Happy Halloween!

Halloween is, by far, my favorite holiday.

Last year, my Halloween was less than spectacular. It arrived during the fallout of a hefty, life-altering decision, and found me in a place I did not wish to be, with company that I did not wish to keep, enjoying very little Halloween cheer.

I find it hard to believe that it’s already been a year since my life [essentially] changed course; and then I stop and think about it and realize that I’m also shocked that it has been only one year.

So much has happened. So much has changed. And me? I am in a much, much better place, surrounded by the most wonderful people, looking forward to the next amazing year.

It just goes to show that sometimes the hard decisions, the painful decisions, the tear-your-hair-out-because-you-don’t-want-to-deal-with-the-fallout decisions are the ones that really must be made. These are the decisions that set your future in motion.

As for Halloween this year? Well, I’ve got a great costume ready to go and plans with a few of my favorite ghosts and goblins tonight.

Happy Haunting, everyone! Stay safe.

© Stuart Miles | FreeDigitalPhotos.net
© Stuart Miles | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Revising The Plan

I am a planner, an organizer, a list-maker, possibly overly so.

I block out my budget three plus years in advance (thanks Excel).
I have four months’ worth of calendar hanging on my wall, just so that I can see everything that’s on my plate for the next quarter.

But here’s the thing:

It doesn’t matter how incredible the plan is, how painstakingly it was prepared, or how well you followed your carefully organized lists.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

Sometimes it’s a little thing.
Sometimes it’s a culmination of a dozen tiny things that suddenly add up into one giant, glaring problem.
Sometimes it’s a shock – appearing out of nowhere in a storm of circumstances that you never could have hoped to control.
And sometimes you see it coming, even if you don’t want to admit that the writing was on the wall.

This is not the first time that I’ve encountered a setback in my life.

It certainly won’t be the last.

Hell, it’s not even the first time that I probably could have avoided the problem entirely if I’d been paying closer attention, or planned a little better, or put forth a little more effort, or not let myself get distracted by that really shiny thing that caught my attention.

But sometimes priorities shift. Sometimes the thing that you want in the moment, in the present, in the short term conflicts with the plan.

Sometimes you prioritize someone else’s needs over your own.
Sometimes the plan is just overwhelming and it’s impossible to motivate yourself enough to take on that challenge today.
Sometimes your own physical, mental, or emotional self-care has to take priority over everything else.
And sometimes you just make a stupid decision, because it seemed like a really good idea at the time.

But it’s not the end of the world.
Sure, it’s not the plan, but so what?

Life is a fluid journey; the future is not carved in stone.

There are few setbacks in life that cannot be recovered from with some wit, some perseverance, and a can-do attitude.

The Plan can be revised.

Make Your Mark

Sometimes people appear in our lives and disappear again quickly. They arrive suddenly and then whisk away again like a frivolous autumn breeze.

Sometimes people show up in the most unexpected ways, and they stick around for the long haul, becoming friends, lovers, family.

And, sometimes, when a person comes into your life, he really leaves a mark on you.

Something striking.

Something memorable.

Something that serves as a constant reminder of that person.

Something that makes you smile a quiet, private smile.

Something that fills your head with bittersweet anticipation.

A mark like that leaves quite an impression.
As does the person who made it.

What kind of mark do you make on people’s lives?

Remember the Alamo

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton is probably my favorite theater (even though it is about an hour away from me).

I first encountered this theater when they ran a Miyazaki marathon back in February, during which I was able to see both My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.

(Side note: If you are unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s filmography, do yourself a favor and check them out.)

For October, the Alamo is hosting oodles of Halloween-themed movie events, and this weekend, I attended two of them: a Little Shop of Horrors Sing-Along and a showing of Hocus Pocus.

And if that won’t put a person in the Halloween spirit, I don’t know what will!

I can’t wait to see their holiday line-up in December.

The Birth of the Pill

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution
Jonathan Eig

I admit that I rarely read nonfiction. When I saw this book, however, I realized that I really had no idea at all where birth control had originated, or what American culture had been like prior to and during its development. I couldn’t be happier that I took the time to read this book.

Eig takes a topic, a history, that could have easily been written as a dry, droning textbook, and breathed life into it. His telling of this history opens a window to the past, allowing the reader to experience these people, these events, these struggles as if they were happening right now. Brilliantly done.

My First Mani/Pedi

As a kind of a Bachelorette event for JF’s impending wedding, she and I and three other gals headed down to the local nail salon for manicures and pedicures, neither of which I have ever had before.

It was an interesting experience, and I am pleased to report that I did not kick the technician in the face when she touched my feet. I was concerned that I would, as my feet are typically a No Touch Zone.

The pedicure was all right. My feet feel fine, and my toes look delightful. I’d consider doing that again.

The manicure was unimpressive. But, my nails are pretty hearty and my adventures in painting my own nails rarely end in tales of woe.

But, the overall experience of fun, chatty, girly time was worth it.