Friday, January 29, 2016

It's Friday! Links, Thinks, and Two Secrets to True Happiness.

"Consider the lilies, how they grow. They toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you that Solomon, in all his glory, was never arrayed like one of these."

Luke 12:27

Happy Friday, friends! Rae's Corner will continue with Emersonisms next week, but for now I had some thoughts and links I wanted to share. Let's get down to TGIF business.

1. The Orange Groves. Yesterday after school we opted to walk down to the park and meander through them. We ended up spending well over 2 hours in the glory of a 70 degree day underneath all of these little globes of citrusy happiness, dangling everywhere like magic. Really, I think oranges are God's way of saying "hang on, summer will exist again."  So don't you fret your wintery, shivery self. Even when we lived back in the cold grip of Reno winters, I loved to buy big bags of Cara Cara oranges from Costco every winter when they'd come in season. Lily and I went through a solid phase of nightly wintertime reading while peeling and eating oranges. I wonder if she'll remember that? Still makes me smile.

2. Speaking of smiling more, last night we read through a passage of scripture as a family where Jesus is like, "Dude. Stop worrying so much. Chill out. Consider the lilies..." Something to that effect. It hit home for me, and as we discussed the meaning of the passages London chimed in "Yeah! I worry ALL THE TIME. I worry about running races at school, I worry about recess, I worry about my backpack!" I had to laugh, because London doesn't need to remind those who live among her that worry is a part of her daily routine. She's an overachiever in that department, just like her Mama. Still, I was glad for a moment to sit as a family and really talk about it, and give her (and myself) permission to stop worrying so much and have a little faith. Worry is such a universal part of the human experience, isn't it?  Everything is going to be okay, guys. I really believe it is. So I'm going to consider those lilies (and oranges!) a little more.

3. Cup of Jo is a go-to site I enjoy for the latest in culture and whatnot. She nailed it when she recommended Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Only two episodes in, and I'm still laughing over certain scenes. It is smart, girl kind of comedy. 

4. The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap, by Freakonomics. We all hear talk of the gender pay gap (sometimes incessantly) in the media. This is well worth a listen, and next time the subject arises you can feel all smartsy fartsy and educated about it.;)

5. Okay, you ready for this? Rae's TWO SECRETS TO HAPPINESS are as follows:

-First, taking zumba classes with the elderly at your local YMCA. I'm not even kidding, some of the best times of my life. Forget yoga. Forget meditation. Forget meds. It's right there.

I was once forced to sit through a 24 Hour Fitness sales pitch in order to take a friend's favorite spin class. I sat politely and listened as the salesman listed all the benefits of membership at the sparkling new facility. At first, it was hard to focus on what he was saying, as I couldn't help but get sidetracked at the sheer superhuman circumference of his neck. His adam's apple alone was worthy of a conversation. I felt rude ignoring it as it kept trying to garner my attention as he spoke, bobbing up and down forcefully as I nervously navigated my eyes between his bellowing words. His voice gurgled out like  "Rarrrr! Rarr rarrrrrrr RRRRRRRRRR ME SO FIT rrrrrAAAAARRRRR".

At some point, I deciphered between the testosterone barking that he thought my YMCA membership was ill-fitting. That I needed to hang out with, cough, ahem...people less afflicted by age. It was then that I was compelled to share with him my grand philosophy on happiness and well-being. "Listen, Brando (is that short for Brandon?), I prefer two things in life: my workout instructors chubby and my classmates old. You got me? All the worthy wisdom I'm ever going to glean in life is going to be coming from Norma and Dolores shaking it in their jumpsuits. Because you know what? Norma and Dolores are the real badasses here. Norma and Dolores know what's up. Norma and Dolores are who I'm striving to be in life. "

Proud card carrying YMCA member here!

-Second, observing the YMCA childcare play center. Am I the only one who finds a room filled with toddlers and babies one of the most delightful intersections of Lord of the Flies meets America's Funniest Home Videos? I don't want to actually be IN there, but I love to stand at the window and watch. You can't help but feel warm and hopeful inside when you watch Harry eat his boogers while Ellie stands on a table and little chubby baby Claire looks around in astonished confusion. This, this friends, is the future.

Okay peeps, I'm off, you have a great weekend!

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