I am Pippi Longstocking….

BobBakerTheaterLosAngeles

If you say it fast its funny!

Nothing has brought me into a rush of nostalgia like the intro to Pippi In The South Seas. MSM launched our memorial day weekend with a surprise viewing of this film. The minute the title credits were done and the story opened in Pippi’s house I literally felt like I was hit on the head with a flash of memories. I’ve never realized how much I loved Pippi. I remember the house as if it were my own. Every detail. Where the kitchen table was, what the wallpaper looked like, Old Man (her horse), the amazing dirigible that Pippi created from her bed, Pippi’s strange sense of fashion, Annika and Tommy….the list goes on. Embraced by the warm familiarity of “home” and pacified by the soothing sound of the projector purr (yes, it was real film shown via projector!),  I sat on the edge of my seat (albeit somewhat because the chair was very uncomfortable) and enjoyed every moment of the story. At the conclusion of the film I literally could not stop myself from crying. I didn’t want it to be over! It was as if, for that 90 minutes, my father was still alive. I subconsciously remembered what it felt like to be able to dream with no worries, to live without thinking about it. I remembered being 8 years old and building forts out of pillows and blankets and my parent’s huge library chairs. How I built my own dirigible and flew over the 7 seas looking for pirates. What happens to us that we lose that sense of magic? I’d like to read more on the subject of the “adolescent brain”. Is there a way we can slow down the degeneration? Or resuscitate it once its gone?

Following the movie was a pizza and ice cream party. The ice cream sundaes, vanilla striped with strawberry or fudge sauce, were individually housed in those little opaque plastic receptacles with tear off tops that I haven’t seen since, I’m pretty sure, 1982. You know, the ones that come with a mini wooden spoon? Now, if you are familiar with my blog you know how much I enjoy time travel, and this “trip” surely did not disappoint.

Pippi

What can we learn from Pippi:

A. Anything is possible if we just believe in ourselves and our own strength (I’m pretty sure Disney movies try to teach this as well).

B. If something goes wrong never worry at all because no matter what, a solution is just around the corner.

C. Some things may look mundane, but it’s really a disguise. There is something special in everything, we just need to think outside the box.

D. As long as you have family (close friends included), you have everything you need to make it.

E. Memories are malleable. Don’t be subjected to a negative past. If you don’t like the story, change it.

F. Enjoy the little things. Don’t forget to smell the roses.

G. Singing a ditty makes everything more fun.

Cinefamily

Cinefamily

This event was thrown by Cinefamily. Taken directly from their website:

The Cinefamily is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films.

The Cinefamily’s mission is to reinvigorate film culture by fostering a spirit of community and a sense of discovery.

Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others.

The Cinefamily was founded in 2007 by brothers Dan and Sammy Harkham and Hadrian Belove, founder of Cinefile Video. We currently average 14 shows per week, many of which are enhanced with special guests, live music, dance parties, potlucks and other kinds of social fun. Over 65,000 patrons visit the Cinefamily annually.

If you are interested in learning more regarding show times and events: Cinefamily Website

WHAT THE HECK TO WEAR TO A THROW BACK MOVIE

outfit_MillyShorts_WS
Gigi (Hadid) has seriously impacted LA. Everyone is wearing these Adidas. I’m so happy I got these black and white ones first, while everyone else was wearing the solid white with green back! Top: Theory  Shorts: Milly  Bag: Chloe  Shoes: Adidas
Outfit_Milly_CU_Back
I love the detail in the back of this shirt. It adds a little something to an otherwise boring black top. The fit is also quite flattering. And the bonus is its super comfortable.
Outfit_Millly_Chloe_Detail
I First saw this Chloe bag in a photo of Danielle and I just loved it. I had no idea how functional it was also going to be. Its lightweight and fits just enough. Its three compartment interior makes it easy to stay organized and avoid the bottomless pit of other bags. 

In a rush today. I’ve been slammed at work and I’m helping set up for a benefit at the studio tonight. Have a great weekend everyone! Work hard, play hard!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

Advertisements

A spoonful of sugar…

Helps the medicine go down.

Bert

This weekend I decided to take a trip down memory lane and listen to  Julie Andrews belt out songs from The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins- two of my favorite childhood movies. Its funny how we can so easily forget the little hints to happiness that we learned as children. A spoonful of sugar DOES help the medicine go down. Listening to music while doing the dishes always makes the task more enjoyable. Writing my blog during my lunch break makes the more mundane tasks of my job more fun (though most of my job is fun, I’m lucky regarding that). The song I want to really focus on today is My Favorite Things. I’ve been a little anxious about my aging mother, and even just hearing this song made me feel more relaxed. I want to take a moment to create a list of my favorite things, so when the dog bites, or the bee stings, or I’m feeling sad I can simply remember this list and not feel so bad. 😉

  1. Puppy fur. This is the softest thing on earth. Not only that, but its attached to the most adorable thing on earth. A positively surefire way to melt your heart and relax the mind.

    Stanley
    This is my boo Stanley when he was just a pup. His ears are still super soft. He and his sister are the love of my life- other than MSM of course.
  2. Dog faces. So cute and unconditionally loving, a kiss from a four legged friend- another key to “yay”.
  3. Ballet– not watching it, but dancing it. I think its the combo of movement and the music that makes Ballet so Zen for me. Definitely on the top of the list.
  4. Pointe Shoes on my feet. These represent to me utter beauty, elegance, and grace. And the fact that I have finally gotten to put them on and dance in them, takes it to another level. They make me feel proud, excited, and give me a sense of accomplishment but also a sense of the ability to grow. A healthy future.
  5. The coast and the sound of the surf. No explanation necessary.beach
  6. Aqua blue and teal resplendent waters lapping over soft, clean, white sand.
  7. The feeling of bare feet on cool fresh green grass. This is hard to find in LA, but when I can find it….reunited, it feels so good…..
  8. Peonies, Ranunculus, Green Button Mums, and Chocolate Cosmos. These may sound like cocktails, but they are actually flowers. I adore flowers and hope to one day have a garden FULL of them. Until then, I can close my eyes and imagine.BloomFleur
  9. France. The gardens. The wine. The food. The people. The fashion. The hikes. I love it all. Just France.
  10. Learning a new language. I was learning ASL and desperately wish I could practice it with someone. So if anyone knows anyone that speaks it….let me know.
  11. Music Al Fresco. There’s something magical about the way sound travels outside. Its as if the music fills the air, stirs itself into the trees, permeates the ground, and homogenizes the world around us into one big ball of love and joy. It feels so liberating when I hear a symphony outside. The vibrations of the music literally sooth my soul and calm my nerves.

    ParisRooftops
    Some of the many things I love about France? Parisian rooftops, architecture, and of course the Eiffel Tower!
  12. Drive-In and/or Al Fresco movie theaters. Just so much fun.
  13. Riding in a convertible on a country road- or at least away from traffic. Wind in the hair and nothing but open road means freedom, exploration, and personal growth. Its the antithesis of stifling.
  14. Baking. There’s something so zen about the activity of baking. I love to really put my heart into it, and to add my own little touches to the recipes. Its so much fun and always delicious.

    bakeSHop
    Obviously I didn’t bake these, but a brownie topped with a marshmallow….gives me some ideas for my own concoctions….
  15. Birds chirping.
  16. The beautiful glow of Fireflies and the chatter of Crickets and frogs at night (as mimicked on the Pirates of the Carribean ride :)). This should have definitely been higher on the list.

    Fireflies-620x413
    These magical beetles are one of my favorite things in the world. They light up the earth and are the secret ingredient of summer magic. Photo: Fireflies.
  17. Miniature golf. To bring out our inner child.
  18. Discovering new places with MSM/Traveling on new adventures.

    SanFran
    The Farmers Market at the Embarcadero in San Francisco is where we discovered the best cream cheese and smoked locks I’ve ever had.
  19. Trying new food.
  20. A great glass of Wine or Bubbly.

    bubbles
    I love being a little tipsy in the afternoon. Its like having a secret ;).
  21. Grease. I love that movie.
  22. Guppy kisses.
  23. Real kisses.

    puppyfaces
    I also love getting kisses from my fur babies. Look at these faces!! (refer to #2 above).
  24. A hot bubble bath.
  25. A Mani/Pedi. What girl doesn’t love these?
  26. Relaxation massage during a spa day.
  27. Disneyland/Disney World. I can’t go here without being instantly energized and happy. Another surefire way to make this girl feel young and alive.

    Disneyland
    I loved getting lost in the The Alice In Wonderland Maze at Disneyland Paris. 
  28. Malted milk shakes.
  29. Pizza.
  30. Penguins (see above).
  31. Cheesy pop music like this:

What are some of YOUR favorite things? Leave a comment and let me know!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Unplugged.

 

iphoneNew.png

Last week I was reminded what life was like without a cell phone. The brain of my 16 month old iPhone decided it had had enough and chose to loose it. When I went to Apple for a repair, the “genius” did a factory reset- which didn’t work- and I lost everything. Well, not EVERYTHING because LUCKILY I had recently backed the phone up via itunes. But all those files were stored as a “compressed wad somewhere” in my computer and since I decided to go with an Android as my new phone, there was no certainty I could retrieve those files. At first I was flipping out. I felt panicked. I couldn’t send or receive texts or calls and all my photos were lost. The new phone was complicated and unfamiliar and felt like a downgrade from my beloved iPhone. Mind you, I had an LG droid prior to my iPhone and LOVED it. I had selected this new phone assuming it would be similar to the Droid and because it was only $150.  I figured at that price point I’d have more money to put towards Saks Fifth Avenue. But I quickly learned that you definitely get what you pay for.

Iphone Vs Android.

Issues with switching from iPhone to Android:

  1. If people have saved your IM streams from previous apple to apple texts, nothing they send you on your droid will show up unless they delete the saved text streams. You have to contact everyone you know with an iphone and tell them to delete those or you’ll never get their texts.
  2. Instagram has different filters on the different OS.
  3. You have to re-organize your photos (I actually liked the way the android organizes things better, to be honest)
  4. The lower end android phones are not pretty as an accessory. They are just four wheels and an engine. They get the job done. Period. Nothing special or flashy.
  5. The android camera is amazing but has a really weird aspect ratio.
  6. There is no button to push and say “call ‘so and so'”. If there is- I’m not sure what it is. Its harder to be hands free on this phone.

Unplugged Jill

Since I was unable to receive texts from people, and that is my most common way of communicating, I felt I was basically living as Thoreau at Walden. I decided, however, to try the phone out for a week- see if I could get used to it, see if I just needed some time to acclimate. I couldn’t.

I DID, however, decide to embrace and enjoy being unplugged for a few days. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Dogs are SO CUTE. Ok so DUH I already knew this. But with all the time I’ve spent with my face in my phone, I’ve missed out how many of these adorable creatures are walking around my neighborhood.
  2. Moments DO exist in the day for meditating, going for a short walk, or writing.
  3. A lot of TV shows are REALLY boring (not including any of the shows I work on, of course :))
  4. A good book or magazine is a GREAT way to escape
  5. Its sunny outside and my backyard is the ocean- how lucky am I?

Henry+David+Thoreau

Unplugged LA

Coincidentally MSM decided to take me to this party called Unplugged LA. How HILARIOUS was this?! All cell phones were checked in at the front (like a coat check). Everyone had to write their name on a name tag- but not our real names, a NICK NAME. I was “Gidget” (of course) and MSM was going to be Crescendo but because he didn’t know how to spell that he decided to be Coda.

The first person we met was a professional camp counselor who did “other stuff” when the summer was not in session  (?! I.E Unemployed and living with parents?). It became very clear rather quickly that this was a single’s event but whatever, we decided “when in Rome”. What I mean is, we delved into the activities offered. We played Connect Four while listening to a jazz bass played by a very hasidic looking young man. I typed on a non-electric old fashioned typewriter (it was HARD by the way- but totally fun). There was a lanyard making table, face painting, and coloring books. Seriously, it was summer camp for adults. After a short time we noticed that MSM’s best friend was wedged in a corner looking scared and out of place, so we decided to bail. As weird as it was, it was nice taking a little time to focus and be in the moment. To do something without feeling such an obligation to be instantly available to whomever may reach out. Not everything is an emergency.

If your interested in experiencing an unplugging (or an adult summer camp), here’s some info on Camp Grounded   Its not for everyone, but I actually enjoyed myself at their event. Not sure I could spend more than an hour there but……who knows what floats your boat.

Lesson learned?

I think one day a week we should all put or phones away, take a respite from the digital world to unplug and recharge. I think its important to re-connect with friends in person, re-connect with nature in person, and to reconnect with ourselves in person.

henry-david-thoreau-quotes-sayings-life-price

Our phones have become such important characters in our lives. Siri or Google or whomever with you speak, they are our virtual assistants who have become an integral part of our lives. In many ways these personal assistants have facilitated our day to day chores, making it easier to get more accomplished. But by always being connected we are loosing ability to figure things out on our own, we are suppressing our sense of whats real and what is really in front of us. I truly believe by always having instant gratification and instant answers we are squashing our growth in creative thinking  and problem solving development.

iphonePinkorWhite

I have to admit I couldn’t even wait a week to go back to the iPhone. I decided I’d rather cut costs elsewhere (like switching from Verizon to T Mobile which, by the way, has been the best decision EVER) and go with the “Porsche” of phones, the iPhone 6S plus. LOVE. A. Its GORGEOUS (i got it in rose gold). It goes so well with my wardrobe- I am a fashion junkie so it makes sense B. The engine is amazing and  C. I’m getting all my texts! YAY.

What kind of phone do you have? What do you love/hate about it? Do you ever take time away from it? Let me know.

xoxo

QJ

**all images this week from google search.

QJ

 

 

Gidget.

gidget 03

There are so many things I can talk about regarding being sixteen. If I sit and close my eyes I can still recall the feel of a pristine smog-free breeze, the perfume of fresh green earth, the inner workings of my teenaged mind (mostly focused on boys and clothes). I can still hear the music of the time, navigating the rhythm of my life. John Hughes was my hero. Nadia (Comaneci) my mentor. Everything was so much safer back then, or at least the dangers were less highlighted, and my anxieties were sub par. I was naive but brave, determined, and so excited. I had nothing but growth ahead of me. My life was void of the anvils of “have to’s” that currently rest on my shoulders and weigh me down. Every day was a road trip with the windows down and no traffic. Freedom.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We all need to remember that we clearly had problems back then, as no one’s life is perfect. But 16 year old worries and blankety blank year old worries are vastly different. Why is that? I so badly want to let- go and just live, and do so well into my 90’s. It must be doable. I feel like when I look around, not everyone seems stressed. At least not at first glance….

I was very close to my grandmother when I was sixteen. My mom’s mom. Unfortunately my father’s mom passed when I was younger- though I have some amazing memories of her sense of humor and her fortitude, which I hope to share some time. At sixteen I didn’t have a lot of close friends, as I felt a bit out of place with the other girls in my grade. Though Grandma could be judgmental and definitely had no filter regarding telling me her thoughts, she was fun. We played rummy-cube a lot, and art designed fantastically imagined parties.

One day I accompanied Grandma to Severance (the mall close to her home). She needed to pick some things up at Woolworths, a local drugstore housed in the mall. Honestly I think Woolworth’s may have actually been the original “Five and Dime”, a variety store like Target. While Grandma shopped her list, I browsed the VHS movies that were on sale. (OMG VHS! hahaha). I was intrigued by a movie entitled Gidget. Cute surfer boys, the ocean, and a smiling blonde girl on the cover. This is who I dream of being!!! My grandma happily agreed to buy me the film. In hindsight, it was an amazing gift.  I was truly captivated, smitten by all things Gidge. After watching the movie a couple hundred times, I started watching re-runs of the TV show staring Sally Fields. Also adorable! The young Fields was even more sassy than Sandra Dee. Like Barbie, Gidget departed from the traditional female role models seen in 1950’s films and on TV. Despite all the slack Sandra Dee got in Grease, I admired her optimism and zest for life.

Life Lessons Learned From Gidget:

  1. Who cares what other people think. Stay true to you and HAVE FUN DOING IT.tumblr_mm1u3mcoo81s9hmkxo1_500
  2. Its always good to partake in an outdoor sport.
  3. Don’t second guess your curiosity. Embrace your inner adventurer.tumblr_ns6i83Oao61ubt16wo6_250
  4. Leave the Man-hunts to the Man-hunters.
  5. Maintain a good attitude by looking for the silver lining, the lesson, or the solution.download
  6. Its ok to be happy and to show your happiness. Demure isn’t always necessary.
    tumblr_ns6i83Oao61ubt16wo8_250
  7. You can learn almost anything from books.PrideP2Gidget_Pride
  8. A smile makes the face beautiful.
  9. A real woman brings out the best in a man (and vice versa!).
  10. A man that serenades you is the most romantic thing in the world.
    love
  11. The bigger they are, the dopier they get.
  12. Malibu is AMAZING.

Gidget’s positive outlook and love for life is most definitely 90% of the reason I moved to California. I figured living by the ocean must enhance happiness, and if I was going to start fresh and launch my own business (hair/makeup), SoCal was the place to be. In case your curious, the remaining reasons I moved to SoCal are attributed to The Beach Boys, my college room-mate (Monica), and the possibility of marrying Michael J. Fox. (yeah….riiiiiiight).

gidget 06

How The Heck To Dress Like Gidget:

What better time to dream about being super beachy than mid winter? To dress like the original Gidget, think high waisted shorts, cropped tops, a-line dresses, and soft summery cardigans. Unfortunately Danielle is really against Gidget Garb, so most of my 50’s inspired pieces are gone :(.

Gidget_goes_SanSebastian
Gidget Goes San Sebastian. Top: ALC  Shorts: Wildfox 

 

00720555.JPG
Models sunbathing, wearing late 1950’s beach fashions. Honestly how adorable? I love the two plaid ones! I have no idea why Danielle is so opposed. Which is probably why I need her to dress me. hahaha.

I still love Gidget. Sometimes when I’m down or blue, watching the film is just the spark I need to rejuvenate my soul. It reminds me of what brought me to LA in the first place and to not take everything so seriously. It reminds me of my true goals of a simple happy life, and sparks a rebirth in my determination. Though I upgraded to the three disk DVD version of the movie, I still cherish the original VHS tape my Grandmother bought for me. Its one of the few things I still have that reminds me of her.

If any of you have a chance, here’s a link to a streaming version of the film: Gidget Original Movie

Let me know if you think it still holds up…..

Toodles!

QJ

QJ

 

 

 

Advice from Diane Keaton.

Due to this drasted energy vampire called the stomach bug, today I just wanted to post something short and brief in honor of Diane Keaton’s 70th birthday. In descending order of how much I love it, the following are some of her great life advice quotes, mostly exemplified by Snoopy (sorry, he makes me feel better when I’m sick :P):

5. “Even though all these obstacles keep coming at you, you just have to keep going through them. Because it’s worth it to do something in your life, as opposed to fantasizing about doing something.”

Youcandoit
Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams! Work through the tough stuff!

4. “I never understood the idea that you’re supposed to mellow as you get older. Slowing down isn’t something I relate to at all. The goal is to continue in good and bad, all of it.”

Yep. So lets never stop!
Yep. So lets never stop!

3. “There is great value in being fearless. For too much of my life, I was too afraid, too frightened by it all. That fear is one of my biggest regrets.”

GoForIt

2. “Humor helps us get through life with a modicum of grace. It offers one of the few benign ways of coping with the absurdity of it all.”

humor
Also said by my father.

1. “Just have fun. Smile. And keep putting on lipstick.”

lipstick

Happy Birthday Diane! To 70 more good ones! And to a quick healing for me 🙂

xo

QJ

QJ

Joy.

cassis
I just love to travel and experience new cultures and people. I also love to sail, another special hobby I shared with my father.  With the wind in my hair and adventure on the horizon, I feel so free. This photo was taken in Cassis, France. That trip was definitely Joy. 

I had the privilege of seeing the pre-screener of the movie Joy. It was pretty amazing. Yes the acting was great, and the cinematography intriguing and blah blah blah industry stuff. What I really want to talk about is the true story behind the film.

Since I’m not allowed to divulge too much information regarding the subject matter of this film (it hasn’t been released to the public yet), I will tell the story another way. Well, at least what I got out of that story anyways.

A Wise Professor:

9 years ago I had a college professor who was supposed to teach a class titled “computer applications.” Instead he started the first day of class explaining  “ya’ll can learn basic computer skills on your own, instead I will be teaching you secrets of a happy life.”

balloons
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” -Helen Keller Photo:Town&Country

First and foremost my teacher re-iterated story upon story the significance of doing what you love; of  letting your passions drive you, not your greed. You know the cliche- “do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life”. I vaguely got the gist of most of what he shared with us. The other night though, when I saw Joy, something clicked and I finally get it. Its a bit esoteric because one could easily say “I love money” or “I love the idea of a rich life” and then will be driven just to make money however it takes. But thats not really living. According to my professor, first we must follow our passions, then the money will come.

If we take a peep at people who have had the courage to do and try what they love,  somehow the money to live the life they want HAS  always come. And more importantly, so has peace, stability, and security. Ghandi, John Lennon (I mean it didn’t end well, but his life was wonderful and fulfilling as he lived it), Sylvester Stalone (look up his story told by Tony Robbins. Its pretty incredible). These people weren’t in it for the money. They lived/are living the life they truly want(ed). I remember when my professor first said “if you do what you love the money will come” we all laughed “If you build it, they will come.” But I’m starting to see the validity in it.

sunset.jpg
Never loose faith in who you are, and never let go of your dreams. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” -Mahatma Gandhi. 

Later, towards the end of the semester, after hearing dozens upon dozens of anecdotes about his life  (he was one of the first to work as an Imagineer at Disney!), we collectively discovered that said professor had throat cancer and would not live past the semester. I will never forget this man. His zest for life, his fearlessness, and the fervor in his voice as he passed on his life lessons. He was an omniscient and sage man who gifted us students with secrets so few could know at our age. Our final assignment was “Live your life in Joy. Think about what this means, and then do it.” Sadly he did not make it to the last class, and this final appointment was never graded. Obviously he did this on purpose. For the rest of my life I will be working on my “A” in computer applications.

 

The Four Pillars of Security:

Money does not buy you happiness, BUT it DOES buy you security. So I asked a therapist friend how he advises clients to find balance regarding that- how to do what you love but still feel safe and secure. Hypnotherapist Dr. James Borrelli explained there are four investments that will lead to happiness. Here they are, in order of importance:

  1. Invest in your health. Without your health, you “can’t do anything”. So here is where your money and time should go first.
  2. Invest in your expertise. Grow and learn. Become the best at whatever it is you love to do. Here’s where your passion fits in. With expertise (and good health) you will always be able to take care of yourself (ie have enough skill to work and therefor have what you need financially to live a stable fulfilling life).
  3. Invest in a budget. Take the time to work one out. Its ok to push yourself to the limit, but with that being said, stay within your means. Life without debt is a happy one.
  4. Invest in finances. Learn how to protect and grow your money.

**Dr. Borrelli explained that 1 and 2 are INTERNAL. That by focusing and strengthening whats inside of us, we will never have to worry about external things abandoning us. And thus, we will have security. Makes sense.

Believe In Youself

The antagonist in the film makes choices based on her passion because she believes in it. It has nothing to do with wanting to become rich. Its about getting her ideas heard because she feels her ideas will, in their own small way, contribute to making the world a better place. If she succeeds and makes money, that is a bonus prize. First and foremost, she is focused on seeing her idea through successful fruition. She is driven by faith in herself and in her beliefs.

I’m wondering, what if we all followed our passions rather than our greed? What would happen? What are some things you feel passionately about that bring you joy?

friendship
I love my dogs and I love my friends. Love and friendship are both significant ingredients to a life full of Joy and laughter.

Throughout the years I have met some incredible people who seem touched with exuberance. When allowed the opportunity, I’ve asked them “what is the secret to your happiness.” I’m starting to notice a reoccurring theme in their answers. Olympic gymnast Nadia Comăneci summed it up best; “Never give up on your dreams. Be courageous and do your do diligence, then follow them to fruition. This is a happy life.”

(yes I met her and yes it was AMAZING because she was my childhood idol).

Blessings for Peace and Joy to you all  this holiday season – and for all the days thereafter!

 

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

 

Raindrops keep falling on my head.

singing in the rain

With my birthday just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about how all the teachers I had in grade school were probably right around the age I am right now (back then I thought they were “ancient”, by the way) .

Its crazy to think that Miss Bojack and Mr. Cross had a life after 4pm. They probably had families to go home to, friends to drink wine with. I wouldn’t have believed they had anything on their minds other than fractions and Watership Down. I think I thought they were just animated statues that stayed at school forever.

With all this in mind, I’ve been wondering what one can do to nourish the soul and maintain the spirit of youth. How can we hold onto that vibe of childhood magic?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Exercise the imagination: Imagination is like a muscle in humans. If not used, it gets weak- but don’t fret, its not lost because of a wonderful thing called muscle memory.

a. Partake in the arts. If you happen to be crafty or artistic this one is easy. Make a clay pot and glaze it, paint a landscape or portrait (canvases aren’t expensive at Michaels), art- design a party environment. If you aren’t particularly artistic, go to a museum and observe some paintings. What do you see in the painting? Can you make up a story that goes with it?

b. Play a childhood imagination game. My favorite is listening to music and writing a story that goes with the symphonic cadences. Also there’s the cloud game. Go for a hike but leave your phone at home- look around and observe what you see. Does anything look like something its not? Ex. Sometimes I think trees look like gigantic broccoli. You may feel silly doing this, but get over it. Just live and be. Don’t stifle your inner-child.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 12.33.44 PM
Looking at the world from a different perspective is a great way to exercise your imagination.

c. Read a good book.  This doesn’t have to be complicated literature. Although reading Beowulf is great mental exercise,  I’m talking about fun reads here ( aka “airplane reads”). Don’t cheat and see the movie. Instead make a movie in your head. Who are you casting as the main character? What does the world look like in the book? Really imagine it as you read. I just read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Amazing. And guess what?! HBO and Reese Witherspoon are making it a TV mini-series. I can’t wait to see how different it is from the movie I made in my mind!

2. Pamper yourself: No matter how extroverted you are, its imperative to take some time to yourself and recharge the soul. An overextended/exhausted soul = an old one.

a. Take a spa day

b. Go for a long walk

c. Sit at a coffee shop and meditate.

d. Snuggle with a pet.

I love to snuggle with Stanley, even if he hogs the sofa!
I love to snuggle with Stanley, even if he hogs the sofa!
Here's my Abby with the sweetest look on her face. Dogs always seem to keep that youthful spirit. Every new sniff is an adventure.
Here’s my Abby with the silliest look on her face. My dogs remind me to keep that youthful spirit. Every new sniff is an adventure.

The goal here is to find some Zen time for mental and emotional relaxation. Be in the moment with nothing to do but breathe and observe. Can you imagine having a chunk of time where you are not thinking about where you have to be next or what you have to do? Even just a few minutes a day to refresh the soul, I’m certain, will add years of youth to your life.

3. Dance.

I love practicing glissade asemble in the park.
I love practicing glissade asemble in the park. Dress: Parker.

I met a cheerful 93 year old woman at a Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago and we had a long wonderful conversation about life. She explained how everything seems to go in cycles; repeat after repeat. Friends come and go and most things are not forever. She explained its important to embrace and appreciate the now, but to let things go with ease as well. When one relationship ends it leaves the door open for another meaningful connection.

This woman was so happy-go-lucky and alive. I asked for her secret to maintaining such magnificent quality of life, and this is what she said:

a. “Maintain a good attitude. Find the silver linings. Dont sweat the small stuff, and everything is the small stuff.”  (this seems to be a motif amongst the well preserved elderly).

b. “Take care of yourself and your body. The one thing that will be in your life forever is you.”

c. “Exercise your brain. Work, but only do what you love. If you start to hate your career, change it- its ok to do that. But keep learning and using your mind. I was a mother, a teacher, and now an accountant. I still do accounting, but I’m learning how to sew.” (do you love her already?)

d. “Every morning for the past 80 years I have followed a ritual. I get out of bed, I turn on my favorite upbeat happy song, and I dance around my room in my underwear.” This one is my favorite!

Life
Words to live by. I want to know why kids get this, but adults seem to loose it. To explore this more, click here: philosiblog

A zillion years ago my college roommate, Jennifer, and I were exhausted from the stress of mid-term exams. It was well after midnight yet we were still plugging away at our studies. Coffee in hand and pjs on, we sat at our desks reviewing overly- reviewed information. Suddenly pit pat pit pat and booooom. A thunderstorm! Jen looked at me and said “put down that coffee and come on!” Bewildered, I listened as she grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door. Chasing her down the hallway I asked “what are we doing?” “Come on!” she responded as the main entrance door swung open and she ran out. Not hesitating, I followed. We spun in the rain as she sang Singing in the Rain. We laughed and were soaked and it was AMAZING. I’m not sure if its the exercise or the serotonin released from the happy music or a combination of both, but I swear that dancing is the key to life.

As my birthday approaches, my goal for this next year is to practice living life with childlike enthusiasm and cheer. I double dog dare you to join me 😉

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 12.51.48 PM

xoxo

QJ

QJ