Tuesdays are the new Fridays. Or so I tell myself….

I’ve scored a cozy window seat here at the Rambler….a unique GastroPub next to the Zeppelin hotel on Geary St.

I came to study…although I have allowed myself more distractions than I should. I told myself just this morning that I am only allowed to drink on Fridays. Well…that Hotel California (their lovely little spin on an Old Fashioned) was just calling my name. And boy did it not disappoint! You know when you drink whiskey how you get that immediate warmth in your chest? Well it slipped me into the relaxation I needed to shake what’s been weighing me the past three days.

It’s February. The month of love to some; the month of loss to me. Although I don’t outwardly project or even necessarily feel grief, it’s inevitably there. Exactly one week from today, it will be seven whole years on this planet without my Father. I get by knowing how proud he’d be. Of me, of my boys. I miss him, but man am I thankful for the parts of him I wear so proudly.

Back to the table. Laptop center focus, but promptly placed in front of me are a perfectly plated array of warm, marinated olives. God I love this city. I am IN LOVE. The options are limitless (as long as you’re game to explore them). The amount of cozy spots I can retreat to after work are abundant. I feel more at home here amongst a plethora of strangers strolling the streets, than I do my hometown.

I am seven weeks into school, almost done with my first “session”, two accelerated classes of eight weeks each. Some weeks I have no idea how I’m holding my sanity together. Other weeks all I have to do is quickly remind myself what I’m capable of, then I smash through my assignments with my head held high as the sky. I have already learned so much, educationally, as well as about myself.

Again with the table….any woman knows the key to curing any sort of hormonal or emotional “funk” is carbs. So naturally I order their summer squash pizza, with arugula, and caramelized onions. OH. MY. LANTA. (In the words of DJ Tanner…I don’t care if I’m aging myself). Heavenly is an understatement. THIS, this is my Eat, Pray, Love moment. You know the scene when she tells her friend that they are going to eat and enjoy the pizza, then go shopping for bigger pants? Or the moment she makes love to her pasta, all alone, without a care in the world? Took me a while, but that movie now has a special place in my heart. Simply because I GET IT. And I am more or less LIVING IT.

I have also fallen in love with Seattle. I see myself moving there when the kids are grown and I am slowly gravitating my next steps toward that goal. And as fate has it…two older ladies just sat next to me and I hear one mention her hairdresser in Seattle. In normal Melissa fashion, I politely interject myself. And sure enough, she lives in Seattle. Grew up there in fact!! Ever so often the Universe drops these hints to me, and I hear them, Universe, loud and clear. Maybe it’s Dad…..let’s go with that.

Life is full of ups and downs….this month, this moment, being a prime example. You can take the bad (like grief) and you can take it for what it is, but sweeten it with all of the good. And man is the good, pretty great.

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