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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Richard Pictures

I turned my Instagram privacy settings to public activating a website to find my #bestnineof2017. I forgot to turn them back on. This morning….in my private messages… “A Richard Picture”!

While dating or initially getting to know someone, these could be sent at the beginning of a romantic relationship. Once even sooner than that. How do I explain the shock and disappointment of their first text that contains a picture of a man’s Richard?

I’m not blaming social media or online dating. I’m not blaming pornography or the over sexualization of society. I’m not blaming anyone. My intention is to draw attention to an unwanted harassment that women have been enduring for centuries…we don’t want to see it!

The art world has been full of “Richard Pictures”. The percentage of male nudes in sculpture and paintings far outweighs those of females. I find it interesting that we have been looking at “Richard Pictures” for 100s of years! Even the cavemen! That’s right since the beginning of time, we’ve had to put up with this.

2017 has been full of numerous assaults on far more than our eyes. Men and women are in a state of daily sexual assaults and abuses in all levels. In a recent interview with Sam Sanders, host of Its Been a Minute, Rachel Brosnahan, Star of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel made comments in reference to the #metoo movement and her role on House Of Cards with Kevin Spacey. Spacey was one of the first to be named in the sexual assault wave. She asked that we focus on the amazing people doing outstanding work in our communities and societies stopping our constant conversations about this matter. Brosnahan: “It’s been one of the things that has been the most frustrating about this. I’m on a show that is also a part, one part of a very multifaceted solution. As I said to you earlier, this is a show that is created, written, directed and produced by an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary man about an extraordinary woman. This is a show that lifts women up, that highlights their battles, that employs them in front of and behind the camera. And so let’s stop talking about these terrible men and start talking about women who are creating exciting content, the courage of the women who have come forward, the fact that Robin (Wright) is taking over this show and she deserves that.”

Thank you Instagram user anon861 for this post. I have put the matter to rest and will turn my focus to the fabulous upcoming year. Bring it on 2018! The past 12 months haven’t brought us the best examples of love, decency and humanity. I know 2018 has the potential to give us another opportunity to be more appropriate professionally, socially and personally.

“Cupid Demanded Back His Arrow.”-Lost Stars by Adam Levine

How does one even begin to tell the story when one doesn’t even know what happened. What event or action caused this? (This feels like process statements my youngest has for homework.) I wish I knew more. I only know the ending.

I drove away, in a daze, in a fog of disbelief. To top it off in true “Dimple of the Universe” form, a run-in with a coworker as I attempted to get in my car without him noticing my distress. I repeatedly listened to “Lost Stars”,a song from the soundtrack of the movie with the same name.

Lost Stars

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When I had children, I was given one job. To give these children my best. That level of best is me pushing myself beyond exhaustion, financial brokenness and the brink of socially acceptable sanity. My last post Hello, Adult Protective Services… left me with a lot of guilt. Like a football kicker, parents have one job. You know what I mean, when the kicker misses, I’m yelling “YOU’VE GOT ONE JOB!”

My girls have been on a recent break from school and have been home. If I had the money, I’d stay home and homeschool them. It’s been glorious. No homework, no practices. Just dinner and relaxing at home. They’ve been all mine and I’ve been theirs…and I’ve never felt more lonely. The good news is, children have more forgiving power than adults.

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Yeah…that’s really all I have. I still don’t know what happened. But I do know this. I only want to be a good mother. My youngest will be “out of the house” in nine years. Maybe I’ll get it together by then.

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The Force of Love That Sings in the Rain

“The love of my life.” That’s what some say we should hope to find. Typically, I find they are discussing the romantic love we devote an entire lifetime to. Either, being in love, looking for it or fighting to keep it. I have even had justifying, sad conversations about the love of your life already passing by. Your first true love when you are 17 and stupid and let it go. Or 21, stupid and let it go. In the lowest of the low moments, I think I could have just stayed married and been miserable like a majority of people do. That sounds awful, terrible, a waste of time, a waste of life and a waste of love. No one should ever subject themselves to that, but they do. So the question is, the one I have, does “the love of your life”, have to be romantic?

Classic and Sci Fi movie lovers along with the entirety of popular culture learned this week of the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Fisher passed away on 12.27.16 and Reynolds on 12.28.16. For me personally, I am also facing the birthday of my oldest daughter on 12.30.16. I was shocked when I heard of Fisher’s death. I had recently listened to her interview on NPR with Terry Gross A few things stuck out to me in that interview, but the main one being how Fisher has become a beside caregiver for her mother through her recent decline n health. During the interview, Fisher talks about a period of her life at 19 and the relationship she had at that time. She was also filming Star Wars and the relationship she discusses is the affair she was having with married co star Harrison Ford.  She kept a journal of her time while she filmed Star Wars. Her last book, The Princess Diarist has many excerpts from this journal. During the interview; Gross asks Fisher to read from the book how she described the relationship with Ford during this period.

GROSS: In your journal that you kept during “Star Wars” you write a lot about your relationship with Harrison Ford. And I want to ask you to read an excerpt of that journal. This is where you’re describing how Harrison Ford was like a fantasy for you, but the fantasy did not always work out. And it was – you kind of projected a lot onto him, so if you could read an excerpt for us.

FISHER: Sure.

(Reading) We have no feeling for one another. We lie buried together during the night and haunt each other by day, acting out something that we don’t feel and seeing through something that doesn’t deserve any focus. I have never done anything quite like this. I sit patiently awaiting the consequences. I talk, walk, eat, sleep, patiently awaiting the consequences. How can a thing that doesn’t seem to be happening come to an end? George says that if you look at the person that someone chooses to have a relationship with, you’ll see what they think of themselves. So Harrison is what I think of myself. It’s hardly a relationship, but nevertheless he is a choice. I examined all the options and chose the most likely to leave no emotional investments. Never love for me, only obsession. Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.

I have looked back on my relationships, recent and prior to my marriage and recall them as extremely formative and scarily similar to what she describes above. “If you look at the person that someone chooses to have a relationship with, you’ll see what they think of themselves.” I haven’t been seeing myself in a very good light if this is the case. Attributes like dignity, responsibility, honesty and devotion are becoming very, very attractive.

princess-diarist

 

Following the news of their deaths, I wanted to hear from Reynolds so I found another interview. During the interview regarding her recent memoir “Unsinkable”

unsinkable

I was reminded and just as shocked to find out that Reynolds first husband Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher’s father, left the family to marry Elizabeth Taylor, Reynolds best friend. Over the years Reynolds attempted marriage two additional times with Harry Karl (1960-1973) and Richard Hamlet (1984-1996). During the time of Reynolds relationships, Fisher has the affair with Harrison Ford. She then is married to Paul Simon for one year (1983-1984). She was also briefly engaged to Dan Aykrod. She then had a child with Billy Catherine Lourd in 1992. Lourd left the relationship to be with another man. Fisher had a very successful professional life not only acting, but writing eight books and producing films. She unfortunately struggled with drug use and mental illness becoming an advocate in these areas. Many called the mother/daughter relationship complicated but at the end, they proved to be a tremendous support for each other. Fisher talks about being at her bedside in recent interviews and Reynolds was supportive of her daughter. Son of Reynolds and brother of Fisher, Todd Fisher is quoted saying that some of Reynolds last words were of Fisher; “I just want to be with Carrie.” Is it possible to die of a broken heart? I believe in this case, it was. All of this, topped with a year that was far disappointing on so many levels-multiple celebrity deaths, an election that makes many of us question the sanity of the American people; no matter what side you are on, but I have had a discovery thanks to the this mother daughter tragedy.

I have participated in many discussions regarding a full life. In my life, I don’t define its success by being in a current and more than likely disastrous romantic relationship. People in marriages, either visibly or internally shake their head at me…most of the time. However, let’s pose a question. Looking back on the timeline of Reynolds failed marriages, and Fishers failed relationships along with her mental health status and substance abuse, is it possible that the men in their lives were to root of the estrangement? Was the battle based in the nonrecognition of the true love of their lives, eachother?

I will continue to respect myself and the relationships I have with men, but after this deep moment of thought and reflection, I may join the realization that a man will not be the love of my life and enjoy that the loves of my life are already in my life. Present and accounted for are my children. Two delightful young ladies who I adore. The heart of this mother is full of these children’s love. My family. The gift of good parents is a blessing not to take lightly. A brother and now a sister in law that’s presence is a joy. Their love and marriage was one of the best things of 2016. My girlfriends. I will admit, in the past year I have neglected these ladies. One of my resolutions will be to spend more time developing deeper relationships with my group of female friends. As I look back, I was devoting more time to men and received no benefits from my devotions and these women are still here even though they have been neglected. My bromances. My sweet devoted male friends. So much they know, so much the honor and so many times they have kept me from the edge of insanity.

After that kind of acclaim and review, now you see why I am more focused on a truer love, a force that defies romance, men and women. So, here’s to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher and all the other single mothers successfully surviving in their Motherhood. They were complete and were given the gift of “the loves of their lives” when Carrie Fisher was born to Debbie Reynolds. The thoughts of I am not complete until I am remarried is so 2016.

Please watch the tribute below and remember their love.

May the Force Be with Us All.

Reynolds/Fisher Tribute

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?”