Posts Tagged ‘life


last week.

I was pathetic last week. I didn’t blog. I only worked out once. I ate horribly. Monday and Tuesday I came home from work and napped. <<Cringe>> I’m feeling a tad guilty. I’m hoping this week will be better!


where did it go?

There is a distinct point in everyone’s life where you realize they were right. You never thought the day would come. Up until this point, you didn’t understand. You couldn’t relate. When the topic arose, you’d smile and nod in agreement, but not really comprehend the concept. Despite all logic and your brain telling you it would, you never ACTUALLY thought it would happen to you. It’s what happens to other people.

And then it does and you realize they were right. All of the sudden, you get it. It hits you like a ton of bricks. Time DOES fly by. It DOES feel like only yesterday. And I’m no spring chicken.

My moment of realization came last week as I was getting ready for my 10 year high school reunion and it about knocked the flat iron right out of my little hands. It seems impossible that I’ve been out of high school for a decade. How is this happening? Girlfriends, boyfriends, prom, volleyball, powder-puff football, lacrosse, dances, slumber parties, drivers licenses and generally feeling like an invincible bad-ass. It feels like it was only a couple years ago, but not TEN. Ten years is a long time. It’s not necessarily that I’m saying I’m old or that I don’t want to get old. It’s that I’ve had the realization that I WILL get old and that I’m on my way. It’s kind of sad and disappointing. I imagine this is how I felt when I learned about Santa. Although given the fact that I don’t remember that, I’d say this is worse.



One of the great things about having a personal blog is that it serves as a fairly good record of your year. I have a feeling that if I continue my blog for another year, I’m about to find out how cyclical and boring my life is. I was just reviewing past posts, and found a few that will be repeating soon: New Years Goals, Punta Mita, and Blame it on the rain. I promise if I have repeats, I’ll try to make them different!


must respond.

I feel the need to address/respond to the post “Do something.” on Electrolicious. I read Electrolicious religiously and I have a love/hate relationship with it – just as I do with all the blogs I read.

I feel completely torn on the whole topic. On one hand, I completely understand where she is coming from. People need to DO something and feel passionate about something/anything (preferably other than TV). It’s easy to get lazy and complacent – trust me, I know. But a life of going through the motions is boring and unfulfilling. We would never make ANY progress. Get engaged with life people!

That being said, I don’t think it’s that black and white.

Balance – I think that balance is at the heart of this issue for some people. At what point do you continue striving, planning, driving ahead? And when do you relax and enjoy the moment? Sometimes I feel like everyone is so caught up IN life that they stop enjoying life. I can relate to Kristen’s comment, “While I spend plenty of time “doing” I make a conscious effort to spend some time just “being.” Sometimes you have to take the time to do nothing at all.”

Timing – There is also a timing element to consider. I know personally, there are times in my life where I have felt motivated and inspired – unstoppable. And other times where I’m just trying to get through it – exhausted. Everyone has their time to shine – their time to be engaged in personal passions and to explore them. The luckiest and most ingenious people have found ways to weave their passions into their everyday life – and get paid for them. Lucky!

Capacity to “do” – Not everyone has the same capacity or propensity to “do”. For example, I have made a commitment to maintain this blog because I love it! However, someone else might look at this choice and wonder why I don’t do something more meaningful or impactful. It’s all relative.

Perspective – I think it’s important to remember that everyone has a different perspective; including Electrolicious.  Not all of us work 3 days a week at Microsoft leaving the other 4 days for our personal projects. The majority of the world works 5 days a week, leaving little time for personal passions. Some people are working multiple jobs, are busy providing for their families and, frankly, are struggling to stay afloat.

Despite my post, I really do agree with Electrolicious. I wish people (including myself) would spend more time nurturing their passions and actively living life – rather than let life wander by. I just don’t think it’s that simple.


what’s this feeling?

Oh, it’s contentment. Simple and pure. I’m not overly stressed or anxious. I’m not lonely. I’m not worrying about the future – I’m happy and satisfied now.  I’m content – and it feels nice.



Kathryn emailed me this questionnaire. I thought I’d post it – feel free to respond or do it yourself and post as a comment. My responses are below in italics.


Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your Friends. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!

The only reason I’m doing this is because I’ve had a crazy work week and I’m totally brain dead. It’s a nice break.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:45.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Duh – Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Horton Hears a Who (with Sydney)

4. What is your favorite TV show? Brothers and Sisters or Top Chef

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Coffee and apple

6. What is your middle name? Marie – BORING. Although when I was born it was Lee. By the time my parents got home from the hospital they realized that it was a little strange to be named Kindra Lee Brownlee. So they changed it to Marie.

7. What food do you dislike? Watermelon. It tastes like car sickness.
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? The mixed CD Derek burned for me.

9. What kind of car do you drive? Honda Accord.
10. Favorite sandwich? I’m not a huge sandwich eater. I prefer soup and salad.
11. What characteristic do you despise? There are so many – it’s hard to pick one. I guess Ignorance.
12. Favorite item of clothing? I have no clue – I hate all my clothes.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Greece.

14. Favorite brand of clothing? Who cares.
15. Where would you retire to? Wow, I have no idea about a location. Somewhere near my family, in a home that has a big kitchen for entertaining, a large deck or patio for morning coffee or evening drinks, and a nice yard. Oh, and a big bathtub!

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? My last birthday I was in Vegas with my USD girls. Miss you guys!

17. Favorite sport to watch? Football – although I like going to baseball games when it’s sunny.
18. Furthest place you are sending this? San Diego.

19. Person you expect to send it back first? NO clue.
20. Your shoe size? 7 or 7.5

21. When is your birthday? November 30
22. Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m a day person. I can be a little grumpy in the mornings and I don’t stay up all that late anymore.

24. Pets? Nope. I don’t think I would be a good pet owner. I like people.

25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with us? Derek moved in!

26. What did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to be a news anchor (Katie Couric) all the way up through high school. When I got into college I realized that was a stupid idea.
27. How are you today? Pretty good! It’s been a rough week – but I’m feeling much better today.
28. What is your favorite candy? Gummies.

29. What is your favorite flower? I don’t think I have one. I like the big bouquets at Pike Place Market – fresh, colorful and many varieties.

30. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? I have so much to look forward to this summer: Stacy’s Wedding, Stacy Bachelorette Party, Brad’s wedding at Lake Las Vegas, Camping, Backpacking and hopefully some time up at the lake house.

32. What is your full name? Kindra Marie Brownlee
33. What are you listening to right now? My coworker Dave talking on the phone to a media rep.

34. What was the last thing you ate? I’m too embarrassed to tell. Ok fine. Tater Tots.
35. Do you wish on stars? Absolutely. I also make wishes when all the digits on a clock are the same number – for example 11:11. I start wishing like crazy – but if it changes to 11:12 in the middle of wishing it doesn’t come true. So you can’t get too greedy – I get greedy a lot. That’s probably why I still haven’t won Mega Millions. Although, I’m positive I will win someday.
36. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Is this the standard 8 pack of crayons? Or the fancy 54 pack? If it’s standard I suppose I’d pick red.
37. How is the weather right now? Overcast.
38. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Derek.
39. Favorite soft drink? Diet Coke – although I don’t drink it very often. When I was a kid, I loved grape soda.
40. What is your favorite restaurant? OMG – I can’t answer this question. Way too hard.
41. Hair color? Blonde/Brown.
42. What was your favorite toy as a child? I had toys, but I’m not sure I ever played with them. I can’t picture it.
43. Summer or winter? SUMMER
44. Hugs or kisses? Depends on who they are from. But I would say hugs as a general rule. There are exceptions (Derek).

45. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.
46. Coffee or tea? Both.
47. Do you want your friends to email you back? Yes, I do.
48. When was the last time you cried? I’m not even kidding; I was watching Saved by the Bell this morning as I was getting ready for work. It was the episode where Zack has knee surgery and he’s scared and Lisa Turtle comforts him. It made me tear up. She was so sweet.
49. What is under your bed? Three of those plastic storage containers. I bought them the other day to make room for Derek. My apartment is about 650 square feet – it’s a tight fit.
50. What did you do last night? Sat in 520 traffic on my way home from Microsoft and then relaxed all evening.
51. What are you afraid of? Friend and family dying.
52. Salty or sweet? Salty.
53. How many keys on your key ring? Probably 6.
54. How many years at your current job? 10 months.
55. Favorite day of the week? Friday.
56. How many towns have you lived in? 6
57. Do you make friends easily? I think so. I’m easy to get along with.

58. How many people will you send this to? I don’t know.
59. How many will respond? Depends on who is busy at work right now.


no more good-byes

Derek moves in with me one week from today – for good. Not for a summer. Not for a month. For good. I can’t even explain how liberating and exciting this is. I get to see him every day. I will fall asleep next to him every night and wake up next to him every morning. Happy hour after work? Yes. The market on Sunday mornings? Yep. Sushi for dinner tonight? You know it!

For those of you who have ever been in a long distance relationship, you know how heartbreaking it is. It constantly nags at your heart. It never escapes your sight. You can’t forget it. By Saturday morning, you’re already dreading the Sunday night good-bye. He looks different every time I see him. I know it sounds bizarre, but it’s true.

The pressure to have amazing weekends can also be daunting. What if you get in a fight? Then you’ve wasted a day. What if you have errands to run? That’s boring. Not enough sex? Too bad, because you have to wait two weeks now. Then there’s always the question of other people. Do you include other people in your weekend? Or do you keep to yourselves? These are the realities of a long distance relationship.

For the last seven years, Derek and I have been doing the long distance thing. It’s been ok. We’ve handled it pretty well. What was the alternative? We felt it was our best option. Now I feel like we can handle anything.

As much as I hate to admit it, there are a few positive things about long distance relationships. You build incredible levels of trust – it’s impossible if you don’t trust your partner completely. You learn to appreciate and value each other – you don’t take each other for granted. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. But I’m already fond enough. It’s time to eliminate the absence. No more good-byes.

Twenty years from now, we’ll look back on this time in our relationship and laugh. And we’ll say it was well worth the wait (and then we’ll kiss).


When I grow up

I’m going to be a doctor. An Olympic swimmer. A professional skateboarder. There are people out there who were born knowing their passion and their future occupation. I’m not one of those people. I envy those people. It’s such a blessing to be born with a unique skill and a strong passion that shapes your life. What do I have? I’m good at a lot of things, but I’m not exceptional at any one thing. I’m well-rounded. Where does that leave me?

As I move through my 20s, I’m struggling with what I want to “do” with my life. Unfortunately, I’m extremely fragmented. I want to be a writer. I want to start my own business. I want go back to school. I have so many ideas and see so many opportunities. But I never act on them, or if I do I only “half” act on them. I never dive in head first; instead I approach the pool and test the cold water and then pull out. The responsible and cautious side of me always wins.

Part of my problem is that I don’t entirely trust myself. My ideas and excitement levels fluctuate so much that it’s hard to decipher a crazy idea from an idea I truly believe in. I feel like I should “just know” when I have a THE plan. The clouds will part and I will suddenly have clear direction. But that hasn’t happened yet. Does that mean I haven’t had a winning idea yet?

I want my work to be meaningful and fulfilling. I don’t want to be one of those 60 year olds who are saying, “I’m 60 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” Although I can certainly relate, I find it kind of pathetic. Are they in that position because they never took a risk? Because they never found their passion? Or is it because some people are constantly changing and are never content where they are at?

Clearly I don’t have the answer. For all you firefighters out there that have known your life’s calling from day-one, consider yourself lucky. I hope I figure out mine someday. I would prefer sooner than later.


loss and life

Saturday – Part One

Saturday morning Derek and I found out that a friend had passed away. While it wasn’t unexpected, it certainly wasn’t expected. Is it ever expected?  To expect it, would be to accept it. And despite my brain’s attempts to warn me, I wasn’t able to force my heart to follow. And so it came as a surprise; as all deaths do.   

He had been sick for a very long time. Three months ago he made a decision to stop taking his medication.  At first, I didn’t understand his decision.  I wanted him to hold on. Keep trying. Cling to his life. But then he sent out an email explaining it. And now I understand. His quality of life had reached an unacceptable low. He was tired of fighting for a body that would never heal. Tired of hospital stays and blood counts. Tired of waiting for test results.  Finally, he is able to rest.

It is grossly unfair and my heart goes out to his family.  I’m deeply sorry for their loss.

 Saturday – Part Two

Saturday afternoon, we made the trek to Steilacoom to catch the Anderson Island ferry for my great uncle’s 80th surprise birthday party.  I don’t know this uncle very well, but my mom’s family made it a priority to be there. So I went. 

As we pulled up to the ferry terminal, it quickly became apparent that something was not right. The ferry was docked, but it was being blocked by a stopped train.  We got out of the car to investigate and we learned that a man had committed suicide 30 minutes earlier. He had sat down on the tracks and the train engineer could not stop the train in time.  Police and Amtrak officials bolted around the crime scene. Passengers inside the train were on their feet, restless. The body was still lying on the ground near the tracks – it was covered by a black tarp.  It was surreal; I felt like I was watching a scene out of a movie. 

 Saturday – Part Three

We finally arrived at the surprise party. It was an amazing turnout; at least 125 people came to celebrate with our 80 year-old Uncle Dick. He was remarkable. He greeted everyone by name. He laughed. He told stories. He was thrilled to be surrounded by so many of his friends and family.

When it was time sing the birthday song, Uncle Dick made a quick impromptu speech.  He thanked everyone for coming and recognized his children for organizing the surprise party. Then he said something that put my day in perspective and helped to renew my focus.  He said, “This community center usually only sees a crowd this big when there is a funeral. I’m deeply thankful and extremely blessed that all of you came out here while I’m still around to enjoy you. To celebrate my life rather than to mourn my death.  While it is important we recognize the dead, it’s just as important to celebrate the living. I love you all!”

At that point, his kids drove-up in his birthday present – a brand new tractor. He was elated.

a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.