Saturday, March 31, 2012

There Are No Coincidences

So I opened this women's gym back in 2005.  I named it THE FITNESS CONNECTION.  Little did I know that Connection would be the operative word rather than Fitness.  I see approximately 70 women 2x a week (and a man!  Yes - men DO come and the women KICK their ASSES they get their ASSES kicked!  Trust me!)

When there is THIS much estrogen in one place?  ALOT gets accomplished.  Well actually - with my demographic, there is less estrogen than one would think.  LOL!  Afterall, most of my girls are either peri or in full blown YOU KNOW WHAT!  Ha!  

Anyway - back on subject...

My friend Robin sent this to me the other day and you know what?  My story that follows, really gets to the heart of this matter.  Here goes:

'Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.'

So here's the scoop.  As the years have gone by, it has been pointed out to me that my gym not only offers a great body to it's clients but so much more bang for your buck.  It offers:  Therapy.  Friendship.  Bonding.  Encouragement.  Sympathy.  Empathy.  AND INFORMATION!  I can not tell you HOW many connections are made on a weekly basis. 

 Need a painter?  You'll find it at The Fitness Connection.  An orthopedic doctor?  The Fitness Connection.  Need a daycare?  The Fitness Connection.  A contractor?  Fitness Connection.  Need someone that wants a job?  You got it - THE FITNESS CONNECTION.  My girls have hooked up piano sales, painters, jobs, doctors, babysitters, clothes sales, dog sitters, exercise equipment, interior decorators, a masseuse, DOGS!  It's unbelievable.  The Fitness CONNECTION is more than just a gym.  Connections are made EVERY SINGLE DAY and it is mind blowing.  The following connection is so far, THE best ever.

One of my Tuesday/Thursday clients - I'll call her Irish Mist - was feeling ill in the middle of a workout a few weeks ago.  She felt a migraine coming on and decided to leave.  Irish Mist has a history of seizures and she had been complaining to her Neurologist and her internist about a vision issue for a few days but her doctors were not responding to her pleas.  

The next week, Irish Mist just happened to pop into a Monday/Wed class (not her normal day for class) to make up a missed class from the previous week.  After class she was asked by another client - who happens to be a neurologist - how she was doing.  Irish Mist started telling Dr. "Angel" what was going on with her and how scared she was and also shared her frustration with her doctors not taking her seriously.  Dr. Angel suggested she visit the emergency room.

Well - long story short -errrr, Irish Mist did just that and after tests showed something was going on, she was referred to a Neurological Opthamologist (NO for short) for follow-up and diagnosis.  Unfortunately, Irish Mist called 3-4 NOs and all had a 4-6 week waiting list!  One could DIE before one gets treatment in this country.  It's INSANE!

Anyway - Dr. Angel, being the awesome person she is, called Irish Mist a few days later to find out how she had made out.  Irish Mist explained the findings at the ER and  how upset and worried she was about the long wait to get in to see an NO.

A day later, Dr. Angel called Irish Mist back with a small miracle in her black bag.  She had gotten Irish Mist an appointment to see an NO the very NEXT DAY.  Do you get the picture?  Women?  Connection?  Results?  Un-F'ing-BELIEVABLE!  

I can not express the JOY it brings me to see these connections unfold daily in front of my eyes.

Epilogue:  I'm not sure this should be coined "epilogue" because we do not have the complete results of Irish Mist's condition but...the very night Irish Mist told her regular class members about this "gift" from Dr. Angel, she told us the current findings and ended saying she really needed to be on a prayer line.

After the class ended, I texted a mutual client/friend who knows Irish Mist AND Dr. Angel from The Fitness Connection.  I told her about what had happened with Irish Mist and how in awe I was at the connections at work in my gym.  This is what she texted back:

"I love love love Irish Mist.  She is one of my all time favs.  I will put her on the prayer line..."  


My friends?  There truly are no coincidences...


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I, Of Course...

A few days ago I received this text from my friend, Christine.

I, of course, SQUEALED smiled from ear to ear!  She told me she was in Homegoods and thought of me.  I, of course, SQUEALED immediately texted back, "Can you buy me it???!!  I'll pay you back!"  Ummm - did I ask how much???  Eventuallyyyyy....

Thank you, Christine!!!

Check it out!


I have THE best friends!!!!!! ♥♥♥

Saturday, March 24, 2012


My family has not been at all close through the years.  I have 4 brothers.  Two older and two younger.  We DO acknowledge each other's existence.  (Actually, my little brother (ha - yea, little - ummm 50?) and I have always been close.  But I refer to the family as a whole.)  Some of us came together a few times a year at our parent's house or to celebrate one of my kid's birthdays but more often than not, it was a quick wave on the road, or news received through our parent(s).  I'm not sure why it is that "things" are like that but it IS, what it IS and after years of stressing over it, attempting to make it "nice", staying Switzerland neutral, I finally gave up and just went about my life and accepted we weren't the Waltons and we never would be. My nieces and nephew were in and out of my life from a young age but as they got older, sightings were far and few between.  My father's death has changed all that a bit.  I think it brought most of us closer together and I am quite content with that.

But one thing has really brought me GREAT JOY.  I have spent some quality time, recently, with my nieces, Erin and Kelly, who are 21ish and 36ish? (LOL - I don't even know!!!) I LOVE THAT!!!!!  I have had such fun being with them!

We are all ravenous readers and often read the same books and give each other recommendations.  Yesterday, we went to see The Hunger Games together on opening day.  (AWESOME job making that book into a movie, BTW!)  I had breakfast with Erin in the morning and then the three of us met up and sat in the theater blabbing, blabbing, blabbing before the movie.  We are all at such different stages of our lives so it's VERY interesting!  Erin is finding her way through her twenties and keeps us rolling our eyes  LAUGHING alot!  Kelly is successfully rising through the ranks of the corporate world and raising her gorgeous 4 year old son with her husband Justin.  And then there's ME.  Haaaaaa - well - need I say much about that - all you dedicated, entertained readers out there??  You get the picture.

The point is, as I think back on our conversations yesterday and then recall our last Dudek girl day making Grandpa's pierogis just before Christmas, my heart is happy and excited and very grateful to have this precious time with my blood girls.  We ARE the Dudek girls.  The only ones.  And we have found each other.   I am so joyful about this!

Oh wait!  I just realized - there are 2 MORE Dudek girls coming up the ranks!!!  My 10 year old daughter Brooke and also my almost 2 year old great niece, Taylor.  I just realized that THEY are Dudek girls, too!  Taylor is my nephew Nathan's daughter - Kelly's niece.  Any family tree experts out there?  Is my nephew's daughter considered my great niece??? 


 Wow - I love that realization!  There are FIVE Dudek girls!   

I love you Dudek Girls!!!!!!♥♥♥  I am so happy we are who we are!  

(We need some pictures, ladies!!.  Let's not forget on Easter!  We need a picture of the three of us and then another of the FIVE Dudek girls!)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What a Day!

It's March 20th and topping 70 degrees in New England!  I sat on the beach in my bi-ki-ni bathing costume 
both yesterday AND today.  Lord knows, I needed to sit in the sun and bake after the past 7 months.  Most certainly caught JOY as those sun rays warmed my body. 


I got home from the beach around 3pm and found an email waiting for me that completed my day.

It was from a new client who wanted to tell me,  "...thank you for the work you are a real pro, and a gift to the community as well." 

Are you KIDDING me?  I LOVE this girl!!!!  LOL!!!  And you know what?  It reminds me that we should really go out of our way more often and tell people something good about themselves.  Because no matter how many times you hear it? It always brings you JOY and makes your day.  EVERY TIME!  (Thank you Margaret!)  

And thank YOU Mother Nature...for restoring my soul.


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Yesterday I was on the road and starving.  I saw a little storefront called Leoni's Italian Foods and decided to stop and see what they had.  Now because I'm on this "no carb" thing, I knew my choices were limited.  But being literally weaned on  provolone cheese, spicy hard salami and homemade Italian bread, I was at least hoping to find a good Italian cheese - pungent Provolone, Italian Table...even a good chunk of Parmesan would have done the trick.  (The GREAT thing about my new "diet" is I get to eat FULL FAT dairy!  Have you ever had full fat yogurt in this crazy world of ZERO fat everything?  To die for!)

So I walk in and I wasn't immediately struck by the place.  Small, an unremarkable deli case - just NOTHING.  Until I looked a little closer at the deli case and saw a small pile of cut up cheese wheels.  "What kind of cheese?"  I asked.  The guy was nice and told me all of the above - provolone, Italian Table...

So I asked if the provolone was strong and he told me he would give me a sample.  He pulls it out and cuts me off a nice size slice.  I bite into it and it immediately transports me back to Grandma Ida's kitchen table, in the south end of Hartford - circa 1965 - where all of us kids are sitting with Gram stuffing our little faces with - what do you think - a lunch of provolone cheese, spicy hard salami and homemade Italian bread.

I ordered half a pound.  As he was cutting it, I had a brilliant idea and called out and asked if he could slice me a few pieces separately that I could snack on in the car.  He responded "Sure!"  When he came to the checkout, he said, "I cut you a few slices of Italian bread to eat with it also and here's a loaf at no charge also.  I made the bread this morning".


(Of course, that cheat meal was SCREAMING my name.  How can a girl refuse?)



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Live In The Moment

I can't tell you how many times I hear "live in the moment", "stay present",  "live life to the fullest".  As if it's such a simple thing to do...I can actually recall specific times in my life when I was "in the moment".  Trust me - they were AMAZING, but they are not numerous.  How to do this?  How to do this?  Do you just stand in your kitchen and say, "Ok - I am going to live in this moment."  Yea - can you say B-O-R-I-N-G...not so simple.

As you may or may not know, I am an orphan now my father passed away in November and my mother died in 2007. Over the past 4 months, along with my brothers, I have literally touched every item in my childhood home. Everything had to be sorted through to decide what to keep, what to toss and what to sell.  At the end of this process, there was a SH*Tload of "stuff" to sell.  Today is the estate sale.

Throughout these three months, there have been many emotional moments as well as cathartic ones.  Anyone that has gone through the process might know what I am referring to.  I certainly did not expect to have so many moments, but it turns out my mother saved EVERYTHING.  Receipts going back to 1947!  THOUSANDS of pictures, cards, mass cards, newspaper articles, kids drawings - it was endless.  What to throw away!!!!???

By the third month I was tossing things I wouldn't have expected to during the first month.  Truth be told, if I kept it, MY kids would be tossing it - mindlessly perhaps - after I die.  By the end of the first week, in conversations with my, oh so entertaining self, I was vowing to go home and start throwing crap away that was stored in bins in my basement.  By month 3, I had changed my mind.  Perhaps my children should have a peek through the window of the side of our lives they weren't privy to growing up?  That remains to be seen but is certainly something to think about.

Awhile ago I posted about the future day when I would lose claim to my parent's property.  That day may be coming.  Of course you never expect it to happen so soon...but it has.  I look at all the cars coming onto the property for the estate sale and my heart is weeping.

I feel so violated, for one thing.  This sale has been on my mind for weeks and I have gone thru a litany of emotions about it.  Bottom line?  On Monday, my childhood home will be bare, empty, gutted - just like me.  But I can't dwell on these feelings.  This too shall pass.  It is a joyless day for sure but it does make me think how hard it is to stay in the moment - moments that are JOYFUL are fleeting and we need to work on that.  I think back on my life and my relation to that house and I think how I should have stayed in the moment more.

But you know what?  That's not that realistic.  You are in the throes of growing up, fighting with siblings, yelling at your mother, getting yelled AT.  In addition are the happier memories - decorating the Christmas tree, eating Stateline potato chips on Saturday nights in front of the tv, listening to Dad whistle and sing as he worked, a smile on my mother's face, eating a favorite meal...there are gazillions of bad and good.  I'm not sure that you can live in the moment, growing up.  But what you CAN do is live in the moment NOW, when you riffle through the memories of your childhood.  Catch your JOY there.  And vow to be more present and catch more JOY going forward.

There is no easy formula for living in the moment.  But you will certainly know when you WERE!  Maybe that's the key.  That living in the moment happens.  It can't be conjured up.  When I figure it out?  You'll be the first to know.  Promise.


Friday, March 2, 2012