Monthly Archives: December 2014

Namaste, Universe. Staying Positive Amongst Life’s Lemons

LOVE AND OLIVES

One after another, the traffic lights flashed an inviting shade of green. Have you ever had one of those days? No traffic. No stop-and-go. Blazing ahead in unrestrained liberation, you capitulate to the thought that you and the universe suddenly understand each other. You are in sync. On this morning, with the whisper of “Happy Friday,” the mystical hand of the cosmos guided me along the asphalt towards the corporate world. Ah, if every day could be like this, right? Namaste, universe.

Unfortunately, my mornings usually consist of the stark opposite. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, fresh coffee stains on new winter coats, yellow lights which scream you just missed me, better luck next time. Maintaining a positive outlook is easy with a “green lights” kind of day. But what about the days when you become a target of life’s slingshot of lemons? Well, you’ve heard the phrase: When life gives…

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No, Those Voices In Your Head Aren’t Real; What My Psychologist Tells Me About Shopping.

LOVE AND OLIVES

Okay, sure. I like to shop … a little. Okay, a lot. So I enjoy the hustle and bustle of the mall, the kiosks stocked full with chocolate covered almonds and sour straws. So a good sale makes me feel like all is right in the world. Is that a crime? Let’s say it together, ladies: Retail therapy. Yes, that’s right; the scientific phenomena by which the elevation of spirits coincides with the depletion of bank accounts. No, trust me. It’s a real thing. A psychologist somewhere is documenting the noted positive effects of shopping on the female psyche. Let’s face it. I really can give you any excuse to shop. But when I have a bad day, lose a case, car breaks down, that pull to spend is fierce. Don’t get me wrong, though. I am smart about it. I avoid shelling out dollars for bad deals, but…

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Wake Me Up When Winter Ends

LOVE AND OLIVES

Hi, I’m Olivia. I enjoy long walks across the Arctic, itchy wool sweaters, shoveling snow, penguins, and the immobility we experience beneath several layers of winter garments. Okay, that’s all a lie. Well, except the part about the penguins. I think penguins are cute.

Honestly, I believe I suffer from a debilitating illness commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Kindly wake me when spring rolls around so that I can order a Dunkin Donuts  iced coffee and savor the chilled deliciousness while happily hugging random strangers in a manic appreciation of springtime bliss.

Until then, I will be researching the costs of moving to sunny Florida.

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Are You Normal? Defining Normalcy in a World of Imit-Haters

LOVE AND OLIVES

What is normal? Are you normal? Am I normal? Are we all normal?  Webster’s Dictionary defines the term as “usual or ordinary; not strange.” When we ask ourselves these questions, or when we respond to the next statement in parenthesis, as I often do (you’re so weird), do you ever wonder by whose standard we are judging ourselves against? What does Webster know about being normal, anyway?

Growing up, I was always a little, well, different. My teeth were crooked. I had a high pitched laugh. I was a little nerdy. Okay, very nerdy.  I was also sheltered so, hence, extremely socially awkward. I walked around with a bull’s eye pasted across my chest, serving as a moving target for the big bad bullies who continuously pushed me around. No, really – I mean that in the most literal sense. Every afternoon in the second grade, I would skip…

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On Flying Time: Can We Do Anything to Slow it Down?

LOVE AND OLIVES

Time Flies. When you’re having fun? When you’re standing still? Having babies? In love? You’ve heard the longstanding adage before. What does it mean to you? And the bigger question is: What can you do to slow it down? To me, time is moving at lightning speed. One day, I was welcoming the summer sun in my mesh-covered beach chair, listening to the squawk of seagulls at a late June sundown.  The next day, it was December. Just like that. As we get older, that phrase “time flies” takes on a meaning of greater significance. With the blink of an eye, years transpire and we suddenly find ourselves older versions of what we used to be, with more responsibility and with less, well, time.  Time is flying – and we are chasing it with everything we’ve got.

Do you remember summer vacations when we were kids? From…

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Tradition. What Does it Mean to You?

LOVE AND OLIVES

Tradition. Oh, you know: Christmas trees, Thanksgiving turkey, Mother’s Day brunch, fall pumpkin carving, birthday cakes, Sunday pancakes …This could take all day. I’m a sucker for a good tradition. I just love the sense of continuity and cohesion behind it. The sense that tradition can withstand time, from generation to generation, and that we, as participants, can watch it grow and evolve. Second, the power that tradition holds to bring families together, the sense of harmony that it affords. The customs, beliefs and practices that we share with our loved ones are oftentimes derived from what has been passed down to us, or from what we established on our own. In a world that is constantly shifting and changing, tradition in its essence offers us a sense of stability. Even when our surroundings change, we can rely on traditions to remain just as we left them. They offer…

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