Scarlette Letter – September 3, 2015

Students of happiness agree that certain habits foster feelings of contentment, peace, and joy. These habits include:

Gratitude – I am grateful for the very special people in my life and for the cherished time I get to spend with them

Affirmation – I am kind

Attitude – My life sparkles

Activity – Window shopping

Nurture – Steam pedicure

Enrichment – “Friendship is gained by listening instead of talking”

Nourishment –

Scarlette Begonia Scarlette Begonia Scarlette Begonia

Scarlette Begonia

And a lovely dinner with my man, his family and their family friend; a treat so delicious and rare, I did not think it appropriate to snap a picture; use your imagination!

Giving – I let several cars in front of me in traffic and pitched in on a lovely steam pedicure for a friend who is having surgery tomorrow

Connection – A great day with my love, his friends, and his family

Simplifying – I didn’t buy anything while window shopping, knowing my wallet is emptier than my closet

Sunday Sauce

We wait all week for the weekend, whether our days off are the traditional Saturday and Sunday, or other days during the week. Sometimes the only thing that gets us through the week is the promise of those days off.

As our weekend arrives, there is great anticipation, a celebratory feeling as the final day of work draws to a close. Our weekend begins, sometimes, about half way through the final day of our week; productivity decreases, distraction increases, and we count down the hours, then the minutes until we are free.

By Sunday, we begin to gear up for another week of work ahead. Sometimes, a sense of finality, of, dare I say, dread, develops, no matter how much we love our jobs. The fun and frolicking and freedom give way to task and chore and preparation. The joy of the day off is, sometimes, seemingly mitigated by the fact that an alarm must be set for morning, adequate amounts of sleep planned for, and, often, chores completed for the week ahead; laundry, ironing, meals planned, shopping done, meals prepared ahead. Such as Sunday Sauce, a traditional Italian family custom (no, I’m not Italian, but I love the idea). The week’s meat scraps and leftovers are combined into a sauce pot with tomatoes and other sumptuous ingredients, and are simmered together to make a sauce that is used throughout the busy week ahead. Sunday Sauce is spooned over pasta, meat, and vegetables and makes meal preparation throughout the week faster and easier, but no less homemade or delicious. But, the making of Sunday Sauce is one of those tasks we do with the foreboding of the long week ahead drawing nearer and nearer.

Recently, I seem to be experiencing this phenomenon twice per week. I work a traditional work week, with Saturday and Sunday off. I often have some flexibility during the week and can shuffle some of my projects around to allow me some time to spend off with my guy, who works a non-traditional work week and usually has a couple of weekdays off. So, Sunday is my Sunday and, well, today is his Sunday, and feels a lot like my Sunday, too.

As our day elapsed into evening, the pallor of solemnity seemed to increase. As shirts were ironed and the NetFlix movie drew to a close, as morning alarms were set, I was sent home with a quick goodbye kiss. My weekend, and a long, holiday weekend, at that, technically, begins tomorrow afternoon as soon as I conclude with my client. But, my weekend is sort of “on my own”, as my sweetie works. Oh, I’ll fill every minute and I will enjoy it. But come time for his next, and only day off next week, I’m scheduled to work with a number clients, all day long.

Do you see what is happening here? I am living in the future. I’m thinking about tomorrow, I’m thinking about two and three days from now, I’m thinking about the middle of next week, and all rather negatively. This is our tendency, and really, our doom. The daily doom and gloom that we let seep into our lives revolves around living in the past, dwelling on the past, living in the future, focusing on the future.

It is now. It is a beautiful evening and I’m with one of my favorite people. Life is meant to be enjoyed, like a present. In the present.

Scarlett’s Letter August 11, 2013

Today was like some weird time continuum thing. Sunday already? How did that happen?

This phenomenon continued beyond just that moment when I awoke and realized it was Sunday. Already. I went down for breakfast, my usual Sunday at home no other plans kind of breakfast; a piece of bacon, a shirred egg, oatmeal, the kind that takes thirty minutes to cook, coffee and some kind of fruit. But I was out of fruit today and I’m not sure how that happened, either. I fixed breakfast, ate breakfast, wrote in my journal, tapped out a few notes on my iPad for articles I’d like to write, perused Facebook for “the news” and to make sure I’d made the appropriate birthday wishes. I had a square of dark chocolate and Mom decided we should have mimosas with her unchilled, $2 bottle of sparkling wine like substance. She’s saving the “good”, chilled bottle of sparkling wine for some occasion that we’ve already made alternate plans for. Whatever. I consented. And then it was noon. How did that happen? Not only is it Sunday, now it’s noon on Sunday. How did that happen?

I did my dishes and took my shower and got ready. Ready for what, I don’t know, but I was ready. I’d planned on, perhaps, working on a video project, which I would need a few items from the grocery store. I was out of fruit anyway. And yogurt. So, I guess I was shopping. Now I had plans.

I’ve been in dire need of a new suitcase. My big, purple Samsonite has no zipper pulls left and the fabric has been worn thin enough in several places that TSA no longer has to open my suitcase to make an inspection. One zipper compartment is so broken I can, in no way, open the compartment. My travel yoga mat is hopelessly trapped in that compartment, weighing down my suitcase just enough that I had to pay the extra weight penalty on my last trip to Alaska, where I had zero intention of doing yoga and most certainly did not need to take the mat. It is a surprisingly heavy item and I just couldn’t remove it from the suitcase without permanently destroying the suitcase.  The local department store that I hate with every cell of my being has “the one” suitcase I like on sale for 60% off. I’m very particular about my suitcases. To me, it’s like my house. I spend more time living out of my suitcase than I do out of a house. I feel that my fastidiousness is well warranted. Mom had her Sunday pile of ad inserts from her two Sunday newspapers in a terrifyingly tall tower on the edge of the table. There were no less than four different ad booklets for this one store for this one week. I was made to look through them. All. It was infuriating. I especially love how the items aren’t organized in any logical manner, suitcases were pictured on three different pages in three different, and totally random sections of the booklet. The one I was interested in, of course, was on the very last page. Some of the specials were for today only, others could be combined with stickers received in the mail or coupons from other ad inserts to realize even more savings. When you used the store credit card, which Mom has, the sales associate will give you a “scratcher” and you will realize even more savings of an amount to be known only after you rubbed that gooky gray stuff off the flimsy paperboard, usually also removing the ink stating the amount of additional savings in the process. When I added it all up, before reading the incredibly small print, it looked like they might pay me 34.78124% of the retail value of the suitcase to take it off their hands. I decided I’d better take my chances and stop by the department store on my way to Whole Foods, which isn’t on the way at all, but, you can get clear across Napa in ten minutes flat, even in what Napkins call “traffic”.

I drove downtown and found the only parking place available in the whole city on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I stepped through the dirt planter because the sidewalk was barricaded off for some 9/11 Memorial project that has been in the works since, well, I think 9/11/01. I finally made my way to the door of the department store. Upon entering, I headed towards the luggage section, having to step over an entire family of children and the husband who were lounging on the futon that was displayed in the “off to college” section. Once to the impossibly crowded luggage section, I perused the offerings and only found one suitcase of the brand I require, and, incredibly, in a size larger than I need. Anyone who has seen my suitcase will be amazed by that. I could buy the futon and fit it into the suitcase if I wanted. And the suitcase was blue, and much more than I want to spend, even on sale.  I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t fit on domestic jets, anyway. Besides, I require purple, or red. I left. I’ll buy zip ties on the way home to secure the unsecure compartments on my old suitcase and keep looking for “the one”, on sale. On to Whole Foods.

I made my purchases, bundled them into my trunk and came home and suddenly it was time for dinner. How did that happen? And now it’s time for bed. How did that happen? I feel like the fast forward button is stuck on my day. I have nothing to show for it but a tub of yogurt and a few pieces of fruit in my refrigerator. SMH. Monday begins in a couple of hours. How did that happen?


Poor old suitcase.
Poor old suitcase.