Monday, October 27, 2014

Predicting the future

Psychics. Fortune tellers.

What comes to mind when you hear these words?

Fake? Day dream believers? Seller of hopes? Not real.

It's funny. When I hear these words. MOST OF THE TIME.  I think: "misunderstood".

We all receive those "thoughts" or "foreshadowing" or "pings" in our lives. Little things that go unnoticed. Until much later. Then we look back and think "Oh, yeah, I've been thinking about those things for years."

Do I believe I can tell you those "little things" about your life? No.  Not a chance. Can someone else tell you those things about your life? Maybe. Can you look back at your life and "SEE" what was coming. ABSOLUTELY.

Without a doubt.

We just don't listen. The world tells us things all the time.  We hear them. The first time. The hundredth time.

My favorite future prediction story has to do with my youngest son:

I always knew I was going to have a Nolan.

This from the woman whom wasn't sure she was going to have kids. I knew I was going to have a Nolan though.

My mom had baby-sat for a family when she was growing up. The ages all begin to blend at some point in life. As my mom is only 19 years younger than her mom. The other parents were only a few years younger than my grand-parents. We all grew up together.

The third child of the family my mom baby sat, well, I think he's only 5 or 6 years older than me. I'm not sure.

What I do know: we were at their house in Tulsa, OK. I couldn't have been more than 5. AT THE OLDEST.

But, I remember the conversation very clearly:

We were discussing our friends (my mom and I).  We were talking about names. Going through everyone's names. (No, I don't know why).  And we get to the third child.  His name is Brian Nolan B.

I remember rolling over on to my stomach. I remember saying "what did you say his middle name was?"  "Nolan".  Very distinctly I remember replying "Nolan" "That's a different kind of name".

She explained to me he was named after a business partner of his dad's. I couldn't have been more than five.

I'm not sure when I began to remember the story. I married a guy with a Scottish/Irish background. We wanted their names to "go with" their last name".

When I was pregnant with my second son - we didn't know if he was going to be a boy or girl. This drove the world crazy. "How can you not know??" My reply, "I have the rest of my life to know."

There are so few "good surprises" in life. You know, the surprises that take your breath away. That let you breathe the way life told you all along you were going to breathe this way.

About the time my labor started, the priest from the church called and asked if we he was here yet.  .

I remember telling him, "I know you aren't going to believe this, but my contractions started about an hour ago. Although we still aren't sure if he is a boy or a girl.".

Nolan's dad didn't even know at this point.  The priest asked if he could call the hospital tomorrow to check on us.  Of course, I replied.

We are in the Labor and Delivery room at Rose Hospital in Denver, CO. It's the final moments. My doctor - whom was about my age - looked around the room. She said "SO, is it a boy or a girl?"

Nurse:  Girl.  Dad: I have no idea.  Me:  He's a boy. His name is Nolan.

He was born a few minutes later. I forgot to ask if he was a boy or a girl.

I guess they aren't really surprises. Just listen people. Just listen.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Turn your TV off.

All of you.

Turn the internet news off too.

Unless you are willing to make a change and DO SOMETHING that will make a difference. Quit whining.

My oldest "son" in Hawaii and I were talking about ISIS today. He also sent a text about the Governor of Colorado.

The response to him, from me: "What are YOU doing about it but complaining?"

Then he calls, he tells me I'm a very bad person (well, this is not true, as we had several conversations about now and what is going on in the world.)

Truth be told: I couldn't tell you what was going on in the world.

Is it important to know what is going on?


Are you going to do anything about the fact it isn't the way YOU believe?

THEN, (I'm sorry) - Be quiet - it's just whining.

No one has EVER changed their mind in a moment approached by controversy.

Most people might actually listen to others. When you tell people though, you have to change your mind? That doesn't work. We all know that.

I hear the mayor in Houston, TX is trying to combine the separation of the church and state. I don't agree with that.

However, other than just ignoring it - I can have a conversation with friends. I can tell people I don't agree.

What I can't do: Tell someone else my way of thinking is the right way. Their way is not.

What I can do:

Stop reading the newspaper

Don't read the headlines on the internet


Worry less

Breathe more

Make a difference.

Or keep whining.

It's not news, it's just chatter.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


A good friend of mine at the club has become "soft".

I say this lightly. I do owe another entire tribute to my women friends at the club where I work out. Where else do you know an entire group of people - but the only way to recognize them is naked?

The locker room - well, you stand there naked talking to other women. Over-weight. Under weight. Eating disorders. Career women. Stay at home moms. Retired women. "Trophy" wives. Women that never worked, as they married men whom didn't think they should. Everything in between.

The women whom swim laps every day. Or go to the morning class. Those whom rush off. Those whom linger. Those whom are training. Those whom the only place they have to go is the club. You can see their loneliness pouring from their skin.

We've been through births. Deaths. Heart aches. Success.

All while standing their naked.

This year the club put out "bath wraps" - which I have always loved, but well, these make you hot. They must not be 100% cotton. Must be polyester.

Can I borrow your brush? Do you have a tampon? An extra razor? What is going on with your hormones? Does this get better? Does this get worse? What books have you read? You taking a trip?I'm running late for a meeting, whom has an extra bra in their bag?

One of the women from the locker room - her husband died in bike wreck last year. He was in his early 60's. Her father was a gold medal winner in the Olympics in Germany. He met Hitler. I love all her stories. We've all been there to help her back to her new "normal".

One woman, she and her husband classified themselves as alcoholics. Now they run marathons and Ironman's.  They have twin girls in 3rd grade. My youngest son is their hero - running his first half marathon at 12. They love that story.

Another locker room friend. She's always been "hard". Determined. And seriously, the best body ever. I don't know anyone out there whom wouldn't be jealous of her body.  Not bony skinny - just in shape.

5 years ago - she gave birth to a baby girl. Two years later another one.  19 years ago - she gave up one.

She never has let herself feel.

I tell her all the time "You got "Soft" on me."  She's such a great mom. She bitches. She moans. She grumbles. She works out everyday. She's honest.

She looks better than most of us could ever dream. She's over 40.

She now knows the daughter she gave up at 19. She works in a PICU unit of a hospital as a nurse. She's hardcore when she needs to be.

But, I've known her for years. She's a bit softer than she use to be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The way my brain works

My brain NEVER stops. Ever.

Of course, all the things that flutter across my mind, don't make sense. These are not logical thoughts. Actually, they are logical thoughts, but a bit of over-thinking.

Not over-thinking of the stuff I should be over-thinking. You know, not:

  • How's my retirement doing?
  • What is the best ACT/SAT prep class out there for my kids? I should research that more.
  • Am I focused enough on work?
  • What can I do to make my business grow?
  • Where am I going to move after the kids are gone to college? Or should I wait until after college.
Those BORING things we NEED to do. The things that we SHOULD think about. I just don't. My life just works out, not going to over think it.

No, my mind works more like this:

I'm driving to get groceries and I think of a couple of more things I need. Only two seconds later I have NO idea (as in NOT A CLUE) what I was going to add to the list. (No list = it doesn't make it home).

Oh, then I see some graffiti on an over pass.  In the middle of the bridge. In the middle of the space between the top and the "space".  How do they get there? Do they hang upside down on the freeway and spray paint? Do they go to graffiti school as in I think all the graffiti looks the same. Is there a class for this?

Oh, look there is another pot shop - let's count how many pot shops we can spot in the next mile.

Crap, green light - I just remembered what I was going to add to the grocery list and I need to write it down before I forget again. Oh well, maybe it will come back before I get to the store.

I really love the song on the radio. Only I don't ever know the titles or the artist. Oh, wait, this song sounds just like the one that makes me think of the second summer in Hawaii.  You know the one! Why can't I think of it!!

I'm at the grocery store. Where's that list?

My brain makes me really tired.

Friday, October 17, 2014

When we are home

When I'm out on my adventures - I don't ever miss anything. I don't miss my house. I don't miss my friends, because with communication the way it is today, we still communicate. I don't miss my kids - as they are usually with me. I don't miss work.

I'm perfectly content being out exploring the world.

It's when I'm home, I miss things.

Shouldn't it be the other way around?

I don't think I'm missing out on things when I'm home, but I start to miss things that I'm not doing. With him.

I start to miss traveling. I do really miss the airport - the watching of people. Random strangers connecting. Flights that can take you to far away destinations or quick adventures.

I miss my adventures. Not that I don't have them at home. The adventures are just different when you are in a different place.

I miss my family when I'm home. My extended family. My boys when they are at their dads. I actually miss them when they are at school too (even though they drive me nuts when we are together).

I miss things that aren't real. I miss people whom aren't present.

Peter Pan was in town this weekend. I didn't see him. But it made me think. It's funny - he lives half a world away. He lives with a girlfriend. He says he's not happy - but he doesn't make the change. I could on and on about this story - as it never seems to go away.

Truth be told though, we probably text every other week. Some times we do go three weeks, but not much more without reaching out to each other.

He's out having adventures too. He's living his life.

But when he gets home.

He's in his childhood room. In his childhood house.  He's safe. I'm the one to whom he calls or texts. I always know when he's home.

The texts/calls are different. He can let himself me vulnerable.

It's us truly missing each other.

He was here this week. He left on Tuesday night. He had texted me at midnight Monday night - after a weekend of texts, asking if he could stop by.

I replied "Nope".

It was the middle of the night.

We only miss each other when we are at home.


I sent him a text last night. Of course, I'm home - and he's safe for me to miss now. He is also back to his life. He was in Boston - he had an emergency appendectomy - he had been internally bleeding for over a day. His girlfriend was not in town. I'm the first person he let know after surgery.

He nearly died. He was in surgery for over 5 hours.

I couldn't breathe - as of course, the person I am felt guilty for not letting him come over. Maybe I would have known something was wrong.

But I was home, missing him.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's complicated

I was "chatting" with a friend of mine in London the other day. We were on instant messenger.

I've known him a long time. In fact, I don't even think I was pregnant with Nolan when I met him. We worked together.

He and his girlfriend had met in St Louis. Moved to Denver. Both were from "the other side of the pond" - I believe she was from Slovenia. He was from England.

I worked with him. My children's dad and I did several things with them. We knew them for years.

We got divorced. He and his girlfriend broke up. We went out a couple of times. But I'm not sure either of us really knew how to act in this situation - so we did what I commonly do, we became friends.

He moved back to Europe a few years ago. We've never lost touch. In fact, we all went to dinner together in London in the Spring. He bought Duncan a pint of beer. I remember him saying to the boys "wow, you grew up!"

In our messaging we were talking about dating and he is dating this woman. Then he says "It's complicated".

The first thing I respond is "Is she married?"

"She has twin 17 year olds" "She never married, but is with her partner of 18 years".

We chat for a bit about this. I didn't ask if this "partner" was male or female - as in the USA when someone says "partner" - I assume, business or same sex. However, across the world "partner" can  mean all sorts of things.

Of course though, my grandfather always called his grand-sons his "partners" - to me, that is what "partner" really means".

See, it's not complicated. It's love.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Booty Call

Vulnerable. This is what I'm about to do.

Years ago,I posted this on Craigslist. This was years before the blog. Before the book. Here's me, being raw:

It was just a booty call:

Isn't that what is was all about?  I didn't want you, you couldn't have me..... The ultimate paradox. You won, I lost, or was that I won, and you lost?  To the guy that will always make my legs shake, my hand quake and my heart break..... I knew from the moment I told you:  "You are really cute, I'm really married and I really have two kids,"  was the moment that my life would change forever. Okay, I didn't know I knew it then, but my earth did turn.  Because you looked at me with those blue eyes and said "so, you think I'm cute"... blah, blah, blah,.  Charlie Brown's teacher was speaking everything I said from that point on.   Nothing else was heard.  And really that was the end of that, but no - you sent an e-mail asking if I had been where we met.  I still ask, what made you do that?  I guess it was the e-mail that changed my life.  My first thought was "is that the guy from the Cricket?" :-)



Yes, you read that right.  9 years......  I'm no longer married....  The Cricket guy, well he doesn't live here any more - his parents do.  And yes, he still loves me.  Who knew?  A Random night at the Cricket would change my life.  Of course, I'm writing this on 9/11 - the day I knew I would leave my husband and the day I knew I was going forward.

The day of change for many people and I knew at that very moment, that well, I was on the walk to the future.  I was scared, I was a long a way from home, I had two young sons, a husband, a job and everything that anyone could want.  And I wanted you....

Isn't that the most selfish thing you have ever heard?  You were like a drug.  I remember the night, I was still married, moving out in January, it was October, I was sleeping downstairs (no justification - just an explanation) .  "I fell for a shooting star, the one without a permanent scar" - and for the last NINE years I have denied it.

Well, here I am

And you know it, but you moved away and came back this weekend.  But, after today you are gone. And, that I can't deal with.... I wish I could.  Somewhere along the way we messed up.  See here is the thing, I didn't see you this weekend - I can't handle it.  We haven't had sex in over a year.  And seeing you, well,  it would break my heart.......  And I think it's great that we still keep in touch and we have been through the ups and downs of relationships with others.

Thank you -
For letting me fall for the shooting star
For letting you let go and hang on all at the same time  - even if you didn't know you were doing it
For being scared and admitting you couldn't "handle me" - not many men could say that out loud.
For calling me when you are drunk and letting me do the same.
For not marrying the girl you could have, because you were still in love with girl you weren't supposed to have.....
For helping me find me.

However, here we are.....

You see, you were this cute young guy I met .......

And I remember that night very clearly....I wanted to come back in.....

You have now officially moved away.  So, when you call me in 20 years, and have to show up at my door with your kids; well this is what I have to say:

I don't like babies, but I'd have one with you
I am 40 years old (ok, so in 20 years that would be 60), we should have had that baby then
I still love you
Get on with your life
Don't get on with your life without me
So I understand you call me when you are drunk and scared....

To the guy I will always love and never have an enough - thanks for both letting go and hanging on.   I don't met the profile and it took me a long time to accept this, but my oh my, do I love you.....

And I wish yes, it was just a meeting at the Cricket, but well, we are past that point...... You can't stand up, really?  You have it in you.

If you don't really have it in you, thank you for the ultimate booty call - thanks for what you could do for me.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Listen Up


What did you say?

People don't listen.

I like to think we don't hear things, but the truth is, we - as a society - just don't listen.

Think about it. Do we listen to hear what the other person is saying or do we listen to hear when the other person is going to stop talking so we can respond?

In general, people are crappy listeners. Keep thinking. How many times have you said something and the next thing the person says is how it relates to them?

I read an article once about polite conversations. Not sure when this was or what the true intention of the article was (see, I wasn't listening - or paying attention), but I remember these points:

When someone tells a story, makes a point, etc - make TWO points about THEIR story before you tell your story on how the same thing happened to you.
If you've heard the story before, just go with it.

It's funny how people tend to bring the story back to THEIR life instead of listening to what is really happening. Yes, we want to share OUR experience with the story teller - it's hard not to chime in. But it's also a beautiful thing is life to HEAR what people are really saying.

There is a yoga class I take every week. Tuesdays at lunch time. The class is called Yin Yang yoga. Yin is seen as dark, passive. Yang is seen as light, active.

During the class - we move into a stretch position (all sitting or on our back) - THEN, you stay there for 5 minutes.

Yes, you are in some fold, some bend, some uncomfortable position for 5 minutes. It takes me about 30 minutes into class before I can actually "calm down" enough to listen.

You see, during that 5 minutes our instruction reads us "readings" about "centering yourself" or a passage from a Bible or a Buddhist reading. Truly it's "non-denominational" - meaning, it's about the moment we are in. Something to get you centered into something other than yourself.

I think of it as "church" with exercise.

The first 30 minutes of the class, when the instructor is speaking - when we are supposed to be listening - she will say something. Then, I'm off in my mind. Thinking about how that could parlay into my life or whom I should tell about what I just heard, or WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE MY MIND IS THINKING.

But, I can tell you this - my mind is then NOT listening to the next few sentences. I'm busy thinking about how this effects my life.

Then at some point during the class, that feeling slowly melts away. I'm no longer thinking about what she is saying.

I'm stretching. I'm listening. I'm just being.

THEN, later on, something I heard while I was listening in class - well, it pops up in a situation. Wait, I think - I remember hearing something and how to apply it in this situation. I know how to handle it.

I was listening.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

He is my son

In case there were any doubts, Duncan is definitely my son.

Not that I really doubted it.  I think people are born being whom they are going to be.  Your parents help you live up to your potential. Or, they don't.

Simple as that. Yes, some parents can "make" their kids "bad". But giving your kid things or opportunities you didn't have doesn't make the kid better. In fact, the kid might not work as hard. Who really knows.

A little bit of both. Nature and nurture.

Duncan is not shy. He has also never met a stranger. He works hard. He's a bit at lazy at times (aren't we all?). When his mind is made up though, don't stand in his way. He will figure out how to get it done.

On Sunday early evening, Duncan and his dad were running an errand. Duncan sees this super sharp black Audi with tinted windows.  He comments to his dad, "That is Matt so and so" (He plays for the Colorado Avalanche - our professional hockey team).

Duncan plays hockey. He hopes to go on and play in the juniors or in college. Maybe even the NHL. Of course, most kids I know at some point want to be the professional athlete.

Duncan is then of course arguing with his father about whom is the car. They are in a neighborhood close to my house.  Duncan's dad comments, "Well, if they are on Pearl Street they are probably going to the Sushi Den for dinner".  Duncan convinces his dad to go by the Sushi Den.

Yes, of course, two Avalanche players step out of the car at valet.  Duncan says to his dad, "Stop the car. I'll be right back."

Duncan goes in. Approaches the two star players on our team and asks if he can get his picture taken with them. Of course he does.

He was very excited. He was taller than one and the same height as the other. He did comment that they were "huge".

The picture is cute.  They are all smiling.

I wonder where he gets that from.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Did you cry?

As an adult, most people associate crying with happiness or sadness.  Not with physical pain. 

We think of children crying when they are hurt. Aren't we all hurt when we cry?

We associate crying with hurt and pain.  But at some point in our lives, we are told to quit crying when we are hurt. 

Most of us think about not crying and physical pain. Emotional pain, it seems to be accepted to cry - that is if you are female and under the age of 10. 

"Stop crying - you aren't a baby"

"Only girls cry"

Part of me gets in.  No one likes whiny kids/people whom "cry" to get their way. We know plenty of them.

But sometimes, it feels good to cry.  Cry in the good way.

Crying at Fred Claus.  Or an episode of Modern Family. Like people get you. You aren't all alone.

However, during the transition from crying when you fall to crying at Olympic commercials, there are those transitional crying years.

When you hurt from sadness.  You cry then too.

Then as a society we are once again told to not cry. It shows weakness.

A friend of mine cut her leg open on a rock - it was pretty big gash (no, this wasn't me).  I saw her a few weeks later.  The cut was healing, but I was like "what the hell did you do?".  She explained what happened.  She was at an exercise class in the park.  They were "rock hopping".  OUCH!!

She's telling me this story, after I asked her about the cut.  OMG.  OUCH! was my reply.  She said, "It's funny, Sawyer (her son whom is 13) asked "Did you cry?"

It stuck out to her.

Several years ago, right after my surfing accident, I was telling my youngest son the story. The first question he asked:  "Did you cry?"

He was 12.

I had never thought about it.  But, it stuck with me. Moms don't cry. If you think about it, when you were a kid and you witnessed an adult crying, you didn't know what to do. 

Grown-ups don't cry.  

But maybe there is something to this. We do learn to outgrow crying at physical pain. We learn to cry when we really hurt.