Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

moving on .... 10 days till 40!!!

OK, so a good friend told me to not forget to blog! She is right. Thank you Kitty!!!  Tonight is not so much a specific anecdote but a rambling of thoughts. So forgive me if they seem unconnected. I will try my best to make sense of it all.

I had a BAD day at work today, simple as that. I am also feeling a little exhausted at home trying to keep up with the garden, cleaning house, my career efforts, normal job stress, and the antique 'side' business. Not to mention my writing, my decorating, my ongoing OCD organizing efforts. Feel sorry for me BOO HOO.  OK so I am stressed about alot .... but .... in the grand scheme of things, it is not so much a big deal.

I have a great home, a growing garden, a stable job in an other wise struggling economy, two great cats, an fabulous antique collection, great friends, and of course, the best thing that ever happened to me (you know who you are!!!).

I think what I am needing is some simplicity in my life. I think it means the purging of unnecessary clutter in my life. All those magazines will be donated. Books I haven't read, donated. Catalogs I have kept since 1998, dumped! LOL. Purging (even a small amount) is very cathartic, so I will try that. I also think I need to set some boundaries in my life for "ME" time. Nothing too extravagant. Just some time each evening to better myself, focus on myself,do something to advance my life and my passions whether it be writing, antiques, my home, etc.

One of my best friends had a close call with her son this weekend. Everything is cool. He is fine and is as happy as ever young little tyke. I am thankful for him and for her. It reminded me that things can happen when you least expect it ... and can change your life in an instant. So friends, remember that! Live each day to the fullest. I am sorry I was so down today friends, tomorrow is another, brighter day!  AND GUESS WHAT???? 10 days till I turn 40!!!!

By the way, my loving mother said to me the week she passed:  "Don't do as I did, I have regrets."  I hear you Mom, and love you so much each and every day. I am still hurting and think of you so much. I miss you and ever time I see that morning dove that visited me the day after you passed, I think of you!!!

I live by this mantra, "Don't do as I did, I have regrets."  Live each day to the fullest friends!

xoxo Marc

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do What You Love!

A friend and I talked today about where we are in our lives. She stated she is very disenchanted about the direction her life has gone. She saw “greater things” in her future and is disappointed that her life hasn’t gone in that direction. One could say to her, “Well you made your own bed” or “Life is what YOU make of it”, but let’s look at this for a minute.

We all feel this way from time to time. You have great plans coming out of high school or college and then shit happens and life doesn’t go exactly as planned. I personally thought I would be a doctor or lawyer, living in some fabulous apartment in a major city, driving a sports car, and taking exotic vacations every year. Well, that didn’t happen, but I am for the most part, very happy and satisfied. Sure I would have like to have my dream job, a different career as a full time writer, but reality hits you. Once you work your way up in a certain job and start making decent money, it is hard to think about starting over. Going back to college is a difficult choice; no one wants to willingly be a starving-student again. You also become accustomed to living a certain lifestyle within your current salary. If you are used to going out with friends on the weekends, buying those new shoes, taking weekend trips where ever you like, changing careers can be an abrupt lifestyle change due to reduced finances.

My sister gave me some great basic advice. If you have to do a career that is not particularly satisfying, make sure you do what you love in your free time. Do an activity that you love, such as learning to ride horseback, playing a musical instrument, volunteering at a favorite charity, writing that novel (or blog), or working on your garden. It is also said, do what you love, and you will eventually be compensated for it. The problem with that advice is that no one can say how long “eventually” is. No one looks forward to making $25,000 a year for decades while they wait to make money off of a career choice. But I guess maybe that doesn’t matter so much if you are "doing what you love.” Beginning artists, actors, and musicians tend to make lower wages than entry-level white collar professionals (hence the term, starving artist), and yet, they regularly claim greater job satisfaction. Maybe there is something to be said for that. You get over the initial shock of being poor, but, hey, at least you are doing what you love! Artists, actors, and musicians are following their dream, perfecting their art. Not many data entry operators or mid-level managers ever dreamed of doing what they do.

In this day and age not many people stay in the same career for decades and decades like our parents . I read somewhere that the average person will have 3 or 4 career changes in their lifetime. It is not common anymore to work at just one job for life. As I approach 40, I have worked in two different career fields: restaurants and hotels, and county level domestic relations. Both of them are satisfying in many ways, and yet both fall short of my ultimate career goal. Maybe that is why on the side, I continue to write each evening and plod away at the garden in my yard!  If you are young, do what you love first. If you are not young, there is always time to do what you love, but it may involve personal sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remembering a dear family friend.

Just two weeks ago was the 4th anniversary of the death of a close family friend, Marianna. All of her friends called her Tia, and although she was forty years older than us, she encouraged my brother, sister, and I to call her this as well. For Tia, friendship had no age requirement, and she counted us among her closest of friends. Tia was an incredibly artistic, romantic woman. She lived her life surrounded by fine arts, music, and the theater.  I count her as a great influence in how I look at life, art, and culture.

Tia was my father’s student about 50 years ago. Through the years, they developed a close friendship and were confidants during difficult parts of each other’s lives. Tia was very fond of us kids, and we were of her. She reminded me of an incredibly cultured, slightly eccentric and befuddled, zaftig Auntie Mame. Maybe with not the energy, but definitely with the artistic exuberance. She became an arts educator and in her spare time, wrote poetry, collected and created works of art, grew her unruly yet beautiful flower garden, and constantly attended art gallery openings, museum shows, the theater, and the orchestra. Tia was beloved by my family. She would often send you little poems with photographs, or present you with a seashell, testing you to look and find the beauty in it. To Tia, the simple things in life were beautiful. She could see the beauty in the ugliest oyster shell or horseshoe crab.
During my adolescence when it seemed no one understood the pains of growing up, one would not think a woman like this would be of comfort, but to me she was. She soothed my adolescent angst, telling me it would get better, and that life was wonderful! She also implored me not to grow up too fast. She would often write when we did not see each other, enclosing photographs and pieces of her own poetry. I laughed at some of it when I was younger, not recognizing the Romantic and Victorian overtones. Now I reread it seeing the maturity, wisdom, and emotional depth and I am truly amazed.

Tia lived in the same apartment in Glassboro, NJ, for decades. It was just like her personality. Filled with modern art, antiques, and natural artifacts from her walks in the woods and along the beach. It was cluttered, slightly messy, intensely colorful. Some things side by side did not go together, but as a whole, it worked, as it showed the living history of this wonderful woman. From pieces of driftwood from her summers in Stone Harbor to her favorite piece of modern artwork by a close friend of hers, it all formed a vibrant mosaic of this woman's life.  From spending time with Tia, I learned how to respect and revere this remarkable woman. I admired her creativity, her romanticized view of the world, and her positive outlook and zest for life!