Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Recap: a milestone blog...

Almost five years ago to the day, I began writing this blog, and it has just surpassed 8,000 hits, which I believe is cause for both celebration and a little reflection.

When I was trying to get a book deal for In Search of George Stephanopoulos, my friend, Lisa, told me I needed to start a blog so I could come to publishers with an already established following. I personally thought it should be enough to write the darn book. I couldn’t believe I actually had to go out and find people to read it. But I agreed to start a blog immediately.

The first thing I did was contact my younger cousin, Erik and ask, “What’s a blog?”

You should know that I frequently say “yes” to things I have no idea how to do. And thus, In Search of… was born.

I didn’t know if one person would read it, let alone 8,000. So to anyone who has ever read this blog and particularly to those of you who have shared it – thank you.

It has provided an opportunity for me not only to hone my voice and to process my life, but to share it in a unique way that no other format provides. Writing is a solitary affair, and we never know if or when or how we will impact someone’s life or the world at large. But the need to express ourselves and lay bare that which matters most to us always seems to override the nagging doubts, at least for me.

I thought on such an auspicious occasion, I would leaf through the past five years of blog posts and pick one of them from each year that I’ve been doing this.

Since it was Lisa who told me I needed to be doing this, my pick from 2009 is the one where we got together after 25 years...

The start of 2010 had me thinking about what I know for sure…

In 2011, I shared my favorite video…

In 2012, an embarrassing encounter led to this, one of my favorite blogs of all time…

I believe that 2013 contained my most amusing Super Bowl blog…

And though we are only a little bit into 2014, in case you missed it, here is:

I invite you to let me know which ones have been your favorites over the years, and to share the ways in which any of them have impacted you or your life. I would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog. And as always, please tell your friends!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

signs of spring...

The winter of 2014 has felt like an endless one, more to be endured than enjoyed in any particular way. On some level, I was glad for it, though, because the weather supplied a built in excuse to hibernate. But as signs of spring begin to emerge, so must I, I suppose, and go out into the world once again, ready or not.

Working on a book and a CD at the same time has been good for me, if not completely overwhelming, because both projects have provided ample opportunity for personal growth and reflection at the same time. I never cease to be amazed at what epiphanies occur as I’m writing and how the reason I start a project is never the ultimate reason for its existence in the end.

If writing In Search of George Stephanopoulos was about the unexpected rewards of following your dreams, then both my new CD and book are about the ultimate return to who we are born and meant to be at our core.

If we are honest with ourselves, we all want to live boldly and passionately, and we all want to know the thrill of accomplishing our heart’s desires. And yet, if we look at the world around us, starting in the mirror, most of us could not be farther from that if we tried.

So how do we get back to that place where we dared to imagine who we could be in our wildest fantasies? Or is that gone forever?

I saw the first little green buds popping up out of the ground, and I wondered how that was even possible. The snow is not completely melted yet. There was no indication that there was the promise of new life going on underneath the barren stillness of the frozen earth. And yet, here are those little green buds popping up. I wonder if they know what they’re in for. It would be so much easier to stay nestled in the darkness. But that isn’t what life is meant for. Not for them and not for us.

We are meant to push through and blossom. We emerge, we grow, we weather storms, still reaching beyond what we were, to a destination we don’t yet know the fullness of. And we prevail. Even through winters like this one.

It’s supposed to be warmer today, and I am looking forward to stepping outside without a scarf and gloves. Wherever your weekend takes you, I hope you pause a moment to enjoy the promise that signs of spring bring with them. Longer days, warmer temperatures, and the rebirth of whoever it is that you want most to be.

Peace and blessings to you…

Sunday, March 2, 2014

the Oscar blog 2014!

Sure, most of the country is obsessed with Super Bowl Sunday, but in my family, it’s the Oscar’s, baby! So today, Oscar Sunday, is like the Super Bowl and Christmas all rolled into one for me.

Do I have a song nominated this year? Nope. But instead of mourning that trivial detail, I am enjoying my Oscar viewing without the minimum three layers of Spanx and mandatory month of fasting required of all female nominees. So there is that.

I’ve seen a bunch of the nominated movies and performances this year, and it’s really hard to compare them. It’s like apples and oranges, if you ask me. So I thought I’d just talk about a few people whose work I really like.

For instance, Tom Hanks – why don’t we just declare him a national treasure and be done with it. He has got to be the most likable person ever. Don’t you just want to be neighbors and invite him over for a barbecue? And truly, a fantastic performance as Captain Phillips.

Meryl Streep – I think there should just be a special Oscar called the Meryl Streep Oscar and they should give it to her each year for whatever work she does. I don’t think anyone would argue that every performance of hers is Oscar worthy.

And speaking of Oscar worthy, which I don’t say lightly, Julia Roberts’ performance in August: Osage County is phenomenal, and certainly the best work she’s ever done.

And along those same lines of best work in their career – Matthew Macconaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. Holy smokes! And in this girl’s opinion, it was an incredibly important film with regard to what it says about our government, the FDA, and our healthcare system, whose interests run counter to what is in the best interests of our citizens. Important film.

A musical word. Idina Menzel – I am so glad the world is going to get to see and hear her tonight and that her reach is extending beyond Broadway now, because I think she is a world class, extraordinary talent. And it is a pleasure to see cream rise to the top.

Well, I’ve got to go primp and prepare now. Those Oscar attendees get dinner by Wolfgang Puck afterwards, but me, I’ve got to fend for myself, so I’ll be tossing my own salad, thank you very much. And there will be no ice sculptures at my table. But other than that, really, exactly the same as their party. I’m sure of it.

Thanks for stopping by, happy Sunday to you, and enjoy the Oscars!