I'd like to teach the world to sing, and perhaps buy a coke for everyone...

I've had many moments in my life. I’ve had sad moments, joyful moments, hilarious moments and momentous moments.

But this past year I had one of the biggest moments of all. I had the “I really am an amazing person” moment. The one that hits you right in the face, and forces you to look at who you are.

I took steps. I took many drastic steps to insure that I have many more moments in my future- moments that are filled with happiness, pride, joy and love. These are the moments I want to live for.

The steps I took required courage; crazy, crazy courage. I needed courage to build my own life again- the life of a single mother trying to become someone her children and her family could be proud of; but more importantly, I wanted to be the kind of woman who was proud of herself.

During this life changing process, I realized that I had to start taking care of my own body. I was trying to heal emotionally, but also needed to heal physically. A great therapist was helping with the first- but I needed to work on the second.

I wrapped myself in friends who encouraged me every step of the way. I started hiking in the mountains behind my new home, and this not only brought me a sense of peace but frankly I think I am beginning to see signs of my old “assets”, if you will. As a former gymnast, I had always been proud of my “muscles.”

My other friends have helped keep my busy by planning happy hours and gatherings that bring plenty of laughter and love. They call me each day, send me cards and notes, and they remember that this journey will not be over quickly. They have been essential to my continued quest for wellness.

Along the way, I have found that living with hope, a positive outlook and with my face towards the sun- I am able to be proud of the woman I am, the woman I was, and the woman I am meant to be. I want to look forward, I want to forgive and be forgiven, I want to always find the good and be happy with the day. And yes, I am feeding the good wolf my friends. I am feeding the good wolf.

I am thrilled to have been chosen to visit the fine people at Coca Cola in Atlanta, as they gather bloggers from across the country to share their stories and to discuss how we all can help live a happier and healthy life!

Yes - I am being FLOWN to Atlanta for two days of touring the headquarters, sharing stories with other phenomenal people and talk to the great people at Coke. (Those of you who know me well, know that when I say martini, i really mean vodka and Diet Coke. It's like they knew me...)

I want to take you all on this journey with me. I’ll tuck you in my pocket as we fly away to a great adventure!!!!

Please, let me know if there is anything I should ask, anything I HAVE to see, or anything you recommend on this amazing visit. And yes, I am thanking my guardian angel as we speak.


Lorraine said...

Boy, that brought back memories! Safe trip to you and may you enjoy it immensely. Can't wait to "hear" all about it.

santastu said...

Hi, It's 3-30 am here in uk
just got up 4 cup of tea
excellent start to the day
song brings back so many great memories
happiness and freedom of youth.
Your success story of getting life on track is
also up lifting, enjoy your trip,wishing you
more good luck.

Magpie said...

Nectar of the gods! Have a great time.

Sue said...

Congrats! Look how far you have ALREADY come. I have a feeling in my heart that you will be just fine and every little thing will work out just right. People with good hearts deserve that!!

Take care, Sue

Laura said...

Yay for you!! When will you be in ATL?? We're moving south the first week of July & will be there on July 1 & 2...I can't remember any "must-do's", but we enjoyed the time we lived there. Stone Mountain is pretty amazing to see, but it depends on how much time you have--the history is incredible!!

Anonymous said...

The Georgia Aquarium shares a lot with The World of Coke... make sure to cut out time for that. We just got dolphins and the penguin exhibit is open again (after a break for remodeling) Enjoy! :)


Suzy said...

One of the sexiest guys I never got to have an affair with (but did get to kiss) was the son of a Coca Cola VP in Atlanta. I ran into him many years later here in LA, when I was with the idiot I was then dating, and he and I still had the "look" for each other.

Coke was my first Drink Crush. Then Diet Coke. Now, I'm all about the Diet Pepsi. I cheated on Coke!!

Suzy said...

That coke commercial is iconic. Once you hear it? You can't ever forget it.

anymommy said...

So awesome. Eat amazing food for me, please. I adore rum and coke.

Cheryl D. said...

Have a really great time!

Unknown said...

Congratulations and have a wonderful time in Atlanta. I had a chance to go to the Coca Cola museum years ago, and it was a wonderful experience.

Python said...

I just looked at your blog a couple of days ago, and now I have read EVERYTHING you have blogged!
I have laughed and cried and enjoyed it immensely!!

You are so good at making the "unspeakable" things in life funny!
Like wanting to kill your teenager, and having a drink after surviving yet another day of work and life!

I love your writing and admire your sharing!

Thank you!! :-)

Mrs BC said...

Your friends sound amazing, you must feel so blessed. Best wishes for your journey, to Atlanta & beyond.

book_chick81 said...

Yay! How exciting! You should definitely try to go to the Georgia Aquarium. They have some awesome stuff to check out.

unmitigated me said...

Have a wonderful time! Now I am off to Google "Faygo remembers..."

Kayleigh said...

Welcome to Atlanta! As others have noted, the Aquarium is great. If you get the chance, go see a show a the Fox.

...Now for the good stuff, lets talk about where to eat. The Varsity is pretty much a landmark, in the heart of atl-it's greasy and wonderful. Get a chili-cheese dog with onion rings and a frosted orange-you'll never be the same. For good southern food, try Mary Mac's Tea Room and for that sweet tooth, Sublime Doughnuts.

Hope you enjoy your time in the south!

Elaine said...

How wonderful for you! Diet Coke for me is like Starbucks for you. Every morning. I'm so happy that you get these opportunities! And that you are moving so well to a better future. And . . . I wish I were a size 8.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being chosen!! You truly deserve it!

N.S.W (Not Snow White) said...

Congrats! That is fabulous - ATL has a few hot spots and beautiful things to see, I second the aquarium suggestion.

noexcuses said...

I'm so happy for you! They are going to love you and your very courageous story!

Lynn MacDonald said...

I am thrilled that i was able to watch you spread your wings. It's been a privilege getting to know you.

Enjoy Atlanta...and BlogHer will be awesome for us

Button said...

As a teacher myself (of 8th graders), I stumbled across your blog and LOVE it! Reading the happenings in your classroom is one of the highlights of my day!

As others have said, The GA Aquarium is a must see! A great local food spot is The Varsity close to Georgia Tech. Their milkshakes are FANTASTIC, as are their onion rings. Can't wait to see what else you have to share with us.

Kate B said...

Could you please ask them why the Diet Coke served at McDonald's is it's own form of deliciousness? It's criminally addictive.

Have fun!

Notes From ABroad said...

Just tell them that my first words were Coke please ...
That we caught our daughter skipping 1st grade !!! and shopping in the local deli .. a Coke and a bag of potato chips please.
That the Coke in South America or at least Argentina is pretty pretty good..
I have my coke on the rocks, my martini dirty .. besos to you, you very very good, brilliant, kind and thoughful person ..

Assistant ZooKeeper said...

Welcome to our great city! While you're here, if you can, make sure to visit the Varsity (as someone else suggested). Allow your therapist to take care of your brain, you take care of your body and the Varsity to take care of your soul. There's nothing like it (but only once a year!). Enjoy your visit. Congratulations for being recognized as the Awesomeness that you are!

Maggie said...

Congrats on the journey of YOU. It's wonderful to feel like yourself again, to be proud of who you are. Keep pushing forward!! I also have walked this path, and I am so happy I did! Have fun on your trip, you deserve it!

Casey Freeland said...

Congratulations on both the long-term and short-term accomplishments. :)


Beth said...

First of all, yay to you on coming to Georgia! And second, I am such a little shit. I've just ignored so many friends that I made from the blog-worldj because I just stepped away from writing. Just turned my back on it all and walked away.

For that I am truly sorry.

BUT it sounds like you have taken life by the horns. I'm glad you are finding the help you need in friends. As a former single mom, I can happily say that my first marriage totally prepared me for the rest of my life. It was almost as if my life began once I was divorced.

I know you will enjoy Atlanta and the World of Coke! I'm in Atlanta often and Coke is a staple in the south. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

That´s so great. When I was pregnant I think my amniotic fluid was actually made of Diet Coke!

sharyn said...

I'm so glad that you get to go to a great city courtesy of Coke. But seriously, if you want to live a healthier life shouldn't a preliminary step be drinking more water and less soda?

Just askin'...

Have a wonderful and safe trip.

shrink on the couch said...

Yay for you - Atlanta and Coke. And yay for the new, improved, healthier you. And I'll be thinking of you in the midst of your other journey, the emotional one.

Python said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Python said...

Have a great trip!! :-)

Irish Gumbo said...

I recommend that you go, see and enjoy. Relax into it, you deserve it.

wow. Congratulations, and...well, let's just say this post rang some bells for me, too.

Peace and love to you, my dear :)

Leslie said...

Sweets...I can think of no one more deserving than a free trip. Have you tried vanilla vodka in that Diet Coke? Mmmm.

More seriously, I'm so glad you're finding the path of happy...or the path that will get you there. Soul sister...we will make it. Hugs.

P.S. Jealous of a free trip? Me? Why, yes. Yes, I am. :)

Pseudo said...

I have never been to Atlanta, so I am no help there.

But am so happy and thrilled for you Vodka. You inspire a lot of us.

BTW If you can get someone to get you a similar gig here on Oahu, I will take you on my workout. I started body boarding again this summer, something I gave up 5 years ago during chemo. It's a whole lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

I will echo Beth's comment - my life really began with my divorce.

Have a lovely trip. Well deserved.

Happy summer vacation (your students are all done, right?)(we have one more week.)


Mrs4444 said...

Okay, that is very cool, and if you don't think it's too rude, I would like to ask if it really will kill me to drink nothing but Diet Coke every day for the next 50 years. Thanks!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Oh my gosh - have a wonderful time!

Can't think of anything to suggest you do there... But please give Amy Turn Sharp a big hug from me. I read earlier that she'll be in your group of world changers.

Much love to you!

Jeanne Estridge said...

This is terrific! Please find out, if you can, (and let us know) what they're doing to curve their product offerings toward food that is healthier.

I am so proud of all the hard work you've done over the past year. Having gone through a divorce (okay, two divorces) myself, I know just how hard it is and I salute your courage.

Kyddryn said...

Aww, screw...I bet you'll be in South Redneck Central justwhen I'm going North to the Wilds of Ohio,so I can't sneak down and ogle you.

Eat at The Varsity - chili cheese fries, onion rings, and a Frosted Orange will cure what ails ya. You will need to hike them off, but totally worth it.

The Fox Theater is an icon,worth a visit. Fernbank, the Botanical Garden, and the High Museum are nowhere near as crowded as they should be, and cheaper than the aquarium. If The Center for Puppetry Arts is doing an XPT, that's always a blast. Stone Mountain (not really IN the ATL, but still...)- if you can make the climb rather than ride the tram, it's Zen. Or, do what I do and take the tram up then walk down...still lovely, with less sweating - bonus!

Wait...how long are you staying??

I hope it's a terrific trip!

Shade and Sweetwater,

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