Tomorrow is my paperwork based one year anniversary at my job, even though I actually started two weeks later.  I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this other than I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had stayed in my other position.

I had to ask Ray for a topic this morning because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  I was going to write about setting goals but that didn’t flow as well as her topic is.  Her question was, “What have you gained and lost by taking chances?”

Gained?  A lot.  Lost?  Maybe some of my sanity.

My chances or risks have been pretty successful for the most part.  The last few months have been rough, with both of us questioning things, but for the most part, things have been good.  The biggest chance I took:  Coming to D.C. for Job Corps.

You never really think about one decision changing the course of your life.  I’ve screwed up a lot in the last 12 ½ years, but that one decision rolled in with a whole lot of others.  Taking the train home, starting a conversation with someone who is still in my life, people who have come and gone, all of that leading to one major chance that further changed my life:  Meeting Ray.

I’ve said this before, but it bears a lot of repeating.  Writing about the people you love is easy, even if it gets a little bit tedious to others.

I hadn’t wanted to go to that party, and I was pretty pushy.  She didn’t want to have much to do with me, and after looking at old pictures, I wouldn’t have wanted to have much to do with me either.  But we took a chance, and we’re still taking chances on each other.  There are days I wonder how I got so lucky.  I love that woman like there is no tomorrow.

And there are days I wonder if we made the right choice, if I’m missing out of something by being with her and settling down.  I get that from my dad, the not-quite-settling-down part of him that made him never stay long in one place.  I’m like my dad in some ways, but the choices I’ve made make us different people.  My dad wasn’t ever really afraid to take chances on his dreams, even if the family unit suffered.

My dream might be easier without people there; I’d love to travel more.  I’d love to do the European Tour as a solo traveler, just once.  But there is one thing that I noticed during Orlando, walking towards Ray with food in one hand after making her walk through Epcot.  Traveling the world may be more expensive with two people, but the experiences that those people share are priceless.  You never know how priceless without taking a chance on a future with that person.

Had I not taken that one chance, I wouldn’t have everything that I have in my life today.  Life may suck somedays, but the only wish I have was that I would have met her sooner and saved both of us some heartache and life lessons.

Listening to:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Reading:  They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Quote of the Day:  “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy


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Writing Wednesday

This is a day late.  I got engrossed in finishing “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas.  It was a fantastic read, well written and timely.  Please pick it up if you get the chance.

One of the goals for this blog this year is be more consistent and a little more focused.  I’ve been posting goals and some randomness but haven’t been overly consistent or focused, so this is an attempt to do just that.

Thanks to Ethan and Ray, I got a book of 400 writing prompts for Christmas.  Probably one of the more awesome presents this year (outside of my new Slytherin hoodie and a golden snitch watch necklace).

First Writing Wednesday Prompt:

What is your kryptonite and why does it have power over you?

The popularity of Superman and his vulnerability to Kryptonite has led to the generic usage of the term in popular culture as a reference to an individual’s weakness, similar to “Achilles’ heel“.[3]  

My weakness:  work?

Why?:  Because money makes the world go round and sadly, there never seems to be enough of it to go around.  I’ll do one job (a full-time that pays really well), then on days off, I’ll work something else, just to help make ends meet.  It sucks but that’s the lifestyle I’ve put myself into.  If I’m not working, I’m doing something because being lazy/unproductive sets me into a anxious/depressive cycle where I feel useless and like I’m a waste of space.  It’s sad but that is the way my brain works.

So not the most eloquent post.  The prompt brought back up a conversation I had last night about how much life is worth, especially since it’s been snowing.  The police were even saying, “If you don’t have to go out, stay home.”  I still wanted to work at delivery packages; got up, saw the roads, and said, “Screw it.”

Now, back to reading!

Listening to:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Reading:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Fiest

Quote of the Day:   “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” ― Tony Robbins

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January’s Monthly Goals

So… New Year, new goals.

New month, new goals too.

I didn’t complete any Day Zero goals last month.  I did add a few, but that will be in next month’s post.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 1,138.8.  170.2 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight: Saw 249 on 12/31
  • Books read: 28 books.
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts:  11
  • Completed six of the eight Hogwarts Running ClubVirtual Races.
  • Host Christmas.  It was awesome but exhausting.
  • Completed Bookish’s December Readathon.

January’s goals are just adding onto or finishing some of November’s goals, like editing my novel and such.

  • Reach 100+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 10 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Book Boston’s flights!
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Sign up to try kickboxing.
  • Start Run the Year 2018 mile Challenge.
  • Submit “Finding Home” to Kindle Scout.


Easy peasy right?

Again, Happy New Year folks.

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2017 Accomplishments and 2018 Goals

Before the end of today, I wanted to get this posted.

Last year, especially the last few weeks, were interesting, and not in a great sort of way.  But the book of 2017 is done; has been for 19, almost 20 hours.  What all got listed on the first day of the year?  A lot.  What needs to get done?  Getting ready to go back to work/school tomorrow.  Everything else is done.

Speaking of done:

2017 Accomplishments:

  • Read 155 books Knocked the Day Zero Challenge and started working towards 200 books.
  • Go camping
  • Lost 100 lbs
  • Published a novel
  • Started a Booktube channel
  • Took a Cooking class
  • Joined the Y
  • Tried 10 new recipes from Pinterest
  • Wrote a letter to myself to be opened at the end of 1001 days Have to find it since we moved.
  • Made Prefect within HRC
  • Collected 200 postcards
  • Sent 200 postcards
  • Ran a 5k
  • Ran a 10k
  • Ran a half marathon 2 actually
  • Completed Maryland’s King Crab Challenge
  • Donated our unused/too big clothes to Goodwill
  • Completed Dave Ramsey’s financial classes
  • Get rid of 100 things
  • Make a Super Epic Rainbow Cake
  • Went to Disney’s Food and Wine Festival
  • Got our passports
  • Bought a new bed
  • Completed 30 miles in 30 days Did 34 intentional miles in two weeks.  Loved that challenge.
  • No alcohol for a month
  • Bought a house
  • Painted something cool
  • Went on a scavenger hunt in Charleston, SC
  • Watch our middle son graduate Marine bootcamp
  • Watched a drag show at Baltimore’s Pride Festival

That’s a lot.  Definitely not all that I wanted to accomplish by far, but that’s a lot.

2018 Goals:

  • Graduate College 9 classes to go
  • Publish another novel
  • Read 100 more books Bringing total number up books read for Day Zero Project to 262+
  • Build emergency funds back up
  • Submit a short story for a contest
  • Get commitment tattoos
  • Reach 2018 miles as a team
  • Make Prefect within HRC
  • No fast food for a month
  • Take a self-defense class
  • Plant a tree
  • Try kickboxing
  • Do Mentos and Diet Coke Challenge
  • Save all our change for the year
  • Donate our unused/too big clothes to Goodwill
  • Treat us to a spa day
  • Get rid of 100 things
  • Visit Boston
  • Go on a cruise
  • Visit Mom’s grave
  • Finish a cross stitch project
  • Take a pole dancing class
  • Dress up for Halloween
  • Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  • Say yes to something I normally wouldn’t do
  • Take a Thai cooking class
  • Take guitar lessons
  • Read 20 books recommended by 20 other people
  • Weigh under 200 lbs
  • Finish laser hair removal on face
  • Audition for a role in a play
  • Complete the 30 day Unsent letter challenge

Some of these are my Day Zero things; some are not.  There are 619 days left in my Day Zero Project to accomplish 72 more things.

Let’s get the party started!

Happy New Year!


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Explaining Personal Inclusion

Towards the end of the work day, I got seriously smacked with a truth stick, those lovely things that make you realize a truth about yourself you’ve either ignored or thought you had fixed.

Yup, another one…after a weekend of several whacks with other truth sticks.  I should have just climbed to the top of tree and done a free fall through the branches.  I’m emotionally hurt but not nearly as sore as the people I landed on (a.k.a., those people in my life beating me with said sticks) are.  I really hurt a lot of people and made myself look like the worst kind of jerk.

Today’s stick was something I had mentioned to my friend earlier.  It’s actually a complaint I’ve had about the people in my office; ever notice that the things that bother us about other people around us are flaws within ourselves?  It was really weird.

I suck at inclusion.

Now, inclusion is talked about on a big scale, from racial inclusion to cultural inclusion to even gender inclusion.  But no one ever seems to want to talk about the back side of inclusion:  What do we do to become included?  Why does now one ever feel comfortable enough to say, “Hey, I don’t feel included here?”  Feeling like that makes me want to say, “Screw this; I’m going home.”

That was the truth stick of the day.

I don’t think about making other people feel included, but when I don’t feel included, I shut down and then go off and do my own things.  So I can’t fault them for doing the same thing.  Who wants to be around people that don’t make them feel welcomed?  Sadly, often times, these feelings don’t ever get addressed until it’s too late.  One party has either walked away or both parties have gone separate ways.

Why does all this matter?  I got left out as a kid.  I was Rudolph.  Just can’t find the things the make my nose glow…at least to some people.

People who remind me, even subconsciously and unfairly, trigger those feelings.  They aren’t pleasant, and they leave me judging people before either of us know each other.  That, along with other factors, blew up in my face at the worst possible moment this weekend.  I screwed up because I had a hand in making someone else not feel included when I know that’s the worst feeling in the who world.

The point of this post though:  It’s the holiday season.  There are lonely, unincluded people out here.  At work, I’m one of them, at least on my staff.  There’s no quick fix for that, so not really bothering there.  But there might be a quick fix for someone in your family or your circle.  Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and have a conversation with them.  Let them know you miss them and that you are thinking about them.  That person in the office that everyone ignores…  Try starting a conversation with them and actively listening to them.  Send Holiday cards to people who may not get one this year just because you can.  Volunteer as a foster parent; there are so many kids out here who just want to know someone, somewhere cares.  This one is a bit longer term, but you never know; you may be their inspiration to do something amazing.  All it takes is a little love.

And some reindeer games!

Happy Holidays folks.

Listening to:  Ethan’s playlist while he does homework

Reading:  After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Quote of the day:  “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” – Unknown

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Tomorrow is my one year anniversary from weightloss surgery.  I had the sleeve surgery.

My highest weight was 396.


My surgery weight was 370.


My current weight is, as of this morning, 254.6, even though I saw 249 on the 2nd.  Stress eating and not enough water and protein (aka junk food and carbs!) will do that to you.


I haven’t seen 249 since I was 16.  I’m 30!

Non-scale victories:

  • No way would I have completed the three major races I did along with getting the 1086 miles I walked this year. That’s a feat in and of itself.
  • I can get into a Walmart size 20 pants. Before I couldn’t get into any pants and I was wearing one of their 5x shirts.  It was NOT baggy then.
  • Lane Bryant is the same: I can get into a 20/22 and an 18/20 shirt as long as it’s not clingy.
  • I put on a Torrid size 3 shirt; I didn’t think I’d see the day where that size shirt would be baggy.
  • I even dropped a shoe size!
  • TMI: I didn’t used to get my cycle.  Now, I’m every 45 days, like clockwork.

Choosing to have surgery was not easy.  The journey to get the numbers on scale to match what I feel I should be has not been easy at all and it’s still taking hard work.  But I’m almost to a “normal” size thanks to having the surgery done.

Now to find coffee!

Listening to:  Office chatter.

Reading:  between books right now.

Quote of the Day:  “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” — Jack Ma

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December’s Goals

Thirty-one days left in 2017.

Time to start thinking about next year’s goals and getting my bullet journal ready for next year.  Can’t believe there’s only 31 days left.

I didn’t complete any Day Zero goals last month.  I did add a few, but that will be in next month’s post.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 1048.22.  260.78 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight lost: 4.0.  I’m so close!
  • Books read: 23 books.  Posting monthly wrap-up video here.
  • Blog Posts: 7
  • Vlog Posts:  11
  • Complete a first draft during National Novel Writer’s MonthFinished on 11/21/17.
  • Complete five of the eight Hogwarts Running Club Virtual Races.
  • Complete eight challenges in November’s Read-A-ThinPosting wrap-up video here.
  • Host Thanksgiving.  It was awesome but exhausting.

December’s goals are just adding onto or finishing some of November’s goals, like editing my novel and such.

  • Reach 1150+ miles.
  • Lose at least 5 more lbs.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Start saving up for Boston!
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Sign up for Run the Edge 2018.
  • Host Christmas.
  • Complete Bookish’s December Readathon.
  • Complete two more virtual HRC races.
  • Come up with 2018 goals.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.

A lot of these are fairly simple and some will take time to do, but they are all doable.

Happy last month of the year!

Listening to:  me typing and Milo playing with things

Reading:  Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Quote of the Day: “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” ― Katharine Hepburn


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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Bullet Journal, Goals