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It’s an extra blissful Sunday morning…one of my favorite times of the year!  We’ve fallen back.  That glorious extra hour gift from the end of Daylight Savings Time.  What are you doing with YOURS?

I was at the salon yesterday getting my highlights touched up.  H has been doing my hair color for over 20 years – she’s awesome and I feel like we’ve grown up together because we’re about the same age.  I almost fell out of my chair when she mentioned her daughter turned NINETEEN on Halloween.  Wow – I remember when H was pregnant with her!  So she asked what I was up to this weekend…any big plans?  It’s always fun having some place to go out with your hair all freshly colored and styled.  But nope – not last night.  Just a run to the grocery store and veging out browsing a new cookbook, talking with my Mom on the phone, watching the latest Real Housewives of Miami episode (thank you, DVR)…I’m shamelessly addicted to each franchise of The Real Housewives – I never get tired of their catty drama…these ladies kill me! And speaking of TV, I’m feeling the hunger and emptiness of no NHL hockey (stupid lockout)…normally this time of year the season would be in full swing and I’d have 9 or 10 channels of hockey to choose from.  This past week they canceled the annual Winter Classic.  This is not good, fellow hockey fans.  As a friend of mine posted on Facebook, “It’s a little like when you know you’ve hurt your leg, but having them cancel the Winter Classic is like seeing the bone poking out.”  Dammit, people, let’s make a deal already and get our boys back on the ice!  (The dispute is over the revenue sharing split between the NHL and the players’ union).  Well, if things keep going as they have been, they’ll have a blast figuring out how to split ZERO.  Oh, I try to remain optimistic but if there’s no hockey this season it’s gonna be one long, empty winter.  And spring.

So not really having any major plans this weekend was just fine with me.  Downtime gives me the fuel I need to recharge.  This upcoming week is going to be super busy and crescendo-ing all the way through next weekend, and I’m feeling all tingly just thinking about it!

Back in late April I went to a weekend-long transformational workshop for women which focuses on understanding (and celebrating) men and their behavior.  In fact, the name of the workshop is Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women!  Wow!  Kind of a different way to look at that whole dealio, right?  It has completely changed my perspective of men and melted away lots of past resentments and misunderstandings. I’ve forgiven myself for my past actions which have (unintentionally) damaged relationships with men in my life – family, co-workers, platonic friendships and men I’ve dated and had relationships with. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! The women I’ve met in these workshops tell me their relationships with their husbands and sons have bolted to a whole other level.  This coursework also saves marriages!  Wow!

Now, this doesn’t mean I still don’t occasionally get frustrated or puzzled or even angered.  And it doesn’t make excuses for anyone.  It’s kind of like getting a new set of glasses and forgetting to put them on – it’s easy to fall back into old habits of reacting and responding certain ways or making incorrect assumptions.  That’s OK.  I have the rest of my life to learn, practice and grow as I apply what I’ve learned every day!  Men have VERY good reasons for why they do what they do (or don’t do), and most often the reason is NOT what we as women might think it is!  It’s truly astonishing how differently we are wired! 

I’m getting a double-shot bonus of TWO buckets of new goodness which build upon the CMSW workshop from last spring.  First of all, Alison A. Armstrong, the champion behind this amazing material, has just published a new e-book called The Queen’s Code.  It’s not your typical book!  It’s actually a comprehensive, online experience.  Each week she releases a new chapter to read and download onto your device of choice.  The website allows you to post a short video with a question about the chapter contents (totally optional of course), and fellow subscribers can vote on their favorite questions.  Then, Alison does a ‘weekly wrap up,’ where she posts her own video, responding to the questions which received the most votes.  I’ve never experienced anything like this and if you are the slightest bit intrigued I highly recommend checking the website out and joining the conversation.  The book and online experience is just $14.95.  [I’m not affiliated with the company at all – just a huge fan!]

I also joined a book club which meets every week to discuss the latest chapter. We are meeting at Wine Tea Chocolate in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Not only is this a great group to gather with, but also fun for me to get my ‘city fix’ and out of the suburbs.  And we’re blessed to have a guy joining our conversation as well – nothing better than getting things validated straight from the male point of view!

AND, next weekend I will be joining a second weekend-long workshop which builds upon what I learned last April.  It’s called Celebrating Women:  Regarding Ecstasy and Power.  Or “The Queen Course.”  I’ve been counting the weeks and months waiting in anticipation for next weekend…and it’s almost here!  Why is this course I signed up for months ago also now right in the middle of the Queen’s Code e-book chapters and our book club?  There are no accidents.  It’s time for me to really look deep within myself and learn how to better nurture myself.  Improve my own, unique operating manual.  It’s kind of funny trying to write about something I’m going to do when I don’t really even know what’s going to happen. 

I just know it’s going to be a fabulous, growing experience.