Answering the question, What happened to my friend Monica Stegall?

monica and I climbing mount tamalpais last november.

monica and I climbing mount tamalpais last november.

What happened to Monica could've happened to any of us at any given moment of time. This is why her accident is so tragic, heartbreaking, and scary. 

Monica had been working hard and long hours at her architecture firm -- normal for an aspiring Architect. Afterwards her and some coworkers went out for some needed fun, they grabbed a couple drinks and called it a night. They did what any responsible human being would do and ordered a taxi -- Monica arrived home safely, and dashed out of the car  -- she reached the Lobby of her apartment building, and this is where things become unclear as no one was behind her to see exactly how she fell.  We assume that she might of tripped, fell or passed out. Given the prior evening events we are concluding that having alcohol in her system effected her reaction time and she didn't stop her fall. Regardless of exactly how it happened, it was a horrible accident -- One that can happen to anyone.  

One of her coworker who'd shared the ride, along with the driver heard the fall and rushed to see what happened. They found her unconscious and in very bad conditions. They made sure not to move her and immediately called 911. She was promptly rushed to the hospital. 

This was Tuesday night. I'll spare you the details of her state during those first two days as they're the scariest aftermath I've ever seen or heard of from a simple fall. The good news is she wasn't alone. Her coworkers, Tim, Torin, Mom, and I were with her during those first few hours, and as the following day progressed, we watched her come back to life. 

The fall fractured her skull in two places and caused a brain hemorrhage. She was operated on immediately and from what we've gathered, we are lucky it happened in the city of San Francisco because we have some of the nations leading brain surgeons. 

How is she now? How long will she be in the ICU? Will she be the same Monica we all knew?

The doctors are slowly reducing the sedatives to watch her responses. They don't want her to wake up completely as she is still in very delicate conditions with devices on her that can't be moving around. However, she is responding to all stimuli, and doctors and nurses are very pleased with her progression. We also learned that because of her active lifestyle, doctors anticipate that it will aid in her recovery.  I'll make sure to remind her that our month's of crazy Insanity (a crazy workout program) is probably paying off right about now.

Once she is completely in stable conditions she will leave the ICU and be transferred to her hospitals Neurological Unit, where she can start the recovery process and we can start getting a sense of the extent of her injuries and how long she will be held in hospital care. The Hospital representative did warn us that brain trauma comes with a long road to recovery which can take as little as a few months to over a year.

What now?

Now we help Tim and Torin out because those guys will need all the help they can get (emotionally and with the everyday life things that Mom use to take care off). If there are any mommy's reading this, you know that is ALOT!

Thankfully her coworkers came up with a way to keep us all informed and engaged during the recovery process. 

Follow the link below and become a member. "Lots a Helping Hands" is a way for us SF locals and even friends from a far to support Tim and Torin during these hard times while mommy is recovering.  

https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/monica-tim-and-torin

The mushy Sad part....

I haven't cried yet (she probably be extremely shocked by this). I cry very easily, but something about seeing her in that bed, in that state, just screams to me this is not my friend. So instead I've been trying to keep it together and staying strong for Torin, her son. He was in my care the first two nights so I couldn't be too sad around him. I know once she eventually is conscious and recognizes me, her first words will make me lose it.  For now I've been writing her a letter a day to keep a journal of all that is happening while she is sedated. 

Our mutual friends know Monica is one of my rocks. We jokingly call each other Dear Diary (we are silly). We tell each other everything (like 10 year olds). We have no secrets amongst each other and we are never afraid to tell each other when one of us is being stupid. We know our friendship is strong and we only want the best for each another. I'm currently num and cannot believe that this is happening. I know she'd feel the same if it were me. I'm trying to stay positive but the fear of the unknown does keep me up at nights. I miss my friend. I want her back whole. I want her back with all her smarts, passion and dreams. I know she is strong and will come back soon. Like a selfish human, I day dream of the day that this is all behind us and her and I planning our next crazy adventure together and checking stuff off our joint bucket lists. Nevermind guys, here they come....I'm finally able to cry. 

UPDATE: For current status reports of her condition you can find them at "The Lot's of Helping Hands" link above. 

 

 

Should I Stay or Should I go go......

I came across this analysis of Renting vs, Buying in different states and thought it was very helpful for those living in Bigger Cities such as NYC and SF, as well as, other cities that you might be contemplating relocating to in the future. You can find more on their analyses over at Smartasset. If you actually go to their Rent vs Buy Calculator it differs from the chart below because it will use your own income numbers and give you a more tailored break even point. 

Knock Knock....Who's There? It's me...2016!

To discover what you really think and feel; to find inner peace and not let the world around you make you feel anxious or stressed; to actually question your dreams and passions, or what you excel at ... I’d love to share with you my own secret awesome sauce, tested during my year hiatus. No need to travel to India or join a monastery. 

For today's millenials, that might consist of the deletion of your most used social app. There is no app that will bring you inner peace, self awareness, self forgiveness, and life gratitude. This can only be achieved by performing a social media detox….imagine that, it’s an actual thing these days. No cayenne pepper, lemons, nor maple syrup required.

To understand people, the world, and become more compassionate in life, you must first completely get in tune with yourself, here’s how:

1. Actual Human interaction: Put down that phone, unless you’re actually calling someone.  Remember that technique?. Start talking to people again -- even strangers.

2. Read: Load up audible with a ton of books that cater to your profession and personal pursuit (for inspiration). I suggest audible because sitting down to actually read a book is a luxury not many of us have.

My faves : How to Win Friends and Influence People, Please understand me II, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 18 Min, Start with the Why, The Lean Startup.

3. Move: Start moving that body again. Get your endorphins going. Dust of that activity tracker. Walk in the Sun.

4. Relax: Find a sacred place in your home that is just for you to meditate, pray, study, read. Anything that helps bring your racing mind to ease. NO TV!

5. Have Goals: Make a list with an actual pencil, and write down your short and long term goals. Read them out loud, visualize success and completion. Stop living with regrets. Start by making short term goals that will start moving those action items forward. Now look at a calendar, give yourself some deadlines. Best thing about this, if you don’t reach your deadlines, learn to forgive yourself and pick up where you left off.

6. Stay organized: Make several to-do’s list so that you aren’t stressed about the list not progressing to deletion. There should always be an “immediate 2-do”, a “yearly to-do”, and a “if absolutely bored to-do” list.

This also helps at work. Set up your own work strategy so you can be as efficient as possible while at the office. Thus allowing more time for family and friends. There are some amazing books on audible about work efficiency. You don’t want to be on your deathbed and wish you’d lived more and worked less right?

7. Chew: Stop stressing about diets. Learn to love real food again, cook more. Don’t use food to fuel voids in your life. Drink water, chug it if necessary. 

8. Be Grateful: Take one minute of your day to completely engage in the present and be grateful for being healthy and alive.

9. Rituals: Don’t skip your nightly ritual, don’t have one? Start one. Clean your face, Brush teeth, FLOSS etc etc. This sets up your entire night for a restful sleep. Be under those covers by 10:30pm.

10. Forgive: Learn to shake off all the unnecessary baggage. Forgive yourself, you are only human, with flaws. No one is perfect not even Gwyneth Paltrow. Stop the train of thought that if you had this, or did that, that you’ll wait until this happens etc etc. Stop it now. Take a deep breath, forgive your flaws and move forward.

I guess this is my life manifesto. A comprehensive gathering of my life strategies uncovered after a year of social media absence. I barely watched the news in 2015 and seldom (compared to my past usual) posted pictures on Instagram.

I had the most amazing, peaceful, stress free year. Granted I cut my working hours and spent more time at home raising Rebecca. But as I came to realize, stay at home moms have their own issues while raising active toddlers. I have an entire new respect and appreciation for all those Ladies. I plan on going back to full time employment soon, but grateful that I had the chance to take a step back and gather my thoughts while developing my own life coping strategies.

Happy 2016!

2015 New Year's Resolution

Baby R and i in a richard serra at lacma

Baby R and i in a richard serra at lacma

Last year was full of new experiences. The obvious biggie, becoming a mother to my smart cute little nugget Baby R, as well as, contracting for 3 different Architecture firms. Let's just say it was exhausting and exciting.

But now here we are...2015.

For the last couple weeks I've been thinking which life goal would be fun %^&*( tastic to accomplish. In came my subconscious nagging...  "LG you need to get your ARE's done sometime this decade" -- A tiny life factor I love to procrastinate. But to my defense I was prepping when instead I found out I was pregnant...WHOOPS.

Now onto a more positive side, going through labor has given me a new life perspective -- I can do this! Yes I know it might take me 1-5 yrs. But I'd love get the ball rolling so others in my same situation can follow my lead. We can do this, let's get this $%^& done because life never slows down and we will always have obstacles. 

Personally I'm going to attempt the impossible for 2015 and this will entail some very strong will power, as well as, cocooning myself for a bit -- the sad reality of tackling professional goals (Goodbye Fun).  In addition 2015 will mark my 10th year anniversary of being on  Facebook, which sounds like a perfect time to go MIA. Some of you will be like just don't log on, don't post anything bla bla bla. But the truth is, sometimes in those quiet moments when life isn't hectic enough I sneak away into that blue F icon and get lost in a sea of baby pictures, engagements, smiles and the occasional angry rants and political comments. So with that said this 2015 I'd like to use all those seconds and minutes and engage more with my daughter, the real world, and my ARE flashcards. However, I cannot give up taking pictures and the occasional post on instagram, so I will not be gone for good.

On Jan 5th, 2015 I will commence my mission and my New Year's resolution treadmill will be turned on. I'm scared *^%$$#@ for this year, I'm not sure if I can pull this off, but here I go. I have nothing to lose but more sleep hehehe.

p.s If you watched this years New York City NYE countdown you might have noticed how the crowd instead of going wild when the clock struck 12 they were all too busy on their phones. I'm guilty of being that type of person. So instead of instagramming, facebooking, snapchatting and tweeting away the moment things occur. This 2015 I'm putting my phone down and rejoining society.

Archi - Tech

Laser Iphone Apps and Devices:

PREXISO LASER MEASURE

PREXISO LASER MEASURE

I'm probably late in the game on this discovery, so late there's been 3 generations of Iphones since. However it's still worth mentioning for those Gen Y archi's. Did you know that not only are there apps like RoomScan that allow you to use your phone to measure and draft a space, but there's also people who've devised a laser measure that attaches to your Iphone. Cool right? 

ROOMSCAN

ROOMSCAN

Con's: Room Scan draws up some crazy plans half the time and Prexiso's hardware will be outdated once Apple changes their power source plug.