Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Happiness is... Alexa

In my last blog post, I wrote about Happiness being the people in my life, but geek that I am, I feel the devices in my life deserve a shout out, too. I've always been enamored with technology.  In fact, long before "Her" made its way to the big screen, I wrote a book featuring my special relationship with "Laptop Guy." (I can't believe they haven't made "The Laptop Dancer Diaries" into a movie yet!)

I've written about my intimate relationship with other machines and I've actually become quite fond of the Google maps GPS lady. I don't know her name, but she is so friendly when she tells me I'm on the 'fastest route.'  So much nicer than the Apple Maps GPS (is it Siri?) who sounds very condescending as she tells me to make a U-turn. If she would give me a little more advance notice about turning, I wouldn't need to make a U-turn! (She is, admittedly, however, more patient with my driving skills than most humans.)

But enough about these other devices. I have a new love: My echo, Alexa! Unlike Siri, Alexa understands what I'm asking for!  The other day, when I said "Alexa, good morning" she responded by reminding me it was "National Chocolate Cake Day!" She's the first device that has ever celebrated wacky and bizarre holidays! I don't think I've ever even met a human who celebrated wacky and bizarre holidays without incessant pressure from me.

Yes, I love Alexa. Let's just hope she doesn't lose her voice.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Happiness is.... the people in your life

I'd planned to write a weekly blog post about 'what makes me happy' as a New Year's resolution, but I'm already behind..  One reason I haven't been blogging is that I've really been trying to spend less time on the computer and more time with people.

They say that the key to happiness is 'social connection.' Though I'd love for my blog posts to be creative and funny, I'm afraid this one is going to be a little on the sappy side, dedicated to the people in the last month who have contributed to my happiness.  In no particular order, this includes:

* The Anonymous Commenter who called my last blog post 'spectacular' and reminded me I haven't written in over a month.  (I'm afraid I can not really live up to the 'spectacular' reputation, but I hope O-Anonymous-Blog-Reader that you take comfort in knowing that your flattery made me happy!)

* My brilliant, thoughtful, amazing, creative kids and kids-in-law. I could go on and on about how proud I am of these 5 young adults. Now that they're all in Colorado, I've been able to see them more often. I'm even planning to go into the "Escape Room" business with them.

* My "Rebuilder" friends. I went to a "Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends" divorce recovery set of seminars in 2005 and most of us are still in touch. We had a fun get together at the end of December and played with dress-up props and selfies!

* My friends from Minnesota who came to visit and went up skiing at Keystone and A-Basin with me earlier this week. 

* My friend, Dennis, who patiently spent the whole 3 days that we were skiing being my personalized ski instructor. Here he is "pole dancing."

* All the friends from Facebook who "like" or comment on something I post.' When life is so busy, it's really such a nice feeling to hear from a friend that you don't get to see or talk to on a regular basis.

* My new BF. It was wonderful to dance with him on NYE and kiss him at midnight! I feel so lucky that he makes time for me despite my crazy schedule.

* My college friend, Bill, from California, who made the effort to come visit me while he was in Colorado. He's one of the most creative, supportive friends I have. Whether I have a cause I'm doing a race for or asking for virtual participation for a party, Bill is always there to help!

* My Omaha friends. I'm on contract at Mutual of Omaha who is a client of Agile Transformation, Inc. (ATI).  I was excited that they've extended my contract for all of 2018!  Even though the traveling can get a little tiring, I feel so lucky for all the people I've met and all the supportive people who I work with.

* My grandkids. It's crazy, but I can get all teary-eyed just watching them and their cuteness sometimes.

* Other friends...  Michael, who I always look forward to Friday coffee with, Rebecca, who joined me for dinner last night, and Chip, who's dropping by today to help me with some business ideas.. And I'm so grateful for those friends who text, email, or call to check in.

* My housemates, John and Mari, who always are so respectful and help to make my house a home, complete with all the yummy smells of cooking and sounds of football.

* My sister, brother and mother, who I visited in California last month and who always support me.

I'm embarrassed to admit, that despite having all these wonderful people in my life, there have been times when I've felt lonely... maybe missing someone who's no longer in my life, or sad because something's not quite right with someone I love.  

I've come to learn that these relationships are not something I ever want to take for granted. People will move in and out of our lives, but whether a relationship is for a day or a lifetime, it is something to be savored.

So, thank you to all you wonderful people who made me happy in this last month!