It’s Never #Quiet

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It’s Never Quiet

I live in San Francisco.  
I live in a house near a busy street, where buses and cars travel all day and night.
I live near two schools and a probation center. 
I live in a house where the TV is always on.
I live in an old house that settles all the time.
I work in a busy office building on the fifth floor.
I work in a cubicle where people don’t know what it means to be quiet.
I wear headphones and listen to music Monday through Friday 8-4 to drown out the background noise.  Ironic, I know.
I drive a car through traffic.
Cars.  Motorcycles.  Very loud ones. 
Muni. Underground trains. 
Horns. 
Airplanes. 
Garbage trucks.  Street sweepers.  Lawn mowers.  Leaf blowers.
Homeless people.
Children.
Families. 
People.  Lots of them. 
Talking.  Screaming. Laughing.
Birds chirping. 
Dogs barking.
Cats meowing.  Cats in heat.
Wind and rain. 
Dishwasher. Wash machine.  Dryer.  Vacuum. 
Alarm clock.
Coffee maker. 
Ringing phones. 
Heart beating.
Breathing. 
It’s never quiet.
How do you find quiet in all the #noise?  

What Your Relationship Needs from You

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All relationships require work.  They don’t just materialize and maintain themselves, and they aren’t built on a foundation of convenience either.  They take time and patience and two people who are willing to put in the effort.

Here’s how to do your part – nine things your relationships need from you:

1.  Attention

Neglect based on lack of attention damages relationships far more often than malicious abuse.  There’s nothing more vital to the bond you share with others than simply being there for them.

When we pay attention to each other we breathe new life into each other.  With frequent attention and affection our relationships flourish, and we as individuals grow stronger.  This is the side effect of a good relationship – we help heal each other’s wounds and support each other’s strengths.

Bottom line:  Stay in close touch with those who matter to you – communicate openly on a regular basis.  Not because it’s convenient, but because these people are worth the extra effort.

2.  Trust

The entire fabric of our society – people working, living and breathing together – relies on the positive beliefs we have about each other – a subtle, inherent trust.  This trust is the glue that holds every peaceful civilization together.  Which is why trust is the greatest compliment you can give a person, even greater than love.

The only way to build this trust, or find out if someone is trustworthy, is to trust them.  When you do, without a doubt, you’ll automatically get one of two results:  A friend for life or a lesson for life.  Either way the outcome is positive – you determine which relationships are worth your long-term attention. 

3.  Honesty

When your intentions are good and your cause is just, honesty will always help you.  When your heart is open to love and truth, your lips will not utter lies that haunt you.  When people are honest with each other up front, the truth may hurt sooner, but the suffering always dies faster, and out of this suffering comes growth.

Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed.  Be honest about what you want a relationship and how you want to be treated.  Be honest with every aspect of your relationships, always.

The bottom line is that relationships don’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and twisting reality until it screws with someone’s emotions is what hurts.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of your own.  If you are unsure in any way, be sure to say so.  Always be open and honest.

4.  Loyalty

Stand by those you care about in their darkest moments, not because you want to stand in the dark, but because you don’t want them to either.  Brave the shadows alongside them until they’re able to find the light.  On the flipside, stand by these same people on their sunniest days, not because you want to scorch your skin, but because you’re not afraid to let them shine bright.

In other words, be loyal.  You can’t promise to be there for someone for the rest of their life, but you can sincerely be there for them for the rest of yours.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Loyalty means the world.

5.  Teamwork

The most important trip you will ever take in life is meeting others half way.  You will achieve far more by working with people, rather than working alone or against them.

That’s what healthy relationships are all about – teamwork.  The strength of every relationship depends on the strength of its members, and the strength of each member depends on the quality of their relationships.

Anyone who helps you to make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through passion, love and teamwork, is a precious friend and teacher.  They are part of your dream team.  These people are out there.  Connect with them and conquer the world together. 

6.  Acceptance

There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship.  Even if it seems perfect now, it won’t always be.  Imperfection, however, is real and beautiful.  It’s how two people accept and deal with the imperfections of a relationship that make it ideal.

The quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance, and in inverse proportion to their intolerance and expectations.  They must appreciate their similarities and respect their differences.

7.  Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the greatest virtues to which you should always seek.  Imagine if everyone you knew was willing both to apologize and to accept an apology.  Is there any problem that you all would not be able to solve?

The willingness to admit that we are all human, and to forgive sincerely, is a sign of your emotional strength and maturity.  Ultimately, this forgiveness is for you.  It sets you free from the shackles of the past so you can take the future in stride, regardless of whether you choose to bring certain people along for the ride.

Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did is OK.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did ruin my happiness forever.”

Forgiveness is YOUR remedy.

8.  Empathy

Sometimes we feel as though the world is crashing down around us, as if the pain we are experiencing is unique only to us in this moment.  This, of course, is far from the truth.  In fact, the very demons that torment each of us torment others all over the world.  It is our challenges and pain that connect us at the deepest level.  We are all in this together and we should treat each other as such.

If you think about the people who have had the greatest positive effect on your life – the ones who truly made a difference – you will likely realize that they aren’t the ones that tried to give you all the answers or solve all your problems.  They’re the ones who sat silently with you when you needed a moment to think, who lent you a shoulder when you needed to cry, and who tolerated not having all the answers, but stood beside you anyway.  Be this person for the people you care about.

9.  Self Love

Relationships don’t create joy, they reflect it.  Joy comes from within.  Relationships are simply mirrors of the combined joy that two people have as individuals.  What you see in the mirror is what you see in your relationships.  Your disappointment in others perfectly reflects your disappointment in yourself.  Your acceptance of others perfectly reflects your acceptance of yourself.  Thus, the first step to having healthy relationship with anyone else is to have a healthy relationship with yourself.

You are powerful and beautiful when you love yourself.  So get up, look in the mirror and say, “I love you, and I mean it!”

Also, respect yourself enough to never feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life.  It doesn’t matter whether these people are relatives, romantic interests, coworkers, old friends, or new acquaintances – you don’t have to make room in your life for people who make you feel like you’re less than you are.

From: Marc And Angel

Single Woman’s Bucket List…Update!

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lens1960483_1313388179bucket_listBack in November 2011, I wrote a “Single Woman’s Bucket List, based on an article in Glamour and when I was single.  I am no longer single.  However, I thought it was a good time to review this list, make some changes (indicated in bold) and give some updates (indicated  in italics).  Here it goes….

To Build Your Confidence…

1. Go to a movie alone.

2. Work out regularly.  It doesn’t have to be the gym but do something active DAILY.  

3. Try surfing, water-skiing, or some activity you don’t already know how to do. Could be riding a bicycle.  I think I should tackle this little problem I have of open waters.  

4. Take out the trash, set a mousetrap, do your taxes, build a bookcase.

5. Live alone.

6. Train for (and finish) a huge physical test like a half-marathon.

7. Go to a scary doctor’s appointment by yourself.

8. Quit your job. It feels so good to take a job and shove it (and not be affecting anyone else’s livelihood).

9. Fly to a foreign country by yourself.  I have flown to Mexico several times alone.  I know it’s not so foreign but it counts, right?

10. Learn to stand up for yourself.

To Be Able to Look Back and Say “I Had Fun”…

11. Witness something once-in-a-lifetime, like Jokulsarlon, a lake next to a melting glacier in Iceland.

12. Do something daring, like sky diving or bungee jumping.  I bought a living social deal to sky dive so I am committed to doing it now.  Yikes! 

13. Get drunk during the day, just because you can.

14. Go on a date with someone who actually makes you nervous. This happened on March 16, 2013.  I thought I was going to throw up for the first hour of the date.  

15. Go out with an older man who takes you somewhere nice and makes you feel like a million bucks.

16. Go out with a guy who makes you laugh ‘til it hurts. This too happened on my date mentioned in #14 and has happened every day since.

To Get Perspective…

17.  Be a good wingwoman. It’s not always about you.

18. Go a day or a week without using the Internet or social media.  

19. Volunteer.

To Make You Appreciate the Next Guy…

20. Do at least one Valentine’s Day alone.  I had a “Single Awareness
Party on Valentine’s Day.  Everyone who was single had to bring someone else to the party that was single of the opposite sex.  Good times! 

21. Attend a wedding (or 15) alone.

22. Date the creeps. You’ll really value the nice guys afterward. I am officially done dating the creeps.  Never again! I can say I have found quit the gentleman.  See #14 and #16 above.   Hmmm, maybe I should write a blog about this magical March 14th date and how it all began.  It’s quite a story.   

To Make You Feel Sexy and Attractive…

23. Buy yourself some flowersIt’s part of my weekly shopping at Trader Joe’s.  I even decided to pick some flowers from my backyard, which smell heavenly and which I didn’t realize existed since I NEVER go into my backyard.  I know.  That’s weird, right?  Oh well.   

24. Invest in a LBD (little black dress) and some sexy stilettos. I have several little black dresses and seriously need to stop shopping online. 

25. Sit at a bar by yourself and drink a martini. Cool. I’d like to cross this one off as completed because I have done this several times while my friends go outside to smoke and left me there for a LOOOONG time.  I don’t care what you say, it counts! :D 

26. Buy something frivolous and expensive that you LOVE wearing.

To Make the Most of Your Free Time…

27. Finish all your schooling if you can. Not that it was ever my goal to go to grad school, but I did.  But I will never stop learning and considering going back again and getting another Master’s degree.  I am such an over achiever.  :D 

28. Throw yourself into something time-consuming, like learning a foreign language. You may not have time to do this again until you retire and the kids are off to college.  I registered online at Duolingo to learn Spanish.  It’s free! 

To Make Yourself a Better Partner in the Future…

29. Make a list of all your faults.  I haven’t made a list but we sure have talked about it.  Maybe I will start a list just to make sure I am not forgetting anything.  

30. Learn to cook well. Spaghetti and Meatballs anyone?  

31. Get some hobbies. Something’s gotta keep you occupied—plus it’ll make you seem interesting. Blogging and scrap booking are it! 

32. Let your married friends edit your online dating profile.  Even though I do not have an online dating profile, I decided to leave this one for those of you who do.  It sounds interesting and honest!

33. Get your finances in order.   I am officially out of debt and it feels  AH-MAZING.  I will no longer buy anything I cannot pay cash for.  No cash.  No buying.  No exceptions! It’s the rule! 

To Appreciate Being Single…

34. Babysit someone’s baby for an hour.

35. Help a friend through her divorce or a bad break-up.  I was there for her and she was there for me.  

36. Host a girls-only night. I think some coupled-up women forget how much we need each other.

I don’t think I did so bad.  There are still things on the list I will knock out!

Next: Pre-Baby Bucket List! Ideas? 

#SanFrancisco #Tourism

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Millions of people flock to San Francisco to see the famous Golden Gate Bridge or the Painted Ladies as seen in Full House.  These beautiful sites are right outside my door.  So I was excited to be a tourist in my beautiful city in which I was born and raised in.

I recently had a six day staycation and became a tourist.  The question is, what to do or not to do?  For example, if you have an out-of-town guest visiting for the first time EVER and for a short amount of time, what attractions do you see or what things do you do in order to capture how amazing San Francisco is without being overwhelmed?  I limited this staycation to a few major activities/attractions that I felt captured my city.  I have to admit, I’ve lived here my entire life and I am embarrassed to say there are some things I haven’t done or seen, like ride a cable car.  Oh! Did I just admit that out loud?  I’ve been on one just not one in motion. But don’t fear, I will do it and post lots of pictures of it when I do.  Yes, I am one of those people.

I wanted to start the staycation off with a view of San Francisco.  Twin Peaks is right up the street from my house, so this was our first stop.

twin-peaks-market-street-v2Photo from SFTravel

So here is how we spent our six day staycation.

Night 1: California Academy of Sciences

This is by far one of my favorite places in San Francisco set in the beauty of Golden Gate Park.  It has an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and more.  While this is a great place for children to explore and enjoy, the Academy has “Nightlife at the Academy,” every Thursday night for adults only.  The pros are:  it is cheaper, alcohol is served, no children, and less crowded.  I have been here several times during the day with my nieces and nephews but never at night for Nightlife.  It was a great experience and I highly recommend it!

Day 1: Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf

We walked around the Pier, saw the sea lions, observed Alcatraz from land and had lunch at Boudin’s. You cannot go to the Wharf and not have clam chowder in a bread bowl. Yummy!  After lunch, we went to the Wax Museum (only because I found a living social deal) and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum (which a friend highly recommended).  My recommendation, skip the wax museum and definitely go to Ripley’s. Most wax figures did NOT look like the people.  I left most of the figures saying, “Who was that?”  If it wasn’t for the name displays, I would have left there very confused. Ripley’s had some really cool things.  This being one of them:

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Day 2: Golden Gate Park

You can spend the entire day in Golden Gate Park, which is larger than New York’s Central Park.  There is so much to do and see there.  Some of the attractions being the California Academy of Sciences, De Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, many other gardens, the bisons, Legion of Honor, a carousel and park. We decided to kept it low-key and had a picnic at Stow Lake.  After lunch, we walked around the lake and did a little hike.

IMG_2557Day 3 and 4: Monterey Overnight

One thing I love most about San Francisco is being so close to take weekend getaways.  Want to go skiing? Lake Tahoe is only four hours away.  Want to have a romantic weekend?  Monterey is only two hours.  We headed to Monterey for an overnight stay taking the drive down Highway 1 with amazing coastal views.  Of course, if this is your first time visiting Monterey, you want to check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  We passed on it and felt, you’ve seen one aquarium, you’ve seen them all.  Plus, we just saw the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences and the Monterey Bay Aquarium can be quite expensive depending on how many guests you are entertaining.  If there was more time, we would have stayed a few days in Carmel and Big Sur.

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Day 5:

We spent the day driving to famous attractions which included the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies, the crooked street on Lombard Street, Coit Tower, and the Palace of Fine Arts.

IMG_2586The Golden Gate Bridge

IMG_2598The Painted Ladies

IMG_2568The Crooked Street (this picture sucks)

IMG_2587Coit Tower

IMG_2597The Palace of Fine Arts

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Day 6: Ocean Beach

We lucked out with warm weather during this staycation and decided to end it with a day at the beach.  While there are many gorgeous beaches to visit in the Bay Area, we stayed near home and went to Ocean Beach (which is ten minutes from my house).  After the beach, we went to Mitchell’s Ice Cream, which is a must for any ice cream lovers! Just check out the Yelp reviews yourself.

IMG_2602What would you do and see if you visited San Francisco?

Power Struggle

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“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.”

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Soul Mates

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Souls

When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the
yearning to be close to the other.  The presence that is felt
through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen.

Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand
the notion of time or distance.  The only know it feels right to
be with one another.

This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they
are not there— even if they are only in the very next room.
Your soul only feels their absence— it doesn’t realize the
separation is temporary.

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Can I ask you something?
Anything.
Why is it every time we say goodnight, it feels like goodbye?
– Lang Leav

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Soul Mates

I don’t know how it is you are so familiar to me – or why it feels less that I’m getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile,  and every whisper brings me to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before- in another time, a different place, I guess,some other existence. -Lang Leav