Best of 2017

Instead of resolutions, I decided to focus on the greatness of 2017. I have composed my personal bests and favorites of the last 12 months.

Best Trip of My Life: London and Paris with my Father

I am still amazed that it even happened! It was a life changing experience. It influenced several adjustments in my life and also my view of not only “Dimple of the Universe” but my view on living. Traveling is now a regular experience I will continue to plan.

Best Book: The Nightingale

One thing I wish I had done to prepare for my trip to France was learn the language. This was also true with this book. I am so glad I listened to the audio version. I was able to hear the lovely, beauty of the language through the amazing love and tragedy of this story. I have recommended this book to everyone I could.

Best Wife-In-Law: Mandy “Gina” Barry. You have been such a wonderful friend to me but an even better step mother to my children. Thank you this year, the past years and in the future…I’ll bring the wine next time.

Best Podcast: Ask Me About

Look for our next episode tomorrow, Jan 1 2018 to focus on both our bests of 2017. Ross Jaynes is a wonderful cohost, producer and technical guide!

Best Series to Binge: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

I was already excited about this, then I learned that the creator and writer of Gilmore Girls Amy Sherman-Palladino was the creator and writer for this. It didn’t disappoint! I was even more enthusiastic after I successfully attempted my first stand up routine the week before.

Best Place for Stand Up: Cities

I wrote a five minute stand up routine the day before, worked eight hours and showed up to a sold out crowd! So let’s do it again!

Get tickets here

Best “Dimple of the Universe”: Mine! Columbia TN. Not just 2017, but 2018, 2019, 2020 and just keep going. I love my “Dimple”! A few websites to check out: MyColumbia and ThatsColumbia. That’ll get you started.

Best Boyfriend: My ex. It’s still hard to believe that our perfect, happy relationship recently ended, but he was the best boyfriend. He has set a bar so high, I dare the next man to try!

Best Phrase: Get it Girl

Best Friends: My beautiful, adoring, faithful and loving friends!

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The Song That Changed My Life?

**I hope to goodness, you click on these links!

NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour “Life Changing Songs”

One of my weekly favorites is to listen to NPR’s podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour. The latest episode featured a segment on “Life Changing Songs” It made me wonder…what song(s) changed my life? When I wrote What’s Your Theme Song?, I was kind of on the same page. Many of those songs are from life changing moments, but really, is there a song, one song, that changed my life. A song that really made me take it all in and change the course of what was happening. This is not a song that just marked a passing in time, this would have to be a directional changed.

I immediately went to Dave Matthews Band. Within a few bars of a melody, I can be in a place and time of joy, love, sadness, regret. The music and lyrics to these works are autobiographical to me. Many have multiple meanings. I knew my life was forever changed when I listened to this one. I was very freshly broken up with my first true love. Grace describes “Adam” as my relationship Utopia. No one has ever put me more in that place of total trust than Adam. Recently, I was trying to explain why it was so easy to love Adam. I had no one else to care for. I was 18, moving to college and he was my world. It is easy to love when you have no other worries in the world. It is easy to love before you grow up and realize that life can really be hard, really be sad and really be devastating. This is terribly hard to explain to people that were fortunate to spend a lifetime with their Utopian loves. If you can take a moment, go back with me…are you there. Remember him or her….I give you Dave Matthews Band  “I’ll Back You Up.”Dave Matthews Band, “I’ll Back You Up” 7.12.2000 For Adam and I, Dave Matthews Band was our band. Most of the 13 shows I’ve seen of DMB, he was there.

With this song I moved on and past him. I moved into adulthood. It may be possible that no relationship will ever be like that one, ever. I had it once, for 3 amazing care free years. I grew up and so did he. He became a wonderful husband, father and professionally successful. I can’t ever put myself in that life with him. We were so young , I don’t think I would have remained “in love” with the adult Adam and to be honest, I don’t think he would have remained in love with me. Sally at 21 is definitely not the Sally at 35+. We all have to grow up sometime, and this song is my growing up song. I realized this when I attended Adam’s father’s funeral. I’ll always back him up, and I know he will always back me up.

The biggest change I ever experienced was becoming a mother. When I was on maternity leave with my oldest, Gilmore Girls came on everyday at 10 am and 3 pm. I still remember rocking her to this. Gilmore Girls Theme.  When my second daughter was born, we watched the Gilmore Girls too. Anytime I think of being a mother to my girls, Lorelai Gilmore is who I most relate to. We are not foreign to making mistakes, we are not foreign to bad timing, and we are most definitely not foreign to our children knowing when our relationships end and what it’s like to be hurt by men. My one true worry, is that they will follow in my footsteps when it comest to love. I want them to love with their whole hearts like I do, but I also want them to keep their hearts close and guard them deeply. That’s the Gilmore Girl mistake. It’s a new process for me, but I believe it is working out for the best.

In the last year, I have had to change my heart to forget someone. Do you know how hard that is? I have to purposefully attempt every day to not think of him. I thought when I wrote him a letter, I could put him past me, but it isn’t that easy. Most days I wonder if I am really trying. The truth is, I have never been able to tell the entire story. You got pieces of it in Break Up Via Selfie…Again? and I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, but you have no idea. My soul was punched right in the stomach when Joy Williams released this song right about the time…all that happened. Joy Williams, “What A Good Woman Does” I promised never to tell the truth about Cleats, and I never will. Yesterday, that promise was truly tested.

I have spent all week, studying my musical history, and I am at a loss…what song has CHANGED my life? I have plenty that were a part of “changes” but as much as I love music, I can’t put my finger on a song where I heard it and did something different-actually changed my life. I look forward to the one that does…it’s going to be epic and it better be good, real good! As my dear friend, “Shannon” told me this weekend, “I have a feeling you will have everything you need by the time you are 40.” I said, “You realize, that’s in 2 1/2 years, right?”

She Walked Home Crying in the Rain (The Story of When I Failed at Girl Code)

I don’t think I can apologize enough. I could plead ignorance, because I honestly didn’t know…but this is my confession of when I failed at girl code.

I have recently had a refreshing break from my girls this past week. While enjoying very quiet mornings, not cooking, limited laundry, working late and going to work late; I may have missed them a little bit. The other side of the coin is that I had a lot of time to hangout with “the guys.” I really don’t know how my circle of strong girlfriends has now morphed into “Grace” and “the guys”. Dated to Death, along with “Yogattorney” and “Hunt”. (I’ll get to “Hunt” in a minute.)

The Dimple of the Universe recently had an amazing event, our first music festival. In my post What’s Your Theme Song? I dove deep into my my musical “rabbit hole”. I also love to add music to my blogs.I freakin love music!  At the festival I spent the majority of my day with “The Guys” and my friends “Jam” and “The Canadian” and their husbands. “Hunt” was a new addition to the group. Honestly, I was glad he was there. I had seen him around, wanted to meet him, but he’s one of those that I needed a reason to meet. I want to take a moment and share some of the awesome music we heard in our “Dimple of the Universe.”

FireKid

Sam Lewis

18 South with John Oates

Damien Boggs and the Proper Villians

I really want to keep going….

Anyway, all that great music turned into a very, very, very long night and then…”I’m too old for this!” the following morning.

The rest of the week has flown by, but all week its bugged me, should I talk to “Hunt” more? We had a great time at the festival, de was out Wednesday and we texted through the week, but I just wasn’t sure. Well, luckily I didn’t have to decide last night…it was me and “The Guys” again. Oh…thank heaven that my girlfriend “Jam” was there too. My Cardinals were playing, the makings for a good night were all there. “Jam” and I sat at the bar talking…well she talked…I watched the Cardinals beat the Cubs. The night went on, and on. More fun by the moment. “Dated to Death” was actually on a date. Want to talk about fun, watching someone you’ve dated on a date.  “Yogattorney” headed on home and “Jam” did too. So here we are, finally. Me and “Hunt”.

Now, let me go ahead and explain the kind of girl I am. I’ll go to the mattresses for a girl. This is one of the top five things I hope my girls will learn from me. madeline albrightBest friend or stranger, it makes no difference. We all need a shoulder to cry on, someone to pick us up when we are down. And last night, a girl needed a stranger to help with her lipstick and dry her tears. That was me. The stranger. I was just trying to use the lady’s room real quick and head back out to hangout with “Hunt”. But, she was a mess and in need. She was trying to put her hair in a ponytail, which was making it worse. I had seen her, well heard her, in the ladies room crying earlier, but she had one of her girlfriends with her that time. This time, she was solo until I walked in. I came out of the stall with a little more knowledge of what was happening. “He is just so mean. What did I do? Why doesn’t he like me?”  she said as I washed my hands. I got real honest. “I’m not here to judge, but honey, you came out tonight in your work out clothes and now you are attempting a bad pony tail and mascara is running down your face.” By this point, I am fully involved. I’m in her Louis Vuitton pulling out all the necessary requirements to clean her up. She selected an almost non existent lip color. I had to convince her that a darker color may distract from the fact that her eyes are now swollen shut from crying and I can’t get most of the running mascara off. We teased her hair a bit. The higher the hair, the closer to God…and she needed a little saving grace at this point. I also convinced her to take her jacket off. Girl had some cleavage in her tank and like I said, we needed to distract from the mess she was. “Now, honey”, I said. “I don’t know the story, but more than likely you are too good for him, but I can tell you are really into him. So I’ll walk you back out there and if you want to talk to him you go right ahead. But might I recommend a walk out. You keep your head high, chest out and eyes off of him and walk out! Do you need a ride? I can give you a ride?” She declines, explaining that she lives close enough and walked here. We walk out together, my arm around her. She is still crying. Its like a faucet that is on constant drip. The bar manager, who is a dear friend of mine, “Grommit”, catches my eye. He is concerned about her. We stop and talk for a second. I explain our plan and he offers to take her home, because now, it is raining. She again, declines, but now she has caught the eye of the guy who has got her torn up and we are back at the beginning. I encourage her to go home, get some sleep, but she is hysterical. It gets worse by the second. She is three moves a way from a full blown break down right here. “Grommit’s” eyes are getting bigger along with her hysterics. I’m at a loss. I know how to handle my friends and they can handle me, but I don’t know this girl and I’m just so sorry for her now.

I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. It’s hard, it’s really, really hard. Her soul is tortured at this point and “Grommit” and I have to get her out of here. She agrees and exits extremely dramatically into the rain and makes a left on the sidewalk. It is pouring like her tears outside. “Grommit” and I shrug it off. I start to explain what was happening in the bathroom and “Hunt” walks over. Thank heaven! This whole ordeal had taken at least 30 minutes. I’m surprised he is still here. When I went to the ladies room it was get ready to ‘go’ with “Hunt”.

“What the hell were you doing in there with her?” Hunt asks. I explained an abbreviated version and how it basically it boiled down to an asshole she was crying over. “Grommit” starts to laugh…”You don’t have a clue do you?”

“She’s crazy! She’s been calling, texting and sending me mean ass texts for months. Every time she sees me, she ends up crying and I never did a thing to her but watch football one night at her house.” I look at “Grommit” after “Hunt” explains how he is the “asshole” she’s been crying over all night!

The guilt starts to overwhelm me! She had been crying over the guy I wanted to hang out with all night. All my pity for her was for the one I was interested in. What in the world is the universe trying to tell me? I was trying to mend the heart of the girl, “Hunt” had broken. Knowingly or not he has a guilty part in this. I realize I am not going to get the truth from either one of them and now I had to decide…do I continue with “Hunt” tonight or take my walk in the rain alone too.

I may have made the wrong decision…I may have made the right one. I feel like I did this morning, both. I am completely torn. I’ll see “Hunt” soon and more than likely that girl again. She may or may not hate me too at that point. I hope she will remember my attempt to help and not that I was sitting with “Hunt” after she left and possibly the next time I’m out with “The Guys” including “Hunt”. If I am lucky, maybe our paths will never cross again, but here in the “Dimple” that is highly unlikely. The universe is hillarious. I bet you a dollar, she’ll be behind me in the Kroger next time I go.

What’s Your Theme Song?

I am lucky to have an amazing mother who taught me about the great artists; R&B-Soul artists that is. Aretha Franklin I am sure you are aware is the Queen of Soul and my personal theme song queen only I didn’t realize I had a theme song until an episode of Ally McBeal-“The Theme of Life”. Ally is visiting a therapist brilliantly played by Tracy Ullman. Great episode, but during the session, the therapists challenges Ally to find a theme song. So…what is Ally’s theme song. “Tell Him”

It took all of 10 seconds to arrive at my theme song:

Chain of Fools

If you are caught up with previous blogs, I remain unwantingly in the single status. But for the last 20 years, I have tried my damnedest to not have that status. I guess in high school I began to find significance in the words. One of my dearest bestest friends in high school “Her” shared my love for singing in the car. We would ride forever just to listen to our favorites and sing. Once we went on a double date. Her date, who she ended up marrying years later, drove and didn’t have a radio in his car. No worries, we sang the entire way to dinner. We had been prepping for that with our endless sing-a-longs. Our selection left something to be desired. We did have better moments, but I can’t hear this song and not think of “Her.”

Don’t worry, we can go there…in a heartbeat.

Many relationship types have their own theme songs.

The one that hasn’t happened yet, and may not ever.

When you just need it to stop.

Even though it sucks, you just need them.

Then there are those songs that give you permission to make mistakes, change your paths, fall in love with another.

And then when it didn’t work out.

I am not sure if karaoke has ever been completely cool, but anytime I ever had a chance…I rocked “Chain of Fools”. But I had been rocking it in a whole other way even before karaoke.

Once the discovery of karaoke and close enough to legal drinking age, “Chain Of Fools” took on a life of its on. Between “Her”, “Julio”, “Deb” and many other fantastic supportive girlfriends, it wasn’t a matter of if, it was when will I sing “Chain of Fools”. Not only were they encouraging they would join me as my ‘woo hoo’ back up singers and dancers.

When the time came for me to take the walk down the aisle, it was a no brainier. Karaoke was going to be at the reception. What better way to send off a theme song but to sing “Chain of Fools” at my wedding reception! All those lovely ladies could join me for one last song. No more “Chain of Fools”.

…yea….right! In a little less than 5 years from that wedding day, “Chain of Fools” returned and it remains to this day. But also remaining are the ladies who sang it with me. Supporting me through every verse. A true test of a friendship is how often you can take their repetitive behaviors. My girlfriends are always and unfailingly supportive of my decisions with relationships. They recognize my patterns and pull me out of the depths of despair.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I accepted my no date status finally at 10 pm last night….I fell asleep. But I woke up today and realized I had multiple dates. Friday afternoon, I had a dear dear friend meet me for her second work out of the day so I didn’t have to work out alone. Later that evening, I had a kitchen full of laughter and lovely ladies. Saturday, “Deb” and I kept busy too trying to avoid the inevitable, being alone. This morning, it was clear, I would have rather spent the night alone than spend it with someone who will inevitably hurt me, leave me and/or disappoint me. “Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.” Gloria Steinman. I will always choose myself alone and in a healthy place than finding out someone else has lead to a new theme song. I will proudly keep my “Chain of Fools” status for a bit longer. Sing it loud and sing it proud! “Chain, chain, chain”