Hello 40

Today I turn 40.

How did that happen? I can blink and picture myself on my 30th birthday tipsy and laughing at party with my 50 closest pals, thinking forty sounded so far away. It’s amazing where life can take you and how quickly time passes the older you get.

My thirties taught me a lot about risk and faith and trusting myself and being brave. They taught me I am stronger than I thought and that being strong doesn’t mean being hardened to life, to being vulnerable, or feeling all the feelings. In fact, doing all of those things makes you strong. During the past decade I have made peace with parts of myself and parts of my life that I always wrestled with- my relationship with my father being the biggest one. I packed up my entire life in Santa Cruz, CA to move to Seattle where I knew 3 people and didn’t have a job and in that leap of faith, I got to experience living in a big city, being a single woman in a hip part of town, going on some good and some (very) bad dates that eventually led me to Mr. Darcy, and finding a life I wouldn’t trade with anyone.

In my 30′s I not only found my person, I found myself. I found a woman I am proud to be. Ten years ago I was in therapy writing out lists of qualities I liked about myself (the list was short and difficult to write) and a list of qualities I’d like to possess- the woman I’d like to be. It’s safe to say that I’ve spent the last ten years becoming that woman I dreamed of but didn’t think was possible. I’m imperfect but my flaws give color to my character and I’m okay with that. I make mistakes but I no longer shy away from trying out of fear of failing because I know that the attempt is sometimes as meaningful as the success. I no longer feel like I have to constantly be doing something, to be busy, to have plans. I don’t strive to multitask every aspect of my life. I relish in a day with nothing on my calendar. Who? Me? YES ME. I don’t give everything I have to everyone I know because I have finally learned that I don’t have to prove my worth, that I don’t have to be everyone’s friend, that (and this is a big one) people don’t need rescuing. I’ve retired my cape.

I’ve gotten more and more okay with people not liking me. I’m still flummoxed when it happens but, fuck it, that’s life and it doesn’t mean I am a bad person just because someone doesn’t find me delightful. I’ve learned that you can be hurt or hurt someone and repair the relationship if you’re both honest. That fighting doesn’t mean the end. That the people meant to stick around will stick it out with you even when it gets messy. I’m grateful to all the people who have lead me here, even the ones who broke my heart or made me cry, because all of it shaped me. I can now write a list about all the things I like about myself. I wish I could call up my therapist from when I was 30 and having a mini nervous breakdown, falling apart in her office on a weekly basis, and read her my new list. I’d like to say thank you to her for helping me when I felt like no one could.

And thank you to YOU. Ten years ago I didn’t know what a blog was but now I can’t imagine my life without this space and without all of you. I appreciate you reading, commenting, and supporting me through the years. You’ve cried and laughed with me. Today, let’s celebrate! I’m forty, damn it! In honor of my birthday and my journey to self-acceptance, I want to hear from you- what’s something you really like about yourself? And if you feel like it, what’s something you like about me? Let’s blow up my comment section with a lovefest, okay?

Here, I’ll start: I  like my honesty and my sense of humor. I really like that you show up for me.

Your turn. . .

Help me pick out my wedding earrings!

I’m at the point where I need to pick out accessories for the big day. I’ve got the dress which was surprisingly easy but when it comes to accessorizing, I’m feeling a bit paralyzed. For day to day accessorizing, I tend to go bold- I like chunky jewelry, big earrings, bright colors. But for my wedding day? I don’t know if that will fly. Especially since my dress is pretty classic in its style. Our wedding will have hints of vintage to it and so I think I should go for a bit of that without overplaying it.

I have decided to go with a lace bolero like this one:

My mom offered her wedding dress as an option for the lace to make it. I love the idea of my “something old” being something of my mom’s. I just need to find someone to make it for me. I won’t be wearing a veil but instead a big flower, maybe a gardenia or something like that. My hair will still be short(ish).

I figure I can always funk it up when it comes to the shoes since my dress is long and they will only really be seen when I’m dancing (oh and you better believe I will be dancing my butt off!). I’ll probably go for something sparkly or something teal. Our colors are coral and teal and the flowers will likely run the gamut of pale pink to orange to coral. We’re not being super tied to the whole “color theme” thing.

So! Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to for earrings:

Option 1:

Chandelier Drop Earrings

Option 2:

Octagonal Earrings

Option 3:

Petal Earrings

Option 4:

Pear-Cut Earrings

Option 5:

Petal Dangling Earrings

Option 6:

Rhinestone Chandelier Earrings

And yes, this is me narrowing down my choices. Be glad you weren’t among the first group who were emailed options!

Please cast your vote and I’ll make my decision on Friday.

I took your vote to the salon.

Before:

What my hair looked like before the cut & color.

After:

Your overwhelming votes for option 1 resulted in this.

I am still getting used to having that much hair touching my forehead but the feedback from those who have seen it is very positive. I have gotten over the initial shock of exposing my ears all the livelong day too. I like it. I really do. Thanks for voting friends!

Bonus shot (to show off the red color in the sun):

Red hue in the park. I love how stopping on your walk home from the salon to take self-portraits has become the norm.

Name It

**UPDATE** We have decided on a name- The Ulterior Motive Mob. If you’re local and want to join, we have a few spaces left. We’ll be beautifying the South Park Skate Park. Email me!

Last night at a Tweet Up for non-profit types, my friend Frank & I got roped into volunteered to co-captain a team for the annual Seattle Works Day on May 21st. (Ok, I volunteered him but that’s what you get for being my friend.) Seattle Works is a great local non-profit organization that connects volunteers with volunteer gigs. Seattle Works Day is when throngs of people spread out across Seattle to tackle volunteer projects from gardening to feeding the homeless and then after we all gather at the Seattle Center to grub on delicious food, toast with tasty beers, and enjoy a whirlwind of activity that is the after-party. It’s a really good time (Mr. Darcy and I were on a team last year). It costs $30 to sign up but that gets you into a cool volunteer project, a commemorative t-shirt, plus food and drink and fun post-doing good.

We’re kind of coming into this team captain gig a bit late in the game so we have to do 2 things quick.

1) Name our team!

2) Recruit friends to join our bad ass do good-ing team of misfits

I know many of you aren’t local BUT! if you are and want to join our team, let me know and I will email you the information. For the rest of you, can you help us out by suggesting fun, tongue-in-cheek team names? We need to have it picked out by tonight (eek!) and I know you are all a bunch of creative masterminds. That’s why I thought I’d ask. Also, you look really good today. Did you do something different with your hair?

<wink>

Suggest away!

Permanent

I’ve been thinking about tattoos.

I have one already. It’s the poor choice of a young girl who just so happened to fall prey to peer pressure. If you must know, it’s a butterfly on my upper/back hip, and due to its location, is rarely seen by most people. I’m grateful for that as I’m not that fond of it. I never got it colored in and it has blurred a bit with the passing of time (almost 18 years). I’ve thought about getting it covered over with something else but nothing has come to mind yet.

I love hearing the story behind the tattoo. The meaning. I’m particularly moved when it is in remembrance of someone dear. My butterfly one has no real story, or at least, not one I like. I went with 3 friends to a tattoo shop so they could all get them. One got a shooting star or half moon (or both?) on her ankle. Another got a sunflower she drew on her pelvis (hi Jenny Two Times!). And my boyfriend at the time got Super Grover on his arm. When I questioned him about permanently inking a Sesame Street character on his arm and how, maybe when he was older he’d regret it, he said to me, “Super Grover will always be cool.” I hope that is still true for him. (And I am relieved we are no longer a couple.)

Mostly I’m thinking about them because I am hoping to get another for my 38th birthday (April 18th if you haven’t marked you calendars). I’m imagining the one I’ve been dreaming of for a couple of years now which I’ve alluded to here before. The one I (almost) feel ready to get. But I am torn because I also love the idea of getting a word tattoo. I’ve seen some really lovely ones and I think they are powerful. But then again, I am a lover of words. So I’m considering combining the two somehow. Lucky for me, I have an artist boyfriend who will draw it for me.

I am wondering - if you had to get a word or symbol tattooed on your body, what would it be? And why?

 

Six

“Perhaps that is the secret- that every time we dare to voice what beats within, we invite some other cell of heart to find what lives between us and sing.” -Mark Nepo

Today is the anniversary of my first blog post six years ago.

CONFETTI!

Man, six years is a long time. In blogging years, I’m pretty sure that makes me like Yoda.

From time to time I’ve thought about giving up blogging but never in earnest. I’m too invested. I get too much out of it. Having a place to express myself, share my thoughts, and find support are invaluable. Readers have come and gone over the years – there was a time when my blog posts were getting upwards of 90 comments per post. I’m still wondering how THAT happened. So many of you but have turned into dear friends. I’m blessed to have found such a supportive and fun community on line. Why on earth would I ever walk away from that?

I’m still in awe that many of my closest friends are people I met through blogging. We were once two people with blogs who commented on each other’s sites and now we are friends I get noodles with, or fluff my chi with, or visit in Portland, or swap music with, or start a book club with, or exchange countless emails with. Many I have known for so long, I have forgotten how we found each other. So many that have touched my heart that I can’t link them all. And even more who have drifted off, leaving me wondering about how they are. Because truly, I count you as a friend and I miss you when you go.

It’s like Mark Nepo says in the quote above- that when we share, we allow for connection. If anyone asked me why I keep blogging I would say, without pause, that connection is why. I share my stories, my thoughts, my heart and you comment, or email and we get to connect from across distances, cultures, backgrounds. I am so grateful for that and for you. For this community. Thank you for being here!

In celebration, I will be selecting a comment at random to receive “The Beauty of Different” by Karen Walrond (AKA Chookooloonks). It’s an amazing book that helps us celebrate our own unique beauty and that special something each of us bring to the world.

So on this day of anniversary, tell me something: How did you find Sizzle Says and what keeps you coming back?

Here’s to tomorrow and all the days that follow.

Who’s Yours?

My friends from work and I spent our lunch break yesterday discussing which actor makes us not see a movie or tv show.  Tom Cruise was mentioned multiple times which isn’t surprising.  Honestly, I never really got his appeal even in “Risky Business” or “Top Gun” but yes, I’ve seen those films and “Jerry Maguire”, etc. Mel Gibson got honorable mention. I posed the question on Twitter and Keanu Reeves to Andie MacDowell to Ashton Kutcher were mentioned among others.

I kept coming up with actors I don’t like but who I could be convinced to see given other cast members. For example, I don’t care for Cameron Diaz but I’ve seen “In Her Shoes” because I love Toni Collette and I own The Holiday because, hello!, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law are in it. But according to “the rules” the actor has to unequivocally make you NOT see the film or show based on their presence in it. There can be no caveats.

So I am posing this question to you, my dear readers: What actor would keep you from seeing a movie or tv show? And conversely (bonus question!): What actor is a yes-must-see-that-film/show because of their mere presence in it?

For me it’s Nick Nolte. Gah! He bugs me! Can anyone even understand what the hell he is staying anyhow? And an actor that propels me to see a movie or show because of her presence in it is Emma Thompson. She’s just a class act and really stellar at embodying her character.

Your turn!

Name That Business

Weeks ago many of you put on your creative thinking caps and came up with some brilliant suggestions for my new side business. THANK YOU! I was amazed by the ideas and appreciate each and every one of you who chimed in.

It was hard to narrow down my choices! Sometimes Google nixed a top contender (like Peace of Mind Productions or Piece of Cake Productions or Blue Sky Wedding Planning) because a background check turned up that someone else already had the rights to that business name. Phooey!

I’ve trimmed the list to six choices and now it’s  your turn again. Out of these choices, which do you like best? Please keep in mind my personality (as you’ve gleamed from reading this here blog) and that I am attempting to cater to the DIY bride & groom who need a logistics mastermind for the day of their wedding. I might grow this into a full-fledged wedding planning business someday but for now, it’s really just execution of details and support. I aim to make their special day as worry & stress-free as possible. And when you are casting your vote, think too about if you were a bride or groom looking for such help, what would you be attracted to, hire or take seriously.

This poll will be up through the weekend so please VOTE! and spread the word.

*Small caveat – I sincerely appreciate your input and. . . I still reserve the right to have final say in the business name.

**The person who suggested the winning name from the poll will win a prize.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

I worked for ten hours on my feet Sunday. That’s how it is for a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator, folks.

If my recollection is correct, the only times I truly sat down were when I peed and when I shoved a few bites of lukewarm food in my mouth while the bridal party toasted the happy couple. So it pretty much goes without saying that my feet hurt at the end of the day. My feet, my knees, my back. I am such a desk jockey! I’m totally wimped out by running around in my Danskos. Sheesh! (Insert rolling of eyes at self here.)

Despite the fact that my body seems to think I am 80, I really enjoy handling the day-of logistics for events, in particular, weddings. And I’ve alluded to this in tweets or in other posts but. . . I am seriously considering starting a side business offering my services for payment. I’ve coordinated many friends weddings as a favor to them but Sunday was my first paid gig.

The photographer asked for my card and I sheepishly had to inform her that I was a newbie without business card or url to share. She was so impressed with my skills she wanted to market me to her brides. Holy Awesome Hook Up! So now I’m thinking, what the hell am I waiting for?

Here’s where you come in. You guys are endlessly supportive and I love how you always cheer me on. (Thank you!) Some of you  might be all, AS IF YOU NEED ANOTHER JOB, WOMAN! But, listen, this is just a side gig and it’ll take some time to be up and running. Besides, the wedding season is almost over so I’m aiming to get gigs next spring and summer if I’m lucky.

But first things first! I need a name for my business. I don’t want to use Sizzle Says because I want my personal blog and my business to be separate (like potential clients need to read about my neuroses? I think, no). I’d be targeting the DIY bride and grooms who want someone to execute their wedding plan the day-of their nuptials. Someone that can coordinate timing, vendors, decorations, set up and clean up and problem-solve any issues that might arise so that they can fully relish in the day. Someone friendly, responsible, sassy, fun and affordable. Someone like me.

So hit me with some of your ideas for business names. Be creative! Be flirty! Be fun! And yes, there might even be voting if there are multiple good entries. And double yes, there is a grand prize for the winner.

Ready? Set? Go!