A Beginning

I know I’ve been writing a lot about children lately… Perhaps it’s because they’re the only ones leaving a good impression on me in recent times…

The world has been shook, that’s for sure. And how the pieces fall in that wake will leave many consequences to come.

Philosophically speaking, we must ask ourselves “What world are we leaving future generations? And more specifically, speaking of where I live, what is the America to come?”

Pandemics disrupt. It’s what they do. But rather than bring people together, it has created an even greater chasm between those of differing opinions and since everyone thinks they are right, how will any meaningful change occur that isn’t politicized to death?

So, I want to pose a BIG beginning solution…

What if, instead of caring about what side of the political team you’re on, consider being on team humanity? And from that premise, perhaps then, we can begin to discuss how to deal with this pandemic and move forward toward individual prosperity rather than our standard of government/big business crony capitalism political BS.

With movements such as #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, people who have been disenfranchised are finding their voice and starting to be heard. There is tremendous power in understanding each other… and that’s where I think we need to begin because differences will always exist, and that’s a fact.

And children. Oh, let us learn from them!

The other day, I was hanging with my 8 & 10 year old nephews. We decided to do movie day but both of them wanted to watch something differently. As Aunt, I said, okay, I’ll write the name of both movies on slips of paper and we’ll randomly select. Knowing I was playing with fire since one of them would not get the movie they wanted, I hoped they would see that both options could work but a decision had to be made fairly.

Well, I was in for a surprise.

The 8 year old won. His choice was “Godzilla” while his brother wanted to watch “StarDog & TurboCat.” I watched the “one who got his choice” eye his older sibling, noticing the disappointment in his brother’s face. A moment later, the 8 year old  suddenly said, “No, it’s okay, Aunt Tina. Let’s watch StarDog.”

Both myself and the 10 year old snapped our heads toward him and said, “Really?” “Are you serious?” To which this beautiful child said, “Yeah, it’s okay. It will be a fun movie too.”

Moral of the story… Even if you get your way, it’s not always the best choice to make.

 

 

 

 

We, Adults, Have A Lot To Learn

Anyone else about to deactivate all their social media platforms because of the amount of vitriol, ignorance, sanctimonious crap that people keep projecting?

I am 42 and I have never seen America more divisive and nasty.

Here’s the thing, we can research and make informed opinions, but unless you’re an expert in the field you are discussing, should you really be speaking from a place of 100% knowledge? And then, to build on that, why pick on those who disagree with you? Do you really think THAT is the way to bring change?

I think what’s happening here, if I may, is there is an abundance of misdirected anger, wrath, unhappiness within oneself, and it has found its outlet.

THE CORONAVIRUS.

Yes, this virus is very real. But why is the pandemic bringing us apart rather than bringing us together?

If I may pose a theory,  expanding on what I wrote above, is that people are unhappy but rather than seek comfort in humanity, they shun it. They pick the worst and highlight that. They seek the ones who disagree to pick fights, so they can feel “better”, and rather than learn and grow, regression is at an all time high.

It’s not cause I’m saying so… just look around you.

Clearly, it’s much more difficult to understand people who are different than us than it is to seek comfort in those who agree with you, so the latter is the favorite. But no population will ever think the same and while that is a great thing, it also causes chaos.

Welcome to humanity.

Look, I don’t have the answer to give to end this all, but I will offer this true story as a beginning to finding the answer:

I was reading a book at a hotel pool. There were two children playing in the water – maybe ages 10 (girl) and 7 (boy) – along with their grandmother. When a family entered the pool area, the girl saw there were two boys coming in – one in their age group, one a bit younger. And so, she turned to her brother and said, “Look, we can make friends!”

 

The Sensitivity of Children

Life has been a whirlwind for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one, so maybe you can commiserate? I mean, damn, if things aren’t getting a little crazy up in the world. Most of it, for good reason… (the brilliance of the protests (yes!) but that is for another post…)

After a first-in-your-lifetime shutdown, are you coming out a bit different?

I know I am, that’s for sure.

I’m about to return to work as a server, but in a way that I haven’t done before now that COVID caused new rules, so I am struggling with if I can still do it. I have long wanted to stay in the restaurant business as I make my films and write my stories both for my love of food and wine and also for the tangible aspect of seeing people enjoying themselves and knowing I am part of the reason why.

For those who don’t know, in the past, I’ve worked entertainment jobs, such as assistant to Scott Rudin on the Paramount lot and assistant editor on season four of American Idol, both of which I chose to leave, because when I was working those jobs and similar ones, I felt empty. Like I was a cog in the entertainment machine, but not really making any difference, though it’s definitely worth noting Scott Rudin is a genius in producing original storytellers and I wish I could have learned more from him when I was his LA assistant, but, that’s for another story and sadly, I can’t go there. I signed an NDA.

Anywho, back to now. I’ve been going through a lot and I’m starting to feel empty again in my employment. Returning to a restaurant job where the industry has done a 180*, while also ending homeschooling my nephew two days a week, (BTW teachers everywhere, YOU ARE AMAZING AND SHOULD BE PAID WAY MORE,) coping with the death of my husband’s sister, polishing my first novel for agent submission, enjoying the visit of my sister and niece, all the while trying to make sense of the insanity we’ve allowed our government to become, has left me spent.

Yet somehow, today, when I hung out with my three year old niece, life felt special. It felt good. 

And that was all her.

It was like she picked up on my feeling down a bit and for the first time, came to me without me having to ask. She comforted me and all around enjoyed my company, when before she was a bit hesitant. And when I put her to sleep, having a three year old, caress your hand while she falls peacefully asleep in your arms, I felt true serenity.

And I thought:

Children know way more than most give them credit for. And they truly are the future. 

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye When It’s Time

I said goodbye to a friend this week. And no, before you think the worst, no one died. Only the realization that two people should not put each other through trouble anymore. When expectations of what being a friend means differs tremendously between two people, it’s time to end the pain.

And that’s okay.

Full disclosure, a regular question to me over years would go like this –  “She’s doesn’t seem that happy with you. Why are you friends exactly?”

While differences can be part of the fun, if those differences cause someone pain, well, time to cut the cord, no? It’s okay not to be friends with everyone.

I mean, come on… different strokes for different folks.

It’s quality. Not quantity.

Friends compliment life. And when necessary, they challenge you. But if they try to make you something you are not, to fulfill their needs, then… is that friendship? What’s worse is if they try to make you feel bad, over and over again, for being yourself, then it’s clear they’re not happy with you as a friend and again, why are we friends exactly?

Not easy, though. Especially when dealing with human emotions.

But I’ve learned over the years that friendship is whatever a pair defines it to be. I have been blessed with dear friends I’ve retained since my teens. And while we may go a year without talking, we know we care about each other as life moves swiftly and we go in different directions.

Friendship is what you make of it. If both people really want to be in it.

“Real friends were the kind where you pick up where you’d left off, whether it be a week since you’d seen each other or two years.”

 Jojo Moyes, One Plus One: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wonders… 5 Ways We Are Changing For The Better From The Coronavirus…

My past few posts have been a bit depressing so I thought for this one I’d write about the ways I am seeing the world change for the better, due to the pandemic at hand.

Sure, we could argue till we’re blue in the face about how this all started, how governments are responding, how people are acting, but seriously, what good would arguing do?

“Love is saying ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘You’re wrong.’” – Unknown

And as someone who loves difference of opinions because it’s the best way to learn, I am going to ignore that noise and focus instead on some good things I’ve noticed come out of the #coronavirus and well, that’s something to shine a spotlight on, isn’t it?

5 Ways we are changing for the better

We’re so damn clean.
Anyone else notice how sanitized people and things are getting? I mean, how can that be a bad thing? Hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze and not breathing on top of people… all wonderful traits that are getting instilled in people as they become routine.

The pause leads to thought.
In a weird way, the world is pausing. The wheels have largely stopped and because of that, what was once the norm is now anything but. We’ve been forced to find a new norm with stay-at-home orders and loss of employment among other things. But with these new limitations, we are led right to an important aspect of our life. Our HOME. If it’s your temple, you’ll take comfort in your design. But if on the flip side, you don’t like what you find, well… isn’t that in itself a gift because now, you see it as it is and can do something about it? When one is busy, it’s way too easy to ignore important things.

We’re learning what’s essential.
By definition, essential means what is absolutely necessary. And we are learning what that is! In a world filled of an abundance of distraction, eye candy and material goods, this lesson is not one to be taken for granted. It’s a gift to be able to stop, see what one really needs, and then progress from there to form a healthier state of being. And isn’t it interesting to find out what you do really need, when all bling and glitz and distraction is removed?

Gaining awareness of what teacher’s do and how grossly underpaid they are.
Full disclosure, I have no children by choice. But I am seeing those who do have children, are getting a big taste of what teachers actually do and how incredibly challenging it is to teach children. Perhaps now people will think about where state money should go (not with words, but with actual action and legislation) as the importance of this position has been elevated and revealed for all to witness. Education does not have pharmaceutical lobbyists but imagine if it did….

Letting nature breathe.
Sadly, it had to be forced upon us by a global virus, but a ray of light through this storm is the fact nature has been allowed to do as she would without our massive intervention. The environment is not infinite, despite what the 1980s/90s thought. And allowing it a chance to reset, enjoy itself without our intrusion and just breathe a sigh of relief to be allowed to do so, is perhaps the very best gift this pandemic has given us. Has given the world. And well, that’s pretty damn good.

What positive observations have you observed? #coronavirus

 

Tuesday Thinking… Where We Are At #Coronavirus

I’ve been thinking a lot about where the world is at. Face masks. Self-Isolation. Quarantine. (there is a difference!) Social Distancing. Non-essential businesses closing to stop the spread. The spread of something that started with an animal in China. And what do we learn? So little… And what comes… the typical bashing of Trump (ignoring what Congress is doing,) being angry at China and going to the extremes based on emotion rather than logic.

Perhaps this will be controversial to say but someone has to say it:

The government is the problem.

Yes, it’s easy to say Trump should have done this, China should have done that… but if you study the past fifty or so years, the timeline builds to this. Capitalism never having a chance with corporate welfare and insane backhanded deals. Congress making loads off the people, not only through their insider knowledge (which they declared was okay to have… of course they did!) but with making sure their lobbyists and those with money were set BEFORE the people.

This is simply a consequence revealing itself in times of distress… Remember what happened when the banks/stock market screwed themselves? The government to the rescue! Man… it could have gone such another way in America.

Sigh.

But… I do believe the virus is targeting those who allowed this… think about it. Children are barely affected…. THANK GOD, BUDDHA, ALLAH, etc….

I know this is a time of pandemic. But one has to ask… if we truly had a government of the people, by the people, would we have come to this? And why is the wealth so concentrated among BIG BUSINESS and GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS? Will it take this devastation to return to our constitution…? To a government meant for the people, not the elites who declared themselves so?

And if that is the case, could that be the silver lining in all of this?

 

Monday Moments – Coronavirus

This will be one of my free flowing posts – for those who are new to my blog, I sometimes write in stream of consciousness – as I attempt to capture what the heck is going on….

It started as a virus China was struggling to contain. soon though, it spread like a racehorse around the globe, catching many by surprise. toilet paper seemed to be the hot commodity for some unknown reason. shouldn’t it be food? schools began to close, jobs were lost (i was one of them.) warnings abound. social media blew up. why does everyone think they are experts when it’s clear they haven’t even researched what they’re arguing? this event gives an excuse to release anger. that is what scares me the most, more than getting this virus. we can battle back and forth about what should or shouldn’t be done but what good will that do unless you are in a position to do something? is anyone else thinking this is a wash and rinse cycle happening on a global scale? maybe mother nature saying a big F U to humanity. i mean, look at what we’ve done to her… is this payback? and if so, don’t we deserve it on some level? that said, i fear for the elder generations… their weak systems, yes, but more the way they are being treated. why must youth be so revered when it lacks in perspective and too often, wisdom and strength? being home isn’t so bad. it’s quite lovely when you love the one you’re with. i can’t imagine if you don’t. divorce will likely be a result… speaking of results, what will this world look like when we come out of this? that is THE question. to guess, many places will not reopen. unemployment will skyrocket and the government will provide handouts, sending us into TRILLIONS of debt. and that will be the next big F U… it isn’t sustainable. oh the humanity

 

Change Change Change

I’ve been thinking a lot about change and wrote a piece about it on Hubpages.

Please find the link below…

“Why is change so hard?

 

As I’ve been talking about here on my blog for quite a while, it’s time for me to make some changes, from less wine to more exercise, and though I have definitely started this journey, the time to focus and kick it up a notch is NOW.

Stay tuned…

Being Alone

As most who know me know, I love being alone.

I can spend days, if not weeks, without human contact and not even bat an eye. I’m not saying this as some badge of honor or anything. Merely as a fact about me. And one pertinent to what I’m about to tell you…

Recently, my husband was heading to the East Coast to visit his mother for some one-on-one time. I was planning to stay home and enjoy my alone time.

Well… things didn’t go exactly as planned.

It just so happened that my grandfather passed away and his funeral was scheduled during the eight days my husband was also away, so needless to say, my alone time at home was interrupted with a four-day-trip to New York.

I had a day alone before flying to the east coast and then I had three days alone after returning.

I know this sounds ridiculous but I was savoring each one of them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love and adore my husband and we are seriously perfect for each other BUT we BOTH work from home and though our apartment is nice and large, our kitchen is the size of a bathroom (not kidding!) so when we’re both in there, moving is difficult. For someone like myself who loves (no, needs) alone time, this is all very difficult. I also work nights part-time so my sleep schedule is all over the place.

Anywho…

My grandfather’s funeral was beautiful and we celebrated him with love. I have no regrets and loved him very much.

When I returned home, I was keenly aware of my alone time countdown. I reverted back to the Christina who lived alone for seven years. I pee’d with the door open, I walked around with zit cream on, I worked wherever and whenever I wanted. I slept soundly as there was no one there who could wake me up. I cooked what I liked and didn’t care if the house smelled of shrimp (my husband despises it!) All in all, I had a good time. Not gonna lie.

I was so enthralled with this aloneness though, that I shared a little too much about it with my loving partner, who needless to say did not care too much to hear about how happy I was living it up in Aloneville.

Our reunion wasn’t as heartwarming as it should have been and I take the blame. Rather than express how much I was enjoying being alone, perhaps I should have told my husband how much I missed him.

But the funny part of this whole story, the reason I am writing this long tale, is that I didn’t realize I missed him until after he came home.

I know. Crazy. But that’s how it went.

First, I started to see how nice it was to have him by my side at night. Falling asleep on him is one of my favorite places in the world to be. And sleeping alone, though it was great to sleep diagonally in silence with all the covers, didn’t seem as significant as before. And when something good happened, like when a piece of mine got published, sharing it with him made it so much more meaningful than smiling to no one in the room.

I also realized coming home from work to an empty place isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Sure, the freedom to do whatever you want is tempting, but much less satisfying that coming home to a smiling partner, who is waiting to eat dinner with you and genuinely tells you they missed you all day.

But what really got me thinking was a few days after my husband returned, I shared with him how much I loved him and that I try to learn about us and grow every day and how I want to show him this more… and you know what, it turned around his entire day, taking it from a shitty one to not so bad.

Love is powerful.

It teaches us daily if we’re open to it. But with it, comes responsibility.

Thank you, Don. For putting up with my demand for alone time but you know what, I might not need it as much as I thought…

 

My Grandpa’s Funeral

For those who don’t know, I sometimes write in a stream of conscious way. For this post, I’ll be doing so…

Il funerale di mio nonno

after the news, tears came. then came the plans. flights were booked. messages were sent. i just wanted to get there. flying was a nightmare but worth it. sleep would be had whenever possible. met parents at the buffalo airport at 6 am est after leaving LA the day before at 9 am pst. hugs with them, especially my mother. my beautiful mother.

la mia bella nonna. my beautiful grandmother. more tears came before a little sleep. then the wake. four hours of visitors. family seen, some I’ve seen recently and others I hadn’t. it was beautiful. and touching. and emotional. and a testament to my grandfather.

being surrounded by his family was his favorite thing in the world. and that was exactly how we celebrated him.

my aunts and uncles and cousins planned a wonderful memorial to him. it was absolutely lovely. hearing about his last moments made me understand what true love looked like. till the moment my grandfather passed, he thought about his wife. and the fact he was surrounded by family in those last (surprisingly) lucid hours makes me feel good. i know he wouldn’t want it any other way.

he was 97. lived an extraordinary and beautiful life (from fighting for the Italians and stationed in Africa to becoming a prisoner of war in the US during WWII to immigrating his family to America in the 1950s) and he gave me my mother. for that I will be forever thankful.

seven months ago I took my husband to meet him. i’m so grateful I had those moments with him. when he wasn’t giving me advice on having children (he did not like that we chose not too, haha!) he was telling his grandson-in-law stories about Sicily and our family’s early years in America. and he was still making my grandmother blush with stories about stealing kisses when she was in her teens.

the funeral and reception gave family and friends a time to honor him one last time before laying his body to rest.

and that’s when I looked around, saw all of my family’s faces in the same room and was filled with a warmth that I believe was love.

family.

love.

it’s what it’s truly all about, no?

thank you Nonno. I love you. and may you rest in peace and meet your love again wherever you are…