self esteem

2016 Out, 2017 In!

Yes, I’m aware that the new year is already 36 days old.  Cut me some slack. I just unearthed a box of unopened mail from December 2014. My “to do” list isn’t exactly up to date.

Last year I wrote about New Year’s resolutions and detailed what I hoped to accomplish in 2016. That post is here. In the interest of accountability, I give you my results:

1- Exercise 3 times a week.

VICTORY!  There were months where I took an average. Forgive me.

2- Read 2 books a month:

FAIL. To be clear, I won’t let myself “count” any audio books I listen to, which would push me well into the VICTORY category. I only “count” books I read with my own two eyes. I only accomplished ½ my goal.

3- Write 1 new blog post a month:

FAIL.  Dismal, pathetic failure. 2016 was tough. I didn’t write here because…well…I didn’t feel there was worth in the practice. I didn’t feel valued. I didn’t feel that anyone read or cared. I didn’t think writing for mental clarity or the actual writing exercise had merit. 2016 did a number on me.

4- Save some money.

FAIL. No discussion.

5- Send 1 handwritten note- unsolicited- to a real person every month.

VICTORY! This was the best practice I implemented in my life in 2016. It was fantastic. I sent all 12 notes, excluding “Thank You” notes and notes to cast members or interns during the summer theatre season. Some notes included a small gift, all notes were sincere and had a specific point. Fully half of the notes were acknowledged by the recipient.

6- Meal plan for our house every week. EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

VICTORY!  This was the second best practice I implemented in my life in 2016. In the past I have been a fan of spontaneity and “What do you feel like?” dinner plans. My meal planning in 2016 left room for that flexibility, but significantly reduced my grocery spending and overall food waste.

7- Keep up those other successful bits of awesome I attempt.

VICTORY!  I concede, however, that this is subjective.  Some days just showering and leaving the house fulfilled my “bits of awesome.”

I have plans for 2017.  

1- Exercise 3 times a week.

I thought about eliminating this from “resolutions” because I enjoy a generally fit lifestyle. Seeing the workouts logged, knowing I made a promise, and keeping the promise motivates me.

2- Read 2 books a month.

This should be easy for me. I used to read three books a week. I can easily read a 300 page novel in a sitting. I must do this.

3- Write 1 new blog post a month.

I cannot doubt what I know works for me. Even my shallow, emotional rants serve a purpose in my consciousness. I also have been listening to a storytelling podcast (The Moth- go listen!) that reminds me:  I have stories to tell.  2017 is the year I tell my stories.

4- Focus on financial health.

A slight modification from past years’ “Save some money” resolutions, financial health is different. I’m returning to a period in my life where I sat every Monday morning and balanced checkbooks, transferred money to savings, evaluated money in/out, and saved for vacations and extravagances- all without relying on lines of credit. 2017 and 2018 bring some milestones to my and Joe’s life and I’d much rather enjoy them than not.

5- Send 1 handwritten note- unsolicited- to a real person every month.

I’m telling you: try this. Real mail, real letters, real appreciation for a human in your life. This not only brightens someone else’s day, you will marvel at how many people you have to choose from. Sitting and thinking of who is (or was) a light in your life keeps marvelous perspective.

6- Date Joe more- 2 times a month, I hope.

Like any couple, we used to have a set “Date Night.” During hectic weeks or months (and honestly, the years 2010-2013), we’d laugh and vow to make it up. We spend lots of quality time together, but we’re going to try to spend concerted “Dates” together. We even made lists of places to check out for a few hours, restaurants to visit. We’ve been RedBox – ing movies together. It’s really, REALLY nice. #year13

7- Organize these digital photos.

UGH. My goal is 50 per day, all year long. If I get 1,000 per month I’ll be happy, though. That *might* get my iPhone cleared up.

8- An overall de-cluttering initiative.

To be fair, this started in Fall 2016. I spent several hundred dollars and about nine days working my costume collection. I’ve attacked my personal wardrobe and started utilizing ThredUp and Poshmark to thin out my collections. I’ve dropped three full Jeep loads at Salvation Army. I’ve even been throwing out “souvenirs.” 2017 will bring success with this resolution, I know it.

9- Decrease digital messes.

7, 8, and 9 could probably be combined.  Each day I have nine email addresses I check. That’s nine inboxes of subscriptions, spam, and news. I’m hoping to streamline this to three, each serving a purpose. I strive to unsubscribe from unwanted shopping sites and merge duplicate accounts.

10- Random acts of connection.

If you’ve read anything at all here, you realize that I not only hoard STUFF, I hoard relationships. Or their baggage. Or their remnants. So instead of dwelling on these past connections, I’m trying something fun and fleeting.  I bought Sneaky Cards. Check ‘em out. Random, fun, bold connections with strangers who get to pay it forward into the world is my goal.

SO…..I took most of my 2016 list and put it on the docket for 2017.  I eliminated the meal planning from my list. It is completely ingrained in our household. We waste less, we spend less, we eat better, and our pantry is never harboring random canned goods from early 2006. Keeping the “bits of awesome” should go without saying at this point in my life. If it’s good, keep it. If it’s bad, toss it.

Ten is a lot- a WHOLE lot. One month in, nothing’s been abandoned yet. One month in, all ten feel pretty good.  


I am better than you.

Not you.  You’re my friend.  But I am better than “HER.”


There are times you just need to feel superior.  Here’s a really good time to feel superior:

When an ex has a new love.  Not girlfriend.  Not hook up.  LOVE.  And not just any old ex.  A love.  A GREAT LOVE.  Yeah.


My “grown-up” sensibilities of wanting this man to be happy are often overruled by my hormones and emotions. I want him to be happy with ME. I want him to want ME. I want him to love only ME. Mature, I know. Evolved, I know. Selfless, I know. The very darkest part of me slips into a mean girl abyss when I think of them, the happy couple. I’m not proud of this. I am very grateful that having travelled to their proximity twice in six months, I will not be back there for at least a year. That will help- I hope. As I take three deep breaths and try to convince myself that I really do want him to be happy, I wonder how the hell that will happen with this girlfriend? I know they have been seeing each other for a while. I know they live together. I know there’s talk of a baby (salt, wound). But she just isn’t good enough for him.

So, in the spirit of my catharsis, in the spirit of recognizing that this is not a particularly unique reaction, and in the spirit of not annoying my friends with my ridiculous laments of, “What If… ” and petty nastiness:


Hey, Chippy!  I’m better than you.  Here is the short list of why:

1-  You’re not aging well.  Seriously.  I’ll sell you some Mary Kay products if you promise to use them and break up with him.

2- You seem to be very focused on cheap beer and hot tubs. That’s great. I prefer to have my theatre life, hobbies, civic involvement, culture, continuing education, AND some party time. While I absolutely enjoy a quiet night on the screen porch or in the hot tub, I love exploring and traveling. I love adventure and learning, dreaming and achieving. Perhaps that is not for everyone; I get it- small town life, small time job, and freshly-filled acrylic nails are all you need.

3- You have terrible fashion.  Really, really dreadful. I can help you, but I don’t want to. Keep wearing mom jeans, white capris in October, and perms with straight bangs.

4- Honey.  Oh, honey. You looked way better as a brunette. If you must indulge in blonde, please go to a salon. “Brassy” isn’t a good look on anyone.

5- He looks awful. When we were together, he was fit, well-dressed, and professional looking. Now, I have actually seen him in a camo ball cap. He’s puffy. He’s the heaviest he has EVER been. He’s red-faced all the time. There is such a thing as too much cheap beer in that aforementioned hot tub. And did you buy him those ridiculous dress shoes?  His job is not on Wall Street circa 1985.

6- I’m hotter. And for sure better in bed.

7- I’m smarter.  WAY smarter.

8- We were a power couple. Granted, I’ve moved since then, but we were spectacular. I am confident that we still know every person in that southern zip code and could easily dominate the political and social scenes. And I’m fun.  SUPER fun.

9- I’m a strong independent woman with opinions that I’m not afraid to offer. I like to be challenged, I like to banter, I like to speak up. I’m sure of myself, I like myself, and I stand by the decisions I make. Sometimes I pity you a little because you’re such a weathervane, blowing in whatever direction the wind decides.

10- I genuinely want to participate in the world around me and make it better. I love idle gossip and zoning out at the bar watching football as much as the next gal, but I cannot fathom that being my full-time preoccupation.

Ultimately, I do want my ex/your current to be happy. If that’s with you, so be it. I am going to try and be nice. Starting now. At very least I am going to try and ignore. I will always keep him in my heart and I hope part of his heart is reserved for me, too. I don’t want your boyfriend, I promise. I just want validation that I (and our relationship) was important in his life. For ten years and counting, I have been desperately in love with a wonderful man – a man who thinks I’m better than you, too.


Ok…..trying to be nice is starting NOW.