Tag Archives: Surprise

My Christmas Surprise (and the New WOW)

Sometimes life hits you with a surprise and it feels like a dream.

My friends, this is my story – and it is a very happy one.

As you know, my marriage ended in 2017 and my goal was simply for PEACE; to rediscover Brenda and reclaim her joy.  I wanted to become whole, authentic and to carve out a life that made space for my dreams, gave Spirit free reign and brought healing to my heart.

In none of the above-listed equations was a man-component envisioned.

The love story I was working on was the one with MYSELF.

Who knew that this very emphasis would unlock the door to meeting someone special?

It was QUITE a surprise.

But before we get to the good part, there were plenty of entertaining detours!

For months, friends encouraged me to “get back out there”…but I didn’t want to.  I just wanted to enjoy my peaceful apartment, go to Toastmasters meetings, dance at Zumba, hang at he CitySide lobby with my new friends and read good books in solitude.

I did all of that, but then I got a little bit lonely.

My friends, Larry and Brian, scolded me.  “It’s 2017, Brenda!  You need an online dating profile!”


Brian gently suggested that I open my mind; that I could be selective and set my boundaries.  That I could swipe and delete and be in control of the experience…and that I should at least TRY.

After some resistance, I became WordGirl22 on Our Time, Zoosk, and Plenty of Fish.

A series of painfully wrong dates ensued – one with a man that demanded that I “twirl for him” so he could see my physique.

I did not twirl.

After a week of thinking there were actually only tin cans instead of good catches in the fishing pool, I disgustedly looked through the latest photo gallery of candidates hitting “No…no…no…no…”

…but then, out of nowhere, “Hmmmmmm…..”

He had dimples.  I’ve always been a sucker for dimples.

Boldly, I wrote, “Nice dimples.”

And the rest is history.

The dimples were attached to a lovely man named Mark who has become my best friend and has made this holiday season both merry and bright.

I felt the need to share this with you because you have been with me for the lows, and I wanted to give equal time to the highs.  Plus, some of you have seen me posing with a handsome man on Facebook and “Inquiring minds want to know!”

So now you know.  My smile is higher wattage and the exercise of building a relationship is putting into practice all the internal spiritual lessons and healing I have sought this year.

What a happy surprise!

And an encouragement to all of you that, whatever pain you may have faced this year – on the other side of it is a gift that you could never have experienced any other way.

May yours show up soon!  (And when it does, please tell me about it!)

In the meantime, I talk about my supportive friend Kevin in this week’s video, and have for us all a perfectly DELIGHTFUL new Word of the Week:

Kevin is just one of the friends that turned my year from traumatic to tremendous.  Thanks, little brother!

Sending you all huge doses of love and DELIGHT.

May all of your dreams come true –



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Stuffy Noses and a Happy Surprise

During our Question Mark WOW (Word of the Week) last week I asked the universe for happy surprises – and boy did I get one when I least expected it (which is the true definition of a surprise, isn’t it?)

The un-happy surprise was the stuffy nose that led me to the doctor, that led me to the CVS to pick up antibiotics – the ONLY reason I would have left the house this past week.

Since I was out, I remembered dry cleaning needed to be picked up, so on my way home, I headed to my favorite local dry cleaner.  Bob in Gulf Gate has inspirational signs all over the place and is so kind he makes me feel like I’m doing something far more interesting than errands.

As I headed back to the car, I looked across the street and saw this sign: “These Quiet Sounds”…


Totally intriguing.

I felt like @#$%^ but couldn’t resist.  (Sometimes that little tug on the inside needs to be followed!)

Inside, such great clothes!  And a handsome young man, who turns out to be a designer of some of the very cool prints and T-shirts carried in the store:


Fabian Manzano was just so nice, creative, warm…and now here comes the surprise:


His band, Boyce Avenue, has over 8-MILLION (yes, million) You Tube subscribers and they play sold out concerts around the WORLD.

What rock have I been hiding under?

They started out (it’s three brothers), recording covers of popular songs, which went viral – and that opened the door for their original music to be heard.

And the music is SOOOOOOOOOOO good.  I hope to do a full fledged interview with Fabian in the near future, but in the meantime, I encourage all of my Sarasota friends to visit his very cool store in Gulf Gate.  (And next visit I hope to meet his wife, who is pregnant with their first child!  Doesn’t it give you all the feels?  It did me.)

And my happy surprise would NEVER have happened if not for my un-happy one.  Go figure!

Here are my final thoughts (stuffy nose and all) on last week’s WOW as well as the new one!

So in the spirit of HARMONY, I leave you with one of my favorite original songs by Boyce Avenue (Fabian in playing guitar in the background).  You will love it – it’s well worth the click (and will give you goosies):

Have a beautiful, harmonious week, everyone!



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