Throwing Shade, Writing Poems, and Saying Goodbye #100HappyDays

Day 73:  Throwing shade makes me happy.  Two of my very best squirrel friends, Kathy and Julia, love RuPaul’s Drag Race as much as I do.  We have a call every two weeks to throw shade on the current season (and also to catch up on life).  Hearing their opinions on the queens and latest life updates makes me so happy.

Day 74:  Using analogies makes me happy.  As someone who teaches adults every day, I’ve come to realize that the adult brain learns a bit differently than the child brain does.  So, I like to come up with fun analogies to help my trainees learn the new information.  The analogy I used this time?  Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper.  🙂  A lot of my trainees said they had a “light bulb moment” after hearing that analogy, so I think I’ll keep using it!

Day 75: Being creative make me happy.  Speaking of teaching adults, I wrote a haiku for my class because they were so awesome.  They had great question and paid excellent attention during class, so I wrote them a quick poem to express my gratitude.  They really liked it!

Day 76: Weddings make me happy.  My boyfriend invited me to the wedding of one of his coworkers.  It was beautiful!  The weather was perfect for the outdoor ceremony, and the groom cried when the bride walked down the aisle (So sweet!).  I had a great time meeting the groom, bride, and other folks my boyfriend works with–and the cake was delicious!

Day 77: Reliving my childhood makes me happy.  I downloaded a bunch of sweet 90s music and it really took me back to “the good old days.”  You know–the days when I got summers off and didn’t have to pay bills.  Here’s one of the many songs I got–enjoy!

 

Day 78: Getting fit makes me happy. Today was my monthly weigh-in at the gym–and I lost 3.6 lbs!  I’m really working on lowering the number of calories I eat and getting enough protein in my diet.  Hopefully next month I’ll have even better progress!

Day 79: Getting rid of old stuff makes me happy.  Today I sold Raven, my old car. It was a bittersweet moment–that car was my college graduation gift and saw me through my first apartment, a move to Madison, and six snowy Wisconsin winters.  But now that I have Stella (peep this post to meet her) I couldn’t justify keeping Raven too.  The money I got from selling Raven will go toward paying down my credit card. (Not a fun way to spend the cash, I know, but #adulting)  I hope Raven’s new owners enjoy her as much as I did!

Raven

Ride on, Raven! Thanks for nine awesome years!

Friends, Fathers, and Fitness #100HappyDays

Day 67:  Great conversations make me happy.  Cornelius (my bestie from college) and I had a wonderful phone conversation–I love catching up with him!  We even made plans to get together in person later this summer and I can’t wait.

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Corn and me last summer. You could say we were excited to see each other.

Day 68:  Fridays make me happy.  Sometimes you just gotta celebrate the end of the workweek!

Day 69:  Morning walks make me happy.  My boyfriend and I took a walk around the neighborhood before the heat of the day (and the rain) set it, and it was awesome.

Day 70:  Celebrating fathers makes me happy.  Father’s Day!  This day is tough for me (check this post for reasons why) but I was joyful because I got to celebrate two awesome men in my life.  My stepdad (whom I just call “Dad”) is one of the greatest men I’ve ever known (look here to see just how awesome he is).  Even though we didn’t get to celebrate together, I loved hearing his voice on the phone and was glad I got to tell him how much he means to me.  My boyfriend and I also made dinner for his parents so we could celebrate his dad–a great day spent honoring great men!

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The two men who shaped me into who I am: my biological father (top) and my stepdad (bottom).

Day 71:  Learning more about fitness makes me happy.  I had a session with my personal trainer and we talked about how diet impacts fitness goals.  He sent me home with a task to complete–track all my food for the day so we can review it during our next session.  I’m excited to find ways to improve my diet (and hopefully improve the results from my workouts)!

Day 72:  Office days make me happy.  This is my last office day before a straight week of training customers.  Trust that I’m savoring the moments of working in solitude with my headphones in.  🙂

New Developments #100HappyDays

Day 60:  Developing new processes makes me happy.  I worked with a few coworkers to improve a process for getting trainer review for updates to our software and I think it’s going to make everybody’s job a lot easier.  No complaints there!

Day 61:  Seeing where my company is going next makes me happy.  I had the opportunity to preview some development coming in the next version of my company’s software, and it was so cool!  I never imagined I’d work in IT–especially healthcare IT–but I truly enjoy what I do.

Day 62-63:  Spending time with my parents makes me happy.  My parents were in Wisconsin for a motorcycle club event and I got to hang out with them!  I know I post a lot about my parents, but they really are the most wonderful people on the planet and any opportunity I have to see them is really special to me.  We went to a fun ’70s themed dinner and dance and then hung out in the RV talking until almost midnight.

Day 64:  Small classes make me happy.  I taught a class of 10 students today.  Most of our customer classes are somewhere between 20-30 students, so having this smaller class was a welcome reprieve.  Also, I feel like I’m able to really connect with each student when the class size is small–I like being able to answer out of scope questions and spend extra time with them one-on-one.

Day 65:  International travel makes me happy.  My sabbatical is in October, so my mom and I will be heading to…Costa Rica!  I had a call with my travel agent today to go over our itinerary and I am PUMPED!  My last jaunt to a foreign land wasn’t the best experience (Long story short:  I was racially profiled by a hotel employee and accused of being a prostitute.) but I’m really looking forward to this trip.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to traveling with my mom!  This chance to take her around the world is the least I can do to thank her for being the best mother ever.

Movies, Flea Markets, and Parental Advice #100HappyDays

Day 54: Curriculum design makes me happy. I spent most of the day working on new stuff for work, and it was…kind of awesome. Most people wouldn’t be geeked to spend a whole day in front of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but putting together this new program to help people learn our software better makes this geeky gal pretty happy. 

Day 55: Movies make me happy. Especially when you can watch them in the comfort of your own home–DVDs from the library for the win! 

Day 56: Flea markets make me happy. Yes, you read that right:  flea markets. My daddy and I used to go to the flea market all the time when I was little; I loved seeing all the cool stuff for sale. So, when I found out a flea market was going on near my house I definitely wanted to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, but I did see some interesting stuff–I’d love to go to more flea markets now that the weather is nice. 

Day 57: Parental advice makes me happy. At least once a week, I call my parents to catch up…and also ask for advice (usually about basic adult stuff that I should probably know already, but don’t). Lucky for me, they are always willing to give it andddd it’s always great advice! Win-win!

Day 58: Being in a supportive relationship makes me happy.  My boyfriend is there for me whenever I need him, and I am so lucky (and happy) because of it. 

Long Weekends and Lifelong Friends #100HappyDays

Day 47-51:  Long weekends make me happy.  I originally planned to go back home to Kentucky for Memorial Day, but ended up doing a staycation instead.  I got so much stuff done around the house–I wish I had a four-day workweek all the time.  My house would be spotless!  For Memorial Day, my boyfriend and I relaxed and grilled veggie kebabs.  This long weekend was the perfect blend of work and play.

Day 52:  Office days make me happy.  This was my first day back after the long weekend and I’m so glad I didn’t have to jump into teaching right away.  Having the time to get through my backlog of email and work on projects (with quickly approaching deadlines) was a great way to come back from vacation.

Day 53:  Lifelong friends make me happy.  I’ve known my best friend (Gabby) since fourth grade.  We went through middle and high school together, but ended up at different colleges and now live in different states.  Our bond is still just as strong though; she is the sister I never had.  We chatted on the phone and it was like no time had passed, even though the last time I saw her was at Christmas.  I’m so happy that she’s still in my life after all these years!

Besties!

Seeing New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys–we dreamed of this day since we were kids!

Colored Pictures, Classes, and The Wheel #100HappyDays

Day 37:  Wheel of Fortune makes me happy.  Yes, I’m serious.  My boyfriend and I try to have dinner together at least once during the week, and every single time we do we end up watching The Wheel.  If anyone knows how to get on the show, let me know–based on the number of correct answers I shout at the TV, I’m pretty sure I’d do well on the actual show.  🙂

Day 38:  Pictures from kids make me happy.  On occasion I’ll babysit my officemate’s kids, and the oldest colored these awesome pictures for me!  The last time I babysat them was in February, so I brought some Valentine’s Day and Black History Month pictures for us to color together.  Apparently they are still fun to color even in May (and she even told her mommy the story of Rosa Parks as she was coloring it)!

Pictures from Kids

Look at these cute pictures! She did a great job staying in the lines.

Day 39:  Finishing a class makes me happy.  Today was the last day of a three-day course I was teaching.  Wrapping up a class is always bittersweet; I love getting to know new trainees and so it is kind of sad to see them head home.  However, I know they are ready to see their families and sleep in their own beds, so I’m happy they get to go back to everyday life.  Luckily, all of them will be coming back for another class in early June so we’ll get to have a “class reunion.”

Life and Blackness #100HappyDays

Day 24: Being alive makes me happy.

Yesterday was a tough day for me.  I was feeling very overwhelmed by some legal issues I’m going through with my ex-fiance.  But even with all the stress and struggle, I was happy to have woken up and drawn breath.  As the great philosopher Pitbull once surmised, “Every day above ground is a great day.

Day 25:  Black medical professionals make me happy.  

This week is the second week of my company’s customer conference, and I’ve been helping out by participating in a simulation lab.  Last week I was a “radio show host”, and this week I am a “sick patient” and medical professionals come in and conduct an “office visit” with me (so we can analyze how people use our software).  Today, I had a Black nurse practitioner participate and I was so happy to see her!  She was so kind and really worked to take care of me and make me feel better, even though it was just a simulation.  I have never in my entire life had a Black doctor–much less a Black woman doctor.  I would love to receive care from a medical professional who understands my unique issues as a Black woman.  We need more Black medical professionals!