"If I knew all the words, I would write myself out of here." MRAZ

Monday, December 5, 2011

finding the right balance

I haven't written in a while, because I've been working on publishing some books. Kinda kills me, really. I can't believe that I've moved forward with that purpose. That I am, in fact, living the dream. And, it's amazing how many people are living it with me. This isn't something I could do alone. And as I consider that though, I wonder how many other dreams are, in fact, lived alone. There's an extensive amount of emotional support coming at me from different angles. I wonder if that's been predetermined for me, since I am fragile; or if that kind of support is given to each dreamer, in different ways, from different voices, but still given.

Anyway, to the point:

As I work on collecting content for future books, it dawns on me that if I don't continue to feed the fountain of raw content, that one day when I am searching for new thoughts to expand on, they will not be there....

A completely unacceptable fate. Especially, since this is my job. New content - raw or polished - is my job.

And so, as I get to learn this new position, it occurs to me the importance of finding the right balance. There's so many different things that I am in charge of, for myself and for the last 6 weeks, I've chided myself for spending too much time on one thing. I haven't yet established a solid enough pattern to write things down on a schedule, but then, I'd like to force myself to be open to creating the schedule as it goes....

which can only work if I am self-disciplined enough to get the lesser fun things done.


I mean, really?! Because at this point, it's the balance of fun and not-so-fun. It's all work, but then it would be profitable if it wasn't. But, I am very lucky to be able to category all my work as fun and not-so-fun....I mean, it could  be much, much worse. It could be terrible and even-more-terrible. I will count my blessings; and find the balance.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I wasn't the teddy bear kind of girl.
I used to sleep with a hippo.

The hippo, named Hippo (I was so creative as a child, wasn't I?), appeared in my life as a gift about the time I turned 8 years old. I don't know why I felt an immediate and intense bond with this small, purple stuffed animal; but I did.

I proudly slept with this animal as I grew up, toting him with me wherever I went: to sleepovers and summer camps, senior high school retreats and college dorm rooms. He's even traveled internationally with me - on several occasions, in fact (lucky little hippo).

And then I got married; and I respectfully placed him on the night table on my side of the bed. He was my guard-hippo; and only every now and then would I indulge in a hippo-snuggle, mostly if I was taking a nap solo or if my husband was gone for the weekend.

During my separation, I kept Hippo close (he's my family after all), but I wouldn't sleep-snuggle with him. There was something desperately sad and lonely in the act of embracing a stuffed animal after I had chosen a man to embrace in bed for the rest of my life and then went back on that promise.

Even now, divorce settled and water under the bridge, Hippo stands guard more than he provides comfort. Just because it doesn't feel right anymore. I am sure he understands, old friends always do. But it makes me sad.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

reflections on family

I am currently reading Paul Reiser's Familyhood.
This is the result one of those little trails in life that came up unexpected, and I took the opportunity to explore it.


"Hey, the bookstore in that shopping center is closing. Want to go check it out?"

Of course. I was game for just about anything on that lovely, childless afternoon. I could relish in my ability to be and act irresponsible. I hadn't "just perused" a bookstore in a long time; and I was certainly interested in enjoying the fact that I had no child tagging along to gripe and complain as I lingered over the shelves of books and CD's.


I walked alone through the shelves, just as I used to when my parents took me during my teenage years. It's an intense solitary string of moments when you open your mind to evaluate whether new stories, songs and information will become a part of your existence.

I have countless happy moments of learning lived in the quiet corners of bookstores.


The new Paul Reiser book shouted at me from its predominate display.
I thought: Hey, I know that guy!
And in a bookstore full of yet-unknowns, it is always nice to see a familiar face (or name).

I am familiar with Paul's expression through his first book, Couplehood. My uncle gave me that book when I started dating seriously and I enjoyed Paul's perspective of coupling immensely. It became a kind of subconscious subtext for me as I moved along in relationships.

Just a note: I haven't read Paul's second book, Babyhood, because I was very much in the midst of dealing with my own budding courtship and sooner-than-expected baby's arrival.


My definition of family has been challenged, yet again, through my recent divorce.
I mean, who doesn't already have issues with defining their family as they grow - which is something that Paul explores - but, I feel like divorce, when there's a young child (or children) involved presents a challenge to the splitting partners on how their not-yet-realized "family unit" will be maintained, if at all.

I would suspect that there are issues outlining a definition no matter how old the children are, a truth I can attest to, as I have seen my own parents struggle to maintain their relationship. I am the child with a child, waiting to hear about boundaries, lines in the sand and having to establish a few of my own, for the protection of my own heart.


And, as I work to carve out my own meaning and definition of family - the one that I want to banner-carry through my existence and for my son, I know - that for me - the participants included aren't just blood relatives.

They are the handful of people that have seen me at my weakest and most vulnerable, and have encouraged me to keep moving forward because they love and support me no matter what. They are the people that love my child and engage in his development on a direct level, knowing that their influence of love and acceptance will positively impact him.


I am not sure that Paul will get to this. I haven't gotten into the book very far yet and I expect that he'll talk more about the family that is right there in front of him: his wife and two boys, and their adventures together.

But his first couple of chapters have my mind churning through the brain-compost and I feel like the seeds of self-reflection are already taking root and sprouting.

I'll probably struggle to get through this book. There will be another wave of mourning over the family unit I started that now suffers through an awkward existence of halting development. There will mostly likely be a wave of mourning over acknowledging that my dream of a house full of boys (one big one and a handful of smaller ones) is most likely not a realistic life-path for me anymore....I can actually already feel the premonitional heart-tug, in a sad kind of way.

I am not saying that things can't change- just saying that the elements that make it what it is are heavy-sided.


In the midst of my self-reflection and honorific mournful rite,  I am thankful for the handful of individuals who love me like family, because they are my family.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

adventures in camping (april 2011)

I went camping with my boyfriend and my son together for the first time.
Let me clarify.

It was the first time I went on a camping trip with my new boyfriend. We had started dating the month before and things were going well. He was easy to get along with and, although we were concerned about long term compatibility, we were mostly content to enjoy the moment. He didn't seem to mind dealing with the fact that I was a single mom and applauded me for my efforts in investing in my child's development. He was nice to my kid, which is really the extent to which a girl in my position can ask for without crossing a line. This guy took really good care of me, something that I had been missing in a life partner for a while up until this point, so I was lapping him up; trying my best not to be over-gluttonous (clearly, I wasn't ashamed of a little gluttony).

And, it was the first time I was taking my kid, who lives with moderate autism, camping. The kid's atypical sensory processing is hard to judge and is more than a little exhausting when it's off kilter more than usual, which is all dependent on his ability to cope...or not (which, in itself, is dependent on things like rest, health, eating right, clothing fabrics/tags, potty issues, new environments, get the point). I've committed to making sure that he experiences as much as he can, as much as I am able to manage as his mom. That's really the crux of it: I have to have a pretty decent inner reserve in order to help him manage and cope through new sensory experiences. I do the best I can as a single career-professional. I am by no means perfect, but I give it my best shot.

Thank goodness for a good group of camping friends!
The choice to haul a bunch of stuff into the middle of the woods and "set up house" is not one easily made. Camping is a lot of work. Period. But, with the right people, it is also a lot of fun!

The three of us were sort of having fun. We were learning, which is really all I can say.

The kid's initial meltdown (loud and obnoxious) mellowed into a resigned curiosity. He asked about going home a couple of times that first night. I didn't blame him. After all that fuss, I wanted to go home too. I felt so bad for my boyfriend who had basically had to set up our tent by himself, while I managed the spazzed-out little human. I tried to make it up to him much later that evening, but I don't think he'll ever understand how much I appreciated his hard work.

The next day was stormy: literally and figuratively.

We were experiencing a pretty forceful spring storm, which ended up lasting a solid half of the day, though it was an off-and-on kind of thing. The guys tied up tarps so that we would have shelter outside of the tents. We gathered our camping chairs close together and talked about how big the raindrops were.

My kid, who at the time was dealing with an Angry Bids obsession, was trying to overcome his disappointment (which was always loudly conveyed) at the lack of power supply to support his (my) technical devices. It was unfair to expect him to cold-turkey off the game, so I would charge the phone using the car-jack every now-and-then handing over the distraction at opportune times - hating myself for giving in to the easy-way-out; knowing that I should have just let him out-think his boredom.

We enjoyed a bit of rock crawling that day. My nerves were high, not really knowing if the kid would enjoy the bumpy ride or not. I was on edge the entire time, on alert for when he suddenly decided he'd had enough. It didn't come. For some of the extreme bumps, he'd look to me for assurance that this was indeed "fun" and that we weren't in danger. Every single time I gave him a full smile to brush off his misgivings. The truth was the ride was one of the roughest I had ever been on, and we stayed out for a really long time. By the end of it, I was supremely low on any reserves and didn't have much patience when the kid started whining about not wanting to stop.

Back at camp, I headed straight to the tent, told him to lay down and about passed out. I didn't completely let go for sleep, because my mommy-sense was still on high. There was no one else to care for the kid - I didn't expect the boyfriend to do it since he was laying out on the air mattress beside me - and I didn't want to ask one of the other families. They were extended friends, and though I am sure they wouldn't have minded, I wasn't in the frame of mind to ask. I rested poorly. Eventually, I decided to get up, not being able to stand the fitful tossing anymore. The boyfriend was hardcore snoozed-out. I was envious. The kid was a-flutter with energy and I hoped it meant that he would sleep well that evening. I headed over to his part of the tent and inspected his pallet. My heart sank. Lake Superior was stealthily hiding underneath his sleeping bag. I assume that a zip seal wasn't closed properly on his side of the tent before the rain had started.

I was grumpy incarnate.
And spent the rest of the afternoon hauling his bedding outside of the tent and wriggling it out. Thank goodness one of the other guys had plenty of rope with him. He made a clothes line for me so that everything could be hung out to dry as much as possible before night fell.

I was exhausted; and concerned.
I didn't expect the bedding to dry completely in time. I had some extra layers that could be used, but it wouldn't be enough to keep the kid warm through the upcoming night. Night fell too soon, in my opinion, and I did the best I could. I pulled blankets from the air mattress that I was sharing with the boyfriend and covered my kid as best as his squirmy self would allow. I knew that he would need the extra layers, sleeping by himself and with a cooler night setting in after the stormy day.

Pain crept up on me that night. The cool-moist air was setting into my sore muscles and joints, which were already aching from a long day on the trails. I snuggled close to my boyfriend's body. I had reserved two of the thinner blankets for our bed, knowing that we would have the benefit of body heat to see us through the night.

I woke up in the middle of the night and had to use the restroom. The boyfriend needed to grab an extra layer from his baggage and rustled around a bit with the flashlight on. The kid was sleeping poorly, moaning as he moved again to get comfortable. I got up and inspected his pallet. It was cold and slightly damp, mostly due to the fact that the sleeping bag hadn't completely dried out. I adjusted the covers to make the most of what was dry and laid down close to the child to warm him.

Let's be honest, it occurred to me that I should stay with him and see the rest of the night through keeping him warm. But I was hurting and couldn't even imagine what kind of pain I would be dealing with in the morning air, were I to spend the night on the ground. I left him after a bit and made my way back to the air mattress, beside my boyfriend's warm body.

"How is he?"

"I thought you were asleep. I was trying to be quiet," I answered sofly.

"How is he," he asked me again.

"He's awake and trying to get comfortable. He's cold, but I laid down with him for a little bit to warm him up. The sleep bag is still a little damp, which doesn't help; but I adjusted the blankets as much as possible to keep his dry."

"Do you want him to come sleep with us," he whispered the question to me, his concern for the child's condition unmasked.

I raised my head a little in order to get a better view of his face in the semi-dark and said flatly, "We will not get any sleep. Do you understand that? He'll be too excited and we'll be miserable in the morning."

Had it been light enough, he probably would have seen that dead-cold stare in my eyes that people tell me I have an uncanny way of delivering. I needed him to be sure of this decision. My heart was flip-flopping. I knew this was the right solution, but I hadn't been able to bring myself to ask him to deal with the responsibility of it with me; to play care-giver (i.e. daddy) for the night and put himself out for the good of the little human being in my charge.

"Well, at least he won't be cold."

My heart swelled. I called the kid to come to bed. I told him to bring a blanket. I was adjusting closer to my boyfriend so that I could be between them, trying to provide a buffer for him from the little boy antics we were inviting to our bed.

"He'll get warmer faster in between us."

I knew that; and I didn't have any energy left to argue my point. I had to trust that this guy wasn't offering this sacrifice without understanding that there would be consequences; or at least, I would deal with the outcome, his possible lack of understanding, in the morning. I told my little man to crawl over me to the middle of the bed; he obliged with a little too much energy for my taste. He snuggled in, reaching his arms out to touch the two adults that encased his body and sighed deeply. I soothingly encouraged him to settle down and he curled into his pillow. He was blissfully happy and getting warmer by the second.

I looked over my son's head into the darkness towards my boyfriend's face. I reached over and rested my hand on his chest, just over his heart, and offered an emotionally-rich, "Thank you."

What I really meant was, "I love you."

And, sleep came; the morning light, when it woke me up, was a little aged, and I quietly thanked the heavens that we had been able to truly sleep and get some rest. I looked over towards my boys, two of my favorite people, and saw that they still slept.

I giggled. The boyfriend had protected his face space with a pillow at some point in the night. Smart guy; I knew there were some obvious reasons for why I liked him so much.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the beauty of ripeness

I am awed by this picture. It seems simple enough. A tomato plant with varying stages of ripeness portrayed. And yet, it is the ripeness, the redness that awes me.

This is my first year tending tomato plants. I was late in the joining in the gardening community and restricted with how deeply I could commit. I live in an apartment complex with only a small patio to claim for growing space.  I found 3 tiny plants at Walmart for 50 cents each - I figured I wouldn't be over extending myself if the investment to tend didn't pan out. I had 3 medium-to-large sized pots and planted them with an inexperienced, still-hopeful thumb who wished to be green.

It was a very matter-of-fact attitude with which I told the plants, "You have soil. You'll have full sun each afternoon. And I will try to remember to water you as much as possible. If you are going to grow, have at it. If you don't, I don't blame you."

And they grew. I was amazed.
I purchased a wire frame so that they would feel supported as they grew taller.

I about jigged around the patio when I realized buds were giving way to actual fruit. Little pea-sized tomatoes were sprouting at different levels of the three plants. I considered it miraculous, since I wasn't a good tender; meaning, I wasn't consistent with the water they so needed to combat the full-sun afternoons.

And yet, they grew.
Bulbous spheres of would-be juicy fruit plumped-out in front of my eyes. I was delighted and proud. And thankful.

Green started turning to yellow. My mouth watered with anticipation.
And then, a storm popped out of nowhere. This storm was strong, the winds raging. In fact, it produced a tornado only a few miles away from my apartment complex. I wasn't prepared. Had no idea that it was coming. Didn't know to protect my growing plants from the violence about to ensue. A hail beating came first. Then winds so hard that they rocked the plants back and forth until they toppled over, slamming the growing vines and fruit to the cement patio. I saw this unfold, knowing it wasn't safe to go out into the storm, but feeling so sad for something that I had been caring for, had been tending towards growth being dealt hard, hard blows of nature's reality.

After the storm, I inspected the plants and turned them right-side up. Three of the tomatoes had disconnected from the plant and were brought tenderly inside to continue ripening on my counter.

The others looked intact and I asked them to be okay.
"Boy, that was tough. I hope that you are going to be okay. I mean, I understand if you feel set back and need to recalibrate or something before growing again; but know that I would really appreciate your continued growth. I thought you guys were doing so well."

A few mornings later, during a routine inspection of the plants, I saw this beautiful sight and my heart welled with pride. This little tomato, my first really red one, was proudly coming to terms with its growth cycle and would be ready to eat at any moment. I saved it's picking until later in the day, just before dinner. I figured one more morning and afternoon of sunlight would be a perfect end to its story of becoming ripe.


I couldn't help but appreciate how many of us are like this little tomato. Doggedly honoring the growth cycle, no matter what trials come along, in order to reach our full potential of ripeness.

I can't help but be proud of us all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

reason and logic be damned

The magnetism was intense.
She couldn’t deny its existence as they grew to know each other more and more. It pulled at her anytime he was close. It was like the smell of baking cookies: tantalizing and mouthwatering with the promise of sweetness.

Knowing that he was near warmed her. She felt washed in yet-unknown nostalgia; you could say comfort, which made her feel inexplicably safe and accepted. What bothered her was not being able to understand why. There was no history between them, no relationship beyond that of friendly acquaintance.

But, as she made the occasion to spend more and more time with him, the pull was stronger, harder to ignore.

On the first night they ventured into the friendly space, sharing time just getting to know each other over a few drinks, she felt this barely-escapable need to grab his face and kiss the breath out of him. The desire to touch him made her fingers tingle with want.

And, then, there was a weekend away. It was particularly difficult because they were together as friends with two other couples. It made the situation perfect for falling into each other and exploring the essence of shared space. There was a moment of enlightenment for her: they worked really well with each other. Their souls met and connected on the same living plane. Being was easy, happier.

She noted all these things as they prepared and shared meals together, working towards a common goal in the kitchen. She observed as he made 2 perfect cups of coffee and invited her to the porch swing for several moments of appreciating the cool night air, the rain and the pressure of their bodies sitting close together. She was awed at the absolute-happy intonation of their shared periodic sighs. It was as if something deep within them had found contentment, a soul-satisfying contentment that ignores all arguments of reason or logic.

The next morning, through the pouring-down rain, there was a silent parallel-reality tryst; silent except for the heavy intakes of breaths and soul-cleansing exhales. Ties of deeper connection were double knotted in some alternate universe in front of the others as they spent an innocent morning talking over nothing in particular.

Her life was sucked into a deep state of want: intense want over this soul that had been in front of her for over a year. The wanting expanded to all layers of her existence. She wanted him all to herself, for shared hours of deep breathing and pressed bodies. She wanted him to be happy and asked him what it would take; and encouraged him to be himself, because the him that she saw was delightful, intense, intoxicating, and she was sad to learn that he didn’t realize the whole of it yet.

Their first kiss happened shortly after the weekend trip. It was a night of ignoring reason, of sharing wine and talk, of teasing the fire of passion until it was too much to contain. Laying down on the couch together, he had rubbed her face gently with his thumb and titled her head just so before pressing his lips against hers. She exploded. Her mind was mush. The want of it, the want of him; the want of more, of as much as she could hold, completely possessed her. She found a new default existence and was happy to find him there to share it.
Beyond happy, she was blissed-out.

The magnetism was intense; is intense.

She remembers that first kiss and tingles still shoot through her body. She thinks about the kisses that have followed and pure joy floods her sense of being. She wants more kisses now and finds that the want leaves her breathless and soul-lonely.

They fostered the connection for a short time. It made them full and happy. There was a new-found realization of togetherness, of partnership that their base-level shared-essence understood and accepted as perfectly normally, finally right.

Their reason and logic scoffed and made spectacle of all the arguments proving their companionship doomed. The new, young shared-ness was no match for practiced cynicism.

Reason and logic won.
It is the saddest thing, she thinks.

Their personalities battled the case of differences, of extreme differences. They stomped and raged the particulars; and their minds conceded. Wills were soon to follow.

They cried over it, at first together.
Now, she cries alone; damning reason and logic to the hell-holes in which they belong for destroying such a beautiful, organic co-existence.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

read the headlines

We fall in love, choose to love, commit to love and get married.

And for many, the assumption is that love will stay the same. Time passes and growth happens; but dang it, this love will always be here, supporting us to carry us through anything that life brings.

But love is based on connection and connection is based on....what?

I think that to a certain extent, connection is ethereal link to someone else. It is hard to explain why we meet certain people on certain planes. Connection, and the associated attraction, is so much deeper than just sexuality; it is a brass tacks kind of understanding between people at a certain level...not necessarily all levels.

People marry. People change.
At least, we hope so, right?

An individual should continue towards growth, continue to learn from the world around them. Their life experiences outside of the marriage connection will effect change in their default character and personality, in their thought processes. It may be dramatic; but it could also be subtle. Either way, the hope is that we are dynamic characters in our own life story.

These changes may affect the "feeling" of love, but hopefully, not the commitment to love.

It occurs to me that change is inevitable, though we gripe and complain...maybe even resist.

It also occurs to me that the best way to foster the marriage connection through the time that passes and ages us is to consistently visit the brass tacks connection with our partner. If you can't be honest and vulnerable with your person about who you are and how you're changing....if you can't trust them enough with your base level humanity, why would you make vows and promise to spend your life with them?

Revisit the brass tacks: talk, share, dust-off the connection.

You can't be on the same page with someone unless you are willing to read the headlines as they appear on the news stand.


And I believe the responsibility to share as well as the act of asking for sharing stands directly on the doorstep of both hearts within the marriage connection. The union of two souls requires give and take on so many levels, this being one of the most important of them all.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

my personal food chain experience

There is something lovely about being able to be a part of the "circle of life." I guess I could also say the food chain, in this particular instance.

I had the pleasant surprise while traveling this past weekend to come upon a laden apple tree. This medium sized tree was full, nine-months-pregnant-kind-of-full, with apples. They were small and medium, mostly green...there were a couple of red-shaded ones. And there were a ton (A TON) of them ready for picking. And so, I did.

I didn't really have any idea what I would do with them. I mean, sure, I cook. I love to. But I didn't really think that I would have much success. After gathering all the ready-apples and lugging them to the car, I knew that responsibility was knocking at my door. I mean, there are people all over the world who are hungry and would love to have such a treasure in their bellies.

And I definitely considered this treasure. Free goodies found, almost literally, at the front door step. I mean, what is a girl to do?!


With so much plenty, I decided to tackle the masses and make applesauce. I pulled up a basic recipe (thanks, Sarah) and modified it to my needs. I like applesauce as much at the next 30 year old, which means...mostly as a side with my potato pancakes; and my little man of 6 years likes it well enough; but there were still a TON of apples left (meaning more sauce to come), so I knew I had to take it a step further. I looked up a basic recipe for muffins and modified it..which means that changed it almost completely since I added applesauce instead of milk and used Bread Flour because I had no All Purpose in the house.

And, voila!
In reality, they were only posing as muffins. The combination of ingredients lent the actual hand-to-mouth experience to more of a "baked applesauce pudding-type hot pocket." In other words, yummy-goodness

I am thankful for this personal food chain experience.
I am so happy to have come upon that sweet little tree ready to share its tart, crisp apples with me; and with all of those that will benefit from my cooking. 

I cannot wait to visit said tree again...there were still plenty of apples still waiting for their due date.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love on a Shuffle

I asked him to give me music.

Don’t get me wrong. I like flowers as much as the next girl…maybe more; but you can’t take fresh-cut flowers to Africa with you. And music…well, when someone shares their playlist with you, I feel like they share a piece of their soul. There’s nothing like getting to know someone through their taste in music. It is a whole new perspective, an indirect facet to their personality that sparkles with rhythm and melody.

I was headed to Kenya for a 9 day trip and thought it would be nice to “get to know him” through some of his music. Sure, it is more romantic if the guy hands over a CD in the shy “I-made-you-a-mix-tape” kind of way; but I didn’t have the luxury for romance. I was looking at a combination of flights totaling 18 plus hours (and that was just getting there), never mind the associated down-time in the airports.

I flat out asked.

“If I give you my Shuffle, will you please add some music on it so that I can listen to it during my trip.”

“Sure,” he said nonchalantly.

My heart busted out in a break dance.
What he didn’t realize is that I don’t often flat out ask for anything. I tend to wait until it is offered so as not to be an inconvenience. That’s just how I operate. I can usually take care of myself just fine. But I was slowly opening up to this guy; and my heart was trusting him more and more in spite of my typical behavior. I was melting for him, and trying desperately not to let it show.

There were some technical difficulties with the Shuffle I already had. No one could get it to work. Something was amiss with the connection between the Shuffle and the ear buds; I even tried buying new buds, but it still didn’t work. I wasn’t too thrilled about having to buy another, but I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to get my hands on his music.

(Sure, it’s true that I have an iPod touch as well. I could have given him that, but I was planning to download a ton of podcasts onto that space).

It was the day before I was leaving on my trip. I went to Walmart on my way to the office and picked up a 2GB metallic green shuffle, the kind that comes in a small plastic cube-like package. I handed it over to him without bothering to open it.

I asked, “I know that it’s last minute, but can you add the playlist onto this?”

“Yea,” he said, “not a problem.”

I wanted to hug him.

I came in the next morning with my mind in ten thousand places. I hadn’t really packed yet. I mean, I had tried, but things had been so busy with work, with prepping the kid and his dad for my absence, I hadn’t really take care of me yet. There was a pile of stuff in an open suitcase in my living room; and that’s about as far as I had gotten. I was stressed. I hadn’t traveled internationally since 2003; and knew that I would undoubtedly forget something.

I was only in the office for a few hours to wrap up loose ends before being gone for the entire upcoming business week. I powered up my computer and grabbed my coffee mug for a fill up. I met him in the hallway on my way to the break room. He had been walking purposefully towards my office with anticipation written all over his face. I had no idea why. As I said before, I was distracted; and when I saw him coming towards me, all I could think was how sweet his face looked and how much I was going to miss it while I was gone.

With our bodies in front of each other, I met his bright, only slightly mischievous eyes with my own, happy and inquisitive. Before I could blink, he dropped to one knee.

What the heck, I thought; which is all I had time for…

He pulls out the Shuffle case with one hand and lifts open the lid, as if it were a ring box hiding a beautiful diamond, with the other.

“Will you….listen to my music,” he asked a little breathlessly.

My eyes must have been the size of saucer plates.
A giggle erupted playfully from my lips.

“Of course! I would love to!”

I leaned down, pressing my hands against his cheeks and nuzzled my nose against his. It was hard to not full-out kiss him right there.

He popped up quickly, I think to avoid any undue observation from others, with a smug-sweet grin on his face, and handed me the Shuffle case.

“I had to whittle down the playlist quite a bit. Your original Shuffle had a lot more space than this one. You’ll be happy to know that most of the country was nixed; but I left all the Johnny Cash songs.”

“You what?!”

He knows that Johnny Cash is not my favorite. My question came out as an accusatory squeak, and I almost immediately chided myself. The whole point was that I needed to be open-minded and listen to his music, his soul.

“I’m kidding,” he chuckled. “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself,” he explained after evaluating my expression. So, clearly, I wasn’t hiding my distaste as well as I had hoped.

“Yea, I was up half the night. I had to listen to a lot of it to make sure that I wanted it to make the final list. It should be good. There are still plenty of songs on it.”

My heart was a pool on the floor. He would never know how much his time and attention to detail meant to me. I couldn’t wait to get those ear buds in. It wouldn’t be the same as having just one CD, where the focus on the songs is a little more direct. But instead, it would be like looking at a rainbow; enjoying the different shades and perspectives of color. And I was okay with that.

“Thank you,” I said. And I tried to let my heart shine through my eyes.

“Sure. No problem.”


The rest of the morning was a whirlwind of activity. I left the office later than I had wanted, which was typical. I ran home to dash about, doing my best to focus and get ready as quickly as possible.

I met him for lunch, just a little alone-together time before my international adventure, which would take me to the other side of the world. He gave me a big hug afterward at my car and told me to have fun. I loved him. But, instead of saying so, I said, “Thanks. Don’t get into too much trouble while I’m gone.”

We shared a mutually affectionate grin and parted ways.

Everything after that was seriously a blur.

Running home. Last minute packing: stuffing anything I could think of into any crevice I could find. Meeting up with friends. Getting into the car. Riding to the local airport. Checking in. Getting through security (giggling that they stopped my travel partner for an extensive search, the most unassuming and least sinister looking woman in the world). Grabbing a Passion Tea at Starbucks. Plugging my laptop in……and going back to work. The loose ends were a little slippery at the office and I still needed to tie a few of them off.

Before I knew it, I was sitting – as comfortably as possible in a middle seat on an airplane – and getting situated for my overnight flight to London. I grabbed all the necessary items from my carry-on: book, journal, iPod touch and Shuffle. The first hour or two was occupied with settling in, listening to safety information, picking a drink, enjoying an awkward dinner (there’s really no elbow room being in the middle seat) and waiting for things to get quiet in the cabin.

As it was getting dark, I decided to – finally – pop in the ear buds to my Shuffle. The activity of the day and the reality of what lay ahead of me were working together to get me to rest as much as possible; and so I decided to close my eyes and to single-focus my mind on the music.

Ear buds in, I rested my head back and pressed play.
There was nothing else I could do but giggle.

AC/DC’s Let Me Put My Love Into You rocked-out through the buds.
I might have blushed, but it was probably too dark for anyone to notice.

I made a mental note to kiss him extra good when I got home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flirt vs. Caress


Verb: Behave as though attracted to or trying to attract someone, but without serious intentions


Verb: Touch or stroke gently or lovingly


I used the word "flirt" in our conversation tonight. In relation to how much we like to flirt with each other; and how there seems to exist between us a flirty attraction that needs satisfaction of a sort.

I left the conversation disappointed in my choice of words.
Even without pulling the definition, flirt is a word that lacks substance when it leaves my mouth. It's tasteless. It belittles the interaction we share.

There is no assumed attraction between us, no attempt at attraction.
Attraction is and binds us together; it is in no way presumed. It has weaved an intricate tie between our souls. We meet genuinely interested and concerned for each other. Our meeting offers a sacred-like tryst; and it doesn't matter than no one else understands, that everyone who observes is confused.

And it's sacrilegious to state that our intentions are anything but serious. We are serious about each other in our own way. We deliberately acknowledge each other's value and worth.

As I was beating myself up over our conversation and my very poor choice of came to me that I would have used a different word, if I could have the opportunity to rewind our discussion: caress.

I don't want to say that I flirt with you; I want to say that I caress your heart.

In those moments that we meet, when attraction brings us together, I bliss-out on our mutual respect. I desire to hear your perspectives and maybe have the chance to share them. I long to feel the pulse and rhythm of your heartbeat, your breath. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I touch your heart and that you touch mine; and that sometimes, we have a hard time letting go.

I'd like to be clear regarding my action towards you. I caress you; I do not flirt.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Zen

She looked at me and asked, "Where are you going?"

In 10 million-bazillion directions, I thought. I follow each path and possibility that presents even the hint of adventure; and I love it. I love leading an interesting life. I love learning and putting myself in the position to be exposed to new opportunities to grow beyond my norm. If a path is blocked or turns out to be a dead end, I usually find another, with no problem, to journey along. I travel many paths at once radiating outwardly the positive energy I find.

Sometimes a path is so lovely and the adventure upon it so sweet, that I am sad when it comes to an end - whatever the reason may be. And, I mourn. In the past, my mourning consumed me. Adventures stopped abruptly on all paths in order to fixate on the path that had closed, the experience that had been taken away.

I've since learned that very few paths deserve the honor of the mourning-act; instead I thank the path for the inspiration and the time shared and move along. I reserve the rite to mourn for a select few. I've also learned to continue to explore the other paths even as I mourn the one that I miss. Otherwise, I miss life. And life is too short to miss.

"Can you not adventure on while you wait?"

Her question made me stop hard. That option had come up (for sure it did), but it didn't occur to me as viable. It was a mist-dream that had passed through my heart leaving only the fewest water droplets behind. She said it aloud and all of the sudden it was real and intense. She had given the idea life and this incarnate concept demanded that I not only consider it, but do it.

I am in mourning for a beautiful path that was blocked from me. I have confidently honored the path with my genuine sadness. My act has been coming to an end, and I've known it. I've lingered in the bitter-sweet awe of "what if" considerations to the point where I've already started to admonish myself to move on. To leave the path, and focus on the others wholeheartedly; reminding myself that I've outgrown the need to fixate, which leads to detrimental pauses.

Her question presented a new option. This time, instead of mourning the path and leaving it, I could mourn and stay. Stay until the opportunity opened up again. Some paths are only blocked for a period of time until they reopen again. She explained that my youthful exuberance, usually a positive trait, could lead me wrong this time.

"Age offers the experience of understanding how the passage of time affects us and our choices...the paths that we take. There's no need to rush. You can explore at the same time that you wait and an answer will come to you organically, without your abrupt departure, which inevitably forces an end."

My jaw dropped.
I am so hungry for experience-starts, that I manufacture experience-ends more than I need to. I understand the need to be thankful and even, the need to mourn. I've learned to appreciate the growth obtained by calling an end to sadness and continuing adventures along other paths.

But, now, it seems I am to learn path-patience. It is going to be a new layer of zen in my life, I know it.

Man, if this is what it means to grow old, I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

getting off my butt now, thanks!

I am preparing my first manuscript. I've had one too many people tell me to get off my butt and do something with my potential...

..and I realized that it was pretty nigh time to listen. I am a big advocate of people doing what they love and reaching others with their talent. I tell people all the time to get off their butts and live the dream.

My excuse has been...well, I am busy. Single mom, remember? Operations Manager for a small company, which means that I'm never getting my entire task list done. And I have been safe and happy in this excuse, like a cocoon, for some time now.

Being poked and prodded irritates me as much as the next person; but add to that the actual fact that as long as I rest in said cocoon - safe and tucked away...boring - I am a hypocrite. Instead of living the dream, I am maintaining.

It is the recurring choice, thrive or survive, that repeats at certain intervals in that darned blue sock in the whites wash.

And, if I am being completely honest, that's not the kind of reputation I want to have - let's review: hypocrite, boring, surviving - on any level: friend, career-minded woman, mom.

And, so, I am putting in the time, doing the research, getting off my butt, so that I can get my words out there.

After that, come what may.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Promise

I have a pact with my designer.
Maybe it is more like an unspoken promise.
Either way, it will make both of our lives so much easier.

I've asked one of my good friends to design cover art for a handful of books that I am compiling content for.

The promise I've made to him: I will not be like so many of his clients that contract him for design because they say they trust his design-sense and approve of his portfolio, but end up ruining the design process because along the way they forget themselves (they forget their lack of skill and expertise) and decide that they want to be the Designer (in-charge, can I say) instead.

I've been in the position to manage several scopes of work where design is involved. When the client has an idea that is well thought through (for their business model) and appropriately conveyed to the Designer (list of objectives, colors, sample ideas), things work well. The Designer is free to create a within the scope and the client can comment on likes and dislikes in order to narrow it down to the "chosen" look.

But when the client doesn't have a list of objectives, things get a little rocky. Instead of having a clearly defined scope (set of boundaries, as it were), the client likes this, but also ...and can you add a little of that...and maybe in this color too?

These types of clients have often done a lot of looking around, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when it is combined with a lack of objective forethought, they've turned themselves into a kind of design zombie. There is no reason or cognitive thought. There is only the obsessive end-goal...which remains illusive, because, again, there are no real objectives...only, "Well this is nice. Why can't I have this?"

(I could spend more time relishing in the zombie analogy, but we've all seen the movies...and I will let you imagination make the connections.)

As Project Manager, I've heard the whining (zombie grunts and moans) and I've dealt with it...nicely. And I've sworn never to be that kind of client - ever.

And, so now I find myself on the other side of the table (much earlier than I would have thought). With experience under my belt, I've presented my plan to the Designer. Provided several themes that are related directly to the work(s). I've said please and thank you. And I've waited for brilliance to occur. (I wouldn't have asked this particular friend to help if I didn't trust his ability to provide the type of "look" that I am going for.)

The promise I've made to him (to me as well) includes another detail...
I've got enough experience "designing" and trusting in my own "eye for colors" that I know I could fall into the zombie-client role. I could spend hours looking at images and design ideas, pelting him with emails full of links to each one...oh, isn't that pretty? and wouldn't this look just right?...(don't laugh, there are plenty of clients out there like that - maybe you've had your own?)

I decided not to look.
I'm going to trust in my Designer and the list of objectives that I've already submitted. I will not waste hours of time on reviewing what my cover art could look like....instead, I will wait for brilliance and make my comments.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Egg Timer

Don't we all marinate on certain things?
Ideas, decisions, dialogues, stories, relationships...

Inside of each of us there is an egg timer just waiting to ding, so that we can come to a conclusion, experience that ah-ha moment.

Add to that concept the next reality - which of us is only thinking through one thing at a time?

We have a myriad of items "on the back burner," staying warm as it were, so that it is ready to serve at the precise moment we need it. Oh, it is like a matrix of egg timers in a corner of our minds.


(Excuse me, I need to evaluate what has been on my mind and is now ready to implement on some level in my life.)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Trip to the Beach

First, it should be explained that, in general, he and I didn't (and still don't) communicate well. Even now, after it is all done, I can't exactly put my finger on why. But there you have it - when things were great, when we were still "together," we were preteen-awkward at getting our points across to each other. There weren't too many complaints beyond that issue, but, well, that's a pretty big issue...

Secondly, you need to know that he and I work together.
And, yes, I know what you are thinking, "relationships in the work environment never have a good chance." I know, I know. And there are all sorts of good stories surrounding that detail, but I'll save that for another blog.

It was Wednesday. The day that we were moving our office from one location to another. And ironically, we were moving from one upstairs office suite to another upstairs office suite. I think my Boss wanted to hint at a health initiative, but I think that the ridiculous amounts of pizza that were delivered to the new office location more than probably compensated for any calories lost hauling down-then-up-again all the boxes, computer equipment and furniture.

I didn't have the kid on this particular evening. His dad had taken him to spend the week with his grandparents in Eastern, NC. I missed him, but with the packing and hauling drama aplenty at the office, I was pretty much tapped. I knew that a trip to the grands was never better timed, and I appreciated having the opportunity to just focus on the extended workdays of first client engagement and then packing and moving. As I've already said, it was on the late side of the day- my energy pretty much gone, my muscles jello; I was on auto-pilot barely smiling when I passed people, even him, on my trips up and down.

My mind was honed on cheering my body onward, so I was shocked-snapped back into reality when he found me in the loft area, came close behind me and grabbed my hips.

"Hey, come just a bit this way," he said as he steered my body by pushing my hips a little to the left and towards the front of the building. "Look through the window," he said low into my ear.

Just so you know, there are two small square windows on the front of the office building. They are very easy to see through from the open loft area that is just outside my private office.

"Pretend the trees are ocean waves. And let's say that the power lines are sand. Isn't it a beautiful day to watch the sunset on the beach?"

The sun was low on the horizon, already dipping just a bit behind the treeline. It was a vibrant mix of pink, purple and orange. It was bright, but not unpleasantly so. It was perfect.

I was 100% in this moment and melted like some sappy character in a romance novel. He wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on my shoulder. We shared a deep and happy sigh. I was stunned at his ability in this moment to reach across our typical awkwardness and land a solid romantic moment that had me breathless (and honestly, ready to call it a day and take him to bed). The entire exchange was no more than 5 minutes.

When it was done, I knew that I could love him for a lifetime of 5 minutes at a time.

How Do I "Feel" About Autism

I am a single mom. I've got a 6 year old. He's been diagnosed with moderate autism and his identified as a high functioning individual on the spectrum.

Being apart of the AU community is interesting - because the spectrum is so wide and umbrellas over so many different individual and extensive cases. It is only natural that people who don't have any first-hand experience with autism, but are hearing more and more about it are curious. People ask me how I feel about having a kid with autism (AU) - and I think that the real question is, "how do you feel?"

I live with the kid. I birthed him. I know him in and out.
But only see him from time to time...maybe only one time. You may catch him on a good day and wonder, "Is there anything really wrong with that kid?" Or, you may catch him on a day when you ask yourself, "OMG, what is wrong with that kid; and why doesn't his mom have him under control?"

I very rarely "feel" when it comes to AU - I adventure it. I try to learn how to outwit, out-think, rethink, circumvent it. There don't seem to be many positive emotions when it comes to AU as a topic or AU as a reality; and so, I try to focus my "feelings" on my kid, who happens to be the smartest and cutest kid I've ever had (i.e. I have only one child - that's meant to be a bit of a joke). We live AU together each day - our battle, our adventure.

I think that any parent has the same general goal: raise the kid well enough that it can be a successful, self-sustainable adult.

That's my main goal. Everyone, AU or not, should have the opportunity to live life...really live life to their fullest potential.

So, I guess, that's how I "feel" about it.
1. I am thankful for organizations that provide opportunities for all individuals on the AU spectrum.
2. I am proud of other parents who work their darndest to face head-on the challenge.
3. I am appreciative of friends who offer the little extra patience is takes to be around an "atypical" child.
4. I love my kid more than I can say.
5. I respect each worker in the early-intervention-based field who dedicate their lives to improving the lives of the small people around them.

Whew...that's enough emotional output for now ; )

Warm and Happy

We went to a movie tonight. And he purchased my ticket. It was, oddly, as if it were a date. But he clearly dumped me not more than a month ago. So what I am to think really?

We brushed arms and elbows - I was in a sappy-based heaven. Immediately transported back to middle school when simple moments of physical connection were akin to mini-gasms.

The storyline was serious, so I didn't notice it at first...and let's be honest, I was a little focused on the elbow-magnetism that we both seemed to be enjoying (but was it only my imagination...)...but it dawned on me that I was cold. Very cold. I was wearing a thin top and skirt - not really theater wear. I had a shawl in the car, but - tell me - who really wants to leave the theater when the movie is already in progress? I rubbed my hands over my arm - he noticed.

"Are you cold", he asked.
"Yea. I should have grabbed my shawl," I answered.

It was a few minutes later...he must have been thinking it over. He reached to the arm rest between us, moved the shared Dr. Pepper to his far side, lifted the bar, put his arm around me and pulled me close to his chest.


I stayed there the rest of the movie.
And was warm and happy.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I am 30

My "28 Days of Celebrating 30" comes to a close within 10 minutes as I start this blog post. And, I've got to say, I've never been prouder of any birthday celebration. I made a commitment to finding a celebrate-worthy event for each day, and succeeded. In the process, I learned (or confirmed) how to love myself and how to love others -- and relish in the process of receiving love from those people who make up my inner circle, friends and family.

I didn't post as frequently as I had hoped to, but I am sure that the discussion will be ongoing as I reflect on the experiences I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the month.

These experiences include: spending time with groups of friends, spending time with friends one-on-one, going away for a mini family vacation to one of my favorite destinations, eating until my belly was ready to pop, working out until the sweat poured down my body, putting myself to bed early to enjoy a full (and indulgent) night of rest, drinking until I blacked out and waking up in different clothes, taking a weekend to "hit the road" on a dash-through road trip to spend time with my family up north, buying little things that make me happy, working to repair relationships, learning the rules of new relationships, letting myself crush madly, spending a morning at a salon treating myself to a wild-crazy hair color treatment, dancing with friends and dancing alone, challenging my body to new physical feats, going to new restaurants and tasting new foods (that, let's face it, I would never make at home) -- the list goes on and on....has it really only been a month?

There have been times of exhaustion - I mean, did I really pack all this activity into just one month?! Thank God that February only has 28 days this year - the 29th day of a Leap Year might have done me in...but it is a good exhaustion. There was plenty of work and challenges mixed in with a lot of play and fun.

And, ultimately, love.

1. Taking the time to love myself: acknowledging my strengths, challenging my weaknesses, letting loose in some areas and pulling the reigns tighter in others.

2. Taking the time to love others: focusing on love languages and dishing out love as people accept it, investing in the tales and experiences of others (not to mention learning from them) and sharing dozens and dozens of hugs along the way.

3. Taking the time to receive love (a little harder for me than the first two): acknowledging the celebration of my birth, taking in words of affirmation like jewels and polishing them until they shine, enjoying the acts of service given to me like treasure-bits that benefit my life source, relishing in the physical touch of being close to others (I love hugs, if you didn't know), focusing on moments of quality time shared with these beautiful people who are an active part of my life and with whom I have the ultimate pleasure (and responsibility) to grow older with; and yes, even humbly accepting the gifts that came my way and, a little selfishly, being giddy over the accumulation of new acquisitions to my property.

I am thrilled to be 30.

I am thrilled to know what I know; and at the wisdom I've gleaned and implemented in my life (and thankful for the way God weaves experiences into my life so that I learn wisdom...a few lessons repeated since I am such a hard head, but glad that he doesn't consider me a lost cause).

And, so starts a new decade-chapter in my life; and I've never anticipated tomorrow with such a positive outlook.

Monday, February 7, 2011

chocolate for breakfast

Chocolate is celebrate-worthy anytime. Period.

And so, when a sweet little messenger delivered your chocolate yummy-goodness to my desk this morning, it officially became my mini-celebration for the day. I thought, "Thank God I am about to be 30. If I weren't an adult, I wouldn't be able to stuff my face with this delicious brownie first thing in the morning. If I were a kid, I'd have to eat Cheerios. Blah!"

And, so, another perfectly valid reason to celebrate turning 30.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

not going counts as celebrate-worthy

I had planned on taking a day trip today that was going to span 4:30am to about 9pm. And I really, really wanted to go. This was going to be tackling an adventure that I feel is long, long overdue.

But....I chose not to go. All this partying has my body tired, and I've missed out on my typical allotment of rest. And this decision, this all-wise-grown-up-responsible moment definitely counts as a celebrate-worthy act.

I've had the opportunity to take it slow today (as long as "slow" is defined by cleaning up my apartment, washing and folding mounds of laundry, washing dishes, reorganizing my Tupperware cupboard and logging in about 5 hours at my job). And, so, I am feeling rested (because, there was a late morning that played a very important role in today's celebrate-worth decision) and accomplished.

I also got to stuff my face at Sal's Sunday Morning Brunch Buffet - hmmm, bacon.

a red star and a black check

This was a big party weekend and clearly was planned to be as a part of the "28 Days of Celebrating 30" month long event.

Red Star
On the top of my left hand there's a very, very faint (because, dear god, I have taken a shower since then) red star. My entry mark from ARTISTIKA NIGHTCLUB. I was invited by a friend to check out their events on Friday nights, Electrofunk Friday. And, the night of Feb 4th was incidentally my first free Friday night to check it out. One of my besties came along and we met up with a couple of friends of mine who live in Winston Salem. This was definitely one of the most diverse clubs I have ever been to - and it was clear that everyone was there to jam-out (which we all know, is one of my favorite things to do). The vibe was alternative and techno. We were the cool vampires of the night in all the great movies you've seen. The crowd was a bit young (wow, did I just say that?!), but playful - and that kept the vibe light and fun. After an abysmal game of pool, we just decided to focus on the jams and rock our bodies. Left a little early (it had been a work day after all) with a mental note to schedule a Saturday night visit for their Salsa Nights.

Black Check
On the top of my right hand there's a slightly smudged black check: my entry mark for Tir Na Nog Irish Pub. My absolute favorite 80's cover band, Suicide Blonde, performed from 10:30 to 2 on Saturday night / Sunday morning. One of my favorite things about going to a Blonde show are the other people who are there: 80's music fans are among the coolest of people. I've had the opportunity to meet up with other followers of the band and jam-out with them on several occasions. This time around, we got our respective friends together and jammed-out as an entire group. Absolutely priceless. And so goes another night for the record books (there are a lot of nights recorded in association with Suicide Blonde performances...coincidence? I think not!)

Even with all the partying, I've maintained a 7 day work week; but that's one of the things I love about my lifestyle: because I work very hard, I earn the right to play very hard as well.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I hear the drums echoing tonight...

Tonight's theme song: Africa by Toto

Today's gift - a long phone conversation with one of my besties who currently resides in Spokane, WA. I miss her so much. And I don't call as I should, because I hate talking on the phone in general....but it was so nice to hear her voice and share about our current goings-on.

We also took some time to talk and dream about our upcoming trip to Kenya. And that was definitely another luxury that I took advantage of - I've known about this trip since summer 2009. In fact, during my interview for a position at WebSpark, I asked my soon-to-be Boss if he would commit to giving me the time off. He thought I was crazy - planning something 2 summers away...but now it is this year, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. But, I don't think about it often...I am too busy. I mean sure, I've been saving; but I don't let myself daydream since I've got plenty in my here and now keeping my mind occupied.

My friend is a Kenyan connoisseur. She's taken several mission trips, led several mission trips and even lived an entire year as an intern for Beacon of Hope. This woman is a pro, and when I heard in 2009 that she was considering a Friends and Family trip, I was immediately interested and submitted my RSVP.

The trip will span just over a week of time - we will be based in Nairobi for the first few days, connecting with the Beacon of Hope group. Later in the week, we will be headed out on safari.

Are you excited yet?
I am!

And now, I'm going to stuff it back in and get to work on this pile of laundry that is screaming to be folded. Did I say pile?! It looks more like Kilimanjaro as it rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.

I promise that I will keep you updated on the travel blog: My OK Place

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

simply...not simple at all

I did a rare thing today - I left the office to take lunch. Usually, lunch is a slap-dash event, stuffed away at my desk as quickly as possible so that I can free my fingers to return to their incessant clicking on the keys.

But today, I left to meet a friend - and to eat Thai. We met at Simply Thai in Elon, a restaurant that comes highly recommended. And now that I've had the opportunity to partake in their lovely dishes, I would also extend my recommendation.

This friend is new. We were introduced a significant amount of time ago, but only through professional emails. And through the year, we've traded information back and forth as it was needed. But, now, we've been given the opportunity to share more of our lives with each other and to become friends.

And I treasure this - I treasure the ability and desire to meet new people and engage in their lives sincerely. To "make new friends and keep the old ones." I think it keeps me young. There's something about a surprise new friend that makes me feel like I'm a kid; like I am in 3rd grade waiting for the bus on the first day of school and some new kid in the neighborhood stands to wait with me. There's a sweet moment of shared existence, and even though we won't see each other at school or do, but have different friend-groups...we always have that moment together waiting for the bus and talking about our lives.

And this is my gift to me today on my journey of daily celebrations - to honor the simplicity of deciding to open myself up to a new life, a new spirit of influence. To keep the kidness about me as I share my experiences in the moments we have together. It's really a complex dance of give and take, of learning new rules and preferences; but definitely worth the treasure of calling someone friend.

My present plans are going to succeed- least that what my fortune tonight said. And, I think that I can live with that.

A couple of big things happened today that are celebrate-worthy and count as mini-parties towards my goal of daily celebrations during my birthday month.

Today at the office, we launched the Rock Your Technology site. This is a new collaborative effort to impact our local market; and I am excited about finally having the opportunity to positively effect our local Administrator has wanted to focus on a local push since he's hired me! And it was a serious focus to my Monday - getting final content in order. And today, we got to tell people about it, and will continue to do so for....well....ever.

This evening, I got to share time with someone who is quickly becoming a good friend of mine - it dawned on me just tonight that we haven't ever had one-on-one time to really have an opportunity to get to know each other; we've always been surrounded my other friends or co-workers. And so, tonight, we enjoyed reviewing certain details over several glasses of wine....and, um, some Apple Brandy (at least on my part).

This amazing friend installed my bike rack onto my car. This is a huge deal, since I've had the bike rack, fall; and haven't had it installed yet....nor have I been able to install it myself. And then, to top it all off, he secured my new-to-me bike to the rack....(his sister had previously given me permission to take the bike; and by god, use it a bit).

So, I am home....with rack installed and bike in the apartment; with a silly grin on my face from too much wine...and, um, brandy; with a happy tummy filled with delicious food from the Red Bowl; and with a night of happy memories with a friend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

..and the party begins

Would this be considered the pre-party?

Technically, this began on January 31st and ran over into Feb counts either way; whether you are considering a pre-party or an actual documented event of the month. The only thing that matters is that it was celebrate-worthy!

What was I doing?
Building castles in the sky with a dear friend.

Can you even begin to compare your night with mine?
(Oh, no. Don't try. I promise you, this was great.)


So, I had a friend come over to share some good (and bad...still so sorry about that) wine and catch up. You can meet my friend - he's got a blog as well and you can find him at

And catch up we did; and I loved every minute of it. We talked about gaming and I learned about PAX and met Gladys from Portal. I learned about Child's Play and how I could donate items to the North Carolina Children's Hospital directly from their Amazon Wish List (by the way, how cool is that?!)

I was reintroduced to WCW's "This is just to say" - because I swear I've heard this poem before...but where? Could it just maybe be in one of the many English classes I had to take for my major....well, maybe. And now, am inspired to write my own variation of the poem (because, yes, that's how I plan on classifying it).

And, of course, the transition to This American Life was smooth and easy from there. And, well, once you get on This American Life, there's no telling where you can end up, which is something I love as well.


And so, a night with a friend I love talking about topics that I love and drinking a wine that I love (because I clearly did not drink the others).

Definitely celebrate-worthy!
A nice start I would say...

Monday, January 31, 2011

28 Days of Celebrating 30

I am turning 30 on February 11. I am really excited.

Yes, really!

I am not one of those people who dread turning older - Time and I are friends, and though at times he has a bit of a temper (and isn't afraid to show it), I welcome his engagement in my life. So, I shout delightedly, bring on the big 3 - 0! I am ready.

I am also a really big fan of birthday celebrations. My family was always really on top of birthday parties and cake while I was a kid growing up, so it is something that I've been nurtured to enjoy. Even now - I've have had no problem planning my own birthday parties - becoming an adult has given me the freedom (and budget) to allow the festivities to be even more fun (and sometimes, the kids are invited to play).

I had originally played around with the idea of visiting Mardi Gras for my 30th birthday party. What better way to celebrate a big year in your life than to go to one of the biggest parties ever?! Unfortunately, those plans didn't pan out - and thankfully, not. Because I've come up with something oh-so-much-cooler!

I have committed to treating myself to some sort of celebration each day through the month of February. Big or small, it doesn't matter. It has just got to be something out of the ordinary that I consider celebrate-worthy. A whole month of doing special things?! It's gonna be a great birthday!

I've got some things already planned on the calendar. Others, I will have to figure out as I go along...I will keep you posted.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vow of Silence is Over

So, the vow of silence is over. I don't think that I consciously decided to stop writing - and I mean all writing, I haven't much journaled either - but somewhere along the way, that part of my personal life curled up for hibernation. The only areas of life that have gotten any sort of consistent content out of me is 1) Facebook (too easy to post thoughts as updates) and 2) WebSpark (but when it's your job and your paycheck depends on it, how can you say no?).

And hibernation is over. I can't tell you the exact moment I opened my eyes and decided to rub the sleep out of them, but it's happened. There have been several interesting developments in my life this month, and I don't think that this awakening can be attributed to just one of them...but maybe all of them combined? It is possible.

I've spent the last couple of days trying to get reacquainted with my plan and purpose, with the items that I had already lined up for covering and with the feelings and thoughts I had been intending to connect with -- it's been too long; and I feel like a stranger in my writer's skin.

And, let me say, now that the pressure has had a bit of release, I can feel the tumult of items to come...I wrote a couple of Love Letters last night, and I've been a little out of whack today. Thank goodness my co-workers and friends are used to me being a little different; and thank goodness they allow for a lot different from time to time.

I am not promising to write all the time now - we know where that leads, and I am not interested in setting myself up for failure and inevitable guilt. But, I am up and ready to stretch out the kinks from being snoozed-out for so long.

I am welcoming myself back to the platform....