Jenn, Belarus

I’ve said goodbye so many times in the past several weeks that I just simply don’t want to say it anymore. How do you say goodbye to something that you’ve enjoyed so much?

I think I’d rather say what a pleasure it’s been being a part of this project and getting to know you all. This has been an amazing experience for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to this blogsite for comfort in the past few months.  When Ruth suggested I join this project I never thought it would be so rewarding.  Thank you Clare and Stacy Jill for allowing me to be a “Voice”.

I am thrilled to have developed an on-line circle of friends and hope that circle continues to grow. You will find me at Learning to Walk in Stilettos.

Jenn, 38, Belarus (at least for a few more days)


If I could go back 10 years and give myself advice here’s what I’d say:

1.  You are too nice.  Don’t let people walk all over you.

2.  Don’t try to make Mr. Wrong, Mr. Right.

3.  You are not too old for medical school.

10 years ago I had just broken off my engagement to a man who I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with.   My father really didn’t like him which should have been my first clue.  When we split up I became terribly depressed and made some really bad choices in the men that I dated and the friends I chose.  If I could go back and follow my own advice?  Well, today I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this or would I?  I’m a firm believer in “all things happen for a reason”.  Besides, I wouldn’t want to go back and do it all again, I barely made it out the first time.  – Jenn, 38, Belarus

It was a Thursday, a day much like every other Thursday. A day full of conference calls, overhead pages, phone calls, complaints, resolution and red wine. I turned off the office lights, set the alarm and headed outside. It was just beginning to snow. The forecast was for at least 8 inches by morning and more throughout Friday and the weekend. Great I thought, another weekend at work.

I entered through the back door like I did most every night. I approached “the table” and decided this wasn’t a table night; I’d sit at the bar. I spotted a seat at the side bar and as I approached my drink was skillfully slid in to place, Corona Light, with lime.

“Thanks, Mark”, I said as I slid on to the bar stool. “No problem, this one is from the guy at the other side of the bar. I glanced over. “Which one?” “The one in the flight suit, Mark said. Oh Shit! I thought to myself, not another one of “those” drinks. I hadn’t been in the bar more than 5 minutes and already the drinks were coming. “Please tell him I said thank you, and I’ll take a menu please”. This bar was located in a hotel and the hotel was located very close to a military installation so very frequently airmen, sailors, soldiers and marines on temporary assignments would find this hotel home for weeks at a time, and would try to find a girlfriend or two to keep them occupied during this time. I was not interested in being one of “those” girls. (more…)

The contents of my bag changes from day to day based on where I am going or what I’ll be doing.

This is my market/out for dinner bag:


Vera Bradley’s Hipster in Mod Floral Pink.  This is my bag for days when I don’t need a lot of extra stuff, my wallet, cellphone, lip gloss, comb, hand sanitizer, fingernail file, keys, kleenex, Russian cheat sheet, a pen, gum and a compact.  That’s it! 

On days when I’m heading for language class I break out this bag:


Vera Bradley’s Villager in Java Blue.  In this bag is everything mentioned above AND my date book and language book.  If I’m going sightseeing I take everything mentioned above and toilet paper, handwipes and my camera.  Gotta love the Villager!  I can also fit a small knitting project bag in here even with all that other stuff!  Again, gotta love the Villager.

I guess what my bag says about me is that right now I’m in the necessity only phase, but not willing to compromise on quality.  The best thing about these bags….when they get dirty just throw them in the washing machine.   I don’t even care that they don’t match my outfits.  That’s how I roll. (I’ve always wanted to say that).  Jenn, 38, Belarus

I did not put “The Sound of Music” in my original list of favourite things, but I think I should have.  Scott and I are planning a trip to Munich, Germany in February and I’m hoping to be able to get over to Salzburg, Austria to take the Sound of Music Tour.  I want to sing the songs and spin around on a mountain just like Julie Andrews.

If we don’t make it there in February, I’ve asked for the trip for my birthday in June (which may actually be better for spinning on the mountain)!  Bose home theater system for him, Sound of Music tour for me…that’s fair I think.  – Jenn, 38 Belarus

Since this posting challenge was presented back in December I’ve been thinking. What are the rules I live by? Where do I draw the lines that define my personal moral code? I really have given thought to these questions almost everyday. Today, I’m putting my thoughts down and moving on.

Until recently there were no real “rules” in our house. No rules unless you count, “if the bathroom door is closed, do not enter unless you have an invitation” as a rule. If you count that, then we had one. I’ve always been the kind of person that treated people the way I wanted to be treated so I guess you can say I live by the Golden Rule, you know, “Do unto others…” – that is my moral code!

New House Rules for 2008 and beyond:

1. Dinner is at 7:00pm.

2. If you will not be home for dinner please call.

3. Do not set your alarm for 7:00am when you do not intend to get up until 9:00am.

4. Underwear is not appropriate dinner attire.

5. Step out of the shower on to the tub mat, not the toilet contour rug!

6. If the bathroom door is closed, do not enter without an invitation.

7. Do not leave dishes in the sink. Put them in the dishwasher.

8. Do not lie, a lie is anything that is not the truth!

So there you have it. Crazy as it seems. I feel much better now.

Jenn, 38, Belarus

It has been two weeks since I’ve posted and I honestly don’t have a reason except for laziness. Until this afternoon I thought I wouldn’t be posting for another week or so, but something struck me today and I feel the need to put it down while it’s fresh.

I was standing in the LONG line at the grocery store today and I just started thinking about the year that is coming to a close and reflecting. Reflecting about what I’ve decided has been the most stressful of my 38 1/2 years.


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