Forget It … I Am Staying Home

It seemed promising when the cases of Covid began declining and we were able to start going out again. I must admit that I did not have a burning desire to come out of the house, but thought a little interaction may not be bad for me. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ For more information about my weird introversion, please read previous posts.๐Ÿคช The thing is now that I get out a bit… I am so confused about the new social norms when it comes to interacting with others.๐Ÿ˜ฌ It baffles me the different interpretations of what is appropriate in public and how people assess the risk of spreading this virus. So when I am unable to make sense of my current environment, I look to what I can understand and that is behavior and patterns. Therefore, I started to categorize the people I have come across since emerging into civilization again.๐Ÿ“Š

Now before I share my list – please know this is just me poking fun at all of us. It is supposed to be entertaining … to break up stress and anxiety. So laugh, enjoy and maybe engage with me on where you fall on this mask spectrum or prove that you actually read the first two paragraphs . ๐Ÿ˜ทโค๏ธ


  1. Stylish Maskers – people who have turned this into a fashion moment. It is cute – why not? I see camo, designer, color coordination and positive mantras to mention a few. I do feel bad for the lipstick, gloss and balm industries as our mouth was so….2019!๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ‘œ
  2. Half Ass Maskers – usually service workers (sorry but true) – people who wear the mask too loose or let their nose hang out. When Isabelle and I relunctantly stopped on the Ohio Turnpike while traveling to PA. I was appalled to see food servers who were wearing their mask improperly. Nothing screams catching a virus than a #9 Covid Special with a side of fries ๐ŸŸ icky… we could not get out of there fast enough. ๐ŸŒฌ
  3. Doomsday Maskers – friends who are completely covered from head to toe including sun glasses, hat, full sleeves, huge masks or scarves. They hesitantly come out for outdoor gatherings and sit in the corner looking miserable. They are trying really hard to be social but are terrified and regret they left their house.๐Ÿฅฝ๐Ÿงค๐Ÿงขโ˜‚๏ธ
  4. Try Hard Maskers – these are folks who try to stay in compliance and keep covered but then realize that they are wearing their mask upside down. There is constant fidgeting occurring with the ear straps, nose guards etc.. (that would be me) We want to protect others but there are always technical difficulties and a lot adjusting going on. ๐Ÿ‘€
  5. Political Non Maskers – these people believe it is their constitutional right to gather and not wear masks or they have causes that are of far greater importance than public health and safety. Nothing screams ignorance more than a large crowd without masks or social distancing – I am just saying. I respect the mission – please wear a mask!๐Ÿ˜‰
  6. Health Non Maskers – these people who won’t wear masks because they have a health issue. You hear them explaining to others why they are not wearing a mask – I mean why go out because the glears and defensive retorts must be more exhausting then not breathing?๐Ÿคช
  7. Conspiracy Theory Non Maskers – these are people who do not believe that Covid is real. They are also frequently found in turnpike rest stops and even recently attending out of compliance country music concerts (I had to…)๐Ÿค 
  8. Socially Deprived Non Maskers – they just can’t take it anymore and need to exchange saliva and bodily fluids – generally the young and invincible. Those were the days!!! These kids congregate in bars, basement parties and are quickly spreading the virus again. I think there was an incident at a bar near my alma matter. ๐Ÿ‘ฏ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฌ

I guess I fall in the middle of the pack when it comes to wearing a mask. I want to be responsible, a good citizen and have the ability to breath.๐Ÿ˜ถI generally wear my mask when there will be people close to me and definitely in public indoor spaces (stores, etc.). I do not wear one when I am outside walking or exercising because I know I can stay far from others keeping myself and others safe. ๐Ÿšธ

Stores – I only go to the grocery store when I absolutely must. Although I did have slight deviation when stopping to pee at a few turnpike bathrooms – whoops. Back to the store story, I wear my mask and try to stay 6 feet away from everyone. I race through the aisles like a ninja picking up what I need quickly with one grab.๐Ÿ—กI do admit that there are always a couple people not wearing a mask and I may get a little judgy. ๐Ÿง I then move on. ๐Ÿ›’

When it is time to check out – it gets so awkward. I have found that wearing a mask has diminished my ability to think, hear and see. ๐Ÿฆป๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ค The clerk always asks me the same question – paper or plastic ? And I react as if this is the first time. I reply huh or what and need the clerk to repeat it to me several times. During Pre-Covid times, I liked to make small talk and now I have decided with this mask – it is too aggravating to even attempt to engage. I just do my transaction without any additional what did you says?

Exercise Classes – I find it really hard to believe that working out in a small overcrowded studio with alot of sweat flying is going to be safe and fun anymore. ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ I suspect I may have caught the virus at a particular chain studio that involved rolling on dirty floors trying to do a burpie thrust jump lunge (ok – that was for drama – not a real move but sounded funny – kind of like the Triple Lindy – Back To School movie reference๐Ÿค—). So I am not excited to go inside a gym, but I will give the outdoors a try. It is just challenging, as you are trying to bust out the dance moves, burn mega calories, and see /hear the instructor from the front of the parking lot. I am open… OR I can just continue with a front row spot to my big screen TV with Zoom sessions. We have a great set-up in the family room and I have grown fond to jumping up and down in the comfort of my own home while my dogs patiently wait for cookies on the couch. ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

Outdoor get togethers – I pick and choose which social events seem to be safe and potentially fun. Lets be honest, no one is really inviting me anyways.๐Ÿฅณ However, the few I have come out for just feel out of place. I don’t know where to stand, sit, should I wear a mask or not? Yet, I always end up near a Doomsday Masker. I don’t know why – it just happens. I want to hang with the Outdoor Only Non Maskers but they are not drawn to me. ๐ŸคจAnyways I try to make the best of it, yet having a conversation is impossible. I cannot hear or understand a word they say under the N95 respirator mask. I end up nodding my head up and down like I am listening but in my mind, I am secretly plotting my escape plan. ๐ŸŽ

So the bottom line for me is … it is not worth it. I am going to stay at home and receive visitors in the backyard where we can socialize without masks. ๐Ÿก I have my own personal gym and easy availability to delivered groceries. I think I should just hunker down until this passes (I hope it will before 2020 is over). I am having a hard time adjusting to this new social reality and it does not inspire me to try to make it work. It just seems easier to cocoon, bake cookies and watch Million Dollar Listing (my new TV porn).๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿป

I guess, I will see you in 2021, unless you want to come over? I am taking reservations for outdoor seating – capacity no more than two – ha ha. ๐Ÿ“†Stay safe and Happy 4th of July. ๐Ÿ’ฅ

Striving For More

Since Mother’s Day and Isabelle’s high school graduation, I have been thinking about my moms, my daughter and that missing link in the middle which is ME. When Robin died, I began to explore the meaning of life and wondering if I was living up to my potential and fulfilling my purpose. It has been a real interesting point in time as I watch Isabelle begin her journey to pursue her passion and wonder where life will lead her. It brings me such pride to see her thrive and realize that she is the best version of Robin and me. She is smart, funny, empathetic, independent, creative and shows emerging leadership skills. I think back when I was her age – and honestly – she would smoke the younger me – no question about it.๐Ÿ”ฅ This is a great feeling that she is prepared to be successful to maneuver her future. With that being said, as she is moving forward, I have been focusing on discovering the next stage in my life. I must say it is …exciting, scary, stimulating, paralyzing and peaceful. I flow through these feelings like a tidal wave with insufficient surfing skills. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ

I think about the past a lot when both my mothers were growing up and wonder if they ever had non traditional dreams and if they fulfilled their purpose. Both Beatrice and Lillian were brilliant women who had careers as a French teacher and a Bookkeeper. However their main roles were wives and mothers because that was what the times dictated – and I think they enjoyed it. I mean would they tell me if they did not like being our parents – I guess not? That would be an awkward conversation. ๐Ÿ˜œ I have no doubt if they grew up now – these women could have conquered the world cause they were bad -asses and wicked smart ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป. Now don’t get me wrong, I have done well with my career and hopefully also with as a wife and mother, but I long for more. The problem is that I just don’t quite know what that MORE is…. ugh.๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ As many of you know, I have started to consult and that is fun, gratifying and hopefully has the legs to round out my career. However, I am watching people that are really stepping up during this pandemic either being a front line worker, spending time to solve how to make needed ventilators or vaccines and I am sitting her in my house baking unending chocolate chip cookies. ๐Ÿช I mean really Risa? ๐Ÿ˜œ Then, I get frusterated that I have limited motivation during a time where I should be kicking my full potential into high gear. Thus, the internal struggle between righteous ambitious Risa ๐Ÿ˜‡ and sluggish sleepy Risa continues.๐Ÿฅฑ And the later Risa is winning right now which doesnโ€™t make me too proud.๐Ÿ™„ I am busy everyday if it is exercising, cleaning the house, cooking, taking care of the dogs, meditating, working and managing our internal supply closet (still happy to report we have toilet paper). I try to do my part by donating to feeding the front line workers and other charities but that is all I am doing – which is lame, mainstream and what I would say as not leading edge action. ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป

Well with all that weighing on my shoulders, where do I land? I know there is something that will spark my inner calling but until then I guess I continue on with my small and non- meaningful goals such as: 1. Completing Beach Body Workout 21 Day Fix in less than 36 days – which is where I am tracking ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ 2. Gardening and actually growing something this year – started late and everything was very picked over at Home Depot. โ˜˜๏ธ 3. Not getting Covid after going to Home Depot where it felt like the pandemic was looming as people strolled with ill fitting masks and sweat pouring down their face. ๐Ÿคง 4. Completing a book or even a chapter without falling asleep would be nice. ๐Ÿ“˜ 5. Positioning my business logo so it fits my LinkIn profile page properly without getting cutoff – harder than you think.๐Ÿ‘ 6. Cleaning out the garage and donating furniture that was bought in the early 2000 which is oversized, weighs a ton and takes up the entire square footage of my home.๐Ÿช‘ 7. Maybe finding a social life again so I donโ€™t end up being one of those widows that walk their pets in strollers (whoops too late). ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Well thatโ€™s all for now – stay safe and healthy and I will let you know when I figure out when my higher level purpose reveals more of itself … I know itโ€™s in me somewhere – time to bake cookies.๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช

Covid Contemplation

Well, it is day 47? 51? 56… I think? ๐Ÿค”… who knows how long we have been in our home and not certain it really matters. ๐Ÿค— I am sure many of us may be clawing at the door to get out and back to normal but, I think we are all realizing that normal will be different than what is was before. However with all this time, I have been doing a lot of thinking and I really LIKE the slower pace. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ As a matter of fact, I can’t remember why we were so busy in the first place. I mean what was so important that we were running around like chicken with our heads cut off?๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฃ (sorry for this reference chicks owners – cousin Laurie and Kelley) With the exception of those who are sick, or have lost family/friends to this horrible virus, could this be a point in time for us to reimagine our future and get back to our true priorities? Life potentially can be better – where we are more present, spend time with family, cook meals together, relax and sleep soundly. ๐Ÿ˜ด What’s so bad about that? ๐Ÿ˜

With the shortages in food, paper products and basically everything else, we have all been challenged to become much more efficient in how we use our resources and identifying what we need. ๐Ÿงพ I am embarrassed to admit that before this pandemic, I did not really pay attention to my consumption of plastic or how much garbage I was producing or just that I have too much stuff in general (don’t judge me just sharing in an open manner).๐Ÿคซ Now, I realize that I have a responsibility to simply use LESS and protect Mother Earth. With that end in mind, I have moved to glass bottles, bowls, using dish towels and washable mop sponges instead of paper for example. I just now need to give up my overuse of Amazon. ๐Ÿฅบ Hello my name is Risa and I am an Amazon addict – ha-ha ๐Ÿ“ฆ They really need to move to reusable cartons to help my efforts – wonder if that is in the works with them? Anyways back to my point, when I go out and take walks, I notice the purity of nature and it seems happier. โ˜˜๏ธ๐ŸŒณ The birds are singing louder, the air is clean and a general sense of harmony outside that is much more profound than before. ๐Ÿฆ‹ Itโ€™s like the animals are taking back their territory cause those annoying humans are not hogging the space anymore.

It is obviously tragic times for some small businesses trying to survive but, I am definitely seeing the creative spirit emerging daily. ๐Ÿ‘ป Companies are figuring out how to get work done virtually or pivoting their business model to the need. It is so interesting for instance, how restaurants are selling produce/groceries or Hershey (my former employer) is now producing face masks. ๐Ÿ˜ท My fitness studio is offering virtual workouts and they are still kicking my ass. ๐Ÿ˜› I like seeing how everyone is stepping up to help each other – if it is for the frontline workers or the food banks. This is a good thing and I am certainly attempting to do my part. On a personal note, I am trying to up my game by reading, listening to diverse points of views and approaching my work in a new and fresh way. I have this great sign in my office that says .. Wake Up…Create… Repeat. Even though my daughter calls it โ€œsuburbia privileged art,โ€ I have found this to be my mantra. I realize that what gives me energy is producing something new… if it is through HR consultation, baking or writing a blog, this is what keeps me motivated and hopefully contributing in a meaningful way to the world. ๐ŸŒŽ The covid outbreak is a wake-up call and it is up to us how we choose to respond. I am using this as a lesson and learning from it.

Ok this has been WAY to serious and time to move on . As everyone is rising to the cause, I have found a passion with a deeper mission … perfecting the chocolate chip cookie. ๐Ÿช๐Ÿช Embarrassing to admit but practice definitely makes perfect if you know what I mean (wink wink). ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I may have or have not made like 8 or so batches of cookies – but who is really counting during these stressful times. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคฅ I have finally achieved the right balance of chewy and crunchy for our liking in the Borr household (Robin would be so proud). To counter the increase in sweet intake, I have been able to improve my core strength through burpees and planks – still moderately bad but definitely noticed progress on this end (no seriously I am a lot more fit). ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I am also getting my cleaning rhthym together. I have been able to reduce the time it takes to mop my floors by 25% and achieving the cleanliness standards I desire – woo hoo. ๐Ÿงน As all these activities are going on, I have come to an intense revelation too … I have only worn clothes containing stretch since the quarantine and I LIKE IT (athleisure forever-! And the biggest accomplishment… we started with 38 rolls of toilet paper (pre- massive hording episodes in March) and still have 32 unused rolls left. ๐Ÿงป I guess in fairness, there are only 2 tushies in our house – well actually 4 (but 2 don’t need toilet paper). ๐Ÿ™ˆ Ok that is all for now… stay safe, sane, go outside and take a deep breath – itโ€™s fabulous out there. ๐ŸŒž

Isabelle – 18 Years Old

It’s hard to believe that my baby is turning 18 today.๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ I remember so clearly when she was born – trying to envision the future – who would she be when she graduated in 2020?๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“ It seemed completely far out then, like the Jetson’s (old person reference ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป) and yet here we are now. Well, I am happy to report that I am really proud of her and know that if Robin was here too – he would be kvelling (Yiddish term – gushing) about her too.โค๏ธ Of course, I never imagined there would be a global pandemic,๐Ÿคฎ we would be isolated in our homes and she would basically end school early without a prom, graduation or senior trip. (we will make that one up) ๐Ÿฅ€ Funny how you can anticipate some things but not others – luckily though – the important stuff worked out OK.๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป So, now that we are in lock down and it will be just the two of us celebrating her birthday, I wanted to share how special my little peanut ๐Ÿฅœ has been to me (and her dad)!

It was always our intention as a younger couple to have two kids because I always preferred symmetry. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ However, when it was time to make it happen … we just never pulled the trigger for a younger sibling. ๐Ÿ’ฆ But, Robin and I never felt that we made a mistake and really enjoyed most of our moments raising Isabelle. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ There were a few that were less than awesome. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป One could say – she was not a cookie cutter kid but I guess no one thinks their kid is – do they?๐Ÿช She moves to the beat of her own drum and that is something I always admired and still do about her.๐Ÿฅ

When Isabelle was a little girl, her Aunt Brandi bought her first baby doll. ๐Ÿ‘ถ Isabelle, of course named her Izzy (that always cracks me up when I think back). She loved her American Girl and we owned an embarrassing amount of doll clothes, shoes, furniture and accessories. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคซ The American Girl Corp.โ€™s sales projections plummeted when she outgrew her dolls.๐Ÿ“‰ This would be her most normal childhood interest. As Isabelle continued to grow, she was curious about many things. She became obsessed with water buoys and Robin, being the resourceful parent he was, ordered a catalog and would spend endless hours taking her through the various types of buoys. โš“๏ธ She stayed engaged like he was reading her a storybook.๐Ÿงš๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ We actually met someone whose brother worked for the coast guard and was in charge of water buoy maintenance. You would have thought Isabelle was told she was going to meet Beyonce.๐ŸŽค Marla (my childhood best friend) even made her a scrapbook with pictures of buoys. ๐Ÿ“•

Isabelleโ€™s interests quickly evolved, as most kids did, and we went through stages such as her obsession with North Korea๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ต (she was way in front of Dennis Rodman and Trump), swimming and geography. While living in Harrisburg, PA , Isabelle learned to roller-skate and the rink became our hangout every weekend. She would spend endless hours skating figure eights and routines. โ›ธShe had a great coach and mentor, Cindy who encouraged her to compete. Isabelle was a staple in the roller rink and quickly gave back by helping to teach skating and assisting with Special Olympics. Also, in seventh grade, Isabelle joined the basketball team and that became a love for her all through middle and high school. ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€ This was a shared joy between her and Robin which was nice to witness as their bond grew by talking strategy and technique.๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ง

Fast forward to now, Isabelle has really matured and become a well rounded wonderful gal. ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ I don’t like to admit it but I learn so much from her especially in the last two years. ๐Ÿค” We have grown closer even though we are very different. She has so many great qualities and it makes me very happy that she is like her father – in the best way possible.๐Ÿ˜ I feel very lucky and grateful to have her as my daughter and appreciate that she has been low maintenance and stayed on the straight and narrow. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป So in honor of her birthday and the incredible amount of time on my hands, I thought it would be fun to list my favorite and least favorite things about her (but you know even the least favorite things are pretty damn good). ๐ŸŽWishing my beautiful Isabelle a very happy 18th birthday and a wonderful healthy and happy future. ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ I am excited to see the next chapter of her life unfold and how she will contribute to the world.. ๐Ÿ’Œ Thanks for choosing me as your mom (you know you did!) ๐ŸŽˆโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Favorite List of Isabelle

  1. Funny and Smart – she makes me laugh and I am blown away with how knowledgeable she is about current events, global affairs etc.. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
  2. Creative – she is clever and creates adorable videos, programming for BBYO, etc.. ๐ŸŽฌ
  3. Grounded – she doesn’t ask for much – not so materialistic – I have to beg her to buy a new pair of gym shoes that have a hole in them. ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
  4. Curious – she is fascinated with off the wall things – like when she went to Israel her favorite part was seeing country borders (everyone else likes the wall – not her).๐Ÿ’ก
  5. Resilient – she has taken a licking and kept on ticking. She has had some setbacks in life including Robin’s death, has worked through them in a healthy way and has come out stronger on the back-end.๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป
  6. Beautiful – inside and out – I love that she looks like her dad (but much prettier -ha) and she is a good person with a great morale compass.๐Ÿคก

Not So Favorite Things about Isabelle

  1. Bad Sleeper as a Baby/Toddler/Kid – I still remember those nights when I could not get that frickin kid to go to sleep. I lost major sleep time from 2002 – 2012. ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿฅฑ
  2. Stinkbug Adversity – To this day, she can’t handle them and I have to be on call for pest control 24/7.๐ŸฆŸ
  3. Kitchen Clean-up – Our biggest fights involve her leaving the kitchen messy – drives me nuts and is my trigger. Everyday is the same argument – quarantine time is fun – not ๐Ÿงน๐Ÿงฝ
  4. Cuddle/Hair Touching Avoidance – I always liked when my mom would play with my hair and cuddle me. Not this one – she runs out of the room like I have the coronavirus. ๐Ÿงธ
  5. Freestyle Cooking – Isabelle feels following a recipe is lame and lacks creativity. I think cooking is craft and hate wasting food because of her aborted science projects without a recipe. ๐Ÿ›’
  6. Tease – She makes the cutest videos and will show me once and then will not allow me see them again or share with my friends. There is one where she is dancing to this song when she was 10 and then now that was so adorable – nope I was only able to see it once. ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰

All and all – not a bad list, even the not so favorite things are no big deal – except #4. ๐Ÿงธ Ok gotta go .. I feel the need to go chase her down and give her a big kiss – talk to you later. ๐Ÿ‘„๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ‘„โค๏ธ

Social Distancing

I really like this new term called “social distancing” because now I have a name for what Iโ€™ve been doing pretty much my whole life. Those who know me well are keenly aware that I love to stay home and tend to find it a struggle to actually leave my house unless it is for a run outside. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Therefore, with the new quarantine guidelines, I have to admit that I am really in a place of comfort. I would say this is a strength of mine and now I can brag about it. ๐Ÿค— In the past, especially after Robin died, I have been gently advised by friends and family that I needed to get out more. Who knew that I was a trendsetter? ๐Ÿฅณ

I had known about the coronavirus for awhile as my friends in China were being quarantined in February. However, I never thought it would spread around the world and we too would find ourselves in lock-down. ๐Ÿ˜ท The virus or at least the panic hit my community about a week and a half ago from my best estimates. All hell broke out and word traveled quickly that we better go and buy food and supplies for at least a two week quarantine. ๐Ÿšš My first thoughts were, this is ridiculous and secondly, who cares? …. we had already had a well stocked utility closet. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ You see, I hate going to Costco so when I do absolutely need to go, I mass buy everything in order not to return anytime soon. ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ›’Needless to say, I was feeling confident with my stash of paper goods, pasta, canned goods etc.. that we were going to make it just fine. ๐Ÿ˜›And in hindsight, I am also fortunate that there was still excess supplies from Robin’s Shiva (funeral reception at the house). Letโ€™s just say we did not get the anticipated turnout expected which led to a surplus of unwanted paper goods for nearly two years. โ˜น๏ธ I mean, is it a big deal to wipe our ass with a high end napkin with an embossed print of a flower – I say no!๐Ÿ’

I have been asked if I am scared of this virus and my answer is “no.’ ๐ŸงThe reason is that I have been through far worse. Losing Robin was terrifying to me and to figure out and manage without him in our life was a nightmare. The dreams of growing old together, raising Isabelle and having my partner in crime were gone. ๐Ÿ˜” Over the last nineteen months, I had to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. ๐Ÿ˜• I also needed to be ok knowing that I have to support Isabelle and myself emotionally and financially on my own. To me, that was frightening! ๐Ÿ‘ป Therefore, I am confident that we will eventually contain this virus and hopefully get through it with minimal human or economic long term loss.๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

However, I would like to share some words of wisdom and observations. First of all and most important, our communities needs to stay safe and follow the guidelines provided to us by our State and the CDC. Unfortunately, I am certainly seeing many people struggle to adhere to these very basic principles but that is another story for another time. ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐ŸปThe real issue and challenge for all of us is to deal with change and adapt to a new set of circumstances which involves a bit of sacrifice of our personal freedom for a short amount of time. ๐Ÿค” Yet if we were all to do a little soul searching, I think this pandemic is a WAKE UP call for everyone. ๐Ÿ˜ต I think the world and our relationships with one are out of alignment. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Over the last few years, we have shown very little tolerance to differences in opinion, especially politically. ๐Ÿ˜ค I am very guilty of this one too. ๐Ÿ™„ People have short cords and we have seen an outbreak of violence occur almost on a weekly basis with innocent lives being lost because someone blew. ๐Ÿคฏ We do not respect the earth and our natural resources, we overuse, pollute, create waste which has led to very freaky natural disasters and weather patterns. ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ฆโ„๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ’จโšก๏ธโ˜„๏ธAs a society we are disconnected, obsessed with social media and any other distraction to avoid paying attention to the present and one another. ๐Ÿคณ๐ŸปI am not trying to get preachy, I am just stating a fact that we are not in harmony. ๐ŸŽผ MAYBE just maybe there is goodness that can come from all of this! ๐ŸŒˆ Maybe we can slow down, re-calibrate, get back to basics and start to appreciate one another and this world a little more. ๐ŸŒ Ok, that was deep – but needed to be said. We will now move on to the entertaining portion of this blog (at least I hope you find Isabelle and my mundane antics amusing)๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ

So what are we doing in the Borr house during our quarantine? Please let me illuminate our spiritual awakening here in West Bloomfield, MI. ๐Ÿงš๐Ÿป 1. Waking Up – Isabelle and I negotiate who will go downstairs first and let the dogs out cause they always seem to be barking before either of us are interested in peeling out of bed. I generally lose the argument but seeing their cute pug faces is hard for me to be annoyed too long. ๐Ÿ’ฉ 2. Making Breakfast – I have a little routine where I let the dogs out as discussed above and then I proceed to wake up the house which includes opening the blinds, emptying the dishwasher so the kitchen is clean and ready to go. Yet in our new situation, Isabelle has thrown my schedule off. She starts cooking breakfast, piling the dishes in the sink and messing up the counters before I have emptied the dishwasher. ๐Ÿฅฃ๐Ÿด๐ŸณThis makes me crazy and we end up screaming at each other and I ban her from the kitchen. โŒ She laughs as she knows my discipline never sticks. And yes, every once in awhile she actually empties the dishwasher for me.๐Ÿ™ƒ 3. Exercise Luckily the local studios have gotten innovative and are putting great workouts online. CelyFit host our normal zumba and weight classes which I am doing in my new gym studio (which is our converted back room). ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿป It is serving us perfectly. I am able to hook up my computer to our large TV screen and sound bar – and it is awesome. Isabelle and I do spend some time together as we exercise to the Beach Body Workout or Orange Theory. When the self quarantine breaks, we will be ready for our bikinis with our six pack abs (well at least she will be – not so much for me). ๐Ÿ‘™Also what has been amazing is the weather although a little cold, still a perfect alternative. Getting outside to run or walk is incredible for your mind and soul. Since the virus, I have seen Robins (birds) all over the place making me believe that everything is going to be OK. ๐Ÿฆ…4. Working From Home – Oh and then there is that. Probably not the best time to start a consulting group but I have been staying busy as I develop tools, marketing, contracts, networking etc.. It is nice to reconnect with former colleagues and friends and see how I can help out. I am starting to get traction and that is very exciting for me. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ 5. Podcasts, Reading and Learning – What a great time to learn new things. This is a once a lifetime opportunity to study stuff you never had time for in the past. I have been learning about marketing and maybe web design – who knows – probably not. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“ 6. Meditation and Yoga – I have been meditating and doing yoga for awhile but find it especially comforting now. For yoga, it is my personal goal to improve my balance and loosen up. I find myself taking online classes with that dude who has been doing yoga forever – Rodney Yee (he is so zen). ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธAlso I have been going through the class “Hip Hip Hooray – to increase flexibility in my hips – funny title and a little embarrassing but what the heck. ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ 7. Emotional Isolation – This is what happens when you have a fairly large house and a teenager.๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธI go for hours on end where I do not see Isabelle. She is sequestered in her room or some other part of the house. It feels a little strange so I try to suggest at least one hour a day for together time. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งShe rolls her eyes and tells me I am overreacting. ๐Ÿ‘€ We are still working on this one and our common ground has been about a 20 minute workout every other day together. More to come on this front as it is definitely an opportunity for improvement. 8. Inventory – I go to my storage room and count toilet paper rolls and towels to ensure we have enough supplies for the apocalypse. โœ๐Ÿป๐Ÿงป๐Ÿงป๐Ÿงป Ha ha just kidding wanted to see if anyone was reading. ๐Ÿ˜›

Back to being serious, I know these are unsettling times and we need to find a little humor and patience as we get through this apart and together. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ I hope some good will happen as we take stock on what is truly important. โค๏ธ Enjoy spending time with your family, improving yourself mentally and physically, getting rest and following the isolation rules to lower the virus curve. ๐Ÿ“‰ Call a friend, mend a relationship, be creative, support small businesses and lets restore humankind together. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง We can choose to live in fear or to THRIVE – I prefer the later. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Let’s innovate and create something new and fabulous from this situation.๐Ÿ’กBut most of all stay safe and healthy! ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸปWishing everyone peace and love. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ

Backslide … for a moment

I made a promise when I started writing this blog that I would be authentic and real. So with that commitment, I am going to admit that in late January many of my old wounds from Robin’s death opened up again.๐Ÿ˜ฎ You see, I learned by an email to our subdivision that my next door neighbor had unexpectedly passed away. He left his wife and four children. I just could not believe that my neighbors would have to go through everything Isabelle and I experienced just a year and a half ago. As I was dealing with the shock of his untimely death, we also all heard the terrible news about Kobe Bryant, his daughter (and so many other precious lives lost) just a few days later. These awful events threw me right back to the morning my life changed forever. I felt sorry for the widows and all others affected by these tragic losses. I wondered if I was just living in a false sense of reality that was easily knocked down when someone became a new member of the widow/widower club. It made me realize that mourning is certainly a journey and sometimes you go two steps forward and then three steps back. It was an eye opener for me having truly believed that I was beyond these setbacks. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

On a lighter note, I have been working towards starting my own HR consulting practice.๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ It is my passion to help organizations realize their business strategy by employing effective solutions that ensure their workforce is motivated and aligned to deliver for the organization. More on this later… but talk about feeling outside out of your comfort zone.โš ๏ธ I have worked in large global companies my entire life and I really have confidence with my technical expertise yet starting a business is a whole new experience.๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Thank goodness for friends and family that have walked this path before me.

A few weeks ago I became obsessed with finding a great name that would represent my new consulting brand. I took an entire weekend to brainstorm and annoy friends who were being helpful and polite as I sent random texts at all hours. ๐Ÿฅณ. Well after about 70 ideas, a few false positives, deep meditation, perhaps a whole order of Jetโ€™s crazy crust – I found the ONE! I will reveal it once things are official but let’s just say I have the website domain and paperwork has been submitted. ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ

Which leads me to the next important piece – my professional image. I quickly realized that my sad picture on LinkedIn – shot by the famous photographer – Risa Borr (selfie from iPhone 7) was not going to get the job done for me. ๐Ÿ†˜ I finally decided it was time to get professional head shots that would send just the right vibe.…I am creative, straightforward yet highly competent and skilled yet not so serious and formal yet not too casual and not too old but definitely current. This was a tall order that was not going to come together without the right crew of make-up, hair and photography professionals. ๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿงš๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฐ Boy, do I miss those days where you could just look great without trying. NOW – you have to really try but look like you did not try at all. ๐Ÿคฌ A clever balance that I have just exposed to my large following for the blog. ๐Ÿ˜›

So to my last point as this story still unfolds, I went to Nordstrom to find that perfect jacket to wear in the head shot and I was feeling good until I visited the dressing room. ๐Ÿ™€Nordstrom really tries to provide a great experience for customers especially when they are trying on clothing. They have these mirrors that basically catch every angle in the convenience of your own dressing room. Earlier that evening, I had gone out to eat with my girlfriend Renee and believed I had worn a super cute and slenderizing outfit. However, one trip in front of the mirror told a completely different story. I was horrified as I examined my rear end in this 360 view – my self confidence deflated.๐Ÿ“Œ I guess long sweaters don’t always hide your large ass. ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ– Now in fairness to Nordstrom, at least they have a great ambience.๐Ÿ’‹ I won’t even give Macy’s a try cause their dressing rooms are always messy with that old fashion florescent lighting which makes even a super model look heavy and pale.๐Ÿคก Ok, letโ€™s move on … I bought the jacket ignoring the whole dressing room situation and pretended that my mirror at home would make everything all better. I am happy to report that my home reflection knocked ten pounds off and trauma neutralized – yeah !!!๐Ÿ‘ Well stay tuned for the final reveal of both my fabulous business name and headshot. For those who know it already – keep it on the down low until I am official.๐Ÿคž

So … that was my month – a few highs and still many lows as I tackle this bumpy road.๐Ÿฅƒ One day you want to laugh, the next day you want to cry and the next day you want to ban department store mirrors! ๐Ÿ˜• Sending much love and support to My neighbor and her kids. Rest In Peace my friend and say hi to Robin. ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

2020 at Warp Speed

Happy New Year everyone – it is very hard to believe that it is 2020! I remember in 2002 when I was holding my newborn daughter,๐Ÿ’— I tried to determine what year she would be graduating from high school and after a drawn out calculation, I figured out it was 2020!๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“And now here we are and guess what?… if you hang in there long enough with me, you can read about my future nervous breakdown when I have to send my one and only child off to college. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Ok, I don’t want to talk or think about it right now because we have an exciting year to let unfold. So we are going to put my impeding empty nester trauma on the back burner for now. ๐Ÿงจ

As many of you read about in one of my posts last year, I bought an electric snow blower and I was very proud of assembling it on my own (well I actually got a small assist but I did about 97% solo).โ˜ƒ๏ธ It had been sitting in the garage just waiting to make its first appearance. Well, last Saturday with a snow fall of 3 -5 inches, which felt more like 8 – 10 in my backyard, I was ready to officially blow the snow. Of course, I had an obligation to ensure my sweet pugs had a little path to do their business outside.๐Ÿ’ฉ I learned the hard way last winter that if I don’t provide them some grass to go potty on, I am setting myself up for a very frustrating day involving lots of cookies and trips outside to avoid any accidents on the rugs. ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿšธ

I love my house but the only easy access to get to my yard is through one door in my den.๐Ÿšช The backyard is this great sunken oasis of privacy which is wonderful during the summer and hosting awesome parties.๐Ÿฅณ However, in the winter it is a very different story to get to the backyard. Let’s just say from my garage, you have to walk stairs and then are greeted by a gate that is very difficult to open. Robin and I decided to go with the cheap gate guy and thus a bit of the quality was sacrificed which manifested into a hinged door that doesn’t open smoothly without some manipulation.๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿป Therefore, my point of all this is, that getting the snow blower from the garage to the backyard poses two unpleasant alternatives: 1. Take it thru the deep snow, up a steep hill, opening a gate that most likely is blocked by accumulation and then walking it down several stairs to get to the patio ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐ŸปOR 2. Drag the snow blower through the house after the cleaning people have left and messing up the freshly mopped floor. ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป As one would guess, I chose option 2 and tried to mitigate my risk as best as I could. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Lucky for me, Isabelle was awake Saturday morning and I figured she could assist me with the blower transport through the house and be part of my snow removal crew. Of course, she chose to lounge downstairs in shorts and no socks because that is appropriate attire for a freezing snowy day in the middle of winter – NOT!๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ And as expected, she offered limited service to me because she could not go in the garage wearing her summer outfit.. yada yada yada. ๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿ•ถSo I got all bundled up, I pushed the snow blower across the kitchen and also grabbed my new indoor/outdoor extension cord bought specifically for this occasion. I shared with Isabelle that she needed to stick around to help me get started. She reluctantly agreed. I began by plugging the cord into the snow blower to get this party started.๐Ÿ”Œ Little did I know that the blower required a two prong and I bought a three prong electrical cord. Ugh… may I also add that I specifically bought this cord because it was suggested by Home Depot’s fabulous AI on the website .. thank you very much.๐Ÿ‘‹ I asked Isabelle to see if we had another cords with two prongs. Upon delivery, she informed me that she was going upstairs and I should text her if I needed anything else – otherwise known as bailing on me.๐Ÿ“žThe cord she provided looked like it was an electrical hazard since it had a significant amount duct tape on it and probably had some war stories to share if it could talk. โš ๏ธ I was certain I would get electrocuted but I was going to take my chances because I was committed to getting this done.โšก๏ธ

I went to plug the cord into our outside electrical socket and it was time to finally get started. I pushed the button and drum roll…. NOTHING – no power.โŒ I figured that the plug outside was not working so I tried using an indoor outlet and again and the same results. Employing my great problem solving skills, I found my phone charger and plugged it into both outlets and there was power. Crap.. my snow blower doesn’t work… figures!๐Ÿคฌ Cue the music that plays when something goes wrong in a sitcom.. wa wa wa waaaa.๐ŸŽผ I took a deep breadth to calm down convincing myself I had definitely been through harder obstacles than this one. I decided to seek help by watching a YouTube video on how to start the blower but there was no guidance. It was like there was an assumption that any idiot could start this blower without instructions – need I say more?๐Ÿ˜ณ

Then I looked at the start button and it clearly said – push and engage the safety bar aaahโ€ฆ that makes sense. So I tried and voila โ€ฆ it started. I was ready to finally go after about 40 minutes of the above antics. I then paused and took a moment to feel sorry for myself. I am really not cut out for outdoor work… I am not mechanical and I hate being in the cold!๐Ÿ˜• I want to be inside sipping on a hot cocoa and watching my man out there handling it like the stud he was .. confident, quick and knowing. He would never had any of these problems I just experienced. I gave myself another minute or so to lick my wounds and then back to business.๐Ÿ˜‹ I pushed the button again and grabbed the safety bar and started blowing the snow. My sadness turned into exhilaration as it actually worked well and I created a path while the snow flied out of the way. I pushed back and forth with ease and then I heard a bad sound โ€ฆ I had hit rocks and saw a piece of my brand new blower left behind in the snow. ๐Ÿ—ณ Whoops, yet quickly remembered I had a warranty and kept on moving… I will deal with that issue later.

Once I was finished, I came in the house drenched and I mean soaked! Isabelle was no where to be found. I took off all my wet clothes and had to find a dry coat, hat and gloves to take my dogs outside. Now my pugs are not lovers of the snow either but thank goodness they also have food issues and would do anything for a cookie. ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿช We went outside, down the path and onto the patch of grass that I cleared for them. They quickly did what they were supposed to do and I got a clean sweep – pees and poos from both gals.๐Ÿ’ฉ Mission accomplished hooray – I would admit not so smooth, but got it over the finish line. ๐Ÿˆ

So the deal is I am trying to be this independent woman who takes care of everything, but it is not always so easy. I am awkward and not well equipped with everyday life skills. Clearing a path in the backyard should have taken 15 minutes and as usual it took me over an hour. This is the story of my life… I am really trying but it takes so damn long.โฑ I am constantly on a major learning curve and have to factor in 4x the amount of time that normal person would generally need.

Robin has been gone about a year and a half and Isabelle and I have fallen into a nice routine. Don’t get me wrong, we miss him each and everyday but the sadness has generally faded to endearing memories. The only exception is when I have to take on new responsibilities that I really don’t want to do, such as blowing the snow.๐Ÿ˜– But I have realized that I am resilient and have adopted the mantra โ€œyou do what you have to do.โ€ I just wish I would have taken more interest when I had the chance to learn home maintenance such as operating a snow blower. It is a really good skill to have especially when you live in Michigan.๐Ÿ˜›

I feel Robin with me all the time and I know he was probably cracking up watching me with my Saturday ordeal.๐Ÿ˜‡ But I also know he is proud of us and can Rest In Peace knowing we got this.. .whatever is thrown at us .. we got it ! (that is if we have no time constraints)๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป So I declare another victory in the Borr house on a snowy Saturday afternoon. Chicks rule and let’s hope there is no more snow this winter!!!๐Ÿ’‹โค๏ธ

My Hair – I am Done

I was inspired to write this blog post after reading I Hate My Neck by Nora Ephron. My friend Michele suggested I try it out for a good laugh and Nora did not disappoint. (May She Rest In Peace) ๐Ÿ˜‡ I believe Nora and I would have been great buddies if we had known each other. Her humor and observation of everyday life was so relatable and clever. One chapter of her book discussed the toils of hair care and it got me thinking about the lifelong struggles with my mane. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ

Throughout the years, I have enjoyed a head full of curly, frizzy hair. It worked out well because in the 80โ€™s and 90โ€™s, big hair was the rage and I was all in. ๐Ÿฆน๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ I was able to add two inches to my height with very limited effort. I never gave my voluminous style much thought until much later while reviewing pictures from the past. It is quite horrifying to see how bad my hair looked after a moment spent outside. Humidity found me and gave no mercy. I have posted an example above for your reference. The things I do for ART!๐ŸŽจ As an aside, my profile picture (small round one) was highly doctored and a fluke of nature. ๐Ÿ˜˜

Needless to say, as I have grown older and experienced life, my hair is no longer as thick as it used to be but thank goodness – my frizz did not go away – yeah! ๐Ÿค— Now my issues are different as I try to adjust to thinner and sort of less curly hair.๐Ÿง I spend at least one hour a day washing, drying, straightening, curling or thinking about my hair. ๐Ÿค“ My friend Marla always seems to have time to entertain these philosophical discussions and she is convinced that I have not found the right hair products to use. ๐ŸงดShe tries to share what works for her but lets be honest, her hair is gorgeous, full and completely different than mine. I know her intentions are from the best place but all I am thinking is “cut your hair bitch and send it to me, I can paste it on my head.” (Just kidding at least about the bitch part)โœ‚๏ธ๐Ÿถ

Since this is a blog about being a widow, I do need to incorporate my sweet late husband Robin into the narrative, so here we go. One of the romantic things that Robin used to do for me was buy a stack of magazines every time he visited Costco, which was a little too often for a family of three. ๐Ÿ›’ Yet, it was our special tradition that I looked forward to. In May of 2018, he brought me home the Magnolia magazine (big fan of Chip and Joanna – Fixer Upper) ๐Ÿก and I was excited to check it out. As I was flipping through the pages, there was a women featured who had the cutest curly-ish bob haircut and I thought this maybe a perfect new hairstyle for me. ๐Ÿ’‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ As an aside, she was also holding a fabulous wooden basket for vegetables which I decided was perfect for me too. ๐ŸงบOK, that had nothing to do with the hair thing but was noteworthy and a little nostalgic. Getting back to the story … I had not really ever known a world without some type of layers in my hair and I was ready for a change. I asked Robin what he thought and of course he had no comment on the matter other than full support.๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ He always refused to participate in the situation – it was a no win dilemma and he learned never to offer an opinion. He was so SMART.. .. I miss that about him.. โค๏ธ

I shared the vision of growing my hair out to one length with my hair guru and friend Pavlina. She encouraged me to go for it and has been supporting my dream ever since. So here is the problem, I have been working on this hair goal for over a year and a half and I am still not there yet. I never thought when I set this objective that I was committing to a multiple year endeavor. I really wanted to be on trend like the sixth Kardashian sister. ( Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie and Risa) ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ However, now it has taken so long that the my worst fears may becoming a reality soon…BANGS… yikes๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ. But I have gone too far and I am not turning back even if it takes my till I am 80 years old to achieve a curly bob. ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป

I am embarrassed to admit how consumed I am about my hair. I never heard Robin or any other man complain about a bad hair day. I know the gripe maybe more basic like actually having hair or not but that is legitimate and I must give props to the guys out there.๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฒ I am very happy that I have hair, please don’t mistake this for not being grateful, I just wish my hair was not such an independent spirit. ๐Ÿงš๐ŸปShe does not take orders from anyone or anything. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐ŸปI can wash and conditioner her carefully, dab dry, use expensive hair balm, maneuver a high end brush while blowing so carefully. I can finish off with a fancy no frizz hair spray but it just does not matter. Everyday is a new experience and I am just along for the ride I guess. ๐Ÿš• After years of spending thousands of dollars on hair tools, products, cuts (not including my hourly rate which would probably double the estimate above), I have just concluded that I need to divert my attention to something that I can actually influence like world peace or climate change haha. โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ––๐Ÿป๐ŸŒŽ

However, with that being said, I have taken a page out of the Robinโ€™s playbook, which is wear a baseball hat. ๐Ÿงข This bypasses a lot of trauma and time. I think my guy was onto something.๐Ÿคญ So hair I am done whining … YOU WIN!! ๐Ÿ†Just one little favor? Can you grow a little faster with a little less frizz and oh a little thicker and shiner? ๐Ÿ—ฃ Yep that is it! THANKS. ๐Ÿ˜‰ OK… going to grab my hat now and conquer the world – bye bye ๐Ÿ‘‹ ๐ŸŽฉ

Unemployment – I am SO Busy

One of the values that was instilled within me since a young age was the importance of work.โœ๐Ÿป As a child, I witnessed my parents logging long hours to provide for the family and I unfortunately found out early, sometimes things don’t go as you expect. Having lost my mom when I was seven, it always stuck in my mind that “shit happens” and you need a back up plan. ๐Ÿ˜• To me, ensuring that I had enough money and could support my family was an important safety guard. โš ๏ธ

As far as I can remember, I always had a job, if it was babysitting, folding clothes at my auntโ€™s boutique, dishing out food in the dorm cafeteria (embarrassing) ๐Ÿ™„or waitressing at a bar where your tips were in portion with how tight and short your shirt and skirt appeared. ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿงณ Yes, I admit, I found myself going to work in ill fitting uniforms. Hey, I needed to be efficient with my time – return on investment (ROI) baby!!! ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ต Anyways, my strong work ethic continued as I pursued a career with long hours – minus the slutty clothes.๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ I liked having meaningful roles and getting rewarded through promotions and gaining new responsibilities. When Robin and I decided to have Isabelle, we agreed that he would stay at home and I would continue my professional journey. I was happy to be the lead income as I really liked what I was doing and Robin was more acclimated to home and kid tasks. We made a good pair and it really worked for us as I have shared in previous blogs.๐Ÿ˜€

However, after Robin died, the joy of working changed for me. My priorities shifted and I knew I had to become more focused at home and being a parent to Isabelle.๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งThis was Robin’s sweat equity and I was not going to let him or Isabelle down. Upon reflection, I have to admit that I lost perspective for many years when I was out being a career girl on the importance of face to face time with Isabelle. There were events, game and quiet moments that I missed out on because I knew Robin had it covered.๐Ÿง Only recently have I realized that I probably was away an few too many times and I regret not being tapped in. These days I am trying to be grateful for my life all that has happened may be our higher powers giving me a kick in the ass to pay attention to the things that matter. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‡ This leads me to the actual content of today’s blog which is taking down time to recalibrate and spend quality time with Isabelle before she leaves for college.๐Ÿš˜

If you were to ask old Risa – pre Robin’s death – being unemployed would have completely freaked her out. However, it feels completely right now and I want to make the most of this opportunity. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I have embraced being uncomfortable and vowed to set personal goals and just go for it. Yet, the one thing I did not anticipate is how much I like not working. ๐Ÿฅณ I used to be so JUDGEY wondering what the moms’ (and Robin) did all day without a job when their children were somewhat independent (or aka.. in school most of the day) ๐Ÿคจ. I finally realize they were onto something that I never knew until now and it is fabulous – I love it!โค๏ธ The only problem is that people ask me what I am doing with my time off and I can never truly articulate how full my days are โ€ฆ I am way to busy to work and that is for sure!!!๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

So what have I been doing? Well first of all, coming from a business world, I had to set priorities for myself. I mean I am a HR practitioner for g-d sakes! Here are my goals in no particular order: 1. Get Healthy (eating and exercise); ๐Ÿฅ’2. Enhance relationship with Isabelle; ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ3. Be a Traditional Mom (cook, clean, go to school stuff and pugs); ๐Ÿณ4. Explore Spiritualty and Gratitude (the guiding force that has gotten me through these challenges); ๐Ÿงš๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ5. Pursue starting own business (HR consulting or writing a sitcom); ๐Ÿฆน๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ 6. Expand creativity (this blog, writing, learning) ๐Ÿค“and 7. Having Fun (do things that I never had time to do, meet new people). ๐Ÿค—

With those heavy goals … I am definitely down the path and on track with most of them well kinda maybe – ok not all. ๐Ÿ’ฏ1. Getting Healthy – I workout most everyday (Run, Zumba, Orange Theory, Yoga, Weight Training – love it) or feel guilty one the days I don’t; Eating Healthy (could do better but not entirely horrible but a little too carb heavy). 2. Enhance Relationship with Isabelle – We are finding our groove; Binge watching Madam Secretary (Season 5 and there are a ton of episodes – Elizabeth is a bad ass and our best shot at a democratic presidential candidate – please run); We went to orientation at MSU ๐Ÿ’šand then enjoyed a fattening milkshake after (her idea); I am receiving political tutorials on presidential candidates from Isabelle and Bill Maher. ๐Ÿคด๐Ÿป 3. Be a Traditional Mom – I am keeping the house in order; Continuing to purge unwanted stuff and donating it; Cooking for Isabelle (with her commenting last night – you don’t need to cook so much for me – I like to do it myself) – not sure how to take that feedback and; Assembled an electric snow blower following ambiguous instructions. ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง3. Awakening/Spirituality – I have been meditating daily and getting certified to be an Intuitive Practitioner (my current homework is cleaning chakras); Also wearing a lot of beaded bracelets – ha ha. In all seriousness really getting connected with source and gaining clarity. 4. Expanding Creativity – I am still blogging (and you thought I was gone); Exploring new recipes; Gardening (or was); Listening to podcasts for inspiration and business ideas and 5. Having Fun – I am hanging with my other unemployed friend Gilma and enjoying spontaneous lunches, shopping, long walks with pugs, massages, facials and just screwing around. ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ›

If I put all frivolous stuff aside, I know this is an important moment and I am going to make the most of it. I am trusting my gut instinct and just not worrying about unemployment – at least – not for now. I am about one and half months in and feeling like I making some progress with my goals. It is time for me to get introspective and examine my life including strengths and areas for opportunities. In the past, there were responsibilities that I automatically punted to Robin and I think it is time to make up for lost time. I want this time to be special for Isabelle and me. I need to ensure she is well prepared and confident in her next steps as she transitions to college. I also want to make sure that I have no regrets as I too move forward.

So as a recap, I am enjoying being unemployed and recognize this is a short window of time for me to focus on Isabelle and myself. Although I cannot always articulate how I am filling my days, there is one thing I can confidently say… I may not be working but I am WORKING. In conclusion as this is getting very long…. I highly recommend it to anyone (who is fortunate to be rich or receive a generous severance) to stop and take stock of your life. Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Talk to you soon or when I can find time to blog which is in fact one of my goals. Peace Out for now.

Was It A Sign?

As many of you know, I believe that we are all still connected even after death. What has gotten me through the grief of losing Robin has been my absolute feeling that his spirit/presence is with me and Isabelle each and everyday. ๐Ÿ˜‡ I have managed to stay extremely positive and grateful as I move forward living a fulfilling and productive life. Yet as Halloween approached, ๐ŸŽƒ I could not help but think of Robin and the void we feel in our house. For some reason, Robin absolutely loved this holiday and enjoyed decorating our exterior with cobwebs, ghosts and lots of scary fog with creepy music. I would get so frustrated when he trolled Targetโ€™s Day After Halloween Sale and picked up more crap for us to use the following year. It’s funny how the most annoying habits are now the ones I completely miss.๐Ÿ‘ป

The night before Halloween when I was laying in bed, I was thinking of Robin and asked him to send me a sign that he was around. I fell asleep, woke up the next morning and carried on as usual with my daily routine. At about 2 p.m, I began to hear beeping and had no idea where it was coming from. It sounded like one of our smoke detectors were ready for a battery change – a task I just hate dealing with due to my unfounded fear of being electrocuted.โšก๏ธ I ran around the house listening for clues of where the noise was coming from as none of my smoke alarms were chirping. I anxiously awaited until I heard my next tip. Well about an hour later, I pinpointed the beeps to the office where we have a cabinet. After much digging, I found the culprit, an uninstalled First Alert Detector. Ok, I got this and took the attached pin which was supposed to dismantled the system. This was going to be a piece of cake. ๐Ÿฐ The only issue is the pin actually did not stop the beeping – ugh. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ No matter what I did, I could not shut it off and now I was just getting pissed. So, I went outside with First Alert and threw it against the ground, cracked it open and tried to remove the battery. Of course I was not successful as this unit was built to sustain a natural disaster. ๐ŸŒช๐Ÿ”ฅ๐ŸŒŠ Anyways, I smashed it against the concrete with all my might โ€ฆ beep..beep…beep continued. Then I decided to drown the detector in a puddle of water and put leaves over it. DING…DING… DING – I officially was the winner of the smack down with First Alert. ๐Ÿ† However, my victory was short lived when an hour later, I heard a faint beep from outside. This unit was not going down without a fight. ๐Ÿคผโ€โ™‚๏ธ It was clearly on it’s last leg so I moved it under a large tree in front of the house knowing it could no longer bother anyone and would take its last beep peacefully in nature.๐ŸŒฒSo end of story as I thought and I moved on.

That evening, I fell asleep quickly and was enjoying a deep relaxing dream when I heard beep…beep…beep. I then realized that this was not a coincidence but the sign I asked Robin for and he was actually giving it to me. And how do I say it nicely โ€ฆ he was f-ing with me? ๐Ÿง I took my flashlight and tried to identify where this beeping was coming from again. I checked all the rooms and downstairs and I could not hear anything. I even went outside under the tree to see if the possessed detector revived.. no it was dead. โ˜ ๏ธI went up to my bedroom and figured out that the noise was coming from Robin’s closet. Can this really be happening? I went inside and into a memory bin of his stuff. Wouldn’t you know, it was another First Alert Detector. This was definitely him – I was sure!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once again, I put the pin in the back of the unit, it stopped beeping and I went back to sleep. I woke up a few hours later having forgotten about it and left the house. When I came back that damn thing was beeping again. I took it outside and beat it against the concrete with all my strength, I jumped on it, tried dislodging the battery but that monitor continued to go fast a furious. It was definitely mortal combat and I was taking this thing down once a for all .๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป I drowned it and put it under the tree with its buddy. It was gone.๐Ÿฅ‡

The next day, I took the dogs out in the backyard to go potty and enjoy the sun and I thought I may have heard beep โ€ฆ beep… beep. It could not be… I had destroyed both of the monitors and double checked for a pulse. ๐Ÿš‘ I ran outside and looked under the tree, there it was beeping again, rising from the ashes straight out of a horror movie.๐Ÿ˜ฑ You can’t make this sh-t up.๐Ÿงš๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Anyways, I got the car out and backed over it and that was that!๐Ÿš˜ On Monday, I took the garbage out and I am sure that I violated disposal protocol but I put those babies in the trash and could not wait for them to be off my property.

So what have learned from this story you ask? First of all, when I request my deceased husband to send me a sign, I am going to set up guidelines such as a feather on the carpet, a flicker of a light or something a little less labor intensive. However, upon reflection, this is exactly what I miss about him! He had the best sense of humor and sarcastic wit and I am glad to see it has not disappeared. I am sure he was amused as he watched from afar. I mean it must be funny to watch, a sleep deprived crazed widow fighting with a carbon monoxide/smoke detector. I guess I canโ€™t complain as it was what I asked for – he is definitely with me. I will say that after this incident, I immediately called a handyman to change all the batteries in my smoke detectors to avoid anymore unwanted beeping and interrupted sleep in the future. The second learning from this story, First Alert builds a very sturdy and indestructible product and I can guarantee this product is built to last. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘