Stress will kill you. And as I read thru my previous rants I realized the stress of my winter schedule has left some scars. So this month, instead of ranting about things that bug me, I’ll RAVE about things that went well.
We slow down considerably in May so Mookie traveled to Colorado to visit his family and friends and I flew to California to do the same. My brother and his new bride were celebrating their recent nuptials at a lovely winery in Newport Beach. So, of course, I made the party favors and popcorn gift bags for the overnight guests. And luckily there was transportation to and from the winery from our hotel.
I was offered a glass of Pinot Noir in a big beautiful glass that the staff continued to refill before it got dangerously low. I was quite content. They served various hors d’oeuvres which I declined because I was never good at juggling appetizers and wine while trying to make small talk with strangers. But after several hours and several refills I realized that dinner would not be served because it was a COCKTAIL party! (I should really read my mail more carefully). I appeared to hold my own but back at the hotel lobby bar, I wrestled one of the guests for their bag of Mookie’s Kettle Korn and went to bed with it. Lesson learned: Don’t let Frances loose in a vineyard!
But the most memorable part was my trip back to LAX. I dropped off my mother and family at the airport and had 2 hours to kill before my flight. So I searched Yelp for a good Mexican restaurant near the airport and followed directions to a place just a few blocks from the car rental return. It was a questionable neighborhood and I was a little apprehensive since I was traveling alone but by the time I got there I had to pee and pee trumps fear every time.
So I parked and met the owner who offered to make me anything I wanted. “What do you like?” I rattled off a few of my favorites and away she went. I sat outside with jumbo jets literally flying over my head while she fried potatoes, chorizo, pepper and onions, home made tortillas and the very best fresh gucamole I ever had. Then she told me her rags to riches story while I ate. Turns out she moved to California from Texas with her husband, 3 small boys, and $200. Her husband was a builder and they used real estate to build their wealth to over $17 million. They lived in a beautiful home with an incredible view until the bubble burst in 2006 when they lost it all. She acquired this restaurant property by the airport when she was a real estate broker and one of her agents owed her money and couldn’t pay so he gave her this property which is several small units with different businesses and dwelling. But it was crawling with drug lords and all the undesirables that accompany them. Little by little she cleaned it up. She started a swap meet (flea market) on the property which disrupted and angered the tenants. They threatened her, held her at gunpoint, and burnt down some of her buildings. But she stood her ground and won. Turns out the burned down building now serve as the parking lot for the restaurant. Everything always seems to workout. She was a fascinating woman and an incredible cook and I wanted to take her home with me!
So the lesson here is: as hard as we work and as stressful as our lives seem to be – there’s always someone out there that has it tougher than we do. The hard part is remembering these people when life makes us fly off the handle.
What makes you fly off the handle?