Saturday, July 11, 2015

Start at the Start


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Saturday, March 7, 2015


When I started this blog, I was lost. Twenty-seven and laid off and moving back home - didn't sound like or feel like success.

Then I ran into my ex and got to watch him flirt with a 20 year old. I don’t think I was very honest here about how much that sucked. I tried to convince myself that I wasn't that bothered by it, but the reality was, it was torture. I felt like a failure and then watched the man I still loved ignore me and seemingly woo someone else - how could that be any worse? 

But somehow, I got through that and to the place where I am now…. With him at my side and an exciting, meaningful new venture on the horizon.

Is there a moral here? Is it to suck it up through the sucky times because you never know what the future holds? Is it something about second chances? I’m not sure.

But, I do know that my need for an anonymous journal is over. I think it’s time to close this and archive it. I’m ready to start a blog with my name on it and tell of my adventures more openly. I’m sad to end this blog - I hate endings, but I think it’s time.

I can’t thank you enough for reading, for being there for me, for asking nosy questions and caring. Thank you even for the tough love stuff that forced me to be more honest about what was really going on in my heart and head.

I am happy. I hope you find happiness too.

To close us out I've uploaded one last piano piece - see the video below.

 (For those who can't see the embeded video: click here!)

Friday, March 6, 2015


W is amazing. Normally I would hold back from gushing about my boyfriend, but I feel like you guys, having come along on part of this ride with me, will be interested.

We were at our cabin, which was lovely - a simple place with all the basics and a wood fireplace. We had the beach pretty much to ourselves every day. We would go for walks, get cold, and then return to the cabin to warm up by the fire. We talked about everything. He told me he saw a photo of me in the society section of the paper just before he went to Bath, from that party I went to with Elizabeth in her great dress. He said he actually choked on his coffee when he saw the photo (he’s not used to seeing me in slinky dresses). Then he pulled a folded up copy of the newspaper clipping from his wallet. Apparently a sexy dress is what it takes to get your spurned lover to give you a second chance; if only I had known that a few years ago.

We walked to the store one day to get some supplies and the store owner was talking to a friend about his internet connection troubles and how the company can’t send anyone out until next week. W offered to take a look and see if he can fix it. It was funny - the store owner was clearly skeptical, but we all went next door into the guy’s house where W spent twenty minutes fiddling with things and got it working again. The guy was so surprised and happy. He tried to waive our grocery bill but W told him to surprise someone in need and waive their bill instead. W thought nothing of this action - when I pointed out what a doubly nice thing he had just done, he was quiet for a minute and said “I have a good life and it costs me nothing to share it when I can. The world needs every bit of kindness it can get, doesn't it?”

I’m old enough to do without rose-coloured glasses, so I know W isn't perfect. He’s rather quick to take offense when people are critical, for example. But every day I love him more and it’s different than the love I had at 19 - that was just passion, this is more complete, more about him as a person rather than him as a physical person.

Normally I’m not one for trusting emotional responses, but with W - I knew when I was 19 that being with him was the right thing to do, even if I threw a wrench in that process. And I know now, without hesitation, that being with him is the right thing to do. Married or not, it doesn't matter right now. We’re together and we stood on that deserted beach in Lyme and promised each other that we wouldn't let anything split us up again.

While I was initially angry about the eight years we lost, now I’m just grateful to have a second chance, to have W at my side, knowing that he’s there for good.

Monday, March 2, 2015


When you read this I'll probably strolling on a beach in Lyme with W.  I hope you're doing something equally pleasant!

W and I made a day trip home last week and visited Lacy while were were there. She wanted to share a few words with you and made me promise to post this - click to see a bigger version.

Dear Readers,  I apologize in advance for the inadequacy of my words in conveying the happiness I see in my Anne lately.  (I’m told I am to refer to her gentleman friend as W.)  Anne and W called on me recently. They had finally spoken – after an eight year silence full of confusion and resentment and regret!  I saw how they look at each other, how they treat each other - with respect and support, and I wish I could capture it and show it to everyone, show them how it can be, how it should be.  Anne has probably told you I was not a big fan of W eight years ago. It’s true. He was young and arrogant and rash. That’s not why I advised Anne to turn down his proposal; I did that because she was too young and needed to find her path in life. I think I was right back then. Seeing them together now, both older and wiser, I think this will be good.  W clearly adores her, and it is good to see my Anne adored. She is always thinking of others before herself, always giving way so others will be satisfied. W won’t let her do that. Their biggest problem may be fighting over who gets to be most accommodating of the other.  Have you ever seen two people together and been able to tell in a moment that it is just right that they be together? That is Anne & W.   It’s beautiful.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


It’s been a crazy week. Jane and Emily and I came to an agreement about our partnership!  The legal paperwork is still being drawn up but we outlined the key points together and shook hands on it.

flowers I got for Jane & Emily to celebrate our partnership!
Then, as if that wasn't exciting enough on its own....

I revamped my project proposal to reflect the new arrangement and I had my meeting with Ms. Dalrymple. Despite all the unfavourable things I've said about her in the past, I will say this - she does support a lot of worthy charities and seems genuinely to care about improving communities. She asked very good questions about the project (which I had answers for, thankfully). And….. she committed to be my core funder for the first two years!! It’s not enough to get started, but it’s a very big piece of the puzzle and will make it so much easier to approach others about funding. It’s a huge step forward! Huge.

There has been much celebrating going on.

I was walking to Alicia's earlier today, under blooming cherry blossoms, with a strong suspicion that I was in a dream. Have you ever been in a rut in life where you start to think 'okay, this is just what life is, I have to accept this'? And then when good things happen to you, you find yourself not believing them? Like, actually waking up each day thinking it will all melt away and revert back to 'normal' blah life?  That's where I am. Unable to believe these good things are not transitory blips. I'm trying to believe. It's a work in progress.

W is negotiating with me to see what level funder I will let him be for my program. I’m holding strong on keeping him out of it, though I’m not above using his contacts.

He's tricky though. I showed up at one of my volunteer shifts last week and Jane met me at the door, bouncing with excitement. She said a delivery of books had arrived unexpectedly. I said, 'great', and she took my arm and pulled me into the office where ten huge boxes full of kids books were stacked. My jaw dropped. She said there was no explanation and they had no idea who donated them.  I have a strong suspect in mind, one who denies knowing anything about it when asked, but sure smiles a lot when questioned.

I told Dad and Elizabeth about my project (actually Ms. Dalrymple mentioned it to them and so they asked) and while I don’t think they really get it, or don’t get why I would spend my time on it, Elizabeth did suggest I hold a fundraising party - with a Dr. Seuss theme. She got quite excited about the idea, and has been suggesting interesting possible venues, creative entertainment ideas. I think she might be launching herself on a new career of party planning, which is a perfect fit for her, actually. Lacy is encouraging me to let Elizabeth use her party and social network skills for good and I’m contemplating it. W and I crunched some numbers and think that a party with the right invitees could pull in a considerable start-up fund!

To celebrate all the positive developments, and to get me away from all the distractions here, W is taking me to Lyme for a few days. We've got a cabin near the beach rented and years of catching up to do. I will be blog-silent until I get back. Please amuse yourselves while I’m gone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


W stayed the night last night. This morning he got up before me and went downstairs to make us coffee. Where he ran into my dad in the kitchen. I should note that, being the smart man he is, W got fully dressed before leaving my room. Apparently his encounter with my dad went like this:

W, probably blushing: Uh, good morning Mr. Elliot.

Dad, confused: Good morning.

W: Anne sent me in search of coffee.

Dad, sighing heavily: I keep trying to tell Anne that coffee is going to give her wrinkles. She needs to be drinking my anti-oxidant smoothie if she wants to look fresh.

W: Is is possible to make a coffee-flavoured version of your smoothie? That would be a big hit, I imagine.

Dad: That is an interesting idea.

Apparently Dad pulled out his blender and got to work and W was stuck there for half an hour while they tried different flavour combinations. W eventually returned with a brown, unappetizing looking smoothie that actually didn’t taste that bad.

 I now tease W that his next venture is going to be a version of the Juiceman with my dad as the spokesmodel.

Monday, February 23, 2015


I was going over my proposal with Jane this morning to get her feedback on the latest version and she made me an offer that nearly knocked me out of my seat.

She suggested that rather than start a new program from scratch, that I open a branch of their program back home, with me at the helm. That would mean that it would be part of their existing charity which would make grant applications more likely to succeed, and we could continue to share resources and knowledge. 

I told her I was flattered that they were willing to make this offer and I was about to say yes on the spot when she laughed and said she wouldn't let me answer today. She said it’s important that I take a day or two to think about it - see if I need the autonomy of my own organization or if I can work with them in theirs. They don’t want me to agree and then find out six months in that we have different ideas of where we’re going.

So I've been thinking about all the things I want to do with my program - ideas I want to explore, objectives I have. Based on my experience so far, I think Jane and Emily are both open to new ideas and aren't set in stone about things, but I'm drafting up a list of the things that are really key to me, and my wish list of things I may want to incorporate in the future. I'll go over this with them and see if we find any sticking points.

Fingers crossed!
Proof of the cherry blossoms exploding around town right now. So beautiful. So early.