Friday, October 28, 2011

Life is not a grocery store

Every morning I get up, I get dressed, I come into work, I turn on my computer, I put my lunch in the refrigerator, I get a glass of water and a cup of coffee, I return to my desk, I make sure there are no super important emails to respond to, and I get down to the real business of reading my Google Reader. This morning was no different (except I spent the first 30 minutes of blog-reading on my couch, thus making me 30 minutes later to work. It's Thursday, whatever.) I opened this post, and haven't stopped thinking about it since.

I'm going to copy & paste Caitlin's words here, because I couldn't paraphrase them well even if I tried:

Life is not a supermarket stocked with limited quantities of happiness on the shelves. There are no shelves packed with loving partners, successful jobs, beautiful babies, and nice homes. Just because someone else has a loving partner, successful job, beautiful baby, or nice home doesn’t impact my ability to achieve the same things. Life can’t sell out on happiness.

Life is like the shore, where the ocean meets the sand. There’s room for us all to stand near the waves. The water recedes, the waves crash in. And sometimes, the waves bring in goodness. Washing up right at our feet are loving partners, successful jobs, beautiful babies, and nice homes. What one person receives down the shoreline doesn’t impact your ability to achieve happiness. And sometimes – just sometimes – you have to wade in and take the happiness you want.

In movies, when a terrifying natural disaster is near, everyone rushes to the supermarket, and two crazed women inevitably start fighting over the last loaf of bread. I’m tired of that treating others like we’re all staring down an empty, dusty supermarket shelf.

Caitlin is obviously in a different place in her life than I am in mine, but the point of her message still rings true: we can all achieve happiness, and it doesn't have to be at the expense of someone else.
I had a long conversation with a good friend last night, and he told me that I empathize with others too much. It's true - I take on other people's emotions on top of my own. I'm happy when they are happy, I'm sad when they are sad. I've always been this way, and I think I will always continue to be. But sometimes, just for a minute, I think they should be grateful for what they have, or they should be even happier than they are, and I find myself thinking those things because I am without whatever they are happy about, be it a new relationship or an exciting new job or WHATEVER.
So today, I'm here to tell you that I am going to be even more aware of my attitude towards my friends, coworkers, and just people I come across in life. I'm going to be happy when they are happy, and sad when they are sad, and just let that be enough. My time will come when someone will be happy when I am happy, and I hope when that happens that person isn't secretly thinking I should be feeling some other way.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Did in Argentina

Remember when I told you I was going to Argentina before my friend even knew whether or not she would be going? Pretty typical. But I think much to Rachel's (and if I'm being honest, my own) surprise, I made it to Argentina and spent a whopping 8 days exploring Buenos Aires, Misiones & Iguazu Falls National Park. Below is a list version of the things we did in no particular order, but there were so many other things we did!

1. San Telmo Market -- probably ~2 miles of street blocks that turn into a huge market every Sunday afternoon. They sell mate cups, scarves, clothes, jewelry, belts, chocolate, dulce de leche, art, and everything else you could possibly imagine. We spent nearly 3 hours walking up and down the cobblestone streets exploring.

2. La Casa Rosada

3. Iguazu Falls -- one of the most amazing things in nature I have ever seen.

4. A little bit of partying

5. Recoleta Cemetery -- probably my favorite thing we did the whole time I was in Buenos Aires, which sounds so depressing, but this cemetery is incredible. The plots are deeded, and they aren't just graves or tombs, they are almost small houses, large enough for 10, 12, 15 caskets, many with private quarters downstairs.

6. Wild animal sightings -- can you spot the crocodile & the toucans?

(it's called a "Coitus" which just made me giggle)

7. Ate a lot.
Argentinian steak

I <3 meat

Dulce de Leche ice cream, YUM

My trip was phenomenal. First of all, I got to visit one of my best friends that I hadn't seen since July, who lives across the country from me most of the year. Second of all, I spent more than 6 hours in South America, thus officially checking it off of the list of continents I need to visit (the only thing on my bucket list is to visit all 7 - 2 more to go!) Third of all, Argentina is pretty freaking awesome. Overall, the people are nice. In Buenos Aires, they kind of just ignored us except for when they were blatantly staring at the 2 blondes. We kind of stood out like sore thumbs. In Misiones (where the Iguazu Falls were), we had the best night of my trip, but you can read more about that on Rach's blog.

I think the further removed I get from the experience, the more memorable it becomes. I came home feeling a little bit underwhelmed, but as the week passed, and I got more and more situated back into my routine, I found myself remembering things we did, or thinking things in Spanish and then giggling to myself, wishing I was still in Argentina. Those are all signs of a successful trip, right?

Don't you worry South America, I'll be back. The lacking time change alone is worth it!  

Rach - thanks for having me! I can't wait for your triumphant return to the northern hemisphere. In the meantime, we'll always have Lady Gaga.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Calendaring My Life

I'm back! You can expect some Argentina recaps, complete with approximately 500 pictures, but for now I'm still sorting through my thoughts and catching up on life. I've been back for a week and I still feel behind at work and in life.

One way that I'm catching up? Scheduling my life. Between playing on 3 tennis teams, working 60+ hour weeks, football games, acupuncture & massage appointments, and everything else in between, I feel like I am being pulled in 8000 directions. I finally sat down today and updated my calendar to include everything I want to do and when I expect to do it.

Then I spent an hour figuring out how many dinners I wanted to cook this week (because spending a week in Argentina isn't exactly budget-friendly) and then going through my Google Reader and figuring out what I wanted to eat. Guys, easier said than done, but here's what I ended up with:

Sunday: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken -- found via Pinterest (to be eaten on salads or in a quesadilla w/ blue cheese)
Monday: Saturday night hibachi leftovers for lunch; Ground beef tacos for dinner (1/2 lb beef)
Tuesday: leftover tacos for lunch; Falafel pita for dinner
Wednesday: leftover buffalo chicken for lunch; Slow Cooker lasagna for dinner with the other 1/2 lb of beef that cooks while I play a tennis match!
Thursday: leftovers (lasagna, falafel, tacos, who knows?) for lunch; more leftovers for dinner, I have a 7pm tennis match

My parents are going to be in and out of Atlanta this week as they finalize the details on our almost-finished lakehouse, so this may all change as soon as they figure out what their plans are...or maybe I'll just pass the menu on to my mom and they can help me eat up some leftovers! I'll probably share quite a bit of this with my roommate, too, so maybe the leftovers won't be quite so plentiful. That's always the problem with cooking for 1 -- so many leftovers, and I get tired of the food!

So, that's part of the way I'm getting my life back under control. The other part includes calling my beloved housekeepers and running so many errands.

I've talked before about how I prep to leave for vacation, but how do you re-focus mentally when you return? 

Friday, October 7, 2011

The next 7 days

Can you believe I'm actually going? Yeah, me either.

Catch ya next weekend!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Candy Corn Decor

Pinned Image
I pinned this last week.

This is what my mantle looks like as of today.

 What a cute, simple way to decorate for fall, and how easily it can translate to the many other seasons of the year. I envision jelly beans in the spring and perhaps peppermints around the holidays?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September Top 10

1. Football season kickoff
2. A + A's wedding weekend

3. Savannah for Labor Day Weekend
4. Visiting my best friend in Dallas
5. Start of a new tennis season
6. Atlanta Themis kick-off
7. Community Service Day with Atlanta Dress for Success
8. Catching up with an old friend on her birthday
9. Celebrating new friends as they move on to bigger, better things
10. Georgia Tech 5-0! (although technically that happened in October)

Goals for October:
1. Don't get kidnapped in Argentina
2. Win a tennis match
3. Practice yoga at least once.
4. Use all the food in my fridge before it goes bad

What were your top 10 for September, and what are you aiming for in October?