Do Vegans Have Less Friends?

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Do Vegans Have Less Friends?

“I don’t like vegans, either. Bunch of whiny zealots. A cow or a pig wouldn’t give a damn if a person died… animals tear apart other animals while they’re still alive, but we aren’t so cruel, so vegans should learn to shut up. Vegans use palm oil and never think about the forests and endangered species at risk from that… and they all exploit the world in other ways, buying their computers and their sweatshop clothes and their Starbucks coffees.” Rebecca McNutt.

I returned from my last trip with a stomach bacteria. I did not get the bacteria there but have probably had it for a while. The cure is an antibiotic that will kill everything good and bad in your body and a weird strict diet that will not feed the bacteria for at least six months.  The bacteria caused several food allergies as well. The easiest way for me to eat these days is to be a Megan.- a meat-eating vegan. (albeit not in the same restaurant) 

It turns out that the  people who live a plant-based life style understand weird diets. I notice that many  people eat alone in vegan restaurants. I am not talking about the  hipster or Hollywood vegans that eat at the trendy vegan restaurants or have their vegan chefs prepare something.  I’m talking about small local restaurants. 

Most social gatherings revolve around food and the isolation of having a strict diet when your friends do not, can make it easier to eat alone. Dietary restrictions are annoying in social situations. I hate the constant deliberating and discussion  that i have to do with waiters in restaurants. I’m not normally that person. 

All vegans are not just focused on not eating dead animals. Some of them probably have eating issues or do it for health reasons. I sit alone in the restaurant and watch the other diners. I play my airport game of trying to figure out who everyone is.  Classic vegans.

 I look  at a man focused on his non dairy fettuccine alfredo and think that he is definitely a Bikram yoga instructor slash dog walker. The two woman who gush over their buffalo tofu sliders are life coach feminists with instagram accounts dedicated to their different  acai bowls. The woman  sitting over there in the corner is probably a two years sober tarot card reader who runs 12 step meetings.  The anorexic reiki healer cutting her food in many small pieces is pushing it around her plate while she talks to her friend, the mantra chanting, meditation specialist. The man next to her heads the community  vegetable garden and makes his own candles. 

Clearly these  people  have no idea how much I am missing cheese, coffee, sushi, fish,  bread and good dessert.  I make fun of vegans because I will never be cool enough to give up the occasional hot dog, hamburger and dairy products. I will never stretch regularly or be a healthy vessel of joy and peace. I make fun of them because I am not disciplined or good enough to be one of them.

Then, I look at myself in my flannel shirt and baggy jeans. I am drinking the now trendy celery juice  (yes i know you are supposed to drink it when you wake you up to cleanse your system but i just can’t)) and eating kale, brown rice and tempeh.  I see a man looking at me. He is  thinking that I just biked over here from a winter solstice ceremony and have a formally abused dog named Chakra. I am probably on my way to my alternative medicine doctor for acupuncture.

Fly safe,,

JAZ 

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Ikagai – The Thing That Makes You Get Out Of Bed In The Morning

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”If you cannot fly then run, if you cannot run then walk, if you cannot walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King

I learned about ikagai in Okinawa. Okinawa has the largest population of centagenarians in  the world.  They say it is because of  the diet (seaweed and spam) and ikagai. The literal translation of ikagai is “a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” It is a lifestyle which balances the practical with the spiritual. It is easy to think about it when you are on the beautiful island of Okinawa.

The four elements  of Ikagai are what you’re passionate about, where your skills lie, how you can earn a living and what the world needs. It is the place where all those elements intersect. Discovering your own ikigai is said to bring fulfillment, happiness and a long life.

Finding your  purpose in life can resemble a winding quest, filled with many twists and wrong turns. When I learned about Ikagai, I wanted to dive right in and leap into action. But figuring out your ikagai doesnt happen that quickly. It involves self exploration and deep reflection. Your purpose unfolds and evolves over time.

Ikagai  in some ways, is like a compass. Aligning your actions with the “thing that makes you get out of bed  in the morning”  helps you navigate life’s ups-and-downs. As your career evolves and you’re presented with more opportunities, you can rely on your ikigai to steer you in the right direction.

Remember to evaluate your sense of happiness and purpose at every step along the way. By seeking growth that fits your sense of purpose, you pursue health, happiness and a long life as well.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Pretending To Be Evelyn

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Pretending To Be Evelyn

Some people go to priests, others to poetry, I to my friends.” Virginia Woolf

I’m at a point in my life where I am trying to work on myself  – to not  keep making the same mistakes, to be kinder, more confident, fearless, and to work out my tangled relationships.  I have observed some of my behaviors that have persisted for long periods of time. I  believe that“ is just the way I am.”

This is where my friend Evelyn comes in. Pretending to be Evelyn in certain situations helps me to behave with a new perspective.  I am not trying to copy Evelyn.  it  is more about  stepping outside my current self image. What does she do that is different from me? How can I learn to do this?

We start modeling our behavior based on what we see from others when we are very young. It’s a fundamental way our brains work and how they learn to adapt to our environment and social circle.  I know there are certain habits I’ve developed from my parents and certain phrases I have picked up from my friends.

Evelyn is great in social situations and parties. She introduces herself and is interested in meeting everyone. I prefer to sit in a corner with the one person that I know.

The boyfriend wanted to bring me to a party at his ex-wife’s house.  I was nervous and felt that everyone there would be judging me.  My sit in the corner routine was not going to work since it turned out that he was cooking. It was either going to be pretend to be sick or pretend to be Evelyn.  As a grownup now, I went with the second choice.  I introduced myself to anyone who walked by me which is so not my thing but it worked. I had people to talk to while he barbecued and his ex wife thought that I was “lovely”.

Being Evelyn is now my go to party persona. It makes it much easier to go into social situations when I don’t know people. Being Evelyn is an effective way of seeing myself in a new light.

I’m a grudge holder. It is hard for me to let go of anger. Evelyn who has been through illness and loss is the opposite.  “Let it go”, is her motto. There is nothing worse than trying to explain to her why I am mad at someone. She hates conflict. Her response is, “It is always best to be easy-going and do what is right in life. Life is hard enough so you don’t need to make it any harder.” I am a work in progress.

Friends are supposed to build you up and make you a better person. They are the people who help you push your boundaries and grow and you are supposed to do the same for them. Evelyn is that kind of friend.  At this point in my life, I am trying to only have friends like this. I am grateful for all of them.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2019

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Twenty Five Things That I Want To Do In 2019

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  Helen Keller

Go to Sweden.

Go to Iceland.

Spend a day at the Blue Lagoon. 

Be a better friend.

Go to the Galápagos.

Plan less.

Read at least thirty books.

Go to the Amazon.

Take it bird by bird.

Drink one cup of coffee a day. 

Switch to Matcha Tea.

Go to Sedona.

Walk on the beach a few times a week.

Do a street art tour in Los Angeles instead of just taking photos.

See more of Australia.

Walk my dog every day.

Eat breakfast in Venice at least one a week. 

Go to the Faroe Islands.

Work on being fearless.

Give him a drawer.

Stay politically active.

See the Grand Canyon.

Always be grateful. 

Do more yoga

Meditate every day – maybe if I put it last I will do it.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,

JAZ

New Years Eve

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  New Years Eve

“Rituals are the formula by which harmony is restored.” Terry Tempest Williams

I have a confession to make. I have always hated New Year’s Eve. Even when I was really young, I hated the exhaustive energy and resources spent on Dec 31. The overwhelming social pressure to go out and have the best night of your life in a skin tight, can’t breathe dress and painful heels in the freezing cold  (yes even in LA) was never my thing. 

For those of you who are thinking about becoming parents, having children is the best excuse to stay home on Dec 31. Throughout their childhood, I used my children as human shields to avoid what I considered the worst, most overpriced night of the year to go out. 

We created Family New Years and celebrated with champagne and caviar, movies, Chinese food, played celebrities, danced and watched the ball drop.  We kept that going for a long time.

 But the kids grew up and one Dec 31 morning my ex husband thought that would be a good day to leave. Talk about the pressure of making it the most memorable night of the year.  I was in shock and I didn’t know what to do so I did what we always did.

I went to Wally’s to buy caviar and champagne. I hate New Year’s  Eve but I love caviar and every year I buy a decadent one. I sat in the parking lot for a while before I went in.  I finally got out of the car and walked into the store wondering if everyone there would know that this time I would be buying it for myself. I went home and put a movie on. My children and my new therapist called at midnight (probably to make sure that I hadn’t killed myself). 

 I did the same thing for the next couple of years as I struggled to adjust to my new reality.  Being alone on holidays is difficult and scary.  One year I sat in the parking lot of Wally’s before I went in talking with my daughter. She was trying to decide whether to spend New Years with the boy she was obsessed with or the one she just met and would later marry. 

I learned not to rely on other people for happiness around the holidays. I scheduled me  days – massages, foreign films and art. I planned trips in early January so New Year’s Eve would never be too big of a deal and I could focus on caviar, champagne and packing.  I learned that just because you are alone one New Years Eve, doesn’t mean you will always be alone.  I didn’t spend many more New Year’s Eve’s alone.  But I always do the same thing. 

There is always caviar and champagne from Wally’s, Chinese food or pizza, this year – hot dogs and movies.  Every year I take a moment and reflect about the previous year in the parking lot before I go into the store.

This year Wally’s closed their Westwood location ( https://www.wallywine.com Beverly Hills and Santa Monica)  and I didn’t know. I sat outside the parking lot for a few minutes and thought about how great my life is these days. Then I drove  to Wally’s In Beverly Hills and bought caviar. The boyfriend is bringing the champagne.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,

JAZ

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

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