Getting Things Done

Do you ever feel like you don’t get anything done? Today I got a lot done, except the number one thing that was on my list.

I call that procrastination. If I really wanted to do the most important task I set out to do, I would have done it first. But because I knew I didn’t really have to have it done today, I filled my day with several other important things and just told myself I didn’t have time. I think I chose to not make the time. So I’ll try again tomorrow and Wednesday. After yoga. And laundry. And….

Do you do that too? I tend to procrastinate until I feel pressure, and then I cram it all in at the last minute. I antagonize myself thinking about what I should do, and then I don’t do what I should but I do everything else instead and make myself crazy thinking about it. But my house gets really clean!! The act of doing feels like it is so much greater than dreaming and pretending sometimes, and when I actually get around to doing, I always wonder why I do that to myself. Silly.

Of all the things that did get done today, I’m most proud of the family dinner I prepared and served in our new collection of Polish pottery dishes, and cleaned up afterwards too. I love cooking and having a shared family dinner. This morning, Christian came up with a menu for the week that had me try something new. He wanted me to make mango chutney to go with roasted chicken and roasted Brussels sprouts and bread. What a gourmet eater! He first got the idea for mango chutney with roasted chicken from Gail, in the Netherlands. Thank you Gail for inspiring us tonight. We miss you! He would have liked to help prepare the dinner, but he had too much homework to do after his sport practice. Everyone loved it. Life is good!

20130930-220148.jpg

Beautiful San Francisco

20130929-221244.jpgCrissy Field and the Golden Gate

Do you have a favorite place or two?

One of mine is San Francisco.

20130929-221345.jpgView of Alcatraz, above Crissy Field

I’m always in awe of its majesty and love the vibe and feel of just being there.

20130929-221724.jpgAbove Ocean Beach

Today we met up with Apryl and her kids for a quick visit before they had to return to L.A.

It doesn’t really matter what we do when we’re together. We just enjoy hanging out and seeing our kids together too. Do you have a friend like that?

20130929-221857.jpgConcert in GG park

20130929-222014.jpgCarousel building in the park

Life is good, living it up in beautiful San Francisco.

20130929-222113.jpgBeautiful simplicity

20130929-222214.jpg

20130929-222432.jpg
Thanks for the visit, my friend!

20130929-222605.jpg

Being Silly

20130928-230113.jpg

Target had the best wigs for Halloween! Juliana and I had so much fun laughing at ourselves and being silly.

20130928-230307.jpg
No makeup, and just being crazy!

Jeff and I also had fun at Russ’ 50th birthday party tonight with friends from our neighborhood, enjoying drinks and appetizers and singing karaoke, while also watching the Stanford football game on TV. How’s that for multitasking?

20130928-230727.jpg

20130928-230847.jpg

Life is good! Hope you are enjoying your end of the week.

Top Five of the Day

How was your day honey?

My day was full and wonderful, thank you for asking!

What were the top five things you experienced today that made you smile?

Mine all have to do with girlfriends, exercise, family and being outside.

1. Hiking at Rancho today with Michele and Susanne. I love this 7 mile loop we do, in the sunshine for 90 minutes. The time goes by so quickly when you’re chatting and moving.
20130926-230704.jpg

20130926-230840.jpg
20130926-230932.jpg

2. Surprising Sydney with McDonald’s and sharing one of my favorite memories from childhood with her. Whenever I was sick from school which was hardly ever, my mom would bring me McDonald’s. it always made me feel better. Loved hanging out with her mom too! I love spontaneity.

3. Spending one on one time with each of my kids today. It’s amazing how much they share and open up, especially when we are in the car ad we’re alone together. They are the best kids with all their quirks and all. I love how each of their personalities and opinions are forming. They all make me laugh in their own ways and teach me so much.

4. Catching up with Stacey for a half hour over the phone while she was watching hockey practice in Texas and I was sitting in the car at soccer practice in California. Still connected after all these years.

5. Organizing dates for the boys and the girls on a school night. I love shaking things up every now and then. The boys watched football and ate pizza with Steve and friends, and Juliana and I strolled around Santana Row and had Pinkberry yogurt together outside under an oak tree that kept dropping acorns and making us laugh!

20130926-231023.jpg

20130926-231138.jpg

Life is good. Where did you see beauty or find joy?

The Path to the Good Life

20130925-232602.jpg

Stanford palm trees at dusk

Are you on the path to the good life?

What does it look like?

Are you living in the moment and finding peace and pleasure and time to exercise along the journey?

Are you working too hard? Studying too hard? Playing too hard?

Hopefully you’re searching for balance while you do it all, because we have a long life to live, and if you’re only doing one thing really well, you might be off balance which can create stress and unhappiness. By the year 2050, it’s estimated that the average US life expectancy will be in the mid-80s, up from 77.85 estimated in 2006. What are we going to do with all our time?

We need to find ways to balance our quest for education, our hard work whether in a career or supporting loved ones, and our leisure time. We need to take care of our social relationships and stay connected with those that support us and bring us up. It’s good for our health.

These are just a few of the facts and tidbits I took away from tonight’s lecture at Stanford by Dr. Laura Carstensen, a professor of Psychology and Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Michele invited me to join her for this event, probably 2 months ago. Luckily she planned ahead for two reasons: 1) the event sold out, and 2) if we had not purchased tickets, I’m sure it would have been easy to say we were “busy” and “couldn’t” go.  We had an escalation of commitment, which is a good thing and paid off. We are both very busy and active moms, and sneaking away for a few hours, away from dinner, dishes, homework help, soccer practice pickups and carpools, and bedtime routines felt like a luxury. I’m so thankful that we made the time to go and did the work to get there and actually put on a little makeup and jewelry so we looked like real, “professional” women. 😉 I’m thankful that our husbands are supportive of us and took care of the housework and kid work in our absences, after they worked a long day too at the office.

It was great to share dinner and a glass of wine together, before the lecture and time in the car on the ride back home to share and discuss all that we heard and learned and how it applied to our own lives.

I find it very stimulating to have had some continuing education tonight, some girl time, and me time, all rolled into one. I highly encourage you to make time too, for yourself, for your friends, for your brain, and your body and not to lose yourself in the responsibilities that you carry. It’s good for your health! Salud!!

20130925-232616.jpg

Asian dinner, wine and chocolate… life is good!

Pushing the Limits

I think we pushed Charlie’s limits today and hopefully he’ll still want to ride with me again tomorrow but we’ll see! We may have crossed the not-cool line.
20130924-223044.jpg

Jeff wanted to go to the school drop off with us this morning, but Charlie and I had planned to take the bakfiets, or the basket bike. We decided to test the limits of the bike. I jumped in the basket with Charlie and his backpack and Jeff drove the Tuk-Tuk with passengers to school! Poor Charlie!! I don’t think I’ll do that to him again…but we did have a good laugh.

20130924-223634.jpg
You’re a good sport, Charlie!! Thanks for the laugh today. xo