The Point Of No Return

Have you ever faced a decision that seemed to be a pivotal point in your life? One that means you may be turning your back on a dream or two for the final time; and there will be no going back if you make the wrong choice…like it seals your fate?

I know, that seems a bit dramatic, but I talk a good game about all these things I want to do with my life and quite frankly, I’ve probably lived more life than I have left. I need to get busy if I’m ever going to pursue the dreams I have. I want to write, to stop being a slave to the calendar and the clock, to create and build things…but I’m so busy being someone I’m not (or someone I don’t want to be anymore) for forty-plus hours a week that I don’t do any of those things. Time seems to slip away faster than it use to when I was younger and I don’t want to get so busy “doing the 9 to 5” that I use up all the time I have and look back and regret things that I don’t need to regret.

The pivot point…I’ve been unhappy with my job and I was brutally honest with my boss about my dissatisfaction. To my surprise, instead of being asked for my resignation I was offered a promotion. I’m completely humbled to be that valued at my job, but here is the dilemma: The logical side of my brain says; “Take it! There is room for growth and opportunity to advance your career. You will be making a good salary and have a decent amount of vacation time.” That other emotional part of my brain and my heart both say; “You don’t really want that job, you just like the false sense of security it provides. There are so many other things that you want to do in this life, so much more that you want to be. If you do this, that is probably it; you won’t get to pursue those dreams and you will end up spending your life doing the safe and predictable thing. ”  So what’s a girl to do? ( Can I be a girl at 44?)

I think I know the answer (to both questions); but it scares the crap out of me. I don’t know how to step into the unknown…I’ve spent most of my life pursuing stability and avoiding risk. That strategy may have worked for me in the past (and I’m not so sure about that), but I don’t think it’s going to work for me anymore if I want to live the creative life I’ve been dreaming of. I don’t want to be afraid of taking a chance or of taking the road less traveled, but giving up that stability is so hard. It kind of feels like I’m about to take a swing on a trapeze without a safety net (I’ve never actually done that, but it sounds terrifying!) I just wonder if I really have the courage.

To be continued…


A Finished Product!

I finally finished a project!


So this concussion business has really slowed down every single part of my life, so I’m pretty pumped that I finally finished a project. I had to do it in small chunks because of the fatigue and aggravating brain issues I’ve been experiencing but I’m happy with the end result.

So here is the before:


I found this crate at goodwill. I wasn’t sure what it would become, but I knew it had potential. I ended up turning it into a picnic caddy; you know, one of those cutesy things for the plates, napkins and silverware. (My desire for warm, sunny picnic weather may have inspired me!) I made a few modifications and added a few accessories to create the finished product.

Here is the after:

I’m pretty happy with the result and I’m excited to work on some other pieces. I think Under(wood) Revision is finally under way!

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Split Second

A split second; that’s all it takes to change everything. On January 19th, (your dad’s 60th birthday, sorry dad.) you and your daughter are making the daily trek to work. It’s winter, the roads are slippery, so you’re using four wheel drive and taking it easy; but it doesn’t matter. The Jeep losses traction and you begin to slide. Continue reading

Introducing….Under(wood) Revision

So, even though I’ve been terrible about adding posts to this blog (I’m going to be better at that) I’ve decided to start a new one.

It is called Under(wood) Revision and it’s a place I will be sharing my writing and re-purposing projects. I am hoping to establish a small business (a “side hussle” if you will) that feeds my creative side; and my new blog is the place I will share my adventures in upcycling!

I haven’t done much to the site yet, but when I get some things posted, I’ll repost here…just in case you’d like to check it out.

Happy Tuesday!

Doing What’s Necessary

I’ve been struggling with this notion of “living my dreams” and “pursuing what I love”. I mean, I dream of doing some pretty great things and I hope I get to live those dreams out, but I can’t just drop everything to pursue them. Maybe some people can, but I have responsibilities and people who depend on me…so right now, I need to do what is necessary.

This is what my necessary looks like, and I’m not super excited about it. I don’t jump out of bed, chomping at the bit to get to the necessities of my day. I am NOT, let me repeat that, N.O.T. a morning person. But, I haul my cookies out of bed at 5:30am, five days a week to go to work. (I have a pretty good job, but it’s a job, not a passion.) I also hate being a slave to routine, but, those five days a week look very much the same. I get up at the “butt crack of dawn” (my friend Dawn hates it when I say that.) get  ready, drive an hour, do my job all day, drive another hour and then I’m home, ready to start the process all over again the next day. Sometimes it seems very much like Joe vs. the Volcano. Quite often I feel like I’m dragging myself through the week just trying to survive to the weekend. I know this sounds like a giant pity party; but stick with me, I’m going somewhere good with this.

Here’s the thing about what I just said and how awful I made it sound; if I keep it in proper perspective, it’s really not so bad…for now. I do these things for some very good reasons, but I won’t have those reasons forever. And when the reason is gone, the thing that was a necessity becomes a choice. If I start making plans and taking small steps to chase my dreams and loves now, I may actually get to engage in them a little ways down the road. If I can just focus on the fact that I’m doing the necessary things now so that I can choose to pursue the dreamy things later, the necessary things become part of the dream; they are stepping stones to what I really want to pursue.

And that dragging myself through the week part; I just need to check myself on that. I need to do a better job recognizing and relishing in the bright spots during week and not letting all that routine and necessity bury them.

So, here’s to my necessities and the dreams they are ushering in!

Everything Stops

In my last post, I said life moves fast and that I’m just trying to keep up; and that still holds true. But sometimes it not only moves fast, it also takes a few swings at you along the way.

There you are scrambling along, doing, fixing, trying, going, being…and it all comes to a screeching halt; because someone you love has died. Suddenly all that stuff, all those things, they just aren’t important, they don’t require your attention; and even if they do, they will have to wait; because, death changes everything.


My father-in-law passed away suddenly last month and I’m still trying to process the reality of that event. He was 84 years old, and he could out work a man half his age. The day he died, he had plans to go fishing with a friend. He died “with his boots on” and that’s exactly how he would have wanted it. I think he was ready, he had grown weary of the ways of this world and was ready for his rest; the only problem is, the rest of us weren’t ready to see him go.

Death is shocking, painful and surprisingly educational; it always teaches me something. Sometimes it’s a new lesson, sometimes it’s a lesson I’ve forgotten and suddenly am reminded of. Here are some things I’ve learned/remembered this time:

Make a difference. And make it a good one. Impact one person or a thousand people; connect, love, support and help. Because it’s people that matter and choosing to make a difference can inspire others to make a difference too.

Consider your legacy. As you make this journey, think about what will remain of your life after you’ve gone. How will you be remembered? Will you be missed, thought of with fondness? What do you want your life to say about you?

Enjoy the journey. You only get to do this once; so do those things that excite you. Go on adventures, learn, grow and try new things. Time wasted is time lost, you never get it back; don’t squander it.

Love people not things. Stuff is not important, it’s stuff. You can get more if you lose it. When someone dies, they are gone. There are no replacements for the person who’s journey has ended. Make the most of the time you are given with the people you are given. Love them fiercely.

I miss Dad Underwood. He wasn’t perfect and sometimes I found him difficult to relate to, but I’m sure he could have said the same about me. I learned a lot about life and love from him and I appreciate the lessons.

Trying To Keep Up

Life moves fast. When I was young, I can remember rolling my eyes and thinking “yeah right” when older people said that to me. But now that I’m older I can see all too clearly that they were right. Life does indeed move fast.

I don’t think my life is moving faster now than it did twenty years ago, I think maybe I am just more aware of it’s break-neck pace. I think when I was a young wife and mother I spent my time with my head down, keeping everything together. There were diapers and bottles, then there were school clothes and girl scouts, then prom dresses and first cars; and when i finally looked up from that work I was amazed at how much time had passed. My girls can’t possibly be 18 and 20! I just taught them how to tie their shoes for crying out loud!

But my girls are that old. They have graduated from high school, they are in college and one of them is engaged. I find these facts very difficult to wrap my brain around. I am so proud of my girls, so happy for the stuff that is happening in their lives, and so shocked that they are old enough to be doing all of these exciting and wonderful things.

So now, I hope I’ll remember to look up from the work a little more often. I don’t want to miss anything. Life moves fast…and I’m just trying to keep up.