Investment

If you’ve followed Val in Real Life over the last few years, you know I gave my recovery from the 2015 crash every ounce of energy and determination I possess. Even though I knew my body would never be the same, I refused to settle for anything less than the best possible outcome of a bad situation. My physicians have …

Stomping Grounds

Stomping grounds—the areas where you spend most of your time, the accessible places from your home base, your most familiar territory. For most of my life, my stomping grounds consisted of the humid southeastern temperate forests, the wet earth. It’s lush, ethereal, and enveloping. The air is dense, the landscape is verdant, and the scent of humus permeates every cell …

A Confession from a Friend

With my move to Nevada, I left behind friends I adore in Georgia. So in addition to spending time with Fred and George on my whirlwind visits, I try to pack in as much reconnection time with my tribe as possible. That’s a challenge for an introvert—something you might not realize I am. On my most recent visit, largely consumed …

A Walk on the Freeway in Carson City

It’s not every day you get to walk on a brand-new interstate. Pristine pavement. Sharp, fresh striping. Hundreds of bicyclists, roller-skaters, skateboarders, and runners whizzing by you. I had that very opportunity thanks to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). The last three, newly-constructed miles of I-580 in Carson City opened to traffic last week. Before our new freeway extension …

Celebrating Near-Perfect on Mother’s Day

I know, I know… it’s a Hallmark holiday. But my dear Fred happened to be born on Mother’s Day so I’m fond of it in my own way. And like birthdays which I consider personal new years, even contrived holidays have their place as a marker to review your time in this world. For all of our good intentions, hopes, and efforts …

Awake: Finding my Inner Thelma

I imagine most of you are familiar with the movie Thelma and Louise and its tale of two women finding their strength through a series of unexpected and escalating ordeals. In one of the most enduring scenes towards the end of the film, Geena Davis’ character, Thelma, says to Louise “I feel awake. Wide awake. I don’t ever remember feeling this awake. You know …

Motorcycling: A Metaphor for Life

Moto Metaphor - Val in Real Life

Throttle therapy is an amazing thing. Lately when I’ve been out on the bike to clear my head, I’ve been musing on how much motorcycling is a metaphor for life. The three concepts that come to mind are: Look where you want to go. Avoid target fixation. Lean and accelerate. Here’s the skinny for my non-rider friends.  And for my …

Living By Example

This month the good folks at Bon Bon Break kicked off their Fill Your Bucket series with some thoughts from me about living by example. In the aftermath of my recent ordeal, I shared with you why I will ride again but the bigger picture is that our children learn from the examples we set. Big and small, intentionally or …

Forty-three

Today marks another year under my belt. Like any year, forty-two presented it’s triumphs and challenges. I’m thrilled with the adventures I was able to have both solo and with the boys, though. For me, that’s the big picture as I look back at the year. And to that end, this year marks the beginning of a transition for the …

Stumbling for Words

You may have noticed I like to travel. I feel at home out in the world. It’s not always easy though and some trips are certainly better than others depending on logistics and conditions. I spent last week in Death Valley, a combined trip of camping with friends and a photography workshop. It’s there I found one of the sweet …