Busy Days in Cozy Times

The holidays are over and it is back to life and busy schedules. Meetings, unpacking, coking, cleaning, meeting up with friends…and …being cozy in the deep feel of winter. Yes, you can still feel winter rather deeply even when you are in Texas. Because it is the feeling of warm, soft blankets, good music, comfy Pjs, fuzzy socks and house slippers, with a fire going, and laughter. It is a time of quiet – after the all of the rush, but before the spring. where we might be busy, but the world is still dark early.

And for me it is a time to be introspective. Even here in the south it is chilly, and wet, so it is a time to be at home, doing homey things. And it is the perfect time, in this new house with my wonderful man as we unpack and make this place ours. Placing this and that here and there, arranging kitchen items and discussing where best to place our favorite things. Hot chocolate and midnight snacks, wine and whiskey with long conversations and making plans, mapping out exactly how we want it to be. And discovering our favorite new TV shows and we watch under our favorite blankets on our comfy couch.

All in the warm glow of winter, these busy days in cozy times. All while being thankful for this life and these moments. Oh, it’s not perfect, as the To Do list grows and time shrinks. The dust bunnies under the bed are waging war against the tufts of cat fur…and I can only place bets on which will win the dirt wars. But if that’s the worst of it, then we are beyond blessed.

Life is Short, as are winter days. But even the shortest days can be some of the best ones. So don’t lose hope, keep going, and let this time wash over you, making you, bending you, molding you, and your life into the magnificent experience it will all be.

My Birthday Month

It’s that time of year again, where I celebrate all month because it’s my birthday month. It’s the best month of the year, because I get to celebrate myself, in a complete way. Any way I want actually.

And as I look back on the past year of my life, I realize just how rich it has been. There has been more love, more laughter, more friends, more wonderful than there has been in decades.

And so I celebrate me. And wish myself the happiest of birthdays, because the next year, is going to be even better. 🙂

Life is short. So pop the cork and celebrate it.

No make up, no filters, no fillers, no surgeries. ❤

Shimmer and Shine

It is amazing what being treated well in a relationship will do to you and for you. It affects every part of your life, how you are treated in that respect, which is hard for an independent woman like me to admit.

And it’s not about being in love either, even blissfully, wonderfully, ridiculously in love. It’s aboit being treated well in your home, by the person. You love, the person you trust, the person who is your protector. It’s about your hone being a peaceful and safe place. It’s about your heart being safely looked after. It’s about kindness and Grace.

It’s about what happens when you can Finally let your guard down, and still beloved, still be safe and still be at Peace.

And it is truly magnificent.

When you are a woman who has been on her own for a long time, it’s easy to get used to having to be tough. And indeed, my friends and I have been on our own for a long ti.e, depending on no one but ourselves. That can be a lonely place though, and you forget the comfort of a caring partner. You almost don’t know what to do when you get one.

Indeed, after dating assholes and kissing frogs, after having to be tough through my parents death, dealing with the estate and the messy drama of an imploding family; after running my own business for years; with all of the negotiating, promoting, working, billing, and running; after all of it, all of the everything, I could finally be safe in my man’s arms.

And one of the most amazing things is his kind and gentle way with me. Meeting him, no one would say he is a sheep. He is a shark, shrewd in business, solid in his high standards, and sharp with his keen wit and intelligence.

And yet, he is teaching me Grace. The kind where you are nicer, more patient than someone deserves. Yes, this feisty red head is learning, slow, by example, how to be a better human. And it is because of the Grace my wonderful man gives me. It heals me, and the love he gives me fills in all the cracks in my soul, and my heart. And it has made all of the difference.

Life is short. Spend it with a partner who loves you the right way. No games, no drama, no addiction issues, no anger issues, or crazy ex wives, or dysfunctional family dynamics. Just love, acceptance, patience, Grace and more love. And you will shimmer and shine like glitter in the sunlight. And if you havent found that partner yet, don’t worry, he is out there. Be patient, he’s coming. And he is worth the wait.

I was talking to a young woman several years go, as she lamented on her exhaustion in keeping herself up while dating. She had to go to the gym to make sure that she was fit and had a nice figure, she had to keep her hair style up, her legs shaved, her clothes sexy and nice shoes as well. Make up had to be done at all given times and it was just a lot of work. She finally sighed and said “I can’t wait to be married so i can let myself go.”

While it is tempting to let ones self go when you have found The One, I have yet to find that to be useful. On the other side of the spectrum was my mother, she said that for the first 2 years of being married to my Dad, she would get up early every morning and do her hair and make up, so Dad would never see her without. She quit after those two yes because dad said that it really wasn’t necessary.

But somewhere, in this day and age of being the most beautiful isn’t enough, girls younger than 20 getting Botox and lip injections (which is ridiculous), the Kardashians and Cardi B, there must be a middle ground. But where?

I think it is where ever you say it is, but you must first be comfortable in your own skin, in your own face, with all of your imperfections. Because it is our imperfections, our flaws that make us our most beautiful, and our most human. So I do not understand the obsession with having no wrinkles and the biggest lips on the block.

With that being said, I keep myself up more now than ever. Mostly of r myself, but being attractive to my partner is also a motivation. But I have a rule that if I wouldn’t do it for myself, then I will not do it for him. Because I like myself just the way I am. And that confidence is sexy.

When I lived alone, Maybe I would brush my hair that day, maybe not. Maybe I would dress in actual clothes and not pajamas, maybe not. Maybe I would take a shower that day (because I also work form home), maybe not. And I would shove my legs when I had a date.

And now, I still may be in my Daytime PJs when he gets home, or I may be in a pair of jeans, or I might be in a dress, or even an evening gown. When he opens the door he has no idea what might be waiting for him. But no matter what, I feel sexy and beautiful and desirable. I do make sure shower every day (Don’t judge, I know you ladies who work from home now Exactly what I am talking about). I shave my legs on a regular basis, and I make sure to use lotion so that I am soft and smell good at all times.

Because, again ladies, when we live on our own, it’s like we are in the jungle. No one is around, so who cares if you use silverware? Or if you put on make up? Or if you are wearing mis-matched socks? And working remote because of Covid has made us all a bit…feral.

But then again, there is a middle ground between fuzzy headed- wild-child in PJs, and waking up early to apply make up and false lashes. That middle ground were we do dress like women, in sexy clothes with good hair and make up, but maybe not every day. Some days, depending on work load and whatever else is going on, I do good to take a shower and brush my teeth. Other days, I might slink around the house in that evening gown, with painted toes and fingers.

But no matter what, celebrate those flaws and imperfections. And find a partner who loves them too. Find someone who will sometimes stay in his PJs all day with you. Find someone with whom you care share that middle ground. Because otherwise it will drive you crazy trying to be “perfect'” because that seems to change every day. And really, who can afford that many lip injections?

Life is short. Don’t waste it by trying to live up to someone else’s standard of beauty. We are now erasing centuries of an ancestors by not accepting what we look like, and seeing it as beautiful. I love my face and my body, because it represents my family. I love when people say I look like my Mom, because she was beautiful, just as she was. And I LOVE looking like her. And I would never want to erase her from the way Iook. So let yourself go enough and be free to love who you are.

Let’s Get Physical

When you are young in sports, you travel with your parents. When you are older you travel with your lover. And when you are old you travel with your physical therapist.” Katarina Witt, Olympic Skater

There comes a time in your life that you must realize that you simply do not heal as well as you did when younger. And while I still think of my self as a spring chicken, I still know my body can do whatever I want it to do – mostly. I have been introduced to physical therapist to help heal an old injury. And I have to say it is pretty fantastic. I imagine this is what it must per like to have your own personal personal trainter.

My physical therapist works with me twice a week, tests my strength and progress, askes if there is any pain or discomfort – other than the burn from the exercises, and makes sure that I have proper form. And I am pretty motivated. Not too mention that it is forcing me to work out, which is great all the way around.

Who would have thought an injury would turn into something good? That is the thing about life – many times unexpected surprises come in the disguise of something bad. So when you are struggling and going through a hard time, just remember, something good may still yet come out of it. So don’t lose hope. And that isn’t a glass is full, always see the bright side kind of thing. It’s a hope thing. It’s being open to the possibility of the positive, thing. And it may just help you make it to the finish line.

Life is short. Enjoy physical therapy and the benefits of doctor ordered workouts. It does a body good.

New Yeah

It’s the new year. And many are in full mode of their new years resolutions. This year, 2022 is a bit new for me. I have no resolutions this year. Well, no formal ones anyway. Yes, there are goals that I want to accomplish, places I want to go, things I want to do…but for a moment, I want to stand still and just Enjoy.

And that is the thing about life, sometimes we are so focused on the doing and being and accomplishing, that we actually forget to take a moment and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We overthink everything. We must label it, put it in a category, assign a political side to it, and make it officially official. But…what if we just….didn’t? Just once, just for a little while?

What if we took a break from all of that, and just took it all in? And enjoyed it?

In a world of constant motion, where bigger is better, showing off is best, and you must be able to post all of your progress on everything all of the time to justify and prove your existence….is simply taking it all is even possible? Yes, I think it is. Because you set the rules for your life, not anyone else. But what will others think? What will the followers do? Who will be watching? Who cares? And why are we even worried about them?

Maybe the kay to happiness isn’t found in followers or likes or posts or even in always setting goals and checking things off the list. Yes, all of that has it’s place, can be fun and can help us with a full life. But when our lives are all about showing the constant motion and accomplishments, then it leaves a rather empty echo. A ghostly residue of what seems like what should be a fulfilling life, yet, somehow isn’t.

We get soul tired when we are constantly on the go. We need rest. We need to recharge, regroup and have a break. And I don’t mean just coming out of a hard time. I mean even when things have been great. That down time, is when we allow ourselves to be fully submerged in the little things in life, when we can see the small miracles we are normally too busy to even notice. This is when we can allow ourselves to relax. And that relaxation provides the fertile ground were the sprouts of creativity and ideas and ingenuity will grow.

Life is short. So take the time to enjoy the life that you have built. And not just the moments that you post, but even the quiet, normal, boring, every day moments. Fully live in them, every second. For it is between the heartbeats, and heart breaks, and raindrops and rainbows that the magic of life is found.

Christmas to You

Hi Mom and Dad,

It’s me. And it’s Christmas. A time of year that is for those of us who have lost loved ones. Oh, and I do miss you so much that my heart aches. But I have to tell you something – I am happy. Blissfully, wonderfully, ridiculously happy. For the first time in many years. Happy like I was I my early 20’s, carefree and loved. I wish you could see my smile, and hear it in my voice. But maybe you can as you watch over me.

Even with this happy, wonderful life, I still miss you. No matter how long it has been, no matter how happy I am, I will never stop missing you guys. There ar still so many times I have thought, “I have tell call and tell Mom about this or that…” Even after this many years. I suppose I’ll always want to pick up the phone and call you.

And it’s Christmas Eve, and in my new life, there is so much love and happiness. So many people to see, and love, and gifts to wrap and wonderful to experience. And yet, I still think back to our Christmas Eves, when all of us gathered at your house, wrapping and laughing and living and drinking wine, and sneaking things into each others Christmas stockings. And how to integrate some of our traditions into my life with this family now.

And all of your recipes and cooking and reading your book. And so much love. The amount of love you raised us with is truly amazing. But I guess that originated from your faith in God and your love for each other.

I just wanted to let you know that I am happy this year. In the new house, with my wonderful man, making this life together. But I will always love and miss you guys. And I love when you visit my in my dreams. And I really love when we get a chance to hug in those dreams. No matter how long you live, there can never be enough hugs.

This is what you always wanted for me. I am here. And I hope that you can see me. I hope that you still send me signs, hope that you keep watching over us. And I hope you are proud of me. Because the older I get, the more proud I am of the two of you, and all that you did, and were, and taught me.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad. I will love you forever and miss you always.

Moving on Up

It’s an incredible busy time of year, running around, buying last minute gifts, wrapping them, decorating, holiday parties, making plans, cooking, gathering and making sure you have everything in order. What crazy person would add a move into that mix. Me. I am that crazy person.

And now we are in the new house, up to our eye balls in boxes. Trying tp unpack, organize, decorate, shop, wrap, work, and get it all done…and it is exhausting. And that is the things about life, many times it comes at you fast with a to do list that seems many miles long. And honestly, I have had a few fits of frustration, a few tears of exhaustion, where you still have so much to do but simply do not have tome to quit. And wow, I am sick of boxes.

But there is also time to be thankful. Here I am in this wonderful, of year, here we are unwrapping the house as we unpack our things, figuring out what goes where and how. Putting up the trees, having a friendly competition as to who has the prettiest and best decorations. There is time to recognize how fortunate and blessed we are, in this life, in this moment, to have each other and all that is around us. And when the dust settles, and things slow down, we can delight in this little life, this little world that we have made for us.

And sometimes in life, you have to work hard at making not only the life that you want, but a life that you love and that will shelter you when the world gets crazy. And if I sounds all mushy and happy, it’s because I am enjoying being flush with love and moving on up in the season.

Life is short. So celebrate, work hard, and shine bright.

Embraced

Every year I post a entry about all that I have let go. But this year is different. This year, and this future, is not about letting go, but rather embracing. This year it is about embracing all of the everything that life has in it, for me, for us, for life, for the future, for friends and for family.

I am embracing love, in all of it’s glory and mess and truth and depth. I am embracing this life that we are building and all of the plans that we are making.

I am embracing the responsibility of us, of it, of it all.

I am embracing the work, the rest, the play and the planning. I am embracing the travel and the staying home, the writing letters and notes, the sharpening of pencils and the holding of pens.

I am embracing the heartbeats, and the raindrops and the spaces in between breathes and decisions and thoughts.

I am embracing the beauty. The art. The exquisite longing, the wonderful desire that is us.

I am embracing the sleep and the wake and the breaks and the moments, and all the mystery that they hold.

I am embracing the planting and watering and cleaning and upkeep and maintenance. I am embracing the rush and the slow and the measured pace of t all.

I am embracing this life that we have made, and continue to make. I am embracing the friends and family and visits and stays and Peace.

I am embracing this time in my life, in our lives, that have come from all of the work, hopes, dreams, and prayers. I am embracing this new, borne of shedding the old pain and sorrow, death, grief. I am embracing what my life has become and is yet to be, with you, with us, with them.

But most of all, I am embracing you and the wonder of your love for me. And finally, I am able to rest in the embrace of you, and your strength, devotion, loyalty, integrity and honor, keeping me safe.

Leader of the Packers

I’ve gotten good at packing over the years. Many moves, many house, many states, many areas, many cities and towns. And I have a specific process, one that ensure I don’t have to go searching through boxes to find something.

And so it is that we are furiously packing the house, getting ready for the upcoming move. The new house we bought is wonderful and perfect. And there is a satisfaction in knowing we will make this new house our wonderful hi.e as well. We already have so many plans and ideas. There is laughter amd hope, optimism and excitent we pack.

And then I see it in my Facebook memories; on this day, I was packing up to move here to TX with the ex hospital finance guy. He left that morning, called 20 minutes later saying he wanted to work it out, then later said he never broke up, then even more games after that. Games a d lies, lies and games. That’s all it was to him.

What a difference now, with my wonderful man by my side, helping pack, making plans for this life we are planning together. No secrets, no games, no lies, just us and our love. And there is joy. And trust. And devotion, and so much love.

And therein lies the difference. Life feels better with love. Everything in life is better with love, together with honesty, trust, and commitment. And I feel this with everything I pack. And I pack at break neck speed to get everything ready for moving day there is excitement all around.

life is short. Pack it in and get it out, to get on with life. You won’t be sorry, when you look back at those who left. You’ll be better off, and life has a way of working out. So happy packing.

These Exausted Dreams

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!- Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

Exhaustion is defined as the action or state of using something up or of being used up completely, or a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue. And let’s face it, no matter what we do in life, no matter how hard or how little we work, at some point we will all end up exhausted.

It has been said that you might as well do everything you can to follow your dreams, because because even if you fail, it’s much better to try to succeed at what you love, than to be stuck in and succeed at what you hate. And I think about this as this year comes to a close.

This has been a year of hard work and sacrifices and Doing things I was told I couldn’t do, that I wasn’t sure I could do, but did do anyway. It has been a year of beating the odds, forging my own trail on my own road, while being supported by the wonderful love of an amazing man, and Together building hour dris building our dream Of tomorrow.And it has quite honestly been exhausting then exhausting.

But these are exhausting times. And truth be told you can be just as exhausted doing what you hate as you can be doing what you love or building your dreams dreams. You can be just as exhausted and miserable Being stuck, or you can be exhausted by building a new life. You can be exhausted with unhappiness, or you can be exhausted by the hard work it takes to build a foundation upon which a happy life can be built.

Time is going to pass whether you are working hard towards your dream or working hard just to keep your head above water. And in this sense we all have to choose our hard. Because it’s all hard and it’s all exhausting.. Life was never promised to be easy. Indeed if we want something it usually takes a lot of hard work to get it. And that’s OK because then we value you whatever it was We were working toward when that goal comes to fruition.

So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?- Hunter S. Thompson

And this year it has all come to fruition.. All of the hopes, all of the dreams, all of the hard work, all of the frustration, all of the stress, all the Sacrifice, all of the everything. It has all come to fruition and it has all been worth It, as Tonight was the first of many small celebrations soon to come.

Yes tonight was champagne and Christmas trees and And pizza at a small table with the best seats in the house. Tonight was everything. And the best adventures are yet to come.

Life is short. And the truth is you can work just as hard being miserable as you can being happy. You can work just as hard to succeed at what you hate as you can to be happy with what you love. So work hard to accomplish your dreams and be happy with your life. Spend that time and that energy Making your life be the amazing story it was always meant to be.

The Calm After the Feast

Thanksgiving is a very traditional holiday, with family, friends, turkey, and lots of mashed potatoes. This year was a bit untraditional. A bit last minute, Chinese food, but extra servings of love and good times. The plan was originally to drive to Georgia to see family. But…the closing of the house was rescheduled…again…and so the road trip was off.

My wonderful man and I spent Thanksgiving showing his parents the new house and then sharing Chinese Thanksgiving dinner. And it was wonderful. Wine, conversation, and new traditions. And that is the things about life. The opportunity to make new memories is always around.

We could have been upset about the cancelled trip (and I was for a little while), or we could make the best of the situation…a new house, new plans, packing, moving, figuring out hat goes were in what room. And let’s not forget the Christmas decorations! Oh, it’s going to look like Christmas all up in there.

It’s always fun to plan a move to a new place. And a little scary.

Life is short. Too short to be upset when plans change, even though that might be tempting – being upset for a short time is natural. But you can’t stay there, or you’ll miss the good times right in front of you. So figure out what can be salvaged, find a way to enjoy where you are. I would have missed wonderful Thanksgiving if I stayed upset. Instead, this was one if the best Thanksgivings ever.

Thanksgiving

It is a time to take pause and give thanks. And indeed, this has been a year like no other in my life. I have worked harder a d longer than I have in manner years, if ever. But I have been incredibly fortunate in what has been accomplished, that the risks and gambles taken worked out.

And then there is the love. All of the love. There is no doubt that I am loved; friends, family, neighbors, and my wonderful man.

And this year I am grateful for so many things this year. And as I write, there are people waiting, love waiting, laughter, stories, food and good times waiting

Life is short. Be grateful, even in the hard times. It will the bad times easier and the good times better.

Holiday Cheer

It’s that time of year again. the start of the holiday season. And this year it seems to be starting a but early, with Christmas commercials on TV and radio Halloween day. I actually saw Christmas lights up on city street lights before Halloween as well.

Maybe it’s supply chain issues, maybe it’s just because for many it will be the third Christmas under Covid and 3 years since seeing loved ones, but everything Christmas is early this year. Everything about shopping, eating and spending time with family being rolled out early. Or maybe we just need a bit of Holiday cheer after 3 years of a pandemic, several years of the political circus, and now inflation, high gas prices, mandates and those supply chain issues.

Maybe putting up the tree a little early this year isn’t such a bad idea. After all, it gives us an excuse to be festive and to celebrate this life that we have.

And this year there will be a lot of celebrating. But even among the dinners, parties, gifts and wrapping, even realizing how incredible blessed and fortunate I am, there will be a space in my heart reserved for my family who is no longer here. There will be moments of missing my parents, and those holidays of my childhood. And as I cook my mother’s recipes, there will be a melancholy in the corner of my eye.

And now, more than ever, is the time to keep those we love close and appreciate their presence in our lives, This year is a great year to raise a glass to those memories that make us smile and tug at our hearts as we sit by the fire. And now is the perfect time to make this life, the best one we can – a life well lived and well loved.

Life is short. And precious. So spread the holiday cheer and tell the people you love that you love them. It will put a smile on their face and a spring in your step. After all, no hearth glows brighter than one that is lit in love and shined with a heartful heart. do it now, especially if you feel far away.

By the Grace of God Go I

They say that well behaved women never make history, and that you can’t play it safe and live an extraordinary life.  It is also said that you have to take risks to accomplish anything. I’ve always been a bit of a gambler, taking risks and banking on my faith and ability to work hard to see it through. Sometimes I lose, but most of the time I win, and I grow and learn every time.

When I was just out of high school, I applied for a job at a radio station just to get a tour of the studio and ended up getting the job.  Just decided that day and took the risk and took the job even though I had no experience. And it worked out as a career for almost 15 years.

A few years later when taking a private acting class, the instructor was tired of seeing bad Shakespeare from people who thought they were good, so he banned it from his class. He said anyone caught doing Shakespeare better be good enough to impress him, and no one had yet. But I knew I could do it. So I practiced until I was great, did the monologue and then held my breath and waited. His response was “I said you better be damn good to do Shakespeare in my glass and not get kicked out.  And you were damn good.”

Then many years later I moved from Columbus to Atlanta, which doesn’t sound like a risky gamble…except I didn’t have a job or a place to live when I drove the loaded U-Haul. I took the risk that I would find a place to live that day…and I did. I looked at one house, paid the deposit and unloaded the truck. And I found a job the next day. But a big risk. What if it hadn’t worked out?

In 2010 I quit my nice stable job in finance that I hated in order to start my own writing business. No back up plan, just getting out there, working hard and praying harder. It was in the middle of the recession in Atlanta, after the housing market had crashed. Business was slow, times were tight, money was short and the hours were long. There were many 16-18 hour days then, as I was also putting my nephew through college. I was so exhausted, but I still worked hard and prayers harder and it worked out. I made a name for myself and now have a great career. But it is by the Grace of God that I have been able to do so well, because everyone who has hired me has been willing to take a chance on me. And I have done my best to earn that.

I gambled big once again when I relocated to Texas – moved to a house that I had only seen online and not in person. I said a prayer, paid the deposits, packed up everything and headed south with a friend, my plants, and my cats. Who does that?? I do. And it turned out great. This was the one of the best decisions I have ever made.

And now, I’ve made another huge gamble, rolling the dice, praying and working hard, to make it happen. And by the Grace of God, I rolled all sevens. Jackpot.

After a lot of prayers, hard work, phone calls and negotiating, it has all come together. Which is huge. Because this was the biggest gamble of my life.  And there were times I got discouraged and doubted whether or not it would work. So I would pray. And all I can say is that but by the Grace of God go I. Because the odds were rather lopsided.

Recently I read a an article that talks about choosing your hard. It outlines how being overweight is hard, getting in and staying in shape is hard. Choose your hard. Being poor is hard, saving money is hard — choose your hard. The article went through a whole list like that, and it truly resonated with me when I read it. So when I got discouraged, I would remember that article and think about choosing my hard. What hard did I want, if I get to choose?

But with God and my faith, none of this would have worked.  I am an excellent writer, but I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without those people believing in me and giving me the chance. Because they just as easily could have told me no. So many pieces and legs to this plan that I hatched and the risks taken, but everything has lines up. And the relief felt is palpable.

And so my knees hit the floor as I cry and give thanks for being so very blessed. and I am acutely aware of my blessings

Desire and Weakness

A wise friend of mine once warned me not to let my desire become my weakness. What a profound statement. But what exactly does that mean? Sometimes when we want something so badly, we have blinders on, and do not see the pitfalls or red flags associated with that which we think will give us what our heart desires most. And in that moment, our desire becomes our weakness. It becomes something others can exploit, what can be emotionally manipulated within us. Indeed, that is what leads many of us to make bed decisions.

Don’t let your desires become your biggest weakness. Don’t let what you want most, or the promise of getting what you want most, lead you into unsafe waters, where you can be manipulated and taken advantage of. In that instance, we must all guard our heart. And that goes for relationships, love, jobs, careers, friendships, anything really. How many times have we ended up in a bad job, relationship, friendship, career, because what was promised to us, what what we wanted so badly, seemed to be so close?

We must guard against that. But how? I don’t really know, but I think I have an idea, or at least what had worked for me. First we must listen to our gut instinct, Because our guts are good to us. So we need to go someplace quiet, where no one is whispering this or that in our ear, and we need to look deep inside where our guts live, and listen to that little voice. Because we already know if a decision is a good one, if we listen. And if we have the courage to follow that voice.

Second, we must be cautious and suspicious of anyone who offers us that which we desire most. Sound counterintuitive? It’s not. Because that is how we learn discernment. And discernment can save your life. Discernment gives the time, space and objectively to see if that person making promises is being truthful with no ulterior motives, or if they are acting in their own best interests because they see something in you that they can exploit. It gives times to dig deeper, and make sure we see those red flags, or even yellow ones, so we can truly make the best and healthiest decisions. decisions But it takes a mature person to understand that. And not everyone is mature.

And let’s face it, we have all made bad decisions based on our desires. We have all found ourselves in situations where we ignore the pitfalls, in hopes of those promises coming to fruition. Some of those decisions have harder consequences than others, but no doubt they could have been avoided if we had just taken some times to step back to get a better view and put our desires in the backseat instead of letting them drive. The good news is that it is never too late to learn and never too early to practice.

Life is short, too short to live with bad decisions. So listen to your gut, guard your heart against your desires and make decisions based on solid ground. By guarding against you weakness, you gained the strength and discernment to truly see a situation for what it was, and chose accordingly. Your gut already knows the answer anyway.

The Kiss of Fall

It’s finally here. That slight change in the air, so subtle that it’s hardly noticeable, but you know as soon as you feel it. It is start of Fall. And it has nothing to do with what day it is on the calendar.

It is the first time that cooler air kisses your face, caressing your hair with a soft breeze, letting you know of the that lower temperatures are soon approaching. And that kiss makes a promise of the baking temperatures of summer being over, of windows open at night instead of running the air conditioner, and maybe even the turning of the leaves, if you are further enough north. In Texas we don’t get many colors of Fall, but we do so love the cooler weather after the searing heat of the summer.

And in my neck of the woods, that also means sitting out on the back patio or talking with the neighbors over beer as we sit out watching the children. It means wine and grilling and laughing while the humidity is low. It’s laughing and spending time with friends.

And that is another reason why this time is so exciting for me as well – because of the promise of being able to relax a bit, This year has bene one of tremendous hard work, as I set a goal early that I am with in of accomplishing. it is preparing for this holiday season which will be one of the happiest of my life. This Fall is full of promise and love and laughter and smiles and love and wine and great meals and exploring and planning and living and kissing. Indeed life is wonderful and I am happy.

Life is short. Enjoy all of the seasons.

Working on Prayer

If it wasn’t hard every one would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great. – A League of Their Own

It takes a lot of hard work to accomplish something spectacular. And if you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and dive in. But working hard isn’t the same as forcing it. What is the difference? I think it’s in the letting go. You work as hard as you can, do everything that you can for as long as you can, say many prayers and let it go.

That, to me, is also one of the hardest parts. It’s hard to work so hard for what you want, a goal that means a lot to you, that involves blood, sweat and tears. And then…just…let…it…go?

Yes. Because we have faith and trust, even when it’s hard. Even when we have put everything into it. And we must have faith that all that hard work will pay off. Because it will.

Sometimes we just need to breath, and pray, rinse and repeat.

Life is short. Do the work. Have faith. Believe and pray and believe.

“Among the sleepy pines and soft water, where the moss sways in the breeze of the thick summer air, between heartbeats and raindrops…. I’ll meet you there.” – Ada

Being back on Georgia soil for the last few days has put a huge smile on my face. It isn’t Atlanta or even my hometown, but Savannah. And it has been glorious. There is something so wonderful about this old, haunted town that is beyond familiar. This place feels more like home to me than almost any other place in the State.

Indeed, I spent many weekends, in the shade of the squares and around the area – Brunswick, Statesboro, Tybee and St Simon’s, laughing, walking and being carefree. I was in high-school and spent at least every other weekend in the area.

And this weekend, spending time with my love and his family, parents, siblings and aunts, has been a spectacular combination of the old and the new, making memories that will forever tie the days of my youth to the time of my future.

And I am acutely aware of how fortunate we all are, to be healthy, and happy and flourishing in this time. To laugh over a drink at the funky bar, or to sip local wine during a delicious dinner, witnessing the love the flows through the family that has invited me in.

Life is short. Appreciate every moment.

Fully Committed

“Work hard. Play hard. Love hard. Be soft.”

One thing that is sure in this life, you need to be fully committed to it. Whatever it is. While it may be hard to hush all of the distractions that buzz around us daily, this is the only way to be I order to live a full life, in every glorious moment. (Yes, I do realize that may not be what some readers firth thought about me and being “fully committed…)

For me, when I decided to take on a challenging new project, that meant fun com.itting to it, head down, in order to understand all the technical aspects and be able to write and speak intelligently on the topic. It has been a lot to grasp and much hard work wrapping my head around the product and project.

But it is extremely fulfilling to fully commit and whily be in those moments.

Conversely, it is equally fulfilling in my personal life, a fact that becomes more apparent as I turn off the computer and get in the Uber heading to the airport. Since I was a child I’ve always held planes as magic. Any trip that involved a plane was full of possibilities and wonder.

I have worked hard over the last few weeks, especially the last few days, getting everything ready for the trip. Not long, just 5 days of pure unplugged bliss with my man and his family. A reunion of sorts in two of my favorite cities on the planet, where two of my favorite people also happen to live.

As the plane takes off, the air is full of possibilities. Smell that? That is the scent of FUN and laughter and love, and stories, good food, great company and memories being made. It is the scent of being fully committed to this moment, it all of its magical glory.

And when I return? It will be snuggles with my fur babies and sleeping in my own bed, the most comfortable bed on the planet. And then getting up and being fully committed to working hard and doing what needs to be done.

Life is short. Time is precious. So whatever you do, be committed, be fully in it, be so immersed in the wonderful details that you make even the most ordinary moments your own special kind. Be fully committed to your life, and reap the rewards.

Home Returns

“Just because it’s familiar and comfortable doesn’t mean it’s yours.” – Ada

While this may sound like a warning not to have an affair with an ex, it is actually somethjng much more ssignificant. This is the thought that came to my mind as I looked at the Atlanta skyline. For 17 years this skyline was my home. It is most familiar to me, as the skyline of Houston is still hard for me to recognize. And yet, home is not home anymore in the ATL, because Atlanta is no longer my home. And that is more than just where I live geographically. It is a feeling that carries a specific weight with it. And it permitted every part of my trip to take care of some loose ends.

The streets were comfortable, I knew the way from the airport, from the correct traffic lanes to which shortcuts to take to avoid delays. I knew the streets and the neighborhoods. Memories where all around – there is where I met that guy on a date, this place has the best Mexican food, that is where my Dad liked to eat Rubins and there is where he lived when he died. This is the trail and park I loved to walk, here is my favorite coffee spot, that is my favorite dive bar and there is the best movie theater….

And yet, so many things had changed and it was not the same city I left a 18 months ago. Crime is up, and many places I used to fequent are no longer safe. Indeed, it felt like a bit like the twilight zone – things looked the same, but were starkly different, as if in a parallel universe.

But the visit was magnificent, and it was good to see friends most loved and missed, those that were not there for the last visit. There qas laughter and catching up, and eating at our favorite spots, and celebrations, and butter cake. And there was the wonderful reminder that

You can always go home means something different now. Because that no longer my home…the saying now means that you can make a new space your home, visit and enjoy your old space, then go home where you belong, where your heart is, and where your future lies.

Life is short. And returning to your old stomping ground may be comfortable, more often than not it is no longer home. Because it is no longer your present or your future. So enjoy the visit, and but take a moment to reflect how far yiu have come.

20 Years

This day, September 11th, will always be remembered by those who were old enough to experience it. At the risk of sounding old, the younger generation has no idea what it is like to see, either in person or on the news, an area that vast, where rescuers are still looking for remains even a year later. They have no idea what it is like to know people who were or should have been in those buildings, wondering if they were still alive that day, or if they were one of the many who jumped or were buried alive.

They have no idea the panic of calling that friend, or family member, over and over, desperately praying they answer so you know they are OK. Nor do they know the relief when that call is answered…or the devastation when it isn’t.

They have no idea what it was like to go and see Ground Zero, before it was built back up, before there were monuments and new buildings, when it was just a huge hole, larger than you could ever imagine, and know that so many people were now part of that dust.

To me this day is a somber one, but one we should never forget because there are so many lessons that were learned. It was the day our innocence was lost as a country, I think.

But for me it is also a day to be thankful. Thankful that I live in this wonderful country. No matter how many problems we seem to have, at least we are free. And I am thankful for that freedom. That were are still Americans and not subject to Sharia Law. That as a woman, I am still allowed every right I had before that date so many years ago.

I am thankful for my job and amazing career, for my friends, and that we are all OK. That we work hard and have a roof over our heads, food, running water, electricity, a comfortable bed where we sleep and do not hear the sounds of guns shots and war, as many in other countries do.

For me this is a day to be thankful and realize how lucky I am, how lucky we are, as a nation. And I thank God.

And every day, I should do my bet to be my best, because by miracle and luck, I am in this country, the greatest country in the world. And I should not take anything for granted. Life is delicate and fragile. And today is not a dress rehearsal.

Life is short. Make it good. Make it memorable. Make it worth it.

Happy 85th

Hi Daddy,

Tomorrow is your 85th birthday, and the 5th birthday without you. It’s hard to believe that it has been that many of your birthdays without you. I loved celebrating your birthday. Our little tradition of me giving you socks. I remember your 70th birthday when I gave you 70 socks.

I remember so many things about you, like y our voice, your smile, your funny one liners. I remember the advice you gave me, and the last time we ate boiled peanuts. And I remember how much you loved Mom. And how much she loved you.

I just want you to know that you were the best Daddy in the world, and thank you so much for being mine. Thank you for everything.

And happy birthday Daddy. I hope you and Mom and happy where you are, and that you look out after me. I love you always and miss you forever.

The Morning Slow

In this day and age of everything has to be done now and immediately, is there any such thing as a slow morning? Why yes, there is.

This morning I woke up slow, hit the snooze button several times. Upon getting up it was snuggle time with the kitties. Then it was the morning routine of brushing teeth and facial care. I put on my long feather robe and walked downstairs in the matching high heeled feather shoes, made coffee and then retuned upstairs for stretching, meditation and prayer.

This slow, thoughtful and purposeful start of the morning set the tone for the rest of the day, as meeting and deadlines loomed every closer. And yet, there was calm.

My mother always told me that how you start your day would determine how it goes. Indeed, when you start the morning off rushed, in a bad mood, maybe even arguing, that sets the tone for the day too. And it;s not a good one. So if you have a choice, be intentional with how you are start the day, Be mindful with where your thoughts are in the beginning.

Some people do this by being a champion of organization and a schedule, as my mother was, and certainly it might be easier. I am a bit more of a loose cannon. But what she said stuck with me. And so now, more than ever, I think we need to start the day off slow.

Life is short. And the world is crazy enough right now, make sure you take the time to enjoy the sunrise, center yourself, set your spiritual intention and humbly pray that you are the best that you can be today. It makes all the difference.

Imposter Who?

This is the day and age of labeling everything with a snazzy new name. And the human condition does not escape this tendency either. So I was so curious when I heard about the Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is defined as: a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.  I call this part of life. We all have doubts and fears about our abilities, so why is there suddenly a psychological pattern? And where do you think the saying “fake it till you make it” comes from?

Here is a news flash: None of us actually know what we are doing. We are all just trying to figure out life. Do we really need a condition that most of us would fall into? trust me, that person that looks like that they have it all figured out…they don’t. They may have some, or even most if life figured out, but trust me, they don’t have it all together all of the time.

All of us, no matter how together or secure, are unsure of ourselves and what we can and cannot do. All of us are new to something at some point and have absolutely no idea what we are doing. All of us have a first day, many times in a lifetime. That is part of life, it’s part of growing and learning. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. But it is how we grow. The saying is that we shod do one thing every day that scares us. Why is that? Because we aren’t supposed to know everything.

Why, if this is part of the human experience, is it labeled as bad? Where it is written, and why are we taught to expect that we should feel comfortable and knowledgeable in all topics and parts of our life?

That is what puberty is all about – being awkward and trying to figure out who and what you are. And the thing is…that is just the start of it. How boring life would be if we already knew enough to always felt comfortable and confident on our abilities. Why would we want to sanitize life to the point where we never felt normal human emotions just because they aren’t the happy ones? We have been programmed to believe that confusion, fear, insecurity are all bad. But maybe they are not. Maybe we can use these feelings to not only help us understand ourselves better, but also each other.

Being unsure and a bit uncomfortable also gives us the opportunity to develop. Things of the first time you try to play an instrument. It probably sounded terrible. But often a lot of practice and hard work, you made it through your first recital. And, slowly, eventually, you came more and more comfortable. Until you felt proud of the progress you had made. And maybe now you are a master. That is the precipice of hard work and perseverance. And how sad life would be if we were stripped of that opportunity. Think of the pride of working hard to master a skill or knowledge set?

So embrace that you don’t know. Embrace that you have doubts. Embrace the beautiful mess that you are. Because we are all a mess in our own ways. We are all doing the best that we can, and we are all sometimes unsure of our footing. Don’t shut down when you feel fear or anxiety or insecurity, instead use them as motivation.

Life is short. Don’t worry if you don’t know. Just do the best that you can and let the chips fall where they may. If someone thinks you are an imposter, that’s their problem, not yours. And what they think of you is none of you business.

The Visit

I have always said that what makes a home are the memories. Indeed, I want my home to be filled with wonderful memories in every corner, every nook and cranny. So I do love it when friends come to visit, because it’s just another opportunity to make memories and have a life well lived. And so my friends came and there was laughter and wine and food and catching up, and sharing and margaritas.

My friends, who have helped me move several times, helping me carry the heaviest furniture in and out and around and in the proper place. My friends who have been there for me, kept my cats when I had to leave a house full of mod and had no idea where to go. My friends who have been there for me, through thick and thin and breakups and breakouts, through tacos and turkey and questionable spaghetti sauce.

And so the good times rolled and great memories were made.

Life is short. Spend it with making memories with good friends.

The Celebration

Maybe because I am a hopeless romantic, but I have always loved weddings. Two people celebrating their love and commitment to each other, making that vow in front of God and their loved ones. It is truly a sacred time. Those vows are sacrosanct. My parents were married for 49 years, and were the love of each other’s lives. I love, love.

So it was wonderful when my love and I travelled to Colorado for a wonderful wedding where he performed the ceremony. I had been to Colorado, but not up in the mountains. IT was amazing to see the Rockies, so big and majestic. Don’t get me wrong, the East Coast has the Smokies, and they are beautiful. But the Rockies are huge and a completely different topography. I had never seen mountains that big, or been in that high of elevation. I did well, though, and outside of being a little more winded going upstairs.

The wedding was beautiful and much fun was had at the reception. We danced the night away, made toasts, drank a bit, took funny pictures and celebrated the love of the couple.

One of the best things about travel is also having fun exploring. My man and I stopped in several small mountain towns, going into shops, restaurants and little pubs. We saw elk, beautiful views and took way to many pictures. We made a visit to my cousin, making time for hugs, good food, wine and conversation. It is always good to see family.

While I would love to write something vastly wise and profound on travel or weddings or love, I really can’t because what it boils down to is quite simple: Life is short. And even in this time of restrictions, uncertainty and politics, we can make room for what makes our hearts happy. We must never lose our curiosity about life and that which is around us. The world is so big and full of everything. Go explore it. We only get this one life. Celebrate it.

Welcome to the Zoo

Life is an adventure, we already know this. And most of us are familiar with the adage that when it rains it pours. This is definitely true for this week. Moist who read my blog are familiar with all of my sitcom moments, which are moments that you would think only happen in a sitcom…except that its real life. You life. And you sit back and realize that if you were watching this it would be hysterical.

It has been a crazy mix of starting a new project, having company, and plumbing issues. It is the perfect trifecta for what I can call The Zoo.

Picture it, starting a new project while great friends visit. There is not much time to spend with them because I am getting up and running. I see them for breakfast, lunch when I go down to grab a sandwich downstairs and when I am done for the day and ready to start dinner. These friends have three massive dogs small horses, which I did not know where also coming. These dogs are well behaved, but do bark, and growl a bit loud. I have cats. Cats that are terrified of the dogs.

My mind thinks back to the movie Cheaper by the Dozen, where between kids, animals and projects, things can get a bit crazy.

The sitcom moments are coming faster than a bowling ball. I am working upstairs in my office, when I hear the dogs bark and actually start howling, singing me the song of their people. So loud that the neighbors can hear. I quickly move my desk into the master bedroom…which is pretty big, but to have the entire bedroom, and the office desk, with the computers, monitors and work stuff. It’s pretty cramped. But, when the dogs start barking and howling because they see a squirrel or anything really, I can close the door.

The cats don’t know that the dogs won’t eat them, so they are also terrified to leave the bedroom, and for that reason the litter box has been temporarily moved to the bathtub. The experience a the scent of a freshly used littler box wafting over to you in a meeting is a special. The knowledge that hearing the cats scratching in said litterbox will be followed by the scent is a dread that can only be matched by waiting for a parent to get home after a horrible report card.

More sitcom moments as when the dogs bark and howl, the cats, safe upstairs in the master bedroom, dive under cover. Being on a call and having the howling start, slamming the bedroom door quickly, as the cats jump into hiding, knock over computers, drinks and anything else in the way.

And then add plumbing issues to the mix. Because what sitcom would be complete without bad plumbing? My friends helped replace the bad garbage disposal that stopped working and was leaking water everywhere. And discovering complications with the water filtration system, dishwasher and refrigerator sweetened the deal of funny moments as Murphy’s Law dug in his ugly feet. So there have been trips to the store for supplies, calls to and visits from the plumber, lots of water and cleaning up. Doorbells ringing, pipes leaking, running around, dogs howling, things falling.

And so it goes this week. Leaks, howls, littler boxes, desk moving, and lots of hectic. But I smile and am as cool as a cucumber in the meetings… No one would know that the entire house is a zoo past the closed door.

But at least it is not boring.

Life is short. Welcome to my life, other wise known right now as the Zoo. Make the most of it. Laugh about it, maybe even howl about it.

The Destination Journey

Travel these days can be a bit dicey. Airlines and short staffed, as is everyplace else, everyone is sick of wearing masks, flight crews are stretched thin, service people are working long hours, and delays are more common than flights remaining. on schedule.

So here I am at the airport bar that is beyond busy, having a glass of wine because our flight has been delayed, again. But looking around, people are happy. They are talking, laughing, and just glad to be in a bar, even if their flight is delayed 8 hours because of tornado warnings. Waiting in line to get in, I met a couple of your men, probably in their mid 20’s, who were strangers that struck up a conversation. About how long they had been waiting to get home. Before they parted, they shared another laugh and hugged each other as they went on their way.

The world, and this country is not as divided and the news would want us to believe. All one has to do is look around in an airport, full of every type of people, with every reason to be impatient.

And I needed this reminder today. After being attacked and called racist because I worry about what is happening in Afghanistan. (I don’t get political on this blog, but if you are a person of faith, please pray for the Americans trapped there, the people who live there and the interpreters and others who helped us. They are getting slaughtered).

But all I needed to restore my faith was a delayed plane in a busy airport. People of every race and every color, talking, laughing and helping each other. Two strangers of completely different backgrounds are sitting talking about their favorite TV shows and movies. Everywhere I look, people are coming together.

How much are we coming together? The two people discussing movies (and now sharing pictures of their children), one is Indian, one is Irish from New York. Across the way, a gay couple, one Mexican, one Chinese, just bumped fists with a black man who approached them after hearing them talk about some common topic. Behind me, there is a Muslim laughing with an older white couple.

Don’t believe all the hype. We are still the United States, United by our people who are the melting pot of the world.

Life is short. The Bible says love one another. It did not say anything about having to be the same race or the same faith or the same political views. It just says Love One Another. And if this busy, crowded airport, full of tirrd people just trying to get home sometime in the next 12 hours is any indication, we do.