Germain Louie may be the only former Starbucks barista whose choice of drink is pure black coffee. Though the chain is known for its fancy and sometimes complicated coffee-based drinks, Louie became an advocate of drinking coffee black in his time working as a barista while completing his degree at UC Irvine. He enjoyed educating fellow employees as well as customers on the various flavor notes that can be experienced with different varietals, unencumbered by add-ins.
When someone asks if I have children, how many, and how old (the answers are yes; three; ages 11, nine and six) - their response to me is usually some variation of “Wow - you’ve got your hands full!” or “You’re in the thick of it!” Typically, it’s a woman who is older than me, whose children are grown and gone. I shall call her #olderwellrestedwoman
In the spirit of self-improvement, self-awareness and other things that sound impressive, I’ve selected the word “lighter” as my word for this year. I am striving to be “lighter” in several aspects of my life, including (but not limited to): belongings, attitude and of course, my physical weight. As of late, my primary focus has been on the belongings category. And by belongings, I mean “things” – the mountains of items that find their way into my home by way of school paperwork, fast food meal toys, clothes, trinkets, craft supplies, junk mail and coffee mugs. Okay, the coffee mugs thing, I own. I created that problem. But the rest? Ugh.
My youngest just started kindergarten. I mean – MY YOUNGEST JUST STARTED KINDERGARTEN!! While moms (better moms) around the globe sent their youngest off to school, then sat at home and cried into their coffee, I gleefully skipped all the way home from the bus stop. Yes, I love her. Yes, of course I miss her during the day. But not only was she beyond ready to start school, I was ready for her to start school.
We looked like the cast of Gilligan’s Island when we arrived on Iona, windswept and green. But I quickly recovered, and also swiftly fell in love with this charming, lovely Scottish isle. I visited the Iona Abbey, sat on the beach and visited the small shops. It was incredible and I do so solemnly swear that I left a part of my heart on Iona.
On my flight, I was feeling all lucky that I snagged an exit row aisle seat. I even texted my husband and said “Yay! Exit row seat!” all braggy-like. And then fate laughed and laughed and laughed at me.
As soon as I sent the text, the guy in the window seat took his shoes off and put one of his feet up. ON the exit door. Like, really stretched that leg to get it up there. It was super sexy. Every time a flight attendant would walk by, they would tell him to put it down. He would, and as soon as they were gone, he’d put it right back up. Because he’s five, apparently. And apparently it’s okay to take your shoes off and put your damn smelly nasty feet up on display.
It’s the end of summer! Wait, what?! Wasn’t I just celebrating the end of the school year? Summer for our family was a blur of sunscreen, yard work, Fortnite (ugh), ice cream and swimming and I can’t believe it’s already come to an end.
This summer went at warp speed and with the help of some elixir for me (i.e., Chardonnay), we have come screeching up to the end of summer and find ourselves at the start of another school year.
Who remembers the heyday that was college? Friendships came fast and easy, mainly due to the proximity of other people in your age group, all working towards the same goals. I loved college and made many lifelong friends. Unfortunately, having moved nine times since college, and living nowhere near where I WENT to college, means that most of these lifelong friendships are long distance. When we see each other, we pick up like no time has left off, but seeing each other is a rare luxury.
I see this phrase a lot: it’s engraved on bracelets, printed on signs, and I even have friends with tattoos that say this. The prevalence of “I am Enough” means that there are a lot of us who feel – or have felt at one time or another – that we weren’t enough. But why? At a time in history when women have more, do more and are more than we ever have been, why do we feel less and less? And why does “enoughness” take up more and more space in our minds?