Monday, July 10, 2017

Encyclopedia of Me - T (Stacy)

Pictures from my own collection, Youtube, New York Times, Forbes, and Pinterest  

Transcendentalists - So this was one of those things I learned about in college and just fell in love with nearly immediately. One day, I was walking through my college bookstore when I picked up a book of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I started flipping through randomly and was blown away at how much resonated with me. It was as if he were in my mind, reading my thoughts. Things I had considered, views that seemed right to me . . . Emerson expressed them so beautifully and we were on the same page about so many big things. The transcendentalists were a group of people who were into self-empowerment and trusting themselves. They loved to learn and did so often as a group. They wrote essays. They believed in the interconnectedness of people and nature. They were big on intuition and cared more about individualism and authenticity than conforming to society's expectations. They were anti-orthodoxy and believed in equality. They felt that we all have knowledge that transcends the palpable (that "trust yourself" thing). They believed these ideas not as religious beliefs (remember, they're anti-orthodoxy), but rather as a way of understanding life and relationships. I love so much about this time period. Mark and I got to visit Concord and Lexington as newlyweds; and a year ago, we were able to visit there again with our kids. Emerson, Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Walden Pond, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, plus all the historical revolutionary war stuff ("Shot Heard Round the World," the Minutemen, etc.) . . . it's a perfectly lovely area to visit.

To Kill a Mockingbird -  I'm not generally one to reread books (there are so many good books out there to be read!), but this book (and Harry Potter) is an exception. I've read it at least a half a dozen times and I think I fall more in love with it each time. Scout is so spunky and scrappy! She makes, in my opinion, one of the best narrators of all time. I laughed with her and I cried with her. Who doesn't melt at her quick fist and big heart? Her good brother and Dill, their sweet sensibilities at the sick injustices of the world. And Atticus! Dear Atticus. Is there a better father in all of literature? I love this book so much. To me, it is a living, breathing thing. I have feelings for this book similar to the feelings I have for people I love. I'll always be grateful to Harper Lee for this treasured, timeless gift she's given our world, a world, sadly, still desperately in need of its message.

TV - We are living in the golden age of television. The shows are quality. The writing is excellent. There's so much good stuff out there! I really do have simple tastes and pleasures, and one of my very favorite things is cuddling up on the couch with my family (Scout included, of course) and snuggling with blankets and one another while watching shows together. We watch all kinds of sit-coms and dramedies. We watch SNL (Tina Fey!) We watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. We binge watch shows on Netflix or DVD, like Freaks and Geeks, Gilmore Girls, Friends, New Girl, Parenthood, and The Office. We get excited when our shows come back every fall. Even with stuff I don't watch personally, I get excited for people in my family who I know love those shows (Dr. Who, Supernatural, Gravity Falls, etc.). Our current favorite also fits the letter for this post - This is Us. I've never been so blown away by a pilot before. That show is truly phenomenal. Oh, and I should add that we love, love, love Tivo.

Therapy - That may seem weird to list, but it's something that describes me in two ways: one, I am a therapist and two, I've benefited from seeking therapy myself. I detest that there is a mental illness stigma in this country. Therapy is the kind of thing that can benefit absolutely everyone. And the things one learns in therapy should, in my opinion, be taught in kindergarten and throughout school to all children and teens. Mental health should be covered so people can have access and not have to spend so much trying to pay for it. Just imagine for a second how our country would fare if everyone could get the care they need for the emotional struggles in their life. Not a doubt in my mind, there would be more *thriving,* instead of just surviving, in this country, and everyone would benefit. We are, after all, interconnected. I earned my Master's in social work over a decade ago. I've worked as a therapist online (typing!) and in person. I've taught classes (teaching!). I've facilitated summer camps. But the biggest benefit of all for me personally has been the help it's been for me as a person and also the skills I'm able to pass on to my family. Life is hard. Tools to help us navigate life definitely lighten the burden and empower us as people.

Theatre - So this is one I've always enjoyed on some level, but thanks to Kate's growing interest in it a few years ago, we've really gotten into it even more. Some of her online friends were making lots of musical references and she wanted to understand better and know more, so we started Musical Mondays, where the kids would watch/study a musical each week off of a list they made of musicals they've been interested to see. "Hamilton" is a big part of what really got the theatre ball rolling here, but it's definitely expanded into so much more. We live close enough to NYC that we can go in for the day by car or bus or train and catch a show. This past spring, we were able to nab "Hamilton" tickets for the following December. Boy, was that a big deal! In the meantime, we got to see other shows. I was able to take Kate to New York this past summer to see her first show on Broadway - "Les Miserables." Then, in October, Mark surprised me with an overnight getaway and we saw "Waitress" (which has a very special place in my heart) and "Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812" with Josh Groban. Both were amazing. Then in November, Mark's parents came to visit and took us all to see the very hilarious "Something Rotten" in NYC. We all loved it and Max and Grandma got to see their first NYC Broadway show together. In December, our family got to see the amazing "Hamilton." Worth all the hype and more. And then this past spring, Kate and I returned to NYC to see "Waitress," this time starring Sara Bareilles herself. It was fantastic! Mark is taking the kids to see "Comet" this summer as well. Pretty exciting stuff. We also live really close to Hershey Theatre and get to see lots of the touring shows there. We've got season tickets for the upcoming shows because they're all so good (including "Something Rotten" again!!)! Kate also volunteers there and gets to see a lot of shows for free. It's great. Oh, and we got to see the touring company of "Rent" in York a couple of months ago, too. Loved it! I'll toss in one more "T" word here, because it fits - traveling. We enjoy traveling. It doesn't always have to be extravagant - even simple beach trips or visits to NYC or DC are just FUN for us. We simply enjoy being together and exploring and relaxing and having fun.

Trustworthiness and Thoughtfulness - Over the past several years, I've come to appreciate these two traits as hallmarks of a good friendship. As you get older, you begin to notice the difference between one-way and two-way relationships. Thoughtfulness doesn't need to be extravagant. It's checking in. It's remembering what's going on with others and asking them how they are. It's responding when they're hurting or having a hard time. I think it's actually fun to be thoughtful. I have always loved "just because" gifts/notes or surprises or just someone wanting to spend time with me. I like to be on both the giving and receiving end of that kind of thing. We've lived in several states/countries/continents and value our friendships from all those different times in life. I love meeting new people, too. Isn't that part of what life is all about? I especially appreciate and feel safe around people who are thoughtful, but who are additionally trustworthy. Trust, once broken, is very difficult to repair. I have far more lasting friendships than I have damaged ones, but for the ones that have suffered, broken trust has been what did them in - lack of honesty, gossip, two-facedness . . . those things are poison to relationships. And when I think of my absolute best friend, these are two *major* qualities that he has - he is trustworthy and thoughtful. I feel lucky to be married to someone who always looks out for me and is always thoughtful. He has had more than one experience talking to other men who have felt way too at ease badmouthing their wives. I have never, ever once worried that he would do that about me. He is completely trustworthy. This guy has my back and I know it. He is my best friend. A recent example of his thoughtfulness is that after the past few weeks of stress around here from his surgery and colitis, he surprised me with an appointment for a massage. It was so thoughtful of him and it was perfect to go and get one. I'm so grateful to him and for him. I love this guy!!

So, a few other "T" things. Taming of the Shrew is one of many Shakespearean plays that I enjoy and Kate's name comes from it. Another great, more current novel that is a big hit with most who read it (and a big favorite in our book club) is The Thirteenth Tale. I've literally bonded with a now friend over this book and because of that, she joined our book club and has found it to be a perfect fit (and we love having her in our group)! I like tea and street tacos. Many of my favorite games start with the letter T, including Ticket to Ride, Takenoko, Trivia games, Ten Days, True Colors, Timeline, and Tokaido. A lot of music I've liked for different reasons over the years and/or that are musical memories for me also start with T, like Take 6, Taylor Swift, They Might Be Giants, Train, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Trombone Shorty. And I'll add a person, too. TJ. He is such a sweet and thoughtful friend to Kate and, because of her friendship with him, she's getting to have so many cool experiences. I have a soft spot for him because of how sweet he is toward Kate and how he looks out for her, makes her laugh, and treats her so well. And I'm still grinning over his beautiful birthday tribute to her, too. Luna to his Harry. I'm very grateful for TJ.


The Magic Violinist said...

I figured To Kill a Mockingbird would make an appearance on here. I wasn't able to guess a lot of the others, but once I saw them, of course it made sense.

Ooh, TV, nice one! Tivo and Netflix really are the best things we could've gotten ourselves for TV. Watching shows together is one of my favorite things we all do as a family, which might sound weird to other people, but we really make it a social event when we watch.

I think it's funny you remembered to add theatre to yours but somehow I forgot. I even went through all of my Broadway albums on Spotify to see if any fit the letter but didn't think to add the obvious intangible. I'll have to remember to add Broadway when we do "b."

Boquinha said...

I'm so happy to hear you say this. I love how you put it - "we make it a social event when we watch." We really do! Food, conversation (always while the show is paused), and analytical review afterward. Who needs DVD extras?? :P

That's crazy you forgot theatre! Ooooh, good idea. ;)

(Also, I started writing this comment days ago - THAT is how things have been recently. :P)

Dr. Mark said...

How in the world did I read this back when you posted it and not comment?! What a great list! And as always, I love how you sneak so many extra T words everywhere.

I still have so many great memories of our trip to Concord/Lexington early in our marriage, and now to add more memories with our kids is really great. I love it up there and love all that the town and its history represents.

I also love how you just own your love of TV (and Tivo). Hey, I love it, too. We really are getting to watch so many great programs. I'd really appreciate so much more time to watch more of what's out there!

Who would have thought we'd become such theater fans? It's been so fun to share all of these shows and to get so see several on Broadway. It's been a really nice hobby to share with everyone. Thanks for doing those Musical Mondays and finding ways to get us out to see these shows.

And awww, you brought tears to my eyes with your compliments. Whatever you see in me, I see the same and more in you. You are such a great example of living in a way that is thoughtful and trustworthy. I am in awe of you often.

Sorry it took me so long to actually comment. :(

Boquinha said...

I'm tricky that way. ;) I do, too. I love exploring with you and I love that area as well. You're welcome - I'm really enjoying all the Broadway stuff we do, too.

Thanks for the kind words. No worries on how long it took to comment. I'm glad to read your comments whenever you make them. Sometimes it takes me a while, too.