monday nights are coming up roses

I confess.  I have recently become a loyal viewer of The Bachelor.

Not only have I become a loyal viewer, but I will be attending weekly viewing parties with girlfriends.  And it gets worse…

I’m also in an online sports-style bracket competition for The Bachelor.  In fact…I’m in three.  Between watching the premiere last week and perusing the ladies’ headshots online, I have predicted, week by week, who I think will receive those all-important roses in a variety of pick ’em challenges.

Now, I am not exactly new to The Bachelor.  When the show aired for the first time, I was in the fifth grade.  My dad (!) and I watched week after week.  Then throughout middle school, my best friend Taylor and I were avid fans and even watched the first-ever season of The Bachelorette.  When Trista and Ryan got married after The Bachelorette, I’m pretty sure I cried.  And would you look at that?  They’re still together, 12 years later.  True love can happen on television!

After the mid-2000’s (and a brief stint in 2009 to watch Jillian’s season of The Bachelorette), I took a break from the show.  I am now returning to it with a startlingly different perspective: I am the age of many of the contestants.  It absolutely baffles me as to why any woman would put herself up for public ridicule (hello, Hot Mess Tara) and judgment, but I’m glad these women are…because they’ll providing me with two hours of (not-so) quality entertainment these next few months.

Want to know my early favorites?  These are based on a whopping two hours of airtime, but they are Becca, Whitney, Ashley I. and Kelsey.  Also Britt but only because they have good chemistry…she’s not ready for married life in Iowa!

The newest episode is calling my name, but I’ll leave you with this fun Bachelor anecdote:

There was this moment last summer when I was in Nashville, TN and I was sitting with friends in a restaurant that had live music.  The girl who introduced the singer to the stage said, “You might remember him as a bad boy heartbreaker who had a girlfriend on The Bachelorette!”  Onto the stage walked none other than Wes Hayden, the guy from Jillian’s season who made it to the top four while keeping a girlfriend back home in Texas.  I finished eating while I listened to his mediocre country music.  (Moral of the story?  That’s where evil Bachelor or Bachelorette contestants wind up.  Singing to a crowd more interested in their french fries than the music at an non-air conditioned restaurant in Nashville, TN.)

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happy friends for a happy life

I mentioned in my last post that over the last year, I discovered who I want in my corner – people who build me up, make me smile when I see their name pop up on my phone, encourage me and support me…that is, the people who make me happy.

These are people like a former boss, a mentor in West Virginia, a really amazing guy in Utah, my grandparents…the list goes on.  Well, it doesn’t go on too much.  That would defeat the point, which is this: working more than 40 hours a week while trying to focus on overall wellness (including prioritizing healthy sleep, eating and exercise habits) makes it hard to keep up with the hundreds of friends I made in college.

While I do thrive in having a large network and keeping in some sort of continued contact with about 100 folks (whether by snail mail, Facebook, text messages or phone calls), that’s not sustainable in everyday life.  The person I call to seek advice on a problem at work, the person I call when I’m walking from my car late at night…those are my people. The ones who make me happiest and the ones I should, therefore, invest the most in.

I’ve always had such a hard time letting friendships and relationships go.  I felt like a failure when in reality, two people just simply grew apart (usually for good reason).

I now know that having peace with letting people go is not admitting defeat or failure.  It’s not saying I don’t care about them or their happiness; it’s just realizing that our relationship might no longer be a part of their (or my) happiness equation.

One of my other goals for 2015 was to be debt-free, and that became a reality today.  Now, I think I’ll call one of my people – my happy friends for a happy life – to share the good news.