Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Believe in Spring Break, Chick Lit, Sun Kisses, and Renewal!

Today, I took a self imposed, forced, no excuses or interruptions - 6 hour Spring Break. It's likely the last free time I'll have off for quite a while, even though it wasn't really free..... But I stole my day back from looming responsibility and made my Spring Break happen. I postponed things that I should have probably been doing, calls I need to return, emails I need to write, stuff I need to read, papers that are long overdue and instead for one day, between 10 AM and 4 PM, it was all about getting zen, getting inspired and a little bit crispy. (Turns out the first day of Spring sun was a little bit stronger than I expected.)

It was a drink coffee on the sand, chick lit reading under an umbrella (clearly not enough time under the umbrella) walk up and down the beach, hit the elliptical for 4 miles and bask in the sun kinda day.

I forced myself to read from cover to cover a book recommended by the fabulous gals in my book club titled Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. I was cautioned, ever so gently by a friend - careful - it's about an affair, a marriage in trouble.... Thank you.

Frankly, it was perfect! I'm so sick of finance books, I could totally hurl. This chick lit is the perfect reading material to precede finally putting fingertips to keyboard on Naked with Chanel No. 5. (Eat Pray Love meets Legally Blonde) I've been drumming up the ideas on how to take my stories into a full book and I can only story board for so long. This was a great chance to take a break with a how-to kind of example.

Here's why I liked Heart of the Matter and why I think Emily Giffin is a NY Times Best Selling Author!

The characters are real - I could see myself in each and every one of them. The wife pained by the love she seems to have lost with her husband, despite trying to do what is right for her marriage and making every mistake possible. The other woman, painfully in love with someone she shouldn't want and cannot have who comes to her rescue in a time of need. The husband, falling intensely in 'love' with someone else that he hopes to actually be able to rescue, and of course the vicious mean-girl gossipy society that perpetuates drama instead of helping friends. Yep, I could see times in life where I very easily played any or all of those roles. Everybody in confusing aching heart breaking pain!

The characters are totally simplified -  This does not discount my previous statement. Instead it reinforces it. Giffin does not fill in with excessive detail each character's description. Instead she creates a broad archetype, with a realistic back story that allows the reader to recognize each type. It truly is the perfect beach read and totally knock-outable in an afternoon. You can dive into their world, watch their stories unfold, and get it! Love em, hate em, you know em.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel - As painful as their situations are, all the characters learn a little something about themselves and in turn the reader learns a little about herself. (No point in pretending dudes will ever read this one). Every good story (or at least the ones that sell) allows for icky reflection followed by hopeful change. These characters learn from what they've been through - and while it's no fairy tale ending, she does hint there is some happiness after all.

Everybody Needs A little Brain Candy
This book is a delicious serving of angsty + hopeful + aspirational brain candy. Nothing more, nothing less. It's the perfect beach read. Spring break is a good thing and no matter how old you are, you need to find a few hours to remember what it was like to feel liberated from school and ALL responsibility. I know - sounds impossible of course, but it's not.

Use YOUR Spring Break it to reinvigorate, tackle some fun goal you have, read a book, ride a bike, take a walk. DO SOMETHING you've been wanting to do. You can Spring Break for an hour, 6 hours, two days, or two weeks (lucky you) - but no matter what, it is an opportunity for renewal so take it.

Most importantly however, you should wear sunscreen. 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

A Power Blonde Gets Camera Ready - 1 Min - 5 Minute Makeover Not much more too it than that! Here's how I go from just a wee bit mid workday drab, to super camera cute for appearances like the ones on Huff Post Live! It's a five minute job if you start with the right tools. I'm a Laura Mercier and Nars kinda girl!