What I Know For Sure

1. My favorite six words: “How are you? Are you OK?”
2. Ninety-nine percent of people and businesses never follow through, leaving behind a trail of thoughtlessness, emptiness, and broken promises.
3. Patience has never been my strong suit, until now.
4. A loving demeanor and a heart of gratitude open doors.
5. Kindness and politeness still matter.
6. We sure could use more empathy in our troubled world.
7. No means there is something better waiting.
8. Love yourself and never settle.
9. Let go of what you cannot control and trust that the Universe will take care of you.
10. I know what and whom I can live without.
11. I know who my real friends are.
12. Nothing is forever.
13. Change is guaranteed.
14. Social media is cool, but real life is where the magic happens. A like is never a substitute for substance. Get offline and live.
15. Call or visit. No text, message, or email compares to a voice, a smile, a hug.
16. Working out is an awesome stress reliever, much better than booze and food.
17. I cannot wait until it is warm again. I am cold all of the time.
18. The only person I can count on is myself.
19. I am tougher, more confident, more resilient, and more assertive than I have ever been. Don’t f— with me.
20. I am independent, intelligent, fierce, persistent, and strong. I am Elizabeth Smith, here me roar.

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

What is 2016? It’s neither spiritual or human. It doesn’t have the power to grant life or death. It’s merely a placeholder of 366 days (leap year) for us to use as we choose.

This year was not horrible for me. In fact, it was quite successful professionally as I finally found myself in a role where above all else, I am valued as a person, and was able to bring my unique talents to the table and make things happen.

It took me eight and a half months, but finally, on Monday, September 12, I made a promise to myself, a commitment to lifelong fitness. After 15 weeks, I’ve lost 32.4 pounds, maybe more, as I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh myself since December 23. For the longest time, I made excuses in my head and tried my best to mask the grim reality that I was unhealthily overweight. Now that I’m looking and feeling better than I have in years, I can easily admit that I was miserable, always exhausted, and excruciatingly uncomfortable in my clothes and my own skin. I hated shopping for clothes and seeing myself in a mirror. I stayed home from events to avoid having to figure out clothes to wear that didn’t make me look fat, because guess what? I was fat. Fit Body Boot Camp is the best decision I made in 2016.

Another powerful decision I made was to let go of things in my life that were causing me undue stress. I had overcommitted myself the past two and a half years trying to survive financially in Napa. I felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water. However, it turns out that life is more than finances and money. It’s about living deeply and happily in this precious moment. If 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that life can end abruptly and without warning. I don’t believe for one second that any of us can be everything to everyone and be happy and true to our soul. I will begin 2017 with minimal commitments, a strict budget, and ready to live out loud, with no regrets.

As to my personal life, I’m not sure what the future has in store for me. I’m happily single, but I crave connection and intimacy. I’d like to have someone with whom to talk and share what’s inside of my heart and my head. Is there a such thing as having the best of both worlds? Can one be both single and connected?

The good news is that in this moment, I feel that I’m the best I’ve ever been. I’m saying goodbye to 2016 and diving into 2017 headfirst, to swim, not sink, even if I have to swim upstream. I’m ready to move forward on my journey. Are you ready to swim with me?


Who am I without any money?

Every day I receive an email from my favorite blog, The Daily LoveToday’s featured post was about learning to take risks towards success by facing and managing fear. The section below jumped out at me.

How much money you have doesn’t define how successful you are. It’s your inner peace that defines how successful you are. You want to know how successful you are – answer this question: Who are you without any money? That answer will define how successful you really are.

We are all are on a journey to better our lives and achieve our definition of success, whatever that may be. In my journey, I know I have days where I feel like I am treading water instead of moving forward. I battle loneliness. I struggle with inner peace. All of those challenges aside, who am I without any money? 

I’m a loyal and steadfast friend and confidant. I’m my cat’s mommy. I’m a survivor of a budgetary reduction in force. I’m a teacher and student of life. I’m a hopeless romantic in spite of a great love lost. I’m a certified wine geek and a certifiably crazy travel geek. I’m a new media writer. I’m a person who gives my all to what lies before me, no matter how great or small. I’m a risk taker. I’m a single girl doing it all on her own.

I may not be where I want to be yet, but look at me! Not bad, eh? So what about you? Who are you without any money? I hope you’ll toot your own horn in the comments, then keep moving forward, kicking ass and taking names.