December 17 Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)
I compare myself and my choices to other women much too often. I think it's perfectly normal and healthy to strive to have qualities like people that I admire or look up to. But comparing myself and finding myself lacking is simply a waste of time. I've never wanted to be anyone else. But I have thought on occasion, how do they get so much done in the same 24 hour period that I'm allotted? They ran a marathon, seriously? Three kids and a full time job and you manage to cook elaborate meals every night? How? What am I missing? CEO of your own company by 30? Huh? But instead I've worked on shutting down that nasty jealousy and unfair, unproductive measuring. I've brought my focus in this year. Tightened it around my own ambitions and goals, regardless of what anyone else might think. And it's been freeing. It has made me happier for other people and their achievements and kicked that green eyed monster right out of my house. Lesson learned.
Getting rid of the comparing doesn't get rid of the awe though. I am still constantly amazed by some of my friends, their ability to manage their time and wrestle out every minute into necessary action to accomplish some enterprise or dream. It's all about choices.
The perfect example of a woman that I admire, and whose ability to wrangle and dominate her allotted twenty four hours is unrivaled. Hillary has three young kids, a demanding career, husband, sits on many nonprofit boards and somehow manages to host this kind of party.
The kind of gathering with a spread of from-scratch delights that left me standing and staring, unsure where to begin. One hand holding a glass (eventually three) of sparkling dry red champagne and the other filled with a plate of roasted shrimp, pears wrapped in prosciutto, baked brie with cranberries, prime rib sandwiches, skewered winter caprese salad, potato and zucchini latkas with rosemary and marscapone cheese. I could go on. So the menu is elaborate and delectable.
That would make the party worth driving up from Kansas City for, in and of itself. But the guests seal the deal. They are eclectic and friendly. Long time friends, new friends, an intimate, chatty gathering of diverse, curious and intellectual compatriots. We talked about children, Morocco, the five hour Carlos the Jackal movie, why women love a bad boy, gumbo, religion, deep knee bends, viscous competitive board gaming, Joe's uncanny ability to win at Battle of the Sexes, Warren Buffett and the fact the foxes love to eat cockroaches.
Hillary and her husband John are fantastic hosts. Hillary is the serious planner, John is her more laidback assistant when it comes to social gatherings. I love this photo of them because thirty seconds before, Hillary was yelling at him for touching her silk blouse with wet hands. And thirty seconds later, they were laughing again. It might have helped that Joe was pointing a camera at them.
We arrived first and left last. Teased Hillary and John about the very classy Barcelona chair that John and Joe love and Hillary detests. Joe emailed Hillary a photo of the ottoman that he thought she might like to go with it, in the middle of the party. He's helpful like that. And worked on finishing off the last of the champagne. You're welcome, guys.
Thank you for inviting us, Hillary, and for the being the driven, generous and kind person that you are. The fact that you love to watch Kendra and Keeping up with the Kardashians instead of reading the complete works of Chaucer at night before you fall asleep, makes you real. And letting me tease you about your seriousness regarding the menu. It was all superb. I give you a 10! Inspiring.
Photos by the always festive and inspiring, Joe Sands. He had on a zippy sweater and was looking good. I was tipsy and forgot to take a photo. Shit.