San Francisco is hosting Super Bowl 50 which has turned our downtown into Super Bowl City. Because of the tourists, traffic and rerouting, I have to leave work an extra 30 minutes early to make sure I’m on time to catch my ferry home. I don’t really like watching football. Basketball’s more my speed. So I haven’t been interested in checking out all the hoopla, but I did make sure to stop by the Puppy Bowl because I had to get my animal fix! Animal Planet is sponsoring a makeshift puppy bowl with adoptable dogs at Super Bowl City. Too cute! It made my day.
I was really sick this past week, wasted away to nothing. When the nurse checked my weight, she practically jumped back, she couldn’t believe the scale. I frowned, “I know, I have no appetite. But I’m also only 4’10”!”
I have been run down at work with no ability to take time off. Well the ickies got ahold of me and I was in bed sick for several days. What’s worse is that Franco has been sick off and on since NYE. He has had every cold/flu symptom possible. Then he started taking antibiotics for his ear infection and had an allergic reaction that turned him into a 20 pound strawberry. I want to cry every time I hear him hack a lung or see his red bumpy face. My poor baby!
Like I said, I haven’t had a chance to leave my desk, let alone get lunch at work. After I got sick, I vowed to get myself to acupuncture ASAP. One of the few good things about moving out of San Francisco was finding an amazing acupuncturist, Bao Ping Zeng, in Oakland Chinatown. I’ve done a lot of acupuncture in my lifetime, but nothing compares to her sessions.
First, some commentary on typical acupuncture. You meet and chit chat with an acupuncturist. They check your pulse, look at your tongue. You lay down and they start pricking you. Then they leave you alone and set a timer or give you a bell to ring if you want out. Sessions here in the Bay Area are $75-150. Sometimes they try to sell you on some herbs.
What’s unique about Bao Ping Zeng is that she doesn’t leave you. For 90 minutes, she’s putting needles on your head, arms, legs. She makes you do a complete 360 as she works different parts of your body. She applies HOT towels. She does light massage. And she does cupping all over your back. Her rate? A mere $40 for 90 minutes of intensive acupuncture. At that rate, I can’t afford not to go! She is an acupuncture guru. I tell my parents, “If either of you get sick, I am dropping you off at my acupuncturist so that she can heal you.”
While I feel I found a neighborhood gem, I am certain there are miracle acupuncturists all over the world. Especially here in the Bay Area, people rave about their go-to acupuncturists.
Acupuncture is proven to help with a slew of health issues, including infertility. My UCLA-educated reproductive endocrinologist handed me the business card of an acupuncturist and said to start doing acupuncture regularly. I was already a believer, but the validation of a doctor sealed the deal for me.
- Relaxing, very zen.
- Even bad acupuncture is good. In other words, I’ve always benefited from every session I’ve gone to. Sometimes I felt I could find a better practitioner, but acupuncture still works.
- Honestly if I could find the time (which I need to) to see an acupuncturist regularly, I would not get sick, not need antidepressants or sleeping pills, and would generally be in a better, more peaceful mood.
- Can be very expensive.
- Can be hard to fit into a busy schedule, but so is anything. Brushing your teeth is hard to fit into your schedule, but you still do it twice a day.
- Takes time to find the right acupuncturist. Ask family/friends/doctors for referrals. Read the reviews on Yelp.
- Sometimes acupuncturists can be pushy, trying to sell you on Chinese herbs.
What do you think of acupuncture? Would love to hear about personal experiences.
Who wasn’t dreaming about winning the Powerball lottery of $1.5 billion, the largest jackpot in world history? But can you imagine how stressful that would be? Hiring lawyers, financial advisors, and bodyguards! I read that someone matched 5 of the 6 numbers, and was awarded somewhere around $600,000. I thought that was perfect. Not a crazy amount of money, but a welcome chunk of change.
You know what’s better than winning the lottery? Supporting a good cause!
Here’s an update on fundraising for the International Rescue Committee on behalf of Syrian refugees. We raised over $700! Thank you to the following for the support:
Darrell Wright: Hi Darrell, email me if you want me to add a link to your blog or site.
Local Adventurer: This blog is focused on finding adventures both near and far. There are a lot of travel blogs out there that I can’t stand because they generically regurgitate the same information you’d find in Lonely Planet. Local Adventurer is the only travel blog I follow. The writing and the photos are top-notch. And in addition to the adventure posts, there are also posts on blogging, gratitude, and meeting your goals.
Kiss My List: I have been following Dana’s personal blog for what seems like years. She cracks me up, but not in a slapstick kind of way. It’s more sly, so when I read something, I’ll giggle, “she’s so funny.” I wish I had that talent. She muses about daily life and reads books as if it were a profession. She read 50 books in 2015. How is that possible? Book reviews are on her site as well.
Dr. Jennifer: Jen was my bad ass college roommate who watched TV during her spare time and was Phi Beta Kappa, whereas I was in the library 24/7 and barely managed to pass my science classes. Jen saves lives and brings babies into the world. If you are looking for an obgyn phenom in the Bay Area, she’s the doctor for you. I couldn’t have survived my pregnancy without all of her support and advice!
Also thank you to Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen who donated $1 million to aid Syrian children and refugess through the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children. I was so pleased to read that on the news.
2016 will be my year of enlightenment, since 2015 brutally kicked my ass.
After our home flooded in December 2014, we went from living in a 2-bedroom, 2-bath flat to a 1-bedroom, 1-bath. We gave Franco the usable bedroom, while Dean and I slept on two separate couches in the living room and dining room. After we finally recouped the full use of the home, we went through the arduous process of suing the seller (a real estate developer), and coming to an agreement through mediation.
We also moved out of San Francisco, purchasing a new home in my hometown of Alameda. It’s what made sense for Franco and his care, although I was extremely sad to leave the city. The move materially increased my commute, which caused me extreme guilt about the amount of time (or lack of time) I was spending with my son. I spend my pre- and post-work moments seriously running to catch the ferry or BART.
This has resulted in zero time for myself. I don’t exercise. I don’t get pedicures. I don’t see friends. I barely have time to eat. Instead I’ve resorted to the meal replacement drink Soylent that is trending with Silicon Valley engineers so that I can buy back a few more minutes in my day. It’s ridiculous!
A dear friend of mine died very unexpectedly. I became depressed, had a nervous breakdown, and started therapy to help me deal with extreme anxiety.
My only resolution for 2016 is to find time to for myself. Not a mother, wife, relative, friend, or worker. But simply time to breathe, to enjoy the now versus worrying about the past or the future, and just be me. I’ve heard that people teach what they most want to learn. I’ll do my best to be a good teacher.
Let’s get this year started!
I went to church by myself, because Franco is too much of a toddler to sit still and besides it was his bedtime. Dean watched him while I googled the closest Catholic church in Scottsdale, arriving 15 minutes before the 8pm Christmas Eve mass at St. Bernadette.
As I passed the church, I felt a surge of disappointment. It was one big construction zone. The parking lot only had a handful of cars. Then I saw a couple walking briskly in the cold, along a pathway. I parked quickly and hurried to follow them. They made their way into a brightly-lit community hall. An usher greeted me.
I murmured my relief, “I’m from out of town and drove 15 minutes to get here. It looks like your church is being renovated. I’m so glad you’re having mass. I thought I was going to have to turn back around.”
She explained that the parish had only ever had services in the community hall, but that they were now building a proper church.
I went inside to find ample seating. A very small choir and piano player had gotten started singing all the standard Christmas carols. I love to sing; it’s a hidden talent of mine. I sat there by myself and simply belted away. Genuinely happy singing my heart out.
The homily was short, but powerful: Who is God? He is both the creator and the sustainer. God is like energy. We cannot see it, but if it didn’t exist, then our world would not be here.
God created us to have a body and a soul. Without a soul, our body would cease to exist.
By asking who is God and in trying to understand who is God, we only need to look at ourselves since he created us in his image and gave us divinity. His will was not for our bodies to decay, but to have eternal life.
During that mass, I felt like I had wandered upon a quiet little manger. No pomp and circumstance.
Can you imagine? Going to a Christmas mass and not having to get there an hour early?
In that mass, I experienced more spirit, more Christmas, and more of God than I had in forty years of attending Christmas mass or picking out a tree or opening up presents.
The Little Drummer Boy is a Christmas ballad about a poor boy who has nothing to give but his gift of music. I think most people would name it as one of their top Christmas songs. I don’t know if it’s because I am aging or simply a phase in my life right now, but this Christmas and this year overall were about distilling life into its essence. I have worn the same outfit of t-shirt and leggings almost every day. This year has been about my love as a mother for my child. Like the drummer boy, I am still honing my craft, but 2016 will be about practice and reverence and sharing my gifts with others.
2015 was a tough year for me, trying to find work-life balance and alone time, but I am closing it out with love and hope. I am excited to share that I will be starting a new series of Self Help posts in 2016 where I will be trying new things and analyzing the benefits (meditation, nutrition, floatation). It’s going to be fun and rewarding!
See you in the New Year. So much love,