Because I Can Choose

Because I Can Choose

The woman crossing the road walked with intention – a huge smile on her face. We were at a stoplight when I spotted her out of the corner of my eye. She was walking alone, without an audio book or playlist to keep her company. So what was it that was making her smile with such willful abandon if not a catchy tune or sarcastic commentary of a serial podcast? The expression on her face was that of a person who just discovered a big secret. A big happy secret. I wanted to know. I wanted Dave to stop the car so I could find out what it was. I felt this urgent need to invite this smiling woman to the coffee shop or the wine bar and find out why she was smiling — for no reason. I wanted her to share that joy with me. The older I get, the more I’m drawn to happy people. People who make me laugh, are comfortable in their own skin, and aren’t afraid to color outside the lines. And by that, I don’t mean the I-don’t-care-what-people-think-this-is-who-I-am kind of people, because as much as I believe in being authentic, there are too many people who use that “take me as I am” attitude as permission to be an asshole. I’m at a point in my life where I have no time or patience for bullshit. For insincerity. For agendas. For mean people.  I just want it to be easy. I want to be around people who inspire me. Who are loyal and honest. People who give a shit. I want to be around people who...
25 Things I’m Glad I Didn’t Know Before Middle Age

25 Things I’m Glad I Didn’t Know Before Middle Age

So on this day, the day after I turned 50 years old, I guess I’m supposed to share some of that wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years, right? Write one of those “25 things-I-wish-I-knew-before-I-turned-(insert milestone age here )” kind of posts? Filled with regret – those articles leave me wondering why. Why do you wish you knew? Would you truly do things differently? And did you really not know? Come on. You knew that you should have exercised more. Flossed more. Slept more. Spent more time with family. You knew. Well, screw that. In the spirit of “why the hell would I ever want to know that, anyway?” — here are a few things I’m really glad I didn’t know sooner. That my eyelashes would fall out and not all of them would grow back. That there are 35 symptoms of perimenopause, and I would experience 87% of them in just one year. That I would need a stash of reading glasses (was in so denial here for so long). That I would be that person who never knew where her reading glasses were. That menopot was a real thing. That I would still worry too much. That I wouldn’t always like my adult children. That my adult children wouldn’t always like me. That I would not always recognize the face in the mirror. That even at 50, I would still care what people thought of me. That I would have a love-hate relationship with Spanx. That friendships aren’t always forever. That I really can’t always get what I want. (If you’re not middle-aged yet, sorry for the spoiler.) There are definitely worse things than...
The Slow Lane

The Slow Lane

I started writing this post last weekend. It seemed so insightful at the time. With my 50th birthday less than two weeks away, a nostalgic gallup down memory lane seemed fitting. You know, the typical “where did those decades go?” and “if only knew how fast the kids would grow” kind of stuff. But when I opened it this afternoon, to give it a read-through, I couldn’t do it. There was too much sap. Too much sugar. Just too much everything. Delete. Delete. Delete. So instead of lamenting over the years behind me, I’m going to write about slowing down. Not in “I’m getting old and not moving so fast” type of slowing down. More of a “if time is flying by so fast, I better start paying more attention” kind of thing. We’ve all had times in our lives when it felt like time stretched on forever. A week seemed like a month, and an hour seemed like days. Remember that all-hands meeting your company makes you sit through every month? I bet time’s not flying when you’re huddled around that boardroom table with all the other hopped-up-on-Starbucks cubicle dwellers, now did it? (Sorry… my bad. That was a flashback.) So why do we say “time flies?” And how the hell do we stop it from flying when we’re doing something we actually WANT to be doing? Well, I’d be lying if I said I knew the answer to that. I wish I did. Keep reading, though. I promise I’ll share something insightful before you get to the end. Last week I planned a trip to get my hair cut. Moving...
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Yesterday, while at Publix picking up last minute goodies for this year’s Junky Dinner, I thought I was having a stroke. Truly. I’m not sure if it was the bright lights or the sound of Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer blaring over the loudspeaker (how is that a holiday song?), but on entering the store my eyes blurred and I felt, quite suddenly, like a wrung-out dishrag. My head spun and my knees felt weak. I truly thought that this was the end for me. Would my last supper be the sample brisket and gorgonzola mashed potatoes I stopped to scarf down in hopes of raising my sugar levels?  It was weirdly sobering feeling that I am even now having a hard time explaining.  I have never felt anything like it. This is what I do know: That day I had been stressing out about the following things left on my to-do list: finishing up client work getting all the presents wrapped finding a suitable outfit for Christmas Eve (I have nothing festive in my closet!) getting ingredients for Junky Dinner putting together a Christmas song list finalizing a Christmas dinner menu … and so on and so on. By the time I got home, I felt 50% better. An hour later, I was back to my old self, without a clue as to why I felt so near death’s door. I woke up this morning with this thought in my head “It’s all good. Stop worrying. Wear the brown dress. No one will care.” In the dictionary, the word holiday states the following as a definition: a time or period of...
I Was Robbed

I Was Robbed

Yesterday I woke up in a great mood. And then I was robbed. This is the truth in life: If you’re lucky, you wake up every day. That’s it. Well, on this particular day, I woke up feeling extra zippy–with a lovin’ life kind of feeling. I was well-rested and ready to mark another day off the calendar of my empty nest, now-I-live-in-the-city life. Outside my window, children giggled on their way to the bus stop. Birds sang their chorus loudly, competing with the jackhammers and chainsaws doing their dance on the house under construction across the street. The day ahead seemed so bright. And then…it was gone. The assault occurred mid morning. Music playing in the background, I was powering through my Tuesday to-dos when the first text arrived. A harmless “Morning” text that I promptly replied with “Good morning! How are you?”  My cheery text response was met with some obligatory niceties and then… it went downhill. Without going into details of the who, the what and the why of the texting marathon, let’s just say a heated “discussion” via text escalated to ALL CAPS and left me feeling shaky and sad. And mad. But mostly, mad. At myself. Replying to the angry text messages was basically the equivalent of handing a bat to a home invader and saying “have at it.” With each typo-ridden message I sent, I was giving the recipient permission to continue. I was allowing that person to abscond with my happy day. But you know how it is when you’re right, right? It’s unrealistic to think that I’ll never face conflict. Yes, I will piss...