Four Days In…

57403-New-Year-New-Beginning

It’s now four days into the new year. Four days have already passed in this new year “full of promise and potential.” 

I feel a little overwhelmed already… I am reminded of the old Weight Watcher’s mantra, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Ugh.

There is a certain burden I feel whenever the year changes, a responsibility to “make this the BEST year ever.” It weighs heavily on me, this responsibility to be, oh, I don’t know – super human or significant or special. I am not sure what I am “supposed” to be in this big, bright virgin new year. Sigh. I am in my mid-fifties; you’d think I would have a handle on all this by now.

I remember from my expensive-but-now-largely-under-utilized Franklin-Covey training that most people are good at the “big rocks” but the little ones just get lost by the wayside. This year, I want to address both my big AND little rocks.

So, call them resolutions, call them goals, call them objectives – whatever! – I have a few things on my 2015 “list.” I have to admit, I was inspired to create this list in no small part by my beloved husband Martin, who went to the trouble to create a personal “pin board” of all his plans for 2015. (He inspires me in so many ways, that guy!) Anyhow, here is my short list – just five, in honor of five – a blog – for the remaining 361 days of 2015:

1. I want to be healthier; to that end, I WILL lose 50 pounds by the end of June. Health is the main goal, but weight loss also plays into my next objective.

2. I want to travel. I WILL go to Europe with my Sweetie this summer, spending one week in his native Poland, meeting his family (finally!) and experiencing where he comes from, then spend an additional week – just the two of us – exploring France or Germany or England – somewhere. Once I lose fifty pounds, I will look sexy as hell in a bathing suit on some European beach, am I right?

3.  I want to live in the moment. I WILL acknowledge the past but leave it there and not let it define me in the present. Listen, 2014 SUCKED for me, personally and professionally. Were it not for Martin, I would have probably off’d myself. (Just kidding, kinda’). But, point is, I will not dwell on my suck-y past year and, instead, embrace the coming year with hope and optimism.

4. I want to spend more time with people I love. I WILL engage with friends more, and let the people I love know how important they are to me. All too often I am happy just being with my Sweetie but have come to understand that this behavior is a bit of laziness on my part, coupled with a fear of “falling short” – maybe I can’t cook as well, or maybe I am not flush enough to go out to fancy restaurants or maybe our sofa is a bit faded. The truth I need to remember is that with true friends, one never falls short. Bringing in Chinese take-out with true friends is as wonderful as dinner out at a four-star joint.

5. I want to remember to always be grateful. I WILL cherish every great thing that happens to me, every day, whether that is just driving home and getting all “green lights” or finally (potentially?) winning the HGTV Two Million Dollar Dreamhouse (OMG, please!!!) I sometimes forget that my life – as imperfect as I think it might be – is probably envied by many. I have a reasonable job (granted, it could pay more), my Sweetie and I have a pretty great apartment, we have some kick-ass friends, I have my health and I have a man I adore that adores me back. I often need to remind myself of these realities…

So there you have it – my “short list” for the coming year. I feel confident I can make all these things happen. I will definitely keep you posted and you remind me, too, if you catch me falling short. In the mean time, have a GREAT new year and always remember this:

find time

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30 Days till CarnEVIL

Every year, our dear friends, Mike and Chris, host a RIDICULOUS Halloween Party – this year’s theme is “CarnEvil.” From their invitation: “Prepare for a scare this spooky season, as a show unlike any other comes to Northeast Ohio for one night only! An evening of terror under the big top awaits, as the Brookholts proudly present their annual Halloween Spooktacular: CARNEVIL! This year the Ringmaster is requesting that you come dressed as your favorite sideshow freak, circus performer, carny or create your own original oddity. We hope you can join us to discover the horrors that lie beneath the tent on Saturday, October 25th. Find all the frightening fun at… Will you make it out of CARNEVIL alive?”

CarnEVIL

Here is the super clever invite – address “blacked out” by me for security reasons, LOL!

So, we are ONE MONTH out and, of course, my Sweetie and I are considering costumes. This is what I have to work with: I am a “big man” (portly is often how I am described), I have a beard and I have a devastatingly handsome husband. So, we could go simply as “two circus friends with benefits”

two guys

or I could go as the ever-present and always-popular side show attraction, “The Fat Man”

fat man

If I utilized my beard, I could “let my feminine side show” (side show – get it?)

bearded lady

As a couple, we are usually joined at the hip – we could take THAT as inspiration

Siamese twins

Or , finally, we could REALLY go all out and go as these two lovelies

freakspinheads

We’d wear more glamorous “frocks” though, LOL! Whatever we do, and whoever we “become,” we will have an AWESOME time – why?

Chris and Mike throw amazing parties – last year, they planned a scavenger hunt with competitors so ruthless, some almost came to blows,

We will be with many of our friends, some that we see almost ONLY at this party and many that we simply do not see often enough (life gets in the way),

My beloved Martin LOVES Halloween, LOVES dressing up and LOVES parties. And most importantly of all,

I LOVE Martin and he LOVES me back. No matter what we do, we always have fun. So, get ready, Brookholts/CarnEVIL. We are coming…

Huh?

So today was a challenging day, overall – my father’s health seems to now be deteriorating rapidly, work was a wee bit, um, discombobulated and even just getting to work sucked (45 minutes this morning for what is normally a nine minute commute). I mean, today of all days, I was suffering from a SEVERE case of ~

WTFBut, I managed to make it thru the day and get home to my beloved spouse, Martin (he makes every day better). So, after chowing down on a delicious meal Martin prepared, we were just relaxing and having coffee when the phone rang. It was a call from my former business partner – it was good to hear his voice and catch up a bit. It was also great to hear the news he had called to share; I won’t tell you all the details other than it is SUPER good news that came at a SUPER good time regarding the ongoing shutdown of the business we formerly shared. It was GREAT news; no, I mean REALLY great news, and I was like (again but in a different way) ~

seriously-wtfSeems that I received another “bitch slap” from The Universe tonight. I always think that, when I get my head in an odd/bad place, or when I stop “hoping and believing,” The Universe reaches down and gives me a bitch slap to set me straight again. I never see them coming (the bitch slaps) but, honestly, I always deserve them. THANK YOU, Universe, for caring enough about me to not only take care of me and my beloved but also taking a hot second to remind me of that fact. I’ll “try and do better,” promise…

 

Monday Memes 20 (I’m Back, Bitches)

For the past few weeks/months, I have felt kinda’ lost. My spirit has been beaten down and I was all but ready to give up on a career that I really love. Mercifully, that mood or darkness or whatever you want to call it has passed and/or lifted. I feel renewed and excited about working again. A big THANK YOU to ALL my friends, peers and colleagues for your unwavering support and massive  “rah-rah-ing” of late, and an especially HUGE thanks to my beloved MSW, without whom I’m not sure I would have “resurfaced.” (He rocks!) Anyway…

In the tradition of “Monday Memes” – I am nothing if not a traditionalist – I offer up these three graphic gems that helped inspire me to keep going and reminded me that I always need to follow my heart. Enjoy!

show your dreams

do what you love

madness

Coming Soon

In the coming weeks, I will be embarking on the next chapter of my life, a chapter of great expectations, high hopes and (hopefully/finally) some small measure of financial reward and security. I long ago gave up on the hope of ever being “rich” – now I hope to have “enough,” with maybe – just maybe – a little left over to put aside for a rainy day. I am excited and anxious, nervous and euphoric. The possibility of finally doing the something I love with the someone I love makes me almost giddy. I will definitely keep you posted…

tryIn anticipation of the “new launch,” I have been seeking out inspirational memes, or – as I like to call them – hotline messages from The Universe. These images resonate with me very strongly, especially the image below – I cannot remember the last time I tried something “for the first time.” 

first time

Wish me luck – I’d appreciate it!!! I will definitely keep you posted as my new adventure develops and unfolds. It.Will.Be.Awesome!

Nose Woes

It is that time again – time when my Beloved is plagued by a stuffy nose, headaches and sinus pressure. MSW has allergies and they seem to be flaring up now. I think it is technically “ragweed” time, but Martin thinks a demon has taken up residency inside his schnozolla.  He cannot breathe and that makes me sad…nosesI hope that, whatever “this” is (ragweed, pollen, tree mold), that it passes soon. It is devastating watching someone you love suffer. Plus, our “Kleenex Budget” is through the roof! I hope that his nose woes goes soon. Hang in there, Sweetie!

I Must Have Been Insane

My beloved Martin is such a great support to me – in every single way. For example, as I transition my design practice from its former (now closed) storefront to our apartment (working from home REALLY cuts down on overhead expenses, LOL!), he is working hard to convert our guest bedroom/computer room into a fully-realized office/work space for me/us. Part of MY job in this transition is “clearing out” things that have come to rest in that room – an old tube TV, lots of no-longer-needed immigration reform materials, my non-functional Dell desktop computer (see previous posts) and my Beanie collection, to name a few.

Yes, Beanies – as in Beanie Babies… I know. Don’t judge.

beaniesWhile the image above is not one of my own personal Beanie hoard, I do have quite a few of the styles pictured. I started cataloging them tonight and stopped at fifty; all told, I bet I have like 110 or more. I know. What was I thinking?

It was so easy getting caught up in the Beanie baby madness twenty years ago – yup, a LOT of my Beanies are twenty years old. They took American consumers by storm – driving people (like me) to haunt Hallmark stores across the nation, waiting for the next delivery of USA Bear, or Floppity the Rabbit or Lucky the Lady Bug. If you were lucky, you found a “rarity” – for example, I myself own an Echo (killer whale) with a “Waves” tush tag. Priceless, right?

In the moment, it felt like hitting the lottery.

I spent – on average – about $5/each for all my Beanies. They are the stuff of collector’s dreams – none have ever been played with, all came home and immediately went into Ziplock bags, quite a few have tag protectors, they have always been stored in a smoke-free house…

They.Are.Perfect. And they are all but worthless…

A quick internet search reveals a few Beanie brokers willing to pay $0.40/each – top dollar! – for Beanie collections/lots of over fifty toys. If I have 99+ beanies, they will send a “free” UPS call tag to pick up my collection. So – that is roughly $550.00 “invested” for almost twenty years to yield – maybe – $44.00. Sigh…

I can honestly admit – I am a FAR better interior designer than investment counselor. But, in the potential office “purge,” the Beanies have to go to make room for files. Maybe I will make $40.00 or maybe I will donate them to a charity that serves underprivileged or homeless kids. One thing I DO know for sure:

Next time, I will just buy some shares of RPM common stock instead.  😀