Over & Out

My 2013 in Review

FRC Ultimate Ascent kickoff, a super-surprise-secret-midnight wedding, the best two weeks ever with my dog Red, the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make, and grieving. So much sadness.

Continued sadness. Tremendous home improvement efforts prior to hosting an anniversary party for friends with a full service cocktail bar. An awards ceremony in Madison, WI, a fun birthday day trip to Chicago followed by another trip to Madison.

Continued sadness. An unexpected reunion. Bought new running shoes even though I wasn’t doing any running. Two FRC competitions and a mellow St. Patrick’s Day.

New ink and a concerted effort to heal myself. State FRC competition. Saw Carmina Burana with my other half. Battled a flooded basement for three full days!  Got a promotion and a new boss, plus an escrow shortage notice that upped my mortgage payment by $175 a month (even after I paid $400 out of pocket). Oh, and my student loans came due.

First half marathon ever. A trip home for Mother’s Day, another trip to Madison for business. A strange birthday party, feeble attempts to run, and a Guster concert with my up north girl Lauren.

Traverse City business trip. A bazillion graduation open houses; my son started driver’s ed. Saw a Tigers game at Comerica Field and spent two awesome days with my friend Jules. Also attended my baby cousin’s wedding.

4th of July party, housesitting, a lot of swimming(!), and a baby shower. A visit from my good friend Chas. Awesome summer weather. Started training for my second half marathon.

Premier League started! Training, trail running, & cross-training (biking, swimming, walking). A lot of petsitting! A not-so-unexpected breaking of ties. Hosted my ridiculously stupid birthday party. More broken ties. SOCCER! My first 5K race of the year, another visit from Chas. The beginning of my surprisingly long-lasting introverted phase. Started this blog.

Moderate training/cross-training. A super fun girl’s weekend at the lake for Labor Day. My son started school and resolved to get good grades. I started a new soccer season. Celebrated Beth’s birthday and the completion of my second half marathon.

Work work work work work. My car was in the repair shop; I took a long trip to Reno for business. Soccer. My son competed at an FRC student run invitational; his favorite teacher had a serious motorcycle accident (he’s recovering). Attended a dear friend’s Dr. Who-themed baby shower and my first Zumba and Yoga classes, ever. Decided to grow my hair out.

Another trip to Madison. Went out on a few strange dates. Ran half of a 10K trail race. Enjoyed a couple amazing meals by myself, went to a few birthday parties, started playing drop-in soccer outside of league.  Spent a quiet Thanksgiving with my son, his friend, and my little brother. Raked sooo many leaves.

Busy with work, petsitting and snow shoveling, tried to avoid the Holidays without success. Finally accepted being single and stopped fighting for something I really wanted. Had to come to terms with the idea of defeat, but a new client came along and inspired me to get my ducks in a row for my petsitting business. Worked the entire week of Christmas (except the Holiday itself) and resolved never to do that again. Planning to ring in NYE at home – planning to wake up tomorrow as a single, confident, extroverted entrepreneur.

Thanks for the memories, 2013.

Photo Credit: Michael Regan / Getty Images

Thank you, Olivier

Confidence – it’s a powerful, sometimes fragile thing.

My confidence was unshakable from the time I was born until I turned 32 and let someone else shake it to pieces… for three years (blergh, I know).  Building a new, solid foundation for my confidence to stand on is tougher than I expected. I really have to focus on confidence-boosting moments.

Surprisingly, those moments don’t have to belong to me. Seeing someone else get a sudden boost of confidence is helpful too! Yesterday I watched French striker Olivier Giroud regain his during the Arsenal v Newcastle United fixture. I’m sorry to say he hasn’t been in top form of late, he was frustrated and the fans were frustrated for him.  Today’s only goal gave Arsenal the win plus 3 league points to put them top of the table for the new year – hello Confidence!

Watching Giroud claim his moment was cathartic, inspirational, and timely. He’ll shine even brighter in the next match on New Year’s day because of the win today. He’s probably pretty happy with that; he has no idea how much he helped strengthen my confidence too.

Every little bit counts!

Table for One

You’re out at a restaurant, having a great time with friends or family, when suddenly you see that solitary figure eating a friendless, family-less meal. The more you look at the person, the lonelier he/she seems in your mind, so you start offering eye contact and encouraging smiles, hoping he/she will feel less miserable.

Stop it.

I am that person, and I like dining out alone. I love hearing my thoughts, waiting for a meal I don’t have to prepare while enjoying a glass of wine poured from a bottle into a tiny little carafe, where it breathes for exactly five seconds before it’s emptied into the fragile wine glass with the razor sharp rim. I like recounting the day’s events, listening to the noise around me, and learning how to tell the server I’m perfectly fine through simple body language so she stops asking if I need anything.

I see your friendly smile from a few seats over.  Thanks for your concern, but I’m doing ok over here on my own. If I smile back, it’s not an invitation to come sit down and talk to me while I try to eat. I’m really trying to say, “I’ve-had-a-long-day-now-I-just-want-to-decompress-that’s-why-I’m-here-by-myself-no-don’t-come-over-here-oh-here-you-come-anyway.”

This never happens at the movie theater…

Christmas Eve Tradition

Christmas is such a special time of year.

Christmas is such a special time of year.

My son started it.  Shortly before Thanksgiving this year he said, “Mom, I don’t really feel like putting up the tree this year. It’s a pain to put together and we have to sweep up the needles all the time.”  I readily agreed; he was preaching to the choir. We also agreed to forgo making & decorating Christmas cookies.  And so began our newest tradition comprised of  minimal Holiday effort.

But today is December 24th and I’m looking around the house – no trace of Holiday cheer. Feeling guilty over our general apathy, I stuck a small pine branch in a pot and adorned it with a single red bulb. (100 bonus points to me for stealing the idea from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and -99 points because now that dreary piano solo is stuck in my head).  The decorated Xmas branch now sits festively on our bar, waiting to be surrounded by presents and appreciated by all… two of us.

Holiday cleanup’s going to be a breeze. I hope to embrace this tradition for years to come.