Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Through Her Eyes

This weekend we had the distinct privilege of hosting the Chilis as they, along with thousands of others braved their way to DC for the inauguration of Barack Obama. Over the years, I've become good friends with Mrs. Chili having been connected to her through another blogger. We've shared many a laugh and even a burger once as she passed through National airport.

One of the things I've come to respect about Chili is her passion. She is woman who can voice an opinion stronger than Oprah, multi-task better than Martha Stewart and swear worse than Gary Busey. But through and through, she is passionate.

She and her family drove from New England to witness history this week. On Tuesday, they woke at 5:30 AM and jumped on Metro within 30 minutes, heading downtown. Twenty degrees and a few granola bars in their pockets; she, her husband and two kids each took off wearing two pairs of socks, two hats, gloves and more layers than I could count. They crammed onto Metro cars, squeezed up escalators, walked several blocks and stood shoulder to shoulder with thousands of new friends.

As we were planning the activities in our family room the night before, the TV was playing with weather and transportation updates. All of sudden, Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech played...and she teared up. Another segment aired a little while later...and she cried again. The next day as they recounted their experience and how it fulfilled everything she hoped for, she choked up once more.

As she welled with emotion over the two days, I could not have been happier for her. But I realized at the same time...I have never felt that same passion about anything (aside from maybe my family and dear friends). The inauguration was amazing; for what it represented and what other people felt. I was thrilled for her happiness, but I could not create those same feelings inside.

These are the moments when I realize how emotionally divested I've become over the years. I can celebrate other's joys and sadness, but rarely will it affect me personally. I no longer cry at funerals or movies. It's difficult for me to stay engaged in activities beyond a few months. I don't even get worked up when Sally Struthers talks about the starving children (though much of that stems from my belief that she's eating a large portion of the food herself).

Watching Chili's laughter and reflection made me realize how much I miss that in myself. It was there inside me at one point...but somewhere, has slowly gone. I appreciate it in others, but none of these feelings exist deep down. Who knows if it's the speed at which life is going or some scarring over the years that has made me this jaded.

Regardless, it was nice to be a part of that passion this week. Living this event through her was probably the best way to experience something so historic and memorable. She thanked me over and over for what a magical experience it was, but I think it was I who got the better end of the deal.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's 2009 Already?

I'm having a hard time gearing back into blogging for this year. Let's attribute that to my (self-diagnosed) Seasonal Affect Disorder...which sits right up there with my (self-diagnosed) ADD. Who needs medical coverage when I have all this insight into afflictions?

I'm not a huge fan of cold or evenings that get dark at 5PM or realizing that I'm in contention to replace Valerie Bertinelli for Weight Watchers, but then again, I really have no control over it. The sooner winter is over, the happier I'll be. (As I sit here complaining even though we haven't had our first snow fall yet.)

My last semester began on Saturday. It was a harsh reality to start school on Jan 3, but then again the 16-week countdown began. Thank God I have no math-based classes this semester. I won't tell you my grade for Financial Strategy, but if it was applied directly to my life, I wouldn't even be able balance my checkbook.

Six classes this term:
  • Executive Communication (turns out that doesn't include updating your Facebook status)
  • Business Law (I'm Johnny Cochran and I'll defend you.)
  • Marketing Strategy (Wait, there's strategy?)
  • Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation (What about the Craigslist sales; does that count?)
  • Ethics & Corporate Governance (hmmm, listing things on eBbay during work hours might not put me in contention for an A.)
  • Negotiations (I'm going to have Venti latte AND there'd better not be sweetener in it!)
Graduation is May 15 and I think we're ALL ready for that to happen.

The biggest thing hitting us right now is Inauguration. Every day is a new prediction of another 500,000 people coming or that Oprah is renting out Dulles Airport for her show. The fanfare is crazy. Once everyone talked about renting out our homes, now many locals are just trying get out of town for the long weekend.

Larry's company is having 3000 high school kids in town so he'll be swamped the whole week. I'm planning on watching lots of Law & Order for 4 days. We're also hosting the Chilis on Inauguration night as they brave their way here from the Northeast. I'm too cynical on parties with 5 million people so it'll be fun to watch it through their eyes.

Other big news is growing too, but I won't write about it yet in hopes of not jinxing anything. Wait, did I just jinx it by saying that? (And NO, we're not pregnant.)