Saturday, March 26, 2011

Grumpiness Can Be Solved By Blue Shoes

I’ll admit it, there have been times when I’ve been ridiculously grumpy the past two days. I have been overreacting about silly little things, simply because life has been hectic (not even bad, just hectic). Between work and school, I am finding little down time (I know, I know, I signed up for it, and it will all work out in the end, and I’ll be a better person when it’s all over, blah blah blah). The sad thing is, I know I actually have it easier than a lot of other people, and I know I am being selfish and overreacting. Still, I’ve been grumpy.

I don’t think I’ve been grumpy to everyone – only my close friends and family. That isn’t fair to them, but it seems like by the time I get around to catching up with them I am done trying to act chipper. (I guess by putting this in a blog post I am whining to everyone, so my whining has now become equal opportunity). Anyways, I need to say thank you to everyone who has listened to my griping the past few days. I woke up to an e-mail from one of those friends basically cheering me on, and it really made me realize that things could be so much worse and everything will work out in the end.

So this morning, when I got dressed for work, I put on my blue shoes and smiled. Positive thinking will help me persevere (and it feels so much better to be positive) and my blue shoes do make me smile and feel positive. So no more whining… even to my best friends. When I’m griping, tell me to shove it (and then tell me to look at my awesome shoes and smile). Life is good and this too shall pass!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Change Is Good

Today was my last day working at the office I've occupied for the past two years. I'm just going a down the road - same company, same role, different office. I'm excited about the opportunities and changes that come with this move, but I am also sad to be leaving the amazing people at my current (past) office. I keep telling them that I will only be a few miles down the road. I'll be back to visit. We'll do dinner. I'll fill in whenever I can. And I mean every word of it.

I can't pretend that this move won't bring change with it, and not just geography. I know I will miss my current co-workers, even though I will still talk to all of them regularly (and they are still my co-workers - I just can't go to their office and tell them every aspect of my life, which I know they just love). It will be different not having lunch at the little round table, people-watching out my window, and running out for coffee. I know I will love working at my new home, because I know the people I will be eating lunch and drinking coffee with now. Still, it will be, well, different.

Change is always uncomfortable and scary. It is also exciting, though, and I'm focusing on that aspect. I just hope that all of my friends and co-workers know how much they mean to me, and they stay in touch with me and continue to give me a hard time and challenge me every day. I love my job and I love who I work with. What adventures will this new placement offer? Only time will tell - and then I'll take my great friends out for a drink to share... because I'm a sharer (as you can probably tell). Change is good :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011


Do you know what you were doing 7 months ago today? Was it a memorable day for you? I was in Virginia, celebrating my cousin’s wedding. It was also when I took a tumble down a large staircase, and ended up breaking my clavicle as well as my C1. Yup, I managed to break my neck. I’m lucky, though, and other than 4 weeks in a neck brace and sleeping in a recliner, I went back to work and kept right on trucking. I think my sister has had more long term effects (she is the one who found me, and she is the one who still calls me to check in and tell me how happy she is that I am ok).

Last week I had what I was hoping was my last appointment with the bone and joint doctor (who is awesome by the way), and after having what I had hoped was my last x-ray for a while, I found out my clavicle still has a crack in it. So I’m not totally healed yet. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy about this. Come on – it’s been 7 months and I have been taking my vitamins, drinking my milk, eating my yogurt, and taking it easy with that arm. Still, my clavicle is not whole yet!

So, when I got in my car I did what I do when I am upset – I called my mom. And my mom of course made me feel better. She simply reminded me to keep everything in perspective. If a sore clavicle and another appointment at the bone and joint center is all I have left from a major fall down a staircase I’m lucky. I have family and friends who took care of me, kept me laughing, and overall showed me how truly blessed I am. I went out to dinner, stopped by work, and even played darts all trussed up, and everyone made me feel normal without staring (at least not too long).

With that said, I guess I am living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I don’t know if I would say I’m better because of the fall, but I would say that I am more self aware, and I love every day. I can whine a bit about aches and pains, and I can feel a bit self-conscious about the bump I will always have on my left clavicle, but overall I am happy. I am just going to keep on moving, finding joy in everyday things, and finding the extraordinary around me every day. Not too shabby!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Red Friday

I received an event invite on facebook to attend "Red Friday." This is a day to wear red to show support for our troops. The invite came along with a touching story about troops walking through an airport. Not surprisingly, this story brought tears to my eyes. Hopefully, that story was a true account of something that happened. Even if it wasn't, there are accounts like this one every day. Stories of our heroes coming home, and those around them recognizing them for their sacrifice for our country.

Now I'm not going to start a post that is anti-war, anti-military, or anti- anything. I frankly don't care if you are against or for war, and I'm not going to tell you my thoughts on war, current wars or past wars. I just believe that our troops are the ones who make it possible for me to write this post. They are the ones who allow me to go about my business and do what I want on a daily basis. Without our military heroes, we would be forced to act a certain way, do certain things, and obey others without question. Again, I don't care about your thoughts on war; I just believe that our veterans and our current war heroes deserve respect and support.

Their job is harder than almost any other job in the world. They have to make choices I cannot even fathom. I appreciate all of our military heroes, and I respect them for what they do every day. If wearing red on Fridays will help show them this, than I will wear red on Fridays (particularly my red shoes). Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

Thursday is St. Patrick's Day (in case you have been living under a rock). I love St. Patrick's Day, and pretty much anything and everything Irish. The music, the accent, the beer, even the soda bread all makes me smile. My hair is strawberry blond (at least I'm convinced it is really strawberry blond - it's been a while since I saw my true hair color without a layer of hair dye on it), and my skin tone is the definition of pale. These traits, along with my love of all things Irish, makes many people think I'm Irish. My dirty little secret - there isn't a drop of Irish blood in me. It is a choice I make to celebrate all things Irish.

Last winter, I decided to take myself to Dublin for a long weekend. What a blast! My aunt with me, and we had a great time. Ironically, the green hills we expected to see were snow covered, and the few inches of snow they got almost shut down the city. That couldn't damper my excitement though. I must say, the Irish people were so helpful and accomodating, even though the snow shut down many of our modes of transportation. My only complaint is that I wasn't able to stay long enough, and I wasn't able to see quite enough of Ireland. That is why I am going back... I just need to figure out when

In the meantime, I'm trusting you with my deep, dark secret - I'm German and Polish; don't tell anyone, ok?

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts For Japan

I have started more than one entry since Friday morning, when I woke up to the sad and shocking news about Japan. I cannot even express the shock that event gave me; my thoughts and prayers go out to all who need them at this trying time. It is times like this that we must remember we are all part of one large human race, and we can help those in need. Not just those in Japan, but those who are struck by more personal health tragedies, or anything traumatic as well. All of these people need to know they are loved and supported. We look at image after image of the damage and destruction, but it is important to remember the people who are suffering and living through these events. They haven't had a chance to think about rebuilding yet, and they continue to face threats to their well-being. Their lives will never be the same. We may be far away, but there has to be ways to help. Donate money? Collect supplies? Provide services? Whatever it is we can do, we should do it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today is Ash Wednesday - the first day of Lent. I have given up buying shoes (and eating candy and desserts). Don't worry, I'm not going to start discussing religion now... This tradition has me thinking, though. In this world of wants and excess, it never hurts to force some sacrifice on yourself.

Facebook was full of people discussing what they are giving up from now until Easter; people on the radio were discussing this; I told everyone at work what I am giving up. (I'm going to do my best not to be crabby about it) I would like to think I'm giving something up for the sacrifice, but I have to be honest, I spent time thinking about what would benefit me most. It is a selfish sacrifice. Giving up sweets will hopefully help me lose a few pounds (fingers crossed). That doesn't mean it won't be hard, though. And I guess the difficulty is what really matters. I refuse to feel guilty. I'm lucky that I'm in the position that giving up sweets is even a possibility; there are people who can't eat sweets due to alergies and those can't afford desserts. I'll say it again - I'm blessed to have the life I have, full of friends, family and support, and lacking wants.

My real sacrifice is the shoes - especially when I have websites sending me e-mails with great deals. Just think, come Easter I can get a spectacular pair of shoes to celebrate :-) (and my bank account will be happier)

Friday, March 4, 2011


Everything in life comes down to perspective. Every choice we make, every opportunity we grab on to, even every risk we take has an effect of who we are, but we also can't take ourselves too seriously. An interesting conversation with friends reminded me of this today.

We can strive to make more money - but when we make the money, will it be enough? At times I feel like I'm running, and everyone around me is running as well, but where are we going? Frankly, this is tiring. Still, I'm striving for my goals, and I will continue to work hard and do the best I can to be the best that I can. It's important, however, to remember that we are specks in the universe, and our time on Earth is minimal compared to Earth's history (my niece's Dinosaur Encyclopedia reminded me all about that fact).

So the question is, what are we going to do with the time we have on Earth? Keep on running? Or stop and smell the flowers (even if it is a cliche)? Even better - stop to help someone else, or stop to make a difference in someone's life? I hope I'm making a difference in someone's life.

Before I was reminded about perspective, I allowed someone to get under my skin and really bother me. Perspective - this person is trying to do their part and I need to support them in any way possible. It isn't personal. Hopefully I can continue to remember this...

So my parting thought - remember to keep everything in perspective and make the most of each day. Help out others and enjoy each opportunity. Don't be afraid of risks - you can't move forward if you are afraid of the uncertain.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Celebration Food

What is it about baking that is calming? Why do I always feel better with the yummy smells wafting about the house? I love to find an excuse to bake. Right now, I have a cake in the oven to celebrate a friend's birthday tomorrow. It's a new recipe for rum cake, but it does smell good. Fingers crossed it tastes as good as it smells.

A lot of people and cultures use food for comfort, traditions, and to show love and joy. It is so much more than nutrition (even if most of those "feel good" foods aren't exactly good for you." I'm definitely not complaining; just stating a fact. Maybe some day I will end up opening my bakery - "Little Slices of Heaven." Any investors want to back me? I will do my best to make sure some of the baked goods are at least half way healthy.

Those who don't have a lot of food find ways to use it for more than sustenance. It makes a simple donation of food to a food bank or shelter that much more meaningful. Could that item be part of a child's birthday dinner? Maybe it will be part of a Sunday dinner with Grandma. It truly makes you reflect on the food we sometimes take for granted and be grateful for what we have - comfort food, birthday dinner, rum cake, or basic nutrition.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Surprise at Work

It was a good day today! Busy, but good. When I was returning to the office after my Tuesday outing, I decided to stop by the mailbox, and my shoes (my gorgeous, turquoise, "trophy wife" suede heals) were waiting for me. Yes, I had them mailed to the office. And yes, I bought a pair of shoes called trophy wife heals, and I'm not even close to being married. Soon...

So I posted a picture of the shoes on facebook, and they spawned quite a few comments. Last week I had posted a picture of a similar pair of shoes I was thinking of buying (but these are better). I particularly like the male perspective on the pictures. "Why do you need more shoes?" "Where are you going to wear them?" "Don't you already have a pair of shoes?"

Here is my advice to those men - we don't buy heals to impress you or anyone else; we buy them for us. We don't walk around in what can easily turn into tiny torture devices (if forced to stand for any amount of time, particularly on concrete or other hard services) to impress men. We do all this for us. It is fun finding attractive, unique shoes that are also stylish. At least for me, colorful shoes are a way to express myself. I dress fairly conservatively, but I rock an amazing pair of shoes. It is my way of being me. And I do have plain, black and brown shoes (some are even flats), but they aren't as much fun to talk about as these fun ones. They are practical for my practical days, and someday I will have to talk about them. Today is not that day, though. Today is a day of happy surprises in the mail (and the bonus - I was wearing an outfit that I could wear the shoes with, so I put them on for the end of the day).

Enjoy your evening - and may there be a surprise in the mail for you tomorrow!