Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Find the Music in You…

I love music!  Musicals, live bands, pop, radio, choirs, and so on...  Mostly, because there is always a lyric that perfectly captures how one feels – whatever that feeling.  I may be alone in this dorky belief (I  doubt it) but it is one of my favorite quirks.  Admit it - you've been caught singing at the stop light!  Or you certainly remember that first heart break and calling WKZQ or WYAV (MB stations) to request the latest crushing love song that mirrors your broken heart... :-)  I just find it delicious how lyrics join me on life's journey:

Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight (…SIGH….)
So you had a bad day...  (Sometimes that’s true, nice to know others do too)
The beating of my heart is a drum and its lost and it's looking for a rhythm like you (one of my all time favorite poetic expressions – even if it is Air Supply)
Darius Rucker in CLT!
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon (for all parents & teens)
You’ve just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the 4th of July (favorite holiday in Myrtle Beach ;-)
The song remembers when (no truer words spoken)
He sang from his heart and he sang from his soul, he didn't know how well he sang, it just made him whole (wonder if anyone else knows this one...?)
I might even be a rock star! (I miss you, Hannah Montana)
As someone told me lately, everyone deserves a chance to FLY (Sometimes we should all be a little bit WICKED)
I could be up in Ohio or back home Caroline, no matter what state I'm in, I’m in a southern state of mind (803 loves you, Darius!)
I just haven’t met you yet! (Sing it Michael Bublé!)
~I could do this for days…!~

To me, this is so simple. I find it tough to understand non-musical folks when every single thought and emotion can be expressed for you.  Enriched, vetted, validated, hopeful, hopeless, made bigger, or smaller – what a gift music is to us all.  Maybe that’s cheating in a way – not finding your own words – but I think the words music provides, leads us to better expression of feelings and better connections with people in the world.

And even better than articulating how you feel, a song can change your day!  I have scratchy days like everyone else - and am so grateful I can dig into my iTunes library to select something to lift me up; whether something spiritual (that always works - at least God love me if the rest of the world doesn't that day ;-) or a contemporary hit such as Shake It Off by Florence + the Machine - that's a great directive there.  It IS hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off.

Music is all around, waiting to embrace your day.  If you stop and listen, you can hear beyond lyrics in the world: at stop lights, on summer breezes or rolling waves, in traffic jams, on rainy days, with relationships, kiddos, pets, and the ever quest for love...!  Maybe make your own tune, just for you.

No matter where we are or what we experience, there is a song for it.  #ThisJane Says, find the music in you – whether for inspiration, peace, validation, et cetera – let it fill you up, like a Red Solo Cup. ;-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Get to Know Your Parent’s Song

The Beginning
This may sound bizarre, but I love knowing my parent’s (or perhaps one of) song!  Admittedly, I have old school tendencies and love music from my parent’s era – it’s the music I grew up hearing and singing along.  There is magic to it.  Granted I am so blessed to have folks still together and hope this diatribe isn’t hurtful to friends, but I can honestly say I know love can last. 

My parents and I are close – closer than normal at times I imagine.  But I cherish our friendship.  While I am fully aware that I don’t know all the details (don’t want to) of their 45+ years together, I know they are still there and love each other very much.  An amazing fete in the world as we know it!  Inspiring and assuring to me but an attainable thing, set in reality.  I have seen that marriage is hard, that feelings get hurt, that marriage is work – among a lot of other things.  But even when they are frustrated and find each other trying (or flat out difficult), I also see them recognize their friendship, commitment and life that they have built together.

Mackey & Minnie
One time many years ago, I asked what they thought made marriage work.  Of course, they answered love, but also luck in that they have grown together (which I think is a result of work, forgiveness, respect and acceptance).  But finished their list with mostly being each other’s best friend.  Mom recently said to me, it is so nice to have a teammate, that one person that is always on your side.  AMEN!  That is my fervent prayer – for them, for my family and friends, and of course, for me!!  J

Surely it is work to get where they are now and not always smooth sailing, but what a lovely place they are today.  I have such admiration and respect of what I perceive to be a result of stepping back and saying, okay – ultimately we love each other, are best friends, and are in this life journey together so let’s focus on the good. 

YAY Mackey & Joyce!
And I’ll always cherish that day I played my new “old” music playlist for them.  The awe and excitement that I had “their song” on my "new" playlist.  And of course, the singing and dancing that followed (we are Singletons after all!) - but also seeing the old feelings new.  #ThisJane Says find out your parent’s song, or find one for you and your love and play it from time to time.  Remember to make old feelings new! 

“I know, I’ll never love this way again, so I keep holding on, before the good is gone.  I know I’ll never love this way again, hold on, hold on, hold on.”

Monday, June 25, 2012

Aren't Summer Loves Grand

Come on – you remember summer camp…  Cute boy, bonfire, movie night, holding hands walking back to your cabin…  There is nothing like a little summer romance.  As summertime takes over 2012, my fervent hope is that sentiment stays true - no matter what age! 

In high school at camp, there was “the waiting game”.  We all had crushes on fellow camp counselors (or staff members), needless to say.  Counselor canteen started 30 minutes after lights out and was simply hanging out at “The Place”.  The friendship, fellowship and flirting was alive and well at the end of each day.  The last 2 people awake, that outlasted everyone else, "won" the waiting game and got to steal goodnight kisses.  Oh the silly grin on my face as I recall the innocence of youth and share that vivid memory J.

These days my nieces are camp goers and I know they have a wonderful time each summer.  They have found the love of a place that few people know and we now share.  But beyond that shared love of a special thin place between heaven and earth, my ardent hope is that they each have summer loves (perhaps new, year after year) that excite them, cherish them and adore them!  Until one day, a guy comes along and “gets it”.  That’s what we are all want for our loved ones, right?

But oh, the fun of flirting… of visiting a special place… of the anticipation of the person you want to know better in the long days and cool, sticky nights of summertime.  While camp was many, many years ago, it is still nice to think about interests that come around and make you feel fun & alive.  As adults, we find new “camps” – places of common interests and passions in our lives.

#ThisJane Says find your summer romance – whether reawakening flirting feelings of you college summer love and now wife, or still on the search for God’s plan...  Maybe at Pops in the Park, a day on the lake, a night out with friends, or a neighborhood cookout – make summer love grand!

"Summer lovin’ had me a blast, summer lovin’ happened so fast." (anyone else notice a constant soundtrack in my life?  Always a tune to accompany the moment/thought/sentiment/feeling :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Look for How God Works in Your Life

Last night I prayed for help with some specific things – forgiveness with a friend I recently let down, help forgiving a couple of friends that hurt my feelings, help to see my role (if so) in it, and the right words to coach someone at work. 

Along with being mortified, I feel awful about missing my friend’s daughter’s christening, especially for no good reason.  I just lost track of my day.  My hurt feelings by some friends has burdened me and is heavy on my heart.  Of course, they may not even know as I haven’t found the words to talk with one and the other hasn’t returned my calls.  But anger, hurt, sadness - those feelings weigh me down completely.  And the kid at work, her lack of maturity infuriates me as she addresses me in a condescending way all the time.  I just want to help her be successful as that is my job – to develop recent college grads to be great in their careers at the bank.  So I specifically prayed for forgiveness, help forgiving and the right words so the kid at work can hear me and grow.

This morning, I woke up to the following devotion from Bread for the Journey:

Right Living and Right Speaking
To be a witness for God is to be a living sign of God’s presence in the world.  What we live is more important than what we say, because the right way of living always leads to the right way of speaking.  When we forgive our neighbors from our hearts, our hearts will speak forgiving words.  When we are grateful, we will speak grateful words, and when we are  hopeful and joyful, we will speak hopeful and joyful words.

When our words come too soon and we are not yet living what we are saying, we easily give double messages.  Giving double messages – one with our words and another with our actions – makes us hypocrites.  May our lives give us the right words, and may our words lead us to the right lives.

Camp St. Christopher
So when people ask me if God answer prayers and talks to me – I unequivocally answer yes.  It took years to learn my role in our relationship - looking for how God works in my life is required to see those answers and hear His words.  Of course, I need reminders of that grace regularly.  But I am truly thankful for the unconditional love God gives and help through, well, anything I am facing.  It means never being alone or without someone who is there for me.  That is pretty awesome indeed.  “Seek and ye shall find” is right – Alleluia. (I love that song :-)

#ThisJane says listen because God can talk to you from anywhere, through anyone and in any way.  He wants to answer prayers and comfort and love all of us - just because He made us.  We just have to be open, look for it and receive it.  Can I get an amen...?  :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dress Up to impress a 3-year old

Emma and I are best friends.  Her mom was the first person to voice that in referencing Emma and I to one of her fellow moms.  That sentiment still warms my heart.  Yes, I am 38 years old and understand saying “best friends” may sound silly or trite.  But my precious 3-year old bestie, Emma, and I are two peas in a pod that adore each other and that is a rare, special thing.  I would even argue that at 38, I know how valuable a connection that is in today’s transient, disconnected world.

So when her birthday is approaching, my question to her mom is how can I make it special?  And I love that her mom already knew!  “It’s a princess party- want to come as Cinderella?”  No doubt I do!!!  Such fun for me!  I love any excuse to dress up but Cinderella?  Game on! 

Princesses Adrienne and Emma with Cinderella
Day arrives and I thought I was prepared.  Costume, check.  Hair band, check.  Long gloves, check.  Choker necklace, check.  Not glass, but special shoes that match the magical blue dress, check.  I even practice the song – just in case.  “A dream IS a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep”.  

But the kiddos and the birthday girl herself, aren’t quite sure what to think. "Is Cinderella really here" expressions and hesitations, while sad for the kiddos, COMPLETELY make my day…!  I’m passing for Cinderella…!  Sweet!  After awhile, they get comfortable with the princess in their midst (and yes, I fully realize the jabs I am opening myself up to with that comment), and we take pictures, swing, eat cake together and so forth. 

Two things made this Cinderella’s (if only for a day) day: 1 – being a part of a family that is so very special to me and truly takes care of me as their own – especially making precious Emma’s birthday an unexpected treat.  And 2 – After all the kiddos had a go at the tiara piñata, I was on deck to finish the deal.  Quietly whispering under my breath, “I’ve been dating since I was 16, where is he???”, I have my turn and bust that crown wide open for candy delights for all!  Win – win!

#ThisJane Says go all in for the kids in your life and do it with all the love in your heart!

Last quote must be credited to Charlotte on an episode of Sex and the City.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Go to your Reunion
a.k.a. visit old friends

20 years… that’s right.  My 20-year high school reunion was at the end of April.  I am NOT old enough to have graduated from high school 20 years ago – that’s longer than I was old at that time. Just sayin’ not possible.  And yet…

Elizabeth the Beautiful, TC 1 Time Now & me
It came around and while I have missed all reunions except the 5-year (St. Mary’s celebrates every 5 years), I was determined to go.  Boarding school may be a little different than local high schools – can’t really say I know for sure – but non-boarding school seems easier to attend as it tends to be your home town.  Nonetheless, I was in!

High School, 20 years later, is going to have some revisionist history happening.  But my two SMC besties, Elizabeth the Beautiful and TC 1 Time Now, were on my list.  Elizabeth and I are FB friends so that was easier – she was in immediately.  Made my day!  Took some time but together we tracked down Tiffany and although 7 months pregnant and unable to join us for our PJ party, she wanted to be there and truly was in spirit.

Such a surprise and blessing!  Two gals, who were among my dearest friends at 17-18 years old, were back in my life after 15+ years of drifted apart.  And we picked right back up from where we left off.  Although I can’t truly articulate how very cool that is to experience, I wish it for everyone.  It is probably hard pressed for us to have grown along more different paths (banker, lawyer, social worker) – not earth shattering, just different - but there have been limited weekends over the past few years (outside of family), where I have felt so loved for me… quite the gift to treasure.

Me, Allison (P-Train), Valerie,
Elizabeth the Beautiful, Ellie & Holleigh
Beyond satisfaction from the reconnect, was getting to know former acquaintances and classmates.  There were the girls from the college (we felt so cool to hang with them!) but also our peers that we knew well, knew differently, or didn’t know much at all.  Life has been the great equalizer and does not care who was or was not cool in high school.  We have had our own challenging journeys and found ourselves humbled and inspired to be there for each other today.

I’ll wrap this entry with a special thanks to my mom.  The night before graduation (May 1992), Elizabeth and I were at the reception with our parents, then heading out to meet two of our BFs from home - both Stephanies coincidentally!  We were telling my mom how lucky we were to be best friends “forever” so early in our lives.  Mama said something to the effect of – “just know that it is really hard to maintain high school friends later in life… you will really have to work at it.”

Of course, I was fiercely offended and insistent on the 2nd “F” of “BFF”!  But how right she was, and then we both were.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine and value how friendships grow and change, ebb and flow – and can mirror the best elements of a life journey.  I am so thankful for those friendships - then and now – and so many more I have been blessed with throughout my life! 

In all the ebbs and flows, highs and lows, when needed and needing, mirroring and supporting life’s progression and evolution - what a gift from God!  (And that is so many gals beyond the SMC days – too many to mention!)  But for now, I can’t wait for our 25th reunion!

So I wanted to share that #ThisJane Says, go to your reunions - reconnect.  Give an old friendship the opportunity to be new or even better, be OLD and just “there” again.  You may be surprised by how intimidating it feels but how easy it turns out to be...

Saint Mary’s Girls, best in the world!  And thanks Mom and Dad, for such a wonderful, life-long gift!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Find Your Laughing Place

My parents used to call their dog, Buck, their “laughing place” (a la Uncle Remus).  I admit, there was a time when that made me a bit jealous of my 4-legged brother because I had that moniker when I was a kid.  But having my own pup now that is busting at the seams with personality and funny quirks – I totally get it.

My dog, Mia Hammbone, makes me laugh.  I can’t believe how much personality a dog can have but Mia exudes it.  Every time I walk through the door – whether 2 minutes later because I forgot something or several hours later after being out and about – Mia is waiting by the door.  The greeting is quick: a brief sniffing and licking and half jumping (since jumps aren’t allowed), then off she runs to her toy basket because it is time to play!  Usually returning with an AKC rabbit, duck or quail (or other toy) in mouth, she charges back towards me, pauses half way into downward facing dog and growls – a low rumbling GRRR – that is her “Let’s Play” growl.  I snicker now just describing it!

Then there are mornings. While most everyone does not believe me, she does not sleep with me.  Mia’s preference is her own bed or more often, the couch in the other room.  I love this independence - reminds me of... Anyway, my morning routine is to feed Mia then shower.  Without fail, this sweet, "what, me?" face greets me after my shower… from MY bed, and often on my pillow no less.  Makes me laugh every day!  And when time allows, I run over for a little snuggle/hug and "you're the best dog in the world" affections.  This, I admit, does not discourage Mia from getting on the bed each morning.  But I wouldn’t trade starting each day with a hearty laugh and thankful feeling for such a great dog with so much character.

We are all over-tired, worked, stressed, extended, etc - so #ThisJane Says find your own laughing place.  "Take your frown, turn it upside down, and you’ll find yours I know ho ho."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover… literally!

Even with that big, challenging (while very common) expression as the headline where I chose to start, I am a little nervous to admit why.  Maybe everyone reading this is more mature than I, but I am worried people will judge me.  But here goes – let’s talk @Rob Lowe.  I mean, truly – has there been another man more pretty?  I really don’t mean that as condescendingly as it may sound but my goodness, he is just beautiful.  And of course like most men, he (irritatingly) has gotten hotter with age – if that were possible. 

I’m a child of the 80s so he was always on the radar but I fully admit – I saw the pretty and the wild child roles (Billy being many girls’ first bad boy crush), and just didn’t think much beyond that.  Then there was the well-known video, the lesser known rehab stint and off the radar.  I thought another Hollywood child star tale – as common as they come – and didn’t think much else about him.  Later, he returned in great comedic roles, on the West Wing and where I fell in love on Brothers & Sisters – all of which truly proved his chops as an actor.

I misjudged this man.  Last year, he road showed his book with his wife (saw them on Oprah).  Hearing him speak was impressive and made me want to learn more. His autobiography is titled Stories I Only Tell My Friends.  #ThisJane was sure that meant gossipy scoop on all the Hollywood shenanigans.  I was wrong again! @Rob Lowe is intelligent, hard working, devoted, driven, self aware, honest and in love with his wife and family.  The last two traits, of course, being so very attractive and awesome. If that weren't enough, he is extremely well written.  And most impressive is that the way he writes gives the reader a sense of friendship, as I imagine he intended.  I would be thrilled with that talent. 

While I was very committed to writing this blog entry (heck I even considered sending a fan letter but that must have been the 80s child in me), I was a bit timid about what someone would think of the recommendation and rave review.  This book was that impressive to me.  We have all felt judged – for age or level of attractiveness, hair color or height, accents or roots.  So I believe it would appeal to any reader that: admires someone with a dream, that recognizes their mistakes, learns from them, intentionally grows into a better person, and is brave enough to share that journey with the world.  #ThisJane Says don’t judge a book by its cover (literally) – you might miss out!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Write a letter!

Write an actual pen and paper, stamp and send through snail USPS mail.  They are seriously hurting for funding so we should support our fellow citizens that work at the post office by dropping $0.44 on a note.  Do you remember the last time you got something personal in the mail?  Signed by a friend or family member with love or even XX's and OO's?  It is a pretty feel good moment in a day - especially when arriving among bills and people wanting!

Two years ago, I was missing my best friend/roomie from college.  We lost touch as often happens after graduating, getting married (her), kids born (hers again) and moving a few states away (her a third time).  Life is demanding and it is tough to keep up.  So after a year of intending, I wrote a long letter - we're talking 7 pages - just to tell her how important a person she had been in my life.  Having had a dear friend like that is a great feeling.  She played a tremendous role in my life and I wanted to share the good feeling I still get reflecting on that friendship.  A month later and another 3 pages, I finally got it in the mail - with the DVD of one of our favorite movies from college days (Beauty and the Beast - we even had the movie poster in our room).  I write all this because even 6 months later, I still feel good about writing her - giving her a gift of appreciation without any expectations of getting something back.

Could be a good thing to do for someone old or new that is special.  And you will both glow with feeling that way.  They say it is better to give than to receive and coming from a gal that LOVES to receive, I can't argue in this case.  Such an easy, nice thing to do - married pals can even slip a note into a suitcase before a business trip... #ThisJane is just sayin'...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Find joy in all you do!

This one is tough but such a rewarding experience if incorporated into one's life. That's not to say I succeed every day... I do drive in Charlotte after all.  (Those outside the city, Charlotteans are notoriously offensive drivers - ex. they speed up to block you when you signal a lane change. It is fierce!)  Outside of driving the perilous streets of the Queen City, I realized I was tired of all the emotional energy I was wasting on all these little, every day things.  
  • I have to stop and get gas!  I hate that.
  • Work drama - no example needed - you either live it or watch(ed) The Office.
  • I committed to Junior League (insert own favorite non-profit that also makes you crazy) but I don't have time.
  • Stupid gym - why can't I have my own chef, trainer, yoga instructor and spiritual guide like Jennifer Aniston to keep me in shape.  If it were my job, I'd be happy to work out.
  • Mia wants to play ball... again.  (This one really gets me as it includes struggling with providing joy to someone/thing? else).
You get the point. Now, I am a happy person - pretty sure my friends and family wouldn't accuse me of otherwise. But the light grumblings in my head about the everyday things started getting on my nerves.  As a person who lives alone, when you get on your own nerves - you need to address it ;-)  So I decided to try to change that attitude. As my favorite quote by Abraham Lincoln says, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."  Darn right!

Choosing to see the good things (I can afford gas, I have a great job at a great company, I am part of something helping others, etc.) in the mundane details of my life, helps me feel more joyful and happy. My heart is genuinely lighter these days by focusing on all my wonderful blessings and finding joy in what I do. I am pretty sure that translates into better quality too: work production, mama to my pup, friend, family member, etcetera.  While This Jane knows it is easy to get sidetracked (I did today), we just have to keep making up our minds to be happy and we will find joy in all we do.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Forget Exes

Honestly, I was so surprised to learn over the past few years that a whole lot of people have someone that got away.  50 years later, 5 years later, and all that lies in between.  It seems we all are drawn (at times) to what might have been...  #katyperry (is that how it's done or is @katyperry?) even has an AWESOME hit song out now about it - "The One That Got Away".  Oh the number of songs about lost loves...

I really don't think people want "the one that got away" back (because most all of us don't!), but I think people long for what seems simpler.  Whether it is easier to keep an old love than find a new one or the challenges of dating life truly are simpler than married life (my unmarried supposition but that seems a glaringly obvious statement ;-).

Even on the heels of a great blind date (granted that was 1 1/2 hours of getting to know someone but as I have said, God blessed me a Gamecock and hope springs eternal), seeing my "last love" across the parking lot laughing with his new wife - stings.  It does and I hate that!  Because leaving was the absolute right thing for me and clearly for him but I guess we all wonder about someone?  What is it about that intellectual understanding differing so from our emotional position?  I can clearly articulate that relationships's demise and do not have a friend that disagrees. It is so crystal clear, it makes me laugh at the 20 minutes devoted to typing these thoughts.  Should I even post??  Thinking yes because I also KNOW a la #ladygaga or @ladygaga (imagine I'll learn tagging soon), that I'm on the edge of glory.

Anyway - tonight, #thisjanesays... Forget Exes.  They are exes for a reason and would have stuck the first time if they were supposed to work.  And although it has been awhile since feeling that love at first sight or maybe at first few dates in - I recall the feeling well and it being clearly accompanied by very real confirmation/clarity on the wrong prior loves (or wrong for long term - I don't want to disqualify love ever... like many friendships, we have loves for certain times in our lives and they are much fun!).
Reminders From God

My fervent hope is that anyone reading thinks "Sometimes I do wonder... NAY, NO WAY because that would have been a whole other set of challenges;" and that this is an entertaining blog ending with a thought of thanksgiving for all our blessings.  I know that is where I land and wish that for everyone I know too!  To share a text from my favorite app, Reminders from God, "Wonders are unfolding beyond your dreams and hopes.  To everything say, 'All is well.'" That is one thing of which I am sure :-)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Go on a blind date (if you're single),

Because you just never know - movie upon movie has been produced, book after book has been written, it's the tale as old as time.  (Anyone else singing the rest of that line from Beauty and the Beast?)  There wouldn't be so much media dedicated and money spent & made on the theme of finding love if it doesn't really happen.  I'm always so thankful for my Gamecock roots because I was raised as a Hope Springs Eternal person (every fall - maybe this is the year...!)

The dating service industry in the U.S. is projected to be worth $2.1 BILLION (with a BA) in 2012, that's according to a VERY recent google search.  People are looking for it and wanting to connect.  In today's society, we are all so "plugged in" that we are losing human contact and the amazing gift of companionship.

It is ironic (don't cha think?) that technology creates a chasm within relationships (video games, t.v., headphones, laptops, apps, etc) while so many people now rely on websites and online tools to "meet" someone to share their life.  The last time I hung out with my niece, we searched high and low to find real cards to play a card game (spite malice, a family fav) versus just using the iPad app.  Once we finally got the cards dealt, my sister walked by and said, "Oh, you're playing with real cards.  Takes so much longer, doesn't it!"  No truer words spoken!  It took me forever to whip up on my 10 year old niece but funny response from my sis in the context of this diatribe (definition 3 in Websters = satirical criticism.  I looked it up to make sure I was using it correctly... I am still not sure).

So what does all that have to do with going on a blind date?  I am sure that part of God's plan for us is to be part of a community, a family, a team.  Of course, families come in a variety of ways such as my dear friends that take me in as their own in Charlotte, but ultimately that is what I believe.  So I go on blind dates - because you just never know.  One can find a new friend or love, have a great time but no spark or walk away with some really great stories!  (Boy, do I have a TON of those) At some point I will share the really funny ones - such as the guy driving the Silver Bullet.  How do I know that was the name of his car?  It was airbrushed on the hood with a howling wolf.  Will save the rest for another day as it does get better! :-)  And for now, just delighting in tonight's great blind date!

p.s. Married friends - of which I have a LOT - plan a fun, random date you haven't done in awhile or a blind activity for your mate and see what you can learn new about each other too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carpe Diem!

My friends and family have told me that they think I am brave, courageous, hopeful.  But I have my moments where I am certainly afraid or intimidated of change.  My baby's blanket was so very soft and warm and yellow - what could be more comforting?  Satin lining and of course, no idea of the material - just snuggly soft.  I loved my blanket and remember thinking that pretty late in childhood.  I didn't want to sleep one night without that blanket in my arms and hand but, in all honesty, I don't know when I gave it up.  I just know myself and the way I was raised - and that one night, I just tried - and didn't look back.

Buying my www site :-)
For several years I have talked about writing a book with my girlfriends (and family).  I was mid-30's (now late... boo!) and still dating...  not at all the norm in the south.  I'm proud of my roots but that's the truth.  Still single and dating so know that fact well.  But oh the stories my friends delight in - so we all decided I needed to write a book.  And while that book is still theoretical, with the encouragement and overwhelming support of a couple of girlfriends (old and new) - I recently decided to start writing and see where it may lead.  Even secured my own www site (Thisjanesays.com) - now that makes a girl feel proud!

In all honesty, I didn't want to write the book (or blog) because what if my stories were only funny with my friends...?  What if my life isn't that interesting to anyone else...?  Putting a pen to paper (or keys to word/wall) would mean something.  If my stories aren't funny, it may be that I suck at dating!  Can't have that - my family would have been right for years (I love you 'rents but committed to being honest here and I think you worry every day that I am getting in my own way... ME TOO).  But life is too short to live in fear, so why not seize the day, TODAY!

I am my biggest critic so actually posting regularly will be a miracle!  I write, re-write, edit, revise and compose another draft then proof.  :-)  Type A and proud of it!  Another big challenge will be how much to share and going for it.  I have always been an open book - literally heart on sleeve.  But without being too sentimental (okay now that's just silly and likely to happen often), I'm only perfect by God's love and grace so if I have a tupo (hee hee) here, that's OKAY!  So I'm going to (try to) write each day - which will perfectly fill my Lenten void (due to vow) of no t.v. - and see where we are in a couple of months.  And maybe discern some things too along the way.

So this Jane says... Carpe Diem.  We all have times in our lives where we run out of steam, think we can't dream or make a change, attain an old goal, or even set a new one.  Our "ways" are too set for change.  Or are they?  All my life I was told "you won't know unless you try."  So if one of my dreams is to write - I can't believe I have a dream that I am acting on! - then there is no time like the present.