Serendipity, it’s one of my favorite words. It’s such a nice sound for what it means: a fortunate accident.

Sara thomas, serendipity

The impetus for our latest trip to New York City was for me to attend a Blog Writing seminar at Gotham Writers.  I had been looking for a class on my new favorite endeavor for a while when I stumbled onto this workshop. This particular class at Gotham Writers was also offered in July and I did wonder if I should wait until we had our move to Pennsylvania behind us.  Another reason I hesitated before entering my credit card information was that I have attended workshops in the past that left me thinking, “Are you kidding, I paid for this???”  Despite the misgivings, Mr. Smith and I decided a trip to New York City was worth it no matter how the workshop turned out, so I hit the “Enroll” button and we started making plans for our weekend.  We drove into the city on Friday afternoon through rain and snow but were greeted by the sun on Saturday morning. The walk through midtown Manhattan to my class in the Paramount Building on Broadway required sunglasses. When I entered the classroom that sunny, crisp morning, the above quote was stenciled on the wall. I hoped it was a sign.

The view from our classroom on the 11th floor of the historic Paramount Building.

My instructor was stimulating and professional. The other participants were a fascinating and delightful cross-section of women of all different ages and interests.  We discussed concept, content, knowing your audience and much, much more.  The seven hours flew by.  It did feel a bit serendipitous that after months of procrastination on signing up for anything, I had landed with this group.  If I had waited until July, I wouldn’t have met Becky who writes a blog for military families focused on the challenges to the family of the frequent relocations or Elizabeth who writes a blog on China Law and Policy from a perspective other than old white male.  And we are all eagerly awaiting Patricia’s post on the difference between parmigiana cheese and its very distant cousin parmesan. 

I think of myself as a pragmatic person. Merriam Webster defines pragmatic as: Relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters: practical as opposed to idealistic.  Why would a pragmatic person read a movie quote stenciled on a wall and hope it was a sign?  I’m toying with the thought that perhaps the “sign” to me that day was that I have reached the point in life where I don’t need to be so damn practical and can be more open to the fortunate accidents that life presents.  I can follow my fancy a bit more and not worry that I’m not “accomplishing” something.  

Do you believe in Serendipity?  American novelist, Elizabeth Berg, wrote in The Year of Pleasures, “Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked.” Could it be that once we find our intention and follow it, all sorts of possibilities will appear?  

C’est la vie.

Wednesday, Wednesday…

Things to ponder on a gloomy Wednesday morning, when really I should be working.

Should I let me hair go gray?  When I see a woman with a beautiful head of gray hair I always think, hmmmm.  Perhaps it’s time?

When do you stop worrying about your children?  My youngest is over 30…  Probably never, I am a mom.

How will I look in my white jeans this summer?  Actually, I don’t even know why I would ponder on this. I’m the person who ALWAYS manages to spill, drip, rub up against something.  I really have no business wearing white jeans.

What to keep and what to toss of the cards, letters, notes you’ve saved over 40 years?  Do I toss now or leave that job for my children?  I think I’ll hang onto my memories a bit longer.

Daylight Savings Time – hate it or love it?  I know how I feel on this one…

C’est la vie.


Reflections Instead of Resolutions

Happy New Year 2019! A new year, a clean slate, new beginnings.

During the many years of raising children, September and back to school time seemed more like the beginning of the new year.  But it’s been many, many years since Mr. Smith and I have sent someone off to school with a new backpack and all the requisite school supplies.  Accordingly, January 1 has returned to its proper standing as the beginning of a new year.

I decided I would start 2019 off with reflections instead of resolutions. In past years, I have been excited to look at the new year and plan what I would like to happen and make resolutions that I thought would bring my plans to fruition. Unfortunately, resolutions are easy to make and often difficult to keep.  I am 63 years old and along the way the years have taught me that my “planning” is often in vain and life is filled with unplanned twists and turns. So today I’m reflecting on where I’ve been and what I would like 2019 to feel and look like.

There are two things I know will be happening this year.  First, my husband of 40 years will turn 65, a true milestone birthday.  At 65 you must admit that your life is more than half over and you need to think about what you want to do with your remaining years.  I have a friend whose counseling niche is death and dying.  She often reflects that when her patients are faced with the inevitable, not one of them has said they wished they had spent more time at work. What they wished for was more time with family and loved ones, more travel, more adventures. Happily, Mr. Smith and I have already started the discussion of what is truly important to us at this juncture in life and how we can make the rest of our lives reflect those values.

The second thing I know will be happening, is that we will be moving to another state for my husband’s job. We downsized many years ago, leaving the big old Victorian in northeast Indiana where we raised our three amazing sons. While we quickly acclimated to apartment/townhouse living, there are still many challenges to the changes. New doctors, dentists, banks, markets, shops, etc.  All life’s necessary details that must be taken care of. 

Years ago when I was struggling with our first big move and all the life changes that came with that, I started seeing a counselor. My biggest takeaway was her advice: You cannot make it perfect, but it’s your JOB to make it the best you can.  So I’m going to embrace the coming year with all its milestones and changes and get on with my job of making my life the best that I can.

C’est la vie…