Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Next Step

When I got laid off last fall, I felt like the Universe was thumping me in the butt, telling me, "Now's your chance to do something different."

Although I wasn't entirely sure what that different thing should be, I was committed to figuring it out.

Then in January, I met with a friend who had gone through the Martha Beck life coach-training program a few years back and, without much effort, she convinced me it was the direction I wanted to head next.

Still I dragged my feet, second guessing a decision that felt right, and I missed my opportunity to join the June program (which continues into March 2013). I figured there was a reason it didn't work out and that I would have to table my desire and sign up in September.

But a few months later, the Universe gave me another jolt: an additional June class was being added and I was on the list if I still wanted to participate.

I signed up the next day.

Telling people that I'm making this transition hasn't been all flowers and sunshine. The term "life coach" carries a sort of stigma that you're either totally woo-woo or a know-it-all or someone who doesn't want to tie themselves down to a "real" job.

People close to me have reacted in ways ranging from complete support to laughter and ridicule to downright judgment and doubt. There was even my favorite line, "How can you be a life coach?! You don't even have kids!" 

Has every orthopedic surgeon had a broken femur? Has every dentist needed a root canal? Is having children a prerequisite to becoming a pediatrician?

I don't believe you have to have lived through every life circumstance (difficult or not) to help someone else through the same thing. You just need the right training. I'm pretty certain that my male therapist (who was married to a woman) had never been cheated on by a guy who was hung up on his college girlfriend, yet he was still able to help me navigate my way through that situation pretty darn well.

I come from a family of helpers. My brother is a firefighter, sister is a nurse, mother pretty much has an honorary PhD in Mothering, and dad once tackled a burglar to help the cops chasing him. And then there's me...the copywriter. Not that writing isn't a totally noble career—I just want to be able to do something more with it. I want to be of more help to the people I know are hurting, be more efficient when someone in transition comes seeking my advice, be happier with what I am doing every day.

Am I a sage old soul? Heck no. But I don't think you have to have decades of life experience to help people tap into their intuition, jump over their life hurdles, or find peace.

Thankfully, my biggest cheerleader through this has been Mr. W. Sometimes I feel like the voice that comes out of his mouth is my own.

I had my first coach-training class yesterday and it was pretty cool. Good vibes, good people, and, I hope, good things to come. For myself and those who turn to me for help.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

I'm sharing some interesting stuff I learned about butterflies over at The Path to Wonderful and wanted to post it here, too, in case any of you are transforming yourselves...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Iron Strength

Eleanor Roosevelt was once quoted as saying, "A woman is like a teabag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water."

I don't know what the right metaphor is (An oceanliner? Alaskan fishing boat?), but I think you never know how strong a woman is until she gets into tumultuous water.

Today one of my dear friends, Southern Belle, completed an Ironman race in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Ironman, it includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. That last one is a full marathon. It is a race made only for the fittest people who walk among us. It is astounding to me that I know a woman who completed it.

What's most amazing, though, isn't that Southern Belle has such tremendous physical strength. What is truly incredible is that she completed this race after life knocked her to her knees on April 19th.

See, Southern Belle is the girlfriend of Mr. W and my friend Sweet Pete who passed away two months ago. More than his girlfriend, she was the woman who would become his wife. Unbeknownst to any of us, he had purchased a ring for her before he died.

The fact that this Ironwoman can pull herself up out of the depths of sorrow to walk across a room is a feat in itself. The fact that she can swim, bike and run her way across 140.6 miles of a race course is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes.

That is strength like I've never known. A display of resolve and passion like I've never seen. A way to honor someone's memory that surpasses what most of us will ever be capable of.

That is love.

"Congratulations" isn't a strong enough word for my friend Southern Belle. Instead I will just tell her that she is my hero.

She is the epitome of strength.

Friday, June 22, 2012

50 Shades of Embarrassment: Naiveté in the Local Bookstore

My older sister, bless her heart, is a very devout (although liberal and equality-championing) Christian who is extremely active in all things related to her church. She is the girl who has never smoked a cigarette (although she did dress her husband in a thong and take pictures of him when he drank too much and passed out on their honeymoon). She is the woman who channels her nursing background into a Diabetes support group every Thursday night (and one time when I was little, she tried to shove my face in the cat litter box). The point being, she's a very upstanding citizen with great intentions (who is sometimes too innocent for her own good).

Case in point: Yesterday she shared a story with me and some other family members about how she went to our cute small-town bookstore to ask for a donation for her church's upcoming charity auction and, after the owner happily obliged, she decided to pay the store back by purchasing a book of her own.

Naturally, she asked if they had that "Fifty something" book.

The owner's teenage daughters looked at her funny and tried to recommend something else.

"No, I know my cousin and all her friends are reading that 'Fifty shades' book—or whatever it is," my sister insisted.

Suddenly the owner appeared and asked, "You mean 'Fifty Shades of Grey'?"

"Yes! That's it!" she exclaimed. Victory.

"Do you know that's an adult book?" the owner asked in a lowered voice.

Sister, horrified replied in a hushed voice, too—"Like pornography?"

"Yes, we don't even keep it out on the floor. It's back behind the counter."

Then my sister proceeded to turn fifty shades of purple and try to explain that she had no idea what the book was about—just that everyone was talking about it so it must be interesting.

I'm sure the bookstore owners thought it was unsettling and unfortunate that the nice donation-seeking church lady was actually a full-fledged pervert porn addict.

I hadn't shared this story with Mr. W yet, but today he came home from Costco with a copy of the book for me to read. I wasn't planning on buying it myself, but if my husband wants to try to make me all randy, I guess I have to obey, lest he bust out a ski mask and a whip.

Like the bookstore in Montrose, we'll be storing our copy somewhere out of sight.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bull Sheets

Nearly two years ago when Mr. W and I were creating our wedding registry, we took stock of the sheet supply in his closet and decided to forgo adding any new sets to our wish list. As you can see in the picture above, it appears that there are at least a half dozen luxurious sets in Mr. W's arsenal.


There are about a dozen halvsie randomly matched sets. Or at least that's how it feels every freaking time I have to change the sheets.

I once read that white sheets are supposed to create the greatest state of mental comfort. I can't remember why now...maybe because they conjure up ideas of the Bee Gees in their white suits. Love those boys. Anyway, I tend to gravitate toward the lighter sets. However, I also enjoy the blue set (which is comprised of one set for the bed and yet another for the pillows...) because it sort of matches our bedroom.

Well, today when I changed the sheets for Mr. W's homecoming from a weekend visiting friends in Vancouver, I got none of the sheetery I enjoy. Somehow between the mismatches on the guest bed and whatever is in Mr. W's laundry hamper, the only (almost) complete set was this:

Upon first glance they look fine, right? Oh no...THEY'RE PEACH.

Yup, I'm pretty certain Sonny Crocket had the exact same set on Miami Vice in 1986.

Why Mr. W ever purchased these, I don't know. I'm sure the words "Sale" and "Egyptian cotton" or the like were involved.

I'm just glad I'll be turning the lights off after I climb under these puppies so I don't have to look at them tonight.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What We're Making: Graduation Time Capsules

This past weekend, my family had a special dinner planned to celebrate the high school graduation of one niece, junior high graduation of another and 6th grade graduation of another. It's crazy grad times around these parts.

Anyway, rather than just giving the girls money (which I did) I wanted to give them something fun and creative and memorable. At first, I thought about scrapbooks but then I got the idea to make time capsules that they could fill, give to me and receive back in a decade. How fun it will be for them to read their little youngster handwriting when they're 22, 24 and 27!

To create the capsules, I upcycled empty protein powder containers and covered them in paper I bought at Michael's Craft Store (using spray adhesive).

Then I printed each girl's initial onto cardstock, cut them and spray-glued them to the lids.

Inside, I included sheets for the girls to complete that included facts about themselves, their favorite stuff, their favorite memories from the year, and where they see themselves in the future. Then I added "Dear Me" stationery so that each of them could write themselves a letter that will get sealed in an envelope until I return the capsules in 2022.

I can't be totally sure, but I think they liked the gifts. And I liked them so much, I'm tempted to create one for Mr. W and me! There's nothing better than looking back and seeing how far you've come!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Thought This Day Would Never Come

Yes, I made Mr. W pose for a picture with me just so I could write this post.
You know those couples who to go Disneyland wearing matching t-shirts or twinsies hats or carbon copy fanny packs? The ones who feel they have to show the world through their wardrobes that they are united in love for all eternity?

They make me cringe to my greatest depths. My spleen feels embarrassed when I see them.

I don't know what possesses a duo to think it's a good idea to dress in identical getups and go out in public, but I (like most sane people, I hope) think it is completely ridiculous. And this is why, when Mr. W and I entered the living room wearing eerily similar outfits last week before a walk, I really should have changed my clothes.

I didn't quite realize how alike we looked until we got outside and by that time both of us were feeling too stubborn to go back in and switch out our shirts.

"Let's just stick to the back roads," I told him, hoping that every occupant of Hollywood would be inside their homes, far away from the sight of us.

Of course, not ten seconds down the street, one of our neighbors appeared in his driveway and said hello to us. I'm sure he was thinking something like, "Poor guy gets married and his wife starts making him dress like her..." or maybe just "Lame." Or maybe he and his wife dress alike at theme parks and I'm totally wrong about his reaction. Anyway...

We passed several other early evening walkers as we wound up through the hills, and all of them mercifully ignored our attire. Until we were just a couple blocks from home and a man in all black put his hand to his brow to block the setting sun and get a better look at us.

"Nice outfits!" he exclaimed as we approached.

I almost ripped off my shirt and finished the walk in my bra.

"We didn't plan it, I swear!" I shrieked at him.

"Uh huh."

For the record, my shirt at least had a little embellishment on the front. But I learned my lesson: no matchy-matchy EVER again. Unless we're in the Caveman Room.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Big Zucchinis and Little Ideas That Can Change the Course of Everything

I just had to share the beast that Mr. W and I grew in the backyard. I swear I could swaddle this thing and rock it to sleep. It's pretty much the size of a human infant.

And in case you haven't yet visited my other blog The Path to Wonderful, I thought I'd share my most recent post on the power of the five-minute brainstorm. Thanks for checking it out!