Birthdays call for a time out for brief reflection, for a momentary pause to assess growth and count blessings. What a year this has been.
* I left one restaurant job, accepted an offer for another at a hotel–which led to the need to buy an actual suit at Banana Republic–only to have the economy tank and watch the offer be suspended in indefinite limbo. I have yet to wear the suit.
* I traded high-rise luxury apartment living on the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale for cute-house living surrounded by water in the Keys.
* I discovered I can trade event planning for slinging eggs and make a ton of money in season doing so. I just wish I had saved more of that money in order to make it easier to get through the off-season.
* I re-learned how to tend bar after many decades, although the nature of my bar demands only that I mix the most simple of drinks and pour buckets of draft beer. Hence, I don’t feel like a “real bartender” because I still feel uncertain about making crazy-named shots and fru-fru martinis beyond a cosmo.
* I have come to realize that I worked for one of the best managers in the industry in Fort Lauderdale, and I often laugh at what passes for Keys work ethic in all types of businesses.
* I have worn flip flops and nothing but flip flops since I moved to the Keys. I recently sorted through all my big-girl shoes and laughed at the image of me trying to shove my foot into the pumps and dressy sandals.
* I believed, a year ago, that the Day-At-a-Time boy was sincere and in love. He probably was–just not with me. Funny, I know if I were I to meet him today, I’d hardly notice him.
* I had several girlfriends whom I thought were supportive and kind. I have lost touch with one, which saddens me, and I subsequently learned the other two are certifiably insane, especially when they periodically drunk text high-school-esque trash to me.
* I now know I had to wallow with the players and the liars in order to recognize the very, very good people who currently are in my life.
* I celebrated milestone moments in my children’s lives. As happy as these times were, they also reminded me how little I see my “babies” in between these moments, and how much I miss them every day.
* I have settled into a relationship with a great guy who, four months ago, refused to accept my insistence that romantic love was most definitely not going to be part of my realm.
* I have been given a second chance, which I thankfully recognize.