Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I don't want to miss it


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"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it".


As I scrolled through social media this morning, chuckling at the annual "May the 4th Be With You" memes and posts, I thought to myself, is this really May 4th, 2016? This year is not stumbling along as though wearing new shoes that are needing to be broken in, it's more of a sprint or mad dash to the finish line as if we are smack dab in the middle of the Summer Olympics.

And it's not Summer. Yet. But at this rate it will be before I blink.
With the recent events at my place of business, I'm wondering if I will be able to do that vacation post, you know the one. Where I write to you from the shore, as I collect shells, and marvel at the vast body of salt water that reminds me, we are not in control here. This world is enormous, beautiful, fast-paced, and far reaching to so many corners I can't even fathom all of them. Will I get to see all of the corners in my lifetime? I don't know. But what I have seen so far, has been nothing short of astonishing and a reminder that wherever we may be, wherever we may live, that is one small space. Do we realize that? Hundreds of thousands walks of life. Various religions and races and spoken languages and traditions. I want to know all of them in some way. But I don't know if I will. It's always nice to dream about it though, and really just to realize it is pretty important. At least I think so.
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We are not all the same, and thank goodness we aren't. What a boring world it would be if we were. I do wish there was more acceptance of each other in the world today, the old adage, "why can't we just all get along?" Yes, I still wear the rose-colored glasses. And I won't be removing them.

I'm in the midst of a corporate tug of war, professionally, and I'm regretful to write that it's not fun at all. Honestly, to even mention it leaves me with an anxious feeling, thoughts of, can I say this? Can I say anything about it, will I get in trouble? Suffice to say that I will just leave it as, the company I work for is in the middle of  a strike, and I am really wishing for the day that agreements are made and handshakes ensue and it comes to a peaceful end. Heavy on the peaceful.

So what does all of that mean for me? Twelve-hour workdays with no relief in sight. Hence the "I am not even sure if I will be able to take that beach vacation this year". I'm not whining about it. I'm doing what needs to be done. But I want to write these two things, because this is my personal blog and I can. One: to my union friends, I hear you, I understand, I am here, I love you all, and keep fighting the good fight, I hope you get what you need to be able to come back to work.
Two: to my friends out there in the field, so far away from home and your families, doing physical labor to keep things running, and standing tough in this crisis, I love you all too and I can't wait to hear that you are back home and sitting in your backyards with your family and friends, eating grilled food and enjoying the good life.

So, as time swiftly flies by and 7am turns to Noon then turns to 7pm each day, I've tried my best to stop and look around once in a while. Even with life's ups and downs and unplanned catastrophies, or hardships, I don't want to miss it.

See you soon friend,
Tiffany

PS Breakfast at Tiffany's has been filled with fresh fruit these days. One of the joys of living in North TX is having sweet fruit and fresh vegetables available year round. I can't wait to go to the Farmers Market this year, I just have to find the time to pencil it in. I hope you can do the same in your town!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

At what point should we stop asking the hard questions?

I often joke around about the fact that when I was growing up, I had zero fear of heights, and excellent balance, but now I trip over things (like dust particles) and I'm not fond of wide escalators, much less step stools to reach the thing that I can't reach, because, five feet, two inches. Barely. I'm claiming a full two inches because well, I can. No one challenges me. You know, whipping out the measuring tape, yelling 'prove it!'.

The kind of balance that has been on my mind for the last few months has little to do with not falling, physically anyway. Falling in love is not included, because the euphoria one feels from that is nothing short of life-changing.

I'm talking about the scales we use in life to balance our hours, days, weeks....

While making a living is imperative, it's also extremely important to live outside the walls of the money-maker. One of my favorite movie quotes is from the modern-day version of Sabrina. She asks the oh-so-successful Linus Larrabee, an important question.

"I know you work in the real world, and you're very good at it. But that's work. Where do you live, Linus?"

Indeed.

As I'm sitting here writing this post, from my phone, because I absolutely cannot sit at that desk one more second of this day, I'm asking myself the same question. It's a hard one too, you would think I would be kind to myself and cut a little slack after a fourteen hour day of work. But at what point should we stop asking the hard questions?

I must be clear in saying that I am proud of my work and I am grateful I have it to do. I've never been one to go down the woe-is-me road, it's a rare occurrence. Receiving compensation for every hour spent working that surpasses the standard forty-hour work week, is a beautiful thing. But I also think it comes to a point where extra money falls into the not-worth-it category. If it gets to the point that there is little time to enjoy spending it on a fabulous day, doing your favorite things, the hard questions begin presenting themselves.

I'm noticing more and more, that there are days that run so close together that the week they produce is one, gigantic, blur. The questions in my mind are starting to become annoyingly nagging. Louder. Pesky.

Where do I live?

Sadly, to answer truthfully, I live 'mostly' inside my work. This is the acronym I've learned so well I could probably write a song about it. D.O.B. I wish I was talking about a shortened nickname for Dobby, the house-elf. (Come on, Harry Potter, stay with me). But I'm not. I'm talking about the 'Demands of Business'. Regardless of what we all do to earn a living, I'm confident with my thoughts about all of us knowing what D.O.B. means. We just do what needs to be done. If we're lucky, this need can be met in eight hours each day out of the five that are there for the taking. The week of work, where the bread and butter comes from. I've said before that the real living, the good stuff, is often packed into the remaining two days that are there for rest, and relaxation. Down time (my favorite).

It hasn't always been such a demanding schedule. It has an ebb and flow, and I know that my team members also know that ridiculously long work days don't last forever.

But man they sure are running long and close together right now.

The good news is, and there many facets to this, I have a job that I understand, mostly, that is challenging and rewarding at times. There is very little time for boredom or disinterest to set in.

I've just pulled out that scale I mention, and have noticed that it's not balanced well. Not always, and not forever, but right now. Hence, the writing of the thoughts after months of not doing so because, little time and mental space exists for such activity.

So really, friend, all of this really comes to me just checking in and telling you what's going on at Tiffany's.

'And this too shall pass...' I can hear my mom's voice saying this to me. She's right. It will.

So, if you too, are working demanding hours with little or no time to get outside and breathe in the fresh air, remember the scale. And try, with all of your being, to check the balance, and even it out if necessary. Go outside. Take a walk, clear your head, and notice the details, even the miniscule ones. Talk to friends, and really listen. Engage. But enjoy the silence too. Pet the puppy your neighbor just brought home. Have coffee at Starbucks or your place of choice. Sit in the sunshine. Turn the music up, and dance it out. (I've recently adopted this phrase, love it). Travel. See the world we live in, including abroad. Have you been to the top of the Eiffel Tower? Have you stood underneath Big Ben as it's chiming on the hour? Neither of these are necessary, but I think you understand where I'm going with this.


Live. Outside of the confines of work.

So when you're asked the hard questions (and you may be the one asking) you will already know the answer.

See you soon friend,
Tiffany

P.S. Breakast at Tiffany's will have a Parisian feel to it tomorrow. I've just decided. Croissants and Cafe au lait it is! Oui?

This post is dedicated to Jeremy, who I know will always 'dance it out' with me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Don't worry......be happy


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I love the easy, laid-back days of the end of the year. Even in the industry that I work in, it seems to slow down some, and I'm using "some" gently. It doesn't come to a complete halt by any means. Telecommunications is a rapid, fast-paced technology that can never really stop the train. But when it slows down.....and everyone breathes a little, I can almost physically feel the relaxed atmosphere take hold, which is a much needed feeling, believe me.
Whether you do New Years resolutions or don't give them a second thought, I think knowing that the calendar is about to flip to page one brings feelings of newness, infusing energy into our days.

As I take the holiday decorations down to put away until next time, (always after New Years, never before) I've often felt sad to do so, but also happy to begin again, in a brand new year. The "bring it on, let's do this!" feeling overrides any sort of melancholy thoughts I might have.

I think goal-setting is always a good thing, but I've also subscribed of late to the "don't worry, be happy" attitude. It's important to invest your time and care in the work you perform each day, these five-out-of-seven days that provide the means for the two-out-of-seven days where life, in my opinion, really gets good. So by all means, get out there and kick some butt, make things happen, proudly sign your name to everything you've worked hard on. And for the new projects coming your way, embrace!

But, try not to stress about these things. Easier said than done, right?

"In every life we have some trouble......But when you worry, you make it double"

I'm sure you've heard the mantra, "will this matter five years from now?", "will it matter tomorrow, even?"

Maybe the answer is yes to both. Or maybe not. The point is, relax. Take it one day at a time, and do your best along the way. Stressing is not going to help, it will only rob you of a decent nights sleep.

Take a walk outside, weather permitting. Add some physical activity to each day if you can, and please, check out yoga if possible, You don't have to go anywhere, this can be done right in your own home. Breathe, stretch, inhale, exhale....you get it. If you schedule time for you, amongst all of the 'I-have-to-get-this-done!' items, the year will begin, and continue, with great balance.

"Don't worry......be happy".....2016 may be our best year yet!

Wishing you the happiest of New Years friend, see you soon!
Tiffany

PS With all of this holiday baking and cooking and eating and celebrating, I think the time is near to go back to the basics for Breakfast at Tiffany's. Scrambled eggs and fresh fruit it is! Or, how about oatmeal!
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tell them now....


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Although every Christmas was special to us, there are a few that stand out in the eyes of my sisters and I.The Barbie townhouse, with an ELEVATOR y'all!, was the shining moment for me one year, and my sister, Melissa, got a speed buggy and a sit'n spin, that same year. We made ourselves sick on that thing, spinning round and round so fast that when we laughed, no sound came out due to the wind velocity we were creating. At least, that's how I remember it. Then one year,  there was the Holly Hobbie oven. I made a real cake! It was the size of a small round brownie but when you're eight  years old, it's the size of a Texas sheetcake. That year, Mom, er, I mean, Santa, put 3 different flavors of Freshen-up gum in our stockings; Spearmint, Peppermint and Cinnamon. Today, if I come across Freshen-Up gum anywhere, I immediately go back to that Christmas. Small things I know, but these are what memories are made of. Those tiny little details that you think you've forgotten, that appear the second you see, or hear something to jog the memory.

Now that I've grown up, well *mostly*, ahem, I can look back and appreciate the lengths my mom went to in order to make Christmas a special time of year. It always was, and I know it was because of her. I think it's important to tell our loved ones that we appreciate their efforts, and that we love them for everything they do. Tell them now. Don't wait to tell the story, or the feeling, years later. It's a free gift to give, and one they will treasure always.

I can remember Mom telling us stories about when she was growing up and what Christmas was like back then. My grandma had seven kids, unfortunately one passed away the day she was born. So mom grew up with three sisters and two brothers, can you imagine the mayhem on Christmas morning? I'm pretty sure all of my cousins know that when Grandpa was ready for his kids (my generation's parents) to come out of their bedrooms and begin the barrage of unwrapping everything that my grandparents probably just stayed up all night to wrap, he would put Bing Crosby's Jingle Bells on. When the kids heard that they knew it was "go" time. I think many of us today do this same ritual, because Pap did.
We called my Grandpa "Pap", I think maybe I couldn't say grandpa (?) , or maybe I just saw "Pap" when I looked at him, but once I called him that, he became Pap to everyone in our family. As you might surmise, my extended family is huge, so I claim what stories I can here and there. I have always felt lucky to be a part of such a large family. I love them so much.

I like hearing about what other families traditions are during the holidays, and also when they share memories from Christmas past. This is our makeup, or at least part of it. The good part hopefully, I know the holidays can be rough for some people, and I am always sorry to hear about that from friends, or even family. It's called The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Andy Williams (and other artists)  sing this, with me often singing right along. Yes, I'm one of those. I love *most* holiday music, and if I know the words, or really, let's be frank, even if I don't, loud and proud I will sing along anyway. What I would say to anyone having a hard time during this time of year, is try and pick one good memory, just one, from this season and focus on that. Remember what's on the list of things you are grateful for,  and know that you're not alone. I see the spirit of peace on earth, goodwill toward men, more during this time of year, than any other month. I do wish it could be that we have this feeling all year long, but I think it's also one of the reasons why this time of year is special.

My family spent the last two weeks of 2014 in Florida. Because I wasn't home for the holidays then, there wasn't much decorating going on at my house. I believe I subconsciously decided to make up for that this year. If it's stationary and doesn't breathe on its own, it's wrapped in lights in some form or fashion. One Christmas tree was not enough, oh this won't do. I must decorate two, I thought to myself. Hours and hours later.......you can see my house from space. I know Clark Griswold would approve.


I'm not sure what is happening with this strange December weather, but yesterday was the Winter Solstice and at the time I write this, it's currently 75 degrees. I don't know whether to go to the pool or light a fire, or, well, both.

With the year winding down to a close, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. That clean slate, fresh new year feeling is just around the corner! But for now, if at all possible in this hustle and bustle world, slow down, and relax a little. Enjoy time spent with your family and friends, and hopefully those holiday traditions that have been with you for a long time.

Take good care of yourself friend,

Tiffany

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PS I was slightly mischevious when I was younger. A shocker I know. We lived in a 2 story house that had an attic door halfway up from the floor in the bedroom my mom would do sewing in. During the holidays, Mom would make cookies and fudge, all the good things, and often store them in containers, and place them just inside the door on a shelf in the attic, because there was plenty of room and it was very cool there. That IS why she did it, I am SURE it wasn't to hide them. I found the chocolate crinkle cookies one year (my favorite). And well, I may have snuck a few when she wasn't looking. Needless to say, she was very surprised when she went to get them to put together platters of goodies, and some were missing. You notice how I'm not saying how many were left, don't you? I'll be making these tomorrow, Christmas Eve at Tiffanys. It's just like Breakfast at Tiffany's, but even more festive. The recipe: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/en_US/recipes/5592/cocoa-crinkle-cookies.html