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Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday And Finding Your Happy Space

The Thanksgiving Holidays are over and here I sit, in front of my computer ready to start the next Holiday season with a few purchases bought online.

I find the Monday after the Thanksgiving break to be one of the most difficult days for the empty nest parent.  The kids have returned to their college or just back to their own towns and the transition is odd, to say the least.  The house is quiet...too quiet.  You are tired from cooking and entertaining and yet, somehow, you are hungry!  There are a million things to do as the Holiday season is just around the corner.  And yet, don't you just feel like taking a long soak in the tub or spending the afternoon at the spa?!

My holidays were different this year as two of my three children spent the break at my sister's house.  They are much closer in vicinity to her home and we discovered that flying home for Thanksgiving from college is too expensive and not really worth the hassle of flying in such a busy time.  They enjoyed spending time with their cousins, relaxing, laughing, going to movies and sporting events.  They called a couple of times to see how 'ole Mom was holding up, too.  My oldest son Andy and his fiance, Kim, kept us company for Thanksgiving dinner and one other evening.  My husband had a lot of work to do during the holiday weekend, so I was left alone to read and spend time with Wrigley.  My transition was not as difficult as it must have been for so many other empty nest Moms, but I still have an odd feeling in my gut today.  My sister and me describe this feeling when we are attempting to find 'our happy space'.  The happy space is the place we mentally take ourselves when all is not completely right in our world but we are coping and making ourselves happy in some fashion.  The thought is, if we are in our happy space, then we can make it all better for those people around us.   There are a lot of ways to get into the happy space.  Some people exercise; although I honestly can say, that doesn't work for me.  That only takes me to my 'sore place'!  Some people dive into the details of the upcoming Holidays.  As long as you like doing Holidays details and not just avoiding the lonely, sad feelings than sometimes come with empty nest transitional periods, then I say...have at it.  You are probably my friends who get their cards out early and already have their Christmas trees up! I enjoy the Holiday details, but not quite yet.  I prefer to wait until it's December.  Diving into work and your career can keep you busy and maybe will take you to your happy space, but that never worked for me, either.  And so, for the rest of us in the world desperately looking for our happy space, we turn to SHOPPING!  Isn't that how 'Cyber Monday' all started, anyway?  No, I know it's not how it all began (I read the papers),  but I am hoping I will find some really unique gifts for family members and friends today online.   

Now, where to begin?  Maybe I will shop In Rome (Italy, not Georgia!) or London.  I would really like to know where the young investment bankers living in NYC like to shop, and then visit those websites.  Anyone have any suggestions for me?

An excellent choice, of course, is to shop from the 'WORTH Collection' from me or my sister!  Email me at and I will help you with your gift buying.  You can see the Fall and Winter lines at  This would actually put both you and me and maybe even my sister, into our 'happy spaces' all at the same time!

I think one of the best items this year to give any woman on your list is a scarf and Worth has so many beautiful ones this time of year.  There are silk ones, soft cashmere ones and warm woolly ones and they all come in this beautiful silver box.  And they are cheap to mail when your loved ones live far away.  I think in the next couple of days, I will show them all to you.  You're welcome!

Seriously, I hope you all find your happy spaces today and anyone who has gone through yet another empty nest transition period, that you are well and coping.  We deserve to feel good and happy on this 'Cyber Monday'!    

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Friday, November 12, 2010

What Car Best Decsribes Who You Are?

1995-1998 Ford Explorer photographed in USA. C...Image via WikipediaMore than most items we use in our lives, the automobile identifies who we are as a person, or at least who we want people to think we are anyway.  As an empty nest Mom, the car no longer functions like it used to.  In years past, the car's sole function was to run the kids to and from all their various activities and I was the driver.

Function mattered first, so I had an SUV like so many parents lugging soccer players and their equipment to games and tournaments.  I choose an economical vehicle to show my thrifty side (yes, I do too have one!), but then added a cool grill and wheels.
A cropped version from via Wikipedia

As soon as my kids drove themselves to practices and to school, I opted for a sports car, a little BMW.  I liked the way it handled but I also liked having the BMW label on the car, too.  Truth be known, in a blind test I'm not sure I could always pick the nicer car by the way it handles, but that was the line I always used.

Then, for awhile, I was driving Bill's new Lexus, which really is a smooth ride and so easy to drive.  Having driven stick shift for so many years, I kind of like sitting back and mindlessly driving in this car.  I used to always say I liked stick shift so much better and I did enjoy using less gas.

About 1.5 years ago, I decided to try not to drive at all.  I was personally going to save the world by walking everywhere, buying my groceries online at, but then it was 110 degrees for almost 45 days in a row and most of my willpower melted away.

I love seeing how people's cars match their personality: my old boss's wife was a very elegant woman and see matched perfectly with the steel blue jaguar she drove.  We have a larger friend who likes to hunt and his big, white pickup truck (covered in mud) fits him to a tee.  Not that we can always afford 'what car would look best on us'!  But if you could pick any car in the world to represent who you want others to see....which make and model would you choose?  My choice?  That's easy............the Fiat 600 Jolly!  And why is this car so LIKE ME? Well:

It's adorable and unique, just like me. 
They don't make them anymore (I am pretty sure they threw away the Beth model years ago, too).
They are not very practical;
They don't run very well.........all attributes just like me!

Look.............feel free to say awwwwhhhhh!!!

Aren't I, I mean, isn't it just the cutest thing you have ever seen? Even my  its name is cute and fun.

There's like 700 of them and a few are for sale.  I saw one recently that was calling me, but at $43,000, I couldn't answer it.

Tell me what car best defines you and which car your friends think best defines you. 

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Wonder What Tonight's News Will Be Focused On?

I dread watching any news channel tonight.  You just know the whole time will be allocated to tomorrow's midterm elections.  Now, since I am a fiscal conservative, you might think I would be excited because many are predicting some wins for fiscally conservative governors and Congress people, but I am not.  Instead, I am focused on the embarrassingly HUGE amount of money spent on these midterm elections.....simply to convince the American public to vote for one politician over another. And the commercials do this with low class, stupid-sounding, word-bite style commercials.  I personally hate them all.  I hate them almost as much as I despise the bandit signs that make a visual mess out of every street corner in America.  I heard one reporter recently stating that without these road campaign signs, 60% of the public wouldn't know who to vote for.  Are you kidding me?  Do they choose candidate # 1 because they like the color royal blue, too?  We cannot be that dumb as a nation, but I keep hearing that we are.

So, if there was a way to hold every candidate to exactly $1 million dollars for telling the public who they really are, what they stand for and ask for their vote, hear are my suggestions of what all the millions and millions of dollars could be spent on:

1) Buying beds for places like the Sojourner Center in Phoenix for women who have suffered domestic violence;
2) To supply books and study guide materials for every underprivileged school in the US;
3) To fill the food banks like St. Vincent de Paul's so that many families can enjoy meals during the holidays;
4) To provide relief to children in Haiti and Honduras;
5) Or maybe, to your local Ballet company.

I also think if they were somehow held to a small amount, they would be very careful what and how they explain who they are.  Like writing a honors thesis or like your public speaking final in the third grade.  

You must feel outraged, too!  I know....there are just so many things to be outraged about these days.  Maybe I'll stick a movie in tonight and try not to think about it!    
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