Tag Archives: Achievement

My Greatest Achievement in 2024 (Perhaps) 1

My Greatest Achievement in 2024 (Perhaps)

One month into the new year, I remain entirely unimpressed with 2024. I also fear that my greatest achievement is already behind me.

On January 3, I posted a comment on the Instagram account Frannie’s Fight.

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As you can see, it’s amassed almost 14,000 likes! I have never had something I said on the internet be this well received. So it very well could be my greatest achievement this year.

There are obvious reasons I’m so invested in Frannie’s Fight. As her first-ever Instagram post shared with us, “She is an 8-year-old, 125-pound golden retriever who was set to be euthanized due to her weight. She could barely even sit up and was defeated. She lived outside and slept on concrete her whole life leading to massive callouses on her legs. Her tail has been rubbed raw due to her sitting on it as she cannot sit normally due to her weight, in addition to her hypothyroid condition.”

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Frannie was rescued by Rover’s Retreat and adopted by a vet student (a hero, in my opinion). They’ve been posting updates on Instagram regularly, and I find myself repeatedly opening my Instagram account to see if there is any Frannie news. This habit sure beats doom scrolling the news and other social media accounts (which I’ve stopped), so I can’t be too hard on myself.

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Based on the other comments I read on Frannie’s posts, A LOT of us seek emotional uplift from this content. I can’t help but wonder if we’re all feeling stuck, aimless, and out of sorts.

I offered to be president of the Fran Club as a way to find some much-needed purpose, but because this was one comment out of literally thousands, I’m not surprised it got no response.

In the meantime, I continue to love all the dogs I can here in Boulder (and soon-to-be Norfolk when I return for a 2.5-week visit starting on Thursday). I especially got to show my love to a dog named Copper, who had such a wild case of spring fever on Thursday when temperatures here climbed into the 60s that he snuck out of his fenced-in yard and took a hike on the Shanahan Ridge Trail.

I just happened to be standing on the back deck when I noticed a park ranger holding onto a dog by the collar as they navigated down the trail. The park ranger was on the phone, and it became clear that he was trying to figure out how to return Copper to his family. I waved and called out with an offer to leave Copper with me until his human mom could get him.

So that’s what we did.

Everyone, meet Copper!

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Special thanks to Foster, who had to watch us from the window without helping and who had to share his leash and water bowl. Also, thanks to Heath for bringing Foster’s leash and water bowl onto the back deck so we could keep everyone safe and happy.

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Foster, just in case you forgot what he looks like.

Copper had a happy reunion with his mom, and I went back to Instagram to see what was new with Frannie. I was generously rewarded.

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If you want to follow along with Frannie’s Fight, her Instagram account is @frannies.fight.

My Greatest Achievement in 2020 (Debatable)

Meet Koda!

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I snapped this picture in the Norfolk Library on November 10, 2020. Naturally, I posted it to the Dogspotting Facebook group to which I belong. The sole purpose of the group is to post pictures of dogs we’ve never met before and share their awesomeness with others.

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A few days later, over four thousand people had liked this photo.

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I didn’t have much to celebrate in 2020, but I will always have Koda.

Memoir Monday, November 28th, 2016


Today I did something I’ve been thinking about for almost a year.  No, it’s not finishing my first novel.  That’s something I actually worked on regularly, although there have been a lot of days where I did just think about it.

It’s also not self-publish one of the many children’s stories I’ve written, though I certainly have spent a lot of time thinking about that and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make self-publishing a 2017 goal.

No, this achievement, may in fact be one of my greatest, based on how ridiculous it is that I didn’t accomplish it sooner.

Last year at this time I was pet/house sitting for my friends in Durham, NC, while they attended their future daughter-in-law’s wedding shower in Florida.  From Durham, I was heading directly to COP-21, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France, for two weeks, then flying back to Chicago which is where I was living last year.  So, I had a rental car in Durham because my car stayed behind in Illinois waiting for me to return.

Driving around the Chapel Hill-Raleigh-Durham isn’t that big a deal for me, because I lived there for 9 years.  I still occasionally get lost, and that’s what happened one fateful day while driving around the Triangle area.  I ended up on one of their new toll roads without my trusty iPass sensor because it, too, stayed behind in Illinois waiting for me to return.

When I got back from Paris, I found more than just my car and iPass waiting for me to return.  I also now had an invoice from the rental car company explaining that they had been billed for my illegal use of the tollway.  I did what any jet-lagged narcoleptic would do in that situation: I put the bill aside, took many naps over the next few weeks (it honestly took me months to recover), and then I completely forgot about it.

In the meantime, I discovered the stylus pen to my tablet was missing upon my Illinois return.  Turns out I left it in Durham.  My friend put in an envelope, weighed it, and put what she thought was appropriate postage on it.  The stylus showed up in my mailbox with a yellow envelope attached from my mailperson saying the postage was short $2.06.  I was surprised that the post office didn’t send my stylus back to Durham and I should have used that appreciation for momentum to act.  But, again, I put this envelope to the side, took one of my many naps, and promptly forgot about it.

For the next several months, I would come across these two outstanding bills, think about paying them, and for reasons that seemed valid at the time (e.g., no cash to leave for the mailperson, couldn’t find my checkbook, time to take another nap, etc.) I ended up shuffling the papers around and not doing anything about them.

This decision should not surprise anyone who knows me because one of the greatest challenges in my life is how I handle paper.  I suspect this is a genetic condition because everyone in my family except my oldest brother has a paper problem.  Apparently, the only thing my brother keeps on his kitchen table is a bunch of bananas.  I, however, have been known to keep notebooks, mail, magazines, and various other paper items that can be neatly stacked (or not) on any flat surface, such as a table, to then be completely ignored for months if not years.

Which brings us to today.  After holding on to these two outstanding debts since last December, packing them up and moving them with me from Naperville, IL, to Oak Park, IL, to Johnsonville, NY, to Norfolk, CT, I finally paid them off! 

I think I may have just heard angels singing Hallelujah in the background.

What finally prompted this action?  If you read my post last week, you’ll know one of my end-of-the-year goals is to devote 20 minutes every day to reading or listening to spiritual material.  I picked up Debbie Ford’s book, The Best Year of Your Life, when Amazon offered it for free in a daily Book Bub deal several months ago.  I started reading it last week and one of the main points in one of the earlier chapters is in order to have your best year, you have to go back in your past and create closure for anything holding you back.  So that’s what I’ve been doing.

And you know what?  It felt pretty dang good!  As I left the post office today, it felt like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders.  I felt free and unencumbered and I also gave the post office employees a good laugh as I explained the situation and begged them to help me so I could finally be free of this debt.

I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to circumvent problems like this in the future.  In addition to having gained a husband who does not have a paper problem and who has more organization of his sock drawer than I have in my entire life, we have become more mindful of what we pack every time we move housesitting jobs and we are actively trying to reduce any and all excess, including paper.  Plus, I think Debbie Ford made an excellent point in her book and I need to recognize that when I procrastinate on completing daily tasks, it’s the same as holding negative energy in my life and why on Earth would I want to keep that floating around?

For now, though, I celebrating this victory.  It may seem small and trivial, but really I could not feel happier about getting it done.  And I would love for you to join me in the celebration – feel free to send me congratulatory remarks in the comments!