Previous month:
October 2012
Next month:
February 2013

Last Look at 2012

2012..and 2011 to be honest...was filled with too much sadness, death, illness and did I mention the sadness?

2013 WILL be better...has to be better.

So many friends share my opinion that 2013 is OUR year. I'm partial to 13...my birthday is 12/13...and 13 has always been lucky for me.

I know we make our own luck, but I'm not taking any chances.

Almost everyone I know always says "Come Jan 1, I'm going to eat healthy, exercise, get organized, etc etc etc".  I'm no exception (except for the organizing part :->), but this year I got a headstart. Other than Thanksgiving and Christmas, I've had at least 1, if not 2 salads a day for the last 35 days. Just wanted to see if I could do it and guess what? I did!

Joined a group of friends on Facebook for a 100 Day Challenge to spend 100 days in a row exercising, eating healthier and getting to a better place in our lives. Again, a headstart. Upped my walking last week and just got home from the gym. A far cry from the level of most of my friends (Marathoners, IronMen/Women, Climbers, Slackliners, Ice Climbers, Movers and Shakers, 4 % body fat) but it's a step in the right direction and what amazing role models I have!

Joined an online motivational group 3 weeks ago to figure out how to turn the ideas I'm passionate about into a side business.

The hardest challenge of all? Realizing that I'm way too comfortable in certain areas of my life and vowing this has to change if I want to live up to my potential. My stomach just dropped typing that.

Wishing you strength and courage in your 2013 dreams. Remember, it's OUR year :-)


My 2 Cents

I've been mulling over the tragic events of the last several weeks.

First the Newtown massacre. 20 little children and 7 adults murdered. 

Last Monday, Webster NY firemen ambushed by a gunman who left a note saying he wanted to "burn down the neighborhood and do what I like doing best, killing people".

Then came the deluge of comments over Facebook, Twitter, news media.

"Gun control". "Access to mental health". "Hug your kids now, choose action later". And why. So many people asking why. 

And how to prevent this from happening again? What can we do so the next time it happens we don't feel so helpless and lost?

Is it really all about gun control? Maybe. Or maybe not?

My personal opinion is that you don't need an AK-47 to go hunting. It's also my opinion that what we have today is a far cry from our forefathers intentions that created the 2nd Amendment.

I've never been a fan of guns. They terrify me. I've had two encounters with guns. The first time, I shot a target pistol 3 times on a friend's ranch. All 3 times I hit the target so I figured I had nothing left to prove.

My 2nd encounter with a gun is when I was followed out to my car after work and my attacker brandished a gun once I was inside my car (he chased me and I made it to my car before he caught me). Short story short, I started my car, he ran, I followed him and got his license plate #, went back to work and called the police, filed a report and they caught him within 20 minutes. And sentenced him to  youth camp since he was under 17 and it was his 3rd offense.

The entire experience terrified me and even though it happened when I was in college, I remember each detail as if it happened yesterday. So now you know how I feel about guns.

Better access to mental health services? Maybe. Or maybe not?

The assumption seems that people with mental issues possess enough self-awareness to seek out assistance. And are limited through lack of funds or lack of insurance or lack of services or a combination of the three. I'm sure some people do reach out...I know many that have. But what if they don't feel they're a danger? What if they feel they are right and everyone else is wrong? What then? Or what about that person that lives their life in quiet solitude, blending into the background, never once raising anyone's suspicions of their mental capacity until the day they snap? How do we catch the ones that are slipping though the cracks?

I honestly feel it's  part of our culture. As a whole, Americans can be cruel. They bully. They're rude. Mean-spirited. All you have to do is read Facebook or Twitter or any online column and see the cruel comments tossed out on every topic imagineable. Live and let live or turn the other cheek? Nope, not so much for many of us.

We need more love. More understanding. More tolerance. And by tolerance I don't mean tolerating that which hurts and maims and belittles others. Instead I mean tolerance of people that are different. Look different, talk different, have different viewpoints, live different lifestyles.

Seek out those who are disenfranchised. Who are down on their luck. Who need a shoulder. Who need you. 

There are so many beings who are hurting than can benefit by what you have to offer. Volunteer. A day a week. A day a month. An hour a month. Or maybe just a one time gig. What are we doing to make our world a better place and to lighten the load of someone that needs lifting up, whether it be financially, spiritually, educationally or emotionally?

I've been asking myself the same question lately.

In the past, I've volunteered on several occasions. In Virginia, as a short-term Guardian Ad Litem. In Florida as an Adult Literacy Volunteer. Also in Florida as a Kennel-Guide and Foster Puppy Mom...beings don't have to be human to be hurting.  All the volunteering I've done in CO has been politically related and while the results were what I'd hoped for, more and more I'm finding the need to reach out to help in areas that benefit people with immediate needs, ie Literacy programs and Habitat for Humanity are two that come to mind.

I've often been accused of being too Pollyanna-ish or always seeing the glass as half-full. And that is very much true. But one thing I do know is that one person spreading love and tolerance is better than one person spreading hate and contempt.

Our actions define us.

Put on the rose-colored glasses with me for just a minute and imagine what would happen if for 15 minutes everyone in the world did one kind deed. Showed one extra person that they cared. That that person mattered. Just for 15 minutes. I think it would be amazing. Maybe a pipe dream, but what an amazing pipe dream.

We're a world of so many differences, but we're alike in that we're all human, all have feelings, all want to be loved, all want to matter.

So just for today, love a little extra. Volunteer. Do a random act of kindness. Give an extra smile away (Matty V says that they're free). Don't flip off the car that cuts you off. Hold back the urge to be mean and snarky. Be a little kinder. Be a little gentler. 

We have many huge issues in this world that require solutions we don't always have. We don't know the why. But maybe we can each, in our own way, get started on the how.

Just my 2 cents.


Surprises and Smiles and Lights and Longevity

It's been awhile since I've posted.

So I'm making up for lost time with a huge recap of the last 4 days which cumulatively were some of the most amazing and special days of my year.

Weds, Dec 12 was the day before my birthday. The day before a carefully crafted 4 days in a row off! Made possible by bookending the last half of one week and the beginning of another week. Working in retail - during the holidays - means NO vacation time, so I got creative. And boy was it worth it.

One thing about me you have to know - if you don't already know - is that I'm a huge believer in destiny and miracles and intuition. And six weeks ago when I asked for the time off, I told my two BFF's  (Tim and Brian) who'd moved from CO to Seattle WA that I would have this time off and "wouldn't it be nice" if they surprised me for my birthday weekend.

When they sent me my Hanukkah presents last week and said that nights 5 & 6 present would be on the way, I replied by saying "Oh sure....YOU GUYS are my night 5 and night 6 present. And I honestly and truly believed that would happen.

So back to Wednesday and being off work and running errands. Earlier in the day I'd texted Brian asking him when their plane was landing. He told me I was crazy and he was sorry but he was in Seattle, nowhere near CO.

And as I'm in the middle of running post-work errands, Tim texts me to say hi and if I'd gone to the post office to get the package they'd sent me for nights 5 and nights 6. The text is followed by a call. And the call turns out to be Tim telling me that YES - he and Brian are here in CO and YES we are having dinner together as soon as I can meet up with them.

I SCREAMED!!! My dream had come true! My besties were BACK IN CO! YIPPEE!!

Within 5 minutes we were hugging (and I was jumping up and down) then hugging some more. I have such awesome friends!

Off to dinner we went. Margarita's were imbibed. Yummy Mexican food was consumed. Stories told, laughter shared, pix posted to Facebook which unleashed the floodgates of texts from Brian's former (and my current) co-worker's excited to see that Brian was back in town.

Bri & Kath

After dinner, it was time for Night 5 Candle Lighting. And more laughter!

 

Bri Lights

One of my many Hanukkah presents - a gorgeous candle holder that magnified the light a hundred fold! (Yep, that's the Instagrammed version) ;-)

Hundred Fold

And here's Brian's version of lights (Tim surprised Brian and packed Brian's Menorah from home - which is just like Tim aka The Most Thoughtful Person in the Universe)

5 lights

There are few things in this world as special as watching Menorah lights in a darkened room with your family (aka friends-like-family, which Tim and Brian are to me).

Talk about Miracles!

 

The next day, Thursday Dec 13 was my birthday!! What better way to start the day by having breakfast at my favorite place with my favorite people? The drive into Boulder was beautiful as always made even better (as if that was possible) with a lovely birthday call from my Dad and Mom - aka Best Parents in the World :-)

Snooze Boulder

Snooze breakfasts are out of this world and it was so nice and comforting to start the day in a familiar place with familiar faces.

The rest of the day was one surprise after another! Brian stopped by his former workplace  to say hi and catch up while Tim and I had some quality time to ourselves. In the months before they moved we'd started having "Tim and Kath Days" and it was nice to have that special alone time once more.

More errands followed (they dropped me off then used my car to run their errands) followed by a dinner with former/current co-workers (more smiles, laughs, stories, memories made) and finished the night back at my place for Night 6 candles...and me SCREAMING from the surprise of walking into my room and finding a GORGEOUS headboard that matched my desk (that Tim and Brian had given me the previous year for Hanukkah/my birthday). My sneaky Hanukkah Elves had worked quickly while I was at my appt to make everything happen.

Check it out!

T & B

 

Truly awesome friends - agreed?

You would think this would be enough surprises for the day and night, right? But you'd be wrong. There was more spoiling to be had. I'm still in shock as I write this, two days after the fact.

We fired up the lights for Night 6 and listened to Matisyahu's Miracle - which I ADORE :

Just livin’ in the miracle, candles are my vehicle 
Eight nights, gonna shine invincible 
No longer be divisible, born through the struggle 
Keep on moving through all this hustle 
Head up, heads down through all of the bustle 
New York City wanna flex your muscle 
Look so down, look so puzzled 
Huddle ‘round your fire through all the rubble 
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all 
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all 

Do you believe in miracles 
Am I hearing you? Am I seeing you? 
Eight nights eight lights and these rites keep me right 
Bless me to the highest heights with your miracle 

Against all odds drive on till tomorrow 
Wipe away your tears and your sorrow 
Sunrise in the sky like an arrow 
No need to worry, no need to cry 
Light up your mind no longer be blind 
Him who searches will find 
Leave your problems behind you will shine like a fire in the sky 
what's the reason we’re alive – the reason we’re alive… 
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all 
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all 

Do you believe in miracles 
Am I hearing you? Am I seeing you? 
Eight nights eight lights and these rites keep me right 
Bless me to the highest heights with your miracle 

Eight is the number of infinity one more than what you know how to be 
And this is the light of festivity when your broken heart yearns to be free 

Do you believe in miracles 
Am I hearing you? Am I seeing you? 
Eight nights eight lights and these rites keep me right 
Bless me to the highest heights with your miracle

 

A perfect end to a perfect birthday filled with so much love from my lovely besties, family and friends.

Sadly, Tim and Brian had to cut their visit short the next morning and flew home sooner than expected, but the time we spent together was epic and wonderful and beyond my wildest dreams. They are (seriously) two of the nicest and finest people I've ever met and I am honored and humbled to call them my friends.

The last part of this post speaks to longevity. 5 years to be exact. As I posted on Facebook this morning :

"5 years ago today at 3:14 in the afternoon I signed the offer letter for a job that would change the course of my life.

5 years with the BEST Management team ever! 5 years with peers that inspired me and challenged me and continue to do so to this day. 5 years of meeting coworkers that would become my family. 5 years of amazing products that would enrich my life and the lives of others. 5 years where every single day I'm so proud to say I work for Apple.

Today is my 5 year Appleversary (yes, I coined that term) :-)

So humbled and honored. Thanks to all my Fruitstand Friends for making my journey so awesome!"

And that's my amazing weekend.

Surprises of epic proportions. Smiles & hugs & ahavachesed (lovingkindness) from two of the most important people in my life. Lights to celebrate victories and great miracles. And belonging to a world where work feels like play and peers like family.

All is right in Kathyland tonite.