Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grace in Relationships

A few months ago, my grandmother passed away.

She was her own person through and through, and you always knew where she stood and what she thought about a particular food, fashion trend, or person's character.

She did not mince words, my grandmother.

During the last months of her life, I admit I visited her more often than ever, if only to burn the memories of her into my mind. Often, my sister and I went together to see her together.

Among the things my grandmother told us was that she regretted was not having spent more time with the two of us. And that hit me, hard.

It's cliche to say that our time here is so finite, and precious. But it's true.

And I'm still amazed at how much we -- really, I -- let it slip by. Even with the best of intentions to spend more time doing things we enjoy for and with people we care about.

So I've adapted my resolution to have more fun this year to have more fun with the people I love.

And I intend to make that a theme that remains in my life forever.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Out Having Fun

In keeping with this year's resolution to have more fun, the past week has been a barrelful.

Organized a dinner out with my girlfriends before an impending snowstorm. The company and conversation kept us enthralled for two hours on a cold, rainy night.

Went to see A Single Man - beautifully shot and acted, with set design that just dropped you into 1962 and let you swim around in it a while. I hope that Tom Ford's maiden voyage in cinema isn't his last.

Met a new artist during a bead show that reminded me you have to do those things you love. So often, we do what we should do, nd not necessarily the things that bring us joy.

Finished a friend's necklace which I hope the new owner enjoys.

Struck up a conversation with a shop owner this weekend who mentioned she hasn't seen television in three years, that instead, she spends time her time only in the present moment, engaged in conversation with people in real life that she knows and cares about. Such a simple thing, but really, sensible.

And then, ate way too much during ravioli night with my family, enjoying the antics of my niece and nephew, and sleeping through the night for the first time in months.

I love when days are jammed full of moments like that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

You Are What You Do

The things you spend the most time doing are what make you you.

I keep this front-and-center this time of year, when I find myself slipping into complaint mode...

What about? You name it.

About wearing wool again.

About the wretched weather.

The lack of sun, the overabundance of root vegetables in wintertime recipes, the absence of inspiration and celebration.

Surprisingly, I've been doing pretty well with my New Year's Resolution.

Already I've seen more movies with friends in the past month than during the previous six.

Enjoyed more impromptu get-togethers, moments of herbal tea appreciation, good reads, great music and funny people.

The winter storm warnings hang over my head like a storm cloud, ready to rain on my parade. But I'm pushing them aside.

By tomorrow, I want to devise a list of 5 fun things I can do each work- or snow-day that involve zero calories.

Any ideas? Share 'em in the comments!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Resolution

Last year it was a list of To-Dos that didn't get done, so this year I've boiled down all that I want to accomplish into a single resolution. One that's elegant in its simplicity and chock-full of reward. And here it is:

Have More Fun.

That's all. In some ways, it's sad, isn't it? That I'd let life veer off into a groove that had worn itself so deep as to become a rut.

A rut I revisited over and over again this year.

Wake up.


Eat at various times.



As Gretchen Rubin points out in her book The Happiness Project, the days are long but the years are short.

In 2009, various things occurred, many of them not-fun. So that by the end of December, it felt like I shook myself out of the little fog I'd been in, and realized, another Christmas was here.

I'd like the next year to be different from the last one. Sure, there were good things that happened, but overall, Mr. Spandrel and I agreed that 2009 could be shown the door and never come back again, thank you very much.

So far, aside from already having much more fun in just the first few weeks of January, my little resolution has had a beautiful side benefit.

It's been a blast to watch the faces of the few people I've told this to in person, because a lightbulb goes off and they smile... and they agree that it will join their already-crowded lists of resolutions.

And that is just so much fun.