Monday, December 12, 2011

The Time has come for change

Wow even as I wrote that I thought it sounded seriously heavy, but it's true, and not in a light or heavy way, just in a solidly spot on sort of way. What do I mean?
1. Well this blog has served its "I'm turning 50" purpose as I'm now 51, so it must change.
2. I have put on some serious weight, so my diet and exercise must change.
3. Since starting my business in real estate, I always looked at myself as primarily a commercial agent, but I am finding that I now sell as many houses as I do commercial properties and I've been doing property management for 5ish years now, so my image of myself as a one-trick pony must also change.
4. My daughter is entering her teen years this month, so my parenting must change, and my son is graduating from college this year, so I suspect my relationship with him is about to change as well.
So if I'm going to keep using this blog, which I would like to do, I think, as with my real estate business, I want to just broaden it.
Not just a one-trick blog, but allow for maybe some cooking or book recommendations or info about animal care, or real estate insights, or observations on parenting, entrepreneurship, exercise or ok, so I'm so full of it... I've kind of been doing that all along. But this morning as I write, I'm in a weirdly contemplative mood, and maybe it's the new year coming, but I'm feeling imminent change.
I guess I'm here ready to embrace it and allow for the dreaded growth.
So whatever I'm feeling.... bring it. I can handle it. Small but mighty as my daughter likes to say.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

There's no place like home, there's no place like home

I have always disliked "The Wizard of Oz." I thought it was scary when I was a child, and as an adult and an ex-Kansan, I hate being called Dorothy or in anyway likened to the ruby-red-slippered girl.
But there's one thing for sure, as she said in the movie, "there is NO place like home."
On my return from Kansas last week, I once again renewed my love of the Pacific Northwest and all things Olympia. My home city of Kansas City (really the suburbs on the Kansas side of the city) has sprawled out of control. It is a very very large metropolitan area these days and it literally took me 20-30 minutes to get anywhere I wanted to go. I used 2 entire tanks of gas, and I was only there 6 days!
So the long and the short of it is I may not have been born here, but I now call Olympia, WA my home and I feel blessed to do so.
While in KC, I was yelled at, honked at and maligned, and this only by my immediate family!
Strangers almost ran me off the road, were angry if I didn't speed and would stop short in front of me almost causing accidents.
I just realized I sound like an old fart in this post, but maybe being an old gaseous substance is ok in this instance.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A wonderful grown up woman

I went to my niece's wedding this last week. This is the same little red-headed girl who used to spend the night with me and giggle and talk until all hours. She also is the same young lady who still came to visit me even thought I moved far far away.
Ashley is now all grown up. She is in the Navy with a super secret clearance and she writes her own blog about cooking and family and love ... I can't tell her enough about the amazing young woman I see. I'm so happy for her and her new husband, and I look forward to great nieces and nephews as soon as they're ready to deliver them. Much love and appreciation to my sweet niece.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Lifetime Plan

I spent my whole life listening to my mom worry about her weight. I watched her diet hop; I heard about exercise programs and watched her start and stop every single plan.
I have been sooooo lucky. Up until a few years ago, I weighed around 100 pounds soaking wet. I never had to work at it; I ate whatever I wanted; I was hated by many -- understood by few. 20 years ago, I even threw away my scale and never missed it.
Well, all good things must come to an end, and as an old friend of mine used to say "the gravy train is over!"
I looked in the mirror the other day and faced my moment of truth. I am overweight.
A long time ago, I decided that when this moment came, I would NOT fad diet or exercise, instead I would approach it as a life choice time and figure out what I can live with.
So this week, I bought a new scale. Scales have come a long way in the past 20 years, and the one I got has numbers instead of a dial and it tells me in glaring red that I am 10 pounds over what I would like to weigh.
Next step was to set up an exercise program that I could live with, so my deal with me and only me is that I will work out 1 hour a day doing something active -- anything active -- until I have lost the 10 pounds. Then I would go down to either 1 hour 3 times a week or 1/2 hour 6 times a week to maintain.
After that, I began to look at my diet. For the most part, I eat very healthy foods and meals. So I had to look a bit closer and realized that I am drinking too much wine and using too much butter and always including desserts. So time to amp the food and drink down a notch and see how it goes.
If this system works, I believe I can make a life practice that will take me into old age.
I'll let you know!

Friday, April 1, 2011

NOW? Really?

I have spent 50 years angsting (no it's not a real word) about being short, plain, apple-shaped, boy shaped, oh any number of dumb words for not 5'11'' and blonde. Why? Probably the normal thing, our lovely culture and media have made beauty a very narrow field. I think in the past ten years, it has gotten better. I see more non-blonde, non-tall and reed-thin, images of beauty out there, but none-the-less, not enough.
So in the past tenish years (also not a word), I've come to like my five-foot tallness, my small hipped frame and my straight hair. I don't even mind most of my wrinkles. The sad thing is like many women, I have figured out NOW that I was a pretty young woman back in my twenties and a very attractive woman in my thirties. But at the time, I was filled with self-doubt and fear.
So what's up with that? Why now when it's about over? Too little too late?
So I entered the MORE beauty search. The women who have entered it are all over 35, and most of them attractive in non-stereotypical ways. Seemed like the right place to be for me to explore this feeling. BUT it is making me hugely uncomfortable. I'm kind of embarrassed that I did it and that I put myself out there.
I don't think I should be, but I am. If it were one of my friends, I'd be proud of her for doing it. But I'm not proud of me.
My mother's messages about vanity and self-involvement continue to haunt me. They are probably part of why I never saw what I looked like as a younger woman.
I still remember in college when my dad told me I was beautiful. In one sentence, he did more for my self-esteem than he'll ever know.
But the media persisted and my self-esteem suffered and obviously the feelings I'm having over entering that contest give voice to the pain it is still causing me.
Alan Alda as the character Hawk-eye Pierce on the show MASH once said something like: "Courage doesn't mean you are not afraid. Courage is going out in spite of your fears and continuing to fight."
I suppose in 50 years, I have not become more beautiful or more confident, but more courageous.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Changing it up

Last year I began to realize that I was spending a lot of time doing things that had ceased to mean anything to me. I was on boards and a part of organizations that had become tedious and in some cases, for various reasons, difficult. However, I take my commitments seriously, so I vowed to give it some time, review my participation, allow myself to admit when I truly was enjoying an experience or when I was not. I thought I would be able to accomplish this over a summer, but as it turned out, it took me much longer to fight through my reservations. 

I want to make it clear, all of the organizations of which I have been a part are very important. Each and every one of them has a mission and a purpose in which I believe. But it had ceased to be MY calling to be directly involved in their development. 

My business, family and health began to creep forward this year. All of them demanding more and more of me. But even then, I tried to keep up with everything, it was not lightly that I moved forward with my goal.

But now almost an entire year has passed, and I have finally resigned from the positions that were no longer purposeful for me. I have decided on a new path. I am on a mission to invest my precious time and energy into things that give my life purpose, meaning and joy. 

One of those is simple and obvious, the amazing people with whom my life has been blessed. I suspect the rest will find its space in time, and just the fact that I am allowing for and opening myself to joy will invite it into my life. 

This morning for starters, I'm going to walk my dogs in the rain then I'm taking a Yoga class, then some wonderful work with my fabulous clients. I suspect I will feel joy in each moment. This is a marvelous new experience for me. 

Blessings all in your days, may you find your bliss.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I used to be...

When I was in my 20s, I knew a lot of really incredible women who were in their 40s and 50s who actually put up with my youth and immaturity without killing me. I was lucky. Yesterday in yoga class, I was doing my poses and checking my posture in front of the large mirror, when I heard an echo from those days, but it was coming from my side -- I heard myself think, "I used to be able to do a back bend. I used to be able to do the splits, I used to have a smaller tummy, arms, back, I used to..."

When I would hear these fabulous women of my youth say "I used to..." it would seem strange to me. I was sitting there looking at someone I respected, thought was great and beautiful and all they would talk about was a person from the past that I couldn't see and therefore thought irrelevant. NOW here I am being the "I used to..." person.

So there in some ungodly position in front of the mirror I decided to banish "I used to..." The past is over and gone. I am a person who knows what I want, who lives in the present, who is trying to improve myself,  who is doing and being in the present.

It is hard as we grow older to stay present and to realize that we are valuable, beautiful beings in the here and now. I don't want to forget what I was and I won't, but I also don't want to go back there. I may have been thinner and more flexible, but I was not as strong, as centered, as experienced, as tolerant then as I am now.

I am grateful in the present for the life I have lived, the strong and flexible body I have been given, the beautiful people who have graced my life and shown me what it means to live a full and glorious life at any age.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menopause meets Puberty and other scary stories...

My home has never been a calm and peaceful one, but it has also never been quite the emotional roller coaster it is right now. My youngest, and up to now, sweetest little girl is 12. I, her esteemed and used-to-be patient mother, have hit the dramatic ebb and flow of teendom and menopausedom. We rock and roll to the tune of tears, fears and leers. We love each other madly and we are almost certainly the two most difficult women to live with right now. God help the two men in our lives (my partner and her brother, my son). They have taken to drinking and watching a lot of sports then running to their respective corners to hide.
Who can blame them?
Since her birth, I have known that this day would come. I just had no idea how trying it would really be. I am constantly feeling exhausted, sad, questioned, disrespected, criticized and all-around trod upon. She, in-turn, feels like she can do no right, unappreciated and deliriously grateful and happy.
It's a barrel of laughs.
Luckily I still adore/tolerate the sweet young lady and she loves me, hates me, loves me, hates me, loves me...I have lost track.
I keep telling myself the famous last words:
This too shall pass!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Kitchen Dance

         By Lisa for Robin
We step-ball-chain
around each corner
exchanging positions
swishing and swaying
sashaying to
music, that no one hears
but us.
We don’t care.
The beat drives us
through the perfect motions
tension and ease
necessary grooves
spices, flavors with wine
into a meal
fit for only the blessed
prepared by hands
and souls
linked in the harmonious
joy of the
kitchen dance.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Children grow up, puppies stay little

This week I followed a somewhat crazy instinct and got a new puppy. My smallest child is growing up, and she doesn't like it when I want to hold her in my lap and cuddle her close. She really hates it when I want her to wear little girl clothes and walk holding her hand. I hear some day she'll let me hold her hand again...I can't wait. So crazy as it may seem, I went and got myself a lap dog puppy, a Maltese to be specific. Darby weighs maybe a pound or so right now and full grown will be about the size my children were at birth. He goes everywhere with me, and cries for me when he can see me but not get to me. He sleeps cuddled in my arms and loves me unconditionally... all this in just a week... WOW.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This week has been so eventful.
We went to Spokane to see Steve's daughter and her husband and twins. I am forever and always amazed at what that young woman deals with on a daily basis and the grace with which she manages her life.
While we were in Spokane, my dear sweet cousin Nytasha decides to up and go into labor. She gave birth to her darling little boy on Saturday night. And when a new baby is born, a new mother and father come into the world too.
We've been trying to be there as much as we can for them and the new baby, and it's not difficult. So last night, it was Nytasha's birthday, and we had a small impromptu get-together with cake and love. The baby slept through the whole party. It was good for Nytasha to get a grown-up moment. New babies are a lot of work, and sleep is at a premium.
This morning my memory ran back in time to when Steve's daughter was first on her own with the twins. We got the pleasure of having them in our home for ten days. It was such fun, and I knew it was a crazy lot of work, but until I had the live comparison of one baby to two in a short span of time, I didn't fully realize just how difficult and over the top it really was.
(Not to forget my brother and his wife with the triplets.)
Heroes. All good parents are heroes. But some of them are also warriors and deserve combat pay. Steve's daughter deals with a full-time job teaching high-need 3rd graders, a husband who is wonderful, but works far away every other month, and a debilitating physical issue, lupus. I normally wouldn't write about this, but she writes about her life in her own blog, so I think she's o.k. with me writing this.
She is my hero. I don't know how she does it and keeps her head on straight.
Today and every day, my hat is off to Her. She is truly a hero and a warrior for the good and health of her beautiful children. I am blessed to have her in my life.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I have a whole lot of friends on their way to 50. I spent my whole last year on my way to 50. Then it happened. And it was fun. Now 3 months later, you gotta ask the same question you asked when you were 21, what am I looking forward to now? Death?

Well here's the scoop. I KNOW THE ANSWER.

It's simple and real, I'm looking forward to everything. Life. It's all worthy. My 24-year-old son said to me the other day, "Yeah, I'm in pain, but it's all good because it's all a part of it."

WOW, he's right, it's all good. Every day you take another breath is a good one. The first 50 were practice. Now you live. I keep telling my children, I am officially middle aged. I'm going to live to be 100+. I don't know if that's a threat or a promise, but I mean it.

I sound like some aging metaphor, but I don't care. I have never felt so powerful, together and full of joy and pain and hope. Life rocks. I'm on board to enjoy the journey and I welcome anyone who wants to come along.