Thursday, October 31, 2013

TED Thursday: The world of online dating

I came across this TED talk today. A girl, recently out of a relationship, who loves data and connecting the dots and makes a mean timeline. She's a planner. Any of that sound familiar?

I found myself laughing out loud at a couple parts, loving how she broke down the system to find what she needed. The talk is hilarious. Give it a listen.

As I've talked to friends, most of whom are happily married, about the re-entry to the single world...they are at a loss for advice on how to meet guys. You can't just stroll across the Quad or go to a new class next semester and hope you find a cutie worth getting to know. And most of these happily married friends? Have friends who are happily married. So they can't troll their friends for possible dates for me, either. Time and time again, their answers were "what about online dating?"

There are so many thoughts that come to mind with that simple question. Because it doesn't feel so simple. Which site would I choose? Where do I even begin when it comes to setting up a profile? How much/how little information do I tell? What happens when no one emails/pokes/responds/messages/(insert whatever it is you do to chat on online dating because I'm so clueless here) me?

This lady took those frustrations and her skillset and made it work for her. It's hilarious...and ingenious. While I don't plan on engineering a handful of fake profiles, I applaud her for doing the legwork. And the moral of the story is: the legwork paid off. Sometimes, alright - most times, boys are dumb and they need help putting their shoes on, let alone finding someone who could conceivably become a life partner - so the creepy fake profiles seem less creepy when it pays off. Alright, the shoes are probably an overstatement, but I bet every girl reading this is nodding her head.

It all seems laughable to me.

[Find site]

[Create account with boringly literal or strangely funny username to lure boys]

[Insert picture]

[Add stupid quip that continues to attract said boys]

I'm pretty sure "Divorcee with dog and no steady income" is not the product of the algorithm that ends in my favor. That is not the milkshake that brings the boys to the yard.

I'm also pretty sure that my list would have at least 72 data points.

But what I do know FOR A that I have awesome friends who will remind me along the way that he is out there and I just have to keep living and working and someday my man of action will show up.

Bring it, dating world. Smileygirl1978 ain't got nothin' on this milkshake*.

*In fact, it appears she hasn't even seen a milkshake in awhile.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Building my future

While I joke about being okay with being a single gal, and I am, I also know that at some point in my future I will want to be an independent-minded woman staring at the adventures of my future with an independent-minded man at my side. I won't NEED him there, but I will want him to share in the experiences with me. And he won't NEED me there, but will equally want me.

I spent many nights mulling over the issues of my last relationship, both while it was happening and after the fact. I've learned from it. I may not ever know exactly what changed, but I've taken away from it the things I know will make me an even better partner in the future. And I also understand that there's no looking back. There's no sense in constantly re-hashing in my mind the events that occurred and the events that didn't. I will always enjoy the fond memories that I have of times past, but the memories aren't the present, and they hadn't been in awhile. You can't remain happy only from memories of long ago.

Just as you can't live in the past for happiness, you can't live in the past for sadness. You move on, you learn, you build your future forward.

And so I work on bettering myself, continually. I work on sorting out in my mind and planning for the life I'd like to have. I work on doing the things I love and being the person I want to be. I work on being happy, and doing the things that make me happy. I work on enjoying the moment. I'm building my life for the future.

I am a woman of action. And I know, both from that acknowledgement and from past experiences, that I want and need a man of action. A man who can help carry the load when it gets heavy. A man who will work with me, side by side, through the good days and the bad, to continually make our relationship the best it can be. Who will put in the effort to make the relationship great without making it feel like work. A man who will say nice things to me, both romantic and funny, to make me smile and laugh, but will also then follow those words with actions that reinforce the thought. A man who will call me on my sh!t when I get too sassy for my shoes (as Katie will attest I am apt to do), but love me just the same when the dust settles.

Does that man exist?

Who knows. I hope so. But until then, you can find me building my future...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Who cares, I'm awesome

On a related note to my blessed post, where I mentioned a couple ways in which I'm getting over the single hurdle with the help of friends and family, I have another "single gal" funny for you.

One night last week, I was sitting at the computer working and saw a mouse - literally SAW IT - skitter across the floor from the living room to the kitchen. I texted the landlord who came through with 4 traps, two different kinds, and tips on setting them that night.

The next day, upon arriving home from work, I was greeted with the present of a mouse in a trap. After getting over the initial shock - not sure why I was shocked, exactly. After all, that was the intent when I set them - I walked over to gather the trap/mouse and dispose of it outside.

And then it jumped.

Holy blazes of hellfire.

What's funny to me now is: I jumped in a circle like a little girl, screaming and waving my hands....while it hopped the trap in a circle, screeching and trying to get loose.

And Madeleine? She was having a field day with the crazy.

So...I texted the landlord. He wasn't home to remedy the mouse situation (come to find out he's not a fan of mice either). Nor were any of my friends in a close distance. It was big girl pants time. I put the bag back over my hand, kicked the trap around so that I could pick it up from trap end, and went for it.

And then it squeaked.

And I dropped it.

And squeaked myself.

Round two was more successful and the mouse is now in mouse heaven somewhere. And me? I rewarded myself with a beer. No man needed here. I got this sh!t under control.

Project 365: Week 5 recap

DAY 28: Flashdance has officially made it through the first two months of puppy teething, but was in dire need of a bath and a sewing patch on one of his feet. He took a day off for both, and is now back with Madeleine. You would've thought he was real, as happy as she became when I gave him back to her after his patch and cleaning.

DAY 29: This morning while I was getting ready for work, Madeleine started playing with something. I thought she might've found an amethyst, so I ran over and claimed the unknown object: a baby molar she had just lost.

DAY 30: What happens when you go to work early before the sun is up and just grope for your flats with your feet as you're running out the door? You end up spending the morning in two different shoes without realizing it.

DAY 31: Last night I noticed a mouse, so I put out some traps the landlord gave me. I came home from work today to a maimed, but not dead, mouse in one of them. With no one available to remedy the situation, I put on my big girl pants and took care of it myself. And then rewarded myself with beer.

DAY 32: A good friend came into town for a party this weekend and called me up to catch up over dinner. It's always great to commiserate lives and compare how our firms work, both similarly and differently. We had a great time over bourbon-based drinks and tacos.

DAY 33: I spent my afternoon with a good friend, and making new friends, carving pumpkins. I can't remember the last time I had done this and this experience did not disappoint. Spiced apple cider, also known as "life juice", laughs, and good music. Wins all-around.

DAY 34: I'm pretty sure this is my favorite pumpkin I've ever carved. Awesome handle. Awesome coloring. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Give a little

I know I'm a day late on Music Wednesday. I blame the plague that visited over the weekend. Anyway...

This song makes me want to boogie around the apartment in my undies. It's got a great beat, and I think the message applies in all aspects of life, but especially love. If we all focused on giving, making others happy, TRULY happy, I think most relationships - personal, business, friendships - would benefit greatly.

This will be a struggle for me having had to take care of my own happiness for so long, but I already see how happy I am currently and am becoming as I grow in my new life. It makes me excited to find the person out there who will willingly and gladly be my equal and give happiness to me as I will give to him.

But for now, dance party time.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The S#!t Show that was Sunday

Now that I'm a couple days removed, I can laugh at myself a little.

Sunday...was brutal. Talk about death march.

I felt like a complete sh!t show.

Thankfully I only felt this way, not WAS this way.

In the process of trying to figure out why I was hurting so much, I played internet doctor and now know where my appendix and gallbladder are located. Good news, the pain source wasn't at either of those locations.

I also realized that I need to change my living will. (I realized this before I realized where my appendix was. While in a fever-induced delirium, I was concerned my stabbing pain was appendicitis.)

I was laying on the couch in fetal position, whimpering, thinking...ok, if I go to the ER...who do I call? Who is my emergency contact? F#(k, I need to change my will. Katie gets all my sh!t (You're welcome). I need to write this down. I don't want to get up to get a pen and paper. I don't even think I CAN get up to get a pen and paper. They'll just have to take dictation in the ambulance. Mooooaaaaannnn. Whimper.

I'm not kidding about the whimpering. It was PATHETIC. If there were drunk kids milling about, they would have vine'd me like nobody's business. I would be almost asleep (I think) and wake up to whimpering sounds even I didn't know I made.

Plus side: I cleaned the toilet on Saturday.
Negative: It now needs to be cleaned again.

Plus side: Really awesome diet.
Negative: If you enjoy hurling your favorite comfort foods and convulsing like the girl from The Exorcist.

Plus side: Good workout from all muscles being tensed while in a feverish shake all day.
Negative: You feel like you were pummeled by a MMA fighter the next day.

Oh, did I mention, while all of this was going on, my dog ate the head off of a dead bird? Yeah, that happened.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another's brave journey

A dear friend lost his job today. I know this blog is about me and my journey, but so much of me is given strength by the close knit group of friends I am lucky to have (see here and here) - so for me, his journey is my journey. As he is my friend, I am his. And today I feel for him.

I almost don't know where to begin; all of the thoughts seem to be swirling like an unkempt merry-go-round, tumbling around with the mismatched clothes in the dryer (because why the hell would a merry-go-round be in the dryer? My point exactly. Bag o' cats up there). I pained that I didn't know how to come to his aid today, and I myself have heard - and been frustrated by - too much of "I know how you feel" lately to be able to utter those words to him as he shared the news with his friends. I've had to leave a job, many jobs in fact, in the past because of military moves, but have yet been stationary and without. So I don't, truly, know how it feels. I found myself wanting to say it, and bit my tongue as we spoke. Remembering how those words felt like a hot hand on my cheek when others said them to me.

But I empathize nonetheless.

The world of architecture right now, and in recent years, is not an easy one. While most of the nation struggled/struggles under a max 8% unemployment rate, architecture has been almost double that at times - and still sits above the national average. Even so, he is a talented architect. He is goal-oriented and attuned to details. He is so worthy of a blessed future and I can only imagine how downtrodden he feels tonight.

He is one to always see the design in things, how something relates to another. Another friend described him recently as "the big picture" guy. When I saw this quote today, I immediately thought of him.

I hope he realizes the support structure he has. His family. His friends. His peers. I hope he realizes his value to the profession. I hope he sees this as a chance to redirect the journey, rather than a collapsed bridge. I have many hopes, but mostly I hope he finds peace in the unsettled moments, both now and in the immediate future.

I know he is a believer, so I will end with this, because no one ever says it better than He does.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
We're all in your corner. Know that, if you know anything.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Count your blessings

This past couple days I had a nice reminder of the good great friends and family I have in my life.

On Friday morning, I wasn't feeling too great as I got to work, but counted it off as not having yet had breakfast. Later that day a coworker texted to check on me to make sure everything was ok. He had noticed me seeming a bit off and just wanted to check in. While I felt bad that I was broadcasting any other feeling than happiness, it was such a happy surprise to know that I have close friends to check on me, even when I'm not asking for help outright. One of the many reasons I call them my "Schmidt family". I will admit, he might be on heightened alert because his wife is now in the midst of pregnancy with their first child. Dare I say he might be getting attuned to changing facial expressions of women when uncomfortable. ;) I'm so excited to see them start this journey together and this small gesture to a friend shows me even more how great of a dad he will be to their little girl.

Evidently the pangs early Friday might have been a stomach bug settling in, because by Sunday I was down for the count. Fever, vomiting, aches, the works. Well...the vomiting came later, but still. So I texted my dad early in the day to ask him to come play superdad and bring me some "comfort food" by the way of sprite and grilled cheese and tomato soup, as well as to provide some manual labor to do some chores around the house that I was planning on doing that day: remove the window aircon, lay down the insulation in the attic, etc. He showed up, lacking cape (or perhaps it was invisible) but superdad nonetheless. There's no longer a draft and the temperature in the apartment has been much better since the insulation got fixed. I made some lunch, and slowly ate it as we sat and chatted about the housing market and life in general.

After revisiting lunch (thankfully I had spent some of the previous day cleaning the toilet), I was granted another small blessing in the form of my wonderful landlords. Or I guess their son...and his love for applesauce. They were kind enough to give me some - with a moderate radius being kept for germ reasons - that night when I was finally starting to feel okay enough to try and eat again. Oh the small joys of plain applesauce. Thanks, O-man!

During parts of this weekend, I lamented my singlehood, just wanting someone to do a load of laundry, or the dishes, or lay down the insulation, or cuddle me while I was completely down for the count. It would have been easy to get stuck in that low spot, but I (surprisingly) didn't. Perhaps I was too delirious with fever. Who knows.

While my dad and my friends cannot necessarily do some of that list, I feel so blessed to know that there's some chores on that list they are willing and ready to take to hand. Sometimes just saying you're there is enough. Sometimes all it takes is climbing a ladder to brighten a girl's day.

Many blessings. Many thanks.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Project 365: Week 4 recap

DAY 22: Lady M always gives me this sideways head cocked expression when I whistle at her. It makes me laugh every time.

DAY 23: I was reminiscing about New Hampshire falls today and was reminded on my drive home that my current locale ain't so shabby, either.

DAY 24: Madeleine is getting so big! There are times I come home for lunch and ask her if she grew while I was gone, but it's most evident when she stands next to the landlords' dogs.

DAY 25: SARA BAREILLES! I was stoked out of my gourd all day at work and in complete bliss at the show. If you are ever given a chance to see her live, take it! Three experiences so far, not once have I been even remotely close to disappointed.

DAY 26: Happy first birthday, little skittle! Hard to imagine it's already been a year.

DAY 27: First bath time at home. Madeleine was not a fan, but didn't make too much of a mess either. Her poor, shivering body was torture enough.
(You'll notice I missed a day. I didn't want to mis-label the posts and end on 28 and cut myself short. I promised 365 images, and 365 I will deliver.)

Have a great week!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Fun-day

With both a mix of inspiration and fun, I welcome Friday. Today is the Sara Bareilles concert - holla!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Real vs Perceived

I saw a tweet the other day that spoke to me:

Sometimes it's hard to live the life that would make you happy instead of the life that would make other people think you are happy.

I think it pretty well sums up some of the kickback we received after letting people know of our decision. A lot of people, when they found out, throw all sorts of "fix" ideas at us. Like they somehow thought we wouldn't have tried everything in our power. I am beginning to understand it's their own version of a coping mechanism in hopes to be helpful because they don't know what else to do. But it's tiring to have to re-explain and convince them that we did our due diligence and made the decision we think is right.

Most of this has calmed down, but I do think it is a continuous struggle to remember, after trying so long in a different vein, that I am worthy of living the life that makes me happy.

This is not to say we didn't start happy. We were. But something changed. I don't know what. I don't know that I'll ever know what. But I know that I put in enough effort to try and fix it to be okay with our decision. And I think that this long-span time of fixing singularly, while necessary, is what threw off our friends and family the most. Because in that time I continued to act in a way that made others think I was happy, that masked the real struggle. So when we decided to change the situation, to take the step to find and live the lives that would make us happy, it was a surprise to many.

There's a song off of Sara Bareilles's new album that sums this up pretty well.

"Let me paint a picture for you then I'll have to teach you to see it
Illustrate the remnants of the life I used to live here in Eden
Rolled a lucky pair of dice, ended up paradise
Landed on a snake's eyes, took a bite and ended up bleeding

You know if I could change anything, I think I would start with the name
The truth is all those angels started acting the same
And I know there's no going back now cause
Life in Eden
Life in Eden changed
No way to make the pain play fair
It doesn't disappear just because you say it isn't there
So when they ask why'd she go you can say cause
Life in Eden
Life in Eden changed"

A conversation with a friend kind of sums this up. She questioned me a month or two ago. Not out of trying to change my mind, necessarily. But out of concern and understanding. She wanted to make sure there wasn't something she was missing...some bit that made it all make sense to the outsider looking in. In trying to explain to her, I began to realize just how shut off I had made myself in the struggle. How hidden it was, even to my closest friends and family. And I think so much of it goes back to that quote. I had tried to continue to live the perceived life that made others think I/we was/were happy, while not really being happy.

Life in Eden had changed.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pressurized minerals

There are many ways that puppies train you for children. Today, and for the next couple days, I will get to experience one of them. Dealing with poop.

You know that saying when sometimes people are acting like they think they're special? Some variation of "What? Does she think she shits rainbows?" Or something about the poop being valuable. Well right now Madeleine's poop is VERY valuable. 

Today while I spent lunch on the phone with the California State Board of Equalization (small business stuff), she spent it barking. Towards the tail end of the conversation, the barking stopped. That should have been my sign that trouble was afoot. Instead , 15 minutes later, I realized she was chewing on something. What, you might ask? None other than my amethyst necklace, an heirloom from my great grandma. It must have broken off the clasp earlier that day (I put it on to wear it to work that morning) and she found it on the floor. 

It is now missing 4 small amethysts. And I am digging through poop for the foreseeable future.

Happy Monday, folks. I guarantee yours was better than mine!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Project 365: Week 3 recap

DAY 15: No matter the day I'm having, this little goober makes me smile.

DAY 16: This is the beginning of a new development by IndyModHomes down the street from me. There will be a total of nine prefab homes on the site when it is done and I'm excited to see it progress.

DAY 17: Miss Madeleine was being a pretty little poser tonight and oh-so-cuddly. I'm hoping these calm cuddle nights are a continuing trend.

DAY 18: Good Morning, Indianapolis! This is my view almost every morning en route to work: amazing.

DAY 19: Welcome home. So blessed to have such awesome friends and landlords who took me in back in June. Gotta love a space with character.

DAY 20: A group from Schmidt participated in "Beer Games" at the Germanfest at the Rathskeller. We had a blast and the weather was beautiful.

DAY 21: My sanctuary this morning. I took a week off from church hunting, mostly because I slept poorly and wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to try this week. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday Video: A diamond, a rose, a most precious material

A military friend sent me this the other day. It's amazing how God speaks to you. This video is a reminder I need to give myself daily.

I am beautiful. I am smart. I am funny. I am kind. I am unique.

I am worthy. I am worthy of being treated like the most precious of gems.

I am worthy of a love and affection most powerful.

I am.

And until I am blessed with that love in this human life, I am secure in the knowledge that I have that love in Him. Unconditional. Unfailing. Without hesitation or question.

He gave me strength, and still loves me in my weakest moments. He gave me talent, and still loves me when I'm silly. He gave me a great love to give. A great love worthy of loving.

While I seek to find that person in me, those characteristics, again - the strength, the love, the talent, the kindness, the patience - I have hope because I know He already sees it. While I journey to find a person to share my life and my love with, a person who will love me as God loves me, who will show me happiness in the darkest of days and be my partner, my equal in my life's adventures - I have faith because I know He already sees not just the journey, but the destination.

I am awesome.

And when I forget it, I have awesome friends to remind me. I have me to remind me. I have HIM to remind me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let's not forget we're alive

After a gloomy couple days, I went back to a song a good friend sent me recently and took it in. The song is by Joshua Radin, from his new album "Wax Wings". 

The day, for the most part, is what you make it. It's time to make my days beautiful. Live life big and hard, smile lots and love strong. There's only this one life. I plan on making the most of it.

I'm gonna wash the dust off my soul

I'm gonna listen to some rock n' roll

No cares, come what may

I'm making a beautiful day 
I'm gonna drive my car into the sea

Swim out far cause I believe that the waves will wash the gray away

I'm making a beautiful day

But let me hear you say 

Oooh ooohh my my

I'm learning to fly

Hey hey what's that you're saying
Lets not forget we're alive

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Laugh a little

Sometimes when you're in a funk, you just have to laugh at yourself, or something else.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Have a little faith

What's the adage? Two steps forward, one step back?

After all my talk about sitting back and enjoying the ride, tempering my inner crazy child, I had a minor meltdown this weekend/today. The details don't really matter. Suffice it to say 50hr work weeks + fever-inducing illness + gloomy weekend = Lora in a funk.

I wasn't necessarily questioning myself and my choices...just a minor panic attack of the unknown. I warned here and here that I was/am a planner. That the unknown, the sitting back and letting life happen both scares and frustrates me. It makes me feel helpless. I am a woman of action, and being in this in between...this unknown amoeba of still settling into my new life, unsure of where it's helplessness by the very definition.

On Sunday at church (tested out a new church, starting the search for a new church family) the interim pastor gave a sermon on getting down in the thick of the mess and getting your hands dirty to get things done. That even in the most seemingly uneventful or unworthy situations, miracles are happening. Good things are happening. We only have to notice them.

I never would have pictured myself where I am now. You don't get married expecting to get divorced. And this new life may not be quite figured out yet, but each day is a step forward. Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Sometimes you bonk 10 miles from home. And there's nothing you can do but grit through it and look for the good things along the way to help the time pass. It doesn't do you any good to get off your bike and stomp and curse your situation. Your path, which may seem slow and tedious. Your destination, which may seem unknown. All of these things are part of God's bigger plan, which means there's miracles along the way. You just have to put on your shades and find them through the blinding light of awesome. Oh, and maybe stop thrashing and cursing.

Who knows. We'll see about that last bit. ;)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project 365: Week 2 recap

DAY 8: Vet check day! Got the last round of vaccines and the Rabies shot. Also scheduled her surgery to get "fixed". Little girl is growing up!

DAY 9: After a long day at work, it was time to settle in for a movie.

DAY 10: The weather was beautiful. Took advantage of it and went for a short bike ride before putting in some more work hours from home.

DAY 11: Started to feel a bit sick today, but somehow her face makes me smile no matter what.

DAY 12: I had promised a friend that I would join her at a nonprofit event, so I put on my sassy pants to help me feel better and went out to support breast cancer awareness and research.

DAY 13: Movie night in the WP. A houseful of adorable kids watching "The Croods".

DAY 14: No rest for the weary. Making up hours missed Friday from feeling puny on a dreary Sunday afternoon.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday wisdom

Calm down, you thrashing child. The roller coaster is about to begin its ride.