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Reasons I’m Awesome

StuartSmileyI got a little down on myself today. And then I remembered that old SNL Stuart Smiley self-help sketch (side note: don’t you love the alliteration) and his daily affirmation, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it people like me.”

And damn it, it’s true. I’m kind of awesome. Now, I’m a fairly modest person, and typically shy away from attention on me, but for a moment or two, I’m gonna look in the mirror Stuart Smiley-style and list all the ways I’m awesome.

1. I am well-traveled and at current count I’ve visited 10 countries and have ambitions to see 50 or more. I even want to see Antarticia.

2. My credit score is over 800.

3. I’m very handy around the house. I have successfully installed a ceiling fan, kitchen sink and garbage disposal.

4. I’m great at solving jigsaw puzzles.

5. I take care of my body and exercise at the gym or outside at least 5x/week.

6. I’m strong on my faith and believe in the Eucharist. Now granted, me and God have been at odds recently, but I’m still a believer.

7. I’m a good writer and probably better editor.

8. I have awesome technical skills for a non-technical person (e.g. website development, HTML, SharePoint)

9. I’m a wizard at online research.

10. I pay my bills on time.

11. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and plant trees, flowers or take a weed wacker to an overgrown bush.

12. I’ll eat nearly anything, except Indian food.

13.  I love wine, but sometimes I just want a beer, and yes, I’m okay with PBR.

14. Tequilla shots are the best. Vodka shots are good too.

15. I understand football, basketball, baseball and tennis.

16. I prefer to sit outside than inside when given the option.

17. I look good in short skirts.

18. I have awesome, thick, hair–enough for 10 cancer patients.

19. I’m not afraid to eat, travel alone.

20. I read at least 10 books a year.

21. I can and prefer to drive a 5-speed.

22. I’m well-educated with a Master’s from American University.

23. I’ve experienced life in the northeast, midwest, mid-Atlantic, and the South.

24. My resume is a list of Fortune 500 companies.

25. I am super flexible (physically and emotionally).

26. I make kick-ass sangria.

27. I’m solid in my political beliefs and values, but I don’t push them on others.

28. I believe in experiences over stuff.

29. I’m indifferent on marriage—do it or don’t–I no longer care.

30. I’m a cool, crazy Auntie to three nieces and two nephews.

31.  I’m totally and utterly unattached, no kids, no pets, just looking for the next adventure.

32. I remember everything (except when I had my last period) and for what I can’t remember in the moment, I have a journal to recall what I was doing on any given date since 2001.

33. I’m a survivor. I may get beat down, shut down, but I have an inner strength to get up and go the next day–it’s kind of my superpower.

34. I give back and volunteer my time once a week at the hospital.

35. I have big boobs and small feet.

36. I have friends in every large metro area in the US.

37. I value quality over quantity in everything from food, to friends to my men.

38. I’ve ridden a camel in the Egypt desert.

39. While I’m a strong Republican, I am environmentally conscience, listen to NPR, watch PBS, and believe every state should have a hands-free law.

40. I enjoy foreign and indie films.




My 43rd Birthday Trigger

A few of my favorite things.
A few of my favorite things.

On January 14, I turned 43. This was officially my “New Year’s.” It was time to put 2014 behind me, and make a new life in Charlotte. I thought moving back to NC would be easy, but I quickly discovered that I needed my own connections, more friends than just my mom, step-dad and 12 year old nephew. I needed my life, I needed to find my tribe.

I’ve never been a fan of online dating sites. You have to weed through a lot of crap. It’s like shopping at TJ Maxx-you have to sort through the generic crap to find last season’s designer stuff. I’ll do this when I’m in the mood and have the time, but many times I don’t want to be bothered. I’d rather just go to Macy’s and pay full price and be done. However, I was faced with the dilemma of do I just sit at home, drink bottle after bottle of wine and then whine about how I have no life, no local friends or do I do something about it? I did something about it. On the night of my 43rd birthday, I loaded up on my favorite things: wine, Chick-fila and chocolate cake, then took the leap and logged on to OK Cupid.

My intentions were simple: get out of the house, meet people and maybe develop some friendships. I didn’t consider it dating. My criteria was fairly simple: a white man, 41-50 years old, Catholic, college-educated, and employed. This search yielded no more than 2o men. “Quality over quantity,” I reminded myself.  I browsed through the profiles and quickly assessed that quality, not just quantity may be an issue. But it didn’t matter, I thought, I wasn’t looking for the perfect guy, I was looking for my tribe, for people who wanted to hang out with me and give me a reason to get out of my pajamas each day (I work from home, so this one is hard sometimes).

Men are visual creatures, so I uploaded just a photo. No profile description, just my age.  I read profile after profile, and after a while they all start to sound the same and you just go to the photo. When you visit a profile on OKC, the other person gets a notification you visited their profile. “So what?”I mumbled with cake in my mouth (yes, I talk to myself), “I don’t have anything about myself up there, I’m just looking right now, when I’m ready to go hard at it, I’ll draft something witty and smart.” I  decided I wasn’t investing too much.

So as I was sitting there watching old episodes of Friends, sipping Chardonnay and eating birthday cake directly out of the box,  I got a message from Qua*&#uy37. I froze–this one was interesting–I had been triggered.


2014: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I know I’m’ totally late on the end of year recap, but getting back to blogging after the year that was 2014 has been so overwhelming that I retreated and dodged the one activity that allows me to release and reset.

Everyone has pivotal life moments–marriage, divorce, kids, death, financial ruin, moves, accidents, whatever it is, we all have them. Mine was 2014.  Even now, I’m not sure I can adequately or even fully put into words what my 2014 was like, but what I can say is there was some good, a fair amount of bad and a lot of ugly.

The Good

  • Landed new job that after years of searching finally put me right where I wanted to be: internal and HR comms.
  • And with the new job came a wealth of benefits that four months later would become a life-saver.
  • I had one close relative, my cousin, Elayne, within an hour drive to DC. Prior to 2014, I had no relatives within a 300 mile radius. She would become “my person” and be at my side as I came out of surgery on that fateful day in late May.
  • Despite all my physical and emotional challenges of the year, I still managed to stay on track with my reading goals and I checked the GW Bush library off my bucket list.
  • #GermanyXmas2014. Thanks to my dear friend Jeri, I was treated to a cruise through Germany and the Christmas markets. It was a huge bright spot in the year, and was an early start to a better 2015.
  • Move back to NC. I’m still adjusting to life here, but so far its all good.

The Bad

  • Sold the condo I had lived in for nine years. Unfortunately, I had to cut my losses and write a check at settlement so I could move forward and put the DC chapter behind me.
  • I turned 42. Women’s fertility takes a nose dive at 42.  I had to grieve that loss.
  • I discovered my dear friend, Marsha, who was with me when I entered the church in 2005 had died. I still miss her.
  • I had to trade-in my beloved 5-speed, Fiat, Gio I for Gio II, an automatic because of my accident.  This one still hurts.

The Ugly

Most of you know the ugly, so no need to elaborate here. It’s quite simple: One event made for a lot of ugliness in 2014.

  • Got hit by car while running on Memorial Day and spent the next eight days at GW Hospital, and the next six months rehabbing.
  • After that day, the summer and early fall were just a fog of figuring out how to go to the bathroom, take a shower, feed myself, finding pants and skirts that fit over my Frankenstein boot, and getting from point A to point B on crutches with coffee in hand.  And eventually, I had to learn to walk on my leg again, which unlike Grey’s Anatomy took a lot longer than a few hour-long episodes. Yep, real life, real medical emergencies are nothing like Grey’s Anatomy!

There you have it–my 2014. In year’s past, I’ve summarized my year with a theme song. This year, I suppose the title that captures it best is “Bad Day” although I had to muster a lot of “Brave” to get through  2014.


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