Sometimes, it’s fun to just change things up and provide humor to our day. I have been reading a lot recently on the benefits of humor, how it gives us a break from our day-to-day, and is a thoroughly-researched technique to communicate messages. Malcolm Gladwell also spoke to it recently when he said that it is very difficult to make people cry with a message, but not so difficult to make them laugh. With these thoughts, I decided to include some of my wit from my everyday task of opening up packages. Here is my recent post from Instagram:
Whenever I eat these things, I seem to think of Hawaii. My cousin lives in Honolulu and I used to work there so I have so many great memories of the Aloha lifestyle. It’s a bit more laid back and there is a feeling of relaxation as you step off the plane even if you are there to implement software, as I did.
This week I am also watching a tv series that seems to be taking my interest intensely. Girls is about four women in their 20’s who are exploring careers, relationships, and life in general. This show reminds me of Hawaii because it was during that age that I went there very often for work.
As I look back 10-15 years ago this week, I feel fortunate to have had those years. I enjoy going to Hawaii with my husband too, but there was no replacing a visit when I was eating coconuts, macadamia nuts, and exploring life as a young adult!
I find it interesting that I am getting invited to more baby showers these days than I ever have before in my life. I just turned 40. It is possible that people are having children later in life or that perhaps the next generation is already having children. I think it is a combination of both.
One of my friends had hers a few months ago, but the next two are the children of my husband’s generation. He’s a bit older than me and these families had children early. I guess one could say I’m in the middle of two generations of child-bearing at the moment.
I am excited to give the daughter of my husband’s friend this baby seat cover. It’s so cute and I think will be very useful. Since I wasn’t around much for the births of my good girlfriends due to my travel schedule, I’m happy to be partaking in this passage of life now. Bring on the baby shower games and get-togethers!
Last weekend, a good friend of my husbands came by to borrow some camping and first aid gear. He is taking his family into the outdoors for a few days next weekend and they want to be prepared. My husband is known amongst his friends as the go-to guy for these types of items and we were happy to lend things that could be useful.
Just recently, my husband was preparing a list of must-haves for a first aid kit and I was happy to contribute by getting him a Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. He didn’t have one yet, but said it could be useful. My dad had just gotten one for his house a few years back and I too have had my blood pressure taken at doctor’s visits quite often recently.
I decided to look up what blood pressure indicates and found an insightful article: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1948157-overview#a1. It talks about hypertension and also about prescribing medicine based one’s reading. My husband and I also just completed our earthquake preparedness course and I often saw EMT staff measuring blood pressure during video demonstrations of emergency situations. For this reason, I’m glad we now have our own monitor.
A friend of mine wore a t-shirt today that said “New York Los Angeles”. It made me smile since these are two of my homes. I grew up in New York and now I live in LA. It made me think of NYC and the experiences I had there. There were so many great ones…friends, career, and family.
One of the bad experiences I had was one with bed bugs. Ever since I lived in NYC and got an infestation of these ugly creatures, I have been overly protective of my sleeping quarters. I use not only a mattress “sack” that zippers up to ensure no critters touch my body during the night, but I also just got a waterproof mattress protector to double-up on my protection.
Although I haven’t had an infestation in LA, I am still scared by the event and take any precautions to ensure we are protected. The hard part about bed bugs is that they can enter the home via a variety of routes and we really can’t do much to prevent them. Even nice hotel rooms have them so I am always nervous about bringing them home without knowing.
I even made a video about how secure my new mattress cover is. Fortunately, this was the worst of my experience in NYC. I loved my time there and am happy to return for visits from LA…bed bug free.
A few weekends ago, my husband and I went camping at a state campground near us called Leo Carrillo. I had heard about it and had seen how difficult it was to get reservations on-line, but I had no idea that I would find a small city of people, tents, and bikes when we arrived. Normally when we camp, it’s quiet and remote. This was the opposite. It was a half a mile from the road and there were tons of people squeezed onto each campsite with music, drinking games, and full kitchens set-up outside.
At first, I was taken aback. Could this centering and grounding like other camping experiences I’ve had where we get out into nature? Will this be fun? As soon as I saw all the kids riding around on their bikes at night with the glow in the dark wheels, I knew I was hooked. This was like an amusement park for outdoors people!
What I liked a lot about the atmosphere of Leo Carrillo is the social, friendly, and outgoing nature of it all. As soon as we pulled in, our neighbors greeted us and welcomed us to the site. The next day, they asked to meet our dog and were happy to chat for 20 minutes as they prepared breakfast. When I looked around, I noticed that everyone was friendly.
Because it’s so popular, we were only able to stay one night, but as soon as I got home, I put ourselves on a waitlist for a full weekend later this year. I can’t wait to go back. This time I am going to come with my lights for my bike and maybe even a party hat to go with my Patagonia heavy camping fleece.
For my husband’s birthday this year, he needed a bunch of small items rather than one big item so I decided to go with the quantity route. He’s gotten a extra long titanium spoon for camping, a copper mug that he’s wanted for a long time, and some energy bars without sugar that he loves. Since giving him these items over a period of days was possible, I decided to do that.
What I’ve been finding is that we get to celebrate him now for a few days and not just on Saturday. It’s making each gift also more special because he has time to review it and treasure it rather than all the gifts shadowing each other. He’s also been able to enjoy using each gift every day leading up to his birthday which is creating even more excitement.
On Saturday, we’ll go to a party with some of his closest friends and I’m positive they will be toasting, roasting, and celebrating his life all evening (per the photo from our wedding last November). I’m glad that we’ve been able to celebrate a little bit each day together, and with our dog, at home. Although each item is small, each item has become bigger with a full day to honor it and him.
Last week, one of my husband’s colleagues was checking out my latest Amazon acquisition, a fruit-infused water bottle. The bottle is great because it allows you to put fresh fruit in the center and water all around. This then allows you to drink flavored water all day. I was in love with my new delivery.
At the same time, he also commented on the “thrill” of ordering on Amazon. He said his wife gets so excited to click “Add To Cart”. Just by him mentioning that he needed something, she was quick to order it. I could totally relate. There is a certain rush in buying something on this site. It’s easy, it’s typically exactly what you want, and it gets delivered to your door. It’s awesome.
By writing these blogs and being seen as an Influencer in the current social media world these days, I am fortunate to be clicking “Add To Cart” a few times a week, and most often receiving products for free. I thought that perhaps after some time it would get old. Until now, it hasn’t. I am hearing about friends who also love to order things that they may or may not need.
I’m not sure if Amazon will be the downfall of our economy because everyone will be overspending their budgets. It’s not surprising that Amazon is an American company and it is this country that is known for increasing debt and spending beyond their means.
Until that happens, I am keeping the app on my phone which allows me to more easily order items. I am just going to keep an eye on the amount that I spend on the site in order to keep it all in balance.
Last night, I saw a guy on a bike in a busy intersection at night and he had a flashing light on both the front and the back of his bike. I thought of how useful this is. At first, I thought that the light didn’t need to flash, but as I thought about it more, I realized that it does. He is so vulnerable on a bike and just a steady light could be a street light, a car, or store sign. The flashing light brings our attention closer to him and helps protect his vulnerability.
Riding a bike brought me back to the days when I lived in a small town in Germany and used a bike as my primary mode of transportation. My bike was so basic and had no lights. Riding a bike was so fun. I would jump on it and scoot into town from my apartment to visit friends. When I would think about my journey, I knew that the bike would get me there so much faster than walking. With this knowledge, I was always much more energetic to make the three mile trek.
It’s been over fifteen years since I lived in Germany, but the friendships I made in that town still last today. I think about how the bike helped me to facilitate and then solidify relationships that I would have never made by sitting in my room alone.
Just last week, I was laughing on Skype with a friend who would meet me four to five nights a week when I arrived with my bike. He is a global leader in Google Analytics these days and who knew that he would go down this path when he would tutor me in German on those evenings.
It was also on those evenings that I talked to him about the U.S. and introduced volunteer programs to him in Boston where the following year he would go to work on his English. He certainly wouldn’t be a leader in an American technology if it wasn’t for that bike and our friendship.
I think of these times today when I sometimes find myself staying at home and not reaching out to friends or “getting on my bike”. So much of my life has come from relationships that I’ve built with people over a conversation. With these thoughts, I look forward to again meeting people in town and seeing what comes of it.