Category Archives: Suddenly Sabbatical

“Hats” from the Lost Tracks Album

**I was doing some cleaning here at Monkey Hill and came across this post that, until now, was previously unreleased.  The draft date is June 2010.**

Geez.  Read this, would’ya?  Something of which I scrawled on a scrap piece of paper about a year or so ago.  If you recall, I decided at the beginning of the year to pull to the side of the road of life and take a deep breath.  While I don’t have much to physically show for it, this little snippet is one of many that proves my decision has had a huge impact.

Who decided that “figuring it all out” has to take a lifetime?  Why do we hear of people figuring “it” out later in life?  What’s wrong with making an effort to figure “it” out earlier in life, allowing for more time to enjoy being comfortable in the life we make?

Choose a purpose in life and live by it.  Let’s try on the college hat…take it off…put it on the shelf.  Let’s try on the career hat…take it off…put it on the shelf.  Let’s try on the marriage hat…take it off…put it on the shelf.  At the end of it all, you stand back and look at a bunch of hats!   What’s it all for?

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve had time to reflect on a few things and this reflection led me to that scrap piece of paper.  A few months ago, I wrote this in response:

I ought not be so hard on myself.  Who cares that my shelf contains a multitude of hats?  Ain’t that what life’s about?  Trying on all types of hats, hanging on to those that feel most comfortable.  To experience new things, learn new things, even suffer through things all for the sake of coming out on the other side with fresh perspectives by which to…dare I say, try on new hats!  Hopefully there will come a day when I can look at my shelf of hats and be proud for having the balls to wear them in the first place.  Because let’s face it, some people just don’t look that good in a hat.

I realized I was being too hard on myself when it comes to “hats”.  But then it hit me:  It’s the hats, or rather, life experiences that make up who we are as people.  “Life is what happens while your busy making other plans.” That’s a John Lennon quote according to Google.  While I think that is true, I am going to wear this particular hat for a while:  “Enjoy today because you might get hit by a bus tomorrow.”  And you can quote me on that.

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Filed under Life, Memories, Suddenly Sabbatical, The Other Chapter

“Did Someone Say Tally-Ho?”

Like books, our lives, (or at least MY life) has chapters.  And here I am, closing one chapter of my life and starting a new one.

For those of you that have followed this blog, you know that my, what I deemed sabbatical, began 9 months ago almost to the day.  (Go ahead, click here and stroll down memory lane) I pulled my car to the side of the proverbial road of life and I took a break. As much as I would like to say I took the last 9 months doing something productive, like, learning a new language or, gestating a child, I did not.  I partied.  And I partied my ASS off!  And if I wasn’t partying, I was recovering from said party by staring blankly out the window.  What a waste!, one might think.  And admittedly I thought that from time to time myself.  If in January I knew I would have been going back to work in October, I may have traveled.  Or taken a class.  Or I would have done…something.  I should have, could have, would have.   Bleh! Hindsight and the whole 20/20 thing.  We all know it’ll make you crazy.

But you know what…my life in 2010 has been at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of what it was in 2009.   I decided a few months ago, as I was fending off the veil of depression that was looming, that I would hold my head high, and be proud of the fact that I worked hard to afford myself the luxury, productive or not, of a 9 month hiatus.  SO “F*ck responsibility”, is what I said and partied on.

(…)

OK, time to be honest.  I had visions of a dramatic “chapter closing” blog entry but now that I’m sitting here, it feels forced.  Me being physically where I am right now is a BIG deal for me.  HUGE.  I have shared this sentiment with a few already, but this is the perfect end to a, ummm, to a very…pivotal (?) no, that’s not it.  To a very…what’s the word?  *sigh*.   I would have been fine landing a decent job at home.  But don’t you see?  The fact that I threw a bunch of stuff in my car and headed North is just the the type of ‘Syonara’ I fantasized about offering to said chapter of my life.  The Finger if you will. Yet I remain humble.  It’s weird.  I am well aware that this opportunity presented itself to me because I was in the right place at the right time.  So now it’s in my hands to make this opportunity work for me.  It really is that simple.  (Duly noted because I am sure I’ll have to reference this post as a reminder of that fact.)

[I am not getting my point across…time to wrap it up.]

There’s a line in Shawshank Redemption that played itself over and over in my head during my drive here today.  “I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.” Nothing rings more true.  I am so, so, SO, excited about this next chapter I can barely contain myself.  I only hope I can open my eyes wide enough to take it all in.

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Filed under Good Times, Life, Memories, Random Musings, Suddenly Sabbatical

“Amazing”

I am naive.  No, really I am.  Especially when it comes to swimming in shark infested waters.  I’ve heard about the precautions you should take, but I guess I’ve had the same mentality of those people that say, “Oh it’ll never happen to me.  I’m careful.”  Bleh.

I don’t even know how it came up.  I wish I could because anytime you’re witness to a bomb dropping, chances are, you are experiencing something that raises your eyebrows.  One of those moments like “where were you when you heard…?”

But I’m not mad because the funny thing is, while I’ve been on this sabbatical, life has happened to a lot of people.  And while I’ve been having the time of my life, there are some things, heartbreaking things, that are happening to people and they don’t even realize it.  Right now, they probably don’t see the light at the end of tunnel.  It’s real bad, and everyday when the alarm clock goes off, they reluctantly peek out from under their bedsheets in the hopes that it was all a bad dream.  And when they shake the cobwebs from their brain and realize it’s all a reality, they take a deep breath and say, “I’ve only got 15 more hours until I don’t have to think about it anymore.”

It makes me incredibly sad in a helpless sort of way.  Where you wish you could put your arm around the person’s shoulder, take them to the crystal ball and show them that everything will be OK.  But I can’t.  So I sit back and try to find solace by telling myself that life’s lessons are best learned the hard way.  Hell, that’s how I learned, and look at ‘ol girl now!  Ahhh-yah-yahhh.

Like Steve Tyler said, “So I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight.”

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Filed under Boys, drinks, Life, Night Dreamin', Noodle Salad, Suddenly Sabbatical

A Useless Piece of Advice

I’d like to send out a special thanks to the Loan Modification Specialist from Bank of America that offered two great pieces of advice when I asked about my options.  “You can always borrow money from friends or family.  Or perhaps rent out a spare bedroom.”

Thanks guy…I wish I would have called you sooner.  By the way, do you spell ‘obvious’ with one ‘s’ or two?

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Filed under Life, Suddenly Sabbatical

Coffee Houses are for Cool People

coffee-house-large

A few random thoughts:

  • Patronizing a coffee shop makes me feel hip.
  • Reading the Wall Street Journal while at said coffee shop makes me feel smart.
  • Breaking out my laptop after having read the Wall Street Journal at said coffee shop makes me feel savvy.
  • And finally, the fact that the aforementioned coffee shop is within walking distance of my house is just one more bullet point to add to list of why I love my neighborhood.

A not-so-random thought:

After gushing over my neighborhood, one might be surprised to know my house is for sale.  Matter of fact, it is being shown to someone as I type.  Those closest to me know this breaks my heart as I wish I could keep it but, well, I can’t.  I mean, I can, but…I just need to sell it.  Especially given my current state of employment, or rather, the lack thereof.

So this got me to thinking.  Let’s pretend I sell my house in the next month.  Highly unlikely, but we are pretending.  Let’s also pretend I am still gainfully unemployed.  I have already decided that I am going to wait a while before I buy anything else, so that puts me in the position to rent.  But wait a second…landlords don’t typically rent houses or apartments to people that have no verifiable income.  Hmmm…I’ll just add that little fact to the list of things I’ll worry about when the time comes.  Until then, there’s a cafe latte begging for my attention.

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Filed under house, Random Musings, Suddenly Sabbatical

Freeloader on Board

I think its time.  Time to start looking for a job.   I came to this realization after having a wonderful meal at Fuego and post dinner cocktails at Cortlandt’s Friday night, then sauteed crab claws and Southern Pecan draft beer Saturday night culminating with a fabulous Sunday brunch at Cafe 615.  These are not activities typically performed by the unemployed my friend.  And to top it off, I hardly paid for a thing! <Enter pouty sad face here>

Make no mistake.  I am not bragging about “having left my wallet at home”.  I am touched by the generosity of my friends over the last two months, however I am starting to get a little embarrassed.  And I am sure they are tired of carrying my weight.  So I’ve spent this afternoon pondering how I could ever repay them?  Simply saying ‘thank you’, in all its humble glory, just doesn’t seem like enough.

I have a few ideas, even a trick or two in mind.  I just hope I can pull it off before my friends stop taking my phone calls.

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Filed under Life, Suddenly Sabbatical

A Toast to Olga and the Dress Rehearsal

My goal is to blog about Mardi Gras in some form or fashion everyday until Fat Tuesday.  Lofty goal, I know.  Those readers that know me, know I thoroughly enjoyed blogging about Mardi Gras last year with the help of Olga the Traveling Bra, so I am going to try it again.

First, a little history.  Because I had to nurse myself through a bout of depression brought on by Olga’s departure and weeks of overindulgence, I semi-retired from blogging at the end of the 2009 Mardi Gras season.  The blog itself, although defunct, is still available for viewing.  I strongly encourage you to treat yourself to at least a few of the blog posts I wrote during Olga’s visit by clicking here. Matter of fact, I suggest you get to know Olga the Traveling Bra yourself by clicking here.  She is quite the charmer and touched the hearts of a lot of people while she was in town last year.  My friends and I share fond memories of her and her crazy shenanigans!  So we raise our glasses and offer a collective Mardi Gras toast to Olga and her blog mistress in the hopes that they are well.

Now although Olga is unavailable this year to play the starring role in the blog, I am going to give it a shot on my own.  I am coming out of retirement to see if I’ve still got what it takes!  So speaking of characters…

We had an impromptu dress rehearsal last night.  Dress rehearsal you ask?  Well, beginning today*, we will be blessed with Mardi Gras parades every night (and day) until Fat Tuesday!  Why impromptu?  That’s AE’s fault really.  Always is.  She’ll eventually learn my current place of residence is Bizarro world and will be more careful when making the suggestion to do something that, not too long ago, I would have declined.  Impromptu trip to Mexico? Why the hell not!  Go out on a school night?  I ain’t got nothin’ to do tomorrow!  So we gave ourself a midnight curfew and off we went.

Three stops in all, we mingled with folks from the transportation industry at Veet’s, overheard my new favorite blow-off at Gabriel’s, and brought the night to a close by sampling an array of beers at Hopjacks.  [I’d like to note the irony of how that now my income is somewhere around $0, my adult beverage of choice has shifted from strictly domestic beer to a mixture of high gravity beers, martinis and bourbon.  I have the feeling its characteristic of a true Sabbatican.]  Unfortunately, when all was said and done, we were (only) an hour past our curfew.  But, I will say, we had the kind of night only possible by being impromptu in nature.   Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially ready for the Opening Act of Mardi Gras 2010!

*Lucky for us, tonight’s parade was rained out.  Lucky for two reasons:  1.  That means two good parades will roll back-to-back tomorrow night.  2.  Last night’s dress rehearsal went better than expected so we need tonight to rest.

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Filed under Life, Mardi Gras, Memories, Suddenly Sabbatical