formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Was Afraid This Would Happen...

I have discovered yet another online addiction.


You guys know I resisted starting a page for ages. I didn't see the point, really. I was certain it was just another time-suck. But I gave in, figuring I'd just see what it was like and, sure I was going to hate it, thought I'd delete my page within a week or two. Yeah. Right. That was several months and 125 friends ago. It's actually been pretty cool, I have to admit. I don't play any of the games or pass virtual drinks around or hit anyone with virtual pillows, but I do 'play' on it every day. It's enabled me to get back in touch with people I never imagined I'd ever hear from again. It allows me to just drop quick notes to friends to let them know I'm thinking of them, without having to do the long, back-and-forth email thing. Cool.

An unexpected benefit of FB has been the writing. For those of you who don't know, FB lets you post 'status updates' as often as you'd like. You get 240 characters (about 4 lines) to say what you want to say (and oddly, most people wind up referring to themselves in the 3rd person, as each post starts with your name). The character limit really requires some creative writing, especially for wordy people like me. Not everyone is wordy, though, and some people use them to tell their friends pretty much everything they're doing...

"Mary is waiting for her kid at the orthodontist."
"Joe just ate a steak for dinner."
"Susan is going to the bathroom."

OK, well, that bathroom one might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture. I don't use FB for updates like that. I don't think anyone really needs (or wants) to know when I'm going to Target or how many times I peed in one day (unless, of course, I peed a shocking number of times... that might be notable). I thought I'd give you a few of the posts I've put in the past couple of weeks, since I haven't been around here much. They'll give you an idea of what I've been up to... or not...

Diane was alarmed and disappointed at the ease and speed with which the words 'dumb' and 'ass' shot out of her 10-year-old's mouth. Her 10-year-old was alarmed and disappointed at her own clear lack of discretion. She was also just a little scared of her mother's Evil Eye, which very nearly reduced her to mere ash... dumb ash.

Diane thinks that grown men who declare their affinity for Star Wars on their license plates and have pictures of Yoda and Luke Skywalker emblazoned on the back windows of their trucks probably don't get a lot of dates.

Diane wonders if it's terrible that I laughed REALLY hard when I saw a photo of my ex's new wife (you know, the one to whom he has not actually admitted being married) and noted that she has gained all the weight (and more) that I've lost this year. OK, you know what? I don't care if it's terrible... it's FUN-NY!

Diane believes that if talking was an Olympic sport, she'd be raising a gold medalist.

Diane has a 10-year-old who came home from school this afternoon feeling ugly, stupid, and clumsy. I felt so bad for her that I didn't tell her how those days still happen, even when you're 44.

Diane does not understand the point in separating whites from colors (as in laundry, not people... no, wait... as in people, too!) IF there is nothing in the 'colors' pile that will run. I also see no point in owning an iron as long as Downey keeps producing their bottled wrinkle releaser. Just sayin'.

Diane is considering drowning her supremely cranky 10-year-old in the supremely flooded basement. Yeah. It's Monday.

Diane had a dream last night that I got my feet stuck behind my head and someone took a picture and posted it on FB. I actually did get stuck like that when I was a kid and my mom had to unstick me. I just checked, though, and I can no longer do it (shock and surprise, right?!). I can, however, still touch my toes to my nose. I don't expect the need to do so will arise often, though. Nor will a photo of it.

Facebook. Fun. Addictive. Bit of a time-suck. But fun. Really!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


In case you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm a 'two cents' sort of girl. I'll give you my two cents... definitely if you ask for them... and sometimes if you don't. As I get older, though, I'm learning to keep my two cents to myself... well, sometimes, anyway. I've realized that sometimes just knowing what's in my own head and heart is enough. Sometimes I can keep my big mouth shut and the world won't end.


But sometimes? Sometimes I just can't help it. Sometimes my two cents just fly out of my mouth, sort of like my money flies out of my wallet in the grocery store.

And speaking of the grocery store (nice little segue there, eh?), I was there on Sunday for my weekly wallet-suck. As I was doing the final bolt for the things I'd forgotten (because I also forgot my list and since I don't like to waste time running up and down aisles from which I don't need anything, I, instead, waste time running back through the store, up and down aisles from which I actually did need things, which I forgot... because I forgot my list), and... umm... where was I? Oh, right, I was grabbing the last few things I'd forgotten when I passed a girl marching toward the meat section, looking rather grim. She looked like a college student (the dead give-away was her Uggs/pajama pants/hoodie ensemble) and she was being followed by a guy, also in college attire (hoodie/shorts/flip flops... in January), looking less grim, more plead-y. I know plead-y isn't a word, but what does someone look like who's in plead-mode? I dunno. Anyway, although all I could hear of their conversation was him whining, "Come on, pleeeeease?", it was clear that she was having none of it.

Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued ('cause I'm nosy like that, that's why). So when I had the opportunity to get behind them in the check-out line a few minutes later, I grabbed it. I only heard a little bit of their conversation. But it was quite enough.

Him (whispering loudly): I don't know why you're mad. It was just kissing! It's not like I had sex with her!

Her (not whispering at all): If you don't walk away now, I'm gonna hit you with this ham.

At this point, he turned and looked at me, then rolled his eyes, as if to say, "Can you believe this?"

You know how I said that sometimes I'm a 'two cents' sort of girl? Yeah. This was one of those times.

Me: Dude. You should walk. 'Cause I might have to hit you, too.

In case you're wondering, he walked. It seems stupid does have limits. Sometimes, anyway.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Forgive Me...

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned. It's been a week since my last confession... er, post...

Wow, this week just flew by! The last time I checked, it was Saturday. And here it is, Saturday again! But I've got reasons for being AWOL (and by 'reasons', I mean 'excuses'). As I mentioned, the Republican was here at the beginning of the week. He's on leave from Afghanistan and came to visit little old me for a couple of days. We had a good time - ate out a lot (and I gained a pound this week... damned Republicans... everything is their fault), went to the movies ('Leap Year' should win the Cutest Movie of the Year award... predictable and formulaic, but adorable nonetheless), and just generally caught up with each other. He's back with his family in NJ now (washing my liberalness out of his ears, I'm sure), and will be heading back to the war zone in about a week. Before he left, though, I had him take a new photo of me to post here and on my FB page. As I might have mentioned, I loathe having my picture taken. I'm pretty much the least photogenic person on the planet. But the Republican is a professional photographer so I figured if anyone could take a picture which would make me look mostly human, he could. Plus, he owed me, after taking those horrific shots (without my knowledge) that sent me screaming to Weight Watchers. Anyway, this is one of two new pictures (the other is in my profile... and I hope you like it because it's the one I'll have posted on here for the next 3 or 4 years)...

I didn't hate them. And that's saying a lot. I have to be the worst 'model' ever, though. Being on the other side of the camera lens (and by 'other side', I mean the 'wrong side'), has to be one of the most uncomfortable things I can think of. Giving birth was worse. But not much. In fact, I'm thinking that one of my 45/45 Challenges should be having my picture taken every week until I can pose for a photo without hyperventilating or wanting to throw up.

Anyway, the rest of the week was busy, too. I taught my first adult creative writing class on Thursday night, which was a lot of fun. The weather was dismal, though, so our numbers were down by two, but it was OK regardless. This Wednesday will be my first 'seniors' class about writing memoirs and life stories. I'm looking forward to it, as I have (as of right now) 6 people signed up. The turn-out for all my classes has been better than I expected. Today was the second Superhero Saturday and it went as well as last week. And a teacher friend approached me yesterday about doing a poetry workshop with her 3rd grade class soon. That? Will be seriously cool!

Other than that, it's just been life getting in the way of blogging. This week coming is going to be busy, too, but will hopefully lend itself to reading and writing as well! I hope your week was wonderful, my bloggy buds! I'll make my way 'round Blogland tonight and catch up on all you've been doing!!! XOXO

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Superhero Saturday!

I taught my first creative writing class today! And it was... drum roll, please... a great success! Yes, indeedy! Today was the first of four Superhero Saturdays...

The class was made up of five smart, funny, energetic 8 to 10-year-olds... three boys and two girls (I expected all boys, given the subject matter, so I was quite pleased). The number was perfect, as there were a couple of chatterboxes, and it gave everyone the opportunity to talk. I love how enthusiastic they were to share their ideas -- and they were full of ideas!

Today we worked on building a foundation for their stories and coming up with back-story. They also drew their superheroes and I was amazed at one little girl's talent... she has a career in graphic novel illustration for sure! So after fleshing out their characters, we wound up with a couple of techno-centric heroes, a superdog, a 3-eyed female superhero with X-Ray vision, and (my personal favorite) a time-traveling pioneer hero. It was way cool!

All the kids had as much fun as I did and left looking forward to next week. And I'm looking forward to bringing you more Superhero Saturday updates! Stay tuned... same bat time... same bat channel...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I'm not a cat person. Not really. I don't dislike them at all but I've never owned one (or been owned by one), nor have I ever really had the desire. Cats are just too independent... too aloof... too, well, snooty for me. And up until just recently, I was allergic to them. Touching a critter of the feline persuasion caused my eyes to swell shut and my nose to run like a faucet. Not pleasant. It seems I've outgrown the allergy, though (and it's a good thing, as you'll soon see). Anyway, I've always been of the give me a sweet, slobbery, goofy pooch any day attitude.

However... I might be changing that attitude.

Everyone, meet Peeto. Peeto, meet everyone.

Cute, huh? Peeto is not my cat. Honest. Peeto, however, might not know this. He actually belongs to our across-the-street neighbor. He used to be her 'inside cat' (along with his brother, Toby) but for some reason, the boys have become her 'outside cats' and they roam the neighborhood freely. In the warmer months, they spent a lot of time in our yard, terrorizing the birds and playing with Sundance. Really. He loves them. Or he did... when they were our neighbor's outside cats. Now? Peeto seems to have become our inside cat. Or inside/outside cat, actually.

It started when the weather got colder. Peeto would shoot in the front door when I let Sundance out (Toby shows up once in a while, but not so often as his brother). Ryan loves this (she is a cat person and has always wanted one) and since he was in fairly often, we did what any reasonable animal lovers would do... we bought food. Yup. You guessed it. Peeto started showing up more often. A lot more often. Now? If Sundance hasn't gone out in a while, Peeto just knocks on the storm door... and of course, I open it. If that doesn't work? He shows up at whatever window I'm closest to (I can't tell you how many times he's nearly given me a coronary when I'm doing the dishes!).

And he's started to make himself very, very comfortable...

As I mentioned, Sundance really likes the cats. Actually, I've wondered if he might wonder if they're even cats. They sort of act like dogs. As soon as they see him (or us), they plop down, roll over, and expose their bellies for rubbing. I've never seen a cat do that. My dog, though? Does it all the time. Sundance likes to paw at them and they grab his feet with their kitty paws and hold on. It's pretty cute. Sometimes they even lay down together and snuggle. That is, when they're outside. When they're inside, Sundance isn't so sure what to think. He's a pretty jealous boy by nature and when we're at the park, I'm not even allowed to pet any other dogs (though he's allowed to be petted by their owners... not quite sure how that works). Anyway, since it's been so incredibly cold, I can't bring myself to put Peeto outside at night (but I also won't give him full access to the house), so he's started sleeping with me... and Sundance. He always starts out on the wicker chair in my room. Sundance usually looks at him - and then me - quite plaintively, as if to say, "Really, Mom? Again?"

Then he gives him a snuffle...

And, finally, gives me the (tentative) OK.

I think Sundance would like it a lot better if Peeto would just stay on the chair. Truth be told, so would I. I'm not used to a critter climbing all over my furniture in the middle of the night. Or sleeping on my head. But we're getting used to each other.

And I think I might be turning into a cat person.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

400... and Mundane Stuff...

So, this is my 400th post! Whoo hoo! But, well, if you're expecting something fabulous to mark the big 400, ummm, yeah... you might have to wait for 500. 'Cause I got nothin'. And when I've got nothin', you get, as you know, the stunningly mundane. Sorry, loves.

Mundane thing #1: Actually, this is pretty cool! So far, 11 people have signed up for my creative writing classes at the Pigsknuckle rec center! Whoo hoo! I'm quite excited (as you can tell by the Whoo hoo!), as they warned me that a first-time class often doesn't garner any interest. The first one (Superhero Saturdays!) starts this weekend and has 5 little people ('little' as in age, not as in 'vertically challenged') signed up. The other classes each have 3 people in them and the sign-ups haven't been closed yet, so I could get more. I'm happy to have met my 'minimum required', though, so more would just be icing on the cake!

Mundane thing #2: It's cold outside. Seriously. After my walk at the park this morning, which was cut short due to winds blowing in from the Arctic, I've decided to shop for a full-face balaclava. Wrapping my scarf around my mouth and nose nearly suffocates me and it gets sort of wet (apparently I spit when I breathe... lovely, eh?) and feels absolutely disgusting (and even colder, if that's possible). My friend Emmy and I have taken to running at the rec center on the indoor track. Even though I got beaned in the head by a wayward basketball yesterday, I still think it's much safer than risking losing appendages to frostbite.

Mundane thing #3: Ryan's first ski lesson of the winter is on Friday night. Her first lesson last year took place in -5F temperatures. We'll see if we can't beat that record this year. So you know, Ryan's mother will be inside the lodge, seated near the fire, with a glass of wine in hand, watching her child through the (likely fogged-up) windows. And she will not feel guilty in the least.

Mundane thing #4: The Republican will be here early next week, as he's on leave from Afghanistan. In fact, he should be hanging out with his extended family in New Jersey right about now, I think, as he left the airport in Dubai early last evening. I'm looking forward to seeing his crusty, conservative old self for a couple of days, and we're going to see what sort of trouble we can get into while he's here. And if I'm back here blogging on Monday night, you'll know the only trouble we managed was a conversation about politics, religion, the war(s), gay marriage, etc, etc, and I stomped off in a huff, vowing never to speak to him again. It wouldn't be the first time.

And that's all. Hope your day isn't stunningly mundane, my bloggy peeps!! Oh, and I'm in the process of finalizing my 45/45 Challenge list and I'll post it soon! Thanks for all the great suggestions! XOXO

Monday, January 11, 2010

Of Heroes and Humility...

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world... Anne Frank

Miep Gies, the woman who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, died today at 100 years old. Since reading The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time when I was in elementary school, Miep Gies has been one of my heroes. Last year, when I read The Freedom Writers Diary, I came to admire her even more.

She never saw herself as a hero. Brimming with clarity and humility, she always said she only did what she believed was right. It sounds so simple, doesn't it? But she did it in the face of sheer evil; under the threat of death. She risked her own life to save someone else. I've often wondered if tested, I would demonstrate that same sort of courage. I'm not so sure.

I'm sad to know she's gone but I'm ever so grateful she was here. And I know that although she became famous because of the diary, there were many, many people who exemplified the same sort of courage and humility; whose names and faces were never known to people other than those they helped. I know those sorts of people have existed through time and across continents. The world is full of them right now, though so many of us choose to glorify sports figures and actors, musicians and reality television personalities instead.

So I challenge each of you to find and honor your personal hero. I challenge each of you to seek out the true heroes in your community; in our society - the people who simply do what is right; who live with humility; who serve the common good; who teach and rescue and protect and heal; who do it all without glory or reward.

And then? Let's just say 'thank you'.

Thank you, Miep Gies... for simply doing what was right and helping the world to see that, in the words of a little girl who saw more beauty and truth within the confines of an attic than many of us see in the whole wide world, "...our lives are all different and yet the same."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

To Do:

Since I've been big on making lists lately, I figured I'd jot down (and share) my to do list for Monday...

1. Call to make an appointment for a (desperately needed) haircut

2. Shop for a new pair of shoes

3. Take Sundance for a walk

4. Finish Ryan's laundry

5. Work-out at the park

6. Dream of warmer temps and sunny climes...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

45 / 45 Challenge!

So, my birthday is coming up in about a month. Birthdays aren’t really a big deal in our family beyond age 10 or so and I’ve never done much to celebrate it. When I was married, my ex always lumped it together with Valentine’s Day (if he remembered it at all). Now Ryan always makes a big deal of it (bless her heart) but she’s been too little to bake and up until recently, I had to give her money to buy my present, so… you know (I know you single moms know). I did, however, celebrate my 40th. That was the year my ex told me he wanted a divorce (so he could move in with a 29-year-old), so I went to England for two weeks and got drunk. Well, I wasn’t drunk for the whole two weeks. Oh… wait… ummm… yeah… never mind…

Anyway… it’s not that this particular birthday is one of those big milestones, but it is one that ends in ‘5' and they always seem like mini-milestones. Don’t they? And this one – 45 – seems like an even bigger mini-milestone than the normal ‘5’ birthdays seem to me. See, for the first time in a long time, I feel like Diane again. In fact, I feel a lot like the Diane I was at 25, when I was still invincible – before life kicked me in the ass; before I had any idea that a human being could actually shatter. It’s not that I think I’m invincible again. Lord, no. I know better. But I feel stronger and more at peace with myself than I’ve felt in two decades. That strength and peace were hard-won and came, thankfully, with a little bit of wisdom about life – about love and pain and loss and betrayal and breaking and healing... like I said, about life.

So, given how I’m feeling, it only seems fitting that this year, I celebrate!

But how?

Well, the other day, I was having a mooch around Facebook and I found this page, which led me to this blog, where I got this great idea. Actually, it was the blog writer, Dean’s, idea… I just stole it. But I told him I was stealing it, so that makes it OK. Doesn’t it? I think it does.

Anyway, he decided that to celebrate turning (and being) 40, he’s going to do a 40/40 Challenge. What’s a 40/40 Challenge, you ask? Good question, my bloggy buds! He’s going to do 40 things over the course of the year… 40 challenging things (hence the word ‘challenge’ in the title), the success of each providing for mini-celebrations all year long! I thought it was an amazing idea! So, as I said, I stole it!

I did adapt it to suit my own needs (it’s my birthday, I can do what I want to). So it’s (obviously) a 45/45 Challenge for me. And instead of working it from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve, as Dean is doing, I’m going to work mine from February 15, 2010 (my birthday) to February 14, 2011.

I’ve been pondering my list of challenges for a couple of days and after reviewing my 2010 goals and my ever-growing ‘bucket list’, I’ve got about 40 so far (a few of which regular readers will recognize). I asked for ideas from some other friends and got some good stuff back, too, so I’m going to list what I’ve got today and ask you all for suggestions to finish it up. I need for them to be challenging but do-able (all at once or over the course of a full year), keeping in mind my woeful lack of funds and physical coordination. Actually, a lot of the challenges I have so far are physical, so things other than running/hiking/swimming/etc would be good. Have a look-see at what I’ve got, think of what you’d put on your own challenge list, and if anything else comes to mind, I’d love if you’d let me know via comments or email. Thanks!

1. Complete the 60-mile breast cancer walk in Chicago in August
2. Complete the 60-mile breast cancer walk in DC in October
3. Raise $5,500 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Fund
4. Run the Sherry Anderson 5K in April
5. Find and run a local 10K
6. Find and run a local 10-miler
7. Run the Patrick Henry Half Marathon in August
8. Submit 3 pieces of writing for publication (they need not actually be published to consider this a success)
9. Learn to salsa dance (stop laughing!)
10. Finish Pillars of the Earth (finally!)
11. Read World Without End (also finally!)
12. Take a cardio-kickboxing class
13. Take a yoga class
14. Skydive in October (yup, I’m really gonna do it!)
15. Swim 10 miles (640 pool lengths) over the summer
16. Wash my car once a month (as opposed to once a year)
17. Get a tattoo (on my left wrist)
18. Hike 25 miles of the Appalachian Trail
19. Do a mother/daughter camping weekend with ‘the girls’
20. Meet 5 bloggy friends (if you don’t want me to visit, say so now!)
21. Bake a loaf of bread from scratch (and eat it!)
22. Walk 1,200 miles
23. Get through levels 1 and 2 of the Rosetta Stone Spanish tutorial
24. Knit a scarf (which will require me to learn to knit)
25. Be a vegetarian for one full month
26. Go whitewater rafting (with class III – IV rapids)
27. Go up in the Washington Monument
28. Go up in the Statue of Liberty
29. See Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
30. Visit Well of Mercy retreat and be still/quiet for 2 days (shut it!)
31. Hike the Old Rag Mountain circuit in the SNP
32. Go ice skating in the sculpture garden at the Smithsonian
33. Give away/donate/get rid of one thing per day for 365 days
34. Reach the weight I was at 21
35. Do 45,000 crunches (it’s only about 125/day… every day)
36. Go completely diet soda-free for one full month
37. Volunteer twice/month at Our Community Place soup kitchen
38. Attend a comedy club
39. Attend a concert
45. Throw a party for my 46th birthday! (It'll be the first in 30 years!)

I can't wait to hear back from you guys. And I'm actually looking forward to my birthday so I can get started! Who'd a thunk it?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Wonder...

I wonder who she is. I’ve wondered since the first time I saw her from the comfort of my air conditioned car, walking in the full sun and blistering heat of summer, her backpack slung over one shoulder, sleeping bag under the other arm. I still wonder, from the comfort of my heated car, as she walks in the frigid cold, without a coat warm enough to block the arctic blasts.

I wonder what her name is. I wonder if she's near my age, as she appears to be, or if she's actually younger, her life hardening and aging her before her time. I always wonder where she’s going with her purposeful walk and her mouth set in a grim, determined line. I’ve wondered if I could look into her eyes, would I see pride and hope? Or would they be filled with defeat and hurt and anger? But I can’t see her eyes. She keeps them down, avoiding contact with anyone passing. I wonder, is she avoiding their pity? Or their ridicule? Or their apathy?

I wonder what has brought her to where she is. I wonder why she has to walk, carrying what seems to be all she owns. I wonder where the clear plastic pack, like a small child’s, came from? Did she choose it? Does she not mind that everyone can see all her possessions? Or does she simply not care? Is she too proud or just too tired to worry about it?

I wonder where she eats. Or if she has enough to eat. I wonder where she sleeps. At night, when I have to push my dog out the front door to do his business before bed, I steel myself against the wind and far-below-freezing temperatures, and I think of her. I wonder where she is. I wonder if she’s still walking… if she’s still outside, in weather not fit for my dog. I wonder if she’s warm and fed… or if she’s cold and hungry. And minutes later, when I’m in bed, under cozy blankets, my big fuzzy boy curled beside me, lending his warmth and comfort, I wonder where she’s sleeping. I wonder where she had to lay down her sleeping bag, the one she carries with her all the time… I wonder where she’s resting her head.

Most of all, I wonder if I’ll ever be kind enough, or brave enough, to stop her… and simply ask.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Think Marty's Got Something There...

I don't know who Martin Kornfeld is, but I think he might just have the right idea...

"If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we might just set the world in the right direction."

It works for me!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cinderella Ran With the Warm Fuzzies and Reached her Goal!

Happy New Year, my bloggy loves! Hope you rang yours in in whatever manner you desired (that 'in in' thing looks really wrong, doesn't it? I don't think it's supposed to be 'in, in', is it? And I couldn't think of another way to word it... so screw it). Anyway, Ryan and Sundance and I stayed home last night (as we do pretty much every New Year's Eve) and watched Ever After, which was one of Ryan's Christmas presents (mostly because I wanted to see it and it was on sale at Target for $5.00!). It was really very good, even though it had Drew Barrymore in it (I don't think she can act her way out of a paper bag), and I think it's now my favorite version of the Cinderella story. But Cinderella really doesn't have much to do with ringing in the new year, does she? Moving on...

We ended the year with our 5K in downtown Pigsknuckle. My girl did remarkably well and finished with a time of 30.19! That's pretty fabulous, especially since she's only 10 and it was her first race! We think she even came in first in the 13 and under age group (we should know for sure on Monday). Most of our other GoGirlGo! girls did incredibly well, too, and Ironwoman and I (and all the other parents) were really proud of them! I wound up at the back with some of the kids who just never took to running, so I didn't even bother to get my time. But it was slow. Very slow. It was harder than I remember it being but it was still good and my commitment to running was renewed. My friend Emmy (who wheezed alongside me yesterday) and I are going to sit down and map out a strategy for getting ready for our half-marathon in August. We're doing another 5K in April, too, so we'll be able to gauge our progress a bit. I'm glad Emmy's going to do that one with me because when I mentioned it to Ryan last night again, she said, "Ummmm... Mom? When we do the race in April, do I have to, you know, run with you?" (Interpretation: Do I have to slow down to turtle speed so you can keep up?) I tried to look all offended but her expression made me laugh and I told her no, she could run as fast as she wants and I'll just limp along at my own pace. I did tell her to bring a book, though, so she'll have something to do while she waits for me at the finish. Rotten (albeit speedy) child. Anyway, I was beyond proud of her and though she's whined all day about being sore, I think maybe a real runner was born yesterday... and that makes me very happy!

Another cool thing happened yesterday, which helped to end my year on a high note. I got a Facebook friend request from someone I didn't know (no, that wasn't the 'high note' part). I emailed the requester and asked if we know each other and I simply didn't recognize her name (which has happened a couple of times and always makes me feel crappy, as I would hate it if someone didn't remember me). She emailed me back and said that we don't actually know each other but she's been a faithful reader (i.e. lurker) of my blog for a while now and when she saw me on FB, she thought she'd send me a friend request. She went on to say she thinks my writing is wonderful, which totally made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. All of you know how it feels when someone tells you they like what you write... it's beyond cool. And you know I'm one of those bloggers who checks her stats every day and wonders who those lovely lurkers are (and wishes they'd get in touch). So, thanks Julie, for lurking :), for liking what I write, for saying so, for FB friending me, and for giving me the last warm fuzzies of 2009!

2009 was a year of incredible bad and even more incredible good for me. I went from feeling as low as I've felt in a long, long time, to feeling better than I've maybe ever felt. But it was a gradual process (so no, I don't think I need medication ;) and it came about when I was able to make a conscious effort to change my attitude about a lot of things. It was also the result of setting, working toward, and achieving goals. If I had to choose a word that sums up 2009 for me, it would have to be patience. I stopped wanting everything now and realized that everything worthwhile takes time. It was pretty big for me, people. Pretty damned big.

So, I've spent a good bit of today sorting out goals and plans for the coming year. I don't do 'resolutions', as they seem so black and white to me. They are 'yes or no'... 'do or fail'... 'now or never'. I don't like that. But goals require a plan of action and time to achieve them. They're more grey than black and white and I've found that the path to attainment can have detours and set-backs, but that the goal can remain in sight. I do so like that. And I have many. I divided them into categories like 'health and fitness', 'work', 'personal enrichment', 'social', 'projects', and 'financial'. I won't bore you with my list but I'm sure you'll be hearing about them in the months to come.

How about you? Have you set goals for 2010? Whether you have or haven't, I hope 2010 turns out to be a truly remarkable year of positives and happiness for all of you, my bloggy friends and lurkers!!! I look forward to sharing another year with you... getting to know you even better... and getting to meet a few of you face-to-face (finally!!)!! Much love to you all... XOXOXO