I literally stopped in my tracks walking up to the rink the other night, hockey sticks in hand and gear backpack on. It felt like walking into an invisible wall or force. *THUMP*. I had to stop, breathe…and then I whispered a little prayer…a prayer for the promise of the week ahead and to find joy and relief from a job hunt that has left me humbled and battle-weary more than I’d like to admit sometimes.

What’s that old saying – “Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.” Ha! I got reminded of that yet again during our annual HOA meeting over the weekend. It was really nice to reconnect with neighbors as it’s so easy for us to just drive into our garages and not really interact too much save for the mailbox. Kind of sad. But we’re a fun, genteel bunch. Our townhouse complex is going to need a new roof soon. We dodged a bullet over the winter as it’s been relatively dry here but the reality is soon it’s Gonna Be Time to Do It. And when 20 – 30% of our Association has been unemployed over the past year (no joke) it’s easy to bury heads in the sand. I’m very grateful (knock on wood) I have not had major expenses with the house or car during these leaner times other than the normal stuff. But my house is dated in quite a few ways and with every year that goes by I feel further left behind in the dust. Sometimes my project list is so long I just get overwhelmed and then NOTHING gets done. Whoops!

So when I got to the entryway of the rink I paused yet again. This rink has several custom tiles at the entrance, and a couple are in memory of a friend from the league who passed away suddenly a couple of years ago this month. I took a deep breath and told her how much we miss her. She worked at this rink as an administrator with a youth hockey program for years and everyone loved her. I met her at an adult beginner hockey clinic about 7 years ago. And I still can’t believe she is gone. You know, I ran into her one night at a Silvertips game (junior hockey), just about a month after we had played in a womens tournament in Vegas. It was Leap Year day 2008 (Feb 29th) and I was at the game with my boyfriend at the time. She was running the 50-50 raffle and pretty much vaulted over the table with a big smile and gave me a huge hug when she spotted me. ‘Cause that’s just the awesome person she was. Always always always. She smiled and shook K’s hand and he commented later on how nice and friendly she was.

Two days later she was gone. I still cry a little sometimes.

So I had a lot of deep thoughts on my mind that night, thinking back on the memory of B and thinking forward about what’s coming up in the days and weeks ahead. I drove home feeling cleansed, reflective and energized – my team had a great game and a nice win to start our playoffs! I smiled as I drove past one of the places I used to work and wondered, wished if it could happen again as I really enjoyed it there.

The next day I got contacted about THREE new job leads within the span of 30 minutes. And after sushi with a great friend that night I came home to find an email from a recruiter with that company where I used to work, asking if I’d be free for an interview later this week! WOW!

Does the power of breathing/positive thinking/prayer work? Absolutely yes it does!! And it’s nice knowing that people are looking out for one another out there. No one does it alone.

And yet through all this deep stuff Life still smirks, giggles and injects a little quirky into our paths to keep it interesting.

Ah yes…dating. OK, so when you meet someone for a first date and it’s 4:00pm and you haven’t had much lunch you get something like club soda or an iced tea. At least that’s my stream of thought, especially at that weird early-happy-hour time of the day when I wasn’t sure if we were going to hit it off and have food or just a quick drink. My date? Four vodka crans. Oh yeah, we did have some food – we split a small order of coconut shrimp – but WOW. Now don’t get me wrong; nothing wrong with going out and grabbing drinks. But our King of the Cranberry Bog here was overdoing it juuuust a tad. I’m trying to be nice, people. Funny guy, but I felt like an impostor on Guys Night Out shooting the shit and bantering, not out on a date. Oh well!

I’m keeping my chin up. Really.