Challenges, Featured, Happiness, Lifestyle, StartingAgain

Inflection Point

January 27, 2018

An inflection point is a point on a curve at which the sign of the curvature (i.e., the concavity) changes.  Inflection points may be stationary points, but are not local maxima or local minima (within some neighborhood that need not be, but may be, a global maximum or minimum).  Why do I bring this up?  On one hand, knowing basic calculus terms may help out in life (trivia night, cocktail party, you name it).  And on another hand, I feel it clearly defines my life path, where I didn’t completely change directions, I just changed how I’m getting there.  I wanted to share my path because maybe it will make someone feel a little less “weird” about their life, or maybe just because it will actually make me feel better to get it out there.  

It’s hard not to feel pressure to conform and to compare oneself these days, amidst the ever-growing social media presence in our lives.  I do it all the time: “why did it take me forever to start my career?”; “why don’t I have kids (yet or at all), when all my friends are having them?”; “why don’t I have, in absence of the kids, six-pack abs and all the coolest clothes?”; you get the point and I know you have had similar self-deprecating thoughts, we all do.  So like I pointed out early on in the 2018 and the Tale of the Do-Over post, life have changed as of late and that is alright, it does that from time to time. 

Of note and in true Crane Wife fashion, below are the major ones that collectively make up the inflection point. 

On the rise to inflection, let’s call it concave down, we were: considering when to have kids; trying to train an unruly but very lovable German Shepherd; struggling to keep a 60-year old, 4-bedroom house in the suburbs clean and maintained; and lazily passing the days watching TV and eating too much without exercising nearly enough, if at all.  On the rise after inflection, let’s call it concave up, we: decided (for many reasons) not to have children; lost unruly Sammy to lymphoma at the age of 5; sold our house after living there for almost 6 years; bought a new three-story condo in a developing area close to downtown and within 2 miles of both our jobs; and began a regular gym routine (and are still maintaining a healthier TV routine as well).  We really changed a lot about our lives in a short period of time, so here we go on the upswing of the curve, as I like to think of it.  I hope you are also on your upswing. And if not, don’t worry: you’ll get there.

Featured, Lifestyle, StartingAgain

2018 and the Tale of the Do-Over

January 27, 2018

I started this blog in early 2016, almost 2 years ago as I write this, and I gave it trivial effort, then forgot about it.  I would like to change that now.  Let’s have a do-over, shall we?  Hi, I’m Erin.  I used to have a handsome husband (Wonderful Steve), a big house, a dog (stinky Sammy), and was without my professional license or master’s degree.  Now, I still have the handsome husband, we have a smaller house, a cat in place of stinky Sammy (her name is Delilah or more realistically, “Kitty”), a master’s degree, and am “duly licensed as a Professional Engineer in Civil Engineering”.  Big changes, some sad and some happy – more details can be found at my “Inflection Point” post.  If you’re in need of a change (like, away from this blog!), I recommend these wonderful and very different blogs by two superb women I know: From the Ravens and Marbles + Coffee. 

My new goal is to blog once a week, because practice makes perfect, right?  And who says you have to start a new year’s commitment in January (it’s almost February as I write this now)?  Marketers for gyms, that’s who.  Now if you are a marketer for a gym, you’re not a chump, I just wanted to shrug off that guilty I-didn’t-start-“on-time” feeling I had about all of this.  I have talked about challenges before, in this blog.  And this is no different.  And there will be more.  Was that a dramatic-enough string of sentences?  Like I said, practice makes perfect.  I am excited to be in a different place in my life, where there is no school work to do, and I get to work on myself as a project.  There are many new goals, challenges, and adventures to be had.  Step right on up, folks: we’ve got fitness; we’ve got diet; we’ve got new languages; we’ve got new travels; we’re paying down debts; we’ve got semi-colons; we’re blogging; and heck, we might even be golfing.  We’ve got it all, so stay tuned! 

Challenges, Happiness

Wine and the Waves

May 14, 2016

The funny thing about challenges, is that you really can roll in and out of them, like you can roll on a set of waves on a fairly calm day. Sometimes as you are catching a wave, or starting a challenge, it might feel like you are looking up at a tall wave face with no end of it in sight. As the wave rises, taking you with it, you can choose to hang tight and ride it out, or you can bail out, only to give up completely or try again another time. I have had a lot of wave faces and a lot of bailouts, theoretically speaking, as I have never actually surfed. If you do surf aside from here on the web, you could probably see right through my analogy. Thanks for staying on the board with me, anyway.

Continue Reading…

Challenges, Happiness, Lifestyle


April 13, 2016

One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to come up with challenges that I could do on a monthly basis. I would write about my experiences during the challenges and this blog would act as a sort-of diary for me, while maybe acting as a reference for anyone else thinking about completing a similar (or exact) challenge. The internet is abuzz with 30-day challenges for things ranging from planking to veganism to well, blogging. So why shouldn’t I partake and throw my proverbial hot into the ring?

one thing I won’t challenge myself with is being disorganized.

Continue Reading…

Career, Happiness, Lifestyle, Travel

Bachelorette in the City

March 8, 2016

I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu.

I am spending a week in San Francisco (SF), taking a class for work, and I couldn’t be more excited now that I am here. I have always wanted to live in a big city SF, but I never took the leap for all kinds of reasons (of which I’ll keep for now). To me, there has always been such a romantic allure to this city. This is a place where you can hide in plain sight, or stand out like a sore thumb, depending on who is looking around. People are who they are here, without apology, and that sense of freedom (or at least, the perceived sense), has always appealed to me. Continue Reading…

Food, Lifestyle

Lunch Manners and the Implications

February 24, 2016

I eat at my desk while I’m working, most workdays. I don’t have a long lunch break and lately, I’d much rather take a walk outside in my limited time, than spend it eating. Despite February having the rap for the coldest month of the year, this one has brought Spring-like conditions so far (and we’re almost all the way through).

But, I digress… back to lunch talk, my favorite kind of talk.

Continue Reading…

Featured, Lifestyle

The Crane Wife

February 8, 2016

The Story

The Crane Wife is an old Japanese folktale, which inspired a couple of wonderful songs by The Decemberists (The Crane Wife 1 & 2, and The Crane Wife 3). These songs, along with others from the similarly titled album, helped make life worth living in 2006. When it was released, I was just starting school at University (a big step up from the junior colleges I had attended to this point), and was feeling very isolated. The Decemberists, along with bands like Death Cab for Cutie and The Smiths, carried me though campus as I carried them in my headphones, not having to face things alone. I could go anywhere with my headphones in, because it felt like I had my friends right there with me. I digress, but suffice to say, these songs have been important to me since I started listening to them almost a decade ago.

Let’s get on with it: back to the story. Continue Reading…