Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

One resolution stands out from the year 2003.Like millions of people bemoaning their post-holiday shmoo shapes ,  I made the cliche-ridden goal to get fit and lose weight.  I actually carried it out, surprising everyone especially myself. Starting in January 2003 I joined Weight Watchers, exercised diligently and voila – I lost 60 pounds and felt much better. That took a lot of aerobics and carb-cutting which was hard for someone like me who loves bread and potatoes. I have kept most of the poundage at bay and still work out regularly. Most of my other resolutions are less life changing e.g. will resolve to recycle more or read more. This year’s resolution – to write every day.



Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice.

I used to have an incredible knack for aligning myself with the most controversial, “well he or she’s-an-acquired-taste” sort of person. In most cases, these individuals were quirky, unconventional and downright fascinating. They could also be obnoxious or neurotic but boring – never. What they usually weren’t was popular with others and associating with them cost me other friendships and relationships. Occasionally to my chagrin, desire for mainstream acceptance won out over following my own inclinations. On the whole, when I made the unpopular choice for a partner or friend, the experience was unforgettable.


Happy Endings
Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?

Some of the best advice I received was to quit greeting each and every one of life’s vicissitudes with negativity and dread. It takes a certain amount of  my energy to maintain this positive improved outlook but it definitely  beats casting a pall. It wasn’t an overnight conversion to being a Pollyanna; it takes constant and frequent reminders. So far, so good.


Topic #94:

When was the last time you were scared? What happened? What did you learn? Are you still afraid of that situation?

For the past year and a half fear has pretty much been my constant companion. I have never really stopped being afraid of something since about August 2009. There has been constant upheaval – stress, family illness, job loss, transitions, money challenges and on it goes. I am assuming it has to come to an end at some point, one way or another. Somehow I have to endure it because I certainly can’t change it. I hope I can look back on this someday from some comfortable niche in the future and be thankful that it’s over with. That’s the thing in life, upheavals and stress are never really over, they just take a hiatus for awhile until the next cycle. The only time life would be stress free is when it’s over. I have been told I have a grim outlook but I can’t help it these days!

If I was a rich girl

Topic #93:

What would your profession be if you didn’t need money?

I don’t think I would need a profession exactly, I could do whatever I wanted. If I didn’t need money I would probably write, do charity work, travel and just enjoy life. Even if you are rich, you should try and do something constructive to contribute to the world. There are a glut of those wealthy individuals that don’t give back anything. The sense of freedom that comes with not needing money would be like an aphrodisiac, I never did buy the old aphorism “money doesn’t buy happiness”. I think it definitely trumps being poor and having to worry where your next dollar is coming from. I guess there are examples of unhappy rich people,( e.g. Cristina Onassis) but overall anyone that doesn’t have to go through the conventional job search /securing employment/work routine in an uncertain economy has it made.

A friend in need…

Topic #91:

Describe a debt you have yet to repay.

(Hint: it does not have to be a financial debt. Did someone do you a favor? Give you great advice? help you out of a bind?)

I try not to be in debt, financial or otherwise if I can possibly help it. I acknowledge that I owed my family a lot for supporting me when I was younger but it’s been decades since I have relied on anyone for anything. There are some people that I am grateful just to have in my life.

The only thing that comes to mind is last summer when it was raining here every day. My roof started to leak and needed re-shingling. After going through every roofing company in the phone book and dealing with roofers who were not exactly cooperative or nice, a friend gave me the name of someone reliable that she knew. The roof was re shingled within a week

Maybe I should ask for help more often!

Growing up…

Topic #89 (Brought to you by

When did you realize you were an adult? (If you haven’t yet, when do you think you will?)

I think I became an adult when my parents passed away, my mother’s death in particular was the final blow. I think at that point I realized that I can’t go home again and it was time to face reality and accept responsibility.
As long as you have your parents, there is that part of you that is still a child. At the time there was no one to fall back on and I was the one that was making decisions and taking action. It was not a pleasant feeling by any means but it was necessary in order to move on in my life.

Forgiveness and trust

How do you recover lost trust? In a person? In an idea?

Bonus: If someone lets you down or betrays you, how do you learn to forgive? And can you possibly learn to trust them again? Why or why not?

This is something I could speculate about all day. Personally I think recovering trust is a life long process. Once you have lost trust in anything, a person or an idea, it is difficult if not impossible to regain it. You really have to be determined and make a constant effort to re-build trust. People that are more trusting are probably happier and better adjusted than the more cynical ones among us who routinely question and look for ulterior motives.

It is usually better for your health and well-being to try to forgive someone but sometimes it is not possible to forgive someone who has wronged you or hurt you. Some people can be forgiven and awarded your trust. Unfortunately there are some individuals out there that simply cannot be trusted under any circumstances. It is more important to forgive yourself.

What’s in a name..

How did you get your name? Who chose it, and why?

Supposedly I was named after popular 50’s actress Virginia Lee but probably B movie actress from the backlot of Universal studios is more accurate. My mother insisted that my oldest sister selected my name but my sister denies it so basically no one owns up to it. I always hated my given name, way, way too many ways that it can be misinterpreted. I especially hated it for its distinctiveness as I grew up surrounded by Susans, Debbies, Kathys and Lories. My family seemed to collect unusual names so mine was just one of many names that stood out from the crowd.

What’s the most on fire you’ve ever been?

Topic #83:

Literally: Once when I was about nine I dropped a kleenex on a stove burner. The kleenex of course went up in flames along with the sleeve of my fortrel dress (basically hideous precursor/byproduct of polyester – hey it was the seventies!) Fortunately, my dad was standing nearby and put the fire out. I was probably lucky I wasn’t badly burned.

Figuratively: That’s a tough one, I haven’t been on fire for quite awhile. I know that I have been on fire with anger quite a few times which can be dangerous both for me and for my target. I would rather be on fire with creativity more than anything but it is far more elusive.