Monday, November 30, 2009

Quieting the Mind

I am really trying lately to focus on the present.  I want to learn to savor each and every moment, almost like eating a really good piece of chocolate, discerning the first bite from the finish and understanding the subtle difference between the two.  Don't rush, just be, is my new mantra (Which of course will change next week).  Live in the present.  Many of life's moments may seem trivial or unimportant but there might be a greater meaning to things in my life if I really try to focus on what is happening right then and take a lesson from it.

I was running the other day when we were visiting my in-laws in Annapolis and I was struck by the stillness of the water in the Severn River which is in front of their house.  Can I possibly get my mind to be that still?  I am striving for that.  To be honest, most of the time my mind is racing from one thought to another such as what activity is going on at school or what we are having for dinner.  So the thought of having this kind of  presence of mind is a little bit daunting.  Then there is the future, looming so large and requiring so much forethought because I am sure I am going to be here to enjoy it.

When I do take deep breaths and quiet my mind, the world seems to take on a different hue.  The colors in nature are brighter, my husband's jokes are funnier and my children seem more beautiful and perfect.

So as the holiday season approaches and we rush around to please everyone, as we always do, I will try to quiet my mind and enjoy the aura of life.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Three Little Kittens

So the day after the fashion show last week, my friends Lisa and Carol rescued three little kittens who were abandoned by their mother.  Aren't they adorable?  It is my daughter's birthday this week and guess what she has asked for?  You got it; one of these kittens. 
I am not a really big animal person, I was so proud of myself for agreeing to get a goldfish a couple of years ago, but now I am reallly working my way into the world of animal lovers.  We went to the pet store the other day to get all of the essentials.  The litter box, the bed, the toys and the cat litter.  I am really in over my head already.  I know that there are many of you who have animals and you handle it just fine.  I am just not sure that I am this person.  I guess that we will find out soon enough.

Two and a half years ago right before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, we were visiting my parent's home down in Virginia and there was a stray Tabby kitten that landed on my  the front door step.  For three or four days, that kitten followed my daughter around, almost like a puppy.  She was so cute and loving that I almost brought her home. 
I feverishly e-mailed my husband, who was on a business trip in Japan, to try to figure out what to do.  Could  I handle bringing a kitten on an eight hour drive back home with a four and seven year old?  In the end, I chickened out and a neighbor of my parent's adopted the kitten.
We went home to what we thought would be out normal life.  One month later, I was diagnosed with cancer and our world was temporarily shattered.  I wished many times I had brought that kitten home for my daughter.  Now it is two and a half years later and here we are again with an opportunity to adopt a kitten. 

This time I just have to say yes.
So, for my Thanksgiving baby, on this Thanksgiving day, I am thankful that I can open up my heart and home to one of these kittens.  Wishing you all health and happiness this Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tory Burch Fashion Show

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I am modeling Tory Burch's Resort Wear for 2010.  Woo Hoo!!!

Tory with all of the models.

More me in Tory's clothes!

I had the opportunity on Monday to participate in a wonderful event sponsored by The Wellness Community of Philadelphia.  I got to model Tory Burch clothes, with twelve other cancer survivors, in front of two hundred and fifty women of the Main Line at Golf Mills Golf Club.  The entire experience was inspirational and best of all, Tory Burch was there!!!   She is such a fashion icon at the moment that I was completely
overwhelmed.  So much so that I literally didn't know what to say.

Me and my wonderful friends and a fellow model at lunch.

We got there early to have our hair and make up done by professionals and an hour later we were totally transformed.  Hair was curled or straightened as needed and make up was liberally applied(making sure to cover up the bags from staying out late at the cocktail party the night before).  We all looked like a better version of ourselves as we put carefully put on our predetermined outfits to walk down the "runway."  We thought we wouldn't be nervous but in four inch heels, on steps, in front of friends, we all got the butterflies right before we walked out.
The chatter amongst the models was so loud at one point that we were hushed by "Tory's people" so the guests could hear what the emcee was saying about each model.  The clothes were gorgeou;  they are from her Holiday and Resort Collections.  I was so happy to wear the gold and silver sweater they chose for me that I can't wait to buy it and pair it with my favorite white jeans and her signature flats.  Who knew I could enjoy being a cancer survivor so much?  I guess it is the silver lining; it seems that there always is one.

I had an opportunity to talk with Tory "one on one" and I am still laughing about the whole experience.  We just happened to be standing in the lobby waiting for the luncheon to begin and there we were, the two of us with five or seven photographers taking photo after photo of us as we chatted.  I found the experience to be extremely unnerving and lost my train of thought a couple of times while we were talking.  I finally looked at her and said, "Oh my gosh, you must be used to all of this paparazzi but I can't seem to concentrate!"  She smiled and turned her head and waived a hand nonchalantly.

 "Oh that," she said, as she waived them into obscurity.  "So tell me," She continued, grounded in the conversation, "How do you like Philadelphia?"  I took a breath and continued to talk, much more aware than ever of the idea of being present in the moment.  Here we were, in a room full of photographers, reporters and people who wanted Tory's attention and she was just fine where she was; in the moment.  All I could think after this interaction was that I need be more aware, more present and more in tune with myself and others and maybe, just maybe, I should do more yoga.