Monthly Archives: May 2014

The first yellow bird of the season!

I was driving this morning, on my way to an appointment, my mind caught up in something that wasn’t feeling great. I was rehashing my situation and debating alternatives, looking for a perfect solution and realizing it probably didn’t exist. (And desperately wanting to find it anyway.) I was very focused on my problem.

Then a bird flew right in front of my car, just slow enough so that I could clearly see it. Just slow enough so that I could notice the universe shouting at me. Because it was a yellow bird, my first one of the season.

I’ve said before that I love yellow birds. I love seeing yellow birds. They fill my heart with delight and always, always, always make me notice what’s right with the world. They make me stop and remember all the things I can easily forget – that all is well, that there are reasons to smile and beauty is all around me, if I open my eyes to it.

I don’t see my yellow birds often. They’re somewhat scarce. My mother notices cardinals and smiles, and part of me wishes I did too, because I see cardinals every day. But it’s the yellow birds – that are so few and far between – that bring me a surge of joy. Maybe because they are few and far between. Maybe because they’re such a beautiful, bright shade of yellow. I don’t know.

I had been looking for them recently. I sit outside every morning and notice all the other birds and I had been wondering where my yellow birds were. I heard myself ask them when they were coming. I heard myself question, what if the universe doesn’t shout at me with yellow birds this year? I looked and looked and looked for them. But until now, they hadn’t shown up.

But today one did. And I could smile. And, again, know that all is right and okay with the world.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Happy Oreo Day!

Many years ago, when my kids were both still little, my daughter had a school project. She was learning about graphs in math and had to poll people about their favorite holidays and represent the data on a graph. She asked my son, who must have been three or so, what his favorite holiday was. He knew without any hesitation – “Oreo Day!!”

Out of the mouths of babes, eh? Of course it would make sense that he would confuse Memorial Day with Oreo Day, because while no three year old would know what a memorial is, every three year old would know what an Oreo is. (Well, almost every three year old. My daughter wasn’t allowed any processed sugar until she was around three – I know, say what you will. Then she had her first brownie, from our famous family recipe. You should have seen the look on her face! It was as if she’d discovered the meaning of life. I guess, in many ways, she had!) But back to Oreo Day.

So my son confused Memorial with Oreo – because given the choice he’d rather have an Oreo than many things, especially something he didn’t know. He never had the problem of not being introduced to sugar. Being a second child, he ventured into, and loved, that world far earlier and more than his sister ever did. Life is still largely about dessert for him.

So it’s Oreo Day this weekend and we bought Oreos. We buy them every year. This year many of them got crumbled up as a topping for the lemon pancakes my son made, but we left enough to toast in Oreo Day on Monday.

We buy Oreos every year. It’s a family tradition. I wonder if my kids will celebrate Oreo Day with their kids one day. Will the family tradition continue? Is that how family traditions start? Based on a story, or a funny incident, and a whole lot of love…and then they exist and are carried on.

I hope Oreo Day continues. Happy Oreo Day everyone!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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There’s a message in a banana

Really. There is.

The other day I was in NYC (which, of course, I love), on my way to a client meeting. I was a bit tight on time, the train running later than I expected. And I wanted a cup of coffee. A Starbucks cup of coffee.

I knew I didn’t really have time, but I also knew that I had promised myself to do more of the little things throughout my day that bring me joy. To actively choose to pamper myself whenever and however I can. And I knew that the cup of coffee, as small as it was, would bring a smile to my face and more pleasure to my day.

I pulled up my Starbucks app, and did a search for the nearest Starbucks. (I’m proud to admit I didn’t know where the nearest Starbucks was. I usually do.) I found one less than half a block out of my way, made the quick detour, checked out the line that was not too, too long, and got on it. I was going to indulge myself and buy, and enjoy, my cup of coffee.

As I waited in the not too, too long line, my mind wandered to how I had forgotten my banana. I had planned to bring a banana with me, as a snack, to tide me through the day of ill-timed meetings, one after another, all throughout the city. But I had forgotten the banana, left it sitting on the kitchen counter. Good news – I didn’t lambast myself for my slip in memory. Less good news – I didn’t have a banana and worried that I’d be hungry with nothing to tide me over.

Fast forward – I got my coffee, with nearly enough time to make it to my client’s office and not be late. I hurried to his office, checked in at the reception, and sat down to wait for him, just under the wire. And then I saw his assistant coming down the stairs. She was, by the way, carrying some fruit – an orange and a banana.

“Matt got called into a 9am emergency phone call,” she told me. “Do you have flexibility to meet with him at 9:30 instead?” I told her I did, and realized that his change in plans had easily given me the time to get (and drink and enjoy) my cup of coffee. I was glad I had chosen to take care of me first, that I had taken the time to do what I really wanted to do.

And then she said, “Hey, they have tons of free breakfast, including fruit, upstairs. Do you want anything?” And before I could answer she continued. “Do you want this banana?” And handed it to me.

The universe gave me a banana. The universe gave me time to buy my coffee and a replacement banana for the one I left sitting on the counter at home.

There’s a message in a banana. I loudly heard it as I took the banana and smiled to myself. The universe was taking care of me. I was taken care of. I had been given the time to indulge in the cup of coffee that helped make my day a better day, and I had been given a banana when I needed it – without even having to ask.

The universe provides. There’s a message in a banana.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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