Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The cost of a million dollars

A Powerball lottery ticket now costs $3.  For this $3 - I'm not going to tell you what you COULD get, but what you do get.  For $3 - you buy yourself a dream and support various state causes.  Actually, I'm not sure how the Powerball extra money works and where it goes.  I know with Colorado State Lottery, half the money supports the care of our open spaces.

I'm not going to go into the politics of the lottery.  I don't look at a lottery as a "tax on the poor' - more as a "donation of the hopeful"  (BTW, Colorado Lottery, feel free to use that tag line - although they can't really use donation as then people would be using lottery tickets as tax deductions).

Any who, back to what you get when you buy a lottery ticket.  You get a piece of paper with a number printed on it.  It might be worth something greater one day, it might not.  What you are buying for yourself is, well, hope, dreams, and other fantasies.  After all, someone does win the lottery.

I buy lottery tickets all the time.  Not those lottery tickets though.  Although, I do buy them on occasions - dreams are free, but you can't win the lottery if you don't play.......

The lottery tickets I buy?

Where do I start?

With people that I meet.  I have SO fallen in love with the POTENTIAL in so many people.  I have hope for them.  And yes too, to quote from EAT, PRAY, LOVE -
"I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness"
I buy their lottery ticket.  I spend my time, my energy and sometimes money trying to "HELP" other people. I can help make them better.  One of them, one day, will be my winning lottery ticket.  I just know it.

I don't think I knew I ever thought of my friends or romantic prospects as "buying a lottery ticket", but with some of them, I do now think I'm once again buying hope - for them.  For me, then I have helped them.

Next lottery ticket?

Start-up companies.

I don't have a "career" issue.  You know, where I need to be "President/CEO" of ANYTHING.  That to me is a job.  I wouldn't even begin to think that if I "work really hard, for the next forty years, I will then get to retire and see the world".  There is NOTHING wrong with thinking that way.  In fact, at times, I am a bit jealous of people whom can think that way.

The Hawaiian guy - Lily's dad - when I think of the fact that he had a job he loved and worked the same job, then retired at 54, I am a bit jealous.  He's still young (although if you had asked me at 30, I would have thought that was old).  He doesn't want to see the world.  He had a good job, worked it and now it's over.  (Every ONCE in a while, I do also envy the teachers of the world - and the summers off would fit my personality, just not sure the kids would.  Well, maybe the high schoolers)

So, I guess, I don't have a "job" issue either.  I think it's great for some people, but not a "ticket" I need to buy.

I have Start-up "issues".

If I told you now, you could work 5 days per week, over 8 hours per day, and in 4 years, you could have ONE million dollars, plus a decent (and by decent I mean you aren't starving, but not living large) salary for the next four years - what would you say?

It's this line that usually gets me.  For me, it's the latest "drug".  The latest "next start-up".  What can I do to help make this company a success?  Boom, I'm gone.  Gone, like someone getting hooked to something they will never be able to win.  I want the start-up to work.  I don't think it's going to be the next Microsoft, Google or even Facebook - I just think it's going to be a $5 million company, good profits, and provide something no one else has yet.

(Think of the show Shark Tank - the only TV show we will admit to be addicted to around here.)

Then I'm hooked.

I've always worked for small companies.  Some were franchises.  Some have been completely independent. Some have done quite well.  Others not so much.  I've even been screwed over by an unscrupulous owner.

Today though, I realized something about my start-up addiction.

I had two very hard conversations.

One, with the owner of one small business I've been helping out.  It's a great company, and they are going to be a "good" company.  While, I don't think she's ready for help, there isn't going to be enough money there, in the short term, maybe in the long term, but not enough for me.  So today I called her to "break up".  When she first answered the phone, she was very happy to talk with me.  We spoke for a bit, then I was honest.  I told her my concerns, my thoughts and what I wanted to do.  I also told her, it was okay, not to want a partner in this business right now.

You know what, it was probably one of the most liberating conversations I've ever had.  When I first phoned her, I was ready to say "This isn't working, I will send you the stuff back".   But I didn't say that.  Instead, I asked her what SHE really wanted.  Then I was able to say what I thought I was hearing from her.  By the end of the conversation, she was relieved.  She wasn't sure what she wanted  it either - someone else just needed to say it out loud for her. But it didn't need to be "gruff".  I just helped her realize she didn't really want this either.

The other business - he's of the understanding you need to be in the office 5 days per week, 40 + hours, available at all times and then in 4 years, you will have this great pay-out.  I did tell him I was in no way interested in that idea.  Except of course, of the great pay-out.  However, I was trying to make it black and white.  He's trying to make it black and white.  He's stuck on "you could have a million dollars in four years".

I'm stuck on, well, what if I don't GET the million dollars in four years?

I'm a glass half full kind of girl.  I don't say DON"T.  I say "how can we make this happen".  So I'm out on my bike tonight, and I come up with this:  "Why does it have to be 4 years (yes, this is my commitment issue talking) - why can't we say 9 months?"  "Why does it have to be a million dollars?"

Because, what would that million dollars really cost me?  Stress, time with my sons, my freedom - things money can't buy.

"What do you want from me for the next nine months that I could make a sacrifice, you could look a little shorter term, and we are both getting what we need?   I'll take an okay income, lots of free time, and give me $100k. In 9 months."

Maybe it could work for both of us.

Because, really, you see, I already won the lottery.  I'm healthy.  My two beautiful sons are healthy too. We have a roof over our head in a beautiful state. We live in Hawaii during the summer. There is food on the table. We are loved.

I have more than a million dollars could ever buy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Living slow in the fast lane

In Houston, you can pay to ride in the HOV (carpool lane).  I think you can now do this in most cities.  The lanes are designed for those with more than once person in the car.  The theory being, there are less people whom have more people in their car.  This lane usually moves faster than the other lanes.

One of my dear friends paid to ride in the "fast" lane the other day.  In fact, she paid twice.  Once in the morning, once on her way home from work.  BOTH times, she was four cars back from someone only going 50 miles per hour.  She paid $9.00 that day to go "Slow in the Fast lane".  Needless to say, she wasn't very happy.  In fact, it was quite the humorous conversation.

This conversation made me laugh the entire next day.  She was "stuck living slowly in the fast lane".

When I think about my life, there are times I feel stuck the exact same way.  Hurry up and wait.  There is SO much to do, only not enough time.  I just can't get there fast enough.

Maybe we are supposed to be slow in the fast lane.  Enjoy the ride, yet, keep moving right along.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Some may boast of prowess bold
Of the school they think so grand
But there's a spirit can ne'er be told
It's the Spirit of Aggieland

(The above quote was copied from Wikipedia

It's not from Wikipedia though, it's part of a song from Texas A&M University.  Not the fight song, a school song.

I am a part of that school.  That school is a part of me.  I also, can't explain it to you - the spirit of Aggieland. There is another phrase I've heard about the school:

From the outside looking in, there is no understanding it.  From the inside looking out, there is no explaining it.  

But every once in a while, you can show someone about the Spirit of Aggieland.

On Saturday, September 14, 2013, Texas A&M played Alabama in College Station, TX (home).  There was a reported record attendance of 88,000 people.  Yes, you read that right.  Eight eight THOUSAND fans.  This doesn't count the number of people in the town whom couldn't get into the game.  This also doesn't count the COUNTLESS number of Former Student groups across the nation meeting at bars and restaurants to watch the game.  OR the individuals/families/groups hosting parties at their own house.  There were more people at the game on Saturday than at the Super Bowl last year.

We are talking college football here.  We are talking Texas A&M football here.

I don't normally miss College Station - and while I have great memories, friends and a degree from this place, I actually wanted to be there on Saturday.

Instead, I did participate.  I went to the Denver Former Students Group Event.  Yes, there are groups all over the nation.  While I'm sure other universities have these groups, there is nothing like walking into a bar to be greeted by over 200 people in maroon shirts participating in a "yell".  It's breathtaking.

I took a friend with me to watch.  She's from Minnesota.  Truth be told, I forgot to "warn her".  "Sure, I'll go watch the game with you", she replied.  It wasn't until we walked into the bar that I traveled back in time.  Traveled back to Kyle Field (where the game was being played), to the traditions, the camaraderie, the spirit.  Alive, here in Denver.

There are SO many traditions, everything has a tradition.  You don't forget, you just put it at the back of your mind, you move on.  It remains in your heart.  Just not in your everyday actions.  HOWEVER, there is so much that came right back.  I spent every other play explaining what was going on.   I knew exactly what was going on not only on the field, but off.

A&M doesn't have an Alumni Association - you are a Former Student.  Alumni mean no longer.  Once you are an Aggie, you are always an Aggie.

My friend asked if either of the boys had seen a game.  They have attended two games in Boulder when A&M played CU.  The band (that is a whole other story - Google Texas A&M Marching Band) came on both trips.  They haven't been to a game in College Station.

She knows my boys pretty well.  She says, "Duncan is going to take in one game, and be gone, he won't ever come back".  I just smiled.

I moved away SOOOOO many years ago.  I never even thought it would be kind of cool for one of my sons to end up there.  After all, we belong to the snow and water now. Neither boy has the state of Texas on their "college opportunity list".  There is no hockey at Texas A&M University.

We've turned into a "small town feel" - liking things close by, and living in a "bubble".  Wait, make that me. But I do remember what I loved about a big school.  I can walk into a bar with 200 people and they all have a common thought. AND - it's been 20 years.  Everyone has on their matching rings and shirts. Able to travel miles and miles and be a part of something.

I have a feeling one trip to a college football game in College Station for the boys and I might never hear from Duncan again.  We will see about Nolan.  I can't see Nolan going there, but a college football game with a "big spirit crowd", and a Former Student Association who will take you far in life, could prove me wrong.  Although there is another "Big School" on his list - and I think the island girl wants to go there too.

Or maybe, they will understand part of the spirit.   The spirit of their great-grandfather encouraging their mom and aunt to attend.  The spirit of their great-Uncle and great-cousin attending there.  The spirit of their dad's brother also graduating from there.  The boys understanding the Spirit of Aggieland. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Feminine Hygiene

Males - you may want to skip this one.

Can we be honest?  Our "time of the month" - it sucks.  We may all think this.  We agree with one another on a female level, but I think we need to be honest.  We don't need to complain.  We are now at the acceptance stage of the relationship.  We all understand we have to deal with this monthly problem.

But, let's not sugarcoat it.  It's dreadful.  It's a pain.  It's a mess.

Let's also let the secrets out.  To the younger women.  The things we were never told - but OH, how I wish I would have had the REAL version of our monthly visits from Aunt Flo.

  • This gets worse as you get older.
  • I was always lucky, it was never too bad, but for some of you, it's going to be bad.  As in pain.  As in you don't want to get out of bed.  As in, you are the most outrageous bitch on earth. 
  • It will get better
  • It will get worse.
  • If you ever have a baby, you will bleed for close to a month after you have a baby.  Something NO ONE tells you ANY POINT IN YOUR LIFE.  No book.  No mom.  No one.  If fact, a friend of mine, when I told her this she replied "Are you sure that's normal?"  This is after me having my last child.  I told her to ask her sister (her sister had kids).  Let's pass it on.  Tell the breeders - it won't make it stink any less; they will just be warned.
  • The machines in restrooms are ALWAYS out of supplies.
  • It's okay to ask a random stranger for supplies.  It's okay if you discover if she only speaks some language you don't.  Maybe the lesson here should be you should learn to ask for tampons in another language?
  • It's okay to talk about the fact that you need a "feminine hygiene" product.   They are called tampons, pads and now there is even this new "cup" thing.  (Not my thing, but I know women whom swear by these things - and if I do my research, I will re-post the name).

Notice I didn't say, you should be better prepared?  We aren't always prepared in life.  We are here to help us others be more prepared in life than us.

Here is your call to action.  Here is your kind deed of the day.

Go buy some tampons.

Place them randomly in bathrooms when you are there. You know, individual ones.  Sealed.  Put one, just in the place YOU would look. If YOU need to leave a note, leave a note.

Donate them to Food Banks.  This is something we NEVER talk about, but it would be a huge expense if you really needed the money.  Maybe we put them with school supplies for the teenage girls whom don't want to ask their families for money?  

My Goodness, if WE as adults are embarrassed about asking, can you imagine what a 14 girl whom family has no money feels like??

SOOOOO, my Random Act of Kindness Warriors, go deliver tampons.  Not to worry, they aren't going to tell you thank you.  This will be one of the ultimate gifts of giving.  

But, the next time, there is a  feminine hygiene product appearing when you need one.....  maybe it will help ease the pain.  As all kindness acts usually do.

Just like life. It ebbs.  It flows.  It doesn't kill us.  It in fact, in DOES NOT make us stronger.  It's just part of life.  Deal with it.

Get over it.  Accept it.

Embrace it.

Make someone else's experience better.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Even for me

My life is bit misunderstood by the general population.

No, I don't have a "job".  A place where you go work Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm.  You live by your Blackberry/iPhone,etc.  I work when I need to work.  Yes, I push it too far.  I wait until things are tight, then I work really, really hard to recover.  I get a big paycheck, then I'm off to play again.  Really, I should balance it out more.  I do try.  Wow.  What would it be like to know there was a paycheck waiting for me every other Friday (or even twice a month).  I try. I get part-time jobs helping start up companies get up and running, but truly I love the freedom and flexibility my life allows.

My oldest son actually said today:  "Have you thought about a normal job now that we are older?"  Only, a job I would take would require travel.  And the boys are so close to being gone, I can't go away just yet.

So, then it would read, I don't have a "normal" job, so I can do everything I do for my sons.  Yet, I still do things for myself.  It's more of a "I don't HAVE to travel, I GET to travel".  If I GET to create my own experience, then I'm okay with it.

I ask.

The question most people say in their head.  They only don't say it aloud.  For example, one of my recent dating stories (longer explanations coming later) - we had gone on several bike rides.  Then I received a text telling me he had met someone else.  Truthfully, I thought he would make a better friend than a romantic interest, but we were having some great bike rides.  I thanked him for being honest with me.  THEN??? I send the ONE more text.  The one we all think, but don't act.  I would still love to bike ride, because as we said, we make good friends.  And now, I'm sure you have a friend you can set me up with.  He replied of course.  He won't set me up.  That's okay.  Or maybe he will.  But, if I didn't ask, he wouldn't have.  I had to nudge him along.  Most people couldn't/wouldn't ask the one more question.

I'm okay with my misunderstood life.  Because, sometimes, even for me, it gets even crazier.

Two weeks ago.  On a Wednesday afternoon.  I picked up Lily's mom at the airport in Denver.  You know - Lily.  My daughter during the summer.  The man I fell for in Kona - his ex-wife.  Yes, her.

Back story:  The night after I arrived home from Kona I went to dinner with an old friend in town from California.  I've known him for years.  Close to ten years.  Long story short - I texted Lily's mom from his phone and told them the two of them should meet.

The called each other.  They texted.  They had some fun.

He had to come back to Denver for work.  He bought her a ticket to Denver - for the night.  So we could all go to dinner together.  She could stay with me.  She could meet Duncan.  She had met my Granny and Nolan.

I'm all for the adventure.  I'm all for "sure, I'll go"  "sure, I'll do".  Name it.  I'm there.  I'm all about the experience.

I'm sitting at the cell phone parking lot at the airport.  I'm waiting for her text.  Even for me, this is a stretch.  I'm waiting for my ex-boyfriend's ex-wife to text me, so she can spend the night with us.  We can all go to dinner.  All get to know each other.

I was shaking my head.  Even for me.......

P.S. - The date crashed and burned.

I got to know Lily's mom (yes, I had met her before).  As I told her, this must be what "open adoptions" are like - I get to know the Mother/Mom of my "daughter".  She got to meet the "woman whom loves her daughter".  She got to meet her daughters "brothers".  It allowed me to appreciate another woman as a mother.  Another woman as a friend.

The really funny thing, it made me miss Lily's dad.  I could see how much she is like her daughter. (really, it's her daughter that is like her, but I knew Lily first).   I could see why he fell for Lily's mom.  I could remember the fun incredible guy I met one summer.  Not the grumpy guy from last summer.  It made us both sad.  This story could have us being friends and me being Lily's other mom and the woman whom made Lily's dad happy.  I guess that story was too much to ask.  Even for me.

Monday, September 2, 2013


I just spent four days in Dallas, Texas.

It's hot there.  It's humid.  It's windy.  The state is filled with very nice people.  Very friendly.  Good old fashioned hospitality.

My Granny broke her femur in July. This was the first opportunity to go see how she was doing.  It's one thing to hear.  It's another thing to see for yourself.

I was able to see my relatives.  Something I had not been able to do all summer.

Now, I'm back home in Colorado.  Home to highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's.  Home to no humidity. Nice people and dry air.

Three weeks ago, I was very sad to arrive in Denver.  Yesterday, I was very happy.

Next year, I know my cure to my Hawaii hangover.  I'll go to Texas for a weekend, after being home for a couple weeks.  Not that Texas is a bad place.  It's just not my place.  It's all relative.

(And I did start this post when I returned from Texas, the writing just wouldn't happen)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dating 101

Normally, I just end up dating someone.  A friend of mine will introduce me.  I will meet someone through some organization I'm involved with.  Or I meet him out and about.

I'm on a mission this time.  How does one date, if you don't meet them through the above means?  How does one meet someone???  Give them my card at the grocery store?  I might be thought of as a stalker. 

I ask my friends.  What do you do?  For reasons unknown to me, I've managed to date plenty over the last 10 years of being single.  Yes, but now I've made my mind up that it is time to date. 

It's a numbers game.  Like anything else in life.  But what if we have too many choices today?  Do we go out with a bunch of different guys to see or just a couple and keep going out with the one that is "the best" of the group.  You know, the convenient one.  The one you like.  The one you have fun with, but isn't the one whom fills your soul. 

Hmmmm.  I'm not sure.

I think I'm going to need a list though.  I always need a list.  A list of things to do to meet people.  A list of qualities I think I like or don't like.

So, of course, start a list:

  • Must like tomatoes
  • Must own a bicycle
  • Prefer someone whom doesn't have a job.  Yes, I realize most people would like someone they are dating to have a job.  I prefer those whom run companies, create companies or are retired.  Or maybe a trustfunder if I'm going to date a younger guy.
  • Volunteer at events I like as to meet like minded individuals.
  • Attend social events
  • Wine tasting classes
  • It's pretty hypocritical of me, but I usually like guys whom don't have kids.  Or kids whom are away from home already
  • Maybe I'll run an ad on Craigslist - since it seems to be the place that has changed my life the most.
  • Or maybe I'll answer that ad on Craigslist.
I've always said, "Rules are for the ones you don't like".  If you find someone you like, you break all the rules.  I'm not going to concentrate on "what I'm going to do".  More concentration on "How" I'm going to do it.

My friends are actually very frightened.  They all know when I make up mind, we are all in trouble....

Here we go......