A year ago today I met the man of my dreams – This is pretty much how the rest of my life changed forever:

A year ago today at this time I was sitting in my office thinking about how I would go home early to shower and get ready for my so…rt-of-blind date with you. The photo on your online profile hardly did you justice but your savoir faire won me over for a meeting when I had never met anyone I hadn’t first talked to (or admittedly in my case interviewed) on the phone. I like a man that knows what he wants and goes after it without hesitation. I remember the dress, the shoes, the purse, the jewelry I wore – I changed them all a couple of times. I wasn’t quite sure how it would go so I was pretending not to care too much all the while I was still changing my outfits. I parked my car on a side street and sauntered into Soba thinking I would easily find you. A monetary panic set in when inside the door I didn’t see you. Then I remember spotting that chiseled profile sitting at the bar and thinking, “Is that him? If so, he is way better looking than his photo.” So I tapped you on the shoulder and asked, “Arnie?” And you turned to me with a composed yet pleased look and immediately wanted to get a table. I loved that. A get-right-to-it kind of guy. Other men would want to get to know you over drinks and cocktails in a less formal atmosphere at the bar. Not you. You were invested in an intimate evening. Fabulous!

I sat there glancing down at the menu without a clue as to what it said because I was so taken by how cute you were and the stature in which you carry yourself. None-the-less I pretended to read the menu. It must have taken us close to an hour to order with the waitress having asked us several times if we were ready. I chuckled to myself at the “and don’t bother us again” way you said, “No.” Two Riesling’s later I was trying to figure out how broad your shoulders were since I was certain they spanned the width of the table in that yellow and white oxford shirt with the cuffs rolled up. When you went to the rest room I tried not to let you catch me staring at the full body shot of you in those pants. And I loved your shoes. Great taste in everything! I checked my mirror as you were away from the table and thought – Is this real. Is this really someone I met on Match.com that is engaging, is into me and that I actually like?

That night I had been in a turmoil about a work situation and from the moment I described it to you, you were objectively in my corner. That won me over more than anything. You gave me sound advice and in a way addressed the situation as if it was personal to you. It showed me you had heart and could care. You could be emotional yet strong about what you care about. You had no issue about showing already that you cared to help me. Such a turn on. You shared the interesting nature of your cases and what they mean to you. You shared your German background and how that influences your decisions. You shared your views about online dating and how much you enjoy your children. Even though we had just met, I knew that night that I wanted to be someone you cared about.

Four hours later when they threw us out of the restaurant because even the cleaning crew was ready to go home you without hesitation walked me to my car. I tried not to swing my little box purse too far as my enthusiasm over getting to know nearly promoted my to whirl it over my head like a helicopter propeller. I thanked you again for a lovely evening and gave you brief hug and a kiss on the cheek as if to suggest, “This night was special for me.” I opened the car door and sat down as you waited for me to get in with your arm resting against my open door. I fiddled in my purse to find my keys and when I turned back at you I caught you staring at my legs. You quickly glanced at my face and I smiled inside. I loved catching you doing that. I thanked you again and I drove away as you walked back toward the restaurant to get your car. I wasn’t half a block down the street when I drew a fist down in front of my chest and said a very loud, “Yes!” I knew I wanted to see you again but would wait to see if you felt the same. The evening ended with childlike glee when I returned home and I received a text message from you asking me to let you know if I got home safely. At that point I knew I would see you again. And one year later I am the happiest woman in the world because I am going to be seeing you again for the rest of my life as your wife. I am honored and blessed to be your fiancé. And I will never forget that night a year ago when I met the man of my dreams.

I love you in every way.

Mary Lee Gannon helps people reinvent their lives so that they can break through to life balance with financial abundance using the strategies that took her from welfare to CEO.  She is a career and life reinvention coach and president of StartingOverNow.com. She has served as CEO of organizations with up to $26 million in assets within many complex systems over the last 14 years. She is a graduate of the Duquesne University Professional Coaching Program and an alumnus of the 2010 Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference. Her personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where she worked up to the level of CEO to support her family. She has been featured in Money Magazine, NPR, Yahoo.com, and U. S. News and World Report. She speaks regularly at conferences and presents Webinars on career strategy for RiseSmart and other national corporations.  Areas of Specialty: Life and Career Transition / Strategic Planning / Board Development / Executive Coaching / Healthcare / Public Relations / Meeting Facilitation / Leadership / Productivity. Her book “Starting Over” is available in bookstores, online or on her web site and her Life Reinvention System is available on her web site at www.StartingOverNow.com