Born This Way

The wake up song this week shall be Born This Way by Lady Gaga.

Any song that makes me that excited and feel that happy about being me seems like an ideal way to start the day.  A deal at $1.29.

This week should be interesting- work is going to be a rough one.  And one that is supposed to start off coated in ice and sleet for my one mile walk to the Metro. Ugh.  So that’s the bad news.

The good news is that my mom visited for the weekend and it was a blast.  I have lots of good stuff to keep me busy while the weather turns cruddy over the next month. I was selected for a women’s entrepreneurship program. Lots of good stuff.

Hope you’re finding lots of good in your life! Would love to hear about all of it!



So I Need a Hat…

… a big ol’ Kentucky Derby hat. And I could not be more excited to be getting ready to cross this off my bucket list!

Quotes That I Am Pondering

Expect to see these written on and around me this year…

“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” – Annie Oakley

“Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.” –Maya Angelou

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” -Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address 2005

“20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –A.A. Milne

“I still believe in the resilience of the human heart and the essential validity of love;I still believe that connections between people can be made and that the spirits which inhabit us sometimes touch. I still believe that the cost of these connections is horribly, outrageously high… and I still believe that the value received far outweighs the price which must be paid.”- Stephen King

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb

“Sometimes, I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast…” – Alice in Wonderland

“You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance.” – Lee Iacocca

“Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.” – Goethe

“The first and the best victory is to conquer self.” -Plato

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” -Proverbs 27:17

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” -Arnold Bennett

“Brick walls are there for the other people.” -Dr. Randy Pausch

“Change before you have to.” -Jack Welch

“Start today, not tomorrow. If anything, you should have started yesterday. The earlier you start, the more time you have to mess up.” – Emil Motycka

“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.” – Lindsay Manseau

“All that you need to become an entrepreneur and change the world is a working brain – and pretty much nothing else.” – Adora Svitak

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” -Will Smith

“The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.” -Vance Hayner

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Chinese Proverb

Lucky Lucky Lucky

We’re waiting for my sister’s family to arrive, and I’m listening to my parents putter in the kitchen while my pup plays outside. The weather is great for an Ohio December (although that may change tomorrow). Many awesome outings with amazing friends are coming up this week before I head back to DC.

My nephew is teed up to start enjoying the coolest Christmas present that I’ve seen a kid get in a long while- a 1950’s era military Willys Jeep to fix up with his dad and grandpa.

We’ve switched to Christmas roast beast instead of ham because dad can’t really take the salt of a Christmas ham. It smells delicious!

Lucky lucky lucky am I !

I hope that you are all enjoying a wonderful Christmas as well!

Make it a great Christmas!

Healthy Luckiest Woman

So excited! Just left my doctor and he said that I am totally healthy and he was excited to see that I had dropped pounds since my last physical two years ago! I am cleared to start training for the Army Ten Miler (RA!) And to do a three day water fast (my idea of an indefinite one was a bad idea in his book so I am going to take his advice on that one) and low calorie weight loss “indefinitely”.

Woo hoo!

You Never Know Who You’re Cheering Up

Trudging to the Metro tonight- tired from a long day and feeling kind of blue- I finally caught my train at 6:52 PM.  Wedged in with my fellow travelers, I heard a voice that made me smile immediately.  The voice of my beloved mom? No. Dad? Nope. Sister? Nah. Frosty? Samira? No no no.

The Metro driver.  As it happened, I’d caught up with my absolute favorite Metro driver and I looked at my fellow weary DC’ers and smiled, “I am SO psyched! It’s my favorite driver! This guy always makes me smile AND he is a great driver!”

Pretty quickly, car number seven of eight (sadly not 7 of 9) was sharing smiles and praise for our Venus Flytrap-sounding smooth jazz, cheerleader/chider/tour guide Metro operator rocking us home on the Orange Line.  (Google “WKRP” if you don’t know who Venus Flytrap is— then watch the Thanksgiving episode. Seriously. You’ll thank me later.)

Listen in your mind with me as you hear your favorite DJ from the smooth jazz station announcing:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re arriving at Foggy Bottom, the last stop in our Nation’s Capitol: Washington, DC.  Doors open on the left, please do not block the doors as you board.”

Then, after we are moving again: “Next stop is Rosslyn, the first stop in the Commonwealth of Virginia and your last connection point to the blue line.  Ladies and gentlemen, don’t forget not to block the doors as you board and, if you must, please wait for the next Metro to board if there’s not room.”

He also coaches us on how to let people out when we arrive at a station (he announced that, from that point on, we could expect more offloading than onboarding and to please make sure that we stepped out to allow others to depart should we be standing near the doors), and then gave us feedback on our performance once we were rolling again.  To that I say: get it together Car 8- you disappointed our driver with your selfish Metro habits!

It’s a pretty simple job- you drive a small train up and down the same rails, hour after hour, day after day. We here are renowned for whining about Metro in DC and people are pushy and selfish all-too-often- and make the doors open because they try to wedge themselves on a train at the last minute and cause more frustration.  Venus?  He makes it sound like there’s no place that he’d rather be and that he understands the important place he plays in our day- getting us where we’re going as safely and quickly as possible.

While he probably does not know that he helped his passengers to bond a little and smile a bit more on the ride home, I hope he somehow finds out that car seven has his back (literally and figuratively) and that we appreciate his work.  Mr. Flytrap isn’t just mailing it in- he’s bringing his A game at every Metro stop and we dig it, man. You’re totally groovy in our book.

You never know who’s hearing and appreciating what you’re saying, friends.  Send out positive vibes all that you can.


What I Was Trying to Say About Why I Love Turkey…

This author said it completely eloquently:

“For people like us, the Middle East is tantalizing. The smell of coffee with cardamom, and of apple tobacco burning in water pipes; the color and touch of carpets and fabrics; the sounds of the muezzin call to prayers and the energy of crazy urban traffic and large desert landscapes. The warmth of its people and the sound of their music and language. If you combine that with analytical curiosity invested in understanding the long history of the region and the complex dynamics of its current politics, the Middle East is a place you can’t resist. It is not only an intellectual endeavor—it makes you feel fully alive.”

What a Year…

One year ago today, I was standing in a hospital room at UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital. A very special room.  A room we had fought and waited to enter for days.  A very special room with the best people, equipment and facilities to treat a man whose back had been broken in three places during horrible semi-truck accident.  Who then had multiple heart attacks, two different kinds of lung infections, was placed into a coma and put on a respirator by, at best, incompetent medical professionals.  Who had to be med-evac’ed from one hospital to another in order to survive the journey.

He was brought into the room, along with his records, where kind and supportive staff helped get my beloved uncle back on the road to recovery and showed incredible kindness to his family.

As a tribute to what strength of will and technology can do, he’s gone from being in a coma with the most hopeful predictions being that he would be a paraplegic with mild cognitive impacts to having his mind and memories and walking with the aid of a cane.  

He’s made the best of his year. He’s fought his way back.  It’s inspiring to have watched and I am so grateful that, a year later, he was hanging out in his living room, laughing and talking and walking and loving his life.  

If he can come back from that, what could you do (could I do) if I truly tried?  I’m going to think on that… with some interesting ideas a-formin’…

Make it a great day,