Monday, April 28, 2008

Any day but Monday

I am not a morning person, and I’m REALLY not a Monday person. So, considering that it’s early Monday morning and it’s raining, I’m in a funk I can’t seem to shake. I don’t want to sit in front of my computer all day writing about the pharmacokinetics of green tea and kava. I don’t want to answer e-mails or listen to voice mails. Instead, I want to curl up under a warm blanket on the couch, wrap my hands around a hot mug of chai tea, and watch movies all day.

In an effort to transform my grumpy mood into a more positive one, I’m going to write about some of the things that make me happy – big and small.

#1. My first cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. It might sound insignificant, but it’s one of those things you take for granted until it’s suddenly missing from your morning routine. Believe me, after a day or two with no caffeine, a cup of coffee tastes like heaven.

#2. Getting together with old friends or relatives and reminiscing about happy memories. Last weekend I went out with my parents and we talked about our old house in Warren and how sometimes we miss little things, like picking ripe peaches from our trees in the backyard and making homemade peach cobbler or ice skating on our pond. We also talked about our black lab Kelsey – the cutest, most lovable, and probably dumbest dog I’ve ever known.

#3. Voice mails from my sister. They are always several minutes long and absolutely hilarious. Instead of asking me to call her back, she records long, silly stories from start to finish. By the end, I’m usually laughing so hard that my cheeks are sore and my stomach hurts.

#4. Apple pancakes. The smell of apple cinnamon and the hot sizzle of the griddle is the closest thing I’ve experienced to time traveling. It instantly takes me back to grade school when I used to spend most of my summers at my grandma’s. Every morning my sister and I craved her pancakes – golden brown with sweet apple centers and warm maple syrup. Four or five pancakes later, we’d both be stuffed to the max and ready for mid-morning naps.

#5. Sunrise. I know I said I’m not a morning person, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty and calm of dawn. I purposely leave one curtain open at night so that the sun can slowly creep into my bedroom and kiss my face in the morning. The orange-red warmth that fills my room gently nudges me to get out of bed. It's definitely more pleasant than waking up to the startling sound of a high-pitched alarm clock.

After reading this entry over again (and listening to a couple of saved messages from my sister), my day is starting to feel a little brighter.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring fever

Everywhere I go, people are raving about the beautiful weather. Last weekend, virtually everyone was either washing their cars or gardening – two things New Englanders always do when they’re excited for summer.

Even though I’ve been fortunate enough to miss out on the cold winter months, I am still fired up for summer. I’m especially looking forward to:

  • My grandma’s potato salad
  • An hour before sunset
  • Cucumber and dill salad – fresh from the garden
  • Martha’s Vineyard vacation with the girls
  • Picking out a new bathing suit
  • Thunderstorms (especially after long, hot days)
  • Grilled vegetables and fresh corn
  • Farm stands
  • Picnics
  • Hold the Pickle sandwiches at Mt. Tom
  • Day parties
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Driving with the windows down and singing at the top of my lungs
  • Cheering on my mom at the Litchfield Hills Road Race
  • Day trips to Rhode Island
  • Fourth of July fireworks by the Charles River
  • A new apartment in the city
  • Long weekends at the beach
  • Rollerblading (or at least attempting and making my best effort not to wipe out)
  • Motorcycle rides
  • Early morning/late afternoon runs

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hello. Goodbye.

I love change. It’s been that way all my life.

When I was in nursery school, I desperately wanted to get a haircut before class pictures. When my mom said no, I grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped it off myself. Needless to say, my parents weren’t thrilled about my uneven, half-inch-long bangs.

When I was a skinny 11-year-old, I always wanted to make improvements in my room. Since I couldn’t paint the walls or buy new curtains, I settled for just moving things around. I constantly rearranged all of my furniture, including a full-sized canopy bed that was easily two to three times heavier than I was. After a long, exhausting day, I was finally satisfied – for a few months at least.

Today, I am much the same way. But lately, my changes have been bigger than just trying a new hairstyle or moving furniture around. In the last two years, I’ve moved clear across the country – twice.

Change can be scary, but I tend to feel excited more than anything. When I first moved to Los Angeles, everyone said I was crazy. With no money, no job, no car and no place to live, most people thought I was doomed for failure. But I wasn’t. Not even close.

Turns out, all I needed was a positive outlook and carefree attitude because everything just sort of fell into place. It didn’t take long before I fell in love with the palm trees, beaches, blue skies and sunshine. Who wouldn’t want to wear sandals and eat ice cream year round?

As a new college graduate, California was exactly the kind of change I needed. Most of my friends were moving away, ready to start their careers, while I was getting bored with the familiarity of the city and feeling very unsure of what I wanted in the years (or even months) to come. California offered a change of scenery and new challenges to distract me from the uncertainties of my rapidly approaching future in the “real world.” And so I was very excited (and only a little apprehensive) to meet new people, experience a new culture, and even feel my very first earthquake.

Now, nearly two years later, I’m planning another move – this time closer to the people who mean the most to me. But as much as I love change, I’m still sad to say goodbye.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"The times they are a-changin'"

Journaling is one of the few hobbies that has remained constant throughout my life. From the moment my thoughts spilled out onto the pages of my first journal, I was hooked.

Today, my bookshelf is filled with an eclectic bunch of old, mismatching notebooks that are weathered and dog-eared from their travels in and out of my purses, hand bags and backpacks. The content of these journals are equally as different as their bindings. Each book tells a story and reveals something new about me. When I was a fourth-grader who wore colorful scrunchies and jellies, I used to write passionately (exclusively in pink ink) about my slobbering Labrador puppy and my secret crush on a cute sixth grader. Over the years, I’ve written about everything from family and relationships to world issues and fictional tales.

For me, writing has, in a way, been a form of therapy. A way to vent. A way to reminisce about happy times. A way to understand myself better.

I love the whole cycle of filling up a journal, adding it to my shelf and searching for a new one. Once the ink reaches the bottom of the very last page, I can’t resist the urge to bend the pages back and let them go like a flip book. As I look at the hundreds of pages that were once blank, now filled with my thoughts, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I also look forward to picking out the perfect new book to document the next chapter in my life. Do I want lined pages or blank pages? Hard cover or soft cover? Solid colored or patterned?

But, since my bookshelf is now completely full, I’ve decided to change with the times and become a contributing member of cyberspace. It will take time to adjust to this open forum. After all, my entries are far from perfect – they are filled with angry scribbles, careless misspellings and a fair share of tear-stained pages. But I am happy to say that I’m now an official blogger with my very own url address. So, for now, I’m trading in my pen and paper for Arial font, spell check and hyperlinks.