Posted by: Lady Optimistic | July 5, 2017

LYL:2 Accountability

I am supposed to get an accountability body.  But mine is trekking the Sierra Nevada’s with a bunch of girls in green vests.  They said I could find one on their facebook group, but it will be the coldest day in HELL when I use facebook.  I have no digital foot print, and I like it that way.  Sharing is caring, but not in the facebook world.

So, I am left to twist in the wind, accountable only to myself.  I can do this.  I want to do this, so…  My lemonade is my own accountability.

BTW – Bunny and I were talking the other day and I had a title for my book, and now I can’t remember it.  I will have to ask her if she remembers.  There’s some accountability.  If she does, then I gotta write the book.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | July 3, 2017

Tell Us Your Story

My story is long, but the best part is it keeps getting better.  Mother, wife, gig-economist… When I was 8 years old I road the NYC subway to school and back, alone everyday.  When I got home I made dinner for me and my father.  I don’t ride subways much anymore – since moving to earthquake country, but I still cook.

Cooking is my passion and my zen.

I meander, and focus is a challenge.  But that is okay with me.  I smell the roses.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | July 3, 2017

Spending the Day with Bunny

Bunny is my best friend from childhood.  More than any other person, it was through her that I found a mooring.  In a sea of chaos she was always there, and still is.

We spent the day together on Friday last.  It was the best feeling in the world.  She is, as she always was, calm, together, insightful and compassionate.  We talked about her mom, whom Bunny is very much like.  We talked about how women of our generation were the first born of the modern Women’s liberation movement.  We talked about those implications and challenges.  And she talked about how she saw me as a child.

While I saw myself as a living mess, she saw the most self-sufficient person she’s ever known.

How amazing is that?!?!?!

I would like to take the second half of my 50th year and reflect on who I was, and how I am still that person.  And how I am making this life what I want it to be.


Posted by: Lady Optimistic | March 14, 2017

The Lion Attitude

Check this out, my dear…




This was sent out as the motivational video of the week from my 10-year-old son’s basketball coach.

I love this!  Completely.  A little bit of a rush for a 10-year-old, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.  And little Iron Man is actually quite emotionally ready for something like this.  Mostly because he isn’t a sheep.  He’s a quite lion.  Or maybe more of alone wolf.

But this post isn’t about Iron Man.  Its about Tink.

So Tink is having a tough time.  And you know what I realized,  – well actually I’ve know this, but hadn’t quite articulated it to myself until just now – she is a lion.  I mean Tink is a LION.

Now, think about lions for a moment.  King of the beasts.  Head honcho of his surroundings.  Gorgeous.  Flashy.  Showy…  Billowing mane…  But who does all the work?  The lioness.  That’s right…  she is the hunter, she provides the food, she births the cubs, she teaches them to hunt for themselves…  SHE is the one that dominates her surroundings.  But she is not what you see when you think Lion.

And that makes me think about the girls’ leadership class Tink and I just took.  It was a class to help girls identify, understand, own and speak their truths.  A class to help understand their feelings and their truths and effectively express them.  I have been doing a lot of research on this.  This is a really difficult thing because woman aren’t appreciated when their truth is raw, difficult, messy, forceful, compelling…

The video is correct.  Every word of it.  Its powerful.  Humans are powerful.

But how would this motivation be received if it were narrated by women?  And how would it sound?  Would it motivate?  If women used the same power in their voices would this video be as well received?  How would a woman have to deliver it differently to be taken seriously?

Teaching a lioness to be a woman is the hardest thing in the world.  I’m probably doing a terrible job.  But I can’t give up.  I won’t give up.  I must also be the lioness.











Posted by: Lady Optimistic | December 8, 2016

The Vanquisher of Emotional Bait

I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under… well actually I do, and that rock is a life’s worth of posts for another day…

In short, I’ve discovered Daniel Goleman. Like I said, I’ve clearly been living under a rather large rock.

I found an excerpt in my email this morning from Focus, The Hidden Driver of Excellence. In short, Dr. Goleman posits that focus is most difficult to maintain when one is under some sort of emotional stress.

And that, of course, brought me to thinking about my family. How can my kids focus and be excellent when they are under such tremendous stress. When everything that is said and done is nothing short of emotional bait…

Why do any of us choke under pressure… Pressure is emotional bait. We feel pressure, and our emotions become completely chaotic. How can anyone be excellent under those circumstances?

So, as the person who sets the tone in the family – as all mothers do – I must take on the role of She Who Vanquishes Emotional Bait.

Children must learn to do this for themselves, but from whom?  From their parents.  From adults.  How do you teach this?  I’ll figure that out about two minutes before I die…  I hope.

This post needs more thought… That is what a blog is for!

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | November 29, 2016

What a year it has been

My life has changed so entirely. And completely. Not just my life, but all our lives. And the transformation isn’t complete. But, of course, a rich life is a life in constant transformation anyway, so…

The fact that I am transforming is, in itself, my first step. As I realized when I got a new job back in March, I didn’t even know how miserable I was until I had something to compare it to.

Last year’s holidays and our epic trip to Pakistan for a family wedding consumed my first 3 months of sudden, and unexpected unemployment. We had a beautiful time in my adopted country and the wedding was lovely. The bride is definitely a long lost member of our tribe come home at last!

Follow that with about 6 weeks of major illness and that was the first 6 months of unemployment. Scary and stagnant.

But, as soon as I felt better, I found a job. And I loved that job. And through that job my eyes opened to how rewarding working can be when you are appreciated, doing something you are good at with people who are equally as dedicated. And most of all, working with people who are happy and excited about their work, void of politics and bureaucracy. It was beautiful.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | July 28, 2016

Its Hard to Hang On to the Tough Stuff

I read a lot of Pema Chodron. And I read her stuff and I’m like, “Wow, I totally get it!” And then, two seconds later it leaves me. I guess that is why you gotta practice. I think that is why in Buddhism they call it practice.

Anyway, the more I read, the more two things happen… I forget more, but at the same time I just seem to get it.

What is it I am getting? More connection with the world.

Although, I would have to say that one reason why all this is easier is because I don’t spend my days with people who hate me and who are waiting for me to fail so that it can be publicly displayed.

I had no idea how awful my employment situation was until I got a new job. Now I work with people who, dare I say, might actually kinda love me? I am starving to death due to the low salary, but I want to spend all my time and energy with these people, doing their work. They are kind, happy, hardworking, straightforward, full of integrity. They don’t play games. Its beautiful. I even feel more beautiful when I am there with them.

My heart, my core, my soul, is healing with every interaction.

And maybe I am ready for this because I am learning to make space and trust.

And I kinda feel strong.

Or I am bi-polar and I need to go shopping 🙂

*Disclaimer: I don’t spell. Get over it. I also don’t proof read. Get over that, too. This is me, raw, uncensored and joyous.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | January 1, 2016

2016 Twenty Sixteen Two Thousand Sixteen

Happy New Year!

Man, 2015 sure gave me some ups and downs. Just thinking about it quickly, they were mostly downs. But we finished on a high note, celebrating my husband’s cousin’s marriage . Off we went to Pakistan where we enjoyed beautiful parties in honor of the bride and groom. It was colorful and happy and wonderful.

Pakistan is a place that truly inspires me. Karachi is teaming with life that is so radically different from mine. And yes, it is teaming with poverty. And that is what inspires me most.

Somehow I need to find a way to help. It is constantly in the front of my mind. Of course, having spent my life in the tech industry, I am not in any way trained as to how to help, beyond donating money and having my company match it. But I know people who do this kind of work. I must spend time with them, and pick their brains.

At the end of the day, I know I will find a way to help. And it will be my own, unique way. Even if I only help one person over there, my efforts will be worth it.

I have ideas. This is the year to turn at least one of them into action.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | June 5, 2015

Disappointment as Momentum

Today started with some disappointing news.  But I refuse to be crushed.  I put myself out there, and ultimately was rejected.  But I’d never quite put myself out there in such a way before.  And it was scarey to do that.  But I did it and I have survived!  And rather than be crushed, I feel like I can ride this wave of momentum.  I can put myself out there again.  I can remain standing up straight and continue to reach.

I haven’t fallen, I just haven’t grasped the goal yet, so it will take some more reaching.

After all, its not the destination, its the journey.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | January 9, 2015

Existential Crisis at The Indian Market

So, I have this thing for Pema Chodron.  I get her weekly email with quotes from her books.  I think she’s great.  But man was I confused yesterday.  Let me lay it out for you:

On the one hand, Pema says that we should find our soft spot and feel soft towards others so that we can learn to do that for ourselves, too.  Or maybe its the other way around… I don’t remember, but the goal is to have generosity both for ourselves and everyone else…

On the other hand, Pema says that no matter what we are feeling, thats what we should stick with.  Just feel it.  Be with it.  Don’t try to change it.  The goal isn’t happiness, but in-the-moment-ness.  After all, we will eventually have generosity for ourselves and others if we are in the moment.

So there I was at the Indian market with my two boxes of tea and a tiny bag full of chilis.  And there was this old uncle and auntie and some other woman who must have been their daughter, but she seemed like an auntie, too.  Anyway, they had the world’s most stuffed cart of lentils and veggies.  I mean, they cornered the market on everything in that damn place.  They had at least two of each, except for the cookies – they had five – FIVE – boxes of those!

And I was mad.  I was in a hurry and I wanted them to let me go ahead of them in line.  But they didn’t.  Uncle saw that I only had three things, but that didn’t stop him from slowly stuffing all the stuff from his cart onto the belt, while I watched.

So I was frustrated.  And I had bad thoughts about these people.  So then I thought, I should have nice thoughts about these people.  I should dredge up some zen serenity towards these people.  But then I thought about how Ani Pema says to just feel what we feel.

HELP!  I mean really…

So, since this happened a couple of days ago I have gained some perspective.  Both Zeus and BFF have suggested that I should have asked for what I wanted, which was to go ahead of them…  But there was no way I could have done that.  And exploring why I couldn’t ask is a whole other existential crisis of my thinking process and what I may or may not deserve in life and why I have those complicated, twisted problems…

But maybe, too, these thought pattern things Ani Pema teaches apply to when you are meditating and not to when you are standing in line, late to get home from work.

So the bottom line…  At least it occurred to me to not hate those people.

Crisis Accomplished! – You figure out what that means.  I’ll write about it later.

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