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Wontons Served With An Attitude

So yesterday my friend took me to her favorite Chinese restaurant near the office.

She got me prepared as she pulled up to the strip mall that looked like it had been dipped in Chinatown on what to expect when we got to the restaurant.

She told me the food was amazing and that Chinese people ate here. It’s always a good sign to see Chinese people eating at a Chinese restaurant. It makes me nervous to walk into one that doesn’t.

 

She said that on weekends the line to get a table was out the door. Another good sign.

But then she also gave me a warning. People who work here are rude. They don’t pretend to be nice, they don’t care about you or your damn feelings.

 

We walked into the very large but relatively empty restaurant less than half filled at noon on a Monday.

I reminded myself that Monday was always the day the least people went out to lunch.

I tried to imagine how many people it took to fill that large restaurant on weekends and still manage to have a line of people trying to get in.

We walked in and were greeted by a man who seemed like the manager. He gave off a “manager vibe.” And by “greeted” I mean he looked at us with utter disdain and said nothing.

Finally since no one had asked us, we had to ask if we could sit.

He showed us to the table. And by that I mean, he grunted and begrudgingly pointed in the general direction of the right side of the room.

We walked over to an empty table ourselves unsure if this is where he wanted us to sit. I was almost scared he would yell at us for picking the wrong table.

It must have been right because he then walked over and held the menus in his hands, looked at each of us and let them drop on to the table with a loud thud. Then he grunted again and walked away.

A somewhat nicer lady came by who I assumed was our waitress and brought us green tea. When by “nicer” I  mean she didn’t give us the death stare the manager did.

Her look was more of a “I don’t care if you’re here or not” type of glare.

We went over the menus, and picked out what we wanted. The waitress came over and took our orders.

When I asked for brown rice instead of steamed rice she said they don’t have it. I was trying to be healthy in asking for the brown rice. So naturally I went with the very healthy option of pork fried rice (yeah I don’t see my logic either).

I have to admit, the food was amazing. The egg roll was crispy and just right. When the manager came by to take our appetizer plates away I told him so.

For the first time he spoke to me. He grumbled with a frown, “yeah but some people think it’s too crispy so..” and he walked away. It was hardly a love declaration but at least it was more than a glare and a grunt.

The duck sauce was real duck sauce with no food dyes, even the spicy mustard was different. The rice and my szechuan chicken was perfection. We were both happy with the food.

That’s when I realized why they are so rude here. Because they can be.

The food speaks for itself. When the food is really good you can be a jackass if you want to.

I understood their arrogance, their disdain and their need not to please the customer. The food does all of that. We don’t need their sweetness, kindness or smiles. The food does all that.

I’d rather have good food and mean waiter than a nice waiter and bad food-but that’s just me.

After we got the check we walked over to the cashier to pay. And by “cashier” I mean they guy who was sitting behind the counter eating a huge bowl of noodle soup.

He glanced over, said nothing, took a couple more bites, then begrudgingly walked over and took our money.

No one told us goodbye or hello for that matter. No one even bothered to wish us a nice day or thank us for coming.

But somehow it didn’t matter. I wasn’t even upset about it.

If this restaurant could have a motto it would be “Fuck you, and just..fuck you and then.. fuck you. But try our wonton soup it’s amazing!”

Caroline

(pardon all the cursing ;)   )

 

 

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6 Ways to Beat Procrastination

We all procrastinate. We’re not perfect. But if your procrastination gets so bad that it holds you back from accomplishing your dreams, this is when you have to take control and put a stop to it.

Here are some tricks:

1) Remove all distractions from your sight. Whatever your biggest distractions are, get away from them if only for a short while everyday. Distractions can be habits like roaming around on the internet for hours or can be toxic people in your life who hold you back.

 

2) Set your goals.  What goals are you working toward? Where do you want to be in one year? Or better yet, in five years? Write down your 5 year plan and put it in a spot where you’ll see it everyday. Let that be your daily reminder of what you want to do with your life.

 

3) Think about the last day of your life. Not to be morbid but we are all going to die and you need to take advantage of the time you have. Time flies. If you’re not careful it will all pass you by. On your last day, what do you want to look back on as your accomplishments? What regrets do you not want to have that day?

4) Do at least one thing everyday that will move you toward your goals. One step at a time. One step is better than no step at all. For example, a person who writes one page a day, in one year will have written a 365 page book.

5) Surround yourself with successful people who are also chasing after their dreams. They will help motivate you. I believe who you choose to surround yourself with will ultimately determine the course of your life. Negative people who bring themselves down will drag you down with them. Choose to be with people who will uplift you and inspire you. Making that small, yet powerful change will dramatically shift your life direction.

 

6) Believe in yourself. Trust that no dream is too big for you and you’re meant to live the life you always dreamed of. That dream was placed in your heart for a reason. You’re supposed to make your dreams a reality.  You’re not meant to leave them in the dark and waste them away with procrastination.

Caroline

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We Are All Dreamers

I recently moved across the country and took a major step in changing my life. I left my old life behind and traded it in for a new one.

Along the way, I finished my first book and just published it. It’s called Wake Up and Start Dreaming.

I wrote it for every person out there who dreams of changing their life but doesn’t know where to start and feels like the obstacles are like a mountain blocking their path.

There is hope. Never let anyone or any situation make you believe that you don’t deserve to have the life you want or make you settle for what you have.

We all deserve to live our dreams. Otherwise, what are we doing here?

If you want to read my book you can find it here.

 

Caroline

 

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The Ticking Clock

 

 

  • Time is a gentle friend who whispers, “Tick tock tick tock” in your ear when you’re busy doing other things. You try to ignore it but you can’t.

 

 

  • Instead you have to face time head on. The need to become who you are meant to be is too great to ignore.

 

  • Life waits for no one. Time waits for no one.

 

  • Each passing day is reminder that you need to get moving.

 

  • If you are not where you need to be, then why not? What can you do to change it? When can you start?

Right now

 

  • Don’t let the ticking of the clock pass you by. Live your life now.

 

Caroline

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Run and Hide From Negative People

  • You know how there are people in this world who are just brimming with positive energy? You’ve met them as your friends, acquaintances or even strangers in an elevator who always manage to make everyone smile and feel good about life.
  • They are the ones who seem to have a glow about them. Spending just 5 seconds with them can turn your Monday morning at 8 am mood right around.
  • Then, there are the people who are the exact opposite of all of that.

 

  • I recently had an encounter with someone I barely know who is the opposite of a ray of sunshine. 5 seconds with her and your happy mood can fly out the window and suddenly your mind is racing with all kinds of sad and gloomy thoughts.

 

  • She is not a bad person. She is smart, successful and seems kind, but for some reason she always carries a cloud of doom and gloom with her.
  • Every encounter I’ve had with her has cast a shadow on the rest of my day. She is a glass is half empty person who wants to share with you the details of why that glass is empty and how it will never be full no matter what you do.
  • Every time I see this person my instincts tell me to head for the hills.
  • I once made the mistake of telling this person about my plans and dreams and she shot back with a pleasant smile and casually said they will not come true.
  • Lesson I learned: Don’t share your dreams with everyone, especially the Debbie Downers of this world.
  • They don’t need to know about your life. Learn to recognize who they are and do your best to stay away. Run if you have to. Who cares if you look silly. You have your dreams to protect. You have your mood to protect too.
  • Don’t let anyone, no matter who they are, cast a dark shadow on your day, your week, your year or your life. Learn to cut these people out of your life or at least don’t tell them a thing about your plans.
  • Sometimes it’s good to keep your life a secret to certain people. They will think you are mysterious, or even weird. Let them think whatever they want.
  • Go find that person who is a ray of sunshine instead. They usually have cookies ;)

 

Caroline

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Is It Good To Be The Youngest Child?

Are you the youngest child?

  • It’s the plight of the youngest child. We are under appreciated and constantly feel the need to prove ourselves to our families who are used to not taking us seriously.
  • We are also the dreamers. We are the ones who go after our dreams. We march to the beat of our own drum.
  • Most people in our family think our ideas are nuts and are often surprised when we become a success. Maybe it’s because they still see us as the baby, the 5 year old, the silly one.
  • We are inquisitive. We see life from a different angle. We are less likely to follow what everyone else is doing. We don’t want to conform.
  • Years of being compared to our older siblings led us to become our own unique version who is anything but boring. We strive to be different.
  • It is the youngest child’s lot in life to always want to stand out. To make our mark. Whether you are 10 or 35 or 82 you will always have the symptoms of the youngest child.
  • Is  it a blessing or a curse?
  • If you ask me, I’d say its a blessing. As a child I thought it was a curse. I hated being the youngest.  Sure I got away with more things than my sister did but I was never taken seriously, and none of my opinions counted. I was often just a voice that no one listened to. Most of my opinions were dismissed with an, “aww isn’t that cute, she has an opinion” or an, ” who taught you to think that way?”
  • Now I understand it has only made me who I am. I wouldn’t change that for the world. It gave me the drive to change things, chase after my dreams and become who I am meant to be.

So in conclusion, yes, it is good to be the youngest :)

Caroline

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  • It happened overnight. I woke up this morning and realized that I no longer dislike where I live. I actually kind of love it. But after years of having ill feelings about my geography, how do I handle this new insight?

 

  • It almosts felt like telling someone I broke up with that I love them again.
    Yet as soon as I began feeling this way I realized that I will be leaving this place soon. To a place that I know I love even more.

 

  • Isn’t that always the way? As soon as you begin to appreciate something, that’s when you will move on from it.

 

  • It’s almost as if you need to fall in love with a place again before you can move forward. When I say “place” I mean either a place geographically or whatever stage you are in your life.

 

  • You need to make peace with where you are in life before you can take the next step and change things.

 

  • The icky feelings you have about your situation will keep you there until you either make peace with it or learn to love it. Your choice.

 

  • Sometimes our situations in life may not be perfect, but if we try to make the best of it and know it is not permanent then it gets easier.

 

  • Then you can move on to the next stage in your life.

Hope you get the clarity you need!

Caroline

Sent from my iPhone

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Why Kids Are Smarter

Situation:  The moment your 11 year old nephew easily comes up with the perfect title for one of your books when you spent longer than you care to admit wracking your brain for one.

  • You should have seen the look on my face.
First I was….

Then, when I had some time to recover, I was…

  • It actually makes perfect sense that a child would have an amazing imagination.
  • This illustrates my point that children often have a better perspective than we do and their imagination is untainted with the worries and cares that often plague adults.

 

  • The point is that they can tap into their creativity with more ease than most adults.
  • My advice? Next time you have a creative dilemma, go ask a kid. They have an insight most adults have to fight for.

 

  • Actually any time you have any type of dilemma, it doesn’t hurt to ask a kid. You never know what crazy, yet wise thing they will have to say.
  • We often have too much brain clutter where our worries and responsibilities take up too much space in our minds and they leave very little room for our imagination to develop or be heard. It makes it harder to tap into our imagination.
  • Most kids don’t have that problem.
  • Oh and I’m crediting my nephew in the book :)

 

Caroline

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  • Today 2 different friends approached me with the same problem. They were both overwhelmed with being over-scheduled, and were feeling as if life itself was sensory overload.
  • It happens to all of us.
  • We get caught up with our to-do lists and all of our responsibilities, work, family obligations, traffic jams, phone calls, emails, texting, laundry, grocery shopping, bills, etc etc.
  •  We keep moving at a fast pace like this every day without slowing down until one day we get to the point where we wonder if we should just quit our jobs and  live in a peaceful village somewhere living off the land like nomads or have fantasies of being alone on a deserted island without anything or anyone to bother us.
  • Well, before we all pack our bags for that deserted island here are some steps we can take to feel better and make our world less hectic.
  •  Besides if all of us went to that deserted island then it wouldn’t be deserted anymore, would it? Before long it will be a bustling town with traffic jams and high rise apartments overlooking the water and we would be right back where we started.
1) Quiet Time
  • Yes, it does exist. It is not a myth. Even the busiest person can find it. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to try it.
  • Look for it on your car ride to work. Try turning off the radio for a change and listen to your own thoughts.
  • If you take the train to work, use that time to meditate or just try to quiet the million thoughts in your brain. I know it’s hard to quiet the mind. It takes practice.
  • Find creative ways to get quiet.
  • Even 10 minute increments of quiet time at different points of your day will do wonders for your sanity.
  • Shut down the noise in your life as much as you can.
2)  Put The Phone Down And Back Away Slowly
  • Honestly, do you really need to be on your phone checking email, Facebook, and texting as much as you do? You are saying,”yes” aren’t you? Right now you are thinking that Caroline doesn’t understand how crazy your life is.
  • I get it, believe me, I really do, but unless you are President of the United States or any country for that matter, you do not need a constant nonstop relationship with your phone.
  • Take a no Internet, phone call, texting break for a little bit each day. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel.
  • Oh, and lets not forget the constant texting while walking, driving, and standing in elevators. Other than the fact that its dangerous, you can be alone with your thoughts or you may miss out on meeting someone new because your nose was in your phone, or heaven forbid, actually see the world around you.
3) Prioritize
  • You will never, never, never, ever in a million years get everything on your to -do list done, so give yourself a break for crying out loud.
  • Prioritize the things that absolutely have to get done that day and leave everything else for another day. You are not a failure because you didn’t get #7-A on your to-do list done. You would be a weirdo if you did.
  • Be nicer to yourself. Easier said than done for most of us, but try it anyways. I feel like most of us are nicer to everyone else and leave ourselves for last. Stop it.
  • You are not Superman/Woman. You are a regular person, who cannot fly or lift a building or other stuff. If you can do these things then this post is not meant for your eyes.
4) The Elusive Day Off
  • I think most of us work so hard that even on our off days we don’t know how to turn it off.
  • I used to spend my off days trying to get allllll my errands done and ended up feeling more tired than on the days that I worked.
  • Soon I learned that there is no such thing as getting all your errands done. It’s a myth. As soon as you get the things you want to get done, more errands grow right in their place. Like weeds or like a movie that can’t stop having sequels. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • If you have a day off then for the love of all that is holy, TAKE THE DAY OFF! You are lucky to have that day so spend it wisely.
  • I know, I know, I know you have things to do. I get it. I myself come from a land of one million things to do each day. Do what is important then go do something fun. Even if for you fun is napping…to each his own…
5) Remember Fun?
  • When we were kids we knew how to have fun. It was second nature to us. We would make our own fun. If you put us in a Turkish prison or an insurance seminar we would figure out a way to have fun.
  • Then we became adults and all the fun flew out the window and we forgot ourselves.
  • Take the time to do whatever makes you happy and do it every day.
  • I don’t care if your version of a good time is playing a violin, painting, dancing, writing, or underwater basket weaving. No judgment here.
  • Whatever it is, just do it. It will make your world less chaotic and you will feel calmer because you are taking the time to do something because you WANT to do it and not because you HAVE to do it. That is key…
Try these 5 things.
And remember, if your life is not making you happy then do something about it.
It takes more energy to be unhappy and do nothing than it takes to fix what’s broken and be happy.
Words to live by…..
Be well, be happy and go do something fun. Put it on your to-do list if it makes you feel better ;)
Caroline
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Shhhh! I See Old People!!!!!!!

Why are people so afraid of old people? Two times in one week it was mentioned to me that elderly people were seen in my apartment building. It was told to me in the same manner you would whisper to someone that you think you just saw a ghost or worse, someone wearing stone washed jeans with a matching jacket .

Yes, they do (gasp) exist in my building along with people in their single digits, teens, twenties, thirties, forties and above too.
So, why are people so afraid of the elderly?
I think many of us see the elderly as a not so gentle reminder of what is to come. A reminder of grim reaper knocking at their door. An ambulance coming to the building thus creating a new vacancy. A person who will complain about the noise in your apartment ruining their mid-day nap. Someone who will stop you in the hallway to discuss their bunions in great detail and tell you that you are a perfect match for their grandchild, then pull out a picture of a rather unattractive person who is dressed for the 1970′s.
My friends, these are all stereotypes.
The truth is, my building is a microcosm of the world we live in. Every age group is represented. There are people above 70. There is also a high percentage of 20 something’s who can be found in the gym flexing their pecs and showing off their 6 pack abs (yes, I looked), and  by the pool sunning themselves. They are the ones leaving the building at 10 pm on a Thursday night because it’s “college night”. Then they come home early the next day and do the obligatory “walk of shame”.
Then you have your stay at home moms who you can see during the workday pushing their strollers and chasing their little ones as they almost knock people over and stopping them from pushing allll the buttons on the elevator as they go run errands. (The button thing always happens when I’m late for work)
Then you have the thirty and forty and fifty something’s who are usually seen in the building before 9 am and after 5pm rushing to and from work. They only exist in the building after hours.
Weekends you will see a conglomeration of everyone piled together trying to get along. The small children splashing in the pool to the annoyance of the elderly women who complain to the lifeguard, “shouldn’t it be adult swim now?” The fight for the shaded chaise lounges with the umbrellas begins right at pool opening where the elderly usually win because they showed up on time and they deserve a little shade.
I have yet to win those shaded chairs but one day I will. Even if I have to go at 2am and set up yellow caution tape and orange cones around those chairs, I will do what I have too do to reserve them.
Twice people told me they came to my building during the workday and saw elderly people in the lobby, got scared and ran away.
Perhaps it was because everyone else was at work or school?
What are they going to do to you anyways? Chase you with their walker? Hit you over the head with their canes? I don’t condone violence but that would definitely make my daily walk through the lobby more action packed and exciting. Of course I would never make it to my apartment in time before a good caning because that damn electronic key never ever ever works on the first try. Sigh…I miss keys.
I don’t have all the answers. All I can say is the same way you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a building by who is chilling in the lobby at 1pm on a Wednesday.
Remember, one day you will be old and fabulous too :)
Caroline

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