California Pizza Kitchen Re-Opening Oneness

As this year begins to come to a close, (at least in the North American system of accounting for time) I am noticing that I am challenging myself to operate outside my comfort zone to seek opportunities and experiences I either put off out of fear or never thought to have until now.

I am a very social person so the thought of going out to eat or to the movies has always involved the inclusion of friends. I guess that is the case for a lot of people because those are the two areas that I often hear “experts” say go at it alone to “get comfortable with your own company.”

Last week I was invited to the Make A Wish Foundations Event for the reopening of California Pizza Kitchen in Lenox Square Mall. I extended the Plus One to 3 different people: The-closest-thing-to-a-bestfriend; The-regular-hang-out-buddy and The-one-I-want-to-get-reaquainted-with.

All three couldn’t make it or had other plans that night. So, I went it alone.

It’s strange to feel the slight discomfort of being one for dinner. I think the hostess felt it too because she offered to seat me at the bar. I declined and chose a booth that was bigger than my Oneness needed but was more comfortable and less transient feeling. I didn’t come to drink, after all. I came to eat alone.  I get that the hostess was probably giving me the company of other Ones, so I hold no malice towards her but to truly push outside the comfort zone of enjoying a grand reopening party alone, I needed to have the full eating alone experience where it was obvious and deliberate.

And I did. And at times it felt lonely. But I experiences my Oneness fully and occasional I took notes and pictures of my food like the true Blogger I am. This experience couldn’t have happened at a better time. Both my brother and our cousin share the  November 16th date of birth. He celebrated for both of them as she recently passed away last month. Amid the balloons and complementary meal, I made a wish and celebrated both of them too.

What are you willing to push through and do?

Inga O,

Thought you should know.

CPK 11-16-2015Make A Wish Foundation Pre Launch at California Pizza Kitchen. Atlanta GA

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Travel Lightly My Friend

As a regular traveler and someone who loves to fly, I started to think about where that love came from. I am thankful that my earliest mode of transportation was the airplane. Before I could speak full sentences I was traveling back and forth to the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago with my great-grand-parents. The comfort I get from a plane is in stark contrast to the stories I hear from people who are afraid to fly.

Unfortunately I was weened on airline travel in an era when a checked bag was standard with all flights, not just international and you could lock those things to avoid sticky fingered baggage handlers. Now, thanks to extra fees and the inability to lock checked bags, (even if you wanted to pay for them on a domestic or are going internationally and get a free checked one but want to avoid theft somewhere along that long bag handling chain) I’m forced to retrain my brain and make it ALL fit in a carry-on. This is a huge dilemma for someone like me who wants to pack a different shoe for every outfit.

In my quest for retraining I was proactive. I joined a large travel group. I’m making travel plans with far-flung family members. I’m evaluating the fact that the ticketing agent on the recent return trip from Montreal asked if my bag was “pregnant.” Thankfully he didn’t make me do the fit test nor did he charge me or worse, force me to rearrange it in the middle of the airport with my personal items exposes to all nearby travelers.

I am committed to retrain my brain and I’m starting with realizing that:

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Taking Care of Brain Children

GOD grant me the to change the things I can… ~via Inga_O Twitter account

I love lists. I know I’m not alone because I read somewhere that humans are wired to make lists. My downfall is that I make them on random bits of paper everywhere. As inspiration hits, I grab the closest thing made of paper and a pen and start jotting. Not surprisingly after a few days I am either overwhelmed by how to take care of my brain children or annoyed that I have so much paper clutter around me. So this past week I’ve made a concerted effort to condense all of my thoughts and scribbles into a notebook. Really it’s an out dated Franklyn Covey Planner that I didn’t use effectively. That is where my To-Do’s live and I get the satisfaction of seeing them crossed off. I have pretty notebooks and utilitarian notebooks and notebooks with witty quotes on the cover but those are reserved for more developed thoughts.

I have worked hard at letting go of my need to be perfect but in terms of notebooks, that is the last frontier. I want the choices of thoughts to be preserved in the pages of the books aforementioned. In my mind when I am long gone “someone” will find them and be in awe of just how articulate, fun and forward thinking I was.

At least, that is the story in my head. And isn’t that where they say it all starts?

Inga O,

I thought you should know.

Brain Children

Brain Children