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.

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | December 23, 2014


Spelling ability notwithstanding, I must write. I have no training. I grew up speaking English. I did well in English class. By the end of my freshman year of high school my biology teacher, Sr. Dominica, declared that I had finally learned to write an essay. So, going off that, I write. I correct other peoples’ writing, and I dream of being an editor.

Anyway. 2015 has but one resolution. I must write. I listen to music that takes my mind to so many wonderful places, I have every confidence that I can write about them. And I think these thoughts may even be interesting to a handful of others.

In August of 2013 I read about the idea that the Olympics are in four years (2016 – it must have been something that was about a year old 🙂 ) and challenged others to ask, where do you want to be in four years. I have my goals in my notebook. I still think that those goals are where I need to head.

So, rather than this constant talk about what I want to do with respect to writing, I will write.

I will go to those places in my mind and share them and be thankful for auto-spelling correction, and just let the rest of the spelling go.

And so, here we go!

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | December 17, 2014

It Should Have been the Honolulu Zoo

I totally forgot to post quite some time back.  But I am back.

So the Zoo.  In a word:  Fabulous!

The zoo is a beautiful place.  Its just the right size.  The gardens are amazing.  The animals are charming and their enclosures don’t make you want to weep and cut through their bars…  The people are pleasant.

Going to the zoo was, perhaps, the highlight of my time with my children.  Zeus was conferencing, so we went without him.  It was threatening rain, and we were sprinkled on once, but that didn’t slow us down.

We took the bus to the zoo.  It only took about 20 minutes.  They have a lovely park area in front of the zoo, which is across the street from a gorgeous beach.  The park is home to huge banyan trees.  They must be ancient.  The kids climbed and swung from the branches like little monkeys.  It was fun!

There is a statue of Gandhi in the park.

I took a photo of the kids with Gandhi.  The history of India, and its independence is very much relevant to Pakistanis.  But that is another post 🙂

We enjoyed the park for quite some time.  Then we went in to the Zoo.  $26 for all three of us.

Of course, the gift shop is immediately to your left.  Go to the gift shop.  Their stuff is cool.  Its not cheap, but its different and good.  I would easily have spent $200, but…  We went to the gift shop as we were leaving.  I found a lovely gift for my BFF.  I let the kids choose something each.

Hey, that was a great thing, too.  I made a deal with them that if they did the Sherpa work, I would buy then something.  This was the first visit anywhere with my children ever that I was not, at any moment, the Sherpa.  It was lovely.  No strollers, no kid strapped to my body, do diapers, changes of clothes, umbrellas, cameras, rain ponchos, all hanging from various parts of my body.  It was a joy to just walk around.  But I digress…

We had a map and planned out our attack so that we would see everything.  Regrettably, the reptile house was closed for renovations.  No reptiles.  I was not crushed 🙂

They have lots of tortoises.  Of every size from pocket sized to boulder sized.  They were so awesome.  The mid-size ones were running around in their enclose and they were fun to watch.  The huge ones were kind of slow, but they are actually moving about, too.

I loved the zoo.  I took tons of snaps of the kids, and I will use one on our New Year’s card.  If there’s a place in Honolulu that I would go to again, it would be the zoo.  Maybe they could build me a cage and keep me there.

On that last note, I believe its time to hit publish and move on.




Posted by: Lady Optimistic | November 21, 2014

Out of Order – Pearl Harbor

My kids and I had a great time at the memorial.  Its a somewhat somber place, but it is nicely done, and the crowds weren’t bad at all.  We were there until about 2PM.

When we arrived we had to check our back paks.  You can’t take in any sort of bag.  So I carried my wallet and camera.  You must pay $3.00 to check your stuff.  Cash only. Then we went in to the site.

Tickets for the Arizona Memorial are free, but you must get one.  The ticket has a time on it and that is the time when you can go to the theatre and see a short documentary about the attack.  We had to wait approx. 30 minutes.  During that wait we were lucky enough to meet a gentleman who was a survivor.

The documentary is very well done and very interesting.  My kids and I learned a lot.  After the movie you exit directly out to a boat that takes you out to the memorial.  Once inside, you have about 15 or 20 minutes maybe to look around and appreciate the whole thing.  Its lovely, somber and quite moving.  There are rangers present to answer questions.  You will be herded out to leave if, like us, you loose track of time.  I would have liked to stay out there just a little longer.

We purchased the audio tour, for $7.50 each, and it was great.  It really hammered home a lot of the history.  It helped to pace my kids. 🙂

There are sites along the water where you can read interesting stuff, and the audio tour walks you through a bit of that.  The audio tour is strong at the Memorial itself and in the two small museums – explaining lots of things as well as commentary from survivors.

After we got back from the Memorial itself, we walked the rest of the grounds and went through the two museums.

There are gift shops and there is a snack shack. On the other side, you can go visit  a submarine.  The cost for that is $12.00 per adult and $5.00 for kids.  The cost of the ticket includes an audio tour.  We did this.  It took about 20 minutes.  It was cool for my kids to see a submarine, as this was a first for them.  There actually is one in San Francisco, but we never go to the city if we can help it 🙂

There is at least one other memorial that you can see, and pay for, but we were done in after the submarine, so decided to head home.

Be sure to have hats and sunscreen as you will be outside mostly and there’s not much shade.  Near the submarine is a proper place to get some lunch, but I was too cheap 🙂

The bus ride back took exactly an hour.

A little trick I figured out about the bag thing is, go to the gift shop first and have them put your item in a bag 🙂  Lots of people were carrying gift shop bags and had put other stuff inside, too.

Overall I am very pleased that my children had a chance to see this place and spend so much time listening to and appreciating this aspect of the history of WWII.  The people were respectful and it was very powerful.  And even though Elvis Presely made the initial principal donation that made this memorial possible, he is mentioned nowhere at the memorial.  They will tell you what he did, but that is the only mention.  Truly classy, IMHO.

Anyway, I’ve gone on and on, but I sure hope it helps!  Tomorrow we are off to the zoo!

Posted by: Lady Optimistic | November 20, 2014

Two Days in a Row

How about that?!?!?

For some reason I am just not bouncing back.  Vacation was absolute bliss, as I said yesterday.  In fact, I guess I need a new category or tag… Bliss…  I am immediately exhausted.  I am happy, but exhausted.  I just can’t quite get going.  Proof of this is that I still haven’t so much as gathered together the laundry, let alone approached the laundry room with so much as a good intention…  This is not me.  I am the goddess, no The Goddess of laundry.  I do laundry every day.  I squeeze it in no matter the madness.

And what do you get from me writing two days in a row…  a pathetic, whiney, poorly written paragraph about laundry…  That ought to teach you, and me!

Furthermore, if I publish another ellipsis, I will also publish my home address so that you can come to my house in the middle of the night and slay me while I am sleeping.  After all, if I can’t commit to some actual, definitive punctuation, that is what I deserve!

I have been so late for work, I might as well not even bother coming in, but to my credit, I have arrived each day for a bit.  I sure hope the boss doesn’t catch on before I catch up  🙂  (That smiley is real punctuation!)

Enough whining.

Tomorrow is N0-Whining-Friday (actually its Haiku Friday, but I may or may not have the juices for that.  We will see!) so I will start with Diamond Head.  Or maybe just my overall opinion of Honolulu, Waikiki and the Island of Oahu.  Actually, as I think about it, I’ll do the opinion piece last (ellipsis temptation again, but I won’t, I just won’t!) as I think the opinion will be better formed and expressed once I have written about the individual experiences.

I loved my vacation.  I spent all my time with my kids – who absolutely rock.  Some day they will be grown and I will be alone and I will miss them dreadfully.  They are so much fun to hang out with.  This vacation especially was just so great with the hanging out and just talking.  Especially at the Honolulu Zoo.  That day with them was absolute magic.


Tomorrow’s post:  Diamond Head, or The Woman who Climbed Up a Crater But Came Down a Mommy

Monday:  Absolute Magic – The Honolulu Zoo

Tuesday:  Holding Back the Tears – Pearl Harbor – The Arizona Memorial

Wednesday:  Driving  Mr Zeus (and family) – The North Shore and Windward Side of Oahu

Thursday:  Summary Thoughts (Gotta get a more catchy title for this bit, huh!?)


Thanks for stopping by.



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