Love, Compassion and Thanksgiving

I got lost somewhere, in the day to day banality of the COVID lifestyle and the rush and excitement of the traveling and things that I have done in the midst of it where I lost sight of my blog. I have so many things to say, but today, as we are coming up on Thanksgiving, I want to talk about something that has always made me happier, more grateful, and feel more valued. Some people have such a knack for talking about the charitable work they do and it comes across as ambassadorship and encouragement. Others sound pompous and self-congratulatory. I fear the latter so I don't often share the details of the charitable work or giving that I do, but rather do it in silence because I do not want praise for what I believe is my Christian duty. However, I like to shed light on the organizations that I have put my trust in, that I believe are doing incredible good, to be a witness not only for them but the people they are helping. Very little that I have ever done has blessed me back in th

1000 Days From Today

 In 1000 days from today, I will turn 40 years old. I mark the 1000 days because of the Day Zero project goals I always set which are "101 Things to do in 10001 Days" and just how fast those 1001 days always seem to fly by! How much your life can change in 1001 days, especially for the good if you put in the effort. I am not sure how I should  feel - there is always so much drama around turning 40. But I feel challenged, intrigued, and totally empowered that I will reach 40 in the best possible shape of my life, in a good situation, ready to dominate my forties with the same enthusiasm and determination in which I have so far conquered my thirties. It also causes me to reflect on how great my thirties have been, and how despite how great my twenties were, my thirties were better. If the trend continues, my forties will be amazing. Age is just a number, and that is not just a cliche. It is truly just the anniversary of how many physical revolutions your body has made around th

How My Traditional Father Raised A Strong, Modern Daughter

When I was six years old my dad started teaching me how to play chess. He had this really large, vintage chess set which I have since inherited. We would play fairly regularly, but my dad never let me win. He gave me a book to read to learn to play chess, an adult's guide on chess. And I read it. I would organize pieces on the board as I read to mimic different moves and strategies that I saw in the book.We would play and I would lose but I kept learning. And eventually, finally, one day I won. Not the hollow victory of him letting me win, but I really won. And that day, I learned a little about earning respect. My dad was a bit older than some of my friends' parents were. My dad was born in 1946, and his parents were older when they had him - they were born in 1904 and 1905. My dad was raised by an extremely old fashioned, French Canadian woman. And my dad was the baby of the family. I think it's safe to say my dad was catered to growing up. My dad held a lot of very tradi

Where It All Began

I recently started sharing my poetry on social media. This is something I have long resisted for several reasons, one of which is the very prosaic reality of plagiarism and the fear of having my work stolen. Beyond that, I have a deep sense of "impostor syndrome." Regardless of the fact that I started writing poetry over 25 years ago, and that I have written nearly 700 poems, and that I am well educated in the sphere of classical poetry, I feel that I do not belong. In a world where modern poetry can be dark and disjointed, mine is often light and hopeful. It is a ridiculous feeling to feel like a fraud in a community where I should be viewed as competent but I have always shied away from calling myself a poet. However, I want to share where it all began, something maybe most people don't know. When I was ten years old, my mom gave me a copy of Anne of Green Gables . To this point, I was not much of a reader. I have a mild form of dyslexia which made reading tedious for m

I'm Not Anti-Mask, I Am Anti-Government

We are going to have to make some assumptions regarding my next statements because I am not sure anyone knows what is valid or true, or to what extent, when it comes to the COVID-19 virus. Presumably, this virus is transmitted through droplets, like many viruses, and can enter the body through the nose, mouth, eyes, etc. It is possible that it exists on surfaces, but evidence varies on for how long. Exposure to these droplets or contaminated surfaces could  cause infection, leading to illness from the virus. Hence, many cities, counties and states are requiring people to wear a mask while in public places. In Texas, in all counties with more than 20 confirmed cases, people are required to wear a mask. The efficacy of masks is debated but here is the common understanding. My mask protects you, your mask protects me. If I am unmasked, and you are masked, and I walk past you and sneeze, those droplets then can enter your body - even if the mask is 100% effective - through your eyes or ear


As we witness change within this country, I am mystified (and a little horrified) by furies erupting over what to me are not huge matters. If we are going to be a country where all people are seen as equal under the law, some of the changes seem to me to be very pragmatic. I would say that if Colorado State University (where I achieved both my bachelor's and master's degrees) decided to put up a statue in my likeness, I would see this as a great honor. A celebration of my life's achievements. We now have scenarios around the country where statues of Confederate heroes are coming down. And we have many people very upset about this. I can only view this through my own lens but let's imagine a different scenario for a moment: Imagine you are a Jew. And imagine everyday you must attend a school or a courthouse or a public square and erected there is a statue of Hitler. A man who desired your extinction. How would you feel? So some may argue, "but the Civil War was not

Learning to Rest

Learning to rest. I think this is a valuable lesson to learn no matter what your pursuit. This benefited while getting my degrees, during my career, in fitness - in really anything I have done that required intense perseverance. For me, a perfectionist in many ways, I struggled with this for a time. I can pursue a goal relentlessly to the point where I chase that perfect momentum and refuse to break. This is a recipe for burnout. A perfect example for me was being in grad school when my dad passed away. He died on December 26th and I was due to start my next class on January 9th. I found I did not have the focus or the energy by then to pick right back up. So I took 8 weeks off and then went back. When I resumed classes, I felt energized and a lot more confident that I could manage the pace. I did have a little trepidation that a break would lead to me just quitting altogether, but that didn't happen. I got my rest, and then returned to my goals with renewed vigor and was able to p