Sunday, September 30, 2012

RACE 2012

Will Air on PBS October 16, 2012
Race 2012, a PBS election special about race and politics in the 2012 election and beyond. Premieres October 16th at 8pm on PBS! (check local listings)

Support for Race 2012 comes from CPB, PBS, Latino Public Broadcasting and Southwest Airlines.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Emotional Infidelity or Just Friends?

This evening, one of my friends stopped by for coffee and conversation. We chatted about the usual stuff: work, family, weight loss, and then something new surfaced - Emotional Infidelity.


Or was it a friendship situation?

That's right, the age old question- when friends of the opposite sex (if straight) or friends of the same sex (gay/lesbian) spend time together away from their significant other, does that constitute friendship or an emotional affair?


I have male friends. I do. I keep them strictly platonic. Which means: I am rarely alone with them outside of work, I don't have long conversations on the phone with them, and we aren't sending each other extensive text messages.

My friend has a friend that is slowly creeping into the almost-non-platonic-flirty-stage. She shared a few scenarios, and CLEARLY this guy is into her. I could be reading it all wrong, but it seems that he is opening the door to a possible "other" relationship. Typically, this would not be that big of a deal because my friend is married and has been for over ten years. HOWEVER she admitted something... she finds herself questioning her current situation.

That's completely easy to understand. Someone new comes into your life and suddenly there is both a physical and mental attraction. It's hard to ignore that. Many people meet/make friends with other people that if given a different time and place, things could have been/would have been different.

The question she put on the table was: if she entertains this flirtation and allows him in emotionally (not physically.. she is drawing the line there,) is that an affair?

We debated the scenario for well over an hour. After she left, I decided to do a little digging online, to see what the experts say.

I found some interesting questions you should ask yourself on According to this article, you can determine if you are in an emotional affair if you do the following:

  • When most meetings and conversations are kept secret from your partner.
  • When you say and do things with someone you never would do in front of your spouse.
  • When you make a point to arrange private talk time with them.
  • When you share stuff with them that you don't with your partner.
  • Read more:
    One thing I shared with my friend was that I did not think that most emotional affairs start out as something you are seeking. I just believe that this other person is fulfilling some emotional void that her significant other is not able to. Does that make it right? Well.. of course not. However, I did admit to her - she looked happier than I had ever seen her. Seriously - glowing, almost.
    She and I discussed how hard it is to maintain relationships. I agreed with her and shared with her my own issues. If you have been following my blog for years now, you know that I have hit some massive bumps with my egyptian. It is no secret to my friends, coworkers or family that he and I live what almost seems like separate lives.  My hope is that we are able to heal our relationship, but currently, I seem to be the only willing participant in that regard.
    I explained to my friend that I understood where she was coming from. That I could see the allure and appeal of letting someone else in to fill that emotional void - but I also warned her of other issues that could arise. See, she and I are both Catholic. We know that the idea of divorce is frowned upon (seriously frowned upon,) and that sometimes.. we end up staying in situations that make no sense at all. We discussed how she felt appalled by the idea of a physical affair.. so I told her that I seriously doubt she will find herself in a situation where that would happen. However, I did warn her- the temptation may present itself.. then what?
    She and I debated about whether her friendship with this other person was considered cheating.  I found some more questions on that could help her clarify:
    • Do you avoid telling your partner how much time you spend or talk with the other person?
    • Do you tell this person more about your day than your partner? Do you even tell him about your marital dissatisfaction?
    • Do you "ready your appearance" to see him?
    • Is there a sexual attraction (spoken or unspoken) between you?
    • Would you feel guilty if your partner saw you together?
    If you answer yes to two or more of these questions - You are cheating!
    Read more:

    Interesting, right?

    With all the availability and temptation, how can you protect yourself from drifting into an emotional affair?
    • Don't flirt. Flirting leads to attractions and warm feelings you will start to crave.
    • Be aware when at work and on the Internet. These are high-risk places where emotional affairs typically start.
    • Look out for the state of your marriage. You are more vulnerable to an affair when you are dissatisfied with your current partner.
    • Don't go out alone with an old lover. If you have nothing to hide, include your partner.
    • Don't hang out with others who cheat. Your moral compass can be swayed if it gets reinforced by the behavior of others

    Then there comes the other question - Are you JUST friends? Friends have chemistry, friends laugh, friends share.. so what is the difference? I have tons of male friends that I have amazing chemistry with. That does NOT mean anything inappropriate is happening.

    That's the question I pose to you tonight. When is it cheating and when is it just friendly flirtation? Or is there such a thing?

    Hmmm.. interesting.. interesting... 

    Everything I need to know, I learned from my cat.

    Yep.. Brought back this old post from about a year ago:

    Hippolyte Taine once said, "I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." I concur, Hippolyte, I concur.

    A couple of years ago I became acquainted with an eleven week old kitten. He was a scrawny, rambunctious little tabby. Not the type I was going for, but I had decided I wanted a cat.

    He was the last one a family was trying to get rid of. The last pick. I figured he might have a complex, you know, getting picked last for the team and all - but turns out, he was simply meant to be in my life.

    I lived alone, waiting for my egyptian to arrive with the permission of the Department of Homeland Security. While I was waiting for my ultimate protector, this little guy stood in his place. He had super sharp claws, a cunning disposition, and fangs as long as my pinky. Okay, okay - maybe I am exaggerating just a little, but isn't that what fables are for?

    Lestat lived with me for almost a year, only to live temporarily with some friends of mine, then to be transported to my parents home. Not to worry, he is not a bad cat, on the contrary. He is just so super special, he had to be shared with so many people.

    Here are just a few things I have learned from Lestat this week:

    1. The most important feature a person/cat can have are striking eyes. With a single glance, you can stop someone dead in their tracks. He looks at me, with this thousand yard stare, and I know that he knows that I know...

    2. You can never have too many fancy pillows, or pictures of yourself lounging on them. He prefers the sparkly kind, as do I. It just brings out the colors in your eyes, and hair.. or fur.

    3. That it is okay to have curves. He told me to embrace the Buddha belly and be proud of who you are. Play hard, sleep hard, and eat as if  the meal you are consuming is the last one you will ever eat. He prefers fishy treats, while I go for the salty chip variety. Oh yeah.. and ice cream.

    4. That taking care of your shoes is of the utmost importance. He loves shoes sooo much that he prefers to sleep with them, oh yeah.. and he invites his buddy, Pookie over, for a little shoe fetish time.

    5. That if all else fails - strike a pose and vogue. It works for him. Never, EVER lose your cool. Just chill.

    6. Always take time for a little culture. Enjoy the arts, in any form you can. Preferably on a Snuggie.

    7. Sleep like the living dead. Stretch out like a goddess, or in his world, a vampire cat. Purr, roll around, be the cat.

    8.  Spending time with a 5 year old can be very therapeutic. Take time to look out for the little ones.

    9.  If people begin to doubt my Wonder Woman Super Powers, or the fact that he is INDEED, a vampire cat - show em. They will never question again.

    10.  ALWAYS embrace your inner feline. Only the strong survive.

    Thanks Lestat, words of wisdom my feline friend, words of wisdom indeed.

    Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner. - Gary Smith

    The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn't just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter. When I tell you a cat must have three different names... - T.S. Eliot

    After scolding one's cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference."- Charlotte Gray

    Friday, September 28, 2012

    Things I Learned This Week

    1. Sleep is a cure all for me. Over the course of three days, I had approximately 6 hours sleep. Finally.. I am back to normal.

    2. My serious relationship to Netflix (or as my family calls it - my addiction,) has gotten so bad, that watching television season after television season, as well as documentaries and independent films nonstop.. is the MAIN reason I am not sleeping. I am taking a one week hiatus from the wretched heroin.

    3. Wednesdays are brutal for me work wise. Meeting after meeting after...

    4. I always assume some thing or some place or whatever is going to be horrible, and usually is not nearly as terrible as it seems. I need to STOP over analyzing a situation.

    5. That I am torn between a Breakfast at Tiffany's or a Moulin Rouge inspired 40th Bday Party. Mom is working on getting the gallery for me.. sooo... it could be epic!

    6. That I hope I have not bitten off more than I can chew with this pending ESPN documentary piece. Got the call from my friend, there is a budget set and now... it's time to MOVE on it. LOTS of extra curricular on the horizon. ;-)

    7. I am still torn on the egyptian issue.

    8. That after a couple of weeks with a private blog, I decided to close it down. I was too honest on there.. more than I could ever be here - and it was all just a bit too much. I grew uncomfortable with it. I learned I had boundaries... who knew?

    9. Pears. Pears can make me happy.

    10. Folding letters is not as ZEN as I had hoped.

    11. That typing this as my niece snoozes so soundly next to me.. is really a nice way to get my thoughts out.

    12. That since I started this new medicine I actually get cold. Hmm.. must be regulating the ol' hormones after all.

    13. Still stuck at 18 pounds down.

    14. Again.. Moulin Rouge or Breakfast Tiffany's? Decisions... Decisions..

    15. Only 5 more to go...

    16. Can you tell I am tired?

    17. I hope I sleep well tonight.

    18. Two more to go.

    19. I have a feeling, this list is going to be a bust.

    20. DONE.

    I appreciate your vote of confidence.. but..

    Nary a day goes by that a "WTF" does not rear its entertaining little head. Today.. oh today... I experienced one of those moments.

    As I have alluded to in the past, FB has a plethora of inspiration for my posts here.  Today is both humorous, and to be perfectly honest, sad.

    Let's see if I can set the scenario.

    Many of you are aware that I was quite the dancer back in the day. Waaaay back in the day. Though back then, it was not very cool, especially for guys. Those random times you met a male dancer who happened to be straight, you typically felt the need to erect a flag alerting to all women of interest: Hot Man That Has Grace.. Passion.. and IS STRAIGHT.

    Yes, it was that rare.

    Nowadays, dancing has taken on a whole new persona. I am both thrilled and always amazed at the number of incredible male dancers making a mark in pop culture.

    Then came Dancing With The Stars.

    From Day 1, I had a "thing" for Maksim. Gorgeous, graceful, passionate, foreign, strong willed, and a quick temper: all of the things I LOVE about my celeb (hey, and let's be honest here - real life) crushes. I had such a crush on Maks that I dedicated a whole blog post to him entitled "Oh Maks." However, like with all great loves of my life, most men get a 3-year shelf life of my affection.

    Last season, it started to dwindle. This season - it is gone.

    I'm not sure what happened. Was it his scruffier than normal beard? Is he looking a little "softer" around the middle (doubtful.) Wait.. it has to be that he was smiling more.. and working with a friend, versus some incredibly ungraceful athlete? Or maybe it's because he reminds me (attitude wise) of my husband who is going on a 3-month run of living in the dog house with me... whatever it is - the spark has left.

    Then I saw HIM. Oh Tristan Macmanus. Each season, I grew more and more in awe of his dancing.

    Without dedicating an entire post to Tristan (YET,) I want to share with you something that has happened.

    Sooo.. yesterday, or the day before, my friend posted a picture of Maks on my FB wall.
    This one to be exact and below is what she said:
    Dear Nicole, you traded me in. I only love Lisa now.
    Well, that just would not do. I thought to myself.. okay.. Game On.

    So I posted this pic with the following information back to Lisa:

    Dear Lisa Robinson,

    Maksim will never be the man I am. Nicole is much better off with someone like me. We have more in common. We are both Irish Catholic, which will make my mum sooo very happy. Good luck with your Ukrainian. He is getting a little soft around the edges and looks scruffy these days. Also - did you notice his tendencies are questionable? All of that pinching of Tom's bum. ;-)

    Love, Tristan.    
    We both laughed back and forth and decided we would from time to time have a "Man Off" DWTS competition. Unfortunately Tristan was voted off in the first week, but we know he will dance with the troupe and professionals throughout the season.

    Today - I got this photo from Lisa:

    Ukrainians Do it better! :)

    **yes the pic was pixelated on my page also..

    So.. I responded with:


    Which I follow up with: Lisa Robinson- Nicole and I appreciate your attempts to parade your Ukrainian around.. but it's not going to work. For the record, has he ever dedicated a dance to you? Yeah.. didn't think so. This one was for Nicole.. she was my inspiration.
    So sad for you.
    Love, Tristan.

    We got the biggest giggle out of the whole thing.

    Then the peanut gallery chimed in. All I can do is cut and past and protect the innocent.

    Person:  lol

    Is Tristan just joking with her or was he serious when he wrote this ???

    Nicole Thurston Abdou He was very serious. He loves me. ;-)

    Person: So Lisa got u guys mad??

    Nicole Thurston Abdou er.. yeah. Sure.

    Person: sorry i don't been to come across as prying.

    Person:  *mean*

    Nicole Thurston Abdou ? Seriously.

    Person:  seriously what??? lol

    Person:  im a little confused here

    Nicole Thurston Abdou Clearly. hahahahahaha

    Person:  i guess seriously she didn't really upset u, lol.

    Lisa Robinson:  Nicole, you can't have a convo with people who are touched!

    Nicole Thurston Abdou : *giggle*

    wow   And THAT is all I have to say about that.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Welcoming the visitor

    "A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy." ~Edward P. Morgan

    I was sitting on my balcony, relaxing with a nice, hot cup of coffee and a good book - feet propped up, just waiting for the sun to set.. and I got to thinking..


    Company is coming over for a visit.

    See.. I have opened my home  to a very discerning group of people, and yes.. they are here to take a look around, figure out what I am doing and more than likely, they will have a ton of suggestions. You see... I joined a writing group.

    You might remember about a month ago I mentioned I would be joining a co-worker of mine at a Writer's Group meeting here in Macon. At first, I got really excited- meeting people who have a passion for telling stories! I thought that perhaps I would be surrounded by people who would inspire me to work really hard on my writing. I sat through my first meeting, and I met a wide variety of people- different backgrounds, ages, interests, genres, personalities.. you name it! I listened as each person's writing was critiqued, and the same thought kept floating through my own head, "Oh no... I am not sure I am up for a critique."

    I got home and pretty much just forgot about it. Then the email came, asking for submissions. I debated sending anything. Let's be serious for a minute, I'm not that serious of a writer. I don't write fiction, I typically stay away from poetry.. when I write for work, it's in a press release or magazine article that is edited by the editor. The truth is-  I write mini-essay/memoir~ish  dribble.. in a BLOG of all things.

    However... I took a deep breath , then I cut and pasted my link and hit send.

    Yep. That was at least a week or two back. I have not tried very hard to impress, and I feel guilty about that. Saturday is the meeting, and honestly.. I am bracing myself. Why? Because let's get honest for a second: My spelling is crap (always has been,) and my grammar is less than up to par (remember I was a BROADCAST JOURNALISM major.. I can tell a mean story with pictures and the spoken word.) But to do those things, you do have to come up with ideas.. and in turn, write those ideas down.

    Finally... I submitted my blog.


    I feel like I have procrastinated, left the key to the door under the mat, and figured an inspection would be taking place at some point. I kept my typical editorial schedule: Things I have learned this week, Things I am obsessing over, and Weekend in Review. I shared my life - good and bad. Let's just hope they will be kind to the first timer. I feel privileged to be a part of this group; many are serious writers. I was even told by my friend that several have book deals and have been published. (Seriously published.) I promise, once I get to know everyone better, I will share a link to their work (if they have a website, etc.)

    I guess what I am trying to say.. it's all a little intimidating.

    Here I am - NOT sharing fiction, NOT working with editing software, and with no real agenda in mind.

    Then it suddenly came to me... WHAT IF they  helped me develop some of the "deeper" posts and/or they could help me come up with new topic ideas. I could work on these pieces, then somehow turn them into a book. Perhaps.. perhaps...

    "Whoa is me," says the blogger.

    Whoa is me. ;-)

    Get thee to a nunnery

    Here is another post I wrote a couple of years ago about my trip to a monastery:

    I am reading this book - again. The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris.

    It basically involves a married, Presbyterian woman who decides to spend about 3 years living in a Catholic, Benedictine monastery for inspiration for her poetry.

    Weird, I know.

    But it spoke to me.

    If you did not know, one of my "gotta do some day" items was to spend a weekend on retreat at a monastery. Which, BTW, I did last May. May 8th to be exact.

    I did a little research and apparently Alabama is a "hot bed" of Catholic goodies. I honestly was just looking for an experience.  What I found was a little town north of Birmingham had just what I was looking for. A Benedictine Monastery - St. Benard's Abbey.

    I actually went. Seriously. I checked myself into a monastery just to experience what it is like to be "God focused" for an entire weekend.

    I never really wrote about my experience. I talked it up before I went - but truly never shared what happened.

    First of all, it totally threw me for a loop. I am not going to lie.

    The grounds were simply magnificent. In a "english countryside" sort of way. It was quiet, the buildings old.. the wind was blowing just right - the entire "scene" of it all was perfect.

    The rooms, as you can imagine are very sparse. You take a vow of poverty. I had a very uncomfortable bed with an old blanket and the world's biggest crucifix above my head. There was a simple folder on the bed with a schedule of prayer times, etc. No one greeted me upon arrival - my name was on a bulletin board with a room assignment. The door was unlocked.

    Dinner was taken in silence with one monk reading from the bible. Breakfast in complete silence. Then lunch was more communal.

    I went to mass every single time it was offered. I went hiking across the grounds. I went to the Ave Maria shrine (a trippy-mind experience all in and of itself.) I sat in a gazebo reading and actually ended up taking a nap. I went and pet the horses. I sat at the pond just contemplating life.

    What I learned?? I am a social creature by nature. The Benedictine life is a HARD one to follow.

    Most of the experience was emotional - and for me, I tend to state the facts. I am comfortable with sharing anger, but never much more. ;-)

    Taking all of this back to the book I am reading - there is one line Kathleen mentioned. It's simple. I know it to be true, heard it a million times - but it was to "Forgive Daily."

    That's a tough one. But you know what - it spoke to me.

    I know the last two posts have been cryptic and I am clearly venting about someone or something. I appreciate your silence in responding to this. It was me venting, but not being able to lay it all out there on the line.

    I wake up - and I forgive.

    What I would like to leave you with is a few videos and pictures from my trip to the Abby. Perhaps you can pull some inspiration from the pictures and "feel" the silence. Visual images always speak volumes to me. Perhaps .. since I clearly am having trouble putting my thoughts into words (or rather the experience) - maybe I can tell the story and my feelings through the following items.

    Many Blessings to you!

    This one is not one of mine - but it shows the video of St. Benard's during mass! (I did not take video during mass - I thought it would be rude!)

    Here is a video that someone put together of the Ave Maria Grotto.. better than what I had!

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Silence is Golden

    I wrote this post in November of 2010. I thought tonight I would re-share it with you:

    How hard is it for you to sit in absolute silence?

    Tonight - it's beyond difficult. It is 2am and I cannot sleep. No, I am not stressed about anything (believe it or not!) nor did I consume any caffeine today (a first!) However, laying in the dark was brutal.. the silence deafening.

    I think if I were surrounded by tons of people all the time, I would probably crave the silence. However, as luck would have it, I get as much silence as I want. No kids, no pets, and my husband is a fairly quiet man.

    I find that when I am around people with a lot of "hustle & bustle" going on, I tend to find it almost jarring. I do like to be invigorated, but I suppose I prefer it on my own terms.

    I did experience a weekend of silence once. I booked a weekend at the St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama. It is a Benedictine monastery. To see more about my visit click here. What I found to be the most difficult part of the journey was the absolute silence I had to surround myself with. My mind tends to rattle on and on.. and sitting alone with my thoughts actually made me very sad.

    It was a different time and place - my egyptian was still in Egypt, I had received a not-so-great review at work, I was living alone... it was just a tough place to be. I went seeking solace and comfort in a weekend of meditation and spiritual healing - and ended up feeling bare to the bone in who I was.

    Libraries, doctor's offices, meetings, testing, elevators - these are just a few places we have to discipline ourselves to just be silent.

    If I really need absolute silence - I head straight to my tub for a bubble bath. I have a large garden tub, I throw in the bubbles and light a few candles and I just soak away my cares.

    Where do you go for silence? How do you react when you have no choice but to be silence?

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Things I am Obsessing Over

    Another week... and yet there is never a lack of things to become obsessed over.
    What's fascinating to me - about a month or so before Psy came onto the mainstream with Gangnam Style, I had posted an obsession about that song and specifically K-Pop.
    Could it be? Is it possible? I am locating trends before they go mainstream?
    This is becoming more and more fun!
    Gallon Pour Thing
    1. Isn't this just simply genius?? I HAVE to get one.
    Lid & Spoon Rest
    2. I saw this.. and I thought.. yes.. exactly.. another life saver!
    Tea Bag Buddy at the Container Store
    3. This happens to be one of those things I desperately need to get for my husband. I am SICK of cleaning up little bags around the kitchen.
    Bed fan with wireless remote
    4. Check it out!!! A WAY TO KEEP COOL AT NIGHT, but keep the sheets on. I am in love.
    5.  A great version of an old favorite song:

    6. Another great different version of an old favorite song:

    7. Anything Otis Redding. It's his week on my Ipod. I know my Macon peeps know this, but did  the rest of you know that Otis was from Macon? Yep. Just two weeks ago, I was sitting at the Rookery and at the table next to me was his daughter, Karla. She called us over to her table and was asking about the museum. *sigh* Here is one of my favorite performances - sorry.. could not embed.

    8. Speaking of PSY and Gangham Style... remember the beautiful red headed Korean chick in the video? Well.. we now have her version of the song! (You can say you saw it here first. ;-) )

    That's Hyuna! MAN - I HEART K-POP!

    9. If you have known me for any significant amount of time, you know I am super crazy about Audrey Hepburn. WELL.. I am FINALLY having an Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany's party for my 40th Bday in Feb. I am OBSESSED with coming up with all of the details I can identify. Here is one I am going for!!

    10. I am still playing this song each morning before work! :-)

    11. Did I mention last week that I will have the opportunity to do something BIG writing wise? Yep. My NBA friend has asked me to write a 30 minute piece for a documentary going on ESPN. WOot!

    12. I have another HUGE project to work on for my friend Monica at KPBS! She's asked me to be an official blogger for RACE 2012- it's a project that is joined with a national special on PBS about race and the election! I'll be working on that piece in the next week or so.

    13. AND Ooh La La wines have asked me to review four very distinct variety of wines! I'll even have a GIVEAWAY. (My very first!) I hope to get together with some friends, do a little taste testing party and documenting the whole experience!

    14. I have four fun events coming up at the Tubman Museum! (I came up with all but one!!)

    15. I agreed to partner up with the Medical Center of Central Georgia for Paint the Town Pink. If you tour our museum on a Friday in October, and wear pink, you'll get $5 off admission!!

    16. I wanted to take it a step further and find a way for our museum to participate in the First Friday events downtown. I came up with First Friday Forums! This first Friday will be on Breast Cancer Awareness! I called my old high school bestie, Rebecca, who just happens to be the head of the Breast Center at the Medical Center, and she is going to do an engaging program! Guess what - I wanted to take it a step further and make this event FREE. It will be from 6 - 7:30pm on the 5th.

    17. I also threw in a story telling element in the marketing plan, and our new Program Director (and dear friend,) Tonya, came on board and is an amazing story teller. She said - YES and we will begin Second Saturday Story Time at the Tubman! She found a book called Spookley the Square Pumpkin. It's a heart warming story about the importance of embracing our differences. Children can bring a small pie pumpkin to decorate with stickers! (PS - IT'S FREE TOO!)

    18. Finally.. my dear Pimp Series is coming down. I worked hard to promote the hell out of Alfred Conteh's series. Next up - Mr. Imagination! He was a Chicago based artist, who recently died. I'll tell you more about him in coming weeks. The opening reception for him will be October 19th.

    19. I also volunteered to work with the Historic Riverside Cemetery for their Spirits in October!! If you are local - YOU MUST COME. Nothing like playing with ghosts in a cemetery on Halloween!

    20. Finally - My theme song these days. :-(

    What are YOU obsessing over?

    Feeling Girl~ish

    As I was getting ready this morning, I felt rather.. well.. girl-ish. That's a good thing, consider I am the recipient of XX Chromosomes.

    I believe the morning ritual for most girls will set the tone for the day. For me, it involves coffee (of course,) and styling a little outfit for myself: complete with jewelry and makeup. Let's not forget the hair, though to be honest, since the 80's have passed, I am not one to really "style" my hair.

    As I pulled out my favorite colors to wear (black and charcoal gray,) and a fantastic pair of tights and Mary Jane heels, I felt very much like a woman. Again - I am a woman. Today felt different.

    I moved at a slower pace; I spent a little extra time exfoliating and lathering. I decided to linger over my collection of perfumes, and instinctively grabbed the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. It just felt right.

    I even spent a little time sipping my coffee, listening to "Coffee Shop Rock" on I Heart Radio and flipping through my latest issue of Southern Living. I smiled a few times as I turned each page.. each one full of fall decor ideas and recipes. It just felt right.

    It's nice to be wrapping up this decade, and heading into a new chapter. I have learned so much over the years, and feel like I am finally in a more stable place. (As in how things work, what to do, etc.) I have even learned my lesson about over sharing, even though I still believe I have a right to tell you about my life, I have learned that judgement will soon follow, along with well-intended advice, which sometimes is warranted, other times.. it just bothers me, which puts me in a not-so-great-mood.

    Today I am embracing me. Just as I am. Blue eyes, brown hair and intensely inquisitive. Though the bumps of the day may slow me down, I'm actually okay with that... I am savoring those slower moments, and in the process.. finding me.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Today Should Be...

    I read a great quote this morning. It said, "I choose to make the rest of my life, the best of my life." ~Louise Hay

    That is how I should view things, with that fresh zeal I used to carry with me everywhere, like when I was around 4, or 10, or even 25. I had so many hopes, dreams, and crazy goals. I was always waiting for, wishing for, reaching for that certain something that would make life all that more better. 

     As I spend the next five months closing out my 30s, one thing that rings true for me is - I have not been living my life with that childish enthusiasm.   So many of us discover in our 30s that life is one long line of crises and fires to extinguish. Instead of academic and career goals, I find I am silently gliding through life waiting for the next drama to squelch, or issue to arise. I even remember chatting with a former manager a year or so back, we were discussing what we do in our jobs, and she calmly replied, "Nicole, life is nothing but an opportunity to solve problems."

     So what did that make me? A problem solver? Yuck. 

     I would rather be an adventurer, someone on a quest for the truth. I want to see things, experience things, breathe in new experiences. I don't want to solve puzzles all day. Heck, I became a journalism student years ago to NOT have to do any math problems. Critical thinking is fine up to a point.. at some point you have to just EXHALE and experience. 

     I often feel like that cat in the picture above. I started out playful, sly, and very curious. I found a interesting container (my invisible box) and I decided to check it out- damn if I don't find myself stuck in that box more often than not. I am looking out, trying to make my exit without alerting anyone that I was in there in the first place.   Now to plan an exit strategy.. and rediscover joy. And adventure. ;-)

    Inner Wars

    Remember the post I wrote several months ago about the inner wars many of us are battling, and how they some time spill out into the lives of people we come in contact with?

    I think I am experiencing one of those "inner wars" this evening.

    I've got a lot of major decisions and major pauses - equally contradicting and impeding each other.

    The key is for me, as well as every one I come in contact with, is to just relax....
    Which of course is easier said than done.

    I'm starting to have those conflicting feelings about returning to Macon.

    Not to worry, I'm not going anywhere, I am just acknowledging the emotions. Part of me is happy to stay, bloom where I am planted, and try to make a difference in any way I can.

    The other part of me wants to slap myself across the face and say, "What in the hell are you doing here? It's a small pond.. you left for a reason, get the hell out before it is too late."

    I think that is pride. My pride that pushed me to leave in the first place. That same pride that made me enter jobs where a hell of a lot more pressure and stress and travel was required.

    I suppose the honeymood (yes.. I said mood) period is over. I am settled into my apartment, I have a position that I am enjoying, and I run into people all of the time that knew me way back when...

    But what I have seen is the same thing I saw when I left, just a different cast of characters. Every ten years, another group comes in, with stars in their eyes and dreams of watching this town "explode" onto the scene... only to fizzle out or buy into the "old system."

    Oh.. that old system.

    The same old people, same old, tired places, same old crappy promises, and not a damn thing happening to really make any major changes.

    But the truth is... that's everywhere.

    I look at what is happening in my husband's country - Egypt. Talk of change and a better tomorrow cost many people their lives, homes and businesses. Now a new crop is trying to make a difference, same dreamy look.. just like the old crop once had, but the thing is.. eventually.. it just goes back to the way it was - just a little different.

    For whatever reason, that scene from Dead Poet's Society pops into my head. Remember the one where Robin Williams asks the boys to just walk in circles together, and eventually they start off as confident individuals and end up in a rhythm that matched each other? Nothing had changed. They were all going into circles, and completely lost their individuality.

    *sigh* If only those who want change.. would not fall into the whole conformist plight.

    See.. just an odd little inner dialogue going on here. Basically I am talking around something that is bothering me, but due to the public nature of my blog, I can't say a word.

    Such is life. Such is how things have always been. Such is how things will always be.

    We should all just carpe diem.. and squelch those inner wars... those inner conflicts.. and for me... do what I came here to do... and that was to seize the day.

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    Weekend in Review

    My weekend in review is going to come a day early, because I plan to do NOTHING today. Which is awesome, considering how busy yesterday was.

    Just to catch you guys up: Friday night, I spent a fantastic evening watching.. oh.. you know.. Gossip Girl. Sad? I don't think so. It was mindless entertainment. I also cleaned. Woo hoo.

    On Saturday, I had to work for a couple of hours at the museum, we had 150 Morehouse and Spelman students tour our facilities. When I got home, I baked my first pumpkin pie (ever!) and watched more Gossip Girl. I promise I finally socialized, my friends Phillip & Leslie came over to help me consume the pumpkin pie and drink some coffee.. good times, because it was well after midnight when they left.

    Without further ado, here is my weekend in pictures:

    I forgot to mention that I went and saw the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi this past Tuesday night at The Grand Opera House
    Me on Saturday driving to work (silly self portrait)
    My intern, Danae and I waiting at the Douglass Theater for the 150 Morehouse & Spelman Students
    The Historic Douglass is just one block from my museum. This is the old Apollo of the South. Otis Redding, Little Richard, James Brown, Ray Charles, Lena Horne.. and the list goes on.. performed here. (Or got their start here.) It was the only theater that would allow African Americans to perform.

    Students leaving the theater to join me on the walk to the Museum. They just left a lecture.
    One Morehouse man (as they are called) being playful as I take his picture. Morehouse is a historically black all male college and sort of the Ivy League of HBC.

    The students and I walked over to the new facility to hear our Curator give a talk about the future of the Tubman.
    We are about to go from the largest museum for African American art, history and culture in the southeast.. to the largest in the nation!!!
    Got home and decided to celebrate fall by painting my nails a fantastic fall color.
    THEN it was pumpkin pie time. Don't laugh, I don't have a pie pan.. my cake pan worked just fine. hahahahaaa

    First Timer

    I even bought some fall scents for my home! YAY Autumn!

    How did you spend your first day of Autumn?


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