Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Slowing Down

I got a dog last August from our Humane Society.  Lo and I had taken him on a hike like we have with so many other dogs, but there was something about when I put him back in the kennel I knew he was my dog.  I was going through some serious transition at the time, my business ending and I had already started with Horizon so the timing seemed off, but there was such a strong feeling I couldn't ignore.  The fact that he was clearly part border collie was the saving grace to appeal to my husband who had just lost his border collie mix after 16 years and was certain we did not need another dog.

After losing Kaiser, it was hard being out on the trails without him.  I'd go but it wasn't the same.  The joy and security I felt on our adventures was now missing, and I desperately wanted it back.  I was also unsure about getting a dog, I knew I did not want a puppy.  You can't run with a puppy until they are almost a year old, and my sole purpose for wanting a dog was to run.  I didn't want to do the puppy chewing, digging and getting up in the middle of the night and most importantly I knew I did want a rescue dog.  After having taken so many great ones out, I knew that would be my next dog.  I will say, rescues are not for everyone.  It is hard because you do not know their history or what they have been through.  My kids were older so I wasn't worried about them, and I knew I would take the time and spend the money I needed to on training a dog.  And I did.

Doug is what his name became.  He was a stray that had been adopted out twice and quickly returned (he had and still has separation anxiety).  We came up with some really great names, but walking amongst the douglas firs I called him Doug and it was the first time he responded, so he became Doug.

We run or hike 6 days a week.  We typically go 4-7 miles, and once a week 10-15.  Even though I am running more than I ever have in my life, I am running slower.  I am taking it all in.  I stop and watch Doug run, I stop and watch the birds, we walk up the beautiful places (and there are a lot) so we don't miss them.

I am not signed up for any trail races, for the first time in years.  Not because I don't like them but after losing Kaiser, I regretted the time I didn't spend with him.  The days those races would come I always wished he could be with me.  So this year, I just run with Doug, slowly, taking it in. 


Friday, May 4, 2018

Adulting and Aging

I think I must be in that magic window of life.  The one where I really appreciate aging.  I love where I am in life right now.  There is a calm, perhaps it's because my kids are older (one in college and one is 16) and life seems to slow WAY down when you are no longer running all different directions.  Granted I loved that time, but it was exhausting!   It could be my husband, I am crazy in love with this man and our life.  He will retire in less than 10 years, kids will be out of college, our house will be paid off by then.  That's all so soon, when I think of how fast the last 8 crazy years have gone. God willing we will be in good health.  I don't wish for time to go fast, but knowing this is all around the corner, makes you appreciate life in the very moment.  Maybe it's that I am no longer self employed.  As amazing as that almost 15 year run was, I have days off now.  I have paid vacation, I am not running around making trips to the hospital several times a day.  Some days I work from home, I get up early, run my dog, shower put on some comfy clothes and slippers and say to hell with make up.
I know being in good health is certainly a part of it.  I love the wisdom that comes with getting older, the letting go of stress.  That comes from the confidence to eliminate toxic people from your life.
I want to embrace this period, it feels well deserved.
After my ex husband left at the end of 2010, I made a very conscience decision to focus on my kids and myself. I had been with my ex since I was 18, we had been together for 15 years.  I lost the core of who I was.  It was truly the most healing therapeutic time of my life.  To take time to process the shit show of that year, then dive into finding myself.
I truly believe that period of self discovery allowed me the time to be closer than ever with my kids.  It was just us, and I can look back on that and really appreciate our time together.  When I met my husband, he had been on a similar path, together there was a love and calm all in one I had never felt.

As I started writing this two days ago, my friend messaged me.  It was the 8 year anniversary of her very best friend passing away.  This lovely woman was 31 with a 2 year old daughter and infant son.  She died of breast cancer.  It was yet another reminder to live the very best life I can.  Be kind, speak the truth and love with your whole heart. It is an honor to be alive.

Monday, April 16, 2018

In one week my first born turned 21 and I got to go to my first ever Moms weekend at WSU.
My son spent two years out here at the community college getting his AA degree.  Probably the best thing ever.  Not only did we save at least $30,000, but he worked and saved.  I am helping with his tuition but he is paying his living and all expenses associated with it on his own, without loans.  He is there with 4 of his best friends from Wenatchee, having the time of his life and doing really well in school.  He is majoring in a degree he found on his own, that couldn't fit him better and loving his classes.
Personally I feel two years at a University might be enough.  You are excited about this new chapter, you do well, make great friends and move on before any of it gets old.
My son received a quality education out here at the community college.  He learned the ropes in a smaller environment of meeting with advisers, registering for classes, and even how to pay.  He learned the expectations of the professors at a college level.  In the time he was there, a handful of his high school classmates showed up during the summer to retake a class they took at an University to get a better grade.  After paying one semester of his college I cannot imagine having to pay for a class twice.  My son was able to develop great relationships with his teachers at the community college because of the smaller class size.  Now with his AA he moved right into his major in his junior year, and because it is upper level the class sizes aren't so bad.

As for turning 21 and Moms weekend, I am not a big drinker but I loved every minute taking it in.  Seeing his new friends, as well as the amazing bond with his old friends.  Observing him as an adult, navigating life on his own.  It is such a beatiful thing.

I miss him, but I am so happy for where he is in his life.  My advice to parents is spend that money on taking memorable trips with your kids while they are home, take time off work to hang with them, give up going out at nights to stay home and watch movies.  My son and I have traveled the world together.  We've fallen in love with countries together. We've watched Goonies (my favorite movie) probably a dozen times and visited the goonie house. We've hiked all over the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness together.  I do not regret taking any time off or money spent on doing that with my son.  That was our time together, now it's his time.  His time to make new memories, travel with friends, live in different places.  Create his own life.  I would say after spending the weekend with him in his new home, he's off to a good start!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

There is a Reason

I spent the last week following Mandy Harvey as she did outreach in the schools before her performance on Saturday night.  We have a visiting artist series and community outreach is part of bringing the artist in.  I wanted to tag along to see what it's all about.  Let me tell you I felt like I had the best job ever, it was truly inspiring watching her with the kids.
If you don't know who she is here is her AGT Audition.
She has been singing sine she was 4 but lost her hearing at 18.  One of the things she said to the kids that really resonated with me was the worst thing she could imagine happening to her did, yet she now considers it the best thing to have happened to her, because she loves more, values her friends and family more and overall loves her life more now than she did before.  That's pretty powerful coming from someone that lost one of her most vital senses.

I used to believe my marriage ending would be the worst thing to happen. It happened, and I became a stronger independent woman, one that I could respect.  My friendships became deeper.  I cut out the toxic people in my life, and appreciated authentic people so much more.

Then my business ended this last September.  I didn't want it to end, in part for the reasons above.  I truly loved (and still) do the people of the hospital.  Through my divorce they were one of my biggest sources of support.  I will never forget their kindness, and for that reason I never wanted to leave.  However, I wasn't actually profitable.  I paid my employees, most of my bills and lived extremely frugal on my meager salary.  The trade off was my flexibility and to show up each day doing exactly what I loved with my favorite people.  After initiative 1433 passed (raising minimum wage in 2018 to 11.50  and  providing sick pay, with minimum wage going to $13 by 2020) Rick and I had many serious conversations.  I had always paid my long term employees above minimum wage and would no longer be able to do so, or staying open in the evenings only to sell a coffee or two.  We looked over many scenarios and none made sense to keep going, but I am stubborn!  I probably would've kept going until I crawled into a financial hole so deep I couldn't get out.  That last day, I found a buyer to purchase all my equipment.  Everyone wanted me to hold onto it, but that was more of a depressing thought.  I wanted my beautiful machine to live on, and I wanted to pay off my debt.  So that's exactly what I did, sold enough to cover the existing debt on my business, and go forward.

I had always wanted to work at the airport, so that's what I did.  I had a blast, unfortunately it didn't pay enough to cover my gas to get to work.  I did it for 5 months, loved almost every shift and the people I met (plus lifting heavy luggage was an excellent work out).  I also started working at my favorite cafe, and loved it.  Then a job totally not on my radar came up and I took it.  I am learning so much.  One of the things I loved the most about the hospital was how inspired by the staff I always felt.  This new job I am being inspired as well.  We are a non-profit and the generosity of the community in the name of the arts make my heart so full. We have an amazing executive director that I love working for. Then I get to do things like go around and listen to Mandy talk to hundreds of kids, knowing they were inspired by this amazing lady, well it makes me emotional in a good way.  The other bonus not to be taken for granted is now I get paid to do this, and that is really nice!
Life is constantly changing and directing us in directions, we might not think we want to go, but if you can trust it and look for the good rather than dwell on the bad, things will work in your favor.

Peace and love my friends.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Loves

I am riding a bit of a high in life right now.  Perhaps it's the age (40) and the wisdom that comes with that ;)
I recently met a friend for happy hour.  She and I have long had they same acquaintances but were only introduced in person a couple of years ago.  We are kindred spirits and can talk for hours in the most refreshing way.  We had a great conversation the other night about the power of the mind, and with a positive and accepting attitude it truly delivers the happiness you desire (if that makes any sense).
We were both previously divorced, 40, and now have wonderful men in our life.  We also hold nothing but gratitude in our hearts for those that have come before and lead us to where we are now.
I have had several loves in my life, starting back over 20 years ago.  Each played a wonderful part in my life, and I feel so lucky to have met these men and in some form had a relationship with them that lead me to feel love with them.  I believe love lasts forever, it can change but you will always love that person.
I am still friends with all of them, they all have wonderful woman in their life, and it fills me with such joy.  It took several years to get here with my Ex husband, but I knew we would.  It took years for me to understand that the other men I have loved could also have a place in my life as well, not a romantic one obviously but one of  friendship with a shared past and mutual respect for one another.
These men before my husband I truly believe led me to him.  I believe some people have one great love, and it must be so strong and complete, and no doubt a beautiful thing.  I loved several men, all played a part leading me to my husband, and I love him something fierce.  I love this man in a way I have never loved before, one that involves a deeper level of respect. I truly believe I did not meet him until 7 years ago for a reason, at a time when I could fully appreciate all he is.  Had I met him in my twenties I am not sure I would've know what I had, and certainly not appreciated him the way I do now.  He is my complete package, a love that has evolved, and will continue to evolve. One of the great qualities that drew me to him was his love for others in his life that have come before me.  He has such respect for them, and I am grateful for their part in his life as well.
I love life, very much.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

"The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter." -Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Renewed Energy, Renewed Blog (hopefully)

I spent a couple hours the other night feeling inspired and started working on a new website.  It was quite fancy.  Then the reality struck, I am not a fancy person.  It had way to many bells and whistles it felt like things would get lost.  I'm more of a straight to the point kind of gal. 
So with some renewed creative energy, I plan to blog.  However I want to blog and share photos like I did in  the past, but I got lazy and was blogging off my ipad using Blogsy.  Blogsy is no more, and through blogger I still can't upload photos.  Which means I need to organize my dang photos on the external hard-drive.  Sadly the last iPhone dump I did was beginning of 2017.  Soon, very soon!  Keep checking back, and as always if you don't want to read what I have to say, you have a choice not to.  The beauty of the blog!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Moderation, what's that?

Being 40 and experiencing a career change is much like when I was 33 and ending a 15 year relationship.
Like getting divorced I was happy where I was when everything ended. I had changed jobs only once in the past and that was due to a terrorist attack.  So it's safe to say I like to commit to something, settle in and do it well.
I am definitely NOT one of those people that changes careers, cars and/or men every few years (in fact I have a new car, but rarely drive it because I like my old car).  I'm a pretty content person with my life.
I got a cold this week and my boss asked if I had been stressed, I don't remember the last time I was truly stressed (OK I do but that was just because two people were lying so much it was stressful trying to decipher the truth).  The extent of my stress is trying to get to yoga and find a parking spot on time, when I live in a town where people consistently drive 5 under the speed limit and I want to go 5 over.

Anyways my job ends, and I have to idea what I really want to do.  I go to work at the airport part time, this is also the first time in my life where I am in a good place financially so this is really about figuring out what makes me happy.
Well, like being single after a divorce, opportunities start appearing out of the woodwork. Job opportunities I had never even considered.  Legit and good ones, I ended up going with managing a cafe, because it felt comfortable.  I was also helping a friend at a wine bar, and still at the airport.  So September I worked part time, October I was back to 50-60 hours a week.  As a business owner, I had put in this much time, although I worked the stand only 25-30 hours a week everyone assumed that's all I worked.  Working and balancing all these jobs really is not that difficult for me.  What is difficult is saying no.  I don't need to be working this much, but I feel grateful for the opportunity.  I also like the income, and being able to make a little extra to help my son with college. 
I'm currently working on saying no, and dwindling down to 40 hours again.  The cafe is good, just very busy and a lot of work.  The airport I absolutely love, but don't actually make anything, the wine bar, well I think I am better at drinking wine.
This is why I haven't been blogging (just in my head), because I basically work, chat with Lo surf the internet for an hour then sleep!
Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted where this all leads.