut through a neighborhood I don't normally cut through on the way to swim.  I look left, before I turn right - and walking down the street the way I wasn't going was the person I needed to see.  Walking down the street.  THE OTHER WAY.  I had a split second choice.  I was already committed to going right, I could keep going.  (Was it really him? Am I sure?).  OR I could turn left.  

And do what????

I could call my best friend.  I'm really not strong enough to make this decision.  What should I do???  


Let Hollywood take over....  Or Island Magic


LEAP - after all it's LEAP DAY of LEAP YEAR.

What the heck do I have to lose?  If I turn right, I'll always wonder.  And that is where the Independent Film will take us.  I'll want to call and talk.  I'll want to say things I won't.  If I turn left, I know where he's going and we can "run into each other".  Hollywood style.  And independent all at once.  Maybe I have it backwards.  Hollywood would have kept going. Independent needed the drama?  Maybe?  The road to the right, she went on with her life, and lived happily ever after.  Does Hollywood really have the drama?

I make the only you turn I've made this trip.  I had turned right.  Knowing, if I didn't turn around, I'd regret it my whole life.  Now what??  I call my best friend.  Of course I do.  He's walking down the road.  Are you sure? (I'm sorry - side thought here:  How old are we???)  No, that's why I went ahead and pulled over.  I'm looking through the side view mirror.  Yes, it's him. It's a mannerism.  That's what he does with his hair.  WHAT DO I DO?  "Whatever you do, don't hang up the phone, I want to hear it".  :-)  Now, THAT'S a best friend......

As much as I couldn't breathe and my hands were shaking, I put the phone in my lap, (No, I didn't hang up) I leaned out the window and said "Hey, you want a ride to the beach?"  :-)  And as nervous as I was - at least I had 2 minutes to think this through - he was completely shocked.  He handled it well.

He got in.  Of course he did.  This is Hollywood now. 

We parked the car.  We got in the water.  We body surfed.  We saw whales.  Several of them.  We played and we didn't talk about the elephant in the room - or should I say whale?  

We went to the grocery store.  We went to the Harbor to meet some friends.  And then we said good-night.  

What are you doing tomorrow?  Working in the morning.  Shall we go to the water in the afternoon?  

Of course.  This is Hollywood after all.  At least for the moment.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Go inside

Those are words I don't think I've ever said.  "Go inside".  In fact, once when I told my sons to "Come inside"- it was raining, it was 40 degrees and I had already let them stay OUTSIDE for an hour in that mess (as a 40 year old woman it was a mess - as a 9/10 year old boy - it was heaven) when I finally made them "come inside".  I was greeted with "doesn't our happiness mean ANYTHING to you?".  :-)  I remember the moment very clearly.  They were drenched.  Their lips were blue. And they were shaking from the cold.  Yes, it made me smile.  It still makes me smile.

"Come inside." Be safe.  Stay warm.  It is an invitation.

"Go inside".  Demand.  Harsh.  Abrasive words.  You are in trouble.

What if  we make "go inside" a personal thing.  A HAPPY thing. 

I just wrote a blog on the fact that I need to be OUTSIDE.  Not inside.  What if this "inside" is just within ourselves.  Not within a physical place?  Just that physical place in our head and heart?

I read a good quote today and it referenced both Hawaii and Denver.  " a person can only take so much beauty and inspiration before they have to get back to the grocery list".  We take for granted what we see on the way to the store. And it's funny - coming out of the grocery store I noticed the sun over the ocean.  Will I stop noticing this?

Margaret King, director of a think tank in Philadelphia that analyzes the importance of place in determining how lives get lived, puts it this way: "The place we live becomes invisible after a short while because we get so used to how it operates."

So place matters, but less than we think.

If we are not fulfilled inside, yes we will be drawn to a new place.  It is not the place that will make us happy.  Eventually, the novelty wears off.  As a society, we get caught up in the fact that THINGS, PLACES and PEOPLE make us happy.  However, if we fail to look at what truly (and I mean INSIDE) makes us happy, those THINGS and PLACES and PEOPLE will never make us happy.  We weren't happy inside. 

When does THERE become HERE?

We all search.  Some of us for different things.  Security, Health, Adventure, Safety, Family.  When OUT there looking.  "Did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?" We know what makes us happy. And by ME, I mean the voice you don't answer in your head/heart.

Be TRUE to yourself. It's okay if you change your mind.  You've been wrong before.  So have I.  And I will be again.

Look for what makes you secure. And healthy.  And loved.  Just go inside - it's there.  It doesn't mean you have to stay there.  Grab what you need and go back outside....  You can always COME back in........

24 hours in a day

There are lots of minutes in a day.  Lots of hours too.

When you get up early, why does it seem like there is SO much day.  It's true if you stay up late, but then there is SO much night.

I've been getting up at 4am.  That's 7am Denver time - to stay on track and work my normal work hours.  Although, when you work those hours - work is over by 1:00pm.  There is still a WHOLE DAY LEFT.

Maybe it just seems like there is a whole day left because I don't have the "normal" chores.  No hockey, no homework, no cooking dinner.  I have to work out.  And I am working tons.  At night, I'm ready to sleep.  It's dark.  It's quiet.  And, I'm EXHAUSTED.  The good kind of exhausted.

The sun sets in Kona at 6:30.  This past summer, the sun set at 6:30pm.  In the winter, 6:30pm is very late.  I think in Denver the sun might be making it until 6pm right now.  In the summer, 6:30pm is very early.  That's a lot of day!

Why at home does it SEEM like the days go faster?  Am I really that much busier?  Or do I just waste more time?  Here my "wasting" time is reading, swimming, boating - it's an activity.  During the summer, at home, I do seem to manage my time better.  Or it's not really managing my time better, I just realized it's spending more time outside.

That's the difference.  I just answered my own question.  It's more time outside - not more time.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I need a sign

Not one of THOSE signs.  Not the Jeff Foxworthy signs.  Not a storm warning sign.  A sign I want to see. 

I'm a firm believer in foreshadowing.  We just don't always see the 'signs' - the indicators in life.  We just don't pay attention.  They are there.  All the time.  We just need to listen.  Pay attention.

Of course, as a female.  I make things into more than they really are.  Maybe it's not a sign.  Maybe it's just life.

My best girlfriend got married in 1999.  I gave her champagne toasting flutes - Waterford.  They had a series going.  I think I gave her the "Love" set.  It kicked off a tradition.  That was then the "gift" to give from her to the others getting married.  I never got a set.  I was married first.  I started the started the tradition.

Finally, as many times in life, I ordered by own.  I ordered "Tranquility" Waterford champagne flutes.  Red wine "prosperity" goblets arrived.  I kept them.  I was "meant" to have them.   They have both broken since that time.  And when the first one broke, I didn't think anything of it.  Of course, I was divorced by then and only needed one. :-)  When the second one broke, it was YEARS later.

Did this mean "prosperity was over", "I was starting a new chapter", "leaving the past behind".  I came up with numerous things that this glass breaking could have meant.  Finally settling on, "maybe it means, I broke a glass"......  Sometime things just happen and that is all it means. It happened.

What about when we want to see a sign?  Does the absence of a sign mean that IS the sign?  It (being the universe) is telling you "there is nothing to tell you".   Or "the fact that there is no sign IS your sign".  Quit looking.

I don't attend church services on a regular basis, but I do like church.  Sometimes when I'm sitting there, they are speaking directly to me.  And I truly believe that is the point of church.  You live a Christian life in everything you do.  Walking into a church doesn't make you more or less of a Christian.  However, I remember a piece of a sermon very clearly.  Of course, I'm paraphrasing here, but this is what I remember:
  • A woman lived in an area where a flood was coming.  Everyone was told to evacuate.  A car drives by and tells the women to get in.  She says, "No.  GOD will save me".  The car leaves.  More rains come.  She climbs on top of the house.  A guy comes by in a boat:  "Get in the boat".  "No, No, GOD will save me."  The boat goes on.  The floods continue.  The woman climbs into a tree.  A helicopter swoops down with a rope:  "Get in the helicopter".  "No, No GOD will save me".  The woman dies and goes to Heaven.  While at the Pearly Gates, she says to Saint Peter "I was a good Christian woman.  I lived my whole life devoted to Christ.  At the time of need, where were you?"  St Peter replies, "Well, we sent you a car, a boat and a helicopter".......

Sometimes we need to remember to get in the car.  Don't wait for the boat.  What if we don't recognize it?

That is really my point here.  What if there is no sign?  No car that comes by and tells us to get in?  Is there always a sign?  Only if it's not the sign we want/don't want - we don't listen?? Just because it doesn't arrive in the package we think it should, doesn't mean it didn't arrive.

OR maybe, we just weren't patient enough.

I have two friends whom have three kids each.  In both instances, the first two were conceived through in-vitro fertilization.  The third?  Came the old-fashioned way.  That child was meant to be born - to be the third child.  OR MAYBE, the third child was supposed to be the first.  They just weren't patient enough. 

There aren't always signs on waiting patiently.  Maybe the car came by and told you to wait for the boat, but the boat didn't get there fast enough for you.

When there is NOTHING, not a thing, not a sign telling us what to look for or where to go next.  MAYBE, just MAYBE, it's telling us, we already know where to go and what to do.  THAT is our sign.  Not having a sign - it's telling us we already know.  We just have to trust ourselves to believe it.  We know what to do or what NOT to do.  We already learned this.  (and that's not always want we want to hear).  We already have our sign. We've had it for a while.  We know what to do.

Tourist of Kona

As a collective bunch, tourist, in general are a very funny group.  And it's not just in Kona. 

I know Europeans make fun us Americans by the things we do when we go there.  Truly, it's really everywhere.  When we visit a place, as a majority (and these are all going to be generalizations), we don't assimilate at all to the local culture.  We look and act just like we do at home, therefore sticking out in a different place.

Chain restaurants.  I'm not personally a fan.  Good thing about chain restaurants:  USUALLY, you know what you will receive.  The quality and consistency of food is the same.  There is safety in that.  HOWEVER, you can eat that at home.  WHY oh WHY my dear tourist of Kona, would you come ALL THE WAY TO HAWAII and eat at Bubba Gump's Fish place.  Please tell me why??  It's near the pier - I get that, so are 100 other places to eat.  On cruise ship Wednesday, all the tourist off the boat are in town.  I get it, it's crowded in town.  And then you buy your son the Forest Gump t-shirt from Bubba Gump's?  Okay, maybe you don't have one of these in your town.  This is the first one you have ever seen.  Please just for me, next time you come to Kona, have lunch at the Fish Hopper across the street. Or at Huggo's on the Rocks - it's just a little further walk.  Great local places, incredible food and a very fun atmosphere.  Please.  You are trying a new place to visit, try a new place to eat.

What is with the matching clothes?  I'm talking about the women here.  Men, have we really taken away all your self-respect?  The couples in matching clothes.  Okay, that's KINDA cute - and I mean kinda.  The lady in her dress made of the same material as the husband's Hawaiian shirt.  BUT, to the three men in matching shirts with their wives.  Really?  I just shook my head.  No words really to write.

Ask a local.  Ask a local ANYTHING.  Where do you like to eat?  What is a local fruit I can't find anywhere but here?  What's the island known for?  Go to the farmer's market.  Try some leikes, try some Portuguese sausage.  Try some poke.

I applaud you for being out and seeing new things.  Try some local things too.  Please, just for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We've STILL got it

Granted, I REFUSE to believe I don't look as young I used too.  And I know, "I wouldn't understand"  Of course.  I didn't understand either.

My, this story could get complicated, but really, it's one of the best stories ever.

My BFF comes to town.  And truly, as those of you who don't know, she is the best friend ever.  And for those of you whom know us, well, you know us.

Long story short.  And way too much of a story to still be repeating - I got my heart broke.  But not really, he wasn't mean to me.  And quite honestly I broke HALF of my own heart.  I thought he was something he wasn't.  I will take responsibility for half my heart.  And the other half..... I would do it all again.

What cures a heartache?  Time.  Ugh!! Time sucks.  Sometimes it goes SO slow.

And of course, the GODS were looking out for us.  Carolyn's trip was planned to Colorado in July for her arrival in October.  THANK YOU GOD.  (If you want to thank your GOD for her, please do, she's been a blessing in mine)

We go to Vail.  We are THE ONLY PEOPLE at our hotel. How fun is that.  Granted, it's a small hotel, but still.  When I told my sons "We were the only people at the Sitzmark.  And they left the pool/hot tub open for us."  The look of envy on their faces was priceless.

It's DEAD in Vail.  It's Off-season.  There is not enough snow.  Not enough hiking trails.

Red Lion is CLOSED for a private party.

Dear German Woman at the Door:

Thank you for turning us down and not letting us in.  After all, it WAS a private party. 

I told you we would be back.

Thank you for trying not to smile as you told us we weren't allowed.  

Thanks for not laughing at us after we knocked on the windows and they let us come in. :-)

THANK YOU, for being nice as we ordered drinks from the bar.  Well, we told you we would be back...

Thanks for the new friends we can banter with for years to come.

Oh the friends I've met in Vail.

Thanks for adding a few more to the Rolodex (OMG - that word just came up on Spellcheck)

And THANKS for my thirties........


The water makes everything right in the world.

You are weightless.  There is no stress on your joints, your bones, your body.  You are just one with the water.  Oh and the fish, and the turtles.  My favorite fish is the "trumpet fish" - skinny and long.  Very strange looking, but beautiful.

With swimming you are alone with the water.  Alone with the world.  Yet, one.  There is no noise in the water.  You can hear the chains that are attached to the buoys.  They clink.  They sound likes bells under the water.  Nice deep bells.  Not annoying at all.

I understand how people can be scared of the water.  A few years back, while competing in a triathlon, I had a panic attack.   I started out too fast.  There were too many people and I panicked. I was able to recover by flipping over on my back and got my breathing under control.  For the first time in my life, I understood how people could be scared of the water.  Until that point, I never understood it.

Water is a powerful force.  You are completely NOT in control.  After my surfing accident last summer (read Ocean Water Rescue)  I was humbled.  I was never scared and no Nolan, I did not cry.  It made me aware.  Aware that I wasn't in charge.

I'm simply amazed at the number of adults whom don't know how to swim.  Everyone needs to learn to swim.  EVERYONE.  PERIOD.  This planet is made up of more water than land.

Swimming is amazing.  Water is incredible.  And it's calling my name.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Working hard or hardly working

Most times, when you look at another persons life - we are usually envious.  Envy.  Jealously.  I think those are sins.  Other peoples lives always look better - or worse. 

Although we don't always pay attention to the worse.  We might catch it.  It might become part of our lives.  But when someone is living better than us - we feel sorry for ourselves.  How come they get to live that life???  What about me???

A child with cancer.  We aren't envious of them.  If fact, most people think "Thank God, that isn't me".  Come on be honest.  I track two blogs from moms whose children have cancer.  Quite honestly, I LOVE their blogs.  No, I do not love the fact their child has cancer.  I love their RAW, HONEST and brutal comments.  Life is SO sugar-coated these days. 

Life can suck.  Life can be depressing.  When we look at another persons life, it's easy to look at all that is good in there life.  We don't look at the hard stuff.

I read a quote from Dylan McDermott one time and it said (and I'm paraphrasing) "you get 20 bad years in your life, I just got mine out of the way".  He was referring to his childhood.  If you look at it that way in life - take your 20 years.  Truly, as a child, what you think is bad, isn't really all that bad (most of the time) - so go ahead and get it out of the way.  Of course, these are rambling generalizations.

The point of the story is:  another persons life ALWAYS looks better/worse than ours. 

We forget about behind the scenes:
  • No, the actors didn't walk on stage and perform that - they practiced.  
  • The Ironman winner - training is 40 hours per week.
  • The single mom - yes she has her freedom, but she has her lonely nights too.  Or maybe she doesn't have her freedom.
  • That event you attended that everything worked out perfectly - what went into that?
  • The woman whom doesn't have to work, has a nanny, and her kids are almost grown - her husband is gone M-F and has a girlfriend.
  • You work remotely, and sometimes remotely is from Hawaii.  It's still work and conference calls happen at 3am.
It's always looks easy from others eyes.   The trick or I guess the pattern in life, is well, make it work for you.  Live fast. Be grateful. Make it look like you are hardly working. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A local whom doesn't live here

Are you here for business or pleasure?  Do you live here or work here?  Yes.  That is the answer.  It's both business and pleasure.  It's living here it's not living here, but knowing people and knowing where to go.  Yes, I also work here - only all my clients are on the East coast.

For years, I've claimed to be "A local whom doesn't live here"  in Vail.  I LOVE Vail.   Of course, I love to people watch.  There is no better place to people watch.  I know the great local places.  The great tourist places.  Where to go for the best specials, the best foods and where not to go.  A local - only I don't live there.

Back in Kona.  Ahhhhhhhh.  An avocado was $1.29 at the DRUG STORE today - AND it was the size of a grapefruit.  No, I didn't buy it - I get them for free on the tree around the corner.  Poke (pronounced Po - kay) - fresh tuna sashmi style - $2.00 for 4 ounces - caught fresh TODAY.  Yum.  Only eat out at Happy Hour.  Everything is cheaper then.  Yummmmmm.

The funny thing about being in a place where you live somewhere, but you really don't is really the people.   We all know bartenders and wait staff have seen it all.  When you are in a tourist town, they have really seen it all.  What happened to me last night is usually the opposite of what happens.

In Denver (and probably most towns), if you go to the same restaurants/bars - they recognize you.  You get a little better service, they know how you tip and to watch out for you.

In new city, people don't know you.  But what about the city you living in, but you don't live in?  Here is where the difference begins.  I knew the bartender and a couple at the end of the bar.  I remembered them from my summer adventure.  They didn't recognize me.  (Maybe it is the fact that I didn't have a black-eye this time.  ;-) )

Tourist towns - the people must all begin to look the same.  All the stories are different - in a way, but yet all the same.

Today, Timeshare Paul recognized me.  He even gave me a hug.  I had tea with the people whom live in "my house".  They recognize me.

I have friends here, but I don't.  I know people, but I don't really know people.  And I'm just here for a short time.  BONUS:  I haven't gotten lost once.   I know my way around.  I'm a local whom doesn't live here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Webster defines passion as "the state or capacity of being acted on by external forces.  Intense driving feeling or convection.

Many times in life we confuse love with passion. 

Love is defined as "strong affection"  Or as a verb, "an object of affection"

The difference being strong vs intense.  Passion being ruled by external forces. Most people LOVE lots of things.  LOVE lots of people. 

PASSION - now this is where the numbers dwindle.  How many people do you know whom have passion in their life?  Are passionate about something?  I LOVE watermelon.  Not passionate about watermelon.

And we confuse the two. 

If we are lucky, we know passion.

An acquaintance of mine from years ago was recently told she could no longer practice judo.  Several diginitive  discs in her neck and back.  She's devastated.  Not only does she LOVE this sport - it is her passion.  She feels like the doctors have told her they have to remove a part of her.  And in truth, they do.

Think of all the opera singers, the musicians, the athletes whom LOVE what they do.  Actually, some of them might not love it, but they are good at it.  Others, it helps them breathe.  What about the teachers - the instructors of anything (musical instruments, singing, 4th grade math) whom are truly PASSIONATE about their job.  What's the old saying?  "Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life" 

My youngest son was fortunate enough to make the 7th/8th grade boys basketball team at school.  He's the shortest player on the team.  He probably sees one minute of playing time every OTHER game.  BUT, he's very very lucky.

The head coach is a mom at the school.  She played women's basketball at Princeton.  Then she coached there for a bit.  Her husband is the men's basketball head coach at Denver University.  He has the opportunity to learn from someone whom is still very passionate about basketball.  So passionate in fact, she was ejected from a game for yelling the referee.  Yes, that's right - yelling at the referee at a 7th/8th grade basketball game.  She was ejected and suspended for a game. 

The entire scenario made me laugh as it unfolded.  First of all, she was right.  The ref was wrong.  And she knew it.  And she couldn't let it go.  It's not a matter of right and wrong at that point - it was the passion.

My son has this great opportunity to be coached by someone whom truly is passionate about what they are teaching.

What do you love from 10 years ago?  From when you were a child?  Those things are harder to remember.  We love lots of things in our life.  Only a few know true passion. 

Love comes and goes - passion is forever.  Go find your passion.....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fasinating Person #1 2012

Vanessa Antrobus Quinn  - this one is for you!

My theme for the year is about the people I meet along the way.  And I MEANT the people that I met along the way THIS YEAR, but as we know not everything works out the way we want it too.

I never met you.  Met, yes, past tense.  I was not fortunate enough to meet you.

5 years ago today someone decided to commit suicide by police and took you AND 5 others with him.  A random senseless act of violence.  (Google her name - you can read the story.  Or click here for a direct link).  This happens to OTHER people.

Although you are no longer with us - you have effected our lives.  My life.  My sons lives.  I want you to know what you have been doing, while you are not here.

One of my dearest friends was married to you.  He misses you every single day.  I have felt his hurt and pain and know that only you could help this.  To see someone hurt the way he hurts.  I feel helpless.  Not something I feel on a regular basis.  This instance, I can't "fix".  I can't make it better.  I can't make it go away.  Almost the feeling a mother has for her child - please, just make it better.  You have taught me that some pain will never go away.  It will lessen with time, but there will always be a scar.

You have INCREDIBLE friends.  INCREDIBLE.  There are no words for our mutual friends.  I now have the joy of your friends in my life.  The Russo and Streeter kids are growing like weeds.  There are some new additions too.  And Petey even has a girlfriend.

I somehow missed meeting you in life.  So did my sons. The year after your death we went to your house.  And after our trip I told them your story.  I want you to know every year on your birthday and the day you died,  my sons reach out to Rich to let them know they are thinking of him.  In fact, they ask me, if they have the date correct.  (I don't think they know MY birthday, but they know yours).    They are now 12 and 14 year old boys.  Not many boys know compassion like you have taught my sons.

For whatever reason, I got back in touch with your brother in-law after many a years - literally 6 months before you died.  He was out of shape, over-weight and I told him he had to do a half-marathon with me.  If you hadn't died, he wouldn't have done it.  Thank you.  (He should thank you too, but well, he's not good at those things).  Now I have a memory of a weekend on Catalina Island, that I would have never had, if it hadn't been for you.

Even though we never met - this is what I do know about you:

  • You lived life to the fullest
  • You have incredible friends
  • You liked music that is embarrassing to admit to like, but you liked it anyway  ( and I REALLY like that about you)
  • Strey Dog and Jackson Dog are lovable (you raised them well!)
  • And for you to have loved Richie, well, we know you are even more special.  ;-)
Thank you for enriching my life.  Thank you for making my sons even better gentlemen than I had hoped or dreamed.  

We are here celebrating you.  Thank you.  Rest In Peace

Vanessa Antrobus Quinn  February 8th, 1978 – February 12th, 2007  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye

A 1951 novel.  A classic.  One of those books some people read sometime during 7th grade.

I never had to read the book.  (or at least if I was SUPPOSED to read the book, well, I didn't).

About 10 years ago - if not 12, I got this wild hair and thought I needed to read this book.  I don't really remember where it came from.  I THINK it was a suggestion from someone whom I worked with.

****SPOILER ALERT*****  I'm not going to tell you how the book ends, but I will discuss this book - so, if you don't want to know, you need to stop reading now. :-)

This book is very circular - in other words, it says the same thing over and over and over and over.  If you have boys or you are a boy, you understand this book better.  I'm a simple girl.  When I started this book, my sons were young.  I don't have brothers (unless you counts the ones I've claimed along the way) - I didn't grow up with boys around the house.  I couldn't relate.

I started this book when my sons were young.  It was okay.  HOWEVER, I felt it was a duty.  An obligation to read this book.  Not a very compelling reason to read a book!

We need to travel back in time.  I started this book.  I was married, I had two young sons and I was going to read The Catcher in the Rye.

I got divorced, I moved, I moved back into my house.

I started the book again.

I dated a fun guy once for a bit and we used to read bits of the book to each other.  He "got" the book - he had to read it earlier, and plus, well, he was a boy.

I moved to another house.

I moved the book with me...... And it was on my nightstand for YEARS. YEARS - literally, we are talking about a total of AT LEAST TEN.

For whatever reason, I couldn't get rid of the book.  I also knew, I would never finish the book.

I would try.  I would start reading and read a page or so.  Of course, I couldn't remember where I was in the book.  Truly, years had gone by......

Last summer, while packing up for the house swap, the book was on my night stand.  Of course, it was, it had never left. 

I'm taking this book with me.  And if it's the last thing I do, well, I'm finishing this book.  This is the summer.

Two other books to read, all these things I want to do.  And yeah, I'm supposed to not only finish a book I couldn't, but really I should start over.  Start at the beginning.  Start at the beginning of the book.

So, I did.

I started over.  3 weeks in - yes, you can guess it.  I think I'm on page 20....  Heck, I was further along than this when I started over....

Why do we always view starting over as a bad thing?  Do we think we will have the same outcome???

At the start of the 3rd week, the boys are with me, I've met new friends and life on the island is very busy.  Our new friends come for dinner (9 people total) - we grill out, we play games, we roast marshmallows - a perfect evening.

We are gathered around the campfire and my youngest son says "my mom reads the strangest books.  She read the Twilight Series". (we were talking about books).   Katy (a 16 year old) replies:  "You read the Twilight Series??? I read that in like 7th grade"  "Of course, it wasn't around when I was in 7th grade to read," I replied.  And Al (one of the friends) replies, "You know what's a really good book?  You need to read The Catcher in the Rye".  Seriously?  I met this man approx 72 hours before this moment, and he's telling me I need to read a book that has been on my nightstand for 12 years?

There were tears in my eyes. I said, "what did you say".  "Catcher in the Rye, now that's a good book."  WHAT?   And no, he hadn't seen the book on my nightstand.  (it's okay, you know you were thinking that).

I guess it was time to finish the book. 

I did finish the book - it took me until September - of the same year, but I finished.  And it was worth it.  I understand it much better having teenage boys.

Yes, it's a bit circular, but I now understand why you need to read it.

Yes, it's still on my nightstand.  Every time I look at it, it makes me smile.  It's up to us to decide, is the whole thing real?  made up?  or a little bit of both???

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I was supposed to..... Part II

It's funny how time changes things.

I have been home six months.  And now I'm mad at myself about summer. 

This WAS supposed to be a summer of change!  Reflection!! Yoga!!! Learning a new skill!  A new way of thinking!!! I WASN'T supposed to go back to the real world and not take with me the things I learned.

I'm mad.  I was supposed to learn something.  I was supposed to change my way of thinking.  If I could just have a month off, when I went back, everything would be ok.  My day to day life is wonderful and I would remember that - I just needed a break.

I wasn't supposed to come back the same person! 

Oh, that 's right.  I didn't.

And maybe that's why life seems a little more difficult than easier.  I changed, I grew, I learned and then I had to go back to my "real life".  - Not expecting pity - my life is great.  And for that, I will always be eternally grateful.  I have worked hard, and I am blessed with an incredible support system. 

I'm back and I do what we are supposed to do, but for a moment, the gypsy girl got to shine.  I'm over needing to be the #1 sales person in the company.  (I did that).  I'm over the shoes, the clothes, the cars, the "things" that "enrich" your life.  Truly, those things have always been things. 

My life is blessed and I am very fortunate that life has worked out for me so well.  I do give my self credit, I have worked hard to make it work out so well.

HOWEVER, the gypsy girl, whom I let out more and more each summer - is knocking at the door.  She wants more.  She is a drug that can't be fed.  She wants her flip flops, she wants her beach towel. She's having a temper tantrum.

Haven't I given enough???  That sounds SO selfish. 

Let the gypsy girl have her tantrum - then send her to her room.  She's pouting.  It's okay to pout.  Let the grown up worry about the bills, about the schedules, about, about, about.

And what feeds the gypsy girl best - no, it's not a trip.  It's planning the adventure. What she THINKS will happen....... That's all she really cares about.  Let her out to plan - to dream, to imagine and to remember.  Every day is a blessed day.  Every day is wonderful - just look for the "majic".  It happens in the most mysterious ways.....