Sunday, December 2, 2007

One and a Half Glasses of Wine

I wish I could live my life the way I feel when I've had one and a half glasses of wine.

When I've had one and a half glasses of wine, I can sit back and soak in the world around me. Everything my child does is genius. Solutions to problems come quickly to mind, and everything becomes simple.

When I've had one and a half glasses of wine, I become the parent I want to be, knowing that if my son told me at age 19 that he wanted to get in the car and drive to New England to see the leaves change, I will tell him to go, that he should go and experience the world.

Having one and a half glasses of wine makes me a better singer and dancer. And I can remember all of the funny lines to my favorite movies and inject them into conversation at just the right moment.

One and a half glasses of wine lets music wash over me like waves and lyrics mean so much more. A sad song is more touching, and a happy one makes me forget that I don't know any good dance moves.

When I have had one and a half glasses of wine, I become more in touch with my mortality, and become more thankful for the life that I have. My blessings are more obvious, my time is more precious, and my patience is thick with indulgence. It is a reminder that life happens once, and we are wise to stop once in a while and soak it in.

And then it hits me. What is so wrong with my life that I need to numb it with a bottle of cheap red wine to be happy? And then it hits me again - it's not my life, it's me. I can be a little intense. Some might say I am too hard on myself. I like those things about me, but everyone needs a break from themselves once in a while. What I'm trying to say is, one and a half glasses of wine lets me get out of my own way so I can appreciate just how amazing my life really is and take my focus off of the next hurdle to be cleared. And then, as it begins to fade and life resumes to normal, I become preoccupied with dishes in the sink, laundry that needs to be folded, cats that need to be fed, and all of the little things that keep me from truly living in the moment. And that's fine; having a chance to step away and see the big picture for a while reminds me that I am one lucky lady.

Life comes at us fast. In the blink of an eye, a year has passed and we can't even remember what we did last weekend. If I have a resolution for 2008, it will be to live more of each day as if I have just had one and a half glasses of wine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What is it with Women and Shoes?

I have a thing for shoes. I think a lot of women do. Lately I've found myself becoming a bit obsessive over them, ordering shoes online and justifying my purchases with the rationale that a good pair of shoes will last forever, so I am really making an investment in my future, right? After I complete my order, I track my package every day and revel in the anticipation of when I will arrive home from work and see a tidy little box in front of my door. When they arrive, I savor every moment of opening the package, reminding myself that I can return them if I don't like them but knowing inside that will never happen.

Over the years I have bought, worn, given away, and thrown out an embarassing amount of shoes. Some have been gorgeous, others hideous. But they have all served their purpose: they made me feel good. They made me feel pretty. And is that so wrong?

Just as most women seem to have a thing for shoes, most men seem to not understand why women have a thing for shoes. I guess I can understand the confusion. Most men have a few pairs of shoes - the requisite brown, black, and sneakers. Possibly some flip flops, the number of which seems to be directly proportional to the number of times that man says, "dude," in a given day. But generally, for men, shoes are functional, while for women, they are so much more.

Shoes are validation of our womanhood! Shoes fit you no matter what size you are this week. Shoes can mean the difference between casual or dressy, dowdy or sophisticated. The right shoes can make you feel invincible, and the wrong shoes can turn an otherwise reasonable woman into a she-devil. Out of consideration for humankind, I've been known to turn around and go home to change my shoes on my way to work, and its always been worth it. I'm doing my part.

Some women go overboard in their quest for validation through footwear. "Sex and the City" character Carrie Bradshaw famously realized in mid-shoe-shop that she had the equivalency of a down payment on a NYC apartment sitting on the floor of her closet. But it's not just fictional characters who fall victim to the smell of shoe leather in the morning. In a 2006 survey of 300 people by OppenheimerFunds, nearly half of women interviewed said they would rather buy 30 pairs of shoes than save $30,000 for retirement.

So what is it with women and shoes? I think it really comes down to a control mechanism related to want versus need. We don't need shoes. We want shoes. And there is something intoxicating about seeing something you want, no matter how frivilous, and going out and getting it. Our good friend Instant Gratification. There are a lot of things I want that I can't have, many times when I hit a brick wall on an issue, or instances of obstacles between me and a goal, but shoes is never one of them. So what I'm trying to say is, when I can't control the outcome of situations in my life, I always have my shoes. Having my shoes make those naysayers, brick walls, and obstacles easier to brush off. Sometimes it truly is the little things.

And while shoe shopping isn't the healthiest way to deal with the daily stress of life, I don't think a simple high-heeled knee-high leather boot ever hurt anyone.

Unless you're the one in my way.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm not who I thought I was

I love Christmas. Everyone who knows me knows that in my world, Christmas season starts July 5. I like to stretch it out. I break out the Christmas music as soon as possible, and begin planning my decorations around Labor Day. So you can imagine that by the time October arrives I am all geared up to shop. Last weekend I had an afternoon to myself so I settled in for some online Christmas shopping. Little did I know it would be a lesson in self-discovery.

I innocently wandered over to, a site I used last year to get gift ideas for tricky recipients. It's great - you can search on a lot of different things like age, gender, interests, and hobbies, and the website will suggest gifts that you never would have thought of on your own. It's the website that recommended the novelty toaster my sister-in-law received, which burns "I'm hot" and "bite me" into your toast, a gift which, for a panicked moment last Christmas morning, I thought had inadvertently been sent to my grandparents, but that is a different story.

This story begins when I stumbled upon a feature I hadn't noticed before - the opportunity to do a full personality profile on your friends and family to receive even better suggestions from this electronic wizard. My brother-in-law was my first victim. After entering his gender and age group, the website flashed a series of photos on the screen and asked me to click on the one that best described his interests. Is he a gadget guy or a minimalist? Would he spend his Saturday fishing with his buddies or visiting the flea market? I answered all of their questions and viola! Gift ideas abound. My curiousity piqued, I quickly saved some gift ideas in my shopping cart and moved on to my brother. My new best friend responded with even better suggestions than the first round. With my Christmas shopping list getting shorter, I spied a bit of temptation..."do it for yourself!" the website called. I let my finger linger on the mouse and slowly moved the cursor to begin a new profile. I was curious to know what this insightful little database had in store for me, so with a bit of self-indulgent entitlement, I clicked.

I entered my gender and my age, breezing through the first few questions since by this point I was a pro. Then the fun began. Would I rather wear jewelry by a local artist or a well-known jeweler? Click. Would I rather vacation in a swanky hotel or a lakeside cottage? Click. Do I wear expensive lipstick or just stick a tube of chapstick in my back pocket? Click. I finished the survey and waited with anticipation at my page of suggested gifts selected especially for me began to load on the screen.

But as I scrolled down the page, my anticipation turned to confusion. And my confusion turned to dismay. And then my dismay turned to insult as I came across one recommendation - a calendar called "Captivating Kittens".


Ice cream bowls. Photo-printed pillows. Little bedazzled chains for me to hang my reading glasses around my neck. Okay, so I made that part up. The point is that this website, which had so recently provided such accurate insight into my gift-giving soul, didn't know me at all. Or maybe....I didn't really know myself.

Later that evening I revealed to my husband that he was married to a middle-aged crafter with a penchant for ice cream and kittens. After retelling my tale of misguided self-exploration, I indignantly went back to the website to show him just how mean and rude it had been to me. But as I brazenly started to click through the pictures, he started questioning my every choice. Local artisan? No, he said. You're a Tiffany's girl all the way. Lakeside cottage? Nope, he replied. He did concede to the choice of chapstick over lipstick, being the recipient of the ever-prevalent chapstick-left-in-the-jeans dryer discovery. But again and again, he confirmed to me that I was not the person I thought I was.

I sat there in front of the computer, feeling shallow. Was I a fraud? Was I living a lie, pretending to be something I wasn't? Or was I simply a victim of drive-though stereotyping, trying to shove myself into a box that didn't quite fit?

I never settled on an answer, and I decided not to care. Either way, I knew one thing was true - I do not want the "Captivating Kittens" calendar for Christmas.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quitters Never Win...or do they?

Everyone has heard some over-zealous super-pumped bundle of energy proclaim in an annoyingly perky voice that, "quitters never win and winners never quit!" Okay, so most of the time, that person is me. I'll admit it - I am one of those shiny happy people who bounce out of bed in the morning ready to turn the frowns upside down. Most of the time, in the case of living with my non-morning-loving husband, that good way to get yourself scowled at. Which, of course, just makes me more motivated. But that is beside the point.

The point is that I've spent a lot of time in my life reminding myself that quitters never win, and pushing on toward goals that may be outdated or irrelevant, because I don't want to quit. Or rather, I want to win.

But lately, I've been asking myself, "win what"? Is winning accomplishing a goal or a task? Or is it really about being happy with the state of your life? I don't think the answer is necessarily an easy one. For some, accomplishing a goal makes them happy, and if the definition of winning is to be happy, well there you go. But for others, the scandal of quitting in mid-stream provides a rush of rebellion-infused adrenaline that makes them happy. So...happy despite quitting. And for still others, that frustrating, gut-wrenching, battle-to-the-death of working towards an unrealistic but technically attainable goal IS what makes them happy...and once they get there, they deflate and fret until another target it located. They won, but they are not happy.

I won't tell you which category I fall into.

The reason I've been thinking about this lately is that I have a goal I have been working towards for a long time with no luck whatsoever, and I just realized that the only reason I have not given up is because it never occurred to me. My goal is outdated, unrealistic, and very unlikely to ever happen. But I keep plodding away, scheming and strategizing, and working diligently towards it.

So I've begun to wonder if it just might be time to quit. Pack it up. Go home. Admit defeat. Reality: 1; Me: zip. I think of the things I could do with the time I would regain once I am not out pursuing my elusive goal. I could take up needlepoint. I sit with that thought for a moment and know exactly what to do.

I get back in the game. I know which category I fall into - I am the one for whom the frustrating, gut-wrenching, battle-to-the-death of working towards an unrealistic but technically attainable goal was made. What I am trying to say is, quitters never win, and winners never quit.

But the knowledge that for a minute I stopped to wonder if I could exist any other way makes me know that just working towards the goal is what makes me happy, and even if I never get there, the fight is what drives me. I almost hope I never achieve it. But I'll never admit that in public.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Honesty: Not The Best Policy?

"What you have to understand about me is that I am brutally honest. If I have a problem with someone, they are going to know it because I will tell them to their face how I feel about them."

Have you ever heard someone say something similar and thought to yourself, "oh, please don't?" Have you ever nodded silently when someone boasted to you about their guerrilla-style frankness regardless of the reaction? And have you ever secretly thought they were going about it all wrong? I have.

It is often said that honesty is the best policy, and in most cases that is true. But lately I've been thinking about people who take that to a new level - people who are honest with you no matter what. People who have opinions and aren't afraid to share them. People who want everyone to know what they are thinking as soon as they think it, whether you like it or not. Everyone knows someone like them, and you might be one of them. And if you are, listen closely: Stop.

Someone once told me that they wished they could emulate the way I could "say mean things to people but make it sound nice." At the time I wasn't sure that was a compliment because I don't make a practice of saying mean things to people, but now I realize that what she meant is that she wished she knew how to be honest with tact, diplomacy, and just plain good manners. I am not convinced that I do a good job of that myself most of the time, but I do give it a good try.

Honesty is a tricky thing. When you realize you have to be honest with someone, it usually means you are going to say something they don't want to hear, so you have to find the right combination of frankness and compassion, and that is hard to do. I think that's why so many people opt for brutal honesty: it's easier. Sometimes it's easier to open your mouth, say what you need to say, and then turn around and ignore the reaction to your words. Or worse, stand there and wait for the person you've just attacked to respond, as if you have just done them a favor.

I think the real trick to honesty, though, is knowing when to say something and when to keep your damn mouth shut. That's another trait I've noticed in my brutally honest friends: that they believe their opinion always matters, all the time. And, let's be honest (pun intended), it doesn't. Your honest opinion about how I look in these jeans? Bring it on. Your honest opinion about your best friend's husband? Better keep that to yourself.

Think about it - everyone wishes they could be a fly on the wall and find out what their friends really think of them. (Or maybe that's just me.) I heard a radio interview with a guy who wanted the straight dope on his reputation with his he asked them to be brutally honest with him, to just open the floodgates and let it out: the good, the bad, and the ugly. He found out that pretty much everyone, including his own mother, thought he was a jerk. Imagine hearing that kind of honesty. Imagine having to say it.

What I'm trying to say is, honesty doesn't have to be brutal. It takes work to make the truth easier to swallow, and while some people seem to be born with a velvet tongue, the talent is one that can be honed with sincere attention to a) how much honesty someone really wants to hear, and b) whether your opinion even matters in the first place.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is My Break Over Yet?

A few weeks ago, I informed my husband that he was about to experience something that had been few and far between for a while: an all-guys weekend. No girls allowed. Just him and...the baby. Yep, I was headed out of town for a girls' weekend of my own and leaving him with our 14-month-old son. Our 14 month-old son who had never spent a night of his life away from his mother. Our 14 month-old son who was currently falling to pieces if I as much as left the room to use the bathroom. Our 14 month-old son who had spent almost all of his days within shouting distance of dear old mom. That's right, it was a rite of passage for all three of us.

Truth be told, I needed a break. I was off to meet with my girlfriends and engage in some much-needed retail therapy.

So when I announced my plans to leave for three days (well, one whole day and two half-days), I was happy and thankful to hear my husband say, "okay." Okay. Like I had just suggested we order a pizza. Okay. No sweat. Have fun! See ya! I don't know what I had expected him to say...after all, my husband is not the type to consider hanging out with his own child to be "babysitting". But I guess I had anticipated at least a glimmer of anxiety, confirmation that I was still A+ #1 Parent-in-Charge and that my leaving the household was a recipe for disaster. But as it seemed, it was no biggie.

About a week later, my beloved voiced some apprehension. "It's not that I don't want you to go and have fun, but....well, there are just some things he just wants you for."

Ahhhhh....the validation I was looking for. My baby needs me! I am not as replaceable as I thought! I smiled, patted his arm knowingly, and smugly said, "I know, but you'll be fine without me."

But as I smiled on the outside and calmly packed my overnight bag, I was the one freaking out. I knew my husband could handle it just fine...but could I? Lately I had been daydreaming about the open road, about listening to whatever station I wanted to on the radio without input from anyone else, and about having dirty diapers and messy mealtimes be someone else's problem. I was seriously looking forward to a few days away from my precious baby, and what did that say about me as a mother? Although I knew it was time for us to spend a night apart, I felt guilty for looking forward to it, no doubt about it.

When the day finally arrived I got in the car and waved goodbye and blew kisses through the window as I drove away. I waited for the exhileration of the open road to hit me. I waited to feel liberated and free. But I didn't. I felt lonely and bored. Plus, my CD player was broken. I called home.

"What are you guys doing?"

"He's fine. We're going to the park."

Life went on.

When I arrived at my destination and reunited with my college girlfriends, I noticed myself noticing things I had never noticed before. Getting into a car that didn't have Cheerios littering the floor made me feel glamorous. Putting something on the edge of a coffee table and knowing it would stay there until I personally moved it was an indulgence. Taking a shower and drying my hair without first having to turn on Baby Einstein was a step back in time. I browsed the mall without a thought of whether I had adequate supplies of juice and goldfish crackers in my bag and lingered in a dimly-lit restaurant without a high-chair in sight.

And I talked about my baby non-stop.

What I'm trying to say is, I did feel liberated, and I did feel free. It was nice to have a break and be able to focus on just me for a couple of days. But I learned something about myself that weekend: I didn't need as much of a break as I thought. By Saturday night I was itching to be home wiping off sticky fingers and searching the dryer for the matching top to tiny pajama bottoms. And when my car finally pulled into the driveway on Sunday afternoon and I peeked at my baby sleeping in his room, I knew that soon my break would be over...and I couldn't wait.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Racism? Or just Jerkism?

This week I ask you: which is worse - to be a racist, or to be a jerk about it?

The media is all up in arms this week over Don Imus and his morning radio talk show, on which he called female Rutgers University basketball players, "nappy-headed hos." He has been dismissed for two weeks and some are calling for his termination from the airways. The NAACP has demanded an apology to the athletes, Al Sharpton has scolded him on his own show, and Jesse Jackson has led a protest against his program and called for an end to racism in our culture.

But is racism the real issue here?

I am not saying that the racist nature of his comments should be ignored; racist comments are wrong and I think it is important to point that out and ensure that our children understand the ignorance of basing opinions about people strictly on issues of race.

But in my opinion, Don Imus' comments have less to do with him being a racist than with him being a jerk, and with us letting him get away with it.

Why is it okay for someone - anyone - to go on the air and make rude, insulting, and downright mean statements about people and call it entertainment? People like Don Imus and Howard Stern and countless other grumedgeons who have branded their own version of shock-jock entertainment have created an empire and earned millions at the expense of common decency. But as long as we as a society encourage these bullies to clog our airways with insults and crude humor by listening to their programs, they will continue to take full advantage of their first amendment right to free speech.

Civil rights organizations are calling for Imus to be fired because of his racist comments. But sadly, Don Imus will probably only be fired when he stops making money for his broadcaster. When companies stop advertising because people stop listening because he uses his time on the air to insult our intelligence, he may be fired.

What I am trying to say is, the outrage is misplaced. It should be at ourselves, for letting people like him trash-talk us to a point where we consider profanity and rudeness to be an acceptable use of our airways.

So which is worse, to be a racist or to be a jerk about it? I honestly don't know, but I know better than to answer that question.

Monday, March 19, 2007

God Loves Boating!

I have seen the same bumper sticker on two different cars in the past two weeks, and I have started to take notice. It is a plain white bumper sticker with royal blue lettering that proclaims, "God Loves Boating!" Now, the "loves" part is actually communicated with a red heart, not the word, "loves." But that is the general message. God loves boating. Did not know that.

It made me think about how convenient God is. Since He is not here on land to defend Himself, we can decide what His interests, or apparently, His hobbies are. It reminds me of those motorcycle drivers I see wearing jackets that announce that they are "biking for the Lord." For the Lord? Are they on an errand? Is the Lord out of milk?

Now let me get one thing straight: I believe in God and am not scorning Him or people who believe in Him. Quite the opposite, actually. I just doubt that He, though divine intervention, asked those families to place that message on their cars and tell the world about his love of the open water.

I believe that there are messages God wants us to share with each other. Love thy neighbor. Honor thy mother and father. Do not kill. Its where people start putting words in His mouth that I become skeptical.

At funerals, you hear people say, "it's God's way." When we're confused about why something happened or didn't happen, we shrug and mutter, "well, the Lord works in mysterious ways." And my favorite, when we're faced with a situation where we can either make a right or wrong decision, someone will ask, "what would Jesus do?" I can't help but think, "Call his Dad."

In wars across the world, everyone feels as if their version of God is on their side, justifying their fight. God has been both blamed and praised for things that were done by mankind. Ben Franklin even claimed that beer is "proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

What I'm trying to say is, at what point are we guilty of exploitation? If God is a convenient scapegoat for feelings we don't want to deal with, issues we can't explain, or vices we want to justify, does that detract from the human qualities we possess for critical thought, problem solving, and self-control? Or does looking for a comfortable way to sweep our issues under the rug make us all the more human?

Something tells me I am reading too much into a silly bumper sticker.

To be honest, I hope God does love boating. I'd like to think that every once in a while, God gets up on a beautiful Sunday morning and decides to go out on His boat. It would make me feel less guilty about not going to church.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

President for Hire: Experience a Minus

Cold and flu season is behind us, but some of us are still feeling queasy...and its because another season is getting close: presidential campaign season. Soon we won't be able to sit through an episode of, "America's Next Top Model," without being inundated with messages from special-interest groups telling us not why their candidate is better, but why the other is worse.

A lot of attention is being paid these days to whether Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama will receive the Democratic party's nomination, attempting to place our first female or first black president in the White House. Arguments are made on behalf of each one, and one of the reasons justifying Hilary's nomination is because she is a more experienced politician. Experienced politician? Pardon me, but am I the only one who thinks an experienced politician is the last person we need leading us?

"Yes, I am an experienced politician! I have had 25 years to hone my skills of manipulation, back-stabbing, truth-twisting, and talking out of both sides of my mouth!"

If you can't tell, I think politicians are the slimiest of the slimy, the scummiest of the scummy, and the last species of person I would want having anything to do with my well-being. So to tell me that I should support someone because they are an experienced politician...well, that's just scary. Experience what got us in this mess in the first place. Our current president comes from one of the most experienced political families in America, and we've ended up the most-hated country in the world. I don't think experience is what we need. In fact, we might need the opposite.

In job interviews across America, people know that a good attitude and a strong work ethic can usually beat experience. Why isn't that the case in public office? We don't need someone who has mastered the art of telling people what they want to hear. We need someone who can bridge the gap between the two feuding extremist groups battling it out for dominance in our world. No, not the Sunis and the Shiites. I mean the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Am I just a jaded 30-something who feels lost in the shuffle and doubts the value of a vote? Kind of. I'm not a bleeding heart liberal or a Christian conservative, I'm just a middle-of-the-road American who thinks each party makes some good points but is equally delusional on others. Either way, when I go to the polls to vote I can't help but feel like I am choosing between Equal and Sweet-n-Low. Does it really matter when they're both fake anyway?

What I'm trying to say is, if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, why do we keep electing experienced politicians and expecting our problems to be over? I don't have the solution, but I feel like I could be part of it if the right kind of person was leading the charge. No, Dad, that person is not me. But it isn't an experienced politician either.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Attractive People Are Successful: Shocker!

I read an article today that revealed a chilling insight into reality: attractive people are more successful at work.

Well, duh.

The article said survey results indicated that people are perceived to be more competent at their jobs if they are attractive, and that ugly people are lazy and stupid. Okay, so the article used more politically-correct language, but that's what it was getting at.

I don't think it is any shock that the beautiful people get ahead in life faster than us average-looking folks, but it did get me thinking. Attractive by whose standards? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, then who is beholding us at work? And more importantly, how can we become more attractive to them?

Our entire society is built upon appearances. There are image consultants who make a living off of the concept that perception is reality, there are television shows dedicated to turning ugly ducklings into beautiful swans, and hoards of magazines promise us the secret to ageless beauty and sex appeal. A lot of people spend a lot of money to appear to be something they may not by purchasing expensive cars, homes, and clothes to create a certain image. Our economy depends on a certain level of vanity!

But is being aware of how appearance affects your success such a bad idea? I think there is truth to the adage that when you dress up and put some effort into your appearance, you feel better about yourself and as a result, perform better at work. Granted, there are a variety of ways we can define "effort" in this case. After all, you can spend a lot of time looking like you just got out of bed, but I don't think that's going to help you get a promotion. Unless you work for a bunch of college students.

I guess what I am trying to say is, no matter how evolved we think we are, appearance still counts, and I don't think that is a terrible thing. No, its not fair, but its true. But the good news is that research shows that while the beautiful and fabulous still end up getting the benefit of the doubt more than they might deserve it, most of being attractive to others at work is having a smile on your face. And maybe using some mousse. After all, if you want to win, you gotta play the game.

On a somewhat related note, I also read an article that said more Americans hate their jobs than ever before. I wonder if those people are ugly.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Life WIthout Regret? No thanks.

A lot of people like to say that they live their lives without regret, and I've been thinking about that lately. I've been wondering if that is really a good idea, if its really something smart to do. They are so proud..."No regrets, baby, no regrets!" They say it like they have some kind of secret weapon for a long and prosperous life, like if I regret things then I am really wasting my time when I could be out doing something meaningful. I don't live without regret, and I think my regrets are part of what has made my life what it is. Let me explain.

To say that you live life without regret is like saying you don't make any mistakes. And saying that you don't make any mistakes is like saying you either always make good decisions or you always decide to like the decisions you made regardless of whether they are good or bad. And to say that you always make good decisions or you always decide to like your decisions, in my opinion, robs you of the opportunity to realize what could have been.

What I'm trying to say is, if you never regret anything, you never think to yourself, "I would rather have done this instead of that." And you'll never really know if you're happy or not.

I think what the "no regrets" people are really saying is that they don't want to dwell on the past, that they want to move forward and focus on the future. I agree with them, but I think ignoring the past and our regrettable decisions is a mistake. By recognizing our regrets, we allow ourselves to admit that we made a mistake, that we would do things differently if given the chance at a "do-over".

Regretting something isn't a waste of time, but what is a waste is letting that regret paralyze you in time, reliving the decision and renewing the feeling over and over. I've been letting a recent decision paralyze me in time, constantly wondering what could have happened if I had done something differently. The truth is, I'll never know. Maybe everything, maybe nothing. That's not the point. The point is that by regretting my decision, I learned something about myself and what I want out of life.

Which brings me here. Part of my regret is realizing that what I want out of life is to be part of the world, to leave some kind of legacy behind that says, "I was here." I like to talk, I like to write, and I like to think big. So instead of editorializing to my steering wheel, I am going to do it here.

Regrets? You bet. Mostly small, unimportant things that don't matter...and a few that keep me up at night. But a life without regret is kind of like a birthday cake without a spot where someone tasted the frosting with their finger. How else do you know if its any good?