• social distancing
    Random Thoughts,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  UGH.

    One Year Since Everything Changed

    We’re all starting to recognize that it’s been a whole year since our entire world turned upside down. One exact date doesn’t fit all; each of us has our own markers. Soon the internet will be flooded with thinkpieces about this still unbelievable and in many ways devastating anniversary, and while I wouldn’t normally choose to add to the clutter, I couldn’t imagine not writing about it, especially this week. For me, this week marks a year since I last worked on-site with my team. This week marks a year since I last went out into a crowded bar to listen to live music and dance with a bunch of…

  • Outer Banks sunrise
    Confessions,  UGH.

    It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.

    A couple days ago I was a little down, which is an understatement. It happens to all of us at one time or another, especially this year. This particular horrible day was the first one in a long time for me, thank goodness: I have many, many more good days than bad. Terrible days like that one are a huge contradiction to who I normally am: a chipper and optimistic person who is also a great cheerleader and excellent cheerer-upper for others. Days like that one can be confusing and/or totally shocking to those who know me well, but nobody has good days one hundred percent of the time. In…

  • IMG 5995
    Travels,  UGH.

    Almost Like Flying to Paris and Back, Just For Dinner.

    Unless you’re new here, you know very well that I’m a traveler. I travel so much that I receive comments on social media along the lines of “Aren’t you ever home??” Road trips are second nature for me, and I love going so far away that a plane is necessary. I traveled to Columbus for work and to Nashville, Tybee Island, and lots of other places for long weekends. Chicago? At least twice a year. New Jersey? Twice a year. When Jim and I used to buy concert tickets, they didn’t even have to be local. P!nk in Charlotte, North Carolina? No problem! The B52s in Atlanta? Yes, please! Foo…

  • airplane sunset
    Tough Questions,  Travels,  UGH.

    The Ugliness of Air Travel, or Travel is Fun!

    As of yesterday, I have had to run through four airports in order to catch a connecting flight, two times barefoot and all four times on the way home. The first time it happened was in London at Heathrow back in 2007. I had been away from my family for more than a week, and my first flight out of Frankfurt left late. I was alone, having left my friend and her family at the hotel because they were going on to Austria without me. I can’t remember how much time I had when my plane arrived at Heathrow, but I do remember how frustrating it was to have to…

  • move 2
    I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    Check Yourself.

    I came up with an amazing idea the other night after Jim and I enjoyed an evening at the theater. As we slowly worked our way towards the door to exit the building, we had to continually halt our pace and switch directions to avoid running into the folks who decided it was okay to stop and chat directly in the path of thousands of people who just wanted to get home. It was the worst, of course, right outside the doors on the sidewalk. My idea? Install moving sidewalks in all of those public places where this happens on a regular basis. Okay, I know my idea is ridiculous…

  • IMG 5432
    Blessings,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    This Is (My) Fifty.

    Today is my 50th birthday. I won’t lie: I am having a little trouble with this. This past week I have been filled with a strange type of upset and a little bit of panic that crashed into me out of nowhere. This “mini crisis” isn’t about anything related to my life itself. I have nothing to complain about (to say the least); the source of all of this is literally the number, and I am mostly surprised that I feel this way…but in a way, I’m not. I was one of those kids who did the math to learn that I would be thirty-two years old in the year…

  • Childhood Memories,  Favorite Things,  Travels,  UGH.

    Currently Breaking My Heart: Gatlinburg

    You may not have heard until around lunchtime today because for some reason the news outlets weren’t covering it, but Gatlinburg, Tennessee was on fire. Actually, it has been on fire for a couple of weeks–East Tennessee has been experiencing its worst drought in about a decade–but yesterday the winds kicked up and some fires that were simmering in the Chimney Tops area blew out of control and caused terrible devastation. Hundreds of homes, dozens of businesses, gorgeous, beloved areas of Smoky Mountain National Park: torched to the ground. It’s upsetting for anyone who has ever set foot there because truly it’s one of the most beautiful areas of the…

  • Confessions,  Tough Questions,  UGH.

    Where Do We Go From Here?

    I have convinced myself over the last few months that I really don’t know enough about politics to write about it (and honestly didn’t want to join the fray). That said, considering the history that might possibly be made tonight along with the fact that I have never educated myself about politics more than I have during this election cycle, I called BS on my Debbie Downer self talk and decided to check off today’s NaBloPoMo post with a little politics. Just a little. First, I am sick of politics. I’m sick of political ads, I’m sick of hearing about the candidates, I’m sick of the angry (and countless other…

  • Amazing People,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  UGH.

    Safety Saves.

    The last 24 hours have been upsetting, terrifying, shocking, anger-inducing, and all kinds of other descriptors I’m too tired to list. Late yesterday afternoon, my husband Jim was riding his bike down a country road in west Knoxville, Tennessee when he was hit by some kind of vehicle. We’re not sure if it was a car or a truck because whomever hit him just kept on driving. They kept on driving. He or she drove off, leaving my husband on the side of the road. He was unresponsive when someone else happened to drive by and notice him lying there. That someone happened to be the pilot of one of…

  • Confessions,  UGH.

    When Better Late Than Never Is Not Okay

    I had a meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the city last night. It was an parent orientation for a trip J will be taking in a few weeks, and according to the reminder email we were to arrive early because there was a security protocol through which we had to pass on the way into the building. In order for me to have enough time to (potentially) sit in rush hour traffic and then park and then arrive a few minutes early to an activity in the city that begins at 6:00, I know I need to leave my western suburban driveway no later than 4:00. I did that yesterday,…