Thursday, December 29, 2022


This is my old blog.

Which I've been considering posting to again.

But I don't know. It's all very outdated.

Plus I was about to upload a photo and there's some sort of glitch....

Ironically, that has me even more determined to blog.

My stubborn side does not want to give up!

Anywho, for now, I'll just say that I'm trying to get myself in gear for the day.

I have not planned out my day, and that's probably why I'm still bouncing around at 1:42 pm.


First things first, I'm going to make a list.

And my first entry will be:

Make list


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Borax and the sun and a few sprays of Febreeze

Add Borax to the washing machine and blast everything dry outside in the sun. This is an advantage to living in a hot, dry climate. And while Borax and the sun and a few sprays of Febreeze all help, nothing works perfectly. That smell lingers... And don't even think about the state of the mouth guard. Really, don't let your thoughts go down that germy rabbit hole at all. Nothing good will come of it. Denial is your friend there, for sure.

And the sound. You never get used to the sound when you hear it: that thwacking sound as they block or put someone on the ground. Thankfully you only hear it if you happen to be standing close to them. Most of the time you aren't. But you still see them collide and remember what it sounds like. And of course there's the sense of relief you feel when everyone hops up and trots back to get ready to do it all over again.

Then there's the yelling. And the screaming. And the clanging of the cowbells! Since I have to protect my voice, I try to mostly make noise with my enormous cowbell, but sometimes I can't help myself and yell and scream and even jump up and down in the bleachers. It's just all so exciting and so much fun, watching them with my friends, feeling communal anxiety frequently, and then euphoria when the clock ticks down and they've won. There are no bigger fans than us!

I'm a football mom.

My son is about to play in the first game of his high school senior season. He's been playing football since he was in 5th grade. He's an offensive lineman. 

All of this is surprising in various ways. First of all, I'm not a large person. But my son is. He inherited all of the big genes from my husband's Scandinavian roots. He was over 10 pounds when he was born and has stayed above the growth curve ever since. I hear "How big is his dad?" a lot. And yeah, my husband isn't small, but our son is bigger.

It's also surprising because I'm a feminist, have a science degree, am not a competitive person, and am a worrier. None of this really goes along with either the long-held stereotypes about football itself, or the important concerns many have about its safety. 

I'm also an overthinker, so let me tell you, I've given all of this a lot of thought. And now I'm going to write about it.

Follow along if you'd like. It should be a great season!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Put to Work in New York

Right now I'm sitting across from my dad in a Starbucks on 56th Street in Manhattan. This is the third time we've come to New York together. He likes to come here because, well, it's a lot of fun to come to New York. And also because in the late 60s when he was in the army he was stationed in Brooklyn, and it's fun for him to visit his old stomping grounds.

I also really enjoy New York. The excitement and energy of this city can be almost felt physically, and I love tapping into that just by being here in its environment. But my real reason for being here is that this is APAC week.

APAC stands for Audiobook Publishers Association Conference: it's the main professional get-together in the audiobook industry. It's a time to network with both those that we know and those that we don't know: those that we've worked with and those that we haven't worked with yet. Anyone who knows me knows (or could guess) that I'm not the most comfortable in this sort of setting. I have strategies that work for me that help me successfully "schmooze" (or somewhat successfully), and I might outline them here sometime in the future, because who knows? Maybe other people could find them useful.

Anyway traveling with my 70-plus-year-old dad and attending the series of audiobook functions scheduled for this week are two pretty different states of being. And the contrast was pretty dramatic yesterday, even though there was a common theme: I was put to work.

My dad loves connecting with people from his past. He looks them up, reaches out to them, and then arranges a get-together. Yesterday he met up with a woman he'd gone to high school with, a woman who is also the cousin of my Aunt (his sister-in-law), but someone he hadn't seen since 1958. I'll say that again: 1958! 59 years ago! She is a ceramics teacher in the art department of the City College of New York, and she needed help cleaning the studio. So my dad and I took the subway uptown and met her there. For the next hour plus, I labeled containers of glaze with a sharpiewriting the contents detailed on their labels, on their lids, and listened to my dad and his old friend reconnect as they reminisced and caught each other up on 59 years of life!

It was quiet and dusty in the ceramics studio and what I had to do was very easy and simple. Exactly the sort of task that is so relaxing it is almost meditative. Don't you love it when you know exactly what to do? That was the case here. It was also the kind of job where you so easily see the results of what you're doing. Those containers had nothing on their lids when I got started, and by the time I was done they were clearly marked. I made a difference and I could tell I'd made a difference. And as silly as it sounds, I felt a sense of accomplishment because of it. There will be New York art students who will be able to quickly grab the glaze they need, because of the labels I put on those containers. Imagining that makes me smile. But eventually all of the lids were labeled and it was time for me to shift gears back to audiobooks and audiobook people. Not only that, it was time to get all glammed up and head to the Audie Awards!

I left my dad chatting with his friend, took the subway back to our hotel, put on eye shadow (that's how you know I was really dressing up!), a dress, heels, and this suede jacket that I love and headed to the Audie Awards venue. I was going to be helping out at the event, so again I was put to work. My job here was a tad more complicated. I was to escort people who'd checked in to the event at the door, down a pretty long, steep flight of stairs past the other check-in points, and then show them where the food etc was. This meant I went up and down those stairs over and over. In heels! I never wear heels! I was sure I'd fall at some point, but thankfully all went fine.

I had never attended the Audie Awards and I'm so glad I did this time. So many amazingly talented people were there. I also loved having another chance to interact with audiobook people in my quiet way. When you are a quiet person, in a noisy crowded event, it can be tough to interact with anyone. But audiobook folks as a group are kind, welcoming, and open and I had so many terrific conversations with so many amazing people.

Now the audiobook events are over. My dad and I are here for another couple of days, though. We are taking a circle line tour today and going to a WNBA game tonight at Madison Square Garden. I won't shift gears here again, except in my mind as I remember all that's happened in my audiobook world this week. It's been a whirlwind, that's for sure! And I'm so glad that I was put to work!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Curie, Calculus, and Please Speak Out

I have a lot to say about all of everything that's going on right now. And I will soon. But for now...

My daughter is a senior in high school. She is currently taking an online university level Calculus 3 course. Today she was working away on her Calculus assignments, and when she was done I took notice of her calculator and graph paper and folder left behind on the table. I also took notice of the decal on her folder. I hadn't really seen it before but after noticing it, I realized that this is a message we all need right now in these very disturbing times. I wanted to share it with you.

Love, peace, empathy, and strength to all of us right now. Keep speaking out. There are more of us.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

College Application Time: Yikes!!

The early days: when college applications
seemed inconceivable to both of us!

My daughter is applying to colleges.

Eh, no big deal. Normal. Not that exciting. Good, but doesn't really cause a blip when it comes to universal importance.

Okay, maybe you didn't really grasp what I said.


Don't you understand what that means? Her departure from her home, my home, is immanent. She is the person who made me a mom. For her whole life and for 17+ years of mine, she has lived here. With me. There are only a handful of people that I've lived 17+ years of my life with. My mom, my dad, my husband, and my daughter. (My sister is younger so I only lived with her for 16 years, and my son is 15 so well, yeah, that's less than 17+.) The point is all of those people are hugely important to me. Big parts of my life. This is a big deal! Soon she'll fly away.

But it's weird. Yes I'm a sap and know I will be sad when she goes, because I've loved being her mom and raising her and having a front row seat, watching her grow up. But I'm also incredibly excited for her. I loved college. It was a highlight of my life. And now she gets to have that experience. It's so great getting to study all of these fascinating subjects, surrounded by people who love to learn. It's also so exciting to be away from home and forging ahead on your own life in a new environment, along with all of these new, interesting people. So I'm thrilled for her and all that's ahead for her. That's all a big positive.

But in the meantime, there are college applications. And decisions coming back. Stressful stuff, for sure!

She applied to one school early, and she finds out whether she'll be accepted, rejected, or deferred from that school in the next few days. I as her mom, am very interested in the outcome. Of course, as her mom, I think it should be a no-brainer from their perspective. They should accept her! Duh! She's awesome!

I'm trying to play it cool, though. (And that's tough since I've never exactly been a cool person!)

So I might have stumbled across an online countdown to when the decisions are released. And I might check it here and there just to see how much more of a wait there is until we know. And then I might mentally chastise myself for checking that online countdown site because, come on, this is just one school. She's applying to lots of them. It shouldn't be this big of a deal: the results of this one application.

But here's the thing. It is a huge deal. Not whether or not she's accepted to this particular school. That is not so important in the grand scheme of things.

But it is the first decision coming back. And it does represent what's about to happen. Maybe she'll be accepted and end up attending this school. Maybe she won't. But one way or another, this time next year she will be in college, away from home, and life will be different.

That's a big deal by any definition.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Connecting to our same

Why do we fear other people?

Dont we long for that connection?

Being part of a tribe?

Working together?

Being a part of something?

Isnt it interesting and amazing and phenomenal to meet someone who grew up in such  different circumstances, and who came from such a different background, with different influences, and after meeting this person who is so different from us, then to find out that we have something in common with them? That we are more alike than different?

What could be better than that?

Its all about empathy.

Trying to understand someone elses point of view.

Why do they think what they think? Why are they the way that they are? Is there something in their being that we share?

Of course.

We are all one.

Meeting and knowing and loving those whose backgrounds and experiences are different.

And understanding them. Seeing ourselves in them.

What could be more powerful than that?

Its love. Its connection. Its what it means to be human.

We are the same.

We hurt. We bleed. We love. We want. We hunger. We rejoice.

When things go wrong for us, we so wish that it was all different and better.

We might want to blame someone else for that struggle. Its quick and easy to blame someone else. It validates our pain.

But does it heal our pain? Does it make things better?


When things go wrong and we blame someone else for that wrong, the act of blaming does not make anything better. Our situation is still the same. And maybe we can feel justified in our self-righteousness, because we can think its not our fault that everythings gone to hell. We did everything right. And that other, that someone else, screwed us. Messed everything up. Its their fault. Because of them, everything is wrong. If they were goneif they were never here, then all would be well.

But would it?


Wed still struggle.

Pain is part of life, as much as we wish it wasnt. Someone else to blame does not take away pain.

Blame adds to pain.

Look at that other. See them. They are like you in every way that counts. Their background, their experience, their situation might be different. But inside, they are you. There is absolutely nothing to lose by trying to understand someone else: trying to see them as someone like you.

On the contrary. By doing that, youll feel a peace and a connection and whats ultimately beautiful about being human and living this life.

Stop being afraid.

Stop blaming others for the pain.

Be comforted instead.

See yourself in everyone.

Rejoice in that connection.

Ill say it again.

We are the same.

In every way that counts.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Raising Jane: Mothers + Daughters = Inspiration and Strength!

So grateful! I just spent the weekend at an amazing Mother-Daughter retreat: Raising Jane!

My heart is full. I feel so touched and inspired. The ironic thing is that it wasn't really for me. Yes, I'm a mother, and I'm a daughter. But the retreat was geared for girls ages 10-14 and their moms. My daughter is 17. But she is the reason I was there. She's a math and science whiz, and also a Sister to Sister mentor for New Moon Girls magazine and online community and she was a presenter at the retreat! I was her assistant and gopher: a role that was so much fun to play!

I was so proud of her. It was amazing to watch her connect with the younger girls and teach them about math and science: answer their questions and be a role model. (She also absolutely loved having access to the Green Room, for the presenters!)

But I was also so touched just to be there. To see all of these mother-daughter pairs walking around the retreat center: talking about what they'd learned, feeling the connection between them. It was amazing. Such a gift.

The mother-daughter relationship can be incredibly complex, but it's so important. And us moms, we want to be close to our daughters and have a strong connection with them. We also want to teach them and help them, which can be tough when they disagree with our oh-so-true (ha, ha!) input on life and how things are. This weekend was amazing in how it allowed the mothers and daughters to learn and grow together and participate in something that was just for them and their beautiful, and sometimes prickly, relationship!

I left so impressed with the strength and beauty and courage of everyone involved. I left proud to be a women and a mother.

I also left full of thoughts and inspiration and a desire to put more energy into my own creations.

So look for more to come!

Love and peace and strength to everyone!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Will it all be okay? The unfathomable loss of Chris Decker.

Chris Decker (left) and Chris Ferreria at one of the many PJH games they coached together.
In 2013 my son Kyle started playing youth football. He was 10 and in 5th grade at the time. I didn't know much about football but I knew I wanted to get involved so I could know what was going on. I like knowing what's going on. And all of you helicopter parents out there, that is what you need to do! Get involved with what your kids are doing so you can have an insider's look at what's going on!

Being the rule follower I am, that first year I did all that was required of me as a parent in a youth sports organization and because of that, not surprisingly probably, I was asked if I would be on the youth football board the following year.

As I mentioned, I like to know what's going on! So I said sure, I'll be on the Placer Jr Hillmen (PJH) board. Even though the position I was asked to fill was for the Snack Bar Coordinator and I wasn't sure that was the best fit for me: still I was willing to learn and try to make it work!

After a month or so, I was asked to step up to be the Treasurer of PJH. The original treasurer had some personal reasons that were keeping her from truly being able to fulfill the duties of the position. I said yes, sure: Naively thinking that the treasurer position was a better fit for me than the snack bar person. And yes, that was probably true. I'm very detail oriented and I work best by myself. So being alone handling the finances of the organization sounded better to me than running the snack bar on home game days.

I can't really do justice in explaining all that's involved in being the treasurer of an organization like PJH. It would be boring to list all the duties and you wouldn't really get it. But in a nutshell, it's a huge job. And being the stress case, overthinking, perfectionist that I am, I worried so much about how to do it. I wanted to do it well and there was so much I didn't know, and that made me even more stressed.

That's where Chris Decker comes in.

Chris was the president of PJH. He was always so helpful, so supportive, so calming. He trusted me right from the beginning. Even though I was in charge of the many, many thousands of dollars in assets of the organization without really knowing much about what was involved. Being the anxious overthinking worrier that I am, I had tons of questions and concerns.  But he wasn't worried. He knew it would all work out. And it did. I always wonder why he trusted me like he did. True, I'd had a background check, but he really didn't know me when I took on the position. Why was he fine with my complete access to all of the organization's financial information? Why was he okay with me stepping into such a huge responsibility for an organization that he was so dedicated to, without really knowing if I was up to it?

I don't know. But he was.

For two years from that point forward we worked closely together. If you've been involved with this sort of organization, you'll know that there tends to be lots of drama that crops up. There are all kinds of issues that can emerge. The combination of parents and kids and coaches lead to all sorts of conflicts and problems that need to be resolved. As the treasurer, I was on the organization's "executive board" and was privy to much of the drama and conflicts. Chris was so great at diffusing those problems and cutting to the chase of what was really important, what was best for the kids. That was our guiding principle, what was for the best for the kids in the program, and I agreed wholeheartedly with that approach. I saw firsthand how he was able to cut through the drama to that ultimate guideline and was always so impressed with his calm demeanor and laser focus to what was really important regarding the kids.

Chris wasn't much older than I am. He ran his own successful business. He was vibrant and active and super dedicated. He was the father of 6 kids. And it was only his middle son, another Kyle, like my Kyle, who was participating in the football program. Chris gave countless hours to make the program successful, when it was only one of his kids who was involved. So many parents have kids in sports and don't give that kind of time, but Chris did. And it's parents like Chris who make youth sports possible. On game days he'd be the first one there at 6:30 am, would stay all day, and would be the last one there at 7:30 pm. If I had a question, or an issue that needed to be resolved, he might give me a smile and a look like "come on, is it really _that_ important?" but he would give me an answer and guide me on what it was that needed to be done. He cared. And not only did he care but he let his actions and his time speak for him and gave so much so that so many kids could have a great experience participating in youth sports.

Our community has suffered a huge loss with Chris's death. So has his amazingly strong wife, Nancy, and his beautiful family. Personally, I still can't believe he's gone. How can someone like that, so vibrant, so dedicated, so giving, be gone? It doesn't make any sense at all. But being the overthinking worrier that I am, I can't help but remember Chris's smiles and the looks he would give me when I would stress about all of the silly football financial details: "it will all be okay", he'd convey with that smile.

I'm sure that's what he would want us to think right now.

It will all be okay.

I must trust that that is the case. Even though he isn't here anymore and that seems so wrong.

Even though we so wish that he were here to make it so.

It will all be okay.

Let's follow in his footsteps and give our time and our calm demeanors and our smiles to make it all okay.

Let's do that for him.

It will all be okay.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Before marathon day 2: Before Sunset

Before Sunset came out in 2004 when I was in the thick of things, mom-wise. My daughter was 5 and my son was 2 going on 3. Life as their mom was busy and all-encompasing. I'd stopped consulting when my daughter was born, and in 2004 I was a full-fledged stay-at-home mom, which is a role that I'm incredibly suited for in lots of ways, and also very inept at, in so many others. I was writing by then, which really helped. I should try to figure out where I was with Dreaming of Deliverance in 2004. Not super far along. A year and a half, maybe?

Anyway, in 2004 my husband and I had moved to where we live now. He was stressed at being the sole provider, and I was stressed from being on-call 24/7 with kids that I loved tremendously, but who also needed my attention all the freaking time. Of course, right? But that didn't make it easier for me to cope with being available to them all the freaking time! And then feeling guilty about having trouble coping since as I mentioned, I loved them tremendously and so I didn't want to have any negative thoughts concerning them.

I can't remember how I learned that there was a sequel being made to Before Sunrise. I want to say it was after the movie came out on DVD, even. I know I didn't realize it was happening in time to see it in the theater. Not that it mattered, because I didn't go to movies in the theater in those days! But when I found out that there was a sequel I was so excited! I'd loved Before Sunrise and in 2004 I was 34 and was thrilled at the idea that there could be a second chance at young, early-20s love. Things were stressful for Scott and me back then. We'd been married for 10 years at that point. He was feeling pressure to provide for us, and wanted more from me. I was depleted from being a mom to little kids, a job a loved, as I mentioned, but also a job that exhausted me, and so I couldn't...didn't...give him as much love and support as he wanted.

So relationship-wise, things were a little tough. I find that such a strange contrast: something that people don't really talk about. That idyllic life of a married couple with small children: so iconic and something that's supposed to be such an ideal, happy time in life, often isn't really. Now that my kids are closing in on leaving the nest, I find it ironic: although I'm so happy where we are now and am not eager to go back to that point where they required so much from me, back then it felt like they'd be with us forever. It was super hard, but there was a weird comfort in how demanding and all-incompassing they were. Now they are much more self-sufficient and I don't feel nearly as depleted and it's clear that they won't be with us forever. And that sucks, even though I know it's what's supposed to happen....

But back to Before Sunset. I don't remember exactly when I saw it, but I do remember that I was super excited to see it! I had the DVD and was going to watch it finally! I put the kids to bed. Scott went to bed (he's not a fan of movies with a lot of dialogue...). And I stayed up alone to watch it. "Yay!", I thought. I get to immerse myself in a romance--escapism at it's finest! Jesse and Celine will meet up again and reconnect and love each other and move forward in life together!

And now, after watching it again, I see that's kind of what happened. But back then, when I saw it in my early 30s, I did not feel that way. It was upsetting and too close to home in a strange way... As I said in my last blog post, I wanted Celine and Jesse to stay the same. I wanted them to be sweet and optimistic and hopeful. But they weren't. Life had kicked them around some, as it had kicked me around some, and they weren't sweet and hopeful anymore. But they still had a connection. That was clear. And they still wanted to be together. That was also clear. But how could they? Jesse was married and had a son. He was also desperately unhappy, and that super frighteningly, rang true to me to a degree. I didn't want it to ring true, but it did, somewhat.

Celine, also, had quite a bit of baggage. She wasn't content. She was stressed and unhappy. There's pressure for women who don't follow the traditional path of marriage and motherhood. I'd seen it with some of my friends. And the fact that I had followed that traditional path and was struggling some, didn't keep me from appreciating the difficulties for women my age who hadn't followed that path.

After seeing Before Sunset I was depressed. What's the answer, I thought. Are we doomed to be unhappy? If we follow that ideal path of marriage and children but still struggle, what's the point? And if we don't take that path, and instead focus on career and freedom but don't have that safety net of a culturally acceptable role, the "ideal" role for a people in their early 30s, i.e. marriage, kids, how can we be happy? We can't.

There's no answer, I thought. And the ending to Before Sunset, what I thought at the time was an ambiguous ending, drove me crazy. Does he stay with her or does he go? And either way, how can this end well? Either Jesse leaves his wife and son and goes with Celine, and has to miss being with his little boy, or he goes back to them and has to be without the woman he truly loves. There's no way it can end happily. Talk about depressing!

So I didn't feel good after watching Before Sunset back in 2004. Instead it bothered me tremendously. Not because I thought it was a bad movie, but because it was too good. Too real. Too true to life.

But now it's 10 years later. I'm no longer in my 30s, I'm in my 40s. That time of life has passed and I'm stronger and more at peace with the imperfections of life. I appreciate Scott for what he gives me and am trying to relish the time I have with my amazing teenage children, since soon they'll be grown and off and living their own separate lives. So I can watch Before Sunset with compassion and appreciate the truth of it. Life isn't perfect. Our task is to do the best we can with what we have. Make the best of our situation in life. Have compassion for our loved ones and have compassion for ourselves. Nothing's perfect. No one is perfect. I can see that for Jesse and Celine in 2004. And I can see it for myself. And for Scott. If anything, now I think Before Sunset is a better movie than Before Sunrise. Because it is able to capture the messiness and difficulties of life. That is much tougher to do than to capture the sweet ideal romance that we all long for.

Tonight I will watch Before Midnight. I haven't seen it yet. I'm a little scared to see it. Because once again, I'm the same age as Jesse and Celine. What will it show me about myself and where I am right now? I trust that it will be true and although I'm older and wiser and more appreciative of the truth, I'm still reluctant to clearly see myself and where I am right now....

I'm afraid of what it will tell me about myself. And that makes me kind of ashamed. Since I should be more confident about this kind of thing, right?

More soon.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Before Sunrise: Part 1 of my "Before" viewing marathon!

In 1995 I was an environmental consultant working for an amazing consulting firm based in Half Moon Bay, California. I had graduated from the University of California at San Diego, in December 1992 (can't imagine a much better place to go to college!) with a degree in biology: specifically Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, and after several months waiting tables at Chevy's in Newark, CA (while I lived at home in Fremont), looking for an environmental consulting position, I was lucky enough to be hired by Essex Environmental in Half Moon Bay.

Okay. This is all irrelevant, I guess, although I might write more about my time at Essex at some point, since it has definitely influenced my approach to my work now, even though my current work at first glance has nothing to do with environmental consulting... But! The reason I bring it up is that back in 1995 I was sent to Sacramento to do some preconstruction mitigation for burrowing owls and fairly shrimp before a utility line was put in along Florin Road.

Sacramento is far enough from Half Moon Bay that I stayed at a motel. And one of those evenings away from home, I went to the movies and saw Before Sunrise.

I absolutely loved it.

As much as I hate to admit it, now that I'm a cynical woman in her 40s, I'm a romantic. Romantic stories speak to me. I love the idea of two people finding comfort and strength in each other. So back in 1995, I found Before Sunrise especially appealing. I loved the dialogue. I loved the setting. I loved the sort of tragic nature of the story. Celine and Jesse couldn't expect to have a "happily ever after" kind of story. She lived in Paris. He lived in the U.S. They didn't really know each other. So for them to end up together at the end of the movie didn't make much sense to me when I first saw it at age 24. I liked that it ended with them not being together. That rang true for me, even as I cried while watching it.

Now I'm 44. And I have a lot of life experience to jade me. I've been married for over 20 years. It doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility that I might be a little annoyed at the insta-relationship Jesse and Celine fall into.

So I watched Before Sunrise again last night and you would think that I might roll my eyes at it now and think, come on! You guys (Celine and Jesse) are so naive and young and unaware of life and its realities.

But I didn't. I still loved it! The only different reaction I had now, was my perspective on what it's like to fall in love in your 20s versus having a life together through your 40s.

Jesse and Celine leave each other at the end of the movie: at that train. They've had an incredible night together and long for the connection they have found to continue.

But it can't.

They both must move on.

Watching the movie as a jaded 44-year-old, what struck me is that no matter what, that sweet, optimistic, innocent connection that they had couldn't have continued. Even if they had been able to stay together somehow. It couldn't have continued. Our sweet, optimistic selves in our early 20s can't continue. We grow and change and are bombarded with responsibilities.

We evolve. I've evolved. When I watched Before Sunrise at age 24, I was a newlywed. My husband, Scott, and I had met on an education abroad program in Costa Rica not horribly dissimilar from Celine and Jesse's meeting in the movie. Scott and I had talked and shared and excitedly gotten to know each other just as they had.

But the difference is that we ended up together. 20+ years later, we're still together.

But are we still optimistic and naive and hopeful? No. We have two children. We've changed locations and jobs and focus. We've dealt with family stresses and layoffs and a shifting in roles.

So what about Jesse and Celine. What struck me last night as I watched the movie was that it was sad regardless. Even if they'd been able to stay together, would their love have been able to remain so sweet and pure? Probably not.

Almost certainly not.

I love the movie and still get swept away by the sweetness and romance of it all. But now my tears at the end aren't only because they can't be together due to circumstance. Their love can't stay that sweet and pure because they are in their 20s and life doesn't keep you in your 20s.

You grow and change and life get's richer and you understand more about what's really important.

You can't stay young and sweet and hopeful forever.

Duh, I know. But I find it relevant because I'd thought that watching Before Sunrise at my cynical advanced age would make me reject its fundamental truth. I'd worried that I wouldn't be able to appreciate it now since I'm so far past the circumstances of the characters.

But then I watched it last night and that wasn't how I reacted. I still loved it. Even though I now have a more grown up appreciation for it.

I remember what it was like to be in one's early 20s and to meet someone who you had a connection with, and to hope that you could stay with that person and make a life with them. I remember. I've lived it.

And in your 20s while you feel like an adult and like someone who knows what you want and who hopes that what you want will pan out the way you want it, you don't really know. Life and responsibility are more than what you can imagine back then.

But that doesn't diminish the truth of wanting and hoping for it all back then.

I remember. It still feels true to me, albeit in a different way now that I have lived more and know more.

And tonight I will watch Before Sunset, which (spoiler alert) bothered me tremendously when I first saw it in my early 30s! Jesse and Celine are in their early 30s in the movie and so was I when I first saw it. But I wanted them to still be hopeful and optimistic 20-year-olds. And they weren't.

Of course they weren't. Life in your 30s is quite different than life in your early 20s.

More soon...