Friday, June 8, 2018

No more secrets

This morning news broke that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide. Earlier this week Kate Spade committed suicide. This has truly been a horrible week and I am heartbroken. I am heartbroken for Anthony and Kate that their pain was so great that didn’t feel they had any other options. I am heartbroken for their families and friends that have lost a loved one. And I am heartbroken for the world that we have lost such talent.

Every time a famous person commits suicide there are a rash of social media posts about how we have to destigmatize mental illness. I have posted it myself a few times. I talk a good game about how there is no stigma and no shame in mental illness. That makes me a hypocrite, because I hide my own mental illness. I have treatment resistant major depressive disorder. I have never before spoken those words to anyone other than my husband or a medical professional. I was ashamed. I was afraid that people would think I was weak. So I put on my happy mask and talked a good game about ending stigma. 

In hiding my own depression I have contributed to the stigma. No more! Today I stand up and openly say that I have depression. There is no shame in that. If somebody thinks that I am weak because of it, then that isn’t somebody I want in my life anyway. If a future employer hesitates to hire me because of it, that isn’t a company I would want to work for. 

So, now my secret is out there. It is a secret no more. And I feel hella strong right now.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

An Anniversary Fairy Tale

Hubby and I have been married for 22 years today!  Several years ago I wrote the story of our very bizarre wedding day in the form of a fairy tale. Even though we were both in the Army at the time and we had a justice of the peace wedding, I decided to turn it into a fairy tale. Every girl should get to be a princess on her wedding day, right?

Since this is my favorite story ever, I will share it with you again today. Without further ado, here is my Unconventional Wedding Day Fairy Tale...

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of San Antonio, there lived a curly-headed princess.  (Well, she was actually a soldier, but the story is much more romantic if she is a princess.)  She fell in love with a kind, handsome prince. (You guessed it, he was a soldier too.)  They fell in love and wanted to share their lives together, but were in no hurry to make things legal. 

Then one day a ferocious dragon attacked.  (She got orders to go to Fort Drum.)  The prince and princess knew that only the power of true love could save them, so they decided it was time to get married.  On the day the marriage was to take place they ventured out in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm in search of a justice of the peace.  They finally found the JP in a converted jail house. So, in the midst of a raging storm, while standing in a former jail, the prince and princess exchanged their vows. (The wise JP included a wonderful clause in the prince’s vows.  He had to promise to bring the princess presents even when it wasn’t a holiday.)  Once the vows were said the dragon was slain and they went off to Fort Drum together. 

They went on to have many wonderful adventures and have enjoyed living their unconventional fairy tale ever since.  Their happily-ever-after is still continuing.

Wedding photo
Wedding Day

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Reflections on a Power Outage

Our power went out earlier today. Cue the hysterics! My first reaction was to stress about all of the things I wanted to get done today. Suddenly I was transformed into some perfect Martha Stewart clone that had an intense schedule of things to accomplish. I needed to bake a pie, write a book, sew a  new wardrobe, cure cancer in my home laboratory. And, darn it, those things require electricity. So what if my original plans for the day included none of those things. Now that I couldn't do them, I had an intense NEED to get them done right...this...minute!

In the midst of my stressing my youngest pup jumped in my lap and explained to me that this was the perfect excuse to do nothing. I could just relax, do nothing, and pet the puppy for as long as he wanted. Have I mentioned that the pup is very wise?

Rocket the wise sleeping in my lap during the outage

So, until the power comes back on you will find me sitting by the open window, reading a book, and cuddling with a sleepy puppy. May all your weekends have an equally low-key start.

Have a Semi-Perfect day!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quote of the Month – April 2017

April is a really big month for me this year. On the first Monday in April I start a new job! Since we moved to Ohio I have been working part-time at home for my employer from Texas. Working from home has been great, but I was really starting to miss human interaction during the day. As much as I love spending all day with my pups, they aren't great conversationalists.  

My new company made such a great impression during interviews.  They are so passionate about the company and its mission and I am so excited to become part of that.  I actually enjoyed the interview process! We were all smiling and laughing. It felt more like grabbing a coffee with friends than the usual interview interrogation.

Between the start of spring and the new job, I knew that I wanted April’s Quote of the Month to focus on new beginnings. When I came across this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche it really reminded me of my whole transition to Ohio. I took a step back by switching to part time work, but the new job is a big leap forward.

He has drawn back, only in order to have enough room for his leap. -Friedrich Nietzsche

Have a semi-perfect day!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Meeting the Treehouse Master

Sorry I’ve been missing the last couple of weeks. I had a vicious cold and just couldn’t deal with anything beyond blowing my nose and drinking tea. I’m finally feeling better. Yeah!

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Columbus Home and Garden show and got a chance to attend the VIP meet & greet with Pete Nelson from Treehouse Masters. If you ever have a chance to meet Pete, do it! He is every bit as funny and personable as he seems on TV. I’ve been to quite a few meet and greets and his was by far the best.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Me and Pete Nelson

A lot of meet & greets consist of the celebrity standing in front of the group and telling a couple of cute, personal stories, then the crowd files past for a quick hello and a selfie. Pete did things very differently. He started at one end of the room and worked his way through stopping to introduce himself to each person, making a bit of small talk, answering questions, and giving hugs. After he had spoken to every single person in the room he posed for pictures with everyone who wanted one. There was even a professional photographer on hand to snap the photos.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Pete Nelson working the room during the meet & greet

My favorite story from the day came from the table next to mine. A family with a college-age son had driven from Long Island to Columbus specifically to meet Pete. The son is an architecture student and a big Treehouse Masters fan. Pete took extra time with them and even looked through the son’s portfolio.  The photo he signed for the son was personalized with “Hope we work together someday”.

My own encounter with Pete was fun. He asked where I was originally from (darn it, my Texas accent gives me away every time), then talked about some treehouses he had built in the Texas Hill Country. Afterward, when it was my turn to get my picture made he called me by name! After all the people he met that day he not only remembered my name, but pronounced it correctly! I seriously became a fan for life, right on the spot!

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Don't recall what my table-mate asked, but it looks like I found it shocking!

After the meet and greet was over he had a presentation for all show attendees. I went to that as well and it was great. He talked about how he got into the treehouse business, shared pictures of various projects, and talked about the structural engineering aspect of building in a tree (ie, how to make it secure and safe without harming the trees). I have to admit, the first time I watched the show I was a little concerned when they started drilling into a tree (yep, I’m a tree hugger), but after hearing him talk I understand how deeply he cares about protecting the trees.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Talking about how he got into the treehouse business

Another great part of the presentation is that he told everyone all about his new friend, the architecture student from Long Island.  That young man was already walking on air after the meet & greet, but after the public shout out he was absolutely glowing with happiness. That is definitely a day he will never forget.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Discussing how treehouses are attached to trees

If you ever get a change to meet Pete Nelson, jump at it. Even if you have never seen the show Pete will absolutely charm you.

Have a Semi-Perfect day!