Monday, September 26, 2011

Wear white pants at your own risk

The message here is pretty self-explanatory - if you wear white, odds are you won't make it through the day unblemished. Or, perhaps I should say, if I wear white, I will absolutely spill something on myself, have something spilled on me, or sit in something.

When my daughter was around 2 years old I was having an especially difficult time getting out of the house without oatmeal, yogurt or crushed up cheerios on my clothing, which seems fairly typical. We were in a toddler class and there was this woman in the class with not one, but two children under 4 years of age, and she consistently wore white pants. And they were consistently clean! How is that possible?

Well, now my daughter is 5 and slightly less messy, so this summer I took the bold step of buying white jeans. And they weren't from H&M or Old Navy, or even The Gap. They are fancy white jeans. I love the jeans, and I do think they look great, but I'm pretty sure they will soon disintegrate due to consistently being soaked in bleach and stain spray.

My most recent adventure in white pants happened just last weekend. I got through almost the entire day without a stain, and was feeling quite proud of myself, like I had finally passed some test and would now be able to wear light colored pants without fear. Not so. Mid-way through the evening I spilled. Having been through this many times before, my response was to not panic and deal with it later. My two friends, however, gasped in horror and immediately ordered me to remove the pants so they could deal with the stain(s). They sprung to action like laundry Wonder Twins, and soon my pants were covered in Shout or OxiClean and soaking in the sink where they belonged. The rest of the weekend brought much discussion about the best way to remove stains and whether or not the pants should be put in the dryer (good heavens, NO!).

I am happy to report that the pants have been saved and will live to see another summer.

I feel very blessed to have wonderful friends who will be there for me in good times, bad times and laundry emergencies.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cut people some slack – you don’t know what they’re going through

This is a tough one, because it doesn’t mean you should be a doormat or take crap from people, but I have learned in the last couple of years that, in many cases, people you see on a daily basis are dealing with tough life situations.

I am going through a divorce. Generally speaking, it is a very amicable situation, but it is still really hard, and there are still days that I have trouble dealing with life in general. There are days when I wish I could wear a sign that says “PLEASE JUST GIVE ME A BREAK TODAY!” As I have been dealing with my own situation, it has opened my eyes a bit. I can remember a day when I was struggling to keep myself together, and I ran into a friend while dropping off my daughter at preschool. She didn’t know of my issues, and when I asked how she was she mentioned that her family was going through a rough time because her mother-in-law was in the hospital with cancer and they didn’t know if she would pull through. Suddenly I was pulled out of my own world of hurt and into another’s. I realized that we all have things on our mind – family issues, personal struggles, whatever – and it has an effect on how we carry ourselves and how we live our lives.

The next time someone you work with is short with you, or the barista at the coffee shop isn’t as friendly as you think he should be, cut him some slack. Maybe he has something heavy weighing on his mind.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Don't be a miserable, angry, negative person

I recognize that starting a post with "Don't be" sounds a bit negative, but I want to be clear that I'm not saying you have to be an ultra positive, rose-colored glasses person. In my opinion, reality falls somewhere between Pollyanna and Eeyore. I consider myself to fall somewhere in the middle of the pessimist-optimist spectrum, but I would hope that if one has to lean toward one or the other, she would lean toward the positive.

Speaking of the negative end of the spectrum, I recently had the unfortunate experience of working with one of the most miserable people I have ever met. Let's call her the Wildebeest to protect her identity. She was openly rude, condescending and disrespectful. Every experience I had with the Wildebeest was negative, even though I tried my best to remain diplomatic and emotionally even. She entered every meeting in attack mode, even when there was nothing to attack. This was frustrating, but she was my client, and sometimes clients act this way to make themselves feel important. However, I soon learned that this attitude was not confined to her work life. One day before a meeting, the group was making small talk about vacations. Wildebeest complained, at length, that she and her family just took too many trips to Hawaii. The Wildebeest ranted, "How many times can you go to Hawaii? I mean, aren't there beaches in other countries we could go to?"

Who complains about having to take a trip to Hawaii? Really? I can understand talking to your spouse about trying out a new vacation spot, but I do not understand complaining to strangers about this problem.  If the biggest problems in your life are too many trips to Hawaii, and broken windshield wipers on your Range Rover, just keep your mouth shut.

I feel bad for the Wildebeest, because anyone who is the way she is cannot be happy, the people close to her cannot be happy, and that is a shame. Perhaps she should read my post about being a thankful person. She might just improve her life, and give those around her a little break.

The bunny in the photo really says it all. Miserable, angry, negative people - You suck and that's sad.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Be a Thankful Person

When I was in my early 20s (like, 2 years ago), a recruiter gave me a jar that said "Blessings" on it. The idea was that I should write down things I'm thankful for on little strips of paper and put them in the jar. Then, whenever I'm feeling low I can look in the jar and be reminded of the blessings in my life. I never wrote anything down (frankly I thought the jar itself was kind of stupid), but I do believe in the idea behind it.

Even though we all gripe and  moan about how difficult our lives are (like when it takes 45 minutes to get our delivery pizza instead of 30), we do have many, many things to be thankful for. Remembering the blessings in our lives can encourage us when times are rough, and humble us when times are great. Today, I am particularly thankful that I live in Los Angeles and it is 70 degrees in February.

And, being a thankful person can help save you from being a miserable, angry, negative person, which will be the subject of my next post.