Sunday, May 16, 2010

Regret Factor

I know someone who spends a significant time and energy on regrets. After making a decision, he will think of 10 other things he could have, should have, would have done. He tends to look at all options and consider all viewpoints. However, the more viewpoints you have, the harder it is to gain a solid perspective. When you have regrets, you can't move forward. Anger and frustration at oneself sets in.

I once had a friend who questioned her own judgement and it led to fear and paralysis of action in the greater schema of her life. The incident that I recall clearly is when we were ordering lunch. Once she placed her order, she questioned herself and regretted not ordering another item. I had reminded her this was one meal. There would be another meal in a few hours. Not every decision is critical to warrant the worries and stress.

I'm not here to declare I don't have regrets in life. Definitely there were some decisions made that I did not agree with, but I didn't have much control. For those decisions that are under my control, I always reminded myself that when I take an action, it's based on the information I had at the time. If you know a Stock A and Stock B are certain values, you buy Stock A with the best intentions. You don't know that 4 months from now there's going to be 15 minute DOW dive that will happen and your stocks are going to plunge. You can't regret not buying Stock B, which was untouched.

There will always be opportunities that seem better than what we have in hand. However, we have to remember why we made certain decisions and need to stand by them. Of course, if we're given the opportunity to steer into another direction, we should. We have to look at the decisions we make and see how they fit into a larger picture. You have to ask yourself what's the long term impact. A friend told me that you shouldn't make long-term decisions based on short-term situations. People make decisions based on their children ("kids are so young"), forgetting that kids grow up.

So having regrets is definitely tied into the decision making process and the ability to have confidence in yourself. And, if it doesn't work out, we have to learn how to deal with it better. Anger and frustration are a fiesty pair that lead you down a tumultuous path. You're better off not inviting them into your lives.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Top 10 Things I Love About Being a Mother

I'm borrowing this idea from someone else. Great exercise I think.

Top 10 Things I Love About Being a Mother
10. She's allowed to sleep in our bed on special occasions (i.e., Dad's not home). The clingy hugs when we sleep together. As if we're trying to meld our bodies into one again; I know her body as well as I know my own.
9. When I pick her up from school, her eyes light up and chatter bursts like a neverending stream from her mouth about school, friends, teachers, what she ate.
8. When I look at her, I don't see me. Yet, when I look in the mirror, I see her.
7. Just when I think I recognize her and know her, she changes into a different person. Not like me, not like my husband. She's like a flower that changes colors as it blooms.
6. Watching my husband become an incoherent fool when they play together and speak their own language and games.
5. Surprise when she does something on her own and asking her how she learned to do it. "You showed me." (You paid attention??)
4. Watching her read "Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great" and "Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing" and discussing what we think Sheila, Mouse & Fudge look like.
3. Eating ice cream on the couch together - Turkey Hill Extreme Cookies and Cream with Hershey's chocolate syrup.
2. Holding hands to cross the street and not letting go on the other side.
1. Realizing how hard my mother worked raising 3 kids, running a household and working physically taxing part time jobs in a foreign country. Becoming a mother finally made me realize how much my own mother did for us.

Monday, May 03, 2010

From Cubicle to Cubism

The only thing motivating me this week was to step out of my Dilbert-esque cubicle world and step into Picasso's world of Avant Garde art in Paris. I love the cafe scenes that set the stage for paintings, and the complicated and intriguing people who sneak themselves into them. After all, there must have been something that inspired the painter to do this.
The Philadelphia Art Museum actually just raided their own vaults to do the exhibition. Nice move in this economy to bring people to the museum. The best part of this exhibit was the audio tour. It's great to have someone take the time to explain each piece and what the overall direction of cubism says.

I was particularly intrigued by the other artists like Juan Gris and George Braque. It's as if they took the idea and just ran with it. I loved Juan Gris' The Table. This image doesn't do it justice because it's a collage with chaulk shadows around key areas.

I have to acknowledge that my introduction to the great artistic masters of the world was due to the Hoechst Corporation. My father was on a mailing list for their art calendars, which had gorgeous paintings. I collected these for a number of years and always looked forward to the arrival of these calendars. I still have a number of them in my basement, always hoping to frame a few or ate least use it as an art history collection. Anyway, there was a great cubist painting, and every time someone walked into my room and glanced upon the painting, they would say "Oh, Picasso!" However, I'd look closer and say, ", George Braque." Not sure who that is. Figured he was a Picasso knockoff.

After this exhibit, I have a better understanding of how George and Pablo were closely influenced by each other. Another intriguing concept of cubism is to show all perspectives at one. You're not looking at a face straight on, but looking at the face from multiple perspectives.
Another favorite of mine was a Marcel DuChamp's "Nude Descending the Staircase". Apparently this was a controversial painting since nudes generally "reclined" and having one descend made it impossible to "find" the nude. I loved the movement of this painting.

Art has inspired some of my poems. So, I was definitely captivated by the concept of multiple perspectives and made a note to myself to play with "cubist" poetry. Unfortunately, this was not a novel idea. Apparently, Senor Picasso already did this. Nevertheless, I will try my hand at it and will hopefully cause readers to til their heads and say "Where is the guitar?"