I wrote this profile from 30,000 feet - technology is amazing - as I returned home to Miami after a near-perfect weekend in Palm Springs, CA, with my grandmother, Tootie. I definitely get my outgoing and energetic personality from that woman - she never stops! And, at 86, she still knows how to have a great time. We took the town by storm, dining, shopping and even bar hopping our way through the weekend. I hope I got that forever young gene of hers!
While I definitely get my postiive, fun-loving attitude from my grandmother, she also taught me about being nurturing and compassionate, and about taking care of and helping others. She has supported me through all of my marathons with Team in Training (I just completed my 5th season with the group) to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and she has encouraged my active participation in a variety of charitable organizations. Tootie also has taught me about the importance of staying fit, active and healthy. In addition to motivating me to run, she has cheered me on during tennis matches and reminded me to hit the gym for weightlifting and spinning (seriously, she calls to inform me she visited Curves as a "friendly" reminder). Having been in the fashion business her whole life, Tootie values appearances. Although I am not high maintenance, I am mindful of her advice to never leave the house without looking my best - you never know who you might run into at the grocery store!
My grandmother also taught me the value of an education, of having a successful career, and of being able to stand on my own two feet. And, she taught me that while money isn't everything and it can't buy happiness, it can make life easier - save accordingly, but don't be afraid to splurge on occasion. And, definitely don't forget to stash some $20 bills under the mattress for a rainy day (or a run on the bank)! Tootie taught me to appreciate, but not to expect, the finer things in life - a gourmet meal, a great bottle of wine, or a handmade designer dress - and, she introduced me to theatre, art, and travel. And, from Tootie, I learned about self-confidence, about being able to walk into a room full of strangers without hesitation. Above all else, though, my grandmother has taught me the importance of family, including close friends, and of having someone who will stay by your side through thick and thin.
A trip to visit Tootie would not be complete without her grilling me ever so subtly about my love life. She knows I am ambitious and successful in my career and hope to find a man who is in the same position. She also agrees that it would be nice to find someone who is willing to try some of my hobbies, though if running 26.2 miles for a cause isn't your thing, at least be willing to support me. And, confidence is exceedingly attractive, but not to be confused with cockiness.
So, where is the man I can take with me on my next trip to visit Tootie?