About this blog

Bittersweet Nugget is for anyone who has ever questioned whether they should be on a different path. Anyone who has considered taking a big leap and then hesitated. Anyone who has struggled to climb out of a rut. Anyone who has wondered if they should be reaching a little higher or making room in their life for something that’s missing.

Perhaps you long to do more, feel more, even be more. You know it’s time to shake things up: Time for fresh goals and a plan to achieve them. But you’re not sure how to get started. You might even feel a little guilty for wanting something “better” than (or on top of) what you already have.

Outspoken bird in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

That’s where I found myself not long ago, and that’s why I started this blog…to document my attempt to stretch myself and experience all the interesting bends and branches in life that are calling to me.

Before I arrived at this place, I spent decades getting over my lack of self-confidence and the shyness and anxiety that came with it. I coached myself, went to therapy, and pushed myself to do things that intimidated me. Slowly, I became more comfortable with and even proud of myself. I learned that being insecure is not only a barrier; it’s kinda boring and a waste of time and energy.

Once my confidence was built up (but still growing—it will always be growing), I took some time to chill. For about eight years I took it easy on myself. Don’t get me wrong, I accomplished some stuff during that time: got married, bought a house, sold that house and bought another one, moved my mom hundreds of miles to live with me and my husband, joined a gym (twice, and quit twice), and found a new job.

But now I’m ready for a new journey—eager for a shift in how I spend my time and tend to my spirit. My goal is to shape a life that works for me in the best way possible. I am committed to fine tuning the right balance of productivity, progress, playfulness, and peacefulness in my days on this earth (more about my “4 Ps” to come).

Bittersweet Nugget is where I am recording this phase and sharing the endeavor with others. I hope this blog inspires those who need to take that next step themselves. This blog is also a space to share ideas that have been kicking around in my head, as well as my photos, my love of music, my budding connection with nature, an occasional nod to food, and possibly more.

There will be some candid reflections on life’s difficulties and the occasional venting session, but my aim is to be mostly positive, optimistic, and constructive.

The Short Version

Metal 5 at Blacksmith’s Garden in Frederick, Md.

To sum things up, and because I’ve always loved a good list, here are the five big reasons for the existence of Bittersweet Nugget:

1. Writing: I need to do it more often—and not just the lists that I obsessively scrawl down and peck out, but real, personal, brave writing.

2. Journey: Sharing my adventure of stretching and balancing holds me accountable and might throw off a spark that someone else has been seeking.

3. Ideas: All the private brainstorming I do needs an outlet somewhere!

4. Photography: Images can add a whole other dimension and depth to a written message, plus I enjoy the creative challenge of finding just the right one for the message.

5. Fun: Silliness, foodstuff, playlists, and additional reasons for living will often find a home here.

Why the name “Bittersweet Nugget”?

Chocolate from The Perfect Truffle at Black Ankle Vineyards, Mount Airy, Md.

The fact that I’m embracing the process of building a more fulfilling life after so many years of the same routine is, indeed, bittersweet—but that’s not how the name came to be. In fact, the balance between light and dark has long intrigued me.

This blog will chronicle my fumbling around as I reach for the joy in life while acknowledging and attempting to learn from the pain. And I do hope that I am able to capture those stunning moments when bitter and sweet are deeply intertwined.

But “Bittersweet” what? Well…we humans are each mere nuggets within a vast world. And this planet that we happen to live on is just one nugget in a great universe. Realizing how small and insignificant you are can be discouraging, but it can also be moving, motivating, and freeing.

So, this message came together in a way that spoke to me, and I hope it will speak to others: Never stop looking for things that will light the fire at your core. You only have one bittersweet nugget of a life—make the most out of it!

The quick rundown on me

Lying in a field at Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Mount Airy, Md.

Born in Philadelphia, I was hauled away at a young age to a boring small town in Florida. Perhaps the dullness led to my love of a good story—both told and heard. I knew I wanted to be a writer starting when I was about 11 years old. I also discovered around the same time that I loved taking pictures. Majoring in creative writing did not, however, lead to my becoming a famous novelist, as I had dreamed.

I did make the dream of moving to New York City come true for myself, and it was every bit as exhilarating as I had hoped. There, I landed a job working in television advertising—the sales and ratings side, not the creative side. After seven years living in Hell’s Kitchen and a too-brief six month residence in glorious Brooklyn, off I went to live in Maryland.

Next up was 18 years working in communications at a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., and I followed that up with a five-year stint working in marketing for a company that provided online public education.

Moving to a new home in a wooded area on a lake has served as a critical catalyst in this next phase of my life. At last, I have put down real roots—amidst the cycles of nature and so much beauty it almost breaks your heart. I am an enthusiastic cook, a recent kayaker, longtime cat lover, and semi-recovering TV addict.

As of March 2022, I am the proud author and self-publisher of my memoir, My Unfurling: Emerging from the Grip of Anxiety, Self-Doubt, and Drinking. You can order my book here and sign up for my newsletter on my author website.

Also check out my Sources of inspiration for a long list of interesting resources.