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And I’m not saying like in a James Bond-ish “shaken, not stirred” way.  I mean shook hard down to the CORE.  Shifts that are still internally shifting.  I don’t know where, when or how all the pieces are going to land and that’s OK.  I’m just enjoying the process as they float, flutter and spin all around me. 

Here it is Saturday and I’m blogging.  Typically the past nearly 3 years this has been a wonderful Sunday ritual for me (and hopefully also for the handful of you who tune in here regularly or stumble in here accidentally…thanks!!)   I’m sitting here typing and part of me mentally is in an “OK it’s Sunday” mode.  But I’m smiling inside knowing I have one more delicious day of the weekend to savor.  To replenish myself.  Refill my tanks.

I feel like a different person than when I last posted in here.  And hmmm…I might make more of those green onion “pancakes” I posted a couple of weeks ago come to think of it.

Other than a very small handful of mental vacations, I’ve posted in here like clockwork on Sundays.  It’s a wonderful ritual and I look forward to it.  It’s “me” time that I get to share with others, but I don’t write here like anyone will read it if that makes sense.  Just self-expression, musings and lately a few food recipes too.  Last weekend was jam-packed and I knew I would not be home until late Sunday evening.  I figured oh, no biggy, I’ll be home around 8 or 8:30pm and just do a quick blog post and get to sleep.  Obviously that didn’t happen.

Last Sunday I came home feeling on the brink of a transformation.  A shift…a…damn, I don’t even know how to describe it.  So I guess I’ll just explain what I did and what happened…and what has happened since.

I shook up my routine and went to a weekend-long transformational workshop.  I can’t tell you how so out of my element something like that is for me.  Two days, 10am to 7pm.  Two precious weekend days.  I giggled when I learned the time the workshops started.  True confession:  I’m barely even AWAKE at 10am on Saturdays and Sundays.  So to be in these workshops I’d have to be awake, showered, dressed, awake (yes, repeated intentionally) for a 40 minute drive to the workshop location.  I also don’t consider myself very “workshoppy.”  BUT, my dear friend T recommended it so strongly, so I knew it would be great.  And boy was it ever. 

The workshop is for women and is about understanding (and celebrating) men and their behavior.  Yep, ’tis true!  Now, many people have asked me what I learned and what it was like.  Details, please!  Honestly that is not what I’m going to write about in here.  I did take lots of notes and have them safely stashed on the laptop here.  But I don’t want to go on and on about the workshop content.  I truly think it would be a disservice writing about it in here.  First of all, I’ve just been exposed to the material and am just learning and applying it myself.  Also, the workshop experience is led by a seasoned instructor and includes several steps we as women needed to commit to doing before we could even proceed further in the workshop.  If we weren’t willing to, we’d be able to leave early and get a full refund on our tuition.  (No one did, by the way).  But I will share a couple nuggets that are really at the core and foundation of the workshop content:

What if men are responding to women?  And…when we as women get upset, confused or frustrated when men do something we don’t understand or don’t like, we need to ask ourselves…what if there’s a good reason for it?  Seeing things I’ve seen all my life now in a different perspective (an illumination really) is phenomenal. 

The workshop was such an incredible experience that I was emotionally drained (and filled too actually at the same time) when I got home Sunday night.  I celebrated and just went home giddy and tingling…full of so many “aha” moments as things popped and clicked for me over the weekend.  I met amazing women too.  Lots of great bonding and I hope to see them again at future workshops.  But I came home so exhausted too.  And I knew the week ahead would be a busy one.  Lots going on at work.  Was I ready to face the week?  Ready or not, it happened!

Monday: After work I went over to my parents’ house for dinner.  This is definitely not something I normally do on a Monday night.  But, they were heading out of town the next day and my Mom wanted to borrow one of my books to read on their trip.  And she wanted to see some of my new jewelry collection as well.  After dinner, Dad went to go watch TV and Mom and I played with jewelry.  I’d quickly put together a few trays of what I thought she might like the night before.  Keep in mind I represent a wonderful line of sterling silver jewelry.  And my Mom prefers gold.  So, I had to really think through what I would bring to show her.  I picked out pieces that have a lot of warmer-toned semi precious stones, brass and pearl detail.  I also showed her our latest charms and brought my (sterling silver) charm bracelet loaded up with charms and showed her how the bracelet can attach onto a matching charm necklace with a couple of double-lobster clasps.  I thought this would just be a random thing she might think was interesting or amusing and I also wanted to ‘practice’ doing this for my future jewelry parties with friends. 

What happened next blew my mind.  My Mom got so excited, left the room and returned with a small pouch.  Inside was a sterling silver charm bracelet she had not worn in decades.  She explained that she is at an age where she is not comfortable drawing attention to her hands.  She prefers necklaces over bracelets or attention-grabbing rings.  Now thanks to the charm necklace and the double-lobster clasps she can wear her vintage charm bracelet around her neck in a modern way…in a way that makes her happy and comfortable!  And THIS was the giant underscore/exclamation point on one thing we learn in our training as jewelry reps:  don’t ever pre-judge anyone when sharing more about the jewelry or the business opportunity to represent the jewelry.  And yet I had (subconsciously) pre-judged my own Mom!  I assumed that since she prefers gold jewelry she would have zero interest in a sterling silver necklace.  Boy was I mistaken!!

Tuesday:  What a small world!  My youngest brother is now the sales account manager for the company where I am currently consulting!  Meaning, the place where I work is a client of his!  He flew up here to come to the campus to get his access cardkey and laptop set up.  How joyful it was to see him, introduce him to my manager and co-workers and have lunch.  We are quite close despite being nearly 8 years apart and such different lives.  He got married right out of college and he and his wife have 3 kids under age 9…and I am single with no kids.  Boy, I adore my nephews and niece!  So it was wonderful reconnecting with my brother and seeing him discover where I work – his new client – for the first time.  Glorious.

And I came home after work and the damn laptop here was at a crawl pace.  I rebooted it several times and my Start menu was all jacked up.  Arrrghh!!  I figured I probably had a computer virus or some other nightmare.  After about an hour on the phone with the nice people at Dell (yep, I’m a hard-core PC gal…no Macs here) I had a new registry cleaner/virus protection program installed.  And got rid of the old one.  And it’s like I have a new laptop.  Amazing improved performance!!

Wednesday:  After another very hectic day at work I went to my co-worker K’s house for dinner.  We used to share a large office – she’s since moved to a different group at our company and I miss working with her immensely.  Over the past few months working together we became friends and discovered we both have a passion for cooking!  She made a wonderful dinner in her new tagine and I brought the wine!  I got to meet her 3 kids (her husband was out of town on business) and share a seat at their dinner table.  K has girlfriends over for dinner all the time while her husband is away.  It’s really important for her to show her kids that while she loves being a wife and being their Mom, she’s also a friend to many.  After dinner the kids went to do homework and K and I talked.  And “all of a sudden” it was 10:30pm.  I cherish those conversations immensely.

When I got home I realized I had not gone to my mailbox in a few days.  Voila…there was my NEW PASSPORT!!  Oh, the possibilities.  If I had been there when the postman delivered it I would have hugged him.

Thursday:  Yet another hectic day at work (do we detect a pattern here folks?) and afterwards I headed into the city to meet L (my guy BFF) at a sports bar to watch hockey.  Years ago when he and I had decided that we were better off as friends than dating we had gone to this place a couple of times.  What a trip coming back to this place after 6-7 years.  The last time he and I were here it was before the no-smoking regulation went into effect in bars in the state of Washington here.  I remember the smoke hanging 4 feet from the ceiling it was so thick.  A much more pleasant experience this time around with no smoke.  And, the Stanley Cup playoffs go on…and I have no team to cheer for.  When Vancouver and Pittsburgh (my two favorite teams) each got eliminated in the first round, I was stunned.  And with no “plan C” on my radar to cheer for because I didn’t think I’d need one so soon.  And I still don’t have one.  I never get tired of watching the playoffs but it’s weird not having a favorite picked out.  And I’m totally bummed that the Canucks are out.  I’d hoped with my new passport to drive up with L and catch a game at a Vancouver sports bar.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think they’d be out so soon.  New passport…alas, too late for this Canucks season.

Friday:  Ah, fabulous Friday.  My whole work team is head down buried in WORK.  We are a great team and work wonderfully well together – one of the healthiest groups I’ve had the pleasure to consult with ever – but boy we are feeling the burn. We’re tired.  I see it in everyone’s eyes.  Voices.  Mannerisms.  We will get through everything we need to and support one another.

So after this wonderful week I was so ready to just go home and CRASH.  And sleep for days and not give a shit.  I left work probably two hours later than I usually do.  And I figured the commute would not take too long given it was after peak time. 

About halfway home (I commute on mostly two-lane surface streets between two suburbs) I turned a corner and traffic was at a dead stop at a major intersection.  With a long, long line of cars just waiting.  What was going on?  The stoplight was out!  UGH.  I painfully crawled through two major intersections with no functioning stoplight.  I thought I was slowly dying.  I just wanted to get HOME!

I just am confounded at how much LIFE got crammed into this past week.  It was like a slingshot after that weekend workshop…my perspectives are shifting…everything is shifting.  New things happened BAM BAM BAM every evening this week.  THIS is what happens when you shake up your routine.

So what’s next?  I don’t know but whatever it is is going to be extraordinary.  And why am I blogging on Saturday?  Well, L and I had planned on doing more popcorn ceiling scraping here in the townhouse tomorrow.  But it turns out he has a lot of work and a deadline so we have to reschedule.  What will I do tomorrow instead?  Probably sleep…well not all day.

And next Wednesday I’m going to see The Hunger Games.  After work.  By myself.  THIS is another Shake in my routine.  And lots more to follow.