I don’t usually do these personal newsy items,  but since there’s been so much change in my life the past couple of years I thought I’d bring you all up to date!

As most of you know, my divorce was final at the end of last year. That probably has been the biggest change, learning to live as a single person again after nearly 20 years has been an interesting challenge but not necessarily a bad one. I’ve stayed on in the St. Paul house where I’ve lived since 1991 and it’s nice to have that constant in my life for nearly three decades. It’s an old Victorian, so it’s always had certain “unique” characteristics. For example every two years the pipes in the bathroom leak into the dining room, and in the winter my heating bill is sometimes bigger than my mortgage. It’s also haunted, as many of you know.  Right now there’s only one ghost and it’s the quiet one so that’s a positive although the seances aren’t nearly as fun.  Oh, and I guess I’m also haunted by the ghosts of two ex-husbands but I’m working on that in therapy.

My birthday this year hiking at Afton State Park.

I’m down to two dogs in the pack, as sadly Bart passed away in late 2018. Duchess (the furry one in the pic) is 11 now and just as smart as ever. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Jack, who does not seem to be getting any more intelligent with age.  He does have some good qualities though, he’s a major snuggler and seems to be quite empathic. If he can stop howling wildly at topknots and people in hats, he might just make a decent therapy dog. Dare to dream on that one.

Moderating a keynote for PRSA.

On the professional side, my little company Wax Marketing had its biggest year ever in 2019, and 2018 was a close second. For the past few years my business has been heavily weighted in the manufacturing and healthcare sectors.  The former has been greatly benefited by the current orangeministration while the second is helped by the fact that we’re all getting so damn old. So I feel like I’m focused in the right areas for now, but I’ve added a couple of new nonprofits that make things more meaningful than the mere pursuit of profit. (Not that I don’t love the pursuit of profit, you all know green has always been my favorite color.)  I’ve been doing some speaking too, which has been fun. I don’t sweat nearly as much as I used to before those things which is nice for me, and for anyone else nearby. 

At the clinic in Moab November 2019.

As far as being single is concerned, I’ve ventured into dating and can report that I’ve met some really nice guys along the way – and I’ve gotten out and done a lot of fun things in the past year. That includes anything from enjoying the local live music scene, to riding my bike all over the Minnesota trails, to traveling for work and pleasure. This year alone I’ve been to Vermont, Moab, San Diego, Scottsdale, and Colorado for work and fun, and met some amazing new friends along the way. Riding horses continues to be a passion, and I’ve gotten to to do some real cowgirl stuff this year. The photo you see is from a cow cutting clinic in Utah, which doesn’t involve knives but instead chasing young cows around an arena. I’m spectacularly bad at it but it’s fun. I’m even signed up for a safari – on horseback! – to Kenya in September of 2020. My sister is sure I’ll fall off my horse and get eaten by a lion but I figure if that happens, what a way to go.

There has been big news on the health front too and I’m happy to report that 2019 was a milestone for my health as well – I passed the five year mark from my cancer diagnosis and consider myself cured. Also, this November I achieved 32 years of sobriety. As all of you know, I have nothing without my sobriety and I’m so grateful for my recovery and the gifts of the recovery community.

When someone asks “Bonnie, are you happy” the answer is a resounding YES. I’m blessed with incredible friends, a business that is still going strong after 18 years, lovable pooches and strong relationships with everyone in my family. I’m so grateful for everyone’s support and love over the past couple years. It’s been stressful but evolution usually is. I can’t complain, and I’ve got HUGE plans for 2020 – so watch out world.

Much love to everyone reading this. I hope it’s been a terrific holiday season and that you all have a Happy New Year!

Bonnie