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Things I learned so far…..

Advice to the younger version of me from the older version of me who has gained some life wisdom: (assuming I can travel back in time ;) )
  • Enjoy every moment of your life.
  • Say what you want to say. Don’t be so well behaved.
  • If you want to change something about yourself then change it.
  • Forget old loves. There is a reason why they are no longer in your life. Make room for better people to come in.
  • Never underestimate the healing power of good nights sleep.
  • Lose bad habits and don’t start new ones.
  • Never pick a fight with the school bully who is so scary that even the boys are afraid of her-but don’t stay mad at her-someone hurt her enough to make her that way.
  • Make a big mark on the world.
  • Change someone else’s life. Be a miracle for someone else whenever you get wrapped up in your own nonsense.
  • Take control over your finances, pay your bills and taxes and work but make sure you go on vacation.
  • If you are not happy then stop being a victim and do something about it.
  • Throw  your fears to the side, you won’t miss them when they are gone.
  • Be brave, scare yourself a little, push your limits, you never know how far you can go until you try.
  • Remove the word can’t from your vocabulary. It’s a curse word.
  • Don’t put labels on others or on yourself . You are not a label. You are three dimensional.
  • Don’t  forget to be silly and immature once in a while…or often.
  • Laugh at the world but only if you can laugh at yourself too.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously, soon you will be bored.
  • Believe in karma because it really does exist. This knowledge will make you feel better every time someone wrongs you.
  • Be a good person because things do come back to you.
  • Make  friends with yourself-in the end you are around yourself more than anyone else.
  • Try spicy food. Try ghost peppers. Eat a raw oyster.
  • Do something nice for a stranger for no reason- the look of confusion on their face will be priceless.
  • Take  pictures of your life and actually go back and look at them.
  • Remember your 3rd grade teacher because he was so awesome.
  • Forget  your 8th grade gym teacher who threw a dodge ball at your head -refer back to karma.
  • Let go of your anger. Forgive. Forgive and then forgive some more-not for them, but for you.
  • Don’t give anyone the silent treatment. If someone makes you mad tell them why. Chances are they have no clue why you are upset and you were wasting your time not speaking to them.
  • Never ever ever sweep problems under the rug. Soon you will find yourself tripping over them again.
  • If you want to hug someone then do it. You never know if you will get another chance later.
  • The old saying is true. Don’t  go to bed angry with anyone. Resolve it.
  • Make  time for a hobby. Make time for 8 hobbies-they are your true passions in life-not your 9-5 job.
  • Burn old  love letters and make room for new ones.
  • Don’t blame new loves for the bad things that old loves did.
  • Never stay with someone who puts you down. If they can’t see how wonderful you are then you really shouldn’t be spending time with someone so stupid.
  • Master the art of being nice without being a doormat.
  • The word “shy” is also a curse word. Be the opposite of that.
  • You are stronger, better, and wiser than you give yourself credit for.
  • Someone who is physically attractive but has an ugly personality will soon be unattractive and nauseating in your eyes.
  • Don’t believe everything you read or see on the news-there is always some part of the story they are not telling you . Even  history  books are not telling the whole story-in the end it was just written by people from their point of view.
  • The best answer to give when someone asks you that annoying question of, “so when are YOU getting married??” is, “next Tuesday! How does next Tuesday look for you?!” They will stop asking.
  • Don’t let society, or anyone else pressure you into getting married and having kids if you are not ready. Hey, in the end you are the one who has to be in the marriage not them.
  • Be picky when choosing a spouse- you are not picking out a pair of shoes here.
  • You can do more than you think you can.
  • Don’t swim with sharks, even if the tour guide says its safe. It’s always a bad idea.
  • If someone makes you uncomfortable or gives you a bad vibe, you are not being overly sensitive. Stay away from them.
  • Trust your intuition. Trust your intuition and most importantly, trust your intuition. Then when you are done with that, trust your intuition.
  • Write a book or 6. You love to write.
  • Your biggest hurdle in life will always be yourself. So get out of your way.
Caroline
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That first moment…..

 

  • The first moment you arrive at the next chapter of your life.
  • The first moment you reach a fork in the road and decide to take the messy road instead of the easy one.
  • The first moment you decide to change your life.
  • The first moment you stop listening to everyone else and start listening to yourself.
  • The first moment you decide the past no longer has an effect on your future.
  • The first moment you realize that person you were once so angry with, you now only feel sorry for.
  • The first moment you realize you are not the person you were 10 years ago. You are much smarter now.
  • The first moment you realize that although your parents aren’t perfect, they did the best they could.
  • The first moment you reach the age your mother was when she gave birth to you and realize how young she really was even though as a child you thought she was ancient.
  • The first moment you understand why certain relationships in your life didn’t work out and now with new clarity, you feel grateful that they didn’t.
  • The first moment you know you made a real connection with another person.
  • The first moment you begin to understand that life is too short, you are not invincible and you better make each moment count.
  • The first moment you realize that turning 30 does not make you as old as you thought you would be.
  • The first moment you bite into the best piece of chocolate cake you ever had.
Life is full of first moments. It’s what you do with them that counts.
Caroline
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It’s when…….

  • It’s when you use your car seat warmer not because you are cold but because it makes your achy back feel better that you know you need a massage.
  • It’s when you haven’t seen a friend in a long time and realize you don’t miss them, that you comprehend that you were not as close as you thought you were.
  • It’s when your plans get cancelled at the last minute, but instead of disappointment, all you feel is relief and realize you never felt like going in the first place.
  • It’s when you meet someone who is not your “type” but are still drawn to them anyways that you realize that you never really had a type.
  • It’s when you finally let go of something you were holding on tightly to, that when you finally let go, you realized you didn’t miss it one bit and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
  • It’s when taking a walk outside is all you need to help clear up a bad day and help you see things from a different perspective.
  • It’s when the person you always thought was your best friend turns out to be an acquaintance and the person you thought was an acquaintance becomes your best friend.
  • It’s when you sit on the beach and stare at the ocean that you realize how small your problems are.
  • It’s when you realize you are a creative person and all you needed to do was try.
  • It’s when you realize that most people don’t care about your needs, they care about their own. So take the time to make yourself happy.
  • It’s when you begin to understand how much energy you wasted worrying about what others think of you.
  • It’s when you still don’t understand why you needed advanced algebra I and II and what it has to do with your career.
  • It’s when you realize that after years of grade school, high school, college, and postgraduate training,  that your third grade teacher is still your favorite. ( I’m talking about you Mr. Munier, wherever you are today)
  • It’s when a bowl of ice cream still makes you feel better the same way it did when you were 6.
Caroline
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Moving is the equivalent of putting your life into a series of cardboard boxes and moving them into a new space…ok it’s exactly that, but it’s also an experience that can make even the strongest person go a little crazy. It also forces you to make some serious decisions about what stays and what goes. I spent the last few days asking myself the age old questions of : “am I really going to wear that?, Do I really need that? And, Dear God what is that and why is it in my house?!

You also develop an unhealthy obsession for cardboard boxes. It becomes a quest that will consume you, but only if you let it. Everywhere you go you ask if they have boxes. Then as soon as your moving is done, you can’t wait to get rid of them. It’s an odd love/hate relationship with cardboard that only happens when we move.

Packing will force you to get rid of things and realize how much stuff you buy that you don’t need. Every bad shopping decision, emotional purchase, and impulse buy comes to the surface and says, ” Hi! Remember when you bought me?”
Then as you place these unwanted items in the “donate” or “sell” or “trash” pile, you promise yourself you will be a better and wiser shopper and your next move will be easier. Time will tell.
Moving can send any of us spiraling into an existential crisis. It’s not just the act of putting your things into boxes and moving them from point A to point B. ( ok, for some of us it really is) For the rest of us it is something much bigger.
We are forced to go through old boxes of memories from our childhood, old letters from friends and past relationships that are long gone. You have to go through your old memories and decide what you should keep and what goes. If you are the sentimental kind like I am, this is not an easy task.
I still had a hard time tossing out letters from childhood friends and old boyfriends. Even though most of the people who wrote them are long gone from my life, I couldn’t part with their letters. I felt like those letters were a reminder of who I once was and were somehow a part of my identity. Silly to think that, but I found myself packing those memories up to take with me to my next home. Maybe I will toss them out for the move after next :)
The point is moving is no easy task. The hard part is not just the heavy lifting and the manual  labor,  it also sends you on a strange emotional journey.
My advice, throw out anything you can live without and start fresh. Also, if you drink a little wine while you pack, that always helps too ;)  ( hey that bottle of ice wine was sitting in my fridge for months! It was time! )
Caroline
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Find Your Hiding Place


What is it about bookstores that has such a calming influence on me? No one else I know understands it. One friend jokingly told me I should marry into the Barnes and Noble business since I spend so much time there. I love Barnes and Noble.  Lets be honest, I love all bookstores. Whenever I see one, I light up and feel the urge to run inside and see how all the books are doing. It’s almost like if I don’t check on them they will disappear.

No matter what is going on with me or what kind of day I’m having, I can walk into a bookstore and all of the noise in my head and my worries just melt away. Even if they coming rushing back at me the moment I leave the sanctuary of the bookstore, I at least had that brief time where I could escape the drudgery of the day to day.
Walking into a bookstore allows me to enter a quiet world filled with knowledge. I learn a lot about the world in that brief expedition. I can jump from section to section and move from fantasy books to books on how to make your life better (my heroes of the bookstore) to the recipe section where u can read a book that tells you the medicinal uses of chocolate.  Nowhere else can all of this be accomplished in one outing. The books, the fellow readers (my kindred spirits) and the energy in the store all calm me and allow me to be myself and hear my own thoughts. It’s my church.
We all have a place we like to go where we feel at peace with ourselves and the world. A place where all judgment against us washes away and all of our worries no longer matter. Where is your place? No one else will get it but you and that’s ok, they don’t have to. Whether you call it a sanctuary, a refuge or even a hiding place, we all need a place to go to when we need to unplug. If you don’t have one, go and find it.
Caroline
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When you love to write

Writing is the air that I breathe. When I can say that with complete honesty, then I know I found what I’m looking for.
Today I read an excerpt from The Diary of Anne Frank. I think I read her book when I was in grade school, but it was too long ago to remember the details. I never realized she wanted to be a writer!
How silly of me since she wrote in her diary every day. As writers, we love to express ourselves through the written word. It pulls us out of our own heads and onto the page.
Here is the excerpt she wrote that described how she felt about writing.  Her words echoed in my heart:
Wednesday, April 25, 1944
“I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write …, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent….
And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! …
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?”
— Anne Frank
What is your passion in life??
Caroline
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The Reason Why I’m So Bad At Math

You will never know the things you will find in your basement until you actually attempt to clean it.

I found:

1) The above rubiks cube circa 1980 something. Note how it’s missing a sticker. In my childhood frenzy to try to solve the puzzle that is rubik, I finally threw my hands up and decided to cheat by moving the stickers around until all the colors matched. This fooled no one. I learned that the stickers do not reattach very well once removed. Not my proudest moment, but there it was sitting in the basement as a reminder that cheaters never win and I still have never solved the cube puzzle. Thank God the 80′s are over.

2)  Remember these? If you grew up in the 80′s then you used to pass these intricately folded notes to your friends in class when your teacher wasn’t looking. We came up with some crazy foldings that always had a tab that you had to pull to open the damn thing. We always felt the need to write, “pull this” on the tab as if the reader would be confused otherwise.

 Of course today, kids are probably texting each other or sending emails, instagram, facebook, and  tweeting up a storm during class. All of that is awesome, but they are missing out on the insane creativity of “how am I going to fold this note this time and throw it at the intended person the exact moment the teacher has their back to the class?”

For some reason I found a stack of these in a box along with a bunch of old cards and letters. Remember letters? My friends and I used to send each other snail mail letters during the summers. Only, we didn’t call it snail mail back then. We just called it mail…

3) My piggy bank!!!! This is back in the day when I actually used to save money. Those were the days when a quarter found under the couch cushions, my allowance money and money random relatives gave me went unspent and saved in this little red shoe. There was actually still cash in this thing when I found it.

4)  And of course Barbie. I actually found her in this pose. What a diva…

It was like my childhood exploded in my basement. The funny thing is that this is my house and not the house I grew up in. I guess our childhood follows us around wherever we go.

Cleaning the basement can teach us a lot about our past. I learned that I used to cheat at puzzles, I saved money, I eventually gave in to peer pressure and put the matchbox cars down and began playing with barbies (I was a tom boy), and most importantly learned that the reason I’m so bad at math is because instead of paying attention in class I was busy folding notes and aiming it at people. I have no regrets, for I have a calculator today.

What’s in your basement??

Happy Cleaning!

Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once again our meteorologists astound us with their amazing ability to predict the weather…oh who am I kidding…

For days they hypothesized, prophesized, ruminated and pontificated. They used the European model of storm prediction and compared it to the North American model. They pulled out graphs, flow charts, and little squiggly lines that drew all over the U.S. map that meant nothing to us. Then they discussed statistics, percentages and more numbers for the hell of it. Then they threw out words and phrases like, “big storm”, and “school closures”,  “salt”, “slick roads” and lest we forget, “gas lines”. All of their models and graphs and numbers numbed our brains into submission and we all started to believe  that we were going to get this:

and instead we got this:

Hmmmm……..

They said a “big storm” with “high winds” was coming. They closed schools, churches, and governments. Events were cancelled. Everyone got ready for the “big storm”. The grocery stores made out like bandits while everyone bought groceries as if armageddon was coming. The gas stations had long lines the night before the “big storm” and they ran out of gas as the frenzy of storm preparedness continued. Animals were being gathered in twos.

We all braced for the worst. Then this happened:

Ok, maybe not that nice. (gross exaggeration) The point is, that all we got in the DC area was wet roads and slush. That’s it. Ok, I did see a couple of snow flakes on grass and on my car.  All of the snow on my car just fell away with one swoosh of my snow brush. No work involved. I could’ve used a hair dryer if I wanted to.

I feel silly now for “stocking up” and standing in that gas line last night. Something told me it wouldn’t be bad but in the end I fell into the trap of listening to meteorologists. They get us every time.

This morning I was watching the Today show and they were talking about how this, “big storm” was moving to NYC next and how they are not going to be “affected as badly as DC is”. Really? That means its going to be a gorgeous, sunny day full of little blue birds in NYC tomorrow. Wear a bathing suit.

So from now on, I will do the exact opposite of what meteorologists say. If they call for rain, I will wear sandals. Sunny day tomorrow? Better bring my umbrella and rain boots. Raining locusts? hmmmm what’s the opposite of that? ….

Anyways, I’m glad we didn’t get much. I’m not complaining.

Happy (non) snow day !!!

Caroline

 

 

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I think if I complain that this 75 degree ocean breeze is a bit too chilly for me to my friends and family in the northeast they will respond to my complaint with an extra dose of expletives.
Don’t complain to someone who is living in an ice cube how chilly your 75 degrees feels. They will not weep for you.
“As I sat on the beach, I had to wear my cover up over my bathing suit to keep warm “, is not a complaint someone dealing with 20 degree weather wants to hear.
They don’t want to hear your sob story about how you almost had to wear a long sleeve shirt, when they have to wear 20 layers, a parka, hat , gloves and scarf just to go to the mailbox.

The other day a friend complained to me how the wind gusts were so strong that she almost flew away into the frigid air never to be seen again. That was not the time for me to relay my horror story of how the balcony overlooking the water was so breezy it almost knocked the little paper umbrella out of my drink. It was no time for my tale of woe.

We sat on the deck of a sports bar overlooking the water and watched boats going by on a gorgeous, sunny day and soon we were all complaining about how we needed a light sweater to shield us from the 70 degree weather. I pictured everyone up north shivering next to the fire place and jacking up the heater racking up huge electric bills and gained some perspective over our sad, “woe is me” complaints.

Sometimes we must keep our sad stories to ourselves and stay strong and carry the weight on our own. It makes us stronger and more able to face life’s challenges.

To sum up, if your biggest complaints are: “This tropical beach is too breezy, the piña colada has too much piña and not enough colada, the sun is very yellow today, this attractive person is sitting too close to me on the beach insists on doing stretching exercises”, then perhaps these are things you should keep to yourself. Sigh….Be strong!!!! ;)

Until next time!

Caroline

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It’s so cold that I want to send a fruit basket to everyone in the Midwest just for being able to put up with these temps on a regular basis. This morning it was 9 degrees. Most of us think this is cold, but some of us love it! You know who I’m talking about. We all know someone who never ever thinks it’s cold. It could be 1 degree outside with penguins walking around, and people ice fishing in their front yard and skiing to work and there will be at least one person who is walking around in shorts and declaring how it’s “not that cold out”.

It’s abnormally cold where you are and everyone is so bundled up that the only thing you see are their eyes, and even those are covered by sunglasses. Not to block the sun, but so they can keep their eyes warm. There is always one person in the bunch that has a light jacket on in 10 degree weather and no hat, coat open to the elements, and casually walking outside as if its a balmy 75 degrees. They are always the ones who say, “it’s not cold!” As if to say everyone else has lost their minds and they are the only sane ones.

I once knew a girl who wanted to walk 10 blocks in downtown DC in 20 degree weather and thought I was an odd creature for wanting a cab. I was peer pressured into walking. As we walked, I looked at myself and my 92 layers of clothing like in the movie, “A Christmas Story,” where I could no longer bring my arms down. Then I looked to my friend, relaxed and happy with her coat open and no sweater underneath and questioned her sanity.

Bless their hearts these cold weather buffs must be made out of some other material than the rest of us. Or as one of my patients in dental school said after I injected him with anesthetic and he didn’t feel any pain from the injection, “my wife is right, I am insensitive!”. Maybe all of these people are just numb!!!
I don’t have all the answers. I wish I did. But I don’t….

I have friends from Michigan who think D.C.weather is down right tropical but even they have the sense to think that 20 degrees is cold. They are used to driving in multiple feet of snow and have to deal with it when the entire DC area shuts down because one flake of snow fell on some guy’s roof. In the past few days every road and highway in the area has been covered with salt and it has never even snowed!! I’m sure it frustrates people who grew up in colder areas to no end, so I understand.

When I moved to Miami for a year, all my years of living in the northeast and all those winters fell by the wayside like they never happened. The tough skin went away in the Florida sun. I instantly became a Floridian. When winter came and the temps hit 55 degrees, I, like my fellow Floridians declared that it was indeed freezing out and one needs a hat, gloves and a heavy coat in those harsh elements.

My defining moment that told me I lost my D.C. privileges and was officially a Floridian was a phone conversation I had with my mother that winter. I complained to her how cold it was outside and she told me how warm it was in D.C. When I asked her what the temp was, she said, “55 degrees”. She asked me what it was in Florida, I said, “55 degrees”…perspective…

Anyways, we just have to expect that it will get cold and for every group of people who say it’s cold outside, there will always be one person who thinks it’s balmy.
In the end, just don’t complain. It does no good.
I love it when we tell the person next to us how cold it is outside, as if the other person doesn’t know! Do we think they are walking around in a special bubble unconscious of the elements or something. But it’s what we all do. It’s like if you have a blemish on your face, or a gray hair and someone always feels the need to point it out to you…like u don’t know it’s there! Perhaps they believe you don’t own a mirror.
My favorite is when my makeup has a smudge and someone feels it is ok to rub their hand on my face during flu season. Maybe I like that smudge there :)

Happy Winter Season!!

Caroline

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