Another year, another dollar (barely), a million joys. I deliberately chose the final stretch of the year to start this blog. Basically I am hitting a deadline of sorts by the skin of my teeth. In exchange for this laptop on which I peck out these words, I promised my parents and friends that I would write something- even if it is the manifestation of the sticky recesses of my mind and, boy, does it get sticky back there. But a deal is a deal so here we are. One of a writer’s first cardinal rules is to know your audience. Bottom line? I dont know some of you. Not even a smidge about what makes you tick or be ticked. So on to rule #2…write what you know. In this case, write what you wonder or think. I’m fairly certain that I have proceeded through most of adulthood with a post-it note slapped to the middle of my forehead that says what if. So, if you are someone who would like to join me as an occasional Wobbly on issues big and small, this venue called Shanskrit might energize your head like a yoga mat on the end of a pier. Rarely have I ever found it to be an attractive quality for someone to be 110% certain of anything. Aside from the sky is blue and a few other items, pretty much everything is debatable. I don’t much dig the donkey vs. elephant dance although ripples of it may surface here from time to time. Some of the most valuable tidbits about how to live this journey we’re on have been handed down to me from some the the craziest characters to ever walk the planet (think Animal of the Muppets). If you are someone who likes a world full of lively conversation and the colorful opinions of others then welcome Home. I think you’ll like it here.
Without further adieu, let me introduce myself. Admission: I am not going to reinvent the wheel on this one. What you have here is that 25 Things About Me spiel that many of us were strongarmed into brainstorming on Facebook this year. Not that I think that there are 25 unique things about me to share. Really, none of us are that original or different from one another. I admit that I had fun writing mine. The following are things that I would want you know if you don’t know me which, frankly, you may not. And because I cannot resist, a family pic from this fall of this crew that I love like crazycakes. You may meet them soon too.
1. I can be insanely impulsive and intolerably indecisive in the same day. I can order from any menu in 30 seconds, have picked road trips with roll of dice, and eloped happily without hesitation. But pick a new book at Barnes & Noble…1-hour bare minimum. Shopping at Target….hours if allowed.
2. Mountains vs. Beach? mountains, Mountains, MOUNTAINS. Elevation of no consequence. Not a mountain snob. Monteagle, Aspen….
3. I AM, however, a full-blown barbeque and cornbread snob. Brothers BBQ (Colorado) and Slick Pig (TN) have the good stuff.
4. Motherhood greeted me with a deceptively steep learning curve that the publishers of ‘What To Expect’ won’t touch. I had to toss the motherhood books. I felt like a dentist meandering around someone’s mouth while consulting a How-To Manual. I’ll admit that I had a few ‘what-have-we-done?” moments.
5. I have a pretty extensive “Bucket List” but if today were my last, I would be cool with that because I’ve racked up a ‘few hundred years of fun’ with Matt, Olivia, and Turner.
6. The first time I met my husband was in Boulder. He imitated my southern accent. The jeans and the boy were (and still are) easy on the eyes. Turns out he’s a country boy trapped in a city boy’s body. He’s belly-aching funny, fiercely loyal, and cooks gourmet sans cookbook (and I know I mentioned easy on the eyes).
7. Our iPod has a playlist called ‘mature’ reserved for when we entertain more conservative guests. ‘Hear muffs’ recommended for the other playlists. Bluegrass, hip-hop, reggae, country…
8. It’s not uncommon for me to have six hairbrain ideas by lunch. The words ‘you can’t’ fire me up to no end. I’m trying to follow my dad’s advice and stick to the Rhino Principle. Google it if you a problem with fear of failure like I do.
9. I love sneezing and it is never a quiet matter when I do. I get really annoyed if my two-sneeze cycle is broken.
10. My husband and I find great humor in imagining shock-factor scenarios. A not-so funny example went something like ‘what if we…accidentally left the EMPTY baby carseat on top of the car and pulled out of the grocery parking lot slowly….’ Think Jamie Kennedy experiment. Bad, I know.
11. I believe in a forgiving God whose sense of humor is pretty apparent. I crave solitude often. This is when God and I do our real business together. Unfamiliar churches make me super anxious.
12. If feasible, I would never fly. Turbulence=sweaty palms and silent pleads with God about all the “things I’ll never do again” if the plane will just land already. Got travel bug though-must fly.
13. Given #11… I still rode one of the world’s oldest wooden 60mph roller coasters named “The Beast” twice last summer”. My fear tears made Matt laugh tears.
14. I’ve had 4 parent conferences with John Elway (and hosted his Lombardi Trophy for “Show & Tell”), went to high school with Reese Witherspoon, spent entire weekends under the same roof with Dave Martin (Top Chef Season #1 Runner Up…funniest human being I know), napped for a day under the Eiffel Tower, tried Ouzo for the first time on top of the Acropolis, decorated Kanye West’s dressing room for Vandy Homecoming, had dinner with (ok, next to) John Mayer (thanks, Marcie), hung backstage with Alison Krauss at Red Rocks (she patted my 8-month prego belly), saw Music City Miracle @ Adelphia, lived in Prague briefly, spent 2 nights on a deserted island alone, and posed as a writer for the “Let’s Go Europe” travel books so I could get into the cool clubs. But I’m by far most starstruck by my 6 and 8-year-old and I sense that they have made life as full as full gets.
15. I secretly love it when my husband does something really stupid. Even when he backed into my car leaving for work. I don’t like being the only one who goofs big….
16. Our son, Turner, is named after a close college friend who died while hiking the Sangre de Cristos in 2004. J.T. was trying to summit each of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks before turning 30. Turner and his namesake share an undeniable free spirit and affectionate nature.
17. I never missed a Mardi Gras in college and always got the lame beads unless I swiped the others from my less modest friends. I’m not sure I’ll ever go to Mardi Gras again but would love to go to Jazz Fest. I’m convinced that my New Orleans friends have nine lives and have used most of them up.
18. I’m a product of an all-girls school where I learned to dream big, work hard, and play hard. In high school, I developed zero tolerance for intolerance. I do believe all-girl schooling produces a certain amount of boy craziness that just comes with the territory. It is what it is.
19. I’ll admit that I loathe the self-help genre. But it’s not like I’m knocking it without trying it. Dr. Phil’s voice brings on my gag reflex. I sometimes wonder how many people have been lured by promises of emotional freedom and healthy internal dialogue. By the last page, they’re feeling more screwed up than they were in the first place. Therapy…Great. Astrologer…Never tried but might. Prayer…Better. Yoga and meditation…Why not? Still, I’ll judge not lest I be judged.
20. Ever since I was a camp counselor in Sea Island Georgia during college, I have disliked sand. During a beach game called “Shake and Bake”, we would race/swim to a spot in the ocean-swim back- drop & roll furiously in the sand from Point A-to-B, and tag the next… These days, I stick by the pool. To me, the sand is for walking on- not for rolling on.
21. If I had just $100 left to spend, it would likely be on dinner with family. The Palm, Watermark, Vesta (Denver), or The 5 Senses. But there are just as many days when I might pick Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, a Rotiers Burger (Nash), or Huey’s (Memphis).
22. I curse like a sailor with Tourette’s sometimes BUT I cringe and see RED when people shout profanities around or at kids.
23. I don’t consider myself superior to my students or to my own kids. In fact, there are many days when I am sure they teach me more than I teach them.
24. I try really hard not to place the negative up front. So, I guess the cup is always half-full in my corner.
25. I believe mistakes are made of stuff that a good learner would not miss. There is nothing like being pushed, defeated, and miserable to learn a few hard won facts.
Thanks for lending me your ear (or best case scenario, part of your upcoming year).
(*picture courtesy of Sara E. Rose Photography)