Friday, March 26, 2010

Images, Questions and Love

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love.

Those who know me know that I wear my Grandmother’s wedding band. It’s such an amazing band and for the five and 1/2 years it has been on my finger, it has become a part of me. A symbol of the commitment Chad and I made to each other in front of our family, our friends and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. But, it is actually so much more than that. I actually feel honored to wear it.

Margaret Cymerman, “Grandma Peggy,” passed away from breast cancer when I was not quite seven. So the reality is that I didn’t really know her too well. I know pictures; pictures that show her as beautiful, stylish and always “together.” But the thing is I feel like I do know her, at least in my own mind. I have developed a relationship with her because of the bond that we share - a bond that now lives within a beautiful bauble that symbolizes the greatest love of my life.

She and my Grandfather were married over 25 years. One thing that lives so vividly in my mind are the photos from their elaborate 25th anniversary party. Now, I know that they didn’t have a perfect marriage or a perfect relationship, but the pictures of that party have become a symbol of what I want my marriage to be. She was exquisite. Wearing a beautiful long white gown with perfect beauty-parlor hair…she just looked happy. An amazing kind of happy! For most of my life now, that image lives in my head…that image is what love looks like.

This past week gave me a lot more to think about. You see, I have this amazing group of women in my life. These women have become such a huge part of me and it makes me so happy to be able to be there for each other through good and bad, happiness and sadness…love and loss. We are learning from each other that love and relationships are not all sunshine and roses. We are learning that sometimes love tests us…tests beyond our limits. However, even at the furthest of these limits, we have been able to witness the grace and beauty that comes along with unconditional love.

A friend of mine once gave me a quote about love and the uncertainties we endure and the questions we ask over and over. It’s so relevant to me today, and I dedicate this to one of the bravest women I have been fortunate enough to have come into my life:

Be Patient... toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves... Do not... seek the answers, which cannot be given... you would not be able to live with them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will... gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. --Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

What I know is that love is never simple! When I think back along the relationships in my life, I have been fortunate to know love. But now that I am older and have more life experiences under my belt, I am starting to see that some of the love that I have experienced – well, it may have not been love after all. Something different altogether, but definitely not love because I now feel that real love doesn’t go away. It changes and it changes you, but real love doesn’t end. It heals you when you need healing and comforts you when you need it most.

I have always believed that people come into our lives for a reason. Recently, something made me think that maybe it’s not just the person, but more the love that we receive from that person. I have been fortunate to have had love in my life that has sustained me…that has given me strength long after life has moved in another direction. And, it is the love that I have in my life now that shows me what life is all about.

I think once again about the pictures from Grandma Peggy and Grandpa Walter’s Anniversary and I dream of walking in their shoes. I hope for a day when my husband and I can share the longevity of our commitment the way they did that day. As the thought crosses my mind…I smile and my heart feels happy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just a Quick Update

Two weeks ago I wrote about needing to have a fresh start on the road to a healthier, better me. I am happy to report back that two weeks later the results have been great. Fourteen days of fresh food, veggies, reduced complex carbs, reduced caffeine and sugar has yielded a great result…my body feels amazing. I am sleeping better, have more energy and my left arm twitch is the most under control it’s been in years…oh and the best part – 7lbs are gone.

The journey needs to continue though, now is not the time to derail. I will continue to follow this path and see where it takes me…wish me luck, and hang tight for the next update.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Reality of Reality...

What is our fascination with reality TV? More specifically, what is the fascination that makes us tune in time after time to watch a bunch of women compete for the affections of some eligible bachelor? Now, there are a lot of things that are easy draws…cat fights, hot tubs, flowers…then you get to the end and have exotic locations, pretty dresses and… big earrings. What’s not to love? Really, I still can’t quite put my finger on it.

So, the more I thought about it I started to think that maybe it was the promise of what the show holds - the promise of a fairy tale, happy ending. Is it the promise that the “right girl” is going to win in the end and she’s going to get the man of her dreams? But I don’t think it’s that either…cause reality TV history says something totally different:

So, if the Biggest Loser has a better track record at love than the love show-of-all-shows, then just about everything I said above is completely debunked. Truth be told, there are no pretty dresses, diamonds or hot tubs on The Biggest Loser. Regardless, for some strange reason at the end of every Bachelor season we all tune in – even those of us who didn’t watch one episode prior!

OK, I do have a confession. I really only watched so that I could see the new competitors on the upcoming Dancing with the Stars! Keep in mind, I don’t really watch DWTS either…go figure. Earlier in the day I saw the internet rumors that Kate Gosselin and Shannen Doherty were going to be doing the Merengue and the Cha Cha. The reality TV junkie in me had found her next fix. Oh, but was I even remotely prepared for the amazing surprise that awaited me…NIECY NASH. MMMMMHMMM, it was like my Birthday…oh the FOOLISHNESS!! I am giddy. I may wear my flower in my hair tomorrow as a celebration. The printer has the order for my TEAM NIECY velour sweat suit!

Now, if you are staring at your screen going, “who the heck is Niecy Nash?”, then you need to check out this YouTube video reel with some of her highlights. Personal favorite – at about 2:47 she shows up back stage at a Kimora Lee Simons fashion show during Fashion Week…with a box of Dunkin Donuts!

All joking aside, reality TV has really changed the way that we as American’s not only watch TV, but it has changed our perception of celebrity. Think about it, not too long ago, celebrities were the people who sang, danced, acted or were great athletes.
“It's a rather astonishing change in the way we regard public people. Public people were once defined as such based upon the fact that their remarkable skills had brought them to the attention of the public. Now, though, we appear to be entering an era in which the skills are unnecessary. One can become a public person just by being a person, in public.” – Bob Greene, Jewish World Review

How and why is it that we make celebrities out of people who are just people, in public? Really, is it possible that Snooki is going to retire a lot earlier than most people I know (OK,I realize this takes into account that she will actually be responsible with the money she’s earning ). And for what? Getting drunk on the Boardwalk in Seaside Heights? Really, like who hasn’t done that (wink, wink)?

Maybe the fascination is just that we are looking to be entertained; looking to be entertained by a “real” glimpse into people’s lives, adventures and antics.

Maybe it’s an escape; a way for us to forget the things going on in our own lives and for a moment, picture ourselves in the shoes (dancing shoes!) of someone else.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s not such a bad thing – because sometimes those escapes are what gets us ready for the new day. Those escapes are a chance to turn it all off and focus on the next sister squabble between two Kardashian sisters, or the next pound lost by a person who really wants a chance at a better life. Then in the morning, we wake to a whole new reality!