I’ve Got Magic Beans

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(Image Courtesy of IMDB.com)

Is anyone else out there a Friends fan? *raises both hands*  It’s one of the only shows that my husband and I can always agree to watch, and believe me, we have watched it over and over again – a ton of times, over the years.  The other day, I was trying to figure out something to watch that I could fold laundry to (and yes, the laundry is still in a large heap on my couch), when I decided to start with Season 1 of Friends.  

Do you remember the episode (like the third or fourth of the first season’s discs), when Rachel is being asked by her credit card company’s if she is okay because she hasn’t been spending money like she used to?  Her response, after some initial freaking out because of a disastrous reunion with some old friends, is that she’s okay because she has magic beans….like (as Phoebe says) Jack from Jack and the Bean Stalk.

Now, I bring this up, not just because the show is awesome (it is SO awesome), but also because the epiphany came at a crucial moment in my life.  Lately, I have been giving some serious consideration to where I am in my life and whether or not I should be proud of what I have accomplished thus far, or rather be angry that I haven’t done everything that I thought I would have by now.

Do you remember those kids in high school that knew from infancy that they wanted to grow up to be a foot doctor or rainbow maker?  Well, I was not one of those kids.  (I had an inkling that I would love to be a writer, but that dream didn’t solidify until recently.)  I was the kid that even after a few semesters of college, enlisted in the Air Force, because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.

After doing that for a few years (about five), I separated from the Air Force, and moved to be with my husband in Italy. (I know, it was really tough.)  It took some time, but I finally was able to get a job in the Civil Service and have been doing that ever since.

Now, in this time we’ve also had the most gorgeous and smart little girl.  She’s amazing and I can’t figure my life at all without her.  (She keeps me on my toes and makes sure I earn my “mom-badge” daily.)

So, as I’m sitting there, not folding laundry, I’m thinking about my life and where I thought I would be when I reached the age I am, and I couldn’t help but feel a little…unsure.  I know of friends that I have (those dreaded perfectionists from high school) that knew their dreams and are now like famous in their chosen careers (probably have butlers to clean the rainbows they make in their spare time from solving world hunger), and it was hard not to think that maybe I could have tried harder.  Maybe things would be different today.

Well, then my daughter runs into the living room.  She crawls into my lap and gives me a big hug and tells me, “I love you, mommy.  You are so beautiful.”  (She must have heard me say this to her a million times, but I’ll take it.)  

I couldn’t help but smile into her big brown eyes and think, like Rachel, I’ve got some awesome magic beans!

I may not be the astronaut I thought I might be (I’m not really great at math), or the big-time lawyer I briefly imagined (seriously, they have to go to school for a LONG time!), but I have so much more than I thought I would.  I have a wonderful husband and daughter, a great job, and family and friends.  It doesn’t get much better. *smiles*

What about you?  Are you fulfilling all those dreams you had as a child?  Do you have some great magic beans?

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Look, I’m an Artist

Last night I went to an art class with my friend, Sandra, and we attempted to paint on canvas a painting entitled, “Winter Solstice.”  Here is what I came up with.  (Note:  I’m not showing you what the example looked like because I want you to be impressed. Haha!)

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Just before going to this class, my husband teased me about going to a finger-painting class, but you should have seen his face when I got home with this.  He thought that I had bought this painting and when he realized that I actually painted it myself, well…he was blown away.  I thought this was interesting, not just because it was flattering, but when I look at it, I can see every little thing that I did wrong.

You know, it’s a little funny that my life right now is all about art.  When I was in school, art was amongst my worst subjects because for one reason or another just annoyed me to no end. (I had a teacher once tell me that my drawing was horrible and that I should give up…so I kind of did.)

But that didn’t change my appreciation for art.  Growing up in Europe, I would be surprised if you didn’t have some enjoyment of art.  I’m not just talking about the wonderful art museums like the Louvre, but I’m talking about beautiful castles (like Burg Eltz, Neuschwanstein, or even Edinburgh Castle), wonderful food and wine (and yes, I think wine is an art), and amazing books. (I once got to visit the house of Sir Walter Scott – awesome!)

Given all of this grief that I got from attempting my own art, I think it’s amazing that I grew up into the person that I am; someone who is an artist.  Isn’t that funny?  Now, I hear the word, “artist” and immediately I think of someone who paints or draws…something like that.  But when I looked up the word on online etymology dictionary, it came up with, “one who cultivates one of the fine arts.” (Or master of the liberal arts.)  Isn’t that funny?  (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before but my degree is in Liberal Arts.)  As a child, I did everything I could to avoid learning art, but as an adult it is apparently what I readily embrace.

How about you?  Are you an artist?  What kind of art do you practice? 

I Know It’s Not Monday

ImageTGIF!!!  I don’t know about you, but this entire week has been off for me.  On Tuesday it felt like Monday.  On Thursday I thought it was already Friday….but Friday is finally here.  Whoot! 

It’s been a really good week in my family.  We’ve had some great news, little things, all week.  Not the norm at all, but I’m telling you I’m grateful, really.  Lasty year was not super great, so I’m excited about all the little things this year.

I don’t know about you, but Monday morning’s are really tough for me.  Having the alarm go off, you roll over and look and see that it’s already the next work week.  Getting motivated to get out of your nice, warm, bed can be difficult.  Enter the movie, “High Fidelity.”  Have you all seen this movie?  The part that I’m talking about (although the whole movie is really awesome) is when Jack Black comes into the record store with his “Monday morning tape.”  (Yes, cassette tape.)  Do remember the first song that he played?

 

Watching this moive a few weeks ago sparked a debate between my husband and myself about what the ultimate Monday-morning-movitating song would be?  I mean, let’s give this some serious thought. (Meanwhile, someone is either smirking at me at this point or banging their head on their desk.)

So, there we are, sitting on our couch, debating music and what would be the best song to get you going on a Monday.  My husband’s input was, “Holding Out For A Hero,” by Bonnie Tyler.  I have to admit, that’s a pretty good song.  I defy anyone to listen to this song and at least not have a small smile on your face.

I couldn’t think of anything to beat this at first.  I mean, I have a lot of favorite songs, but nothing that would be the ultimate in this category, I think.  Until this morning!

I was getting ready for my Friday, listening to the radio, when my vote for the Monday-morning song came on…..”Eye of the Tiger.”  Yeah!  I mean, who doesn’t get pumped listening to this song?

So now I ask, what do you think?  Do you have a song that helps you get going in the morning?  I would LOVE to hear from you!

Are you living your dream?

ImageI was reading a blog post from Kristen Lamb about moving from being an “aspiring writer” to a “professional pre-published writer,” and it got me thinking.  How many of us out there are actually living our dreams?

This is something that I think about a lot because now that I’m a mother, I want to tell my daughter to reach for her dreams – dream big and work hard for what she wants in life. I confess, though, that I’m hesitant to believe this too much because how many people out there are actually living their dreams?

As a child, I think our dreams a really different.  You want different things and you base your hopes off of a place that is more or less not in tune with expectations in the “real world.” (Does that sound cynical – I don’t mean to be.)  I guess what I’m saying is as I got older, I know that my dreams changed.  Not just because of life experiences, but also because the things that were most important to me changed as well.

What is it about working towards your dreams that frightens us so much?  I wonder if other people struggle with that like I do and if so, I would love to hear your story.  From my experience, I can tell you that I always kind of figured that writing was something that would never be a real job – one that paid the bills and all that.  But now, after spending some time in that “real” world, I can tell you writing is all I think about.

I wake up, go to work, come home; and in all that time, I’m thinking about writing.  Now, after some serious thought, I had decided that this year, 2014, would be the year that I put more action to my thoughts.  ACTION is the word this year.  I’m going to keep trying and see what happens – because if I don’t I’ll never know, right?

How about you?  Are you living your dream?  Maybe your dream isn’t a job, maybe it’s something else?  I would LOVE to hear from you!  Please share your story with me.