Even though we don’t get a true Autumn here… it always feels like the leaves are falling on me!  October 12th is my father’s birthday, October 31st is my mom’s birthday, and November 2 is the anniversary of the temple.  This is a busy time for me! I always get overwhelmed and am worried about what to do for the celebrations, not sure what gifts to get for my parents… and I usually start planning about a year away.  So last year, I already knew that this year we would be celebrating my dad’s birthday in England, and my mom would be having a huge bash for her 70th milestone!  This means I had to do something ‘low key’ for the 37th anniversary of the Temple.  By low keyI mean having something with only about 100 people… this is low key!  We are having a lecture, book signing, and ‘Celebration of Food’ at the Temple tomorrow.  I’m excited. I have been talking about this ‘Celebration of Food’ idea on my podcasts, and feel that it is just what the doctor ordered.  I’ve been frustrated at the divisiveness of this country lately.  Especially since I just returned from visiting the hallowed grounds

Normandy American Cemetery
Normandy American Cemetery

of the D-Day beaches, Normandy American Cemetery, and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  I was so proud to be American as I walked through these places thinking about what our country was fighting for, and the sacrifices that were made.  I feel that we have  become so angry with one another now that we forget how alike we are.  I truly believe everyone has something in common.  Yes, we are all human, yes we all breathe air, etc. but the one real commonality that I see people unite over is food.  More often than not, we as humans don’t just eat to live, we live to eat!  My wishful thinking is that if the world could participate in a huge potluck and respect each others’ culture through the sharing of food, then we could all be friends.   Hopeful? Naive? Maybe.  However, I can still dream and partake of all the delicious meals people will be bringing tomorrow.  I promise to share some photos after the event on our Facebook page.

Grand Opening in Germany

The other major stress this weekend has been the 100 guest list formal birthday party that I’m planning at my parents house.  I’ve gutted the interior and transformed it into a ballroom.  Linens, centerpieces, champagne welcome, and a buffet station with a 10 course meal lies ahead. (as if we wouldn’t have eaten enough that day)  Some people have said I am crazy to have 2 main events in 1 day.  They would be right. (However… I have done this many times before… holding a tournament and a huge stage production the same day anyone?)  I like to pride myself in my logistical prowess, and my strong event planning skills… while both events will be incredible, I am feeling the effects.  We just returned from the Grand Opening of Wah Lum of Germany less than 2 weeks ago, had a big Parent Day Show for the kids class right when we got back, and then jumped into planning for all the events this weekend… I’m stressed.  I admit that I can’t handle it as well as I did in my extreme youth.  I’m grumpy, I’m tired, and I’m frustrated!  My parents and I have different planning methods, that often clash and I have had to make adjustments over the years.  As I get older, I get more stubborn…and I think it’s safe to say the same goes for them!  It can be a nightmare to try to work it all out, but in the end I remember one of the most important things in life is gratitude, and it leaves me with these questions:

How lucky am I that I have parents that are around with soooo much energy to drive me bananas?

How lucky am I to have the opportunity to throw a 70th birthday party for my mom and celebrate the 37th anniversary of the Wah Lum Temple all on the same day?

Pretty darn lucky.




My Exercise for the day

Shout out to my Canadian cousins!

One of the earliest memories I have of getting on a plane was when I was going to Toronto to visit my family as a young child.  I think it was on Eastern airlines. Anyone remember them?  I believe the flight was delayed, it was a long drawn out day, and I was really tired.  Thank goodness for modern day travel; where flights are always on time, the seats are comfortable, and the food is fantastic.  Right?  Not so much.  It’s kind of disappointing that we haven’t really made progress with travel in the comparison of going from the steam boat to flying.  I guess I’m asking for too much.  I am often guilty of asking for too much, but I feel like traveling is sometimes such a chore, it deters people from exploring the world.  Once you can get past the travel woes of TSA lines, luggage costs, and grumpy airport people, it is totally worth it.  Getting the TSA pre-check has helped immensely in eliminating long lines at the airport, and careful packing can curb being overweight and more importantly over packing.  I always seem to gravitate toward giving advice on organization and am stopping myself from doing so now (although, get these packing cubes, they are great!).  Ok, don’t worry, I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of packing in this post.

The reason I decided to write a post today was to share some of the thoughts running through my head as I pack and prep for my trip.  It would be easy to get caught up in the negative parts of traveling, and get grumpy about it, but that would be ridiculous.  It is ridiculous, because I should be nothing but appreciative for this unbelievable opportunity!  This is beyond a cup half full or half empty scenario.  It’s more like, I am lucky I even have a cup!  It’s ok to be a little grumpy about some of life’s inconveniences, but I try to use gratitude as my reminder to ‘kick me out’ of any grumpiness. I used to write in this 5 minute journal.  I finished it, and haven’t been diligent to get back into it, but I feel it is an exercise everyone can benefit from.  It’s a simple exercise, and you don’t have to buy the official journal to do it, any notebook will do.

  1. Write 3 things you are grateful for today.  It can be as simple as the sun is shining, or as meaningful as your health.
  2. What 3 things would make today great? Again, you can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.  There is no right or wrong.
  3. Daily affirmations. I am… (I am a tiger, climbing up a mountain… and why not?  Usually I write something like: I am healthy, happy, and will do my best to help others today.)
  4. At the end of the day, you write 3 amazing things that happened, and how could I have made today better? (I usually am patting myself on the back if I ate a good meal, got good sleep, or spent time with someone I care about.  How lucky am I? Every day in my life is amazing!)

It might take a little longer than 5 minutes, but I think it is a valuable exercise that helps me see beyond any of my excuses I make myself or petty inconveniences.  I believe gratitude can solve most of life’s problems.  Whenever I am feeling grumpy (more often than I like), I try to take a moment to think what I can be grateful for.  Today, I am grateful for all of you who are reading!  Thanks for supporting and taking a moment out of your day.  What do you do for daily exercise?