TGIF … May 10th 2019

I spent the last week in Indiana for work … late nights, early mornings.

I’m trusting that I’m in the right place for work. Throughout the week I gave a few presentations, attending a lot of meetings, and got training on a lot of upcoming projects. It’s hard to think I’m doing what I’m supposed to do when some things are just so hard. I want to lead a team of coaches, but getting to that point is tough. Then finally getting all of the extra things off my plate, maybe in 2025, or in 2050 when I retire (will I be able to retired in 2050?).

I’m full of gratitude for virtuous friends at work. Every day we have Mass or morning prayer (if there’s no priest) at the office, which is just a delight. I’m grateful for a company that values this so much that when space is limited, we have a chapel reserved for spending time with the Lord.

I’ve not been feeling inspired much lately. This week has been pretty exhausting because of lack of sleep and extra work to be done. I do love this image of the Blessed Mother in the work chapel though.

For fun tonight, I’m watching Julie & Julia since it’s free on Amazon Prime. I forgot how delightful this movie is … probably because the book (and its sequel) just aren’t that delightful at all. I do own them though, if you need to borrow a book that was once a blog that definitely does not end happily ever after. Maybe I need to get Julia Child’s book and read that instead!

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TGIF with Brene Brown – May 3rd

I just got this in an email from Brene Brown and think it might be a good practice for the end of each week. TGIF: Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration, Fun

I recently began journaling 5 things I’m grateful for each morning before outlining my current life goals and my goal for today in a Start Today Journal way from Rachel Hollis. I’ve found it quite useful. So…

I’m trusting that the Lord is taking care of this crazy imposter syndrome I’m feeling at work right now. We hired a new coach, and it’s hard for me not to feel intimidated especially when I’m not overwhelmed with work. I’m trusting that the work will come for both of us to be overflowing with Churches in the coming months, right after he’s finished being trained.

I’m grateful for my best friend and my godson and her whole family. I spent a lot of time with them over Easter weekend and this past weekend. I just cannot get enough “friend time” and baby snuggles. The little one and I have really bonded these past few weeks and I can even get him to calm down when he’s upset and super tired. Don’t know how long this super power will last, but I’m going to use it while I’ve got it!

I’m inspired by the apostles in the early Church. On Wednesday our #chapteradaychallenge group started on Acts of the Apostles. I’ve read it before, but I’m really inspired by the words again. Scripture is ever new.

And just for fun … a friend introduced me to The Raccoon the other day via this amazing amazon review. I’m just going to take a picture in case you’re tempted not to click over to read it. It’s THAT good!

If you want to read more reviews about my new internet best friend, The Raccoon, just go to this link. He’s got about 25 and it’ll be the best hour you spent on the internet this week – way better than political news, that’s for certain!

Back next week with more TGIF!

Meal Delivery Service Reviews: Hello Fresh

A friend encouraged me to try Hello Fresh back in April. I’d always avoided these because I’m already a pretty adventurous cook. I also felt bad about spending money in this way since I’m single, I don’t have kids, and going to the grocery store shouldn’t be that hard for me. I used an online meal planning service Real Plans for a few years and really loved it, but just wasn’t home enough to make it worth my while.

Since there was a Groupon for Hello Fresh I decided to give it a try. I had my first box delivered the day I got home from a 10 day trip to Phoenix and Hawaii. The meals were good, great food, not “knock your socks off amazing” but good enough. The best part about them was all of the ingredients were included and I didn’t have to go to the grocery story with jet lag.

The convenience of it all was what got me!

So I decided to try all of them over the course of a few months. Since only the internet could use this information, I’m going to share them with you!

So Hello Fresh first:

Inside the box are 3 bags with all of the ingredients for the particular meal in each bag. The meat is below between two ice packs. Recipe cards are on top so you can get started pretty quickly.

The cost is $60 for 6 meals (3 meals for 2), but they do have Groupon’s regularly and if you subscribe you can give friends meals for free. They also have an introductory deal of $20 off for 3 weeks, I believe.

Overall, I loved the meals. My favorite was a “grilled cheese and veggie jumble” … did you know that some cheese is just called “Grilling Cheese”? This was by far the best meal. The flavors were amazing. I made this for my ‘fast meal’ on Good Friday, but it didn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.

I decided to do a month from each service (that’s how long their intro prices last), so next is Blue Apron. I’ve already had one box from them, and I already have opinions! Stay tuned at the end of next month!

Crafting Lies & Being Afraid

Reflection on Today’s Gospel: Matthew 28:8-15

Photo by Robert Nyman on Unsplash

Two things stand out to me in today’s Gospel from Matthew. The first is Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus on the way and being greeted with “Do not be afraid.” What did they have to be afraid of? Was it the fact that Jesus, a man they just watch die, was speaking to them as if nothing ever happened? Was it that they were running from something already? Were they afraid for their lives?

I want to say that they were not afraid for their lives, but everyone knew they were members of Jesus’ group. People were out to kill Jesus and all those associated with Him.

Which brings us to the second thing that stands out to me. The chief priests and the elders assembled to bribe the soldiers to tell a lie. They were scared that it would get out that Jesus had risen from the dead and was no longer in the tomb. We don’t craft lies about events no one will even believe happened.

So were Mary Magdalene and the other woman afraid because Jesus was risen or because they were scared they were going to be killed as well. I’d venture to say the second. Nevertheless, they persisted in believing that Jesus rose from the dead.

They declared the truth even when their lives were at risk.

Do I do the same? Is my life even at risk? Not my physical life, but how I’m seen, perceived, and looked upon by the world. Those areas of my life might be at risk for declaring that Jesus rose from the dead and He is alive in our midst.

So instead of believing the lie the chief priests and elders paid the soldiers to spread, let’s embrace the message of Christ who says “Do not be afraid.”

This post first appeared on Carpe Verbum today.

Death lol

Before I get into today’s weird message some back story: Whenever I speak to anyone regarding my search for a spouse, they always say, “have you tried online dating?” I reply, “yeah, it sucks.” They don’t believe me for one of two reasons: a) they met their spouse online within like 30 seconds of registering or b) they have been a married forever and have seen the beautiful commercials on tv about online dating sites and think they are finally the answer to all the dating nonsense in the world.

So (because I’m stubborn and want to be right) I signed up and chose eHarmony on my therapist’s recommendation because “it’s different than other sites, you are matched with people based on a tried and true algorithm so there’s no scrolling, scrolling, scrolling” (like when you are finding a new pair of shoes on amazon (those are my words at the end not hers)).

So here we are, 7 or so months into a year long agreement (3 months was like $110 and 12 months was $140 … so being the bargain hunter that I am, I chose a year). The only good thing to come from these interactions are funny blog posts. The latest “man who thinks I’m just amazing and beautiful” is no different. The title of this post is a direct quote from him, which we’ll get to in a second. This post is my reply to him … which I’m telling you all and not him because is it even worth the effort to try to explain to him how much of a weirdo he is?

So, about two weeks ago I get this message from Brandon (oh and I’m using his real name because others must be warned of the craziness):

Good morning Ms Katie im Brandon a native from North Carolina Charlotte area i passed your profile your very refreshing to see natural beauty. Im southerner with class and conservative mindset aswell educated. (All typos are direct from this ‘aswell educated’ man.)

Okay, good start Brandon … except for the terrible grammar, but I’ll bite. He also said:

I hope to hear from you sometimes later im very interested. Ps have a blessed day ma’am. You seem very laid back and you made my day beautiful.

Alright, a little forthcoming, but I like a man who knows what he wants and who dishes out the compliments like they’re candy. “Words of Affirmation” is my top love language. Don’t know why you’d “ma’am” a woman you’re pursuing, but I’m not a “southerner with class” so maybe I just don’t know.

I reply back with a simple “Good Morning” to start a conversation. He says “good morning Ms Katie” back. Nothing too exciting, but let’s talk. Then a “Did you have a good day? I spent mine in the air flying home.” Thought he’d ask me where I’d been (the answer is pretty intriguing since I was on my way home from Maui). He didn’t. Said: “Just seen your message funny im (it’s weird his phone doesn’t autocorrect this im to I’m every time he writes it, but whatever) flying out tonight’s Indiana for the race.”

(Oh and he must be typing on a phone, because no one is that bad at typing on an actual keyboard.)

I say “Oh have fun! Safe travels” … it’s not fun, it’s work he says, he’s in NASCAR. A little intrigue. He said “Im sure you’re busy with all the other replies but im grateful you reply back thank you. Night hope to chat or talk by phone sometime.” I say let me know when you’re back and we can chat.

Okay, all well and good. He’s a little weird, but not everyone excels at the written word, not even the ‘aswell educated” among us.

The next message isn’t an invitation to chat as expected, but instead a warning (I know, right? A warning, why would I need one?)

Good morning beautiful aswell (what is this word ‘aswell’, Siri doesn’t even have an autocorrect for it) I am a gentleman plus country boy with common sense. Bewarned lol

Why exactly does someone need to be warned if a gentleman is in their midst? (Also you already know my feelings about grown men using “lol” all the forking time.)

Then I get these two:

Ha lady everything is good i hope im able to finally unwind from work go in around 10 pm been sleep all day.

And then a few hours later when I didn’t immediately reply:

Ha i was hoping to hear from you by now im downtown had an extra spot if you wanted to have dinner downtown Charlotte at the epic center.

Now a few things you should know about Charlotte that any native would know! First, it’s called uptown not downtown … just a little thing. Second, the ‘epic center’ … it’s about a decade old but called the epicenter. Even Siri knows that and won’t autocorrect it! (Maybe he has an android phone … google isn’t as smart with autocorrecting as Siri is. But me with a guy who loves Android? I dunno…)

Have you noticed we haven’t had any conversation here at all? Is that my fault? Did I not open it up? Was I not intriguing enough?

I asked how his trip was, he complains that it’s “work everyweekend 240 days of the year.” And then 1 minute later says:

Im (seriously my computer autocorrects that it I’m every.single.time) sorry to bother you if your busy i tried to reach out to say if your going to be out eatting or shopping downtown Charlotte sometime We could pass by each other

What? “We could pass by each other”?

I made a decision to block him, but didn’t … because I was curious. Maybe he’s a nice guy with just a little weirdness in him. Maybe not …

So then he messaged me again, and I tried to create conversation, I mean, if I can’t do it, then why am I expecting he will?

I had to just screenshot it because I’m not sure you’d believe it.

“Death lol” is his favorite Easter tradition? What does that even mean? Maybe he thought I meant “Good Friday” since it was the evening of Good Friday?

I’m not going to reply, I think I’m going to block him because although this is good material for writing about, he is not husband material (for me anyway). I should have taken that gentleman warning he gave earlier!

I want to say:

What do you mean “death lol” is your favorite tradition about Easter? Is it because I messaged you on Good Friday and the main event of today is Jesus dying on the cross? Do you mean that without the death of Christ there would be no resurrection and therefore “all of our faith would be in vain” as St. Paul says? Am I an “incredible lady” because I tried to start a conversation about Easter on Easter weekend? Because I’m not sure these are my finest communication skills at work. If you weren’t such a weirdo, I might have actually met you in person. Some unsolicited advice? Don’t say “maybe we could pass by each other”, instead say “I’d love to take you to dinner to see if we have more in common.” It’ll get your further with “incredible ladies” than “maybe we’ll just pass by each other.” I mean if we were going to just ‘pass by each other’ then we might not need this online platform, we’d already have met!

I mean, seriously? There are a lot of issues with the state of our world right now, and while hunger and war and modern-day slavery and Trump being president are all high on my list of “You’ve got to be kidding me, are we still really doing these things and haven’t figured out how to treat human beings like human beings?” … I’m putting the death of the art of conversation up there on the top of the list. There may be many faults I need to work on overcoming like my “addiction to being right” and my “desire to control the universe” and my “tendency toward gossip” and my “constant judgement of other people’s intentions” … but the fact that I’m still searching for a spouse is a little bit on these guys. I’m not completely incapable of having a conversation, even via text. People have even told me I’m quite witty. Also I know a lot of things about a lot of things. Also I love to talk. I can even make changing the batteries in my smoke detector into a funny story people want to listen to! It’s not just that they aren’t into pursuing women (I think the secular feminist movement might be doing some damage on that front), but they can’t even carry on a conversation (let alone have Siri forking autocorrect im to I’m for them).

I mean, seriously. That’s all I’ve got on the subject today. Truthfully, it’s all just a little too much. Happy Easter y’all! Enjoy the tradition of death … and by that I mean, Jesus died for us so He could rise again so we could enter into eternal life. That’s a tradition worth celebrating not just annually, but daily!

Questions I Don’t Like Being Asked

Are you seeing anybody?

How’s your love life?

Have you tried Online Dating?

So, what do you think about the Church Scandal?

Are you a pet person?

That last one is one of the worst ones for me. People think that’s going to be their common ground when they’re trying to find some … but for me, the answer is “no, I don’t even have a pet fish.”

I stayed at my aunt’s in Connecticut this past week and she has three cats (one is hers, two are my cousin’s who are hanging out there for a while). So after I stayed two nights and I was putting on my coat to leave she asked “are you a pet person?”

I felt a little guilty to say “no, actually I’m allergic and I don’t really like them either,” but to say anything else would be a lie that I’d have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life.

The thing about not being a pet person is that people don’t understand why you aren’t. Now I love a cute cat video or a puppy as much as anyone else, but videos and pictures are quite enough for me.

It’s true that I am allergic. My parents sent me to get allergy shots twice a week for years because it came out that I was allergic to dogs (a lot) and we had one they weren’t willing to get rid of (and honestly, I wasn’t willing to send it away either). Then when I was a freshman in high school I was holding our new puppy over in my neighbor’s yard and my neighbor’s big dog jumped up and went after the dog but he got my forearm.

With dogs I don’t know I can be a little scared of what they might do. I also, for certain, don’t want a strange or familiar dog running toward me. When people say “oh, don’t worry he’s friendly.” Is he? My neighbor’s dog was too, and he still bit me so hard I had to go to the emergency room.

I haven nothing against pets or people having pets. I do have an issue with the ‘therapy pet phenomenon’ that’s happening right now. I’m also not a fan of your dog sitting next to me on a plane.

And pets have no problem with me. Every dog or cat at a home I visit or stay in loves me, they can’t get enough of me, and they want to make me love them. Even cats … which isn’t really a thing that cats do very often. It’s like they can tell that I’m not their best friend and they just cannot let me leave without converting me.

Does this really matter in the end? Probably not. If I marry a man who loves dogs, will there be one in my house in the future? Probably so. Will I be the one who cleans up the yard? Definitely not. Am I still allergic? Yes, but because I’m allergic to the outside world including the flowers, pollen, and trees as well as dust and mold inside, I’m on all the allergy medicine anyway, so no worries there.

An Anxious Person

The cause of my anxiety attacks on Maui

I started reading the book Unworried a few months ago with a friend. It’s about anxiety. I know my friend has struggled with anxiety in the past, but I’ve never considered myself someone who’s struggled with anxiety. I’m beginning to think I’ve been wrong about that. Why?

I just spent a few days on Maui on vacation. I rented a car and was given a Mercedes-Benz 4 door sedan. A nice car, one worth a lot more than I make in a year – maybe even two years. Something way out of my price range. Although it was nice to drive, I had a hard time really enjoying it because I was so worried it would get a bump or a scratch or a dent and I’d be footing the bill for it. I think my insurance covers rentals, maybe my credit card does, but I didn’t want to have even a small scratch on this car because I didn’t know how to deal with it. I almost called my insurance guy to ask … but realized that it was the middle of the night in Charlotte and that was a crazy idea.

So when I noticed a ding in the door and a scratch on the back bumper, I thought “Was that me? Was it marked down when I left? Will they search the ‘front undercarrage’ to see that there’s a mark from when someone (maybe me) drove too far onto a curb in a parking spot? Will I have to ‘be accountable’ for all of these marks?”

It kept me up the night before, begging and pleading the Lord that either these marks “were already catalogued” or that the person checking me in “just wouldn’t notice them.”

I got to thinking about “why I was so anxious about this” … I mean, it’s not something that most people even consider. But I’m always thinking about that and other little things like work credit card charges, time spent on work projects, and borrowing things from friends.

Will I inconvenience someone or disappoint someone?

These are two of my biggest fears and thinking about them makes me anxious. Not debilitating or unable to function, but that I’ll make a mistake and won’t be able to fix it. I think that’s my biggest issue.

What if I mess up irrevocably? What if this issue cannot be fixed? What if this relationship won’t be mended? What if I miss my chance at making a good impression?

In the book Unworried, Dr. Popcak gives a lot of great advice (I’m only 1/3 of the way through in my buddy read). He talks about how our brains create neural pathways for anxiety that are easily traveled down again when we’re triggered. In the CIQ Coaching Certification I’m enrolled in, we discuss this as well. These neural pathways can be changed though. We can learn how to create new pathways and retrain our brains.

I can close this road and forge a new one when I’m triggered. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible. I guess I need to get out my mental barriers and put one up on this road with a detour sign to go right when you see this and take the road less traveled.