Four simple goals for 2013.

Get out more. Going out to lunch on a regular basis with a co-worker, along with hanging out with friends on occasion, and then getting together to watch Bears games with a meetup group all happened in 2012. Still finding a lot of alone time frustrating, so joining another meetup group or two and trying to see friends outside of work at least twice a month is in the plans.

Do more good. Continue online support efforts with the ChronicBabe forums and You Can Do This project after a period of advocacy burnout at the end of 2012. Get out more (!) and do some face-to-face volunteering.

Read more. For such an avid reader, reading 19 books and not being able to quite finish two others in 2012 was kind of ridiculous, especially after 40 in 2011. However, recognizing that life is busier, aiming for 30 this year.

Write more. More blogging? Maybe. More putting pen to paper? Absolutely.


Weekly Grace, #52.

  1. A quiet Christmas day with the cats.
  2. Thoughtful gift from sister and her family.
  3. A quiet few days in the office and telecommuting, getting stuff accomplished.
  4. Starting to prepare for London trip with a few small but key purchases.
  5. The Broncos are #1 seeds (a consolation prize to the Bears not getting to the playoffs, but…)

That one day.

June 2009. Social anxiety, be damned. Eleven years here, and everyone I know locally is either a co-worker or one of his friends. I need to meet other people.

It takes a lot for me to gain the courage to walk into that coffee shop and meet a group of women bloggers, that up until a few days prior I never even heard of before.

Just like the day I moved into the dorms my freshman year of college and managed to set aside all the worry for awhile to meet neighbors, I end up enjoying myself.


It is only now that I realize how much I needed to venture out that day. It is only now that I realize the impact of that day on how the next couple years unraveled.

The thing is, I had been unhappy for awhile before that day, but the scariest part of trying to do what would make me less unhappy was knowing that a local support system outside of work and his world was lacking. As I got to know a few of the women I met that day, I started to feel like maybe I could do it after all, even after my health failed me for a few months.

Thank you, JoAnn and Jen and Jolene and Denise. (And also to Aimee and Tracy, who were not there that day, but still have been a huge part of my starting over.)


End of year.

Sitting where I never expected to be this time last year.

Still in Colorado. Still in the same apartment. Still at the same job.

Sitting at the flimsy card table that masks as a kitchen table, waiting a few more minutes to log into work for the newly approved Friday telecommuting. Thinking about whether the Bears will make the playoffs, thinking about whether the Broncos will make it to the Super Bowl. Thinking about London in a few weeks, knowing that fulfilling a promise to myself will not underwhelm.

Dreaming of what the next year will bring, knowing how easily it could be vastly different than today’s expectations. The GRE retake may interfere with the dreams set for beginning graduate school in August. The changed tax burden may interfere with the dreams set for buying a little place to settle down for a while. The chronic health issues may interfere with all that and more.

Hoping for a good year after three years of health and personal struggles, acknowledging that things will not always be picture perfect. But confidence has returned – with co-workers and superiors encouraging strength in the workplace, friends and family encouraging strength outside of it. Being loved and supported and feeling confident allows for the hope and promise of the new year.

Bring it on, 2013.

Weekly Grace, #51.

1. Work excitement and good times celebrating.
2. No weather disruptions for traveling back to Wisconsin.
3. Home cooked goodness every dinner of the visit.
4. A lovely necklace from the younger nieces and nephew…three hearts, one for each of them.
5. Bears still barely alive for playoffs.

Weekly Grace, #50.

  1. The core group at the Chicago Bears meetup, even if we are crying in our beers or soda at the end of the game.
  2. At least I showed up to the GRE and tried my best.
  3. Sweet cuddles from the Kari-cat when I know her body is winding down.
  4. The ability to telecommute on Fridays, despite a rough start full of technical difficulties.
  5. Bacon. I can’t quit it.

Weekly Grace, #49.

  1. Broncos are AFC West champions, with less Tebow.
  2. Just like Peyton Manning not being the oldest QB with a win in week #13, I was likely not the oldest person taking the GRE in my time slot.
  3. Finding sparks of creativity (writing and crafty) after weeks of concentrating on studying for the test.
  4. Strawberry-rhubarb Noosa.
  5. Test strip hoarding.

Scars are souvenirs: A nod to 12/5/2009.

“Always something there to remind me…” – Naked Eyes

The scar runs from navel to pubic bone and is always staring back at me. In the shower, on the toilet, or in the middle of changing clothes – there is simply no escaping it, even as it slowly fades over the years.

The scar attempts to tell the story of the day they needed to cut me open to try to raise blood pressure, to drown the fever, to restore a white blood cell count to normal levels, to drain the growing abscess in my abdomen.

“Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far.” – Goo Goo Dolls

The scar only scratches the surface of an experience forever imprinted on my mind. It represents not just that day, but the subsequent series of events that changed the course of where my life was headed.

Sometimes I like to just look down at the scar, and then glance over at the word written on the inside of my left arm, and then back at the scar – just to remember how far I have come since that day three years ago.

“A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” – Unknown

Sometimes, I make stuff.

Not quite sure how I ended up with a decade’s worth of holiday cards, but I found a good use for some of them while offline for a couple hours this evening…

Weekly Grace, #48.

  1. That after some scary stuff, a good friend is ok and recovering. 
  2. Sleeping enough to fight off the office crud.
  3. Feeling a bit more holiday cheer than the last couple years.
  4. Feeling ready as I will ever be for the GRE.
  5. Love Actually (the movie).

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