Friday, December 31, 2010

525,600 minutes......

Exactly how does one measure a year?

I like to think it comes down to that age old question, what do you want to be when you grow up? Now for many little boys and girls the answer would range from doctor, to lawyer, to even the winner of American Idol. As adults these dreams shift to the reality of bills, children, and a steady stream of schedules and agendas to be kept. Work becomes just, and each year is measured by how much of it we accomplish.

For me as a child I always wanted to be a superhero. I had dreams of flying around saving the world in a smart leotard type costume that deflected bullets and brought out my eyes. Over Christmas my mother reminisced about how myself and my brother now sister would play Wonder Woman. I informed her that I was always Wonder Woman since I was the oldest, so that meant that Marina got to be Wonder Girl. In response to her consternation I replied "hey it seemed fair to me at the time." I suppose you could say I have spent the better part of my adulthood chasing this dream, as my friends know I was quite fond of creating an "alter ego." But I got my first "big boy" job, as my mother likes to call it, this year and I suppose that would mean childish fantasies should fade to the background right? WRONG

Don't get me wrong this year I worked.....boy did I work. But from my perspective the work I am doing is not that far off from my superhuman aspirations. As a wise person some where once said if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. I work in an industry where we dispense one of the most powerful super powers out there. That elusive but powerful charm is hope. Now I know people are a little burn out with that whole "hopey changey" thing but remember how you felt at election time. No matter what side of the aisle you were on you had hope. Hope that things would be better in the following years, hope that your children and grand children's future would be secure, hope that the next guy wouldn't be a complete idiot, you had hope and you had it in spades. The secret though.....and you don't have to spend a crap ton in college for this one.....we all have access to this wondrous "super power." It simply boils down to how you choose to see tomorrow, attitude is a choice.

So obviously if you didn't have a great 2010 you are thankful for it's end and hoping for a better future. Well I'm here to tell ya getting hit by a bus is completely random and likely fatal. None of us are promised tomorrow, so perhaps over the next year we should all not only seek, but dispense hope. I challenge myself and all you "Super Friends" out there to channel your inner super hero. Find the beauty and fun in the mundane, post something inspirational on Facebook that has nothing to do with you or your life. Commit a random act of kindness, for example Derek is fond of paying for the order in line behind him at the drive through at Chic-Fila. Anything that fills you and your fellow man with hope, I promise it beats x-ray vision anyday.


You are beautiful.

I recently posted a question on Facebook asking what or who makes folks feel beautiful. Living in a world that places such a high value on youth and appearance imagine my pleasant surprise at the responses. Most everyone mentioned a loved one or another human being that made them feel special. It warms my heart to know that there is so much love and beauty out there that is not based on narrow perceptions of what people "should" look like.

It has always been my approach to encourage others to recognize their own beauty without accouterment. As my Nana used to say makeup is just puttin a lil paint on that ole barn. I love my Nana, she is the most glamorous woman I know. A cosmetologist for 40+ years now in the evening of her time on earth. I don't mention her age because she is after all a southern lady and still has that fly swat with my name on it. Her health is not what it once was and I worry about her, but I consider myself fortunate to be the grandchild of the most glamourous woman in Davidson County. She has always made me feel special and loved.

Getting back to the topic at hand the idea of beauty, while a feminine concept I think it has more universal appeal. We all want to feel attractive, loved, and special. If you do not have someone that does that for you let me say right here and now you are beautiful. Now don't start arguing with me or walking away, it's true you are. We were all created as special and glorious beings capable of amazing feats. The more I work with varying populations the more I see how beautiful the human family is, and sadly how many don't know it. The media does a good job of telling us what is beautiful but again I think back to my Nana.

She came of age in a time of radio and no People magazine or in her case the Enquirer....I did mention she was southern right? Values were different and the measurement of what made a person beautiful was too. I hope to always see the world through that lense, you know the one that says true beauty comes from the inside. Now before you roll your eyes I would point out that when queried most of my responses about this subject had to do with how people made them feel....not a tube of lipstick or a snazzy outfit. As 2010 comes to a close and the pulse of the electronic age quickens I challenge myself and others to remember, we are all beautiful, and no ad, commercial, or skinny b@#$h with a latte can tell us different.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

OK let's try this again.....

A year ago I created this blog in a fairly reactionary manner in response to a major transition in my life. The cosmetic brand I had worked for some ten odd years was closing and I was feeling a loss of identity and purpose. Fast forward to a year later and a lot has changed. I got married to Derek, I got my first professional job in human services, AND I finished a Masters degree. I know....SLOW DOWN, however stopping to enjoy the moment has often been a challenge for me as am sure it is for many others in the age of information.

Ergo this blog will be my effort to do just that, to stop and reflect on my life and the things in it that bring me joy. My choice to do so in a public forum is to share them with others for that is what I do. Much like my mother I am a storyteller and a teacher. My hope is that by sharing my passions with the electronic world I will in some sense fulfill that need and that anyone reading may find some benefit.

To that end my passions will frequently range from cooking, to social and mental health issues, but of course my obsession for all who know me, makeup. There is something amazing and astonishing about the transformative power of makeup. In my thirteen years as a retail makeup peddler I learned skills that would eventually be invaluable as a counselor. Certainly I understand the common perception of the frivolity of cosmetics, but I would challenge anyone to tell that to the woman who has lost all her eyelashes and eyebrows to chemotherapy, or the teenager that is suicidal because of her cystic acne. The mall was my battlefield and it broke me in quite well. But now thanks to the wonders of YouTube and the world wide web I can do it on my own terms.

In regards to food, well in my family food = love. So to share things that I think are yummy is to give anyone reading a big ole bear hug. And not just to give you one, but to mean it. So I may from time to time post recipes and the like or maybe just a great new restaurant.

Finally in regards to mental health and social issues, I must admit I have the spirit of an activist. I feel passionate about LGBT issues, addiction as a disease, poverty, and any other sort of inequity that is generally ignored by the mainstream. My husband says I get "preachy" so I will apologize in advance.

Most importantly thank you for taking time out of your day, be it personal or while at work, to read my random musings.