Monday, February 25, 2013

Size Really Doesn't Matter

I have some earth-shattering news to share with all you ladies out there.  We are fooling ourselves each and every day with our negative self-talk about weight loss.

You know how it is, every morning you look in the mirror or step on the scale, and the negative thoughts start coming.  "I wish I could fit into my 'skinny' pants."  "Ugh, my belly is so fat!" "Why oh why did I eat that piece of cheesecake last night?"  My own usual thought was:  "If only I could lose ten pounds, I would be so much happier."

Guess what ladies?  I lost ten pounds.  But I'm shocked to realize that losing ten pounds has not made me a bit happier.  It has not changed my outlook at work, made me feel uber-confident giving presentations, made me feel more comfortable meeting clients for the first time.  I'm not happier in my personal life, more apt to go out late on Friday nights - none of the lies I have told myself over the years are true!  There is a bit of a thrill in putting on pants a size smaller than usual, but that thrill lasts just long enough for the next self-destructive thought: "Well, I'm sure I won't be this size for long..."

We need to learn to love ourselves, no matter what our size.    

Friday, September 21, 2012


Have you ever had a moment where time unexpectedly stood still?  I'm not talking about your wedding day or the birth of your first child.  I mean a time when something suddenly hit you and your mind had to take a moment to process?  

A few years ago, I was experiencing health problems.  I was at the University of Michigan hospital, worried about a procedure.  My eyes were down as I walked through the hallway; I did not want to be there, I did not want to be alone.  Already late for my appointment, I found myself lost in the expanse of the hospital corridors with no sense where my appointment was.  I stopped for a moment in front of an old photo on the wall, looked up, and paused.

The photo was of medical students from 100 years earlier, students who had studied at the University of Michigan medical school.  They were so earnest in their work, so serious.  For a moment I stood stock-still, people had to walk around me.  I did not care.  The picture mesmerized me.  Although the students' clothing was dated, their faces looked just like any other student today.  One student in particular was looking at the camera, looking at me.  I stared at that student and thought: what was he thinking when that photo was taken?  Was he worried about an exam?  Thinking he did not fit in, that he was not at smart as everyone else in the room?  Was his mind elsewhere, was he thinking of the cute girl he had met the day before?  In that moment, I was stricken by the fact that we think of our grandparents, our great-grandparents as an outdated species that could be nothing like us.

Boy, is that wrong.

Tonight, my husband and I watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire, set in the 1920s. (Don't judge our HBO habit).  The final scene was an early-morning shot in which the citizens of Atlantic City lined the coast to catch a glimpse of the first female aviator to fly the span of the continent.  Um, that was strange.  Just today at work I had an email saying "Look outside!  The space shuttle should be overhead soon."  A co-worker told me that he had been coming back from court to find cars parked on the side of the freeway, people on the grass looking at the sky.  The space shuttle was flying by.  Literally, we are the same as those who have gone before.  

Let's not forget to pause.  To catch our breath.  Life is short.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Climbing Out A Window

A few days ago, an package appeared on my doorstep.  Joy of joys, always means a new book!  The problem was, I did not remember recently placing an order.  Not one to ask questions when a new book is looming, I ripped open the package and there it was- a book I had ordered months ago but forgotten about:  The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.  Greg's German colleagues had recommended it during one of his visits to Munich, and I had been waiting for the English translation to become available.

The book is intriguing- a man is scheduled for his 100 year birthday party when he realizes his life is far from over, he does not want to be in his nursing home another minute, and out the window he goes (he must have been spry for 100).  How many times have we, in our lives, wanted to do just what that man did?  Escape our reality - escape work deadlines, upset children, financial responsibilities - if only long enough to catch our breath before we get caught?  

Which leads me to a true story.  In court and very stressed out one week, I casually looked over to the Bailiff.  He gave me a smile and a nod of the head; I gave a nod in reply and dropped my eyes, noticing the hand cuffs strapped to his belt loop.  Handcuffs, I thought.  Ugh, it would suck to be in handcuffs, without a phone, e-mail or....heeeeeey, I thought.  Wait a minute.  No phone.  No e-mail.  No one from work could reach me! No WORK STRESS!!!  My mind was a whirlwind of desire - at that moment, for longer than I care to admit, I imagined how nice it would be to sit in a cell with nothing to do but read.  It sounded idyllic. For a few minutes, I imagined that jail was heaven.  When I got home and told my husband, he imagined I sounded crazy.  

Which leads me to my question of the day:  do you ever take time to be irresponsible?  Do you take an afternoon off to go to the park with your kids?  Do you sneak out of work early to meet your significant other on a weeknight, just the two of you?  I don't often, and feel sometimes like responsibility is stifling.  Maybe it is time for me to climb out the window.  


Friday, June 15, 2012

Days like today make me think of my grandparents, Alfred and Edna Judd: 

You see, today is hot outside.  Which makes me think of my grandparents, and wonder how on earth they stood the heat.   

My grandpa was a farmer, with property in southern Arizona.  Read: hot.  My grandpa was also modest.  Do you see the white, long sleeved collared shirt that he is wearing in this photo (taken, I think, within days of his elopement with my grandma- she was age 16!  But check out how handsome my grandpa is: can you blame her?  Anyway, I digress...)  From what I've been told, my grandpa wore long sleeved cotton shirts while working his Arizona farm and, at most, he would roll up his shirt sleeves.  My memories of my grandpa, who died when I was a child, were of him in long sleeves.   My question now is:  how on EARTH did anyone in an Arizona summer, working outside, survive in long sleeves??? 

I sure wish they were around to ask such questions.  I look at this photo and, as an adult, can completely relate to what I think their lives were like.  But I have so many questions.  They lost a child at age 7- how did they keep on living, ever smile again?  At times, they lived in poverty- how did they deal with those frustrations?  It would be such an interesting thing to sit them down and speak to them one on one, as adults.  It would take a month to answer all of my questions.      

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Musings About California

I moved to northern California a little over a year ago. I'm still adjusting. For those of you who are considering a move, consider the following:
  • Unlike in Michigan, summer does not happen here in June-August. It is cold in June-August, so forget wearing summer dresses except with sweaters and leggings. "Summer" in northern California happens in September/October. If you want to visit this area, do it after Labor Day.
  • Just because it does not snow does not mean it is not cold during the winter months. My heavy coats, scarves, and gloves get plenty of evening use, even in California.
  • The weather outside of my house in the morning is five degrees less than at my office in San Francisco. Greg, lucky dog, has the opposite- at his office, which is south of us, it is five degrees warmer than where we live. Odd, right?
  • Don't underestimate the draining effect of a relatively long commute. That's your gym time, spent in the car.

More later.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Hardest Hour in Recent Memory

At 6 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2011, results of the California bar exam were posted on the state bar website. I'd taken the February exam, felt I did very poorly, and had been anxious and worried about it since the moment I walked out of the examination room. (This picture was taken the night before the exam started. You can tell it was not after the first day of the exam since I had an actual smile on my face instead of a look of utter panic).

My anxiety mounted as May 13 approached. The morning that results were posted, I vowed to keep myself busy and mentally occupied so that I did not have time to think about results. Instead, I ended up getting nothing done, and driving up and down the same street three times before giving up and going home. The hour before results were posted, I sat at my screen and refreshed the state bar website every single minute, watching the little countdown "sixteen minutes until results are posted." My sister-in-law, Sue, counted down with me and kept me relatively sane for that hour. Greg was stuck in court and could not be with me at the pivotal moment, when I went online and look at my results. I don't even remember exactly what they said, but because they were an entire sentence long; i.e., "this person's name appears on the examination pass list" I was sure that I did not pass- I figured if I had passed, it would read "PASSED." Only after re-reading the sentence several times did I realize I had passed, and even then I did not believe it until Sue logged onto the website as me and agreed that I had, in fact, passed.

Whew. What a relief to have that done and over with!! Now, on to bigger and better getting married!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bar Exam Blues

Bar exam results come out this Friday. Friday, May 13, that is. Do you suppose that means I will have good luck? I learned that the California Bar Examiners posted the questions from my February exam... should probably not have looked at them. I only have a vague recall of what I put for an answer on each of the questions anyway, so looking at them again simply made me feel worse about my performance rather than more confident.
The whole world will know if I passed, because they will all hear my scream of happiness! If I don't, I may be quiet for a while, before I regroup and move forward. At least I know one thing- I always do regroup and move forward. Sometimes it just takes a bit of down time first.