Limitations? What Limitations?

I pride myself on being afraid of very little, and I work hard to push through obstacles whenever they appear. Sometimes, though, one must accept her limitations.   The key is how she handles them.  I’ll use myself as an example.

I have no sense of direction.  Many years ago there was an article in the New York Times about a study (on birds, no less) that proved that a person’s directional capabilities depended on how many magnetic ions were in one’s head.  Obviously, I have none.  

I first compensated for this by marrying a guy who could go somewhere once and return to the same place years later without directions.   We then moved to Northern Westchester, the land of driving, and I replaced his abilities with technology.   This has been somewhat helpful but it did not stop me from driving in circles for almost an hour the other day in search of Home Goods, nine miles from my house.   The annoying lady in my car’s GPS and the nice man from OnStar who routed directions into my vehicle were not enough to prevent this mishap.  Happily, I had the company of a wonderful friend and we did get a tour of at least four different towns.

You are probably wondering if I have ever owned a real map. Of course I have!   I just can’t read one.   My major in college was International Relations.   We studied the interactions between different nations with great depth.  As for finding these countries on a globe, I had a general sense on which continent they might be located, but that was it.  Whilst others are bogged down by the details when they travel, I just enjoy the company of the locals and the food.  Pyrenees? Alps? Andes?  Why does it matter?  They’re lovely to look at regardless of what they are called.

Speaking of maps, I found myself looking up the weather forecast last Saturday morning.   Despite seeing the snow outside my window, I had to convince myself that driving to Albany that morning was a bad idea.  I stared at the radar map for a while.  I gained no knowledge of the snow pattern for the day but I did marvel at how pretty the colors were on my new computer.

I must also admit that I am bit lacking in spatial ability. Think sixteen-foot Christmas tree and a twelve-foot ceiling.   Hmm…. or maybe all of the times I try to move furniture by myself and find myself stuck in a doorway.  Thank you, Danielle, for being able to take a door off its hinges so quickly.   At least my adventures always provide a giggle.

The one area where I refuse to accept any limitations is my new career as a “mompraneur.” Towards this end I am enlisting the help of other ‘mompraneurs” to help me achieve success in my chosen field of network marketing.  We will work together during February to create a platform that will help me accomplish three things: explode my own businesses, fuel my love of writing and support other women who find as much joy as I do in the work that I do.  

In the meantime, I hope you find ways to move through your own limitations and I bet you will find joy on the other side.

“See” you in March!

Sports Fandom….

I happen to love sports, which is ironic, since I never actually played one as a kid.   Following family tradition, I am a rabid Yankees and Giants fan.   I was the team statistician for the Montclair High School football team so I really do understand the game.

I don’t root for the other NY teams. I refuse to bend on my hatred for the Eagles and my extreme dislike for the Patriots.   I am proof that sports fandom brings out the best and the worst in the human race.  

The two football games yesterday were absolute nail biters.   When the place kicker for the Ravens, Billy Cundiff, missed the field goal that would have tied the game against the Patriots, my heart sank for him.  Later Cundiff spoke to the press.  He told them that this was a kick he had done a thousand times and he would make no excuses for himself for missing this one.   A fellow player spoke next, and he was emphatic that a team wins and loses together and that what happened to Cundiff should not affect him past that moment, as life will continue to happen.    First humility, then kindness.   This is the stuff of role models.

The Giants game was another story.   There is nobody better than Eli Manning for being cool under pressure.  He found the hole again and again and despite throwing the ball a gazillion times in terrible weather conditions there was not one interception.  When the Giants recovered a fumble in OT I actually thought I might stop breathing.   We watch all of the big football games with our dear friends and next-door neighbors.  My kids are always embarrassed by my behavior and the words that stream out of my mouth.   Too bad, so sad.

The death of Joe Paterno bothered me on so many levels.   I will not take away from him the many accolades he helped his Penn State players earn over 42 years as head coach.   Players young and old came out yesterday to praise Paterno for changing, and in some cases, saving their young lives.  Our sons do not yet understand exactly what is the scandal that keeps being mentioned on ESPN.   They will ask me about it someday and I will tell them that this was not a case of covering up a player’s speeding ticket or fixing grades to keep a kid eligible for play.   Though Joe Paterno did not break any laws, as he reported what he heard to his superiors, he broke a moral code by not going the extra step to protect those children.  I will always believe that he died not from the lung cancer, but from a broken heart.

 I will spend the next two weeks washing Giants’ jerseys and keeping up with the daily commentary of our 12-year old Sportscenter mouthpiece.   I need to know when Bradshaw is going to run through the 5 hole and when Manning is going for a fake.    Will Weatherford be able to respond to a bad snap as well as he did last night?  

As I said at the beginning of this blog, sports fandom brings out the best and the worst of people.   Pending the outcome of the Super Bowl, you’ll know whether it is safe to say hi to me in the supermarket on the 6th.  Go Giants!!!!

The Annual Purge

Last night I attended the first of a ten-week course entitled “Practical Philosophy” in Manhattan.  The instructor told us that the study of philosophy is meant to help us dust ourselves off in order to find our own place of inner happiness.

Now, I love dusting.  In fact, I love cleaning in general.   Every chance I get I clean out a closet, drawer or an entire room and I hold a competition with myself as to how much stuff I am able to purge.  It’s a great pick-me-up, as I always win.

Out of respect for the other people who live with me, I now announce when I am ready to begin the annual purge so that they can run and hide their belongings.   I understand that my husband is attached to the Coke bottle from the 1984 Hoyas Championship, but it still has the soda in it.  Gross.

Yet, where do I start to dust myself off, to purge the layers that hold me back from being my best self?

I will start working on my weight.  I’ve got the weekly exercise habit under my belt, so now I need to rework my eating habits.  (Spoiler alert – a sales pitch is coming next!)   Arbonne has launched a series of vegan, gluten-free products that help on the weight-loss front.  They are used in combination with a healthy diet and the system is proving very successful for many people.  It has taken me years, but I finally realize that I need to achieve optimal health, not a perfect body.

I will allow myself time to grieve.  I will grieve for the daughter who is thousands of miles away and I will grieve for my dear friend whose laughter I will not hear again.  Each sob, each burst of anger, will remove a bit of the pain until all that is left is acceptance. 

I will work without guilt and I will enjoy watching my businesses grow.   My family has shown me in so many ways that they are fine with the changes that my new pursuits have brought to our daily lives.  It’s just taken me a while to see it.

On the flip side, I will continue to stop what I am doing when one of the boys wants to play a game or our daughter needs me to read over a paper.  The chores and the work will be there when I am finished. The fleeting moments of the children’s’ youth will not.

Finally, I will count all of the many blessings that surround me and absorb the grace within the gratitude.

You know what is the best part of this personal dusting off?  If all goes according to plan, I will have enough energy and joy to conquer the final frontier in my quest for a perfectly clean house…. the garage!    

Glittery Bands of Gold….

I imagine the bonds of friendship to be made of glittery bands of gold.   Each time an experience is shared with a good friend the bands grow brighter. Sometimes these bands burn so brightly that you can’t help but feel the warmth that connects your two hearts. 

Laughter is what I most often seek in the company of a friend.  Maybe it is a funny story about the children or husband, or a little bit of wicked gossip that bring the peals of glee out of us.     

Sometimes, though, the bonds of friendship sparkle and hiss and you know something is terribly wrong.  The blood test was supposed to be fine.  That scan was supposed to show nothing.   An operation? How long is the recovery? Will you be OK? 

As all of the helping hands came out to bring our friend comfort, it soothed me to see that real friendship still plays an important role in a world where relationships seem to so often be built in cyberspace.   

As our friend in need became the epicenter, the bonds we all held to her extended to each other.  New friendships were made and existing ones were strengthened.   There were more excuses to get together and within each visit, laughter and hope squelched the worry that tried to seep through.   Her family welcomed us with open arms and shared so many stories of how she became the wonderful woman we knew and loved. 

As the months passed, a sense of belief took hold, a conviction that her glorious smile and bright blue eyes would be here until we all grew old together.  She and I would often joke about the havoc we would cause in our nursing home together.   We needed to act like mature adults now, but later, why not bring back the antics of our youth?

We took her pain for granted, as she so seldom complained.  Thanksgiving happened without event, but a few days later a trip to the doctor turned into a five-week hospital stay.  As the days continued forward, those bands of gold, which bonded her to friends and family, were like rods of steel.  If we all held on with all of our might then maybe we would keep her here and get her home.

Three days before the end, our youngest came to the hospital to see her.  At the end of our visit, he asked her to thank her son for helping him get ready for his first wrestling match on Saturday.   As she beamed with pride for her own son, she threw her arms open, gave us that gorgeous smile and asked my son for a hug.  It was then I knew that she was really saying goodbye. 

Those bands of gold will always be there, but for now, they must extend from here to eternity.  There is no doubt that she is sitting at the other end of the rainbow, sending golden light and love to all she knew and loved.

Lisa Lupo Talia   December 17, 1966 – January 7, 2012

Happy 2012….


We had a crazy, wonderful week at the Polemeni-Hegarty abode.  Things went along according to tradition.  Here are some highlights:

1.  I got so ill two days before Christmas that I had a to give last minute Christmas directives from my sick bed.  This happens every year as we moms manage to get ourselves so run down leading up to the holidays.  Luckily, I was able to self-diagnose my ailment and thus, self-medicate.   Yes, I recognize this is a dumb thing to do, but hey, I’m better.

2.  We managed to find all of the Italian delicacies necessary to create the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals and it only took trips to 12 different stores in two states.  Success!!

3.  Santa arrived on schedule and only one of the eight children started to cry that he did not get the one thing he absolutely wanted.  He is four and happily, his grandparents brought the required present a few days later.  More success!

4. The two cousins that don’t always get along perfectly did not have an altercation until yesterday.  It involved a direct hit to the face with a Nerf gun and an unbelievably terrific dramatic performance by the shooter when threatened by the victim.   It was pure entertainment for all!

5. There were 12-19 people staying and/or eating here for ten days.   Everyone managed to get fed and the boys even managed to shower on occasion.  Parenting at its finest!

6.  None of the kids got to sleep much before midnight on any given night.  Happily, there was enough sugar in the house to keep everyone happy and alert. Now we are in the running for parents of the year!

7.  Despite being together for the above-mentioned ten days, we adults were unable to finish one conversation, keeping alive a family tradition that started 18 years ago with the birth of the first grandchild.  We kept reminding ourselves that the holidays are indeed all about the children.

Tomorrow, everyone here will return to work and school. There will be some glum faces for sure.  As the last bus leaves, I will sigh and then, I will dance and sing all the way down the driveway!

Happy New Year!