Tag Archives: people

You Might Have to Give Up on a Friend

Sometimes, You Have to Let Go and Move On

This took me a long time to figure out but I’m going to share it so it won’t take anyone else forever to realize this truth.  You cannot, and I mean cannot in every sense of the word, make a friend care about anything.  You can’t make them care about you or what’s happening in your life and for sure you can’t make them care about themselves and what’s happening in their lives if they don’t want to.

If you’ve ever had an addict, drugs or alcohol or anything else, in your family or if they’re a friend you’ve come up against this.  It is one of the hardest things to deal with.  It is human nature to want to help, to “fix” whatever is wrong – at least it’s mine.

It happened with a friend of mine a long time ago and until that person decided to deal with their own issue it didn’t get resolved.  I was lucky; they did decide to change before their behavior killed them.  The old saying that someone has to hit bottom before they can find their way up is very true.

But, I’ve also been faced with a friend who was participating in some really bad behavior who was convinced they were just fine and didn’t want or need help to quit.  It didn’t matter how many wonderful talks we would have on the subject where they would agree that perhaps they weren’t really being that wise in their choices and I would be hopeful that they would change.

I finally had to give up on them and remove them from my life.  I gave up not because I didn’t care about them anymore but because they didn’t care about themselves.  I had to recognize it and accept it.  Cutting them out of my life wasn’t easy, it sure didn’t mean I still didn’t love them but it did make my life easier.  You can only hit your head against a brick wall so many times before you realize that if you stop you’ll feel better.

Travel Lightly and Deal With The Issue Now

wherever+you+go+there+you+are+quote.pngA favorite saying of mine comes from Confucius: “Wherever you go, there you are.” And I find that this philosophy never fails to bring out deeper meaning to just about every situation.

I was having dinner with one of my “extra” kids last week and we were talking about a mutual friend who keeps having the same personal dilemma occur in their lives. They don’t seem to be able to avoid it and they keep wondering why it happens to them again and again. My “extra” said – “This is just like what you always tell me – wherever I go, there I am.” He was right.

It really clicked with him many years ago when he was going through a very tough time and was seriously considering moving back home into his mother’s house. He was a young adult at the time, maybe early twenties, and had really struggled with just daily living and coping. He had friends here, a job and an apartment (beautiful furniture, etc.) but was so personally unhappy that he really wanted to just go back home and basically curl up and disappear. He wanted to go back to what he remembered as a simpler time for him when someone else, his mother, was making all the decisions.

He has always referred to me as his “second Mom” and fortunately has always been able to talk to me about anything that is going on in his life – good and bad, so he came to me with this. He was so unhappy he just wanted to run away. We’ve all been there.

What I shared with him, over several meals and very long talks, was that going home could be an option, but that whatever was plaguing him here would follow him wherever he went. I told him that when he looks in the mirror, no matter where he is, he would still see himself. I said wherever you go, there you are. If he truly wanted to get rid of what was burdening him he had to deal with it now. If, after working through the issue, he still wanted to go home then he should definitely go. Apparently he heard what I was telling him and to his credit dealt with what was troubling him. He decided to stay here, a much happier guy with one big weight he was no longer carrying around because he worked through the issue instead of running.

Remember, it will still be you staring back in the mirror-deal with the issue now. And where ever you go, there you STILL are.

A Memorable Night

Print Szie untitled-8954-EditOn December 16th, I was honored to be able to co-host an amazing holiday party at The Farm of Beverly Hills.   The invitation was sent out by Lisa DeTanna of Raymond James’ Global Wealth Group. Lisa and I were joined by Barbara Fairchild, former Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appétit, who gave us all great information on the food and wine pairings for the evening along with Richard DeTanna (Lisa’s father), former chef at Balboa Bay Club and Marina City Club, who shared stories of the many dishes he served to his celebrity clientele including Marty Allen, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.

You know the party is a great success when not only do people arrive almost an hour early, but they stay more than an hour after it is supposed to be over. Print Szie untitled-8819-EditWe all had the best time and being joined by Barbara Fairchild for this event was just the icing on the cake! I can’t thank everyone involved enough for making it the success that it was.

I will Travel Far and Wide for Good Food

One thing I know is that sometimes the food that I’m craving is not at a restaurant close by – wherever I am.  It doesn’t matter what city I’m in, whether I’m traveling or at home, this holds true.  There are a lot of Italian restaurants close to where I live, including my favorite that is within walking distance from my house.  But if I want Indian cuisine, I get in my car and drive about 15 minutes away to a favorite place in Culver City.  If I want to try the newest American place, it might be downtown or Santa Monica or in one of the beach cities- all perhaps at least 30 minutes away.  And, here’s the kicker, if I want great Dim Sum I drive over an hour. 

That’s just the deal.  Good food is worth the travel miles – it’s worth the gas and the traffic. If you want good food in a particular cuisine, you might need to drive. Just be prepared to do it.  You can’t always find what you’re looking for close by. I’ve found that the drive is part of the whole dining experience.  Gather your good friends together who are up for an adventure and GO.  You won’t regret it.  At least, I never do. 

Friends That Stay Connected No Matter What is Going On


My family and friends mean everything to me and I make sure I “touch” them on a regular basis.  I don’t mean physically touch all the time, it might be a phone call, text or simply thinking of them as I’m going about my day.  But, the disruption in my current living situation caused by my construction/repair mess (I’m out of my home for 3 months for repairs from a flood) has made it a little more challenging to keep all this touching going.  You could say it’s put a real kink in how I normally connect with them.

The deal is that they are an integral part of the comfort in my life and keep me grounded, so when my routines are disrupted, I have to find a way to make sure they all stay right where they belong – close.   Under normal circumstances, I might ask them over for coffee or a casual Saturday girl’s night with popcorn and a movie or just a glass of wine and a long chat.  What I’ve realized is that it really doesn’t matter so much where I am with them, but just that we are together for whatever time we have planned.

The phone calls and texts are all the same, of course, but I’ve gotten a little more creative with where we are able to spend time together.  Everybody enjoys time spent with friends differently – not everybody loves a big dinner out.  Sometimes the best time is just an afternoon walking around with a friend and then a spontaneous dinner at my temporary digs of ravioli from my freezer, salad fixings from her apartment, a good baguette and a satisfying bottle of red wine watching silly TV.  Now that’s a really good night that actually happened a week ago!

The trick is making sure the time happens, however you spend the time.  I’ve just had to put a little more effort into making sure I get my “friends fix”.  Maybe it’s a good thing that I’ve had to get out of my routines.   Hmmmmm.


Don’t Get Crazy Over Something You Can’t Control


Are you driving yourself crazy over things that are beyond control?

Anybody that knows me knows that I can be a little bit of a controlling Type A personality. Actually, some of you may think “little bit” doesn’t really apply! Ha Ha! Oh well, some things may never change I guess, but one of the things I have tried very hard to change about myself over the years is to make my best effort to not get crazy over what I cannot control. This has been a real challenge that I work on all the time.

My latest challenge has been with the result of a flood that happened in my apartment at the end of August. You think, how long could it take to make a simple repair in a wall and then just dry out the small area of your new wood floor (less than a year old) that actually got wet? As it turns out, a whole lot longer than I thought AND I had to actually move out for the repair. I will be out of my apartment for about three months! My entire living room and kitchen have had to be completely destroyed, entire wood floor removed in both rooms and kitchen cabinets/counters destroyed and removed. Of course, now all of that has to be replaced – time is not your friend with this process.

Here’s the really hard part. I had no control over the actual flood. I couldn’t have prevented it but am really glad I was actually at home when it started, and I have no control over how long it will take to finish the repairs and be able to move back home. Making my best effort to accept the fact that I have no control and just do my best to make the decisions on the repairs as they are brought to me has made this whole life upset a lot easier.

Trying to control everything around you, including those things over which you have absolutely no control (my flood), is a serious recipe to drive you crazy and keep it in your life as a constant. Crazy is not a good life companion – it sucks way too much energy.

Sometimes, out of this “letting go” can come silver linings. In this case, I get a new kitchen that I will love that will replace one that was not functional (a lot of my pots and pans lived in my oven because they didn’t have a place that fit them). I would have lived with my existing kitchen and would never have voluntarily gone through the chaos of redoing it.

So, the trick is… realize you can’t control everything around you, look for the silver lining and most importantly of all… BREATHE!!

Difficult Relationships: Sometimes, People Fire Themselves

A friend of mine owns a successful small American restaurant in Los Angeles; great food, atmosphere and has always had a really professional staff.  I’ll tell you who it is later because this post isn’t about the restaurant.  It’s about the hard subject of when it’s okay to end a relationship; in this case a professional one with an employee.

When he came to me with his concerns about what happened and asked for my opinion, I was reminded of the adage:

People fire themselves

As an entrepreneur and restaurateur, it’s always hard to hear a story about a long-term employee who seems determined to end the working relationship.   This employee was very good at many aspects of their job. But on multiple occasions, when they would exhibit completely unacceptable behavior, you could see how they were trying to work out (in their head) how best to get what they wanted (not to be fired) without giving any indication that their behavior was unacceptable and could indeed get them fired.  My friend said they’d given this employee lots of chances to fix things: lots of opportunities to make it right, probably more than they should have.

In the end, my friend finally suspended the employee for a pattern of behavior (chronically late and belligerence at work).  When the employee returned after their suspension, instead of acknowledging their errors, the employee lashed out at my friend and accused him of not running his business properly and not caring about his employees.  The employee capped it all off with, “ I’m not happy here and no one likes to work here!”

That was it.  My friend promptly fired the employee but was worried that he had acted too harshly, even punitively.

Separations with people we know, even if warranted, are difficult. When it’s an employee that has worked with you a long time and for most of that time very successfully, it is especially hard.  The longer the years, the more combined experiences, the harder the separation.

It’s only natural to second-guess your actions, no one likes confrontation, and we never like losing relationships, especially long term ones.  But this particular situation was impossible to resolve any other way.   Had my friend not taken action and allowed this employee’s behavior to continue it would have sent a very strong message to the rest of the staff that my friend really didn’t care about his business.  I told my friend that he definitely did the right thing and repeated what I always say-

In life, with friends and employees, people always fire themselves.