Say it ain't so! Summer's supposedly drawing to a close. As with most things, I prefer to deny, deny, deny. Summer is not ending. It's not. It's just ... not.
In the next 23 days, check a few more things off your summer bucket list. (Some of these I have done already. That is all I have to say about that.)
- Um. Hello. Baseball game.
- Two words: The. Pool. This is Atlanta, people. The pools should be open from March to November. But they're not. So soak up as much pool and sun time as you can before the apartment complex management company closes it arbitrarily.
- The movies. Surely you've seen the last Harry Potter by now. If I can get out of my house to do it, so can you. Or sneak a flask in to see something artier, like Super 8. Double features are my favorite, by the way. And don't forget the drive in.
- Travel. Somewhere. Doesn't have to be far. There's a cool town or city a two hour drive away, I'm sure. (Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, Notown, Kansas.) Go. Party your ass off. Sing your heart out in karaoke because no one there knows you and likely will not see you again.
- Night swimming. Oh yes. This counts as pool time, or maybe you know a lucky someone with a boat or boathouse, and hence, proximity to a lake. Extra points for skinny dipping, of course.
- Ice cream! Not from the freezer section at the grocery store. Go to Bruster's. On a warm night. There's also little crazy homemade stands around in East Atlanta. Get some.
- A summer fling ... there's still time ...
- Make something. A painting. A cross stich. A Mexican three bean avocado salad. A soufflé. A baby. What what.
- Watermelon. Strawberries. Corn on the cob. Summertime food.
- The beach! Again, sorry if you live in Kansas. Then just see point two on this list.
- The park! Take your dog, take your kid, take the dude you hooked up with last night. Take a frisbee and a blanket and maybe take a nap in the grass. In the shade.
- The amusement park! You have to go with a kid who is like, really excited to go to the amusement park. Worth it. Otherwise... eh. I grew up, I swear, under the rollercoaster at Coney Island...
- Get something pierced.
- Or a new tattoo.
- Or not.
- A picnic! Bring wine and disposable cups. Classic summertime finery.
- Play with the fireflies. And play with sparklers. Maybe not at the same time, though.
- A freakin' concert. There are so many free ones and green ones and all the oldie-but-goodies are playing together. The energy from a concert is good medicine. Just remember to stay hydrated.
- Have a hippie party where people can tie dye shirts and make hemp bracelets. The experienced hippies can teach the non-experienced ones. Do other fun hippie stuff. You know.
- You can go camping, if you're into that.
- Read. Books. Outside. In a hammock.
I'm sure there's tons of things I'm not thinking about right now, mostly because I'm getting severely depressed as I write this thinking about summer being over. No. It's not over! It's not! It's not!
Gimme more summer. And gimme more ideas. What do you still want to do?
Peace, love, & POOOOOL!!!
We went to the pool today, can you tell?
Yes it is . . .
When you're working on bettering yourself, when you're working on changing the world, when you're working on forgiving someone who tore your heart into a million bloody little painful pieces, when you're trying to forgive yourself for making the same stupid, God-awful mistake AGAIN, or you're making a chocolate soufflé, you have to remember this: it takes some time.
Time does heal all wounds, if you let it. If you fill the time as it is passing with better things, with hope, with second chances and new goals and dreams, then time will heal. Everything can't change overnight. (So don't fall asleep with your face mask on.) You can't cross your arms and nod your pretty head like Barbara Eden and feel better. (Though wouldn't that be nice.) Give it some time. Take it easy. Be gentle with yourself. Things are progressing, they are getting better. They are unfolding exactly the way the Universe wants them too. The way you want them too. It's just hard to see when you're right in the middle of it. Like if you are looking at a flower, waiting for it to bloom. You can't see it blossoming in front of your eyes. (But it is.) But if for a little while you turn your attention to the rest of the garden, to the trees, the sky, the birds, the other beautiful things around you, when you come back, after a some time, a lovely rose has burst open in front of you and it is a wonderful feeling when you realize everything is ok. Just like they said it would be, just like you told yourself it would be.
Be patient. Be hopeful. Forgive yourself. Again. And again and again and again, if neccessary. Give yourself time to blossom. The moment you realize you have conquered something and you'd forgotten you were supposed to be sad is a moment to be savored indeed. Just give it some time, love. It'll all come around.
Barbara Eden. Hubba hubba.
Also, since it is Thursday . . .
Today I am thankful for:
- The new vet taking care of Harry Potter. She's smart, she cares, and she's not as expensive.
- Cam Cam being such a sweet, expressive, talkative boy.
- Having a lovely time helping my gorgeous girlfriend get ready to get married on Saturday! Bachelorette party, here we come!
- My job. I am always thankful to have a means to provide for my precious little family.
- My loving friends who encourage me by reading this blog.
- The tarot, for being a pretty and simple and empowering way of telling oneself the truth. The truth we already know but are sometimes too afraid to admit, even to ourselves.
- Arden's Garden. Yum.
- Mad Men on the Netflix, baby. I love it, but I can't wait to finish the last season so I'll stop wasting so much time watching it!
- Tacos. I like tacos.
- And guacamole.
Peace and love and glitter eyeshadow to you all!
Even the boys. Traditional gender stereotypes be damned.
Here comes the Sun . . .
The Sun brings light and illumination and a sense of relief that now one can see what path to take after a long period of anxious ambiguity.I love my certain peculiar brand of spirituality.
One I've assembled from gleaning from all great religions as well as great stories over the past ten years of my life. Totally unique to me, it must be. I like that my spirituality is mutable and accommodating and I am able to revise it as I see neccessary. I suppose I am an eccentric and I am happy about that too. Things that put a smile on my little freckle face:
And I love myself and I love my life and I love this beautiful world of which I know I am a beautiful part!
- Steak dinner and a martini. Yum. NEED that once in a while.
- I'm grateful for the doctors trying to make Harry Potter better. I have such a sweet kitty and I love him! You're going to get all better, Mao Mao!
- I love Cam Cam! Such a chatterbox lately! Communicating is so fun!
- Red lipstick
- Reading Mark Twain
- Harry Potter (the character). Thanks, J.K. Rowling.
- Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwich with pepper-jack cheese and fries cooked to golden hot crispy perfection. So bad and so good.
- Getting a rebate card from the cell phone company! Finally!
- My hair is getting so long! I love planning what I'm going to do with it, even if I don't actually do it . . .
- Painting my nails green, except one is silver. "Why not?"
- Playing the Words with Friends game on my fancy phone
- Baseball! Go Phillies! Go Braves! I'm Ron Burgundy?
- I love my family! My sister and nieces will visit soon!
- rainbow sparkles -- I love this blog.
You can do it.
Don’t be scared.
Don’t be apprehensive. You’re writing your own story, living your own destiny. If you fear the worst possible outcome, you only make it that much more likely.
Don’t be scared.
Maybe you’re a little anxious. That’s to be expected when you are excited. The unfamiliarity of something new is invigorating, and yes, nerve-wracking. But fear is just excitement with the brakes on. How can you move forward?
Don't let your fear hold you back from doing what it is you truly want to do. Don’t let the what-ifs and should-haves pile up, huge mountains of now-whats and if-onlys that are the biggest obstacles on your path to success. Achieving your dreams comes when you are brave, when you face your fear, your terror, your shame, your regret.
Yes, you have failed before, that's true. But you can do it. You are ready now.
No matter that you’ve never done it before. You can do it. You're ready now.
They may say you don’t deserve another chance, you don’t deserve success. And you will try anyway. They are too scared to try themselves, so what can they possibly know?
They are too scared. But not you.
You can. And you will.
I love you.
There’s the woman I was, and the woman I am becoming. That is all.
When I watch movies and read books, I always insert myself into the female lead role. I can’t help it. I am empathetic that way and then when the experience is over, there is some of her left in me. What she learned and endured, I did too. Think of your favorite book and movie characters that inspire you. Be grateful to the artists who created them, allowing you to experience the joys and trials of life through them. All of these things make up who you are.
In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, my favorite book ever, surely the greatest novel in the English language, Betty Smith writes of Francie Nolan, "She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father stumbling home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more...It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life - the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike." It’s a beautiful story, it’s everyone’s story. I am her mother, Katie, and Aunt Sissy, too.
I am a woman, growing and changing and made up of a great many things. And the women who inspire me, some are alive and still changing and growing themselves and continue to influence my life in majestic and minor ways, positive and negative. I am every woman that has ever succeeded. I am every woman who has ever known love. I am every woman that has felt the despair of life deeply and painfully, like a blow to the chest that leaves you gasping for air. I am the Virgin Mary and the goddess Aphrodite. I am part of my mother and my mother’s mother and every mother that has been since the very first one. I am powerful, strong and free. I am innocent and idealistic. I am perspicacious and aware of my power as a woman. I am proud and happy to be a woman in the 21st century. I am a goddess. I am everyone and everything that I have seen. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am the Goddess. All women are. There are so many women to whom I am grateful for sharing their lives with me so that I might learn from them and become a better woman myself.
Take something from everything.
Be present for every moment. Try to learn something from every experience.
Who are you? Who are you now? What have you learned?
Let it go.
Let it go.
But I want it so bad.
Let it go.
But I need it.
Let it go.
Oh my god, why don’t I have it?
Let it go.
Why constantly remind yourself that you're in a state of lack, of want?
Let it go.
Why not think, "I am happy, I am content. I have everything I need and everything's working out."? You think you need "it" (whatever "it" is) to feel that way?
Well, you don't.
Stop obsessing. Start feeling that way now. Feel that you are happy and content and you don’t need anything. And whatever it is that you want will come to you. In one form or another, you’ll learn why you had to let it go in order for it to come to you. Maybe you'll get something better. Maybe you just needed to realize the great things you’ve accomplished when you let it go, when you stopped wasting energy worrying about why you didn’t have it, about how you could get it. Appreciate everything you already do and have and are.
It's going to happen, so don't worry about it. It is happening how it’s supposed to happen. This is just where you are on the timeline of “It Happening.” It has to happen sometime, at some speed, and for this part of the journey, this is the way it is happening. Know that you are going in the right direction. Trust that you are making the right decisions. Be disciplined and active so you can know this with confidence.
Stop obsessing. Stop fretting. Stop why me-ing.
Start living. Start doing things you love.
Everything you could ever want or be you already have and are. How does that sound? Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
If it comes up in your head, what you want, how bad you want it, how much it hurts that you don’t have it, think, “I am happy. I am too busy doing something else that makes me happy and brings me closer to my goal to worry about that right now.” And then make it true.
Because it’s not about just thinking happy thoughts, people . That only gets you halfway there. You need the pixie dust too, the rainbow sparkle. You need to actually flap your arms and fly.
Do something about it. While letting it go.
The only something you have to do is be present for every moment, because every moment is an opportunity. Whatever is happening right now is ok, because it is getting you to where you want to be.
You are changing, you are growing. Conduct yourself in such a way that you and everyone else knows you are going in the right direction. No one, and certainly not you, doubts that you will succeed. Treat everything, every moment, good or bad, as an opportunity. Be responsible for yourself and your actions. Of course you can’t have everything you want if you go to jail or just sit around eating chips and watching TV all the time. Practice discretion, honesty, and gratitude. The peace of letting go comes when you know you are doing your part to get it and the universe will take care of everything else. Be happy and grateful for this moment. Let it go.
Let it go. Let it go or else HARRY POTTER's gonna kick your ass.
What are you looking at?
. . . schnitzel with noodles . . .
It is Thursday! Things I Love Thursday! I love Thursday!
Don’t sweat the small stuff, they say, but when it is something big, like a divorce or the death of your pet, don’t forget to cherish the little things that come into your life and are able to bring you joy. The feeling you get when you hear that 90’s song, the one you were listening to when you got your first kiss. Eating the cereal you used to eat as a kid. Having a good hair day and getting compliments. The crunch and crackle of crème brulee a la Amelie. Rain in the summer. The smell of incense. The little things will get you through. Actively seek them out, make it a habit to notice them, consciously create more of them. Wear a bright pretty expensive new lipstick, call your Grandmother, and buy a small present for your niece (or BFF, or anyone, really.) Keep these little joys at the front of your mind as you mourn (the loss of your job or relationship or whatever legitimate tragedy), and after a while you’ll have had so many happy little things and time will have passed and you’ll have been so busy counting your blessings that you didn’t notice when the pain lessened. There is so much beauty in the world. Find it, appreciate it, make more of it. Julie Andrews knew her stuff.
Little things I love . .
- new tarot deck (That picture's not from my deck. But, FYI the six of cups is a card representing the simple things, a card of “pleasant souvenirs and consequently of the relief generated by these little things.”)
- my fancy new phone and the fact that it has Netflix on it and could entertain my son at the restaurant last night. Such a pleasant time . . .
- having three nights off in a row to paint!
- joining the Twitter (THE Twitter!) Follow moi: @JulieMGastineau
- food delivery. God bless 2011.
- Casa de Waffle with Cam
- the pool with Cam
- flowers in my hair
- packages in the mail
- YOU, dahling, beautiful YOU!
Peace and love and pizza!!!!!
Since I really did want to make this a fashion as well as lifestyle blog from the get go, this is me putting up some pictures of myself. Dressing is supposed to be fun and life is too short to feel crappy in crappy clothes. Feel pretty in fancy clothes. Feel unique in quirky clothes.. Just not . . . crappy in crappy ones.
I guess that means I'll have to get less akward in front of the camera. Kind of a job requirement for this. So even if you take nothing away sartoriallly (I am wearing a five dollar t-shirt from an Oklahoma City souvenir shop after all), at least you'll be entertained by my odd yet amusing photos. Fruity.
Also don't worry I will still be doling out unasked-for life advice as I become more myself on a daily basis.
I took these by myself with the timer on my camera. Soon I will sucker someone into taking pictures of me. Then I will post them on here for all the world to see. Hardly narcissicism.
I love you.
Harrius Potterus. I haven't seen the last movie yet. I'm such a poser. Today I drove with my mother and Cam to visit my sister's mother-in-law. And I ate sushi. And I tweeted. Twice. Cam is the best. I love myself and I love my life. And I love San Francisco.