Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.





Saturday, January 6, 2018

Composting, the InstaPot, Air Fryers & Other Online Fighting Topics

In an era of today's great political divide, surprisingly, the most vicious debates that I've seen firsthand online have been over Air Fryers, Composting and the InstaPot.

I'm not kidding you.

My VERY strong political beliefs aside, these battles have been far more vicious than anything political.

To a point that it's hilarious.

I like to garden. A lot.  In fact, I have been gardening since I was 7 or 8 years old.  I grew up in a rural community and was in 4-H.  I have friends who are farmers.  I can tell the difference between the smell of cow manure and horse manure - as I like to joke, I know my shit.

When we moved into our new house about 3 years ago, I was putting in my new garden and I thought "Hey- I should use Facebook for something other than posting memes..." and I joined a local gardening group.

Now, if you're not a produce gardener, I should tell you that the it is NOT a homogeneous group.  You might think we are a bunch of hippies getting back to our roots. This is not true.  There are also a lot of "prepper" type people who are living off the grid or trying to do so.  There are also a lot of immigrants who always gardened in their home countries and it's part of who they are.  There are people with health issues.  There are people like me who are hobbyists and simply like growing things.

I would argue that we all have  a bit of the off gridder in us, if we were really honest, but that's a blog for another day.

You might also assume that people who grow things are patient.  Because it takes patience to grow things.

This also would be a wrong assumption.

I assumed the forum would be a great place to exchange ideas and techniques.  It was a nice reprieve from the online hatred the presidential election was spewing.  And for the most part, it is an awesome group.

Expect for when the "experts" drop in.

In gardening, there are people called Master Gardeners who take extensive coursework in growing in their specific zone.  These people actually ARE experts.  We have quite a few in the group.  Or we did... they may have run away, I'm not sure.

These are not the experts to whom I am referring.

I am referencing the people who think they are experts.  They are not open to ANY other ideas except for their own.  Which makes me wonder why they would join a group- oh wait- they join to share their brilliance with the rest of us.

In this group, we have gone fisticuff over things like USING REGULAR UNFILTERED WATER ON ONE'S GARDEN!  Gasp!  The horror.  In order to grow anything, you MUST have a filtration system.

Um.... no.

There are plenty of reasons to have a filtration system.  It absolutely is better for microbes.  No doubt.  However, you can grown a healthy garden using regular old water.  You need to amend the soil.  You'll probably need to replace it at some point.  But it is NOT a tragedy to not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a system so you can grow a few tomato plants.

Also, I use corrugated metal for my garden beds.  Without getting too sciencey on you, it actually stays cool in the summer and helps my soil stay cool & moist- a big deal in the desert southwest.  I bought them because they look really cool.  I also have been having an enormous amount of success with them.

Yes.  Really.  I have.  Honest.

But no- that's impossible because metal gets hot and I'm lying.  Or so the experts say.  So I post pictures of my garden.  It's a fluke.

Hey, maybe.  Or maybe it's science.  Physics actually.

But the debate on the composting was the best.

I'm not even sure how it started, but it did.  I started reading about 100 comments into the Great Compost Debate of 2016.  It got mean.  It got nasty.

And I'm just sitting there, reading, cracking up, laughing my ass off.

The temperature of the compost.  The content.  How much water to add.  When to use a starter. 

People were arguing over rotting garbage techniques.

Grown adults acting like 3 year olds towards people they've never met.

It was funny yet sad.

Around that same time, I joined an InstaPot group because- and don't hurt me- I had one and didn't like it.  I have a Breville that is waaaaay better, but everyone raved about these things so they went on a super sale at Amazon and I thought I'd try it.  My opinion was not swayed.

So I go to this group.  The recipes people were posting left me baffled- I mean, I can roast a chicken in an hour and 15 minutes.  It wasn't any faster.  But I would read and keep my comments to myself.

And then one day, it happened.

A woman named Angela posted something like "I've had my InstaPot for a few months and I honestly don't like it.  Am I missing something?"

Sweet. Baby. Jesus. 

Blasphemy.

After someone posted "Why would you join this group if you don't like it?!?!"

To which she replied: "To see if I was missing something... "

And I added: "You're not alone.  That's why I'm here.  I still don't get it...I think it's great for maybe people who didn't normally cook. I'm not into slow cookers either."

Which was hatespeak.  I had now insulted them.

Most of the people that I know that think the InstaPot is the be all, end all, really hated cooking and this seems to inspire them.  Not all, but most.  Also, I do not like pot roast.  Ever.  No matter how tender.

I then said I could grill chicken breasts, make rice and steam veggies in 30 minutes- so pressure cooking something in 90 minutes wasn't really "faster."

Well, call me a wizard but that was an impossible feat and poor Angela and I were burned at the stake.

Of course, I'm cracking up at the illiterate insults being thrown at me.

So I left that group.

A few days ago my amazing Breville Smart Oven died and I replaced it with the newer version that includes an air fryer.  I went to a group to get some recipes.  (I promise, I don't work for Breville- I just happen to LOVE their products.).

Within 2 days, the same thing happened.  A woman asked a pretty innocent question and someone tossed back a snarky answer.  And downward it spiraled.

Online bullying at its best.

Over a kitchen appliance.

It's utterly and completely ridiculous.

I can't imagine that any of these people would behave this way in the real world.  I've met people in our gardening group over the past few years and they are always amazed that I'm the same person online (a bit less quick witted... I have more time to write funny things) as I am offline.

But seriously people- if you're fighting with people online over the benefits of an InstaPot and calling them names for not loving it- get a life.  Truly.  Log out.  Talk to some real people.  Breathe.

I don't anticipate staying in the Air Fryer group any longer either.

The gardening group has done a great job booting the nasty people out.  Their purpose is to encourage others to garden- preferably organic, but it's okay if you don't have the time to do that.  It's ALL better than commercial produce and it's fun.

So before you start typing a 15 minute response to someone you've never met because they don't like a design you do, a team you do or whatever you are disagreeing about- stop.

Does it really matter?  What is your end game?  To make some new mother who hasn't slept in a month feel like crap because her baby won't sleep through the night?  To convince them that the Steelers are the greatest team ever?  To make yourself feel better?

Type and then before you hit post- delete it.

Making fun of other people online, taunting, bullying, being an ass-- the world needs less of that.

If there's nothing positive to your comments, don't make them.

Don't be the jerk that always interrupted class in high school.

Be an adult.  Walk away.

Because here's the thing- YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO SEE THIS PEOPLE.

I comment on Twitter to politicians quite a bit- and while it is snarky, I include data in my response.  They are public figures.  They put themselves out there for feedback.  I'm never mean, vicious or personal.

But I don't attack people who comment.  Because I don't know them and I'm pretty sure it doesn't change their minds or values.

So maybe if everyone could have a resolution this year, it would be to stop the online bullying crap.  The snarkiness.  Be a little nicer online.

The interwebz was once a giant library of shared ideas. 

We should at least try. 

You might even learn a thing or two.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Holiday Thoughts & Such

It's Christmas Eve and we just made some cookies... kids fought and argued with each other because that's what brothers and sisters do.

I had music in the background, couldn't find half my crap, the kitchen is a mess and we still have to cut out the cookies, dip the peanut balls and ice things... and we have a dinner reservation in a few hours.  So we'll do it after.

Did I mention I finally caught the cold that everyone else in my house had which is why we are doing cookies now?  And of course, I got the worst version of it because it clearly had fortified before hitting me.

I still have some gifts to wrap, too.

I haven't even watched "Love, Actually"yet.

But I am happy.

In 2016, everyone kept posting and joking about how it sucked.  Celebrities died. And then, of course, our great orange leader became dictator.  Fun times.  I kept saying "Don't taunt karma...."

But 2016 had some other suckage for me.  It started out great- hanging with Bernie, almost winning the caucus here (we didn't, then we did, then we didn't... crazy times).  My business did really well.  I was in our new house.  I was losing tons of weight.

It looked fantastic on the outside.

In fact, almost glamorous.

But we almost got divorced.  For realsies.  I lost a lot of friends over politics (and honestly, who DIDN'T know I was a giant liberal?  Seriously, how good of friends were we if that offends you?  My real friends- from both parties- knew this and we're still friends). And I was sick and didn't even know it. My kids suffered as well because I was grouchy and tired and a real bitch.

And a lot of it really came crashing down this year and because I was sick, I was forced to stop.

To say no.

To sit on my butt, in fact.

A butt that is much larger.

MUCH larger.

Because as shitty as everything had been, sitting on the couch, I saw how really awesome my life is.

My husband stepped up.  Big time. My kids really enjoyed the more accessible mom.  I got my funny back, too.

And once I started feeling better, I blew out my ankle, ended up back on the couch because that's how my life rolls.

But what a good life it is.

We had more family time and did more silly stupid things this year than ever.

I had thought when kids got older, they would want to spend less time with me-- but no, we all kinda came together this past year.

Our dinner conversations range from movies to geopolitical unrest to farts.  Usually within one meal. 

Don't get me wrong- I'm still very angry about things in the world. 

But about mid fall, I gave up letting it prevent me from enjoying the good times.

Ever since I read "The Road"- what a horrible, awful book that I'll never shake- I've always kinda thought the apocalypse could happen tomorrow and what would I take with me?  Would the good times in my heart pull me through the awfulness that lie ahead?  Do I cherish the good times enough to get me through the bad times?

It's a bizarre way to live life, I know.

But I had gotten away from it.

I have some friends facing some very serious crises in their lives- deportation, health issues because they can't afford their insurance (some are life and death) and a few friends who have cancer that is incurable- no matter their insurance. 

Yet all those people post pictures and still have happy moments in their lives. 

And here I am, completely fine, my health issues treatable and reversible, and I was wound so tight, I was going to snap.

This year, I had to let it go.

Maria Shriver posted 5 books that she read this year that she loved.  They all were these insightful, thoughtful life changing books.

I really like Maria Shriver.  I know that if we met, we'd be besties  Me, her, Gayle & Oprah would laugh over our chai tea... okay, that sounds very stalkery.  But, you know what I mean--

But honestly, I looked at her post and I posted "You need to lighten up and read something fun."

Because I think I'm done with all the self help for awhile.  I'm done with dieting.  I'm done with making it my best year ever.

2018 is just gonna be.

I have a business plan, of course, but personally.... meh.

My health is a big thing  but not in a goal oriented, hit my marker kinda way.

I'm not going to read 3 books a month.

I'm not committing to exercising 12 hours a week or hitting 15,000 steps.

I'm gonna just wake up, do my thing, and be really appreciative for all the good things.

And I'm not writing it in a gratitude journal either.

Because I need spend less time measuring and assessing and more time simply being.

I'm going to read books that are silly & trashy and make me laugh.

I'm going to order dessert.

I'm going to go on walks with my family because they are awesome.

And some days I'll sleep in and not make the gym.

And I won't care.

I'm just sorta over striving to be perfect.

I'm perfectly fine being imperfect.

So that's my year end thought & my resolution.

2018 and me are just gonna be.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Facts to Clarify for the POTUS

History:
Nazis are responsible for the deaths of millions of people based on their race, sexual orientation & religion. They hate blacks, gypsies, gays, Catholics and especially Jews.  Especially Jews.

We fought the Nazis and sacrificed millions of lives doing so.

White supremacists use Nazi propaganda to promote their agenda as indicated by the swastika symbol.


Analysis:
We do not want to live in a world where Nazis control things because they will kill people.

Nazis are bad.

White supremacists have the same philosophies as Nazis.

Summary:
Nazis & White Supremacists = bad

People against Nazis & White Supremacists = good



Sunday, August 13, 2017

You Might be at a Nazi Rally if...

A young man from my lovely state of Nevada was recently outed as a white supremacist when his face was plastered all over our liberal media.

Now, this apparently came as a shock to this young man that most of us aren't impressed with his tiki torch wielding and vitriol spewing abilities.

In fact, there may be some consequences to his exercising his freedom of speech. Like the fact that Nevada is a Right to Work state which means he can be terminated for any reason. 

Oopsy daisy.

But the best part, this poor, confused young man responded to friends saying he was unaware he was at a Neo-Nazi really.  He thought it was a party to celebrate white culture.

I guess he just got caught up in the moment.

There he was.  Visiting some friends in Virginia and he just happened to stumble upon a group of people wearing the exact same outfit.

Silly kid.

I can see how that happens.  You go out for a crazy Friday night with some friends, dressed in your father's Dockers Khakis and White Polo to celebrate your whiteness and bam- next thing you know you, you're front and center, holding a tiki torch, the face of a Nazi rally.

I'm sure they don't want his "I didn't mean it" pretty boy face representing them as well.  He is actually denying that he's a racist.  I'm sure that's as offensive to them as his being a racist is to me.

So, to clarify, since I am in fact, 50% hillbilly, I thought I might channel my inner Jeff Foxworthy  and his "You might be a Redneck If..." jokes to help folks like poor Peter determine if they are, in fact, at a Nazi rally.

Here it goes:

You might be at a Nazi rally if everyone around you is carrying flags with swastikas.

You might be at a Nazi rally if everyone around you is chanting "Death to the Jews" "Death to Blacks" "Death to Gays" or "Death to Mexicans."

You might be at a Nazi rally if the signs noting "Blood & Soil" are not about enhancing the iron in your garden by adding blood meal.

You might be at a Nazi rally if all the sandwiches are served only on white bread.

You might be at a Nazi rally if everyone around you is white.

You might be at a Nazi rally if everyone is carrying weapons, wearing helmets and have shields with swastikas on them (again, the swastika is an excellent sign that this is, in fact, a Nazi event).

You might be at a Nazi rally if people wearing Birkenstocks, with rainbow flags and peace signs are chanting "Go Home!"

You might be at a Nazi rally if the parade you're marching in is causes people to throw rocks at you.

You might be at a Nazi rally if militarized police have to accompany you on that same parade.

You might be at a Nazi rally if most of the attendees have unlimited time to stay because they don't really have any place to go.

You might be at a Nazi rally if someone yells "Let's all go over to my mom's house after- she's making pizza rolls! We can hang in my room and terrorize snowflakes with my fake twitter account!"

You might be at a Nazi rally if the only bands that will play are really bad cover bands of really bad hair bands from the early 80s because every real artist is offended by your party and doesn't want to be associated with you. 

And I get it.  I appreciate in this day and age, you can stumble upon this situation more regularly than you realize.

If they are chanting "Lock her Up!"  and "Build the Wall" and you are still surround by all white people, bad music and confederate flags without swastikas- don't panic.  That is NOT a Nazi rally- it's a Trump rally.  It will feel and look the same, but it's not a hate crime. 

It's just hate.

So relax.  Wear your MAGA hat.

Please do.

That way we will know, too.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Not Your Politics that Ended Our Friendship

I have friends of all types- young, old, rich, poor, black, white, brown, native, immigrant, gay, straight, bi, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Democrat, Libertarian & Republican.

I like smart, kind, funny people.

Your resume, voting record and bank account don't matter to me.

During the very divided year in American politics, many people that I've known for decades decided to become political.

Normally, that would be a great thing that I encouraged.  I love political debates.

But when people start pretending to be political, have no clue on what they speak and source their information from Alex Jones and Bipartisan Reports, I get irritated.

ESPECIALLY when I show them that they are fake news sites.

ESPECIALLY when I give them information on how to determine if a news source is reputable.

But even that, I can roll my eyes and move on.

What I can't forgive, however, is blatant racism and sexism.

I'm not talking about Trump saying Marcron's wife is in good shape.  An odd and inappropriate greeting from a world leader to another's wife, but sexist- meh.  More like a drunk uncle comment.  He didn't slap her on the ass when he said it.  Baby steps.

Cheering the fact that Trump talked about grabbing pussies... dismissing it as locker room talk... thinking it made him a cool guy... condoning it...


Whether he did it or not is one thing.  I have my opinion.  I wasn't there.  Neither were you.

But cheering it?  Laughing at it?

That's on the people posting & commenting on it.

Because condoning it,  IS disgusting.

You can say "I don't think it happened and he still has my vote."  I'm fine with that. 

You can't say "It's no big deal.  Every guy does that." I'm not fine with that.

They don't.  But YOU thinking it's okay... I'm sorry, I don't want to be your friend.  You're a pig.  I have a daughter.  What would keep you from doing that to her?  I mean, in your mind, there's nothing wrong with it, right?

We found out someone that we sometimes socialized with posted that all Muslims should be lit on fire and burned.

That's a lot different than saying "I support the President's increased scrutiny and delay of visas from countries that have a higher rate of terrorism."  I would reply "What about Saudi Arabia? "  and point out that more people die from domestic violence than terrorism in the US.  I probably won't change your mind and that's okay.  Let's talk about it.

You can say that you think it's wrong for us to take in Syrian refugees. I might respond with facts about refugees or appeal to your humanity.  You can still disagree and we'll still be friends.

But I honestly have no response to lighting human beings on fire.

Because that is messed up.

Really messed up.

You say "Screw people on Medicaid- they can get jobs"- and when I show you data on who those people are- disabled, elderly, etc- and you really, really don't care- not even "Well, there has to be a better way to stop abuses"- you just don't care.

We're not going to be friends.

Maybe back in 1983 when we were in study hall together, I knew you weren't the sharpest knife.  I didn't know you were an asshole.

Now I do.

Bye.

You commented on Obama for 8 years because you didn't like his policy?

I get it.  I didn't like EVERYTHING.  Let's discuss the good and the bad.  We're friends.

You want to debate how he's really a Kenyan Muslim who hates white people?

I can't.  Because that's your hatred based on nonsense.  I don't have time for that.  And it absolutely carries over into every single thing you say after...

I'm sorry. It does. 

I have friends that voted for Trump.  Some regret it ("Wow.  You were right.  He's clueless. I honestly thought he'd quit tweeting.").  Some don't ("I disagreed with Clinton's platform and his inability to do anything is better than her doing things I disagree with completely.")

We are still friends.  In many cases, very good friends.

Because those are POLITICAL differences.

Their vote did not diminish our friendship- at all.  Honestly, it didn't.  I don't think they are fools or deplorables.  They don't think poorly of me for my vote.  One friend jokingly said she happily tolerated my liberal views because I grow tomatoes and make her laugh.  Oh- and we do talk politics.  Happily.  Passionately.  It's fun.

But your pure hatred of Obama and Clinton and Mexicans and "the gays" and Muslims and blacks...

Those are core differences in our values. 

And if we have different values, we are not going to be friends.

My conservative friends and I agree on most things- everyone should have equal opportunity for health, wealth, safety and religious freedom.  We disagree on the policies to get there.

That's fine.

Thinking that you deserve more than someone else because well, you just do?

News flash:  You don't.

Saying ridiculous things is absolutely your right to free speech.

Me, thinking you're an awful person and not wanting to be your friend any longer- that's my right.

This past year, I thinned the herd of my "friends."

Yes, the election brought it out.

But not ONCE was it ever over politics.

It was over our very different core values.


In short-

It never was your "politics."

It's you.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Six Years After My Mother's Day Letter

In 2011, I wrote a letter via my blog to my children.  

Letter of Advice to my Children on Mother's Day

Over the last 6 years as they've transitioned to teenager & tweenager, they've knocked it out of the park.

Dear Skip & Zoey,

You know I haven't been blogging much lately since out of respect for you, I don't want to talk about your lives your lives online.  You also know I've been crazy busy.

I wrote you a letter in 2011 to give you advice, but this year I wanted to thank you for everything I've learned from you during a fairly rough period.

Be kind.
I told you to be kind.  This past year you've seen me get angry.  Angrier than I probably have in the past.  But thank you for reminding me to be kind. 

Skip, during the election, you told me that you were always proud that no matter how successful I had become or how much money I made, I never forgot where I came from and you were proud of ME for helping people less fortunate.  You said you were impressed that I never thought about myself when I voted, but of others.

I didn't tell you this, but that made me cry because at that very moment, I didn't think anyone noticed or cared.  At that moment, everyone seemed to want something else or more from me.  More time.  More money.  More everything.  I was really tired that day.

What you said, gave me the strength to get up and keep going.

Thank you.

Find something to smile about every day.
Zoey, about 2 weeks ago you told me to turn the news off.  You said "All it does is upset you.  Let's just listen to music."

You weren't telling me to put my head in the sand.  You were saying to take a breath and enjoy our time together on the way to school.

You told me I had my funny back last week.  You gave it back to me.  Thank you.

Stand up for what's right.
You both stood up to people who disagreed with you during the election.  You weren't jerks.  You still have friends that are on the "other side of the aisle."   You did it with class.  You didn't waiver.  In fact, we had some great conversations.

I've always told you to have your own opinions- not to parrot mine.  During our conversations, I have no doubt that you believe what you believe because of what you've seen, people you've met, what you believe in.  You are not parrots. 

You can think.  You don't cave in to peer pressure.

This gives me hope.  Thank you.

Show up with your A game when others are depending on you.
Zoey, your dedication to your school projects and working together with your friends has been amazing to see develop.  You take your projects to an entire new level. 

Skip, you decided to take the road less traveled next year for high school rather than take the easy way out.  I know you are nervous, but I know you won't regret pushing yourself.

And when I was struggling this year, you all (including Dad) had my back so I could get a little bit of a breather.  Thank you.

Read.
The last 6 years have been full of reading and talking about books.  You've been reading fiction, non-fiction-- even my favorite-- "MAD Magazine." 

You've gotten me to read new things as well.  Thank you.


Ask a lot of questions.
Thank you for always coming to me when you have a question or a concern.  Whether it's been school work, life question or about what to do with a friend.  You don't take anything for granted. 

Thank you for trusting me and more importantly, trusting yourself.

Participate in life.
Without a doubt, you've both embraced this.  I know that I've struggled to make sure you get to your clubs and practices and rehearsals and have everything you need-- and I know I've lost my cool more than once.

Don't let me discourage you!  Keep it up.  I'm so proud of everything you do.  Thank you.

Fail.
You have both done this so eloquently and not let it slow you down.

You've also let me fail.  And you've never given up on me.  When I've had a bad day, you've both been there to be my cheerleader.  It's meant the world to me this year more than ever.  Thank you.

Be your own boss.
When I was contemplating my professional options this year, it was the two of you that both convinced me that there was no price worth me being an employee.  We all talked about how "Mom" there was to go around.  We all adjusted so that I could spend more fun time with all of you.

Zoey, your exasperation at the thought of me retiring early was hilarious. "What would you do?  You love your business-- that's crazy..." because at the end of the day, you're right.  No matter the price. 

Thank you for helping me stay on track.

Have fun friends.
The last few years, I got rid of a LOT of people.  Most of them didn't even notice.  I love that neither one of you suffer fools.  You taught me that it's important to be polite, but I don't have to be besties with everyone. 

Thank you.

When you get married, make it forever.
What a year we all went through.  All of us.  I am so sorry to drag you through some of it.  You watched Dad and me fight to keep it together.  You both made it clear that you had our backs no matter what.  I'm so sorry you had to go through the uncertainty of this past year.  But I think we all learned so much.  And now that we're back to silly and fun again, I can't thank you enough for hanging in.  A huge THANK YOU on that.

In short, you're both amazing and have made me a better person.

On this Mother's Day, all I can say is thank you!

Love,
Mom

Monday, February 13, 2017

Nevertheless

I had a speech impediment as a child.  People thought I was slow.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I finally was tested, they realized I wasn't slow, they moved me up a grade for certain classes.  I was shy and didn't say much.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I was diagnosed with severe asthma but I decided to play trombone, I was told I might want to look at other instruments.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I was the only girl trombonist at a summer music camp, they immediately gave me the third part to play but realized I was the only one who could play the high notes in the first part.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided that I didn't want to be a musician, despite being first chair for three years, I looked into studying economics but I was told that women don't become economists.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided to go to an Ivy League school, I was told schools like that weren't for people like me.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided to delay attending Cornell University to spend a year in Ecuador, I was told that it was dangerous for young women to travel abroad by themselves.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided that I wanted to work at Disney World, I was told that students in my major wouldn't get accepted.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I signed up for a third year computer programming class my senior year in college despite never haven take a programming class, they told me I would fail and it would destroy my GPA.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When my ability to speak Spanish, my programming skills and my experience working at Disney helped me to get multiple jobs offers out of college during a recession, including staying on at the university to do research, I was told it really was because I was pretty and would look good on the annual report cover.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I spent a summer following graduation consulting in Southeast Asia working with my professors, I was told they would never take a 23 year old American girl seriously in Asia.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I declined the job offer to stay in Asia and started a job in NY that I hated, quit and moved to a job in Las Vegas, I was told that I was committing career suicide and would never be taken seriously again.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I realized that I was unhappy in my career field and decided to become a stockbroker when only 15% of licensed brokers were women, I was told that I had a 95% chance of failure.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I started my own practice at 26, with $8.23 to my name and was couch surfing at my friends' homes  because I couldn't afford an apartment, I was told that I needed to grow up and get a real job.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided to get married, I was told that it would negatively impact my successful business.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided to have a child, I was told that I would never finish my graduate degree.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided to have my second child a few years after receiving my master, and I received a a substantial offer to buy out my business and declined it, I was told that I might want to reconsider because I would be more fulfilled staying home.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When I decided to continue to grow my business, I was told my children would suffer.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When my children with whom I am very close came to me because they were upset that their school was canceling activities that they enjoyed- especially the programs for the accelerated students-and I found out it was the principal who didn't want to favor the smarter students and then I found out a whole lot more from teachers and parents, they told me I couldn't get her moved to a new school because they'd been trying for 10 years.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

When the new principal at their school started, I was happy because we had turned down a zone variance and as my daughter's brand new to teaching teacher struggled to maintain classroom control, I took a week off to help her and was told it wouldn't make a difference because the class was out of control and I knew nothing about teaching.

Nevertheless, I persisted.

And each and every time I've been told that I couldn't do something, somehow I persisted.

I was warned.  I was given an explanation. 

In interim, I traveled the world, met fascinating people, learned languages, built a business and have an amazing family.

And the naysayers have sat there and watched and judged and told me all the things I couldn't do.

The funny thing is, I can only see them in my rear view mirror, sitting where they've always been, telling me what it was they couldn't do and trying to convince me I couldn't do it either because I was the same as them.

But I wasn't. I'm not.

Because I persist.