Category: Life

March 21 2017

What Makes You Happy?

In the Mindfulness Manual, under the article Find Your Purpose, it describes four simple techniques that we can do to make room for happiness. Under the first technique, which is called Meet Your Actual Needs, it asks you to try this quick exercise. On a blank piece of paper write, “What makes me happy?” This sounds a lot like the gratefulness post I put up awhile back but instead of just people, she adds activities, emotions, and places. Don’t overthink it.

Here are some of mine:
Traveling to new places and breathing in the fresh air
Eating delicious, mouth-watering food
Thinking about my deceased grandma (RIP halmuni)
Taking the top down of my car and driving around with the wind whipping through my hair
Seeing art that takes my breath away
Being completely submerged under water
Sharing a good hearty laugh
Tickling my kids
Kissing my kids on their lips
Sharing a mountain of candy bars with Sam
Noticing a patch of colorful flowers on a hike
Downing a double espresso and feeling the surge of energy right after
Seeing a new artist’s interpretation of The Starry Night
Catching up with my siblings
Having a fun texting conversation with a friend

What makes you happy?

The four simple techniques to make room for happiness are:
1. Meet your actual needs
2. Say no, often
3. Identify whom you take for granted–then stop
4. Soothe your inner jerk

Photo of Parker and Logan.

March 7 2017

Shonda Rhimes’ Awe-Inspiring Speech at TED

Awhile back, I read Shonda Rhimes’ book, Year of Yes. Last year, I knew she gave a speech at TED (it was in February 2016) but I never watched it, until now. Rhimes is eloquent with her words, she’s absolutely captivating. You can’t help but admire her for her hard work ethic and also for her ability to see the value in play.

Here’s an excerpt from the TED blog:

Each show Rhimes works on costs millions of dollars, and creates hundreds of jobs that didn’t exist before. With three shows in production at a time, sometimes four, she’s responsible for 70 hours of TV a season at a price tag of about $350 million. She has to run the business and also carve out time to “gather America around my campfire and tell my stories.”

She isn’t complaining. “I work a lot. Too much — much too much. And I love it,” she says. “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling.”

She has a name for this: the hum. “The hum sounds like an open road and I could drive it forever,” she says. “The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God’s whisper right in my ear.“

But it’s a trap. The more successful she becomes, she says, “the more balls in the air, the more eyes on me, the more history stares, the more expectations there are … the more I work to be successful, the more I need to work.”

Until Rhimes found herself wondering: “Am I anything besides the hum?” Her hum was broken; all she heard was silence.

Enter one of her daughters, who one day asked Rhimes to play as she was walking out the door. She stopped. And said ‘yes.’ “There was nothing special about it. We play. We are joined by her sisters. There is a lot of laughing, and dancing and singing. I give a dramatic reading from Everybody Poops. Nothing out of the ordinary, and yet it is extraordinary.” She felt focused, still — good. “Something in me loosens and a door in my brain swings open,” she says. “A hum creeps back.”

She realized something: “The work hum,” she says, “is just a replacement.” She had to face the hardest of facts about herself: that she, in some ways, liked being at work more than being at home. That she was more comfortable working than playing. But that only in playing did she find that hum again.

“The real hum is joy,” she says. “The real hum is love.”

Since then, Rhimes has made a steadfast rule of saying ‘yes’ to playing with her kids. “It’s the law, so I don’t have any choice,” she says. “I’m not good at playing. … I itch for my cell phone, always. But it is okay. My tiny humans show me how to live. The hum of the universe fills me up.”

Her point is a simple one, yet one we always need reminding of: “Work doesn’t work without play.” Whether it’s playing with kids, seeing friends, reading books or staring out into space, it is actually important for each of us to take time for the simple joys that make life worthwhile.

If you can make some time for this TED talk, please watch it. (It’s about 18 minutes.) You don’t have to be a parent to understand and appreciate her message.

March 7 2017

Feeling Like You’re Failing

Today, Sam told me something that broke my heart. He said, “Do you think that, sometimes, you can ask me how I’m doing?” Wow, I was taken aback. I have been so consumed by this new career in fashion that I have been completely neglecting the most important person in my life. How could I have let this happen? Tears are, currently, streaming down my face.

It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, your own life, your career, how you want to make a difference in this world. But when was the last time you asked someone you love or care about how they are doing? I went to my psych appointment today and it dawned on me that Sam has never missed one. He’s always by my side, he makes me a priority in his life. How could I not be doing the same for him?

Sure, I take care of the kids when he has a meeting or I watch the kids in the morning so he can sleep in but I’m failing at taking the time to stop what I’m doing and really focus on him. It’s a wake up call. I feel as though I have been failing as a human being. As a spouse, especially. How could I have let this happen? What will I do about it..now?

(P.S.Though this doesn’t directly relate to this post, the new video from Mercedes-Benz called “Start a Family,” made me think..and cry. This one is good, too.)

March 6 2017

Practicing Gratitude

I thought I would dedicate today’s post to people or things that I’m grateful for. It’s easy to get lost in our thoughts, dwell on things we wish for or dream about places we wish we could be. It takes a little more effort to stop what we’re doing and remember all the great things around us. Here’s my list.

God – God works in mysterious ways. I’m a Christian, and though my faith has sometimes wavered, I know in my heart that he is real. He has blessed me beyond belief and I feel as though he’s constantly guiding me with his gentle hand.
Sam – I’ve known my husband since 14 (and I’m now 40, so that’s 26 years!) and we’ve been together since we were just freshmen in college. Yes, we’ve broken up a few times in between and we’ve had our tough times but we’ve stuck together. He’s my best friend, the greatest father to our children and just an unbelievable human being. Sam has shown me what unconditional love really means. I couldn’t love him more.
My sister, Carol – My other best friend. She’s that person you call when life breaks down. She calms you down, picks you back up and glues your pieces together. She’s also unbelievably hilarious, she tells you like it is.
My sister, Grace – I know she always has my back. I can always feel her love.
My mother and father-law – They are like my own parents, they support my dreams. My father-in-law achieved the American dream, he’s an entrepreneur at heart, and I respect him tremendously.
Parker, my first son – Parker is a gift from heaven. I don’t deserve to have a son like him. When he tells me he loves me, my heart melts. He’s just so pure and sweet, he makes me believe that there is good in this world.
Logan, my second son – Logan has recently warmed up to me, for the first almost three years of his life he was attached to Sam. When he finally came around, and we developed our own bond, I realized how selective he is with his love. When he gives it, he gives it with his whole heart.
Kat – Kat is one my closest friends. She’s unbelievably brave and she emits this positive energy. Whenever we’re both going through a life change, we keep each other motivated. It’s impossible to find such a sweet spirit like hers.

Quick list of the other things I am grateful for:
Starbucks’ drinks
Apple for creating such beautifully designed phones (Steve Jobs, you were brilliant but you were nuts (I read the book))
Nature, in particular Santa Rosa Plateau and rainbows
Gittindown – my close group of friends
My high school friends
Friends who are like my family and family who are like my friends – Burt, Sonny, Kevin, Danny, Arlene
My dogs, Fozzie and Charlie
My new LA friends
Art
Architecture
Design
Photography
(This is an ongoing list)

Art: Julien “Seth” Malland aka Seth Globepainter

February 23 2017

When Plans Dramatically Change

So, last evening, I was all pumped up to go to Vegas to attend the MAGIC fashion trade show. Then, we had a last minute family emergency come up and I had to stick around. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed but I did some more research and found out that the LA Textile show is happening next week in downtown Los Angeles. It starts Monday! I’m going as press on behalf of My Modern Met.

Excited to share with you this good news! I’ll still be in tomorrow but I will be off this blog Monday through Wednesday.

The dream is still alive! Not only do I hope to bring to the readers of My Modern Met the latest trends in the fashion world, I hope I will be able to make the right connections to make that perfect one “thing.” (Yes, I’m still leaving you in suspense.) This photo represents the fact that sometimes, you really do have to bend over backwards.

Photo: Steven Pan

February 1 2017

A Manic Episode: Art Will Come From This

I got my hair dyed pink Friday but it didn’t come out completely as planned. (Hence no Instagram pic.) It’s more like a sunset – my roots came out pink but the rest of my hair is a dirty blonde. I have to go back on Friday to get the whole head done. (Just wanted to give you an update on the hair.)

Last week, I got excited because, while I was in the shower, I decided that I finally found my true career path. It’s ben over a year since I left My Modern Met, and since then I thought I wanted to be a photographer. Rodney Smith, Tim Walker, Max Wanger, these were my inspirations.

I went home and started tearing pages out of magazines. I went on Pinterest and started pinning like mad. I want to be a designer, I decided. A fashion designer, perhaps or just a curator of products, like clothes, art, and fashion. Sammy knew something was up and voiced his concern. I said I was fine. But then something snapped. On Saturday, we went to Disneyland and I felt so paranoid that we only made it to the LEGO store, we had to turn back.

I’ve spent the last few days holed up in my house, too scared to even visit Target. When I finally did, I saw messages on people’s clothing. On a pair of leggings it read,”Be strong.” My mother-in-law came into my office this morning and said those exact same words.

I hope I am coming back to reality. That the increase in medication has brought me back down to earth. I have a psych appointment tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to post on “trends” or art and design that moves me. I’m going to move away from photography and focus more on design. I came across these sayings by Nick Miller via Urbanic, who’s producing an exclusive collection of cards and prints with him. These spoke to me.

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January 26 2017

Hello, Metallic Rose!

Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the morning doing something drastic to my hair! I’m changing it from the galaxy-style color to metallic rose. “Metallic, what?,” you may be asking. It’s not straight out pink (though bubblegum pink would be pretty cool), rather, it’s pink with a metallic shine. It’s almost a blend between pink and purple. I hope my colorist can pull it off. Wish me luck!

I won’t be around to give you our usual Friday Links of the Week post but I’ll try to keep you up to date on the hair situation via Instagram. Have a splendid weekend and do something daring too, would ya? 🙂

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January 24 2017

Touching Quotes and Illustrations on Mental Illness

I’m not ashamed to tell people that I have bipolar disorder. It started about two and a half years ago and I’ve relapsed into full blown mania twice. It’s hard to explain what mania feels like. For me, it’s like someone has taken over my mind, I’m battling these inner demons that won’t let up. My mind is going a million miles a minute and I don’t trust a single soul.

I found these quotes and illustrations on Healthy Place that give you a peek inside the mind of a mentally ill person. I like how some of them show the positive side.


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