Happy Galentine’s Day

It’s All About Galentine’s Day

Yesterday was St. Valentine’s Day, the infamous February 14th. The day some of us dread and others look forward to with bated breathe. It is the holiday when we celebrate “love.”  In the days leading up to the big day, we find ourselves surrounded by so many signs that tell us how we should be loved. Images of couples snuggling together, walking hand-in-hand, gazing into each other’s eyes are everywhere-on social media, in the movies, on television; in the form of heart shaped decorations in department stores trying to pedal everything from perfume to designer bags.  We are told that we need to be showered with hearts and flowers and lots and lots of candy. We are programmed to believe that we need a significant other in our lives to feel complete. After all, it’s Valentine’s Day. But let’s face it. This ideal version of love is impossible to achieve and it can be daunting and depressing if you don’t have that other half in your life. After all, it’s what’s expected.  Right?  Yet, as I was going through my day yesterday, I took a moment to think about what Valentine’s Day really means, at least to me and the fact of the matter is none of us are truly ever alone, are we? 

Love takes many shapes and forms. It comes in different packages.  Think about it. We are loved by our parents, our siblings, our aunts, our uncles, cousins.  We are loved by our sons and daughters, our grandparents.  We are loved by our co-workers, our mentors, even our baristas and the yoga instructor who tries to push us to the brink of death. We are loved by our dogs, our cats and other domestic animals who cozy up to you at the end of a long day. You get the point. We are loved. And for me, none is more important than the love of my girl friends (no offense, hubby).

I have a core group of friends that I’ve known for most of my life and they are a group of some of the most amazing women I have ever met. My friends are fiercely loyal. They are loud and opinionated.  They polish off a bottle of wine (several if I’m being honest) in one sitting.  They come over unannounced to cheer me up if I’ve had a hard day. All they need is that one text from me with a sad face emoji or hear the sound of my sigh in a quick phone call to know something is wrong and they magically appear.  They help me pick up the pieces when my world shatters into a million pieces and let me know that everything will eventually be alright.  They are laugh-out-loud funny, bitchy, crazy, hormonal and they are my rock and my strength.  Most importantly, they love me, flaws and all. 

So in honor of them, I celebrate Galentine’s Day and I encourage you to celebrate the friendships in your life!  They are as precious as any rom-com love out there, maybe even better!

Let the Snow Go!

I love Elsa from the movie “Frozen.”  Who doesn’t love a queen? I rooted for her as she took off from her castle-prison, throwing caution (and her gloves) to the wind as she freed herself to be who she was born to be.  I know every single word to “Let It Go” and any time it comes on the radio, I sing it loudly, proudly and very badly. I think it’s cool she created Olaf and his need for warm hugs and I’m all about girl power. Her bond with Anna, her sister, is #relationshipgoals. 

But despite all of that, I’ve had enough! I’ve truly had enough.  I looked at the forecast this morning and they are calling for snow tomorrow. Seriously, it’s April! It’s spring, people. Daylight savings time is finally here and I’ve lost an hour of sleep in anticipation of warmer weather. I am supposed to be wearing a light jacket!. And yet, we have snow and I’m still bundled. I don’t dare pack up my scarves or gloves or hats or winter coats for fear that I will be “frozen” (no pun intended) without them.  I am still wearing my Ugg boots instead of my cute canvas sneakers. 

I can’t take another day of flurries and talk of inches and ice.  I can’t take another day of the cold.  I feel like I’m living in a real-life version of Arendelle and Elsa just won’t let up.  Someone, please tell her we got the memo and she can stop now. Maybe Anna can talk some sense to her like she did in the movie because I yearn for the blazing sun and the stifling heat. I long for air-conditioners and iced coffee.  I want to see my sidewalk again and plant my flowers. I’m ready.  Please, Elsa, let the snow go! 

Erin

Unstuck

Last week, I was driving to Starbucks to get myself a delicious cafe latte (I’d travel through snow and ice for my steaming cup of caffeine) when my tire blew out. It happened just as I parked in a spot. I got out of the car and assessed the situation. I then ordered my coffee (I know where my priorities lie) and called a tow truck to come rescue me.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t change a tire or change the oil or even change the floor mats of my car. No matter how many times my parents and then my husband devoted to teaching me all things “car,” I can say with absolute confidence that I am mechanically challenged. My sister, on the other hand, is a prodigy.  Me, not so much. When God handed out those skills at birth, he forgot to give me some. Now, ask me to whip up a creme brulee and I am all over it. I make it with my eyes closed but give me a jack and a lug wrench and I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they do to save my life. I’d likely play it like the triangle, thinking it must be a type of a “new age” musical instrument.  Anyway, I digress. The point is I was stuck at Starbucks with nowhere to go. I couldn’t go back home unless I wanted to walk the miles to get back home in high heel boots (not likely). I couldn’t even leave the parking spot of the strip mall.  All I could do was sip my coffee and enjoy Starbuck’s free wifi on my cell phone while I waited for the tow. As far as places to get stuck goes, Starbucks isn’t exactly the worst place to be, but no matter I was still stuck.

And as I waited for the cavalry to arrive, I thought about all the times I felt stuck in my life. I recalled the countless times I felt rooted in place and frozen in time, paralyzed by circumstances.  We’ve all experienced those moments, the feeling of being helpless, barely able to keep our heads above water in a storm that is life. We’ve all felt the dreadful knot in the pit of our stomach where we didn’t know what to do next. 

In fact, it’s this pivotal “stuck” moment that forms the basis of all of my books. The main character is stuck in a dead-end job or in a dead-end relationship, and they reach a point of no return where they realize they either need to make a drastic change or languish.  And we can all relate to that, can’t we? A need to make a change, to get “unstuck.”  Sometimes, we have to take risks in order to see change.  The heroines in my books do exactly that and it’s why I love them. They are relatable.  They take on the challenge full-on without thought as to how scary it is. They change direction, and in changing direction, their lives are the better for it.  They find a new career, they find humor, they find love. They find their happiness. They become “unstuck.”

So two cups of lattes later and within an hour of my tire fiasco, the tow truck finally came and took my car to the nearest mechanic where my tire was changed and I was on my merry way back home. It’s then that I realized. All you need to do is take that first baby step to change course. For me, it started with a flat tire to become “unstuck.”

Erin