Message from the Universe: “Don’t Take for Granted This Thing Called Life”

The other day after Zumba, one of my workout friends told me about a friend of hers who recently died in her sleep. Her body wasn’t discovered until four days after she passed on. She was 71 and had four sons, but was living alone.

My friend was shaken because she’s not that much younger than her friend. Also, her friend had shown no signs of failing health and was “perfectly fine” when they met up for lunch the previous week. Shouldn’t there be signs when one’s time is coming to a close?

Every now and then, the songs that play on my Pandora station or radio seem to contain a message from the Universe. For example, lines from a song by Anything Box keep playing in my head: “Don’t take for granted / this thing called Life.” In the context of my friend’s news, I realize how unprepared I am if I were to die suddenly, that I need to be more mindful of how I spend my days, and that I need take care of a few things sooner vs. later. After all, there’s no guarantee that I’ll reach the average US female life expectancy of age 78.94.

Here are some things that come to mind: Continue reading

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Behold the Starbucks January Tumbler—the Holy Grail of Creativity

Starbucks January 2017 Tumbler

Starbucks January 2017 Tumbler

One of the Christmas gifts HB received was the Starbucks January tumbler, which can be used to get a free grande brewed hot coffee or hot tea through the month of January. It’s the perfect gift for him because he likes his coffee black, and like most people, he depends on coffee to get him going in the morning and sometimes as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Since he works downtown, there’s a Starbucks on every other block, so using the tumbler is no big deal, right?

This year, however, he’ll be working in various locations, which means it’s more effort to keep track of his tumbler and to make sure he’s maximizing his usage. And so, he has passed the Starbucks tumbler to me. He knows that I don’t like wasting things (almost to the point of it being an OCD), and I’ve just figured out a plan. Continue reading

Happy New Year Personal Reset (How I Lost 5 lbs. in 2 Days, Gained Back 4, and Lost It All Again—One Month Later)

Sometime before last Thanksgiving, my trainer gave me 2 days worth of Orenda Clean trial packs to try out. I was skeptical and leery about using it. First, it’s from a company that appears like a pyramid organization, which I despise on principle. Second, I noticed the powder mixes contain stevia, which I also dislike. Third, it had before/after pictures of people losing 40 pounds after using the program for 90 days—which made me wonder, is this weight-loss sustainable, or will I gain everything back (and then some) once I return to regular food. I put the packets in my drawer and forgot about them.

After the New Year, my trainer asked me if I’d tried the samples. I told him that I had been saving them for after the holidays and was planning to try the very next day. (Liar-liar-pants-on-fire, who got caught and was trying to save face.) So I kept my word and did the program for two days and was amazed at the results. Continue reading

The Urge To Purge

At Zumba this past Wednesday, a woman gave the instructor some magazine clippings. They must have had something controversial about exercise or dieting because the instructor asked, “When were these articles published?”

Turns out they were from 1991.

So the instructor said to the woman, “I appreciate that you took the time to clip these articles for me, but do you realize that they’re twenty years old? You don’t need to keep things like these. Take all those old magazines to the recycling center. You’ll feel so much lighter and freer…” Continue reading

May Discoveries

Can’t believe May is practically over. Although there’s still a week and a half left of school, I think everyone’s already checked out and ready for summer. There are no more math homework sheets or spelling tests to prepare for. Just the RAH-RAH (“Read At Home” daily reading of student’s choice), and even that seems optional.

Oddly enough, the Princess seems to want to play “school” when she’s at home—she prompts me to ask her math and spelling questions. I can’t help but laugh inside when I think, wait and see what Meanie Mommy has in store for you this summer…bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

So what did Mama Sophia learn this month? Continue reading

Missing Out On What’s In Front of You

One of my friends posted an article by Bill McGee on Facebook about a social experiment done in January 2007.

A man was playing his violin at a D.C. Metro subway station. Most of the people just walked past him. Only a handful lingered to listen for a little, but would then move on. Children often wanted to slow down and listen, but their parents would hustle them along. He played six Bach pieces nonstop, and about 20 people dropped a few coins or a bill, netting him a total of $32.

When he finished in an hour, there was no applause or any sign of recognition. “No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.”

Continue reading

Time for Piano Lessons or Not?

It’s very easy for parents to go overboard on planning activities for their kids. You want to give them the best you can, opportunities to learn new skills and to meet/interact with people. But sometimes you just need to respect a child’s need to have some quiet time, rest time.

I definitely think the Princess has a full schedule—tae kwon do on Monday and Saturday, speech on Tuesday, Korean dance and drumming on Wednesday, and Korean language class on Thursday. Her free days are Friday and Sunday. Last week she said to me, “I’m so glad it’s Friday. We can just stay home.” What can I say to that? It sure sounds like she feels that she has a full schedule.

Right now, I’ve been fighting pressures to make the Princess take piano lessons. Continue reading