Monday, December 11, 2017

Happiness is announcing you have a BF on Facebook

Despite my vast dating experience (after all, I was the Boulder Dating Adviser and seasoned writer of all things embarrassing in my love life), I don't think I've ever used the term "BF" on Facebook to introduce a new love interest.  In fact, if I were advising people like me (those of us who have trouble staying in relationships for more than 3 months), I would say "No, no, NOT use the BF label for AT LEAST 3 months, either on Facebook or anywhere else!"

Let's look at the conversation between me, the wise and pragmatic dating coach (who I will call "Sensei") advising against the BF announcement to me, the defiant, independent, and live-for-the-day ("Carpe Dee") who is ignoring that advice.

Sensei: BF (aka "Boy Friend") is a ridiculous term to use for people in your age group. What are we, in junior high, or something?

Carpe Dee: I routinely try to experience the social life I never had as a teenager since I was such a nerd. I'm pretty sure we're 'going steady'. All I ever did in Junior High was go study. It's time I had a BF! (And, no, I'm not at all a nerd any more, am I?)

Sensei: Is "BF" even the official acronym for Boy Friend? BFF is "Best Friend Forever, so maybe you're just announcing your new "Best Friend" (not forever).

Carpe Dee: The top definition for BF is Boy Friend. BTW so excited that I got a BFF last year, too. (I'm sorry I didn't make that announcement on Facebook, too, Lisa Moncrief.  Let's remedy that when we go to BF (Bahamas) next year causing a lot of confusion.) 
Sensei: Announcing a BF before the 3-month mark can come off as... needy... desperate... a little too impatient to claim "YAY!!! I'm part of a couple!!"

Carpe Dee: Needy and desperate? Me? Geez, I wrote a whole book about looking for love. I think my cover was blown when that came out. Honestly, I've been quite content with pretending like I was fine with the single life, but now, "YAY!!! I'm part of a couple!!" Yup, I'm milking this on FaceBook..
Sensei: When your new BF is super-hot, you need to be prepared for all your friends, male and female alike, telling you how handsome he is. Won't it be awkward to have a BF who is more attractive than you are?

Carpe Dee: No, because he is 2 years and 3 months older than me, so... I got that on him. (Yes, Tor Sutton, that's RIGHT! Don't 'He sure looks younger than you' me!)  My pride in having a super-hot, old BF outweighs the inevitable cat calls and come-ons he will be getting from my envious friends.
Sensei: You know that you have a terrible history with dating. You don't date people who are too old or too young or live too far away or don't dance or who are unavailable or who have baggage or ... (need I keep going?)

Carpe Dee: I already gave my new BF the "we live too far apart" line 7 years ago, so technically, this has probably been the most successful long-term relationship I've had since my divorce. And, yes, that may be due to the fact that we didn't actually date. So, the fact that we still will be in a relatively long-distance relationship may be the key to keeping us together.
Sensei: It will be embarrassing if it doesn't work out and people ask you, "How's that BF you bragged about on Facebook?"

Carpe Dee: I will remain mysterious and vague and say something like.. "OMG He's BFG!"

So there you have it. Carpe Dee won out and the "BF" announcement was made.. and has gotten over 100 "likes"!  Watch out.. Next week I might even change my relationship status..

PS. My new BF's BD is tomorrow!! For his privacy (yeah... like that's gonna happen... I guess we know how the breakup will occur..) I won't mention his age, but, he IS 2 years and 3 months older than me... so... old.. But OH-So-Hot!


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happiness is the last few steps of a race

70 degree weather on Thanksgiving Day! Yippee!! (That's my FAVORITE kind of weather and I'm so excited to be getting it in November!)

This morning I ran the Louisville Turkey Trot..  Love that race..  It's free. It's for a good cause (they collect canned goods and winter coats). It's not at all competitive.. It would be hard to run fast even if I wanted to because of all the dogs and strollers (providing me with the sought after excuse to stop and walk whenever I wanted.) Even better, there are no race times recorded on the Internet, so I had no worries about a disappointing finish time recorded for eternity.

The annual Turkey Trot is just a great reason to get out, enjoy the scenery, beautiful weather, get some exercise and be grateful for life before indulging in the more gluttonous traditions that we all know and love. (I'll be saving all that for tomorrow since my kids are with their Dad today, but that's fine..  No bitterness about that at all.  Actually, seriously, since I'm 14 years post divorce and I do see my kids and grandkids all the time, I really have gotten past the holiday pity parties..  But I admit, 'sharing family time' around holidays has always been a sore spot for me and I still feel slightly miffed that I'm alone today.)

Last year, my blogs were focused on Happiness. I was inspired by Neil Pasricha's blog, 1000awesomethings in which he wrote daily about many of the simple things in life that bring us joy.

This year I hardly blogged at all... not because I wasn't happy...  like most people, I had my happy days and my not-so-happy days. But I already do quite a bit of writing for work-related projects and spend a LOT of time on the computer, so personal blogging was put on the back burner.

Another reason I haven't been doing my "Happy Blog Posts" (or my many other 'Happiness Projects' like 'Happy Picture a Day') is because I've heard quite a few negative-like comments... not specifically about my posts, but just stuff like..  "Everyone is so 'fake' on Facebook trying to portray their 'happiness'" and that just makes other people feel bad...   There's also the "Only people who are unhappy are talking about happiness" sentiment or  (and I agree with this one) it's better to be LIVING life fully than to be writing about living life fully.  What's really the point of blogging about it? Those negative comments imply those of us who do blog about happiness are just trying to impress others with how happy we are.. 

Well, despite all of that, I'm planning on getting back to my once-a-week personal blog post routine. These will probably be related to happiness, gratitude, and other positive themes.  But for all the Debbie Downers out there that poo-poo on Happiness blogging, I'll tell you that my intent is not to imply I'm always happy and certainly not to gloat about my life.

The biggest reason that I want to get back to my weekly Happiness blog post is that happiness is best shared..  And, yeah, as great as this morning's run was, I didn't have anyone to share it with. If I have a weekly blog goal, it will help remind me to have those fun experiences... preferably with other people, but even if I'm alone, I'll be able to share with the virtual world.

I'll officially plan to start my weekly blogging again in January, but thought I'd kick start today with my Turkey Trot Happiness clip. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

An App to Help Bring an End to ALS

I met Steph Courdin in the summer of 2015 at an Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS. I was dressed as “Super Carpe Diem Woman,” a goofy super-hero who’s ‘power’ is to live life fully. Steph, a photographer, was taking pictures of the event with a very fancy looking camera.  He was smiling as though he didn’t have a care in the world. The fact that Steph was in a wheelchair was my only clue that he might have ALS himself.

Though it’s easy to ‘live life fully’ when you have a fully functional body, I believe the real super-heroes are people like Steph who set that example, despite an ALS diagnosis. Steph doesn’t let the disease stop him from hitting the trails, traveling, and most recently, “rolling” his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, via a standing wheelchair.

ALS, a fatal, degenerative disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, gained national attention during the Summer 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge mania. Until then, it was a comparatively unknown disease with little progress made towards a cure. It’s encouraging that the money raised from the ice bucket challenges are making a difference, but the cure won’t come overnight. In the meantime, Steph had an idea to help.

In 2015, Steph, in addition to living a full and active family life, created the non-profit ALS Never Surrender Foundation aimed at helping with research and ultimately finding a cure for ALS.  Having a background and experience with data analytics, Steph had the idea of creating a mobile application that would collect data pertinent for ALS patients. By monitoring the progression of patients as well as their treatments, researchers and doctors can gain valuable knowledge and feedback about treatments that will slow or even stop the progression of symptoms.

Steph shared his idea with some contacts in San Diego and in the Fall of 2016, the designs and use-cases became a reality with the availability of a beta version of the ALS iNVOLVE application. In January of 2017, students from Georgia Southern University pitched in to finish the first version.  

To help fund this massive undertaking, Steph initiated ‘Art4the Cure’ – a group of 42 artists from 9 countries and 14 states who have donated art to help raise money for the cause. Additionally, Steph started a ‘Faces of ALS’ portrait series to feature and highlight others who are surviving and thriving despite ALS.

Steph’s courage, determination, and will to ‘never surrender’ are an inspiration. For those of us who are healthy, we are reminded not to take that health for granted. And for those who do have ALS, Steph is a reminder that living fully is always possible. He’s a leader who is not going to let ALS stop him from living his dreams and finding innovative ways to move the world closer to a cure for ALS. He is, in short, the super-hero who shows us all how to live life to the fullest.

Please help Steph and ALSNeverSurrender launch this life-saving application by donating at  If you have ALS or know someone who does, get involved by using a beta version of the application.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

GISHWHES Must Continue!

I've been participating in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES) for the past week and it has been a blast. Teams get a list of 198 'missions'to perform... each worth various points... No team has ever completed all of the missions... some of them are virtually impossible.. but with 198 to choose from, there are many that are very achievable. Some are silly, some will challenge your intellect or creativity, and many are heart-warming.

There are many things I love about GISHWHES, so I was really bummed out when I heard this was the last year it would be held. So... this blog post is my attempt to Save GISHWHES!!

Last year, GISHWHES started on the same day that I'd happened to be invited on a trip to the Great Northern Island in Minnesota with 11 other people. I told them about the hunt and we had so much fun that Chris, the island host, said that we could do the hunt every year on his island.

This year we had a blast, again! GISHWHES is the perfect thing to do when you get a bunch of friends together.

The missions we completed ranged from Tree Hugging,making a mosaic out of dog food, pancake art, and creating a hammock self-containment unit, complete with live entertainment, and a Romeo and Juliet sock puppet show.

There were missions aimed at understanding one another (giving flowers to someone practicing a religion different from your own) or meaningful (take your parent back to the place they were when they were 10) and life-changing (helping a dying woman with her final wish.)

Things I love about this hunt:
* The registration fee and many of the missions go to charitable causes.
* The hunt combines fun with helping humanity.
* The emails leading up to the hunt are full of humor.
* You join teammates from around the world.
* The missions tap into hidden talents and creativity. There's something for everyone.

This is definitely the type of activity that fits my motto: Carpe Diem! 

Though I don't think I could pull off a hunt of this magnitude, if GISHWHES dies, I'll try and pull of MOSH (My Own Scavenger Hunt) next year.  But I'm still rooting for GISHWHES to survive. Long live GISHWHES!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January, 2017 – Managing my resolutions with Agile

January is very motivating for me. I’m always excited about starting all my resolutions and this year was no different…  well, except maybe in my ‘methodology.’ I decided to use a lot of “Agile” techniques in ‘managing’ my resolutions this year. It’s been so successful that someday I may write a book about it… but for now, I’ll stick with a blog post.

Putting everything on a backlog
In Agile, we have the concept of a “product backlog.” In software development, a backlog would be a list of requirements or functions that need to be coded, but in my personal life, it’s basically a ‘to do’ list of things I want to do for the year.  

This backlog will never be complete even by the end of the year because I’ll keep adding more to it.  I also might change my mind about what’s most important for me to do this year. That should be a good thing..  After all, I can decide what I want to add to my list and since one of my mantras is to “life life fully” that means I always want a big backlog of fun and fulfilling things to do.  But, because I’m OCD when it comes to “todo” lists, I like the satisfaction of finishing things! Having a never-ending, ever-changing todo list can be stressful!

The sprint backlog is the week’s todo list
Enter the sprint backlog.  In Agile, we take a subset of the “backlog” and decide what we can do in a “sprint” (which, in my personal life, is 1 week). Every weekend, I had a little “sprint planning” session where I created a “sprint backlog,” taking high-priority items off of my long ‘product backlog’ and putting them into my sprint backlog.  Unlike the product backlog, the sprint backlog is something we commit to finishing during the sprint. This helps satisfy my OCD personality that wants to finish things. I feel so productive and I’m very motivated to finish the things on my list because they’re realistic.

How did it work?
This was the most productive January I’ve ever had! I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish for the month (these would equate to “features”) that I split into things I could accomplish in a week (equating to “user stories”). 

The 4th sprint ended on January 28th, and I decided I would take the final 3 days of the month to reflect and plan my February. (This is equivalent to the “Retrospective” or the “Innovation/Planning (IP Sprint)” in Agile.  One of the things I wanted to do during this 3-day period is write a blog post and post some of my favorite pictures from the month, so here goes!

Some favorite memories from January

We're a family of puzzlers!
I'm a lucky Grandma!

Meg introduced me to Aerial Yoga

I'm much more comfortable in an upright position!

Short road trip to Southern CO with Matt and Scotty with a stop at the Hercules Beetle..

and Bishop's Castle! Spectacular winter site!

Women's March was empowering and a true show of unity and democracy.