glass half empty no more

I used to be a glass half full type of person.

Then in 1986 I developed the passionate fatalism shared by my adopted New England brethren when the Boston Red Sox tragically lost the World Series.

And since then, I’ve had an “x thing I want to happen will never happen because my teams never win” outlook.

Absurd because my teams DO win. I’ve now witnessed not one but two Red Sox World Series titles. And I don’t even want to count the combined 49ers-Pats Super Bowl victories over my lifetime. (On the other hand, I definitely take the blame for Michelle Kwan never winning a gold medal.)

So when talking to Nancy the other night, I complained, “what happened to Year of Chelsea? 2013 was supposed to be Year of Chelsea!” Then I went on to tick off the bad things that have happened to me this year:

My cat ran away. (“But she came back and you got to experience the heartwarming response from your community in the process,” Nancy reminded me.)

My other cat died. (“She was old and lived a good life, and you had many happy years together.”)

I got a flat tire. The Boston Marathon bombing happened. Congress is never going to pass climate legislation. (When I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll.) My washing machine broke. I cracked my iPad. Got concussed. Not to mention the countless other mini Chelsea disasters that put dents in my spirit.

Nancy has this great way of turning the energy around in a cloudy situation. She takes a negative and manages to find the positive. And she has challenged me to try it.

It’s going to take some practice. I might not be very good at first, and I’m sure I won’t be consistent. But I think I will give her methods a try. With a glass half full of wine to help.


Boston love

You know it’s been one hell of a week when it barely registers a blip on the screen that the president and a U.S. Senator both received ricin-filled letters.

I think as a nation we gave a collective sigh of relief on Friday night when “suspect #2” was apprehended in Watertown after 24 hours that felt too far fetched for a screenplay, let alone real life. Afterwards, Bostonians on lockdown all day went out for a drink. Or rather, several.

I wish I could have joined them.

I’ve spent the weekend being especially nostalgic for the city of my young adulthood. Boston is as much where I’m “from” as anywhere. I’d never even been to Boston when I arrived on her doorstep at age 18 for my freshman year of college at BU. But I immediately fell for her charms.

Boston is the first place I officially lived on my own. It’s where I experienced first true heartbreak. I made life long friends. It’s where I learned to take public transportation and walk through the city like you mean it. I learned to be hearty. And drink Guinness.

When I first arrived, I was overcome with delight to be in a dorm five blocks from Fenway Park, though dismayed that bleacher tickets cost $7.00. So I discovered college hockey, which was free with our student ID. Friday nights in the winter were dedicated to cheering our team, often to chants of “BC sucks.”

I love the accent. It sounds like home to me. I love the Dunkin Donuts on every corner and the absolute worship of ice cream. Ditto steamers. Lobster. Chowder. Head of the Charles. The Beanpot.

In Boston, I rented my first apartment. Got my first “real” job after a string of jobs that felt anything but unreal.

I learned to cook. Entertain. Mock the weather. I became obsessed with the idea of running the Boston Marathon. And took to the streets every Patriots Day to cheer runners on. I climbed the Citgo sign. Twice.

But then I left Boston, seeking professional opportunities I couldn’t get from the place that nurtured me, developed me, fed my soul.

But I miss her.

I find it somewhat extra poignant that my favorite bar (the Crossroads) closed its doors permanently this weekend. I can only imagine what Saturday night was like.

This too shall pass and eventually I will stop torturing my kids with the songs on repeat that remind me of Boston.

But until then, good times never seemed so good.