The moment past failure is where greatness lives.

I was working on a story for work about resolutions, and learned that according to different surveys, only some 40 percent of Americans bother with making a resolution at the beginning of a new year. I am one of them, I guess. Those same surveys suggest that most people who try, end up failing by the time March rolls around, but if you push past March, 60 percent of people end up accomplishing their new year, new me goals.

I’ve never thought of myself as an optimist, but I do regularly make a resolution or two at the start of a new year, knowing the odds are that I will not make a significant change for the entire 12 months. That doesn’t mean there is no accomplishment– last year I wanted to read one book each month, but it did not work out that way. I did still read for pleasure more than I had in the last few years. I resolved to lose a certain amount of weight while also getting stronger, and that did not happen. Still, I learned some important lessons about being happy in the healthy body you have now, while wanting something more for yourself in the future. I wanted a more robust savings account, and again I did not reach the numerical goal I had in mind, but again, I developed better money saving habits that have helped me with small unexpected matters like a few car problems that would have just destroyed me financially in my mid-twenties.

For 2018, I plan to continue on goals that remain important to me, even if my steps towards those goals are small. You know the saying– the time will pass anyway. In my early thirties, the biggest change in my life is accepting that it is ok to be happy where you are now. What I mean is that in my twenties I felt like I was passing the time waiting to live the great life I expected. This feeling is not unusual for many young journalists. Most of us want to be in a huge market making the millions of dollars reserved for so very few, and that can cause a person to feel like they should just go through the motions until they get to that place. That is a terrible way to live. What I want now is to cherish my life as it is without losing sight of how I would like my future to look. It is for that reason that I am resolving to have a daily gratitude journal for 2018.

In a 2003 study on gratitude, researchers found that practicing mindful gratitude does have an effect on your well-being. In the study, people who wrote down things that happened in the week that made them feel grateful, reported being happier than people who focused on their problems.  It is tough not to focus on your problems, though. I could read an entire newscast perfectly, and at the end only find myself talking about the wonky way I pronounced the name of a town. That is why the action of writing something down is so powerful. It is the active choice to look at the good, sit with it, and be happy.

Celebrating our successes, no matter how small, can also provide the energy we might need to reach the top of the mountain. Still, in the event you don’t reach the summit, it would be nice if you enjoyed the journey that got you wherever you landed. This probably sounds like I’m trying to go for a real poetic kind of metaphor, but I am not. A few years ago I literally traveled for hours to climb a mountain, and could not reach the summit because it turned out I was not ready for the level of difficulty, and I had a panic attack over how steep the drop looked, and there was a storm coming, so I turned around. It was the right thing to do, and I do not regret it, but at the time I was really unhappy about this. Looking at the pictures now, I notice how nice the views look. I bet they were more majestic in person. It’s too bad I didn’t notice then.

Enjoy your life. For 2018, I’ll keep enjoying mine.



Take a Leap

It might be might my job, my age, or my disposition, but general holidays have lost their luster. I work every Thanksgiving, haven’t partied on the New Year since I had too much champagne at age 24, and one time I forgot it was Christmas.

It’s no wonder then, that today I forgot it was Leap Day. Luckily the internet reminded me with Facebook alerts, clever/not so clever tweets, and articles about the whole thing. I don’t think Leap Day is an actual holiday– just a calendar playing catch-up– but I was intrigued by the articles advising people on what they should do with their extra 24 hours.

Apparently, on this day, women can propose to men. I guess they might melt into a puddle of goop if they try something like that any other day of the year. You can also celebrate that one friend who insists they are six years old because they were a leap year baby. The rest I saw in passing talked about how you should take the day off to relax or maybe do some charity work. I opted for charity work– but only coincidentally.

Today– probably while you are reading this– N and I will be sitting in the Oklahoma City Humane Society taking a short course on being a safe and effective volunteer. I had this type of volunteering on my to-do list for years, but I never followed through. It wasn’t out of laziness, but fear. I thought it would be too difficult, because I would want to take all the dogs home or that I would be too sad about the ones who aren’t getting adopted. I still think I’ll feel this way, but there is now an overwhelming feeling to do some active good, and this is good.

I am lucky my dogs, Mila and Magnus, can’t talk. If they could, perhaps they would point out the irony in me leaving them for hours to spend time with other dogs. When I return, I expect the will sniff my hands, look at me as if I have betrayed them, and promptly forgive me when they are ready for dinner.


mila and magnus

Mila and Magnus and Mireya. Causing trouble, but in a cool way.




… also known as the Oklahoma City metro area, at least in my case—but that sounds way less sexy.

I’ve been trying to be more adventurous because I turn 30 this year and I’m having a ridiculous panic attack over it. So, 29 has been the year of trying new food, new movies, new hobbies, new sports, new whatever.

Now, it seems 29 turned from the year of adventures into the year of quitting. Pessimistic? Maybe.

Here is this story about how I went longboarding, like two months ago.

I am afraid of everything, so it was surprising how much I enjoyed longboarding the first time out. I may have liked it because it only took an hour or me to stop feeling like I was making the biggest mistake of my life.

You must be so impressed.

30 seconds into renting the longboards:

One hour later:

Anyway, for the next two weeks all I could talk about was longboarding this and longboarding that. I looked up #longboarding on Instagram, so I guess you could say things felt pretty serious. After those two weeks, though, my interest subsided. It might have had a little to do with how expensive the things are, and a lot more to do with my general discomfort with anything on wheels.

I hate driving. You know, I didn’t even get my driver’s license until I was 21 or 22 years old. I was that kid in college that would whip out her state issued ID to get a drink at that cool bar on Sixth Street. Anyway, I am uncomfortable with things on wheels.

My passion and almost immediate disinterest in the new things I’m trying this year must be why parents are always so mad at their children… “I love hockey….Oh, you bought me $300.00 worth of gear…I hate hockey.”

Trying a bunch of new things this year has made me feel more adventurous, but not sticking with those things makes me feel like a quitter. I’m an adult, though, and I am not required to stick with everything I try to be good at adult-ing. Right? Right.

I still liked longboarding, and I continue to like the idea of doing it again sometime, maybe even at more respectable speeds—but I will be talking about it a lot less… after this, obviously.

Next on the list is rock climbing, well, indoor rock climbing. I’m sure I’ll love it, and promptly never do it again.

Failed Sports Fan: Baseball and Tattoos

    I’m the worst sports fan, as in, I’m not a sports fan at all, but I like to pretend sometimes, and it doesn’t always come off the right way. You need to know that about me before we go watch, well, I guess the Thunder, since that’s what’s cool where I live.
    I can certainly get caught up in the excitement of a football game, I mean, I’m not an animal, but I do need to force myself to pay attention. Case in point, I went to a baseball game a few weeks ago, and what I remember about the outing is unusual. Like most things, I like the idea of a baseball game better than the actual game, but it had been almost a year since I’d been to one, so I forgot.
Logo I borrowed from the interwebs.

Logo I borrowed from the interwebs.

    The Oklahoma City Red Hawks are a minor league baseball team, and I hear they are pretty good, but I was sitting around a bunch of fans, so take that with a grain of salt. I had a good time at the game, eat all the nachos, and even cheered at mostly the right times. I have this bad habit that will eventually get me in trouble, though. I have a tendency to cheer for the other team if they do something especially cool, so I’m waiting for the day someone’s beer ends up on my head.
    Anyway, I don’t know how it happens, but I end up obsessing about things other than the game. Like, right now, a month after the fact, I keep thinking about this woman I saw there. She was sitting to my right four rows up. How I noticed her in the first place, I don’t know. She was about my height, in her 50s, with brown hair, and quite a bit over weight. She was wearing a sleeveless shirt and cargo shorts. She looked like a an average American mother with adult children. Except for one spectacular thing; she had a large tattoo on the outside of her forearm. It was a bright royal blue dragon, and took up her entire outer-forearm.
Visual approximation of tattoo. Thanks Internet.

Visual approximation of tattoo. Thanks Internet.

    I thought it might be fake, but after sneaking several peeks, and maybe an outright stare, I’ve decided it was very real. It looked new, too. So, this wasn’t something she did as a crazy kid, but something she did like a couple of months ago.
    So many questions!
    I find the stories behind tattoos so interesting, and I wanted to hear hers. I’ve had people tell me there is no story behind their tattoos, but I call b.s. You don’t decide to get something permanent on your body for zero reason.
    I thought about the different reasons people have given me for their tattoos. Maybe she wanted a change? Maybe she’s just really into dragons? Maybe she has a friend that wanted to practice and she let them practice on her? Maybe she beat cancer, and felt super mighty– like a dragon. I guess, I’ll never know.
    I know the reason I got my first tattoo is hilarious, and a little stupid, but I remember it fondly.
    Speaking of remembering… remember how this post was about sports? I’m pretty sure the Red Hawks won.