Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let's Do The Time Warp Again

Yesterday I visited the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with my daughter. Gorgeous place. The weather was perfect, the students were perfect (in that bouncy blond ponytail sort of way.) We got a personal tour of the journalism school from a professor who was also perfect—warm, inviting, enthusiastic.

I would have expected to feel a little wistful, wishing for a do-over. But this experience was so much about my daughter—and about a time in life that is all hers—that it only made me excited for her. (Plus, I have no interest in living in a cell, sitting in a stall every time I have to pee, and sleeping in a bunkbed with a tattered couch and pile of dirty clothes underneath. Or having to walk five minutes in the pouring rain just to eat breakfast with 200 other people.)

Looking backward didn't make me wistful; it made me appreciate how my own choice of college and career worked out so well for me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happiness...It Doesn't Just Happen

Yesterday I got an email from a blogger I've never heard of—at least I don't think I have—named Gretchen Rubin. She's got a very cool blog called The Happiness Project www.happiness-project.com, and unlike SOME people we know, she posts everyday about her pursuit of joy and fulfillment. Good pursuit. Much better than accepting a lack of joy and fulfillment, which we all do at some time or another.

Rubin's blog shares a lot of the sentiment behind The List. Primarily, it promotes the idea that happiness stems from taking action and doing the unexpected — and that it doesn't have to be a grand life-altering move, either. (Although as we've seen in The List, big steps often lead to big-time fulfillment).

Her April Fool's prank, for instance, was as big a kick for her as it was for her kids, even though it took very little effort. She had started a tradition of celebrating holidays at breakfast, so on April 1st, she dyed the kids' cereal milk green, and shocked them when she poured it into their bowls. They all laughed as their teeth and tongues turned green. That's a great start to the day, if you ask me. And holiday breakfast is a great tradition.

Pursuit is the key here. Happiness, and the shakeups that often lead to it, don't just fall in our laps. We make them happen. Rubin's blog is a nice reminder of that.

And Gretchen, if in fact we just had dinner together and I don't remember the good time we had, let alone your name, I'm really sorry for being such a dunderhead. Seems the older I get, the more those things happen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And the Award Goes to...

This week's big news is that Peg was chosen as a finalist for a National Magazine Award (the magazine industry's Oscar) for a fantastic expose she wrote on hysterectomies for More magazine. This is a really big deal. Peg's thrilled just to be in the running; I'm thrilled because I think she has a really good shot...and because now she's got a reason to splurge on new clothes. Whether or not she wins (the ceremony is on April 30), the industry she's worked in for two decades has publicly acknowledged her talent.

Once again, proof that recognition and achievement are things of the future, not just the past. If you've walked away with a statue, tiara or any other prize for your talent lately, don't be shy. Share the good news with us.

Meanwhile, fingers crossed for Peg.

Friday, March 13, 2009

3 for 3

Pat heard from Sarah Lawrence...now she's gotten into all three MFA programs. One even threw her some money. If it were me, I'd be Sally Field-ing all over the place. But Pat's not me, thank God. She's celebrating quietly with friends and family, and not the free world. So I'm doing some bragging for her.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pat's Personal Stimulus Package

Great news (imagine that!): My friend Pat got into two of the three MFA programs she applied to. She heard from Columbia and the New School last week, and she's still waiting to hear from Sarah Lawrence. It was so exciting, you'd think she'd won the lottery (okay, maybe not that exciting, but certainly cause to kvell). The amazing thing is that it was only four months ago that she first starting thinking about this, and now she's on her way. She went out and got what we all could use right now: validation and the promise of new beginning. If she'd won the lottery she wouldn't have to worry about how to pay for it...but she'll find a way. This is too good to pass up.