San Diego

24 Hours: A lesson in thankfulness and a giveaway by Liz

Life is busy.  So busy, in fact, that I often find my self rushing from task to task, never stopping to stop and smell those freakin' roses everyone is always talking about, never stopping to even BREATHE.  I often worry, am I racing through life so fast that I'm not enjoying any of the things in it? Do I work my ass off to achieve things,  not taking a hot minute to bask in the satisfaction?  Do I ever take a minute to be THANKFUL? This past Saturday, I had to work. (Remember, when I told you about my day job?) The forecast predicted 80 degrees and my close-to-mid-life crisis convertible purchase was going to sit in the garage, unused, as I sped off at 5:30am to work a booth at a conference in downtown San Diego, missing my son's first baseball game.  I was NOT feeling thankful.  But as sped down the freeway, I had a thought.  What if I WAS?  What if I found something to be thankful for in every situation for 24 hours?  And not just the obvious stuff, like losing two pounds for no reason or when someone tells me my shoes are cute.  What if I spent the day turning every negative into a positive?

So, that's what I did, yo!

Waking up at 4:45 on a Saturday?  Finally!  No line in the Starbucks drive thru!  And were you aware that calories consumed before 6am don't count? #hellocrumbcake

Thankful for Channing Tatum's hotness

No one is stopping by the booth that I'm giving up my Saturday for?  That's okay--I'm thankful they have free wi-fi.  I now know more about Channing Tatum than I ever thought possible. (Don't judge! #buddingcougar)

My suit feeling snug from those extra 8 pounds that just won't come off? I'm thankful most of the fat seems to have gone to my boobs. #majorcleavage

Missing the kid's softball and baseball games? I'm thankful the hubs is blowing up my phone with a play by play of the action, even detailing their snack bar purchases. #snackbarTMI

Not outside soaking up the rays on the warmest day in months? I'm thankful that I won't get hat hair from shielding my face from all that gorgeous sunlight. Plus, isn't ghost white skin the new tan? #letsstartatrend

Stressed about all the writing I need to get done? But, I get to write!  And I get to do it with my best friend. These are problems to have! So STFU and be thankful.

You see? It's not that hard if you put your mind to it. They say being thankful brings positive energy your way--and who couldn't use a dose of that?  Even if you are having what you think is the worst day EVEH, try not to wallow in the negativity--find little ways to find happiness. Like maybe you're having a horrendously shitty day at work, but hey, you're thankful that job pays your bills.  Or if all the crazy political people on Facebook are driving you crazy with their tirades, try to be thankful that we live in a country where everyone gets an opinion without getting thrown in jail.

Sometimes, I have so many balls in the air that I forget how hard I worked to get all the balls up there in the first place.  And I never want to look back at my life and realize that I never took the time to be thankful for the things in it.  As I get older, I'm finally understanding that things don't have to be perfect--that it's in those moments where it's most important to find the good.  To put down our phones, log off our computers and take a deep breath.  Ahhhhh.  Now, didn't that feel good?

And you know what? My 24 hours of thankfulness turned out pretty good-the conference got out earlier than expected and I was able to race home and enjoy a slice of the sunlight-I even had time to test out my mom's new chi machine(long story!) and watch a movie with my husband that didn't star an animated character or a animal or Selena Gomez.  That was easy to be thankful for.

Tell me one thing you are thankful for and I'll enter you to win a MYSTERY stack of  15 books!  (And you don't end up liking all of them, you'll just have to be thankful you won, okay? lol)  Leave a comment here and you'll be entered to win.  I'll choose the winners on Monday, March 11th after 8am.









Time Zone Trauma by Liz

As you most of you know, Lisa and I have been, well, inseparable since we met our freshman year of high school. (What can I say?  I knew anyone that could pull off red eyeglasses and an LA Gear jean jacket would make a good partner in crime!) And with few exceptions, we've stuck by each others side for the past, *gulp* TWENTY THREE YEARS. And since that fateful day in 1989, we've been like peanut butter and jelly.  Milk and cookies.  Or Grey Goose and olive juice!

So we totally get it when people are a little freaked out by the parallel lives we've been leading since then.  It's even baffled us at some point or another.  Maybe because:

  • We went to college together and lived in same house for years without killing each other! (but just barely, there was an incident involving hand-bending and The Fugitive movie...)
  • We joined the same sorority. (how else could we have scored our fake IDs?)
  • We had the same major AND took all our classes together even after most teachers started calling us BOTH Lisa! (cue my junior year identity crisis...)
  • We have parents that STILL live a mile from each other in San Diego.(My mom is her dad's real estate agent! Does it get any more incestuous than that?)
  • AND, back in the day, we *coincidentally* both dumped our good-for-nothing boyfriends the same week. (Because, of course, we both used to love dating jackasses!)

But that all ended last July when Lisa left me to be with her super fabulous fiance.  And although we didn't actually SEE each other very much when we lived five miles apart(Lisa was always working and Liz was drowning in dirty diapers), it was nice to know that happy hour with her was just a phone call away. (Or an email-in those days her blackberry was permanently glued to her hand.)  Now even trying to talk shit about The Real Housewives of New Jersey requires a major calendar synchronization!

So it's been a tough transition for us.  Because not only are we friends, but we're co-authors and business partners too.  And with Lisa waking up a two hours earlier than me each morning, that leaves a whole lot of emails that I'm opening sans caffienation.

Got an early morning workout in Chicago? I really want to hear about your new yoga class, I really do. But you do realize it's f*cking 4am here, right?

Just can't wait to Facebook about who gets the final rose each Monday night? Hey beyotch!  It's bad enough that PSTers can't even log on to Twitter for fear of spoilers. Now you're doing it too?  Is this because we enjoy sun all year round?

So yes, communicating properly has become a whole lot harder since Lisa headed down Route 66 on her way to her new life.  But the bright spot?  We actually talk live a lot more then we used to when she lived here.  And absence really does make the heart grow fonder-I think I may have actually written "Love you!" on a text the other day (a gesture which very clearly breaks our robot friendship bylaws).

But like any great friendship, we'll make our differences(time differences, that is...) work until we can get in the same time zone once again. And the moral to this story?  Call up your BFF and ask her to meet you for a glass of wine this week.  you never know where life will lead you-take time to enjoy your friendship today!

Confessions of a Third Wheel By Lisa

redtricycle I think the third wheel gets a bad rap.

And I would know, considering I've been a willing wheel for many years...

The third wheel has a negative connotation--conjuring up images of that tag along kid who followed you around on the playground. Or the girl your mom coerced you into inviting to your slumber party. And the roommate who regularly crashed your movie night on the couch with your boyfriend. (You know who you are!)

But not all third wheels are unwelcome guests. Some, like me, are invited--even bribed or begged into attending an event with the other two. (More on that in a minute but it starts with--MARE-UH-THON!)

The Tricycle

I've been a member of the tricycle as Liz, her husband Mike, and I refer to our arrangement, for at least a decade. (Maybe I'll get a special pin soon? In the spirit of "wings" for flying, I'll get a wheel?)

We first officially took the tricycle out for a spin for our 10th high school reunion. Liz and Mike had just gotten married and I had, well, just gotten dumped. On the way down we chatted, who had the bigger news?  Liz and Mike?

A wedding! A honeymoon! A new house!

Or me?

Depression diagnosis! A new bottle of Prozac! A singles support group!

As we tricycled to see our Vista High School classmates (go Panthers!), I remember feeling relieved that at least I wouldn't be walking in alone. For a few minutes, I could deflect questions about myself because I'd be standing with Liz and Mike as they discussed their new marriage. Maybe I could even grab a glass of wine before I began answering questions about why I was still single.

I never imagined that, instead of my life or even Liz's post high school life, it would be MIKE at center stage--fielding questions--about his height!? Had he ever played professional basketball? Were all of his friends tall? How did he get soo tall?  I mean he's definitely tall (6'6"), but he's not the Jolly Green Giant or anything!

But I'd still like to take this time to give Mike front wheel Fenton a special shout out for literally overshadowing me!

The Duallie

Recently, Liz asked me if I wanted to go to San Diego to watch her brother-in-law run in a marathon. And then, suddenly, the pitch of her voice got higher as she tried to sell me on the experience. And I knew something was up.

The energy is amazing! It's inspirational! And, um, maybe you can also help me watch the kids when Mike's off with his brother.

Bingo! Energy smenergy. She wanted this wheel to babysit!

I agreed, because, well Auntie Lisa does love Liz's kids and the fact that her two-and-a-half-year-old son, Shane, points to blonde models in magazines and thinks they're me doesn't hurt either. So, I showed up at 8:00 a.m. only to be relegated to the back of the minivan like a dog or the annoying aunt that no one wants to talk to. In all fairness, I was asked if I was okay. I simply replied,

Need. Air. Back. Here.

I asked Liz and Mike what we should call ourselves now that we were traveling with two children? When our friend La Sundra would join us, we'd refer to ourselves as  The Quad. But now, with five, what were we? We decided on duallie.

The Marathon was the next day. So that night, we stayed over at Liz's mom's house. It was then that I was told we'd be LEAVING for the run at 6:00 a.m.

At 5:59 on the nose, relegated yet again to the back of the minivan, I was politely asked how I was back there. I simply replied,

Need. Starbucks. Now.

On the way to the race, I listened as Liz and Mike chatted about how comfortable their bed had been the night before. I had to chime in. I yelled up to the front seat over Liz's four-year-old daughter, Riley, belting out Natasha Betingfeld's Soulmate. (Unbelievably cute, BTW!)

Oh really?  Was it now? Well, I think I can one up you. My COT in the dining room was freakin' fantastic! Wouldn't have traded with either of you if you paid me!

*Awkward silence*

Okay, so I'll admit that the Marathon did turn out to be lots of energy and excitement, just like Liz promised. Her BIL did awesome (although I stand by my convenient theory that it just cannot be necessary to run 26 whole miles) and it was fun to watch all the "Elvises" run by (it was the Rock N Roll marathon, after all).

And in the interest of full disclosure--since I've kind of thrown Liz & Mike under the bus (how many wheels is that?), I should reveal that Liz has been on the other wheel of a tricycle too...and maybe she wasn't exactly treated like a queen either.  She three wheeled it with Matt and me to the Midwest book signings. And we just might have made her sleep in Matt's 6-year-old son's twin bed. :)

xoxo, Lisa