10 Lies That I Tell in A Day

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10  Lies That I Tell In A Day

“The rest of the girls pretended not to notice. That’s just what best friends do.” Sara Shepherd

In my life, honesty is not always the best policy. Being a Sagittarian, I am always pulling my feet out from between my teeth. Sometimes”the little white lie’ is the best way to go. I think white lies come from a sense of compassion and not deceit. Here are some of my usual repertoire. They might sound familiar  –  especially if you know me.

In Starbucks when  they ask for my name for the coffee, I say Shane.  My name is Jayne but I just feel like mixing it up.

l’ll be there in five minutes. I think that is everyone’s lie followed by the traffic in this city is really bad. Especially because I left late.

I think there is something wrong with my phone. I never got the message, text, email etc. Sorry, I did not see this text.  My phone died. I left my phone in the car or downstairs or the ringer is off. I called you back. Maybe your phone is broken. Your breaking up, I’ll call you back. I thought I answered that email. Oh sorry, I forgot to hit send. 

It will be ok. No it really won’t, it will be different but you can not say that.

Of course I remember you. I have the worst memory. I say this every day to someone.

It’s not you, it’s me.  This classic break up line really does hold up. I also use it as a reason for my germophobic actions.

You look great in that outfit. You gained weight? I can’t tell. It is so cute. Of course you don’t look fat.

No officer, I have no idea why you pulled me over.

I don’t watch much TV. Since I wasn’t allowed to watch as a kid, I’m not used to it except every mindless reality show especially the new CNN..

I would never say anything about you. Of course she did not tell me, I figured it out for myself.

Gotta go

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Working On My Bucket List

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 Working On My Bucket List

 “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a plane ticket.” unknown

Truthfully, anywhere in the world that I have not been before is a bucket list place for me. Life is short and we have to remember to live it to the fullest. Sometimes I visit places that should have been on my list but I did not know till I got there. Most of them come from books I have read throughout my life. I want to experience a place in the way an author has. My list makes me stop and think of what I want to experience in this lifetime. Having a bucket list gives you hope. There are places on the list I may never go to but the goal of a bucket list is to never finish it. The best lists are constantly changing. So, start writing.

Machu Picchu, Peru 

Moia, Easter Island, Chile

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain  – soon

Camino De Santiago, Basque region, France and Spain – soon

Canary Islands, Spain

Faroe Islands

Grand Canyon, USA

Angor Wat, Siem Reap,  Cambodia

Ferry from Gibraltar to Morocco (which i think doesn’t go anymore) 

Auschwitz, Poland

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Pizza in Sicily and Naples, Italy

The Algarve in Portugal

Church of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Greenland

Punta Del Este,Uruguay

Bahia, Brazil

Medellin, Colombia

Ushuaia, Argentina

Tigers Nest Temple, Bhutan

Taj Mahal, India

Terracotta Army, Xian, China

Faukland Islands

Boulder Beach, Capetown, South Africa

Gorillas, Rwanda

Viet Nam

Borneo

Sri Lanka,

Nepal.

Ethiopia

Fly safe.

JAZ

 

Pay It Forward

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Pay It Forward

“The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

Do you remember that emotionally manipulative movie Pay It Forward  based on networking good deeds? I have been trying to counteract a bit of the hate in the world by doing one small unexpected act of kindness for a stranger every day. Many times, situations present themselves and I do it without thinking,  but some days are harder.

I’m not an especially kind person so it does not come naturally. I grew up in New York so I don’t smile at strangers. I eat meat so I’m not kind to non-humans.  I speak without thinking and often start a sentence with no offense. The random act of kindness keeps me in the present moment and makes me hopeful about the possibility of paying it forward. 

If someone is helpful to me on a service phone call, I take five minutes (Apple or American Airlines etc) and I ask to speak to a manager and tell them how great the person was.  I write a recommendation on the site.

When I am especially messy in a hotel room, I leave a thank you note with a tip. (often)

 I take a walk on the beach and pick up some of the garbage.

I give all my foreign coins to UNICEF.

 Before credit card car regulated parking meters. I would leave extra money in the meter for the next person. Now many of the meters go to zero when the next car pulls in. 

Wherever I am in the world, if I am in a cemetery or site of a tragedy, I leave stones for the people who no one remembers.

Most of my deeds involve buying coffee or food for someone – a stranger, parking or gas station attendant, receptionist, manicurist, the person on line behind me etc. 

I write a positive YELP or Trip Advisor review often.

I buy trashy gossip magazines when I fly and when I’m finished reading,  I give them to the stewardesses who are always happy to have the latest gossip to read on their break.

Once in a while, I let someone in front of me at the grocery store with only a few items. I hate doing that from my childhood of old women always getting in front of me “on line”. You have no idea how many old women in Brooklyn jump in front of a twelve year old kid at the grocery store. “Age before beauty’, they would say. If one got through, more would follow.

It is the same with letting someone in front of me, in heavy traffic when I am driving and usually late  – so annoying.  I have perfected the hyper focus stare at the car in front of me.  There has to really be no other options for stranger kindness if I have let you in. 

I bring pencils and stickers, toothbrushes and small toys when I travel to third world countries to give out to the children or leave at a school or orphanage. I teach English for a day as well when I can. 

The internet helps. If I haven’t done anything, I go online and give money to some random Kickstarter or Go Fund Me student project that looks interesting to me.  I like the idea of a stranger believing in your dreams. You never know how that will turn out.

Kindness works a lot better than unkindness.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Countries Are Easier Than People

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Countries Are Easier Than People

“Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than someone you know. Why is that?”“Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as they wish us to be”Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Every day I miscommunicate something to someone.

The only time I realize there is a miscommunication is when something bad happens. Almost all conflicts are caused by poor communication.

Countries are easier. When you visit a country, seeing is believing. Here is the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu, Colosseum etc.  With people our realities are based on our perception. Depending on our experiences, moods and thoughts each person focuses on different things at the same event.

When I visit a foreign country, I am well aware that people speak a different language than I do. The miscommunications are cute and charming.  In America, if I assume that just because I am speaking English and the other person also speaks English that we are  both speaking the same language, I am usually wrong. The meaning you give to words come from your environment and your experience with that word.  We all have unique life experiences and just because we use the same words, your definition of those words may be very different from my definition. Speaking the same language often interferes with my communication.

I have always believed it’s the thought that counts. As long as my intention is good, that is all that matters. That philosophy works well in foreign countries. I teach English and bring pencils and stickers for poor children. I behave in a respectful way and ask questions about the country. People in foreign countries seem to understand my message. What I am learning  is that if friends and family  are not open to my ideas, it does not matter how good my intentions are. It matters how well and effectively that I can communicate them. I am a work in progress.

Certain countries fit our personalities better than others. You have to travel to find out where you belong. Some people fit better with me and so I make fewer mistakes with them.  I learn from being wrong  and sometimes you have to get lost in a place to find your way back.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Lonely Vs Alone

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“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”  Hunter S Thompson
 
  If you are reading this, chances are that you know what it is like to feel lonely. The stereotype of being single are generally categorized into one group: loneliness. Being lonely is that kind of aching that resonates in your chest. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or whom you’re with, it’s impossible to shake that feeling. Being lonely comes with so many side effects: memories, insomnia, and confusion. Loneliness encapsulates the best parts of your life and forces you to notice their profound absence. Loneliness makes you wonder why you? Why haven’t you had a simple stroke of luck? It is that prominent, gaping hole in your life that just can’t seem to be filled regardless of what you do. Loneliness comes with settling for less than you deserve. It’s incurable by company, it swells in the presence of friends. Loneliness is the isolation that comes with nursing a feeling unreturned — an expectation unmet.
  Being alone is different.  Being alone is a state of being. Loneliness is a state of mind. When you’re alone you are forced to realize all the things about yourself that you couldn’t when you spent your days about someone else. Being alone is taking the time to really think about what you want from someone the next time around. Being alone is reading a book, taking a long walk on the beach, having a delicious coffee and enjoying every single minute of it. It is buying a single ticket to a foreign film you know absolutely nothing about. it is taking a trip exactly the way you want to do it. Being alone is doing things by yourself, but also doing them for yourself.

Sometimes  being alone crosses paths with being lonely. You see a couple across the street and their happiness radiates, or a young family out for a stroll and you remember the days when that used to be you. For a brief moment that dull feeling aches in your chest, but it doesn’t stay.

Being alone can be the most empowering experience of your life. If you let the loneliness consume you, you’re going to lose the chance to figure yourself out. We can’t allow ourselves to be defined by the people we surround ourselves with, our relationship status, weekend plans or the  silence of our mobile phone. Loneliness isn’t about being in a relationship or being single. We are always trying to find the balance between being alone and being lonely.

Things That I Have Learned About Myself After Being In A Relationship For A Year

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Things That I Have Learned About Myself After Being In A Relationship For A Year.

“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.” Lisa Kleypas

The year has been exciting, emotional, amazing, challenging, frustrating, enchanting, surprising, and about fifty other adjectives that range from great to terrible. But it has all been worth it. And it has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. Here are some of the things that I have learned. 

I eat so much more than he does.

I boyfriend proofed my house. I hid everything that I did not want him to see. Don’t hide things that you use every day because you will need them and have to look for them in the middle of the night.

Character is important – loyalty,  discipline,  values, integrity, kindness  and  humility.

Intelligence is also important.

I still take my make up off after he goes to sleep.

One of you is going to be the sloppy one. Yes, my purse looks like an episode of hoarders. The other one will cook.

It is true that I have way too many pillows on my bed. They are all my favorite pillows. I like to have my  pillows arranged in a particular way because I am a terrible sleeper and I feel it helps. He can sleep with any pillow. It works.

Laughing is great. We can both laugh at ourselves.  Sometimes I laugh  when I am by myself and I think of something funny that he said earlier.  It’s a little weird.

We have the same taste in music. Not the regular stuff that everyone likes but also Tom Waits and Bach.

We have similar taste in clothes but he puts them together better now. I like having a blank canvas to work with. 

There are people who  leave things open – toothpaste, vitamins, cabinets and people who do not.

An argument is an annoying learning opportunity. We don’t have them often.

There is a difference between a red flag and a human flaw. Being in a relationship doesn’t fix anyone’s flaws.

Beautiful flowers always work when you make a mistake.

We are going to continue to get to know each other –  the good and the bad. It’s a process. Relationships get real. I’m learning that.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Kicking the Shit Out Of Plan B,C,D, etc

Kicking the Shit Out Of Plan B,C,D etc

“Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.” Sheryl Sandberg

I have always been a planner.  I‘ve always tried to figure out what I needed to do next or what needed to happen next in order for life to go on as it should. it turns out that life is unpredictable and even the best Plan A doesn’t turn out the way you thought.

Accepting change no matter how hard is a process that cannot be avoided. Some changes are easier to accept than others, but the decisions about how to cope with those changes are personal ones.

When Plan A fell apart I went through all the usual thought processes –  drugs, drinking, suicide, bank robbery, revenge killing, monastery/convent, prison etc. I screamed, yelled, cried, cursed beat the crap out of my pillow, hid, walked or hiked for hours and listened to a lot of loud angry or sad crying music.

Ancient cultures believe that the dark times are a time of transformation. It is a time when our strength is tested and we must draw on the things we have learned. Modern culture calls it a mid-life crisis. Instead of working out our problems we run from each other and are left alone isolated by shame. We get facelifts, sports cars, new houses and young new partners. People we believed to be our friends or family back away. We aren’t left with much in the way of support. 

After too much time wallowing and feeling sorry for myself, Plan B began to take shape. I thought it was a good plan. I pictured my future living in another country or maybe a few different ones.   

When completely unexpected health problems made Plan B fall apart, I went through all the usual thought processes  – drugs, drinking, suicide, bank robbery, revenge killing,  monastery/convent, prison etc. I screamed, yelled, cried, cursed beat the crap out of my pillow, hid, walked or hiked for hours and listened to a lot of loud angry or sad crying music.  But it did not go on for as long this time.  I started unwillingly working on Plan C.

I learned C wasn’t the answer either and faced challenging family problems. Change is the rule, not the exception. Whether you like change or not, (and most of us hate it), you at least know to expect something, and that makes the unpredictable more predictable.  I’ve learned that not knowing is part of the process. It is the scariest and greatest potential that we have.

I’m not going to lie  – Plan D needs some work. The twists, turns and barriers are clearly visible. I’m waiting to figure out what the best course of action will be. I don’t want to give up on it. So since plans A through C are no longer available, I’m going to kick the shit out of Plan D. If that doesn’t work,  I’m going to have to kick the shit out of Plan E (when I have it)  because that is life.

Fly safe,
JAZ