In Which Snow is Softly Falling

Before the roads turn slushy and slick… 

Before grey skies loom so pervasive that gloom seeps into the soul, obscuring the memory of sunshine… 

Before the drifts stain with brown and black (occasionally yellow)… 

There is a certain pristine magic to snow. A certain silence rich in hushed affirmation of beauty even in the bleakest weather. A gathering of white crystals tracing inky branches with a layer of lovely.  A bracing pause. A season. A something more that isn’t yet but soon. A wet whisper that clings to your coat, your hair, your eyelashes–but melts when you step inside the door. 

   
    
   

In Which I Reminisce About Recent Adventures

Today, I finally caved to the harsh reality of life and turned the heat on in the bird nest.

Thanks to newly replaced windows, eclipse curtains, and a downstairs neighbor who keeps things toasty, I was able to coast along the edges of winter for a while; but now that 30 has become the consistently highest high and snow has begun to gather on the front lawn, it is time to resign myself to the need for more than a fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of coffee.

These cooler temperatures have me feeling nostalgic and longing for the warmth of far away places–places like Florida and the Bahamas– both of which I had the joy of visiting last month.

It was the most incredible adventure– and It actually began on this blog two years ago. (But that’s another story for another time.)

In May, a Facebook status shared an invitation to partake of an amazingly-priced cruise to the Bahamas. Having never been on a cruise, and staring down 30 like the barrel of a gun, I decided, “Why not?” The likelihood of having either the free time available, the money, or the price point all together at the same time ‘someday’ in the future seemed pretty slim–and this was, after all, my year of living dangerously. On a whim, I booked an October vacation; and it was definitely one of the better of the impulsive decisions to which I tend to be prone.

Impulsive or not, the whole waiting for life to happen hasn’t been working out, so

I WENT TO THE BAHAMAS! ON A BOAT!

And Oh, my friends, it was both grand AND glorious!

It all hinged on the company–which was FABULOUS (especially considering I only knew one of the 3 people I was meeting up with)–and that turned the decadence, adventure, fantastic food, epic exploration opportunities, and delicious warmth into a dazzling cocktail of wonderfulness that I really have no idea how to put into words. Without compromising the anonymity of the delightful peeps with whom I cruised, here are some of the highlights:
Continue reading “In Which I Reminisce About Recent Adventures”

In Which there are Gold Stars and Punny Jokes

What’s with all the Gold stars mentioned in these conversations? Keep reading, you’ll find out.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you understand that I expect a lot from online conversations with strangers. I rarely continue them unless they are engaging; however, I do try to give people something to start with.

This is my current profile.
What do you think? Would you send me a message? Continue reading “In Which there are Gold Stars and Punny Jokes”

In Which I Reflect on Recent Milestones

It’s that time–the transition stage in which the description of this blog requires an update. It began as a the life adventures of a reluctantly single 20-something in her late somethings. Two years later, I can no longer claim those late somethings. It seems I have progressed into far deeper adulthood.

Continue reading “In Which I Reflect on Recent Milestones”

In Which I Assess Degrees of Bacon

“Don’t go Bacon My Heart!– I couldn’t if I fried!”

It’s a pun only a bacon lover would appreciate–But no worries! As Paleo and clean eating increase in popularity, so does Bacon.

Memes like this abound on the interwebs
Memes like this abound on the interwebs

What is almost as popular as bacon? Online Dating– specifically Apps that allow users to swipe yes or no based on a single picture and MAYBE a phrase or two!

Enter the Oscar Mayer App named SIZZL.

“Must love bacon” sounds like a brilliant premise for a swipe-worthy relationship, so of COURSE I had to explore it! (Wouldn’t that be a great story for the grandkids? “How did you and grandpa meet?” “Well, kids, It was a match made in bacon!”)
Continue reading “In Which I Assess Degrees of Bacon”

In Which I Stood on Top of a Mountain In Utah

From Sept 10-Sept 13, I had the privilege of hanging out with fellow executive consultants and Jamberry Home Office Staff in Utah.

The experience was INCREDIBLE and changed my focus from sharing the opportunity to make money to sharing the character of the company.

Utah was Fantastic ^_^
Utah was Fantastic ^_^

Because of Jamberry, I have the amazing privilege of helping women beautify their lives, whether that be through helping them express their own style or build a business.

I’ve been with Jamberry since June 2014. since then, my downline has grown to include over 260 amazing women who are realizing dreams through gorgeous nail art.

This picture Was taken last week, at the top of a mountain in Utah at the Jamberry executive retreat.
Continue reading “In Which I Stood on Top of a Mountain In Utah”

In Which I Drink Coffee With A Celebrity

Did that really just happen?

It did.

My ordinary life took an extraordinary turn this week!

I can hear your skepticism now: “You mean OTHER than quitting your full-time job, packing all your earthly possessions into boxes (that remain only half unpacked), establishing residence in a dungeon-esque basement replete with warrior arachnid foes, and pursuing the world of network marketing in all it’s crazy chaos while sharpening your customer service skills in the hospitality industry?”

Ok. Touche. Life has been rather extraordinary in general lately–but engaging day by day in all of life’s mini routines and practical monotonies, it’s easy to lose sight of just how amazing life has been– how amazing life IS– how much opportunity lies ahead, and how many open doors are waiting to be walked through! It’s easy to trap myself in my own mental cages with my own lack of belief in the potential for wonder that each day holds.

Until a stranger messages me to remark that he enjoys when I pop up in his newsfeed.

[And not just ANY stranger, but a stranger who is the closest thing to a celebrity I’ve ever encountered! ^_^]

YOU GUUUUUUUYS!!!!!!
MICK LUNZER (AKA “Bald Guy”) of THE DANGER COMMITTEE sent ME a  message!!! 

(If you’ve never been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, The Danger Committee is one of the best reasons why you should go this year! ^_^ Pick a weekend in September, drive to Shakopee, and catch as many of their performances at the Bakery Stage as possible–or just catch a performance at the Brave New Workshop.)

I’ve been a Danger Committee facebook stalker fan since I saw one of their shows at the Ren Fair in 2013, but always with the acknowledgment that I was merely one of thousands who had clicked the little thumbs-up button on their fan page. Actual interaction was not even on the radar, much less HOPED for.  Mick and I became Facebook friends when I posted a video to Facebook of a super cool flaming knife stunt, and he requested the ability to share it. But that was it– Permission to share video–you know, legal stuff. I never expected anything further. I mean, come on, in what universe would a well-known performer have any reason to take interest in anything I post about, much less message ME? (And we all know from my days of online dating that  I am NOT the type to send the first message.)

But message me he DID (for reasons I still can’t fathom), and a compliment turned into a randomly fun conversation which became plans to meet for coffee when I came home to visit my family for Mother’s Day.

Yeah–that REALLY happened.
Never underestimate the potential for extraordinary things to occur.

I’ve always assumed that I wouldn’t like spending time with an entertainer after having formed any kind of attachment to the character they represent. After all, if the guy who stirred my heart as an adolescent with a soulful rendition of “Santa Fe” is reported to be a jerk and a horrible person to work with, what point is there in shattering the illusion? Isn’t it easier to continue enjoying great performances if you don’t have to acknowledge that the person who projects that persona may not be even half as awesome as the character being played?

Don’t get me wrong, Mick was perfectly charming in the online dialogue we exchanged preceding our meeting. But online dating teaches a gal pretty quickly that the ability to write a charming chat message doesn’t always equate with adequate social skills.

Thankfully, the world isn’t always as disappointing as I might expect it to be. It even occasionally surprises me with awesomeness. And though “Bald Guy” is a fun persona, Mick Lunzer was even better as a three-dimensional human. (Seriously, y’all, If you ever have the opportunity to meet up with him for coffee–DO IT.)

The whole scenario was just completely –I don’t even know–Had you told me a week ago that this would happen, I would have scoffed.

REALLY scoffed.

I mean, come on–An invitation to go dancing fell through while I was visiting home because my would-be dance partner didn’t consider my company worth a 13-minute drive to pick me up; but I’m supposed to believe that a guy with thousands of fans considers meeting ME for coffee significant enough that he’s willing to plan a place along my route home to make it more convenient for ME to meet with HIM? Inconceivable. But it happened. And the whole scenario challenged me to re-evaluate the mental framework I had created regarding value in the first place.

There are few things as crushing to one’s vanity as feeling undervalued, few things as soothing to one’s ego as being made to feel significant by someone you admire, and few things as liberating as realizing at the end of it all that your own value is determined neither by the man who didn’t find your company worth the inconvenience of a short drive NOR by the man who made a conscientious effort to work you into his busy schedule.  I’ve always placed an inordinate amount of weight on OTHER people’s perspective; and let me just tell you, it’s an exhausting way to live–constantly walking on the egg-shells of imagined perception and the endless quest for affirmation.

But there comes a point where someone remarks, “Why would I give someone else that kind of power over me?” And though the comment is made in a context addressing anger, a dim light bulb flares to life and illuminates a host of self-constructed mental cages.

Our coffee chat was an experience of inspiration that provided a new friend (I knew I had found a kindred spirit when in answer to one of my questions, he drew a Venn diagram ^_^), a fresh perspective of possibilities,  and a host of ideas for growth and personal development. Landmark Forum, Fish philosophy, the difference between what happens and the story we construct about what happens– it was a fascinating conversation that ended far too quickly since we both had other things to get to.

I am now back to the chaos of the normal. The mundane. The day – to – day. But I bring to it a fresh perspective of possibility and renewed awareness that the extraordinary lurks in unexpected places, disguised as ordinary doors just waiting to be opened.

May you find a few of your own to walk through.

mick