Tag: fika

Advent

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“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting” ― Andy Warhol
The other night a dinner conversation turned to religion. Listen, I know the rule and theory behind political and religious discussions. But this group of friends is the exception to everything. They’re what we need more of in the world, which is open-mindedness, kindness, and genuine enthusiasm for one another.
Talking about religion is natural for me. Born and raised Catholic, now Presbyterian, I am a faith-based explorer and overt believer. I find strength and solace in faith-based discussions. But there’s something challenging to convey, which is the crux of all religious discussion, and it lies within the application of beliefs, customs, and interpretations.
Our faith is deeply personal so it makes sense that it might not be easily understood or universal. Yet I find in discovery discussions that it’s natural to dismiss, label, or refute. I’m guilty of this. There’s freedom within acknowledgment. And while I’ll save specific confessions for the Almighty Himself, I do want to own this truth for myself and others.
At one point the other night I echoed the famous phrase given to me by my mother. I never get it perfect but it goes something like this, “I give you religion. You find faith.” It was her message to me from a young age.  Essentially she wanted me to understand that faith is personal and an independent component to religious commitment. It was her didactic promise of choice.

This time of year our faith is on prominent display. Aside from its preparatory appeal, I associate Advent with reflection. I’ve decided we need glimpses to understand the bigger picture. So glimpse with me. The Advent fika I’m proposing offers no chocolates behind doors, elves on shelves, or visits from the North Pole. Make no mistake, these things are a part of my traditions, just not my faith.  Let’s faith fika with a daily glimpse. Sign up here and comment “Advent.”

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Give Me Everything Gilmore Girls

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I am a Lorelai Gilmore wannabe. I make no apologies about my obsession for all things Stars Hollow. When the show aired I was a consumer of everything Gilmore. And when Netflix released the reboot I binged-watched all four episodes. In fact, I rewatched them this week in an effort to inspire me, which it did.

The writing world leads me to all sorts of people and places. Within the online world, the power of words has never been more present. Airing My Laundry has been on my radar for a while. She’s witty, honest, and a Gilmore Girl fanatic. As I gear up for This Is Us, I wanted to ask someone I admire from afar about their up close and personal opinion on all things Gilmore Girls.

Q: This post, written in 2014, was before the reboot. What might you add to the post now?

A: I’m not sure if I’d add anything to the list. Even with the reboot, I still love the same things. I guess I could add that I like that Lorelai and her mother stayed close throughout the years!

Q: Gilmore Girls has a cult following years later. What is some of the magic behind this?

A: I think the magic is the chemistry between all the actors. Plus the witty lines. I know I crack up with each episode. I mean, “oy with the poodles already” and “cooper boom” are pretty awesome things to say.

Q: Let’s discuss the vices. I am so on board with Lorelai and her beloved coffee. Why do little things like this resonate with us in a such a big way?

A: I love how Lorelai is with her coffee too! I’m the same way with my Diet Coke. I have people like Luke who tell me how awful it is, and I’m all, “Give me my Diet Coke. Now.” I think people can relate to Lorelai!

Q: Assuming we can talk reboot, give me your thoughts on the way things were left.

A: Oh man, I want them to continue the reboot! You can’t end it like that. I won’t give away what happened, but I yelled at the screen when it went to black. What’s going to happen next?! I guess we’ll have to come up with our own scenarios.

Q: I’m on a This Is Us adventure. Certain shows speak to us. What’s a theme from Gilmore Girls that goes beyond the surface?

A. I think a theme would be that mother/daughter bond. I mean yes, there will be fights. But hopefully you’ll always come together. I have a daughter, and I’d love for us to have a relationship like Rory and Lorelai. PS–I also love This Is Us and not just because Jess (Milo) is in it 😉 By the way. I’m Team Jess.

There’s all sorts of stuff that happens in fika. And there’s a self-fikalization that happens when engaged in an art form like film or television. Watching Gilmore Girls is more than a guilty pleasure. And to find someone, who like me, felt uniquely connected to the program speaks volume about the stories within the series.

Many thanks to Airing My Laundry. If our paths should ever cross one day, your Diet Coke is on me.

This Is Us: Let the Countdown Begin

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I’m obsessed with This Is Us. Just read here or there and you’ll see my passion is palpable. And right now I’m counting down until it returns. In case you’re wondering, 34 days until all things Pearson family.

I could write or talk for hours on end about this show. And while I’m no expert in what makes it a hit, I’m guessing it’s because this show isn’t afraid to tackle the beneath the surface stuff that we’re sometimes afraid to confront or confess. For feelers and thinkers like myself, it’s the opportunity to delve deeper into the complicated layers of emotion and the messy but meaningful roles within family.

But how does it relate to fika? While aside from some general gab post show, I’m creating a didactic syllabus of sorts to accompany episodes. It’s discernible through the fates and flaws of each character and worthy of “something more.” Too often television is counted as a singular experience. But I aim to revisit and re-emphasize the value in scenes and storylines.

Before you tell me I total nerd, which I already know, remember that my profession by trade is teacher. I spend a lot of time creating curriculum and lecturing, so this actually feels quite natural. Furthermore, while I love a traditional text, this show is so relevant and relatable that I think it appeals to even the quietest crowd.

34 days until fika, lesson 1. Until then, here’s to dreaming that Dan Fogelman asks me if I want to write with him one day.  I have zero shame about being in my mid-thirties and dreaming of a fika on set. Go big or go home, people. Dear This is Us, to quote Jack Pearson, “I can’t go back to who I was before I met you.”

This Is Us: I’m Ready

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I’ve already spilled about my obsession with This Is Us, but I need to do so even more. To begin, I’ve always been a lover and follower of film and television. In college, I was convinced that after four years of film and television theory and tech classes I’d walk through the doors of a studio and secure employment. It’s funny because that dream didn’t so much derail as diminish, but it’s slowly reappearing.

Here’s the thing: I spent much of my childhood and early adult years engulfed in the fandom of all things fiction. It wasn’t an escape as so much an immersive experience. I liked losing and finding myself through others and I absolutely adored the dramatic flares of fiercely romantic, brave, and unique characters. Whether it was Anne of Green Gables, the Ross and Rachel relationship from Friends, the torturesome twosome of Noah and Allie from The Notebook or Jack and Rose sinking on the Titanic, I was always glued to the screen and dreaming of such noble and noteworthy stories to appear within my life.

And while I’ve yet to encounter an iceberg, I did meet my own version of Gilbert Blythe, who I’d like to think far exceeds some of the grandest gestures and extreme episodes of love and life on the big screen. And while our love might never be an Oscar production, I’d argue it’s worthy of one. Guess who hands me the tissues or pours me my second glass of wine mid This Is Us sob?

But I digress. I’ve been rewatching This Is Us to gear up for the third season. I stumbled across this scene from the season two finale and felt it was worthy of a share. While I have a thing for Kevin’s growth, it’s all about Randall in this scene. “Choosing our people is the closest we come to controlling our destiny.” Sigh. It’s amazing how fictional characters speak the truth so deliberately yet gently.

I’m on this whole “summer of Katie” high right now. I gave myself permission to binge watch my staple feel good guilty pleasures. I’m rereading the classics, which is my idea of a good time. Let’s talk over coffee if you have a thing for modern British literature. I’ll buy the first cup. I am drinking too much wine and walking around town like it’s my full-time job trying to reduce said impact of generous pours. I am grappling with big life choices while writing more inspired and confident than in years past. I am trying to wrap my arms around my tiny humans and thank God daily for the gift of watching them grow. I am celebrating 15 years of choosing my person and the adventures that have followed and still remain.

This show always brings me back to the important need for introspection. As I sit here thinking about the people I’ve chosen I come back to Randall’s speech. “Because while everything else may change if you choose right, your people will stay the same.” If this isn’t fika material I don’t know what is…

P.S. Dan Fogelman, I’m begging for fika.

The Problem with Positivity

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I’ve been on a positivity promotional tour the past few weeks. I’ve taken inventory of people and things in my life and carefully assessed their positive influence or potential. Guys, it’s a dog-eat-dog world and negativity is rampant. The toxicity of negativity knows no boundries. It invades and mutiplies rapidly, which easily becomes overwhelming and prohibitive.

The problem with positivity is that it’s not practiced consistently. We come at life from various angles, but many are rooted in suspicion or opposition. But what if we looked at life through the lens of limitless positivity? What if we didn’t wait for something good to happen to be in a mood worthy of replication or admiration? What if we made a commitment to be passionately positive? See, there’s a difference between passionately positive and postivity. When you’re passionately involved in anything you’re invested differently. And when positivity becomes the cause instead of effect, joy is born.

I didn’t have an epiphany to get here. I have no magic potion or sage wisdom. Oprah doesn’t sit on my shoulder and whisper soulful inspiration into my ear (but I wish she would). I can’t cut every negative person from my life. I can’t eradicate complaints or challenges. I can’t focus on what I can’t change. However, I can be passionately positive.

I can commit to trying to be better. I can rise to the occassion with optimism. I can persitently pursue excellence. I can surrender fear and frustration for hope and humility. It’s daunting. Many call it naive or impossible. Who needs those negative naysaers?

Try it. Go all in. Be a champion and passionprenuer of positivity.

What’s postivity doing for you and around you? Let’s fika!

Behind the Hair

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In case your new to the site, I’m in Buffalo, New York this week, which is my favorite city and where I was raised. I’m basking in the beauty of quality time with my parents and watching them become amused and exhausted by my two little ones. It’s a true gift to be home and I’m grateful for our time together.

In desperate need of hair care, I asked my mother if she’d watch my girls while I went for a cut and color. I’m loyal and don’t deviate from the caretakers and custodians in my life, which includes my hair stylists. The woman who cut and colored my hair today had me in her chair at the ripe age of four. After a quick embrace, she got to work on my hot mess of hair horror.

I’ve always the loved the salon setting. Maybe it stems from my fascination with Miss Truvy’s in Steel Magnolias. Or, it might be my penchant for observational gossip. Regardless, I like to sit and absorb the antics. But today my stylist wanted to talk. With a coffee in hand, I explained the concept of fika and we dove right in.

She mentioned her work in elder care. Specifically, she had a position where she ran a salon at an assisted living facility. This allowed older people to look their best and gather in a communal salon setting. She spoke about their stories. Essentially, people pour their hearts out in her chair. Their lives become an open book, which in turn becomes a sharing session for others as well.

We agreed that as people age their need to foster connection grows. For various reasons, people long to leave their legacy with someone. We discussed the joy we find through these connections and the opportunities and insight it provides us in our own lives.

As she snipped here and colored there, she spoke about her desire to gather and share the stories she’s heard behind the hair. It struck me that she’s heard several interesting things, which shaped her career and conscience. Like me, she wants to write and exchange.

In an age of chronic cell phone communication, for the most part, people still commit to conversation at the salon.

There are certain places and professions where fika happens more organically and freely. Today was a good reminder to be open and receptive to the unexpected. Because behind the hair, a story lurks waiting to be told.

A Sunday Special

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Sunday nights are special. It’s my “me” time and I’m grateful for it. In a house that’s rarely quiet, I celebrate stillness. The silence is brief as I’m met with a loudness from within. Words pour out of me. Voices awaken. There’s a story screaming to be written.

I have these incredible dreams of scripts. Titles dance in my head. I fantasize about drafting a modern love story that’s so cliche yet high in demand. But I tend to push these projects aside, not for lack of interest or passion, but because the loudest voices are the ones with real needs, presence, and purpose. I’m drawn to discovery. Where are the authentic and appealing characters?  In short, all around me.

I’m surrounded by rich history and quiet soldiers. People battle through obstacles, carve out peace, or challenge authority in every day encounters. Their lives, like our world, are ever-evolving. Their stories, while interesting and worthwhile, are often reserved for the intimate fikas within their lives. How do I get a seat at their table?

It’s this very question that drives my desire to foster fika. So as I sit hear at my table, dreaming of a seat at yours, think about what you’d want to say. What would you want me to write? If you’re interested, let’s connect.

Tonight I made a list of strangers or very far-removed people who I’m determined to fika with and write about. I’m truly “fishing for fika.” Cast your line with me. I’ll be here dreaming. I call it a Sunday special.