Choose Your Own Adventure

Confession. I have had a cookie for breakfast every day for the last thirty-one days.

If I’m being really honest with you, the streak is likely over forty days in a row.

Gingerbread, pecan bars, ginger biscotti, and shortbread have been how I have started my nutritious days for the last five delicious weeks. For someone who doesn’t normally eat breakfast, these calories first thing in the morning may be an improvement to my diet. For those trying to be aware of sugar, not so much applause.

Currently I have three gingerbread cookies left in the jar. They require gnawing on them to soften – imagine a toddler with a teething biscuit of sorts. That’s me, sucking on the last remnants of Christmas treats as I navigated my drive to work last week. Oh, yes, another bad habit; breakfast in the car. I am sad Christmas cookies are gone. We packed up the ornaments, and the mantle is now filled with ordinary candles. Our gifts are put away and our calendars for 2016 are hanging on the wall.

Despite the passing festive season, I embrace 2016 with open arms. It feels quite freeing to have a new year upon us. 2015  was a year of growth for me – upheaval that was brought upon by my own positive choices and I navigated moving, and jobs, and relationships. My hope for 2016 is to be open to new while creating new roots. I need to branch out on my own to start to make new connections, create new routines, build my own adventure.

Remember those choose your own adventure books? To fight the troll, go to pg 45. To run away from the troll, go to pg 63. Sometimes, life feels like that. I am lucky enough to have so many choices and options in how I spend my days and where I invest my life. So as the book of 2016 just gets started I feel I have been presented with these options:

  • To start a new job in a different field turn to page 5 – I started this new opportunity today.
  • To start a new hobby turn to page 25
  • To build new relationships turn to page 47
  • To go camping turn to page 87


The heroine of this story will continue to share what she finds.

This week’s beauty was found in the closure of previous chapters. Of saying good bye to old stomping grounds, and coworkers and coffee carts. I finished up my job at the museum, and cried in the parking lot because I feel I am leaving behind something wonderful. While my time there may have been short, I do feel I grew immensely, and loved the people I worked with. You know my fear about leaving people behind in the “You do You” process? That is what those tears were about.

Never the less, I felt such an impending OPENNESS as I watched the ball drop at midnight. This year feels brand new in a way other years haven’t previously. I want to cultivate this beautiful feeling of option, and pray the universe continues to fill it with positive light.

I spent New Year’s Day dining at my grandmother’s house. She served up a traditional holiday meal and as our gold china forks broke into perfectly pink ham I posed the question, “Do you feel you’ve found your purpose yet?” Answers varied as we ‘pop-corned’ around the table, but I was struck by my grandmother’s answer. She said, “I’ve served my purpose and then some.” Her response was sort of sad in tone, as if she felt her best years were behind her. What came from that emotion-filled retort, however, was an outpouring of stories I had never heard her share.

Stories of her own adventure:

To hear about her memories of blackouts in Chicago during WWII turn to page 150.

To hear about the boss that chased her around the desk while being frisky in a Chicago high-rise, turn to page 212.

To hear about her nice boss that bought her fabulous Christmas gifts and most likely was gay in the 1960’s, turn to page 275.

To hear about her adventures raising my mom and my aunts and uncle, turn to page 315.

I am blown away by the beauty that results from the choices we make each day, and I am thankful, oh so thankful, for the beautiful time I get to spend with my grandmother last year, this year, and beyond. Thank you for letting me be a part of your adventure.

Our purpose, perhaps, is just that. To be loved, to listen, to seek beauty, to adventure.


Next week I will have an update with how much biscotti was made in 2015. I used a lot of nail polish, read 43 books, and reached over 13,000 pages towards my annual goal. I haven’t made resolutions for this year quite yet. I’ll keep you posted. 

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