Embracing Change

Thinking back on the year 2020, I think we can all say the theme of the year was DOOM! Well, my 2021 theme definitely has been “A Year of CHANGE”. And I have the choice…fight it, or embrace it! So…let me share my year of change with y’all!

It all started with me decided to move forward with building a house. I was so excited….but, it meant leaving the neighborhood that I have lived in for years. It meant reconfiguring my space and learning how to live in a house that is about 300 square feet less. It also meant moving about 10 minutes from my area…still within driving distance for sure, but no longer would my normal go to’s be just 3-5 minutes away.

Then, I participated in my first virtual half marathon. I ran it all and did great, but it was definitely a different experience than in years past. Not going downtown for the pre-event festivities, pacing myself along a route I had to chose, and not having a crowd along the way to keep me going sure made the run more challenging than in years past.

As the school year began to wrap up, I realized how much change we experienced with the change in our school calendar this year. We continued classes into June, which was completely different than in a regular year. And, this had a domino effect on several other aspects of my job…planning for the upcoming year and hiring staff were only a couple of things that became a challenge.

As we did wrap up the year, my right hand girl…my assistant principal (who I have been with for the last 15 years), decided that she and her family were moving away from the area and I was going to need to find a new assistant. This was a big one for me! Not a change I was anticipating and let me tell you, I had a hard time with this one.

Now that I am settled in the new home…I have new assistant principal on staff…I have hired all teachers for the new year…and I have discovered my new normal (new place to get gas, my new running routes in the neighborhood, etc), I am ready to move forward with this “changed” life. But it took me a minute to get here.

My thoughts for you today…

  • Change is inevitable. Life is an ever-evolving process and if you think it will always be the same, you will have a difficult time adjusting to life.
  • Change can be a good thing! I may miss my old running routes in my old neighborhood, across the street from my go to Mexican restaurant, but my new running route brings me along the greenbelt areas with water ways, fountains, and some new wildlife to see…not so bad on an early morning run for sure!
  • Routine can make life boring…and for those of you who know me well…I truly have become boring over the past couple of years. Change can bring exciting new adventures in your life! You just never know…adventures that you really could learn to love!
  • And most importantly, although change is scary, it will be much more challenging if we refuse to embrace it and fight against the change. No one wants a miserable life, and if we refuse to change over the years, we are sure to find ourselves stuck, spending more energy on resisting the change than embracing what could come of it.

I am certainly looking forward to many new adventures in my life (after 50 :)…and I am starting with the year 2021! I cannot wait to see what change will bring for me as I continue to live my best life! Stay tuned, my friends!

You can Talk the Talk…But Can You Walk the Walk?

Waaah! What a July it has been! One month ago today, I began the official packing and moving process…and it has been non-stop since! One does not really know how much work and stress it can all be! But…I am getting there! Between work, life, and unpacking…my goal is to be done done by Labor Day!

In between packing, organizing, wrapping up a school year, closing on the house, unpacking, planning for the start of a new school year, and hiring staff….it really has been a whirlwind! But, I like to look for lessons in all I do! Of course, one BIG lesson was the whole home buying process (which we will NOT discuss today!). But, surprisingly, I learned another BIG lesson this summer!

I have been doing my “day job” for many years (25 years in education and 15 as a principal). I have experienced many, many different situations…enough to say I feel that not much can surprise me these days. However, this year, I had some experiences both in the work place and in my personal life, that made me go HMMMM! The word INTEGRITY stands out in my mind. And, unfortunately, I have to ask…is that a thing of the past?????

I am a smart girl and I know that everything that goes on in the world has quite an impact on how we all live our lives. What I pride myself in, I discovered, may not be the same as others. I strive to be kind to others (even when they make it hard to do so), make an impact in the world (even when it is hard), and do what I say I am going to do…even when no one is watching! But, I am finding that this may not be the norm. I cannot tell you how many job references I have completed this summer, only to learn what the candidate says just isn’t true. And, what is more disturbing, is when you take a chance on a new relationship, it also tends to not be so true.

I won’t go into details…but, here is my advice to all of you…woman, man, child, adult, and anything in between…if you can talk the talk, make sure you can walk the walk. If you can’t, which is just fine, then don’t say you will. Don’t make the promises you cannot keep! Have some integrity!

As I continue on my journey through life…I plan to continue to put myself out there….and actually looking forward to that next relationship adventure…but, do us all a favor, say what you mean and mean what you say! I know it can be scary, but trust me, everyone will believe in you a little more if you do! Stay tuned, my friends!

An Unmarried Woman

Wow! The house closing is done! It was a whirlwind of an event. Very last minute on many things…I didn’t get the final closing amount until the day before, had to rush to the bank to get the check, AND I was unexpectedly chosen to have my file audited at the last minute! I had to work my “Cheri Magic”…which translate to getting a little dramatic…but in the end, I closed on June 30 at 11:00 am, started moving my things from the rental at 5:30 pm, and successfully vacated the property by midnight! I certainly could not have done it without all of the fabulous people in my life….who endured a day of craziness with me and did not complain once! I am eternally grateful!

However, one very strange thing occurred during the process. Now, this is the first time I bought a home by myself. The last two homes I owned, I purchased jointly with my ex-husband…so maybe this is a thing I just didn’t know. I think it also shocked my realtor, so I feel it is something to share!

As I was reviewing the online paperwork the night before closing, I set myself up in my living room, surrounded by boxes and cuddled with my dog who, by the way, was over the top anxious as his world had been turned upside down. I did though, take my time to really look everything over and carefully read each page of the online document. And on the very first page, I discovered my surprise! Here is what it said…

Cheri D…, UNMARRIED WOMAN, will purchase the home at...”

Not only did I discover this phrase on the first page, but it was repeated several times throughout the document! What?????? I was instantly shocked that I had to have that title added to my home documents! Was it that important to point out more than 5 times that I was an unmarried woman???? And, when did that become a title appropriate for a strong, independent, very successful, single woman????? I felt like they wanted to be sure to make it clear that I was doing this, but don’t forget…she’s unmarried!

My realtor joked that maybe they were impressed that a single woman was able to afford the home alone…as she felt just as surprised as I was to see that phrase on my documents. And, at the end of the day, we are going to go with that!

I am sure there is a reason it was stated like that….I assume they want to document that there are no other owners or people being put on the mortgage. But, do they list unmarried man, if a man is purchasing a home alone? And, let’s just think about this more a moment….is this really a title that we want single women to have? You all know me well enough by now and you know, I am perfectly content with being a single woman! Yes, I do anticipate that one day, I will again be part of a relationship, and maybe even marry, but until that time comes, there certainly is NOTHING wrong with being an UNMARRIED WOMAN!

Ladies, remember, you choose your life…you choose if you want to partner up or not! Don’t let society make any of you feel that you are any less for being single! If I can share nothing else, I share…being single definitely doesn’t make you wrong or any less than anyone else!

So, this unmarried woman is currently enjoying a great glass of wine, in my beautiful new home, that I purchased on my own, with money I earned while working hard at my day job, which I have because I earned two degrees to meet the educational requirements, which I also paid for on my own! And, I wouldn’t want it any other way! I am proud of me…unmarried or not….

Stay tuned, my friends!

Who needs the internet anyway?????

Hey all! What a couple of weeks it has been! I cannot tell you how busy finalizing everything on the house and moving has been! I woke up this morning and realized that my vacation is about to be over and all I have done is moved!

Now, I have to say…I am LOVING this new home! It truly is my dream home! I cannot wait to share all of the pictures with you…as soon as the rest of the furniture comes in and all of the curtains are up! I know you are going to love it too! But, it has been a bit hard to get pictures, posts, and social media caught up on…I HAVE NO INTERNET!!!

As a 50 year old, you all know I grew up in the privative age…meaning, I was alive and around as cable tv became a thing….I remember being a mom already when cell phones and internet really got started! And, back then, I was terrified to know that this was the new way of doing things. However, over the years, I have gotten very used to the convenience of my smart systems and my internet! And, I never thought I would be the one to say….I have gone 10 days without access and I am dying! And, I still have 7 more days to go! Let me tell you what happened…

Choosing to build a house rather than buy an existing home was a hard choice. I knew I would have to deal with delays in building (which happened for sure) and I was totally at the mercy of the building company to get this house done perfect! But, I was willing to deal with those things so that I could get the sparkly, fresh home that I always wanted. What I didn’t realize is that when the cable company comes to “transfer” your service…they need to access the box….and it may not be in your yard! Yep…the box is in my new neighbor’s yard. And, they keep a large dog out during the day and the gate locked. So, when the tech arrived, and did his very best to contact the family and see if there was any way to help me, I quickly learned I would have to reschedule my appointment…and it would be an additional 11 days before they would be able to return!

So, here I am my friends…at the mercy of my hotspot on my phone! Ugh!!!!! Now, I am a smart girl and I know that I will not die over this. Saturday will come soon and it will all be back to normal, but I sure do miss having immediate access to my sites, my devices, my workouts, my normal life!

In the meantime, I am learning how to fall in love again with regular tv (and an antennae…thanks Dad for hooking me up with that!). I am spending more time on the phone actually having conversations with my friends rather than emails and text messages (and this is certainly not a bad thing). And, I am getting stuff unpacked, put together, and settled so one day soon I can relax again, streaming my netflix, writing my blogs, catching up on my social media, and enjoying all of the perks of living in the 21st century!

I haven’t forgotten about y’all! If the posts are few and far between, know that I will be back online soon and back to sharing all of my adventures with you! Stay tuned, my friends!

When to Take Your Heart Out of Negotiating!

I have always been a very passionate person. Some would even say a little dramatic. I guess if I have to really be honest, my very dramatic daughter (love her) gets it all from me! I find when I decide to do something, I go all in. When I decide to love, I love all out. When I decide I am done with something, I am completely done. It is just who I am and, truth be told, I kinda like me and wouldn’t want it any other way!

As an educator, I don’t get to “negotiate” much. I get a salary that is pretty much set by state guidelines. I get allotments to run my building based on state and district guidelines. There isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to my day job. The same thing held true when I built my first house. We didn’t have a realtor assist us, and we just assumed we would walk in, they would say, “this model is this much”, we would say, “ok”, and the deal was done. That is what we did, so again, no real experience with negotiating.

Fast forward to this home build….and I had to actually spend time negotiating a bit. Wow! It is not easy! I cannot tell you the amount of stress I had and the amount of patience I had to learn. And, as a very passionate person, looking to get the best deal for my very hard earned money, it was very difficult to keep my feelings out of it!

Doing a little research on the topic of negotiation, I keep seeing the phrase, take the emotion out of it. With my personality, I am not sure I am the best at negotiating….but, I think I got the deal. Here is what I did.

  • I started the conversation with being honest. I had a specific amount of money, and that was all I was going to have. I even said, at one point (because I am dramatic), there is not a money tree in my yard and I can’t grow more. Once I explained what I could and could not do, the person on the other end of this was much more understanding of my situation.
  • I persevered and didn’t give up until I was comfortable with the scenario that would work best for me. The negotiation had to do with buying points on my new mortgage…something I had zero knowledge of…I had to learn quickly and then take the time to work through different rates and how that would affect the loan, the closing costs, and my monthly payment. It was a lot of back and forth, work, and time, but in the end, it paid off.
  • Once I got what I felt comfortable with, I got everything in writing. Of course, this is just good practice, but also, the way things started going…I kept telling myself, if something changed in the future, I would want proof that this deal had been made. Luckily, this saved me in the end. The person I began the negotiation with no longer works for the company….but, I had everything in writing, and with a little more back and forth, I am getting what I was promised.
  • I continually thank the people I am working with. I know this may sound silly, and I certainly don’t want to go overboard with my gratitude, but these people also took their time to work with me and all of my questions. I need them to know that I appreciate their time. Besides, they may say I was a little emotionally involved, but they can never say that I wasn’t grateful!

I certainly am not a professional when it comes to this type of work! And, I can’t even say that I am qualified to give negotiating advice…but I can share my experience and hope that this may help anyone out there in a situation such as mine. And, this leads me to my original thought…when do you take the emotion out of the negotiation? Well, had I not been passionate enough about wanting to get the deal with the limited budget that I had, I am not sure I would have had the patience to get through this. Not only patience, but the strength, as I probably would have just thought…ok, I am not qualified to be a home owner…and given up. So, stay strong! Do your research! Use emotion when you need! And, in the end, persevere so that you can get what is best for you! If I can do it, so can you! Stay tuned, my friends!

Treadmill or Outside Running??

As you know by now, I am originally from north central Iowa…20 minutes south of the Minnesota border. Although we experience VERY cold winters, we have the BEST summers…well, except this year…yes, they set an all time record high this past week! I have always dabbled in running, and back in college as a PE major, I would run in the below zero temps…outside! Of course, I was young, and I do believe your body does adapt to the cold. Fast forward to adulthood…and more specifically, midlife…and I had this dilemma of adapting myself to run in the heat. Not just heat, but the thick humidity that we enjoy in Houston in the summer! I found that I had a harder time adapting to the heat than the cold, but I did it! I think I finally crossed the line when I forced myself to run every day for a year outside. Yes, prior to that, I spent as much time running on a treadmill as I did on the streets. It was a hard, hot year…but I am now acclimated and, although the summer runs are still tough, I get them done! And, have even run a few 5k races each summer!

So, let’s talk about treadmill running. I got serious about running in 2005. I was going through a tough year at work (with a lot of stress) and when I found myself feeling overly tired and just not myself, I decided to see the doctor. I don’t go to a doctor often, as I do not get “sick”, so I chose one that my ex-husband used and made an appointment. After a few tests and some blood work, I was diagnosed with a minor disorder and the doctor told me to stay healthy, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Well, I know I do not sleep, so I had to ensure that I was doing the other things very well. I decided to start running 5 days per week…and it must have been a time when my ex-husband liked me a little, as he went out and got me a fancy treadmill so I could make it happen!

I LOVED that treadmill! I fell in love with running, and soon began planning for my first half marathon. Here is what I loved about treadmill running:

  • I could run no matter what time of day and I was safe! If I decided to get up at 4 am for a run, I didn’t have to worry about running in the dark and who may be lurking in the bushes!
  • No matter the weather, I was safe and sound on my treadmill! Rain or shine, heat or cold, ice…snow…a hurricane (as long as there was electricity)…I was set!
  • My fancy-ass treadmill had all of the bells and whistles….and I could simulate running on different terrain, different elevations, etc. It was amazing and I felt I was really conditioning my body for my upcoming run.
  • When I work out, I sweat! Probably more than the average person…but on the treadmill, I could crank the AC down and put a fan blowing on me and I was a happy girl!

So, I ran on that treadmill day in and day out to prepare for my first half marathon…and…I probably should have run a little more on the streets. I quickly realized, as I left the start line that cold January morning, I had always been running on a machine that held my pace for me. And, it sure didn’t require my muscles to put in the effort to push me along, as the machine was doing that work for me during my training runs. It was a LONG 13 miles! I finished, of course, but quickly learned that training for number 2 had to be a bit different!

That is how I learned to be an outside, street runner! Yes, the concrete is hard on your body. Yes, it is hot out there! Yes, I had to learn to pace myself. But, after running now for 15 years, I have to say my aging body thanks myself and the effort I put into learning how to run on the mean streets of Houston (haha…I live in a posh neighborhood in the suburbs…but the streets are still concrete!).

Reflecting on all of this, I cannot say treadmill or street running is better or worse than the other. I can say, you pick what works for you! But, think about what your end goal is. If it is to run longer distances, I definitely say train on the terrain you will be running on. If you are an early morning runner, and woman like me for sure, use that treadmill so that you are as safe as can be. There is no right or wrong answer…you do you! I think the most important lesson in all of this…just get out there and run! Stay tuned, my friends!

Style: Can it Affect Your Confidence?

Since embarking on this journey of entering the blogging world, I have chosen to spend time trying to learn from many different people, in many different formats. I recently found that I really enjoy spending my time during my commute to and from work, listening to different podcasts. I have been drawn to many, and LOVE learning from all of these different people! I, of course, now dream of one day having my own podcast!

A few of the different people I listen to are lifestyle coaches, style coaches, etc. And hearing them talk about how they work with people to help them improve their own self image through many different avenues, including their style, fascinates me! And, it leads me to ask the question…style…does it have power over your self esteem? So, I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on this…and here are my thoughts!

  1. I find that on days I just do not want to get up and get going, if I pick my most amazing outfit, I can walk out that door and slay the day! I am a heels kind of girl…well, to be honest, all kind of shoes grab my attention…and on those days that I just don’t want to go, a GREAT pair of heels makes me feel more confident and gives me a little pep in my step!
  2. I have a tendency to wear looser fitting clothing. I do this for a few reasons…one, I move and groove a lot in my day and I want to be able to deal with the day’s activities easily…and two, and now I am going to give you one of my insecurities, I worry that if my clothes are too tight, people will think I do not have my life together! So…after working through some body image types of issues, I have learned, the best fitting outfits ACTUALLY make me feel better about myself and others comment how much more put together I actually do look!
  3. Accessories…they sure can make or break an outfit…and they can also make a girl feel just a little more stylish and put together! I find days that I include jewelry…usually earrings, bracelets, a ring or two, and a great statement necklace…the outfit just goes together much better. And, when I feel better about my look, I feel better about my life!
  4. Days that I do not work, especially during COVID, I found myself finding a pair of yoga pants, a t-shirt (usually one from a past race I completed or from a GREAT concert), and tennis shoes. Sure, after a long week, dressing casually feels great, but looking back at it now, sometimes it made me feel like this was a great outfit in case I just wanted to crawl right back in bed and not deal with the day. As we have begun to transition out of COVID, I have required myself to move away from the yoga pants and put on real clothes on the weekends. I can still feel comfortable and casual, but if I were to get that last minute call to meet a friend for drinks, I feel confident enough to walk into a bar and not look like I just left the gym!
  5. I few years ago, I was in Chicago for a conference and decided to join some colleagues for a little shopping. I had recently worked to save up a little money to complete some home projects, but as I entered Nordstroms, I forgot all about the home repairs that needed to be done! My attention fixed on the BEAUTIFUL Christian Louboutin’s that were on display! Now, I wear good heels/shoes, and I don’t mind paying a little for them…not necessarily as much as these were, but I had the money, so I did it! And, I fell in love!!! I did have to deal with a little buyer’s remorse after, but the first time I wore them out, I felt like a boss! Let me be clear, I don’t think you have to spend that much on something to make yourself feel good, but for me, it was a complete confidence booster! For me, it made me believe, I had made it to a place in life where, if I chose, I could afford something special for myself without the worry of not being able to eat for the next week! That is what boosted my confidence!

I am sure you may be able to share some of the same thoughts that I listed above…and you and I may not have anything in common at all! But, I learned by taking this time to reflect, what I tell my students and staff at my school, “If you look good, you feel good…and if you feel good, you do good!”, resonates with me! I highly recommend taking a minute to think about your next outfit…take time to put it together early, add some accessories, and ensure that it fits you well. See if that next day when you wear it, do you get a different response in others? How do you feel when wearing it? Could it give you a little boost in your confidence and make you believe you actually can achieve your goals? It’s an easy experiment and it could produce some pretty amazing results! Stay tuned, my friends!

The Real Estate Market

I chose to become an educator as my first career, however, I have dabbled with real estate a few times in my life. As you all know by now, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything about homes…home design, home decorating, home remodels, anything that makes a house a home is one of my passions! So, it should not surprise anyone that I have taken the real estate courses…however, I have not completed any exams. I took them while back in Iowa, working on the house flip and thinking of leaving education. Then, I decided to move back to Houston, and I got a job back in education…so I just went with it. I did meet with a real estate company and started the Texas courses, but as a campus administrator, I had limited time and I knew I couldn’t give it my all.

But, that doesn’t stop my passion, for sure! I continue to follow market trends and anything that includes houses, housing, design, etc. So, today I want to share my own thoughts on this crazy real estate market!

I built my first home in 2001, in Houston, Texas. It was a lovely, 2200 sq. ft. home in a reputable neighborhood, zoned to great schools, and I got a fantastic price! At that time, the average price for a home like mine was around $120,000…which looking back, seems like a STEAL! Houston was one of those cities that the housing prices really did stay pretty stable and I definitely benefited from that! I ended up selling years later, and although the market was beginning to adjust here, I still would say homes were very reasonable and I was able to find a buyer quickly.

When I returned to Houston two years later (2015), I noticed prices starting to rise. Nothing too, too significant, but enough where as a single income, I couldn’t buy in the more trendy areas of the city, and chose to wait and lease in the suburbs. During my last 6 years of leasing, and finally deciding to make the commitment to purchase a home, I certainly have had a few surprises along the way!

Here is what I now know:

  • I began this house journey in January of 2021, and just had the home appraised so I can begin to process the closing, and I am already in appreciation of about $20,000! And that is above the cost with my pricey upgrades!
  • My friend just sold her house, on the market for one weekend, for well above what she paid to have it built…like I am guessing over $100,000 more!
  • My real estate agent is having a very difficult time finding homes for her clients, as most homes are getting offers above asking, before clients are even seeing them!
  • Listening to my podcasts last week, the low interest rates are driving these home prices up everywhere across the US, and it may not change until 2022…or beyond!
  • The cost for materials has increased so much recently…lumber, piping, etc…that it has become difficult to build at prices that I locked in at, just 6 months ago!

It amazes me that housing prices are so high…thinking about many of the homes I looked at prior to deciding to build would have needed a pretty major overhaul….and they were higher than the cost of building. As I mentioned, I watch the market often and it really is everywhere!

So, I wonder….how does the average household afford home ownership? A new teacher in many district around my side of Houston have a beginning salary around $60,000…and that is not enough to purchase the average home in the area. (However, rent is not much better right now!) I also wonder…what happens if the market shifts….will all of us home owners be at a loss? And, if rates do go back to a higher rate, will a yearly salary just over $100,000 allow for home ownership?

All things home truly will continue to be my passion….and I hope to continue to dabble in many areas of real estate in the near future. I am anxious, but also completely excited to see what happens with the housing trends in the future! And, I certainly hope that one day, I have the ability to answer some of my wonderings, especially when it comes to how I can help others (what I do believe I was put on this earth to do) find affordable housing that becomes a safe and secure place for those who are the average, hardworking families around the Houston area! Stay tuned, my friends!

First Impressions

As a little girl, I was always fascinated with people who walked into a room and were completely put together. I observed everything. I noticed their hair, make-up, teeth, clothes, and of course, their shoes! I watched how they carried themselves. In addition to that physical presence, I also noticed how they lit up the room, made others feel, and who got the most attention. All of this together made an impact on those around…I guess I was already learning about first impressions.

As I continued on my journey through life, I quickly realized that making a positive first impression is EVERYTHING! And, it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money! And, I have learned, that the first impression is your natural business card. It is what people are going to remember about you. And, you only get ONE first impression! So, I have learned that personally, I want to leave a mark on the world whenever anyone first meets me!

As an avid home decorator over the years, your home leaves a first impression too! The lawn, the upkeep of the home, the landscaping, and the front facade of the home is what draws people in. It is your home’s business card! So, how do I ensure my home leaves a GREAT first impression? Let me share a few of my tips with you below.

  • The Lawn: I do my own lawn work. I, one, enjoy the hard work and sweat that goes into perfecting it each week. But, I also like to be sure I take the time to explore my yard, and touch each inch of it. I like to have the edging done like I want. Fresh cut grass and trimmed edges make a huge difference to the appearance of a home! Whether you do your own lawn or have it hired out, be sure to keep up with your lawn. You sure do not want your “first impression” to be of an over-grown yard that looks neglected!
  • The Landscaping: I will be the first to admit, I do not have the best GREEN THUMB! So, I always want to be sure that my landscaping is easy to care for. I live in a very hot, humid climate, so I need landscaping that can accommodate the sun, the heat, and the varying precipitation. I LOVE rocks, yard boulders, unique plant pots, and dark mulch. Again, things that are easy to maintain! Whatever your preference is, be sure it meets your lifestyle. If you have plenty of time to spend on your landscaping, go for it! But if you are like me and work a lot, find easy ways for your landscaping to look neat and fresh, and still bring the right attention to your “first impression”.
  • The Home: I like homes that have some kind of design element that stands out in the front. Whether it is the lighting, the porch, or the front door, I find that whatever can draw attention and ensure people stop and think, “Wow”, the more I love it! I am not a very traditional type of girl, and prefer an eclectic or modern type of look. I love grays, black, and white color schemes. I suggest that you spend time looking at other homes in your area. What do you love about them? What draws your attention to the home? Once you know your personal style, you can then work with your home’s design and ensure it gives that feeling of “wow” when someone passes by!

These tips have worked for me over the years, as I truly believe that first impressions are definitely important. I think what is most important to think about in it all, however, is to find what works for you! You certainly don’t want to put together a great look that you cannot maintain! Nothing is worse than a messy, un-kept front facade! Take time to think about what you want and enlist the help from a professional if needed. But remember, you do not need a ton of money to keep a clean, neat, home. To me, it is definitely a HUGE element in your home’s “first impression! Stay tuned, my friends!

The Story of Too…

What a busy week it has been! Ending the school year is always busy, but during a pandemic…or the end of one…makes it even crazier! Not much writing done this week, but I did get a chance to keep up with my social media. And, let me tell you about a real life story that is sparking this post!

I recently have been friending and following some great new friends through my networking opportunities with my blog and ran across a post from a new friend on Facebook. Basically, she was sharing that she, after a divorce, has been starting to date again. It sounded like she found someone she liked to spend time with, but unfortunately, he felt she was just TOO much! What???? How can anyone be too much???!!!???

However, during my journey of being a strong, single woman, I have encountered this many times. I have heard the following phrases….

  • You are just too smart. Translation: Are you smarter than me?
  • Oh, you are just too busy for me. Translation: If you are spending time with others, are you “cheating” on me?
  • I think you are too involved with your daughter’s life. Translation: I don’t have children and do not understand the parent role.
  • Maybe you are too fit for me. Translation: Why do you spend time eating healthy and working out?
  • You are too particular for me. Translation: Will you see my flaws soon??
  • And this one is the best….you are too important to too many people. Translation: I want all of your attention. (Yes, this one was the best yet…without going into too many details…this one made me realize someone who was trying to isolate me from my old life and wanted to form me into his new life.)

Yes, I will admit….I am busy, smart, fit, and a bit particular. I run a school so of course, I am important to many people and it is a job that you are on 24/7. But, to be real, there are many women…and men…who have jobs that are just as busy. Many who workout and stay active. Many who have children and are committed to family. These people have very healthy relationships with their significant others and I know it can be done.

What I believe is that, looking back on these relationships that I have had, clearly they were not the people for me….but more importantly, were these men intimidated by me? Because ultimately it does come down to hearing…”you, my dear, are too much…for me!”

So, after taking a break from a relationship that just was not working, I will begin dating again…and this time, looking for someone who is comfortable enough in their own skin to be able to handle a woman who is too much. Because I truly believe, can you be too much????? Stay tuned, my friends!