Time Management and Axe Sharpening

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree
and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Holy smokes am I learning a thing or two about how much (or how little) you can cram into a single day. Now if only I could figure out when to run and when to blog with this new crazy schedule. Hmm…

Can You Really Have it All?

It is only Monday evening but I am already having one of those weeks, which follows the one of those weeks I had last week. I would love to think I am a good wife, a good dog owner, good at my job and a good homeowner. Right now all of those pieces of my life are all very busy at the same time… and then some.

I’ll pull it off somehow but it has me really struggling to understand how people (and women especially) can have it all. Some pieces of me that are slipping are my running/exercising, sleep, and fun in the sun with my friends and family during a perfect Maine summer. Those pieces of me are important too but there just doesn’t seem to be time for it all. I know I am not alone but I feel like I am juggling and I need to choose which balls to temporarily lay down.

Photo credit: OpticalBliss

Right now I need to refocus, choose what will get me where I want to be and hunker down on the things that are most important. No one said this would all be easy right?!?

Ski in Peace

Sarah Burke Ski in Peace

“It’s where we met,
it’s where we play,
we live . . .
and hopefully where we’ll die.”
Sarah Burke and Rory Bushfield

The skiing world has lost another skier that changed the sport as we know it, Sarah Burke. News of Sarah’s accident was tough to hear. I never even met this woman but I know she was a beautiful and strong skier. I liked what she did for women skiers and women in general. She showed that girls can come to play, they can push limits, they can be beautiful and showed wonderful grace under pressure.

This accident has brought out many reports about the safety of extreme sports like skiing. Once you are the best, jump the highest, do the best tricks… someone else is going to try to do more. Is that bad? Or is the constant challenge good for this sport and for us? In skiing and every sport, we know more about safety equipment and our bodies than ever before. For skiers like Sarah, this isn’t a game or a hobby. It is her life, her profession and her passion. I like this USA Today article that remind us that “You forget how skilled and calculated the athletes that are doing these tricks and making this their lives are”.

I love to ski. Hopefully I will ski my whole life. I have only had one nasty spill (remarkably it was the DAY I bought my first helmet). It was scary enough to remind me of the power of what you are dealing with here – speed, nature, elements, the human body… damn trees…

When something like this happens there is the difficult topic of the beauty in dying doing something you love. It is so hard to think about and almost impossible to appreciate. I hope for anyone who loses their life doing something they love that they felt little pain and that this was how they did honestly want to end their time on this earth.

Below is a well done tribute video and a promo for an upcoming special with Sarah and her husband Rory. In the promo is the quote that I led this post with. Beautiful at the time of filming but eerie on this end of it.

A Sarah Burke tribute video. from Downtofilm. on Vimeo.

Any news like this also makes me think about my old college friend Billy Poole. Billy was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Before Facebook and MySpace, I lost touch with my old friend. I heard he was living his dream and skiing professionally through our other friends. I heard of his passing the same way. I am glad he ‘made it’. I am proud of him. The Billy Poole Memorial Fund has been set up in his honor to help get kids involved with skiing and outdoor programs.

Ski in peace Sarah and Billy.
Thanks for doing what you love and for sharing your lives with us and the sport.


How Do You Run in the Winter?

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Many people hang up their running shoes for the winter but some of us trudge on. It isn’t very fun (I still don’t think running is actually very fun) but it is very do-able. Of course a nice run on a 60 degree evening is more ideal but I live in Maine and I love it here. Maine isn’t going to change so I have to.

You are going to need the right attitude, a little drive and it is probably a good idea to look into some good cold weather running gear but you CAN run in the winter.

Get the motivation

It is going to be up to you to get out there and run. Not many friends will be dragging you out and a Sunday brunch is going to sound a lot more appealing than a cold run. You need to have the motivation to drag yourself out there.

Think about how much farther ahead in the game you will be when the warmer months roll around. Think about not gaining that 3, 5, 7, 20 pounds you seem to pick up every winter. Take note of your energy levels. I ,for one, always feel tired and more into hibernating than socializing in the winter. When I run, I have a lot more energy and I feel much better.

Get the right equipment

One of the reasons I took up running was that, other than shoes, you didn’t need to invest a lot in clothing or club memberships. My first winter running, I used the clothing I had. Over the last few years I have slowly been adding and acquiring better running clothes and it has made a big difference.

Some of the key pieces I would recommend for making winter runs more bearable would be:

Be flexible

I was supposed to run tonight but it is currently 25 degrees, 20 mile an hour winds and it feels like it is 13 degrees out. Tomorrow though it is supposed to be about 30 degrees and the wind is supposed to die down. I am going to run tomorrow afternoon instead of tonight. Also, the sun will be out so it will be more pleasant. This means I will have to go into work early so I can sneak out for an hour or so but it will be worth it.

For me to run, I need to schedule it. I am not able to run ‘when I have time’ because time will never just present itself. I am too busy. I have to put it in my calendar but when dealing with the weather, you have to be willing to wiggle some things around. I try to run every Wednesday night and I swear Wednesdays are almost guaranteed to be rainy or snowy. Just because the weather doesn’t cooperate doesn’t mean you are off the hook.

Know where you can find a treadmill

I hate the treadmill. It is torture. Sometimes though you just have to admit it is too cold or that you aren’t going to catch a break with Mother Nature. Treadmills are better than curling up on the couch with a pint of ice cream. I cancelled my gym membership but I am lucky enough to have a treadmill in my office building. I also know the day drop in rate for two local gyms between my office and my house. For me, a drop in of $8 here and there is cheaper than a full membership to a gym.

That is some of the ways I can manage to run outside and I hope that helps. How about any of you? Do any of you have any advice on keeping with running during the colder and darker months?

I also just found this neat page on the Runner’s World site where you put in the weather conditions and they recommend what you wear.

Photo credit: pixdaus

Stay warm and happy running!

Fooducate to Eat a Bit Better

FooducateLast week I attended the Small Business Workplace Wellness Conference and I really enjoyed it. I usually enjoy any conference not in my industry (I crave information) but this was a really nicely done, small event. So, not only am I going to torture myself with living a better lifestyle but I have tools to torture my colleagues as well (insert evil laugh).

One of my first orders of business when I left the conference was I bought a whiteboard, hung it up above of company snacks that are always readily available and I graded each item. I graded them using this really cool app Fooducate. I wrote about Fooducate for Guiding Stars this April too.

With Fooducate, you simply use your wicked smart phone and scan the bar code on almost any item of food and it grades it for you (A – F). You can also search for a food by name if you don’t have a bar code. Not only do you get a grade for your item but you also get healthier alternatives to that item and the reasoning behind why your items is getting the grade it is.

Cool ‘eh?

I even like their tagline: Fooducate – eat a bit better.
Their logo is pretty cute too.
Simple.
Did I mention the app is free?

I really do use this app. I like it. As we know, eating better isn’t about freakish diets, it is about small changes you can make just to eat a bit better. You want to make a change in your diet that you can maintain.

So I wanted to tell you about the app too. Also, pretty much all the snacks at work got a C- to a D. I have my work cut out for me!

Picking Your Head Up

My head downPretty crazy week over here in my world. Our life just carried into the next chapter – Adam started Med School this week at UNE. We have quite a journey ahead of us. I am now the bread winner for the family and Adam is going to pour himself into school for the next 8 years or so.

I am so excited to move forward, especially after a year or two of a semi-holding pattern. But, being the control freak I am – all this change has me in a tizzy.

Adam is at school about 45-50 hours a week and has lots of studying to do when he is not. We traded cars, I handed over the keys to my Jetta that has done me good for the past 7 years and he handed over the reigns to his Jeep Wrangler (see you later good hair days). We are going to have to get used to a smaller income and the dogs are going to have to get used to not having someone home with them all day. Big week… big week.

So I have had an exhausting week between trying to run the dogs each morning, keeping up with housey stuff, a busy week at work and gearing up for the Beach to Beacon (10k that was yesterday). The most exhausting part though has been the roller coaster inside my head. I am a worrier, a planner and I can deal with ANY situation as long as I know what I have to deal with and right now… I am not in control of any of those things.

Picking my head up

By now you know I run but you may or may not know I joined a running group last winter. I can run a 12 minute mile for ever. I have done 3 half marathons and plenty of other long runs. 12 minute miles and I can just do it. What I can’t do is run faster. I get nervous and panicky when I run faster and I am terrified that if I run faster, I will burn out and not be able to complete my distance I am supposed to run.

With this running group, I have a coach. Our group’s running coach, Ziggy, is a true legend to Maine running and probably the sport itself. Going into this I thought he would tell me I held my arms wrong, my stride was too short, that I leaned forward too much – nope. The biggest advice Ziggy gives me at races, timed mile trials or 880 repeats is “Pick your head up Amanda!” I run with my head down.

I heard the advice and I tried a few times but changing your ways is difficult so I think I accidentally gave up.

Smoke from White Birch FarmI recently started taking horse back riding lessons again. Every other week I head up to White Birch Farm and have a lesson. It has been great and I have forgotten so much since last time I rode. There are hundreds of little things that I need to relearn and I need to get to know these horses, my instructor and the ways of this farm.

A few months in though and I already have had my biggest weakness pointed out (repeatedly), I need to pick my head up! I ride with my head down, pretty much looking at the horses head. If we pick up the pace and are trotting or hopping a fence, I will never make it – we will be running into the fence before I even look at it.

So I need to pick my head up

I have started picking my head up when I run and I have noticed a few things:

  • It is an empowering feeling to see what is ahead of you. It makes you immediately feel stronger.
  • You are taking on the road versus the road coming AT you. With your head up you are like ‘I will run over there and then up there’ but with your head down, literally you just see asphalt coming at you. You are almost playing defense on the road coming at you versus taking charge of where you are going.
  • It makes me a little sick, almost like motion sickness. I have to assume running with your head down versus up does something to your breathing. Right now I just now it makes me a little light headed but I think that will get better.

For horseback riding, by picking my head up it makes the horse know that I am in control of our situation. I am going to have an eye out and we are headed over this way and it is going to be cool.

In this next chapter of my life – I can keep my head down and internalize, over analyze every situation and make myself crazy (like I did this week). Or I can pick my head up and look at our future. My husband is getting to study to do something he loves. He is achieving his goals. I am acheiving my goals and we are going to have better lives because of it. Just like running and riding, I need to look ahead to where we are going and not drown in the details of getting there. There will always be ‘what-ifs’ but they will always work themselves out.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
Wayne Gretzky

Conference Necessities

The product links in this post are affiliate links. That means, in short, if you click on them and buy something, I might make a fraction of a penny. I am telling you because I am legally bound too, not to urge you to buy anything. I love and use all of these products.

Bear Conference NecessitiesI am leaving for Washington DC tomorrow for a conference for work. I kinda forgot too. I go to my fair share of conferences each year. This one snuck up on me, but that is fine. Things have been busy and my mind has been on other things.

The thing about conferences is after 10 or so, you sort of have the routine down. I have a good idea of the things I have to pack and what I need. I thought I would share some of my conference necessities, no matter the conference, these are the things that help me get through a long week or so of networking and learning.

Top 12 Conference Items

  1. Hand sanitizer (health needs) – Conferences are for meeting people, hunderds or thousands of people. After a lot of conferences, everyone is sick. New people from all over the country have all kinds of nice germs that you can’t fight off because you are out of whack, overtired and constantly exposed. A small, pen sized hand sanitizer, like Purell Spray Pen should do the trick. Just a little spray here and there can help and you don’t feel like a weirdo lugging around a jug of Purell.
  2. Airborne (health needs) – Just like above, meeting people and flying when your system is weekend is dangerous. I don’t even know if Airborne works but it makes me think it works so I take it. It also has vitamins and healthy stuff in it, so it doesn’t hurt to take it.
  3. Filtered Water Bottle (health needs) – I recently purchased a Brita Bottle with Filter and I love it! You can fill it from water from any tap and it filters in the bottle. Ice cubes also fit in there perfectly. Being a Mainer, I am spoiled with delicious water. Now I can tuck this is my bag and fill it whenever, wherever! We all know water is so good for you and for keeping you healthy. Why chance it by hoping they have water in the sessions and make sure you have a back up plan.
  4. Running shoes (health needs) – One of the reasons I picked up running is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. When you are away at a conference is a GREAT time to squeeze in a run (or a walk). Like the previous two examples, your body is run down at a conference but just getting up and about and sweating out some bad juju can really help you fight things off, feel energized and get you on track. You are also away with less of the distractions of home. I also like exploring a new city or area on a run. Obviously you need to be safe and know where you are going, but some of my favorite SXSW experiences were running around Lady Bird Lake. I got to see more of Austin than almost all of the hundreds of thousands of attendees. So bring your sneaks, lace ’em up and get out there (safely).
  5. Sheer Band-aids (health needs) – No matter how comfy you think your shoes are, there are few that can stand up to the work load you put on them at a conference. Drop a few Sheer Band Aids in your carry on and cover up any soft spots or cuts before they get out of control.
  6. Ballet Flats (fashion needs) – Conferences mean a lot of standing and walking. Most of my day to day pretty shoes can’t handle the stress of a conference. Heels are suicide, flip flops are unprofessional and end up hurting your feet too and sneakers just look funny. A good, comfy pair of ballet flats may be your best friend at a conference. The Gap has rarely done me wrong with their ballet flats. They are pretty durable and don’t cost a fortune.
  7. Fitted suit style jacket (fashion needs) – Conferences mean leaving your hotel room at 7am and not sure if you will be back before midnight. You might have an impromptu meeting, client dinner, drinks with a friend, been added to a panel at the last minute – not to mention constantly going from warm to overly air conditioned rooms. Having a nice fitted jacket that you can easily take on and off and not look unprofessional is key.
  8. Kindle (entertainment needs) – I read a lot and I read even more when I am traveling. My carry-on usually has my laptop, running shoes, camera and 4-5 books – that gets pretty heavy. I just got a Kindle 3G for my birthday and I am SO EXCITED to bring it with me and drop about 10 pounds from my carry on. I usually have the book I am currently trying to finish, one business book and then two or three ‘for me’ books that I bring. Sometimes you want to read smart things and sometimes you want to read brain rotting things (like almost anything with a pink cover). Now I can take as many books as I want with me and it won’t ever weigh more than 8.7 ounces!
  9. Angry Birds (entertainment needs) – Find a few minutes of downtime? Have to stand in line to pick up your packet? Want to look busy so that the guy across from you won’t talk to you? Two words for you – Angry Birds. I will be very busy throwing birds at pigs in houses trying to get my eggs back. If I save the eggs on the regular version there is still Seasons and Rio to save too. They need me!
  10. Mini power strip (sessions needs) – Being a plugged in gal, I use a lot of power when I am on the move. Adam got me this great mini power strip that tucks right in a pocket in my bag. It has three spots to plug things in. I could even share with a friend, if I felt like it.
  11. Big girl camera (new places needs) – Adam got me an awesome big girl camera (Canon Digital Rebel) for my 30th birthday (it was a gift for ‘us’). I love going to new cities and if it takes a conference to get me there, I am going to find time to go exploring. When I go exploring I love having a nice camera that I can bring with me to capture the things as I see them.
  12. A good, positive attitude (all around need) – Traveling is tough, being on your feet and constantly ‘on’ is tough, being away from your family and your own bed is tough. If you don’t have a good attitude about it, you will suffer and your chances of getting sick seem to go through the roof (not a doctor, just an observation). You have to have a good, positive attitude or your time will really stink. Load up your iPod with happy songs, make yourself go home early and get enough sleep, have a good breakfast – keep yourself as normal as you can and be happy you have this opportunity!

Those are some of my top conference needs! Hope some of this helps someone else! If I forgot something just let me know and wish me and Jenika luck in DC.

Have I told you neither of us have been to DC before? This should be interesting!

The Thing About Birthdays…

Amandas 2nd BirthdayThe thing is for my birthday and Brody’s birthday (his is September 1st) I get really reflective. I think about where I am and where I want to be. I think this annoys Adam sometimes but I am not a party hat wearing, binge drinker on my birthday – I am usually pretty calm and I spend a good time alone and/or thinking about the state of me. I was surprised to see two men I respect professionally seem to take a similar birthday approach – CC Chapman and Chris Brogan.

Last year was the first year that I can remember that I had a hard time setting my goals. I have found and married an wonderful man who loves me very much and makes me very happy, we have a great little house of our own, we have two of the most fun dogs on Earth, I have a great family who love and support me, I have a good job that is near my home and I was feeling like I was really finding my way.

So my goal last year was more a basic idea – BETTER. I just wanted all the things I already had but I wanted to make them better. I wanted to spend more quality time with my husband, my family and my dogs. I wanted to eat better, become a better runner, take care of some things to make our house better, be a better friend, do my job better and all in all just be a better person.

I think I did a pretty good job with that. We really have had a great year. We have gotten to do some amazing things. I have spent some really great time with my family and I do feel better.

So what about this year?

Today I turn 32 **gulp** . Everything is about the same, generally speaking, as last year with some recent road blocks. My dog, who is just the love of my life is sick, my work is morphing and we are still working on getting Adam into school. Not a whole lot I can do about some of those, which is hard for me because I am ‘a fixer’.

So this year I am going to not go for specific goals but a general goal like last year. This year I want to become stronger. I have some big decisions to make, we have some changes to get ready for and I will feel more equipped to handle these things if I am stronger.

  • Stronger physically – Becoming stronger physically will help me achieve a few goals I have for running. I am not talking about entering any weight lifting competitions or anything but a little more muscle in this body wouldn’t hurt.
  • Stronger mentally – I am a constant learner. I read a lot, I write a lot, I go to a lot of conferences and webinars and I try to soak up a lot of information. I have been pretty busy lately and feel like this learning has slipped a little so I want to try to bulk up my brain a bit more this year too.
  • Stronger for Brody – As you probably know Brody has bone cancer and we recently amputated one of his hind legs. This has been beyond hard for me. I know that we are in our final chapters here but I want to be stronger for him so I can continue to make the right decisions for him and make sure our last stretch is a kick ass one. I want to make sure he is happy, knows he is loved and is well taken care of.
  • Stronger for my husband – How awesome is my husband? Pretty awesome. Our biggest ‘problem’ is that we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like (we work opposite schedules). He has a big year coming up and I want to be better about being there for him when he needs it.
  • Stronger for my family – My family is fantastic. We are unlike any other family I have seen before and I wouldn’t change that for the world. This past year I was lucky enough to get to spend more time with them. I don’t think I spent this much time with family since I was a little kid. It has been awesome. I want to keep that up and be able to help them if they ever need anything.
  • Make my company stronger – My work is in an interesting place. We are growing, moving and in the starting gates to take everything to another level. In the position I have, I am partially responsible for how that growth happens and making sure we execute it well. I want to make sure I do the best job I can growing our company for all the people that work there.
  • Be a stronger writer – One of my heroes, my grandmother, wanted to be a writer. Times were obviously different then but I can only hope she can see all of the work I do. I think she would be very proud. Writing here has been a tremendous help in finding my ‘voice’ and for sorting out some problems and sharing things that I think are important. I have a few projects I want to complete that will involve me taking writing more seriously so I want to become a stronger writer and be more confident in my own writing.

Oh, oh AND I want to make a fish tank out of a television. That is a goal for this year too 🙂 I have the television console… just need to figure out the fish tank part. I am serious.

So I guess those are my birthday goals this year – to just be all around stronger. I am excited to have a fun day with the people who love me and I hope you have a great day too! Thank you so much to those of you who take the time to read this, comment on this and support me in this weird little blogging project.

Happy Boston Marathon Day and How My Race Went in NYC

Happy Patriot’s Day, a special little holiday just for Massachusetts and Maine. The holiday is also most notably, Boston Marathon Day. Some of the best runners in the world drop in to our little section of the planet and run their guts out.

I watched the elite men’s and women’s finishes via the live stream and both were so close. It was emotional watching them push past their bodies and minds, farther than most of us could ever imagine to break personal and world records.

The men’s winner from Kenya finished in 2:03:02, which is technically a world record but the Boston marathon isn’t classified as a ‘flat course’ so it won’t be recognized by the Guinness World Records.

The women’s race was a back and forth battle up to the last second (or two) and the US almost had their first women’s victory since 1985 but Desiree Davila was beat out by two seconds. She did break a record for an American woman on the course though. Also, American runner Kara Goucher came in fifth – she had a baby 7 months ago, ain’t no thing.

Congrats to all who ran, who are still running, who had family and friends in the race or who were there to cheer people on!

More Half Marathon in NYC

Two weeks ago now I ran the MORE/Fitness Half Marathon in NYC and I haven’t gotten to write about it yet. I think with the Boston Marathon still wrapping up, now may be a good time.

Adam and I headed to New York City for my third attempt at this race. I like this race for three big reasons:

  1. It is large – There is something really cool about being part of a huge event. This event reaches capacity earlier and earlier every year. There are 10,000 entrants.
  2. It is all women – I am not usually a huge ‘women only’ event person but there is a unique spirit about this race and I think that it is the thousands of powerful women, cheering each other on while their husbands, boyfriends and family scour the crowds for them.
  3. It is in New York in April – I like New York. We have some great friends in New York. Mostly though, by April, I am pretty ready to get out of Maine. You want it to be Spring so bad and it isn’t. Head a few states south and it is warmer, greener and Spring-ier.

This year’s race

Amanda O'Brien More Fitness Womens Half MarathonThe past two times doing this race I had a posse of women doing it with me. This year I was flying solo but I didn’t feel like backing out just because I had no one to play with, or panic with, or puke on.

The race went well. I beat my time at this race last year by over 20 minutes and I beat my Disney Half Marathon time by 10 minutes. My official time was 2:26:06.

The weather was 40s and sunny, which is much better than the two years prior. The first year we did the race it was a freak 93 degree day and last year it was 40s and 50s and down pouring rain the whole time.

The whole race went fine. We had so much snow this winter that training and doing all my long runs was really tough. I don’t think a long run on a treadmill even compares to a long run outside. So I felt like I didn’t train as much as I wanted but I felt stronger than I have the past few years. I also knew I had picked up a little muscle and gotten a little faster from participating in the Nor’Easter Running Group this winter and spring.

It wasn’t fun but I never thought I would walk or that I couldn’t do it. I did have one really low point for the 9th mile. I don’t run with a watch so I depend on the clocks at the event to keep an eye on how I am doing time-wise. I take the time on the clock as I pass it, subtract the minute that was on the clock when I crossed the start and then divide by however many miles I have done at this point. Yes, a watch may be easier but at least this gives me something to think about.

Adam Half Marathon FinishI must have done some very bad math at mile 9 because my calculations told me I was at the same pace as last year but I knew I didn’t have enough gas in the tank to go any faster for the next 4 miles. So I beat myself up pretty good in my head until about mile 10 when I did the math again and realized I was almost 20 minutes ahead of where I thought I was. From there on in it was not quite as sad.

Adam had a good spectating race, for those of you who were worried after the bagel incident of ’09. New York was great to us. We got to see lots of friends and eat some amazing food and I was proud of how my race turned out.

Next?

From here I plan on doing some local 5Ks, the Beach to Beacon and ending with the Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon in October. After that? Not sure. I still don’t have an itch to do a full marathon. I think I will just work on strength and time and get batter at these halfs. I like doing two a year, I think it has to keep me in check all year round.

Thanks for all your encouragement and support during my training and my race! The best reward so far hasn’t been weight loss, or strength or some weird love of running but it has been seeing how many of my friends and people I know start taking up running because they said I encouraged them to.

FYI There ARE Still Some Good People Out There

The news is depressing. People seem to be letting other people down a lot. Mother nature is being a bitch lately. More people take, than give.

BUT apparently there ARE still good people out there

These good people are people you know and complete strangers. I have had the pleasure of two of these strangers in my life lately.

I have lost my wallet not once but TWICE in the last FOUR days! For serious. Have I mentioned I have had a lot going on lately? And yes, this is real blond hair.

The first time was grocery shopping. I carefully unpacked my bags of groceries in my car and responsibly walked my cart back to the cart holder. I also carefully left my wallet in the top compartment of the shopping cart. I went home, unpacked my groceries and began to make dinner. Soon after, I had a voicemail on my work line. It was a woman who had found my wallet with my business cards in it. She called my work number and left me a message letting me know she was placing it at the service desk.

The second time was today. I had a stressful morning at work and decided stepping away from the office, running a few errands and getting some fresh 40 degree air would help. After my errands were run and I got in my car, I called my mother. Ten minutes later I drove into a gas station and realized I did not have my wallet. What is worse, is I remember exactly where I put it last – on the top of my car. Smart.

My wallet made it as far as the corner of Preble and Marginal Way (not the best part of town) where it fell off and tumbled in the middle of a busy intersection for who knows how long. That is where a man named Gerard, who works at AAA found it. He stopped his car, grabbed it and he also went through it, found my business cards and called my work and left me a message. My wallet today had a hundred dollar bill in it and four $20 gift cards to Bard Coffee. It was a wallet worth stealing but Gerard didn’t touch any of it. He called and I met him at his office and got my mangled, run over wallet.

What did I learn?

  • I learned that I need to slow down, breathe and keep track of my things better.
  • I learned that I think I need a purse. I have too many things in my hands and I put things down.
  • I learned I have a patient, kind and loving husband who will help me look in trashcans on Marginal Way and not get mad at me for doing this TWICE in FOUR days.
  • I learned not all homeless people don’t have homes. Adam paid a man with a cardboard sign $5 and asked if he saw anyone with a wallet. The man was nice and helpful and even gave us his home phone number to call him later to see if it turned up.
  • I learned that everyone should have business cards and leave them in their wallet!
  • Lastly, I learned in a world where you hear mostly about the bad – there are some really, really good people out there who will do the right thing.

I leave for New York in 3 days and from there we go to Aruba for Emily’s wedding. I don’t even know if I would have been able to go if I didn’t have my wallet, my license, my debit cards or anything else that is in there that I would need. My wallet was stolen (actually stolen, not left in a dumb place) last summer. I think I am just now getting back on my feet since that happened. We don’t realize how many things we tie automatically to our cards or how hard it is to replace many of the important things we keep in there. I would have been so upset if I had to go through all of that again.

So thanks lady at Shaws and Gerrard from AAA. I really needed a boost in my opinion of humanity and I really needed my wallet. Thank you!