There are things that make us proud of our parents. For many years I have been proud of the kind of people they were, and what hey taught me. I am proud of their professional accomplishments and how many lives they touched as well. Recently I fond another reason to be proud of my wonderful father.
Dad was a professional engineer and had an amazing career. He thing everything from designing the control systems for ballistic missiles, to the control systems and equipment for nuclear power plants, to designing many inventions and then having his own firm. And he designed the family compound, which was hit pretty hard by the hurricane.
The storm was a category 4 when it hit, maybe a high cat 3. And yet, the only damage to any of the buildings is where the trees made contact. Nary a shingle out of place other than that. My father designed and built everything so strong and solid, that it all withstood the storm. There was a lot of damage sustained from the trees, but the windows are all in tact, the structural integrity of the buildings still fine.
And I am so very proud of him,my father. I just want to give him a big hug and tell him how brilliant he was to know that the family home would need to be built to last through a storm like that. And I love him all the more.
And isn’t that also the case with life? That we are stronger than we think and capable of handling even the toughest of hurricanes in life? Through hard work, faith and prayer.
We all have those moments that give us pause. And sometimes they can come from the strangest places. Like last night. It is a tag line I heard while the TV was on in the background. It was an interview with Deepak Chopra’s new book, What are You Hungry For? And suddenly my ears perked up and time stopped for a moment. In this time of transition, it is a timely question. And it made me think…
What am I hungry for? In short, on word cam e to mind: Life. I am hungry for life. But on my terms, which, let’s face it, doesn’t always happen. So how do we navigate this game called life when the terms are not always our own? Well,I don;t know what works for everyone, but for me it is prayer. Because I a not the most patient person, I am not the most gracious, or graceful.
So I have to pray for those things. Because I want what I want and I want it now. And I am constantly playing chess so to speak. Meaning that I am always planning 2-3 (or more) moves ahead. I am constantly working and planning and adjusting. While it may seem like I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, and in many ways I am, the risks I take have been calculated. The spontaneous plans are because I have done the leg work already, and the odds are in my favor – even if no one sees it but me. Because I have been planning all along.
But that takes work. And a lot of prayer and faith. But Ia m hungry, for all that this life has to offer. I am hungry for these pans I have to work out, for the adventures the experiences, the thrills and the chills. I am hungry for it all. After the last few years I feel a if I have been starving, and I can smell a five start seven course meal.
But hungry for more than that, I am hungry for warmth, and love and friendship and laughter, and trust and loyalty and deep embraces and stability. I am hungry for food for the soul and healing. I am hungry for all that my family of choice have to offer and what I can share with them as well I am ready to get on with it.
Everything I want, everything for which I have prayed, is within reach. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I jut have to make it to the finish line. And I pray that it all works out, because in the end it always does. And when it does not work out on your terms so to speak, then just adapt. Make it your terms and work with what you have, Because the Universe loves a stubborn heart.
Life is short. Feast on what you are hungry for. Feast on what will feed your soul and heart.
Sometimes we look at our life and feel like we have made no forward movement. Almost as if we are living the same day, or month, or in in my case, year over again. It’s like the movie Ground Hog Day…
And that is how I have felt this week after reading several blogs that have come up in my memories. They talk about all of the things that I wanted to do in the past year. They talk about all the plans, that have yet to come to fruition. And I wonder, what have I been doing this past year? Taking care of everything and everyone for which I was responsible. Not much got done this past years, not much of what I wanted to do anyway…
I never thought it would all still be dragging out a year later. And I do not want another year of the same. I want a year of what I planned last year. Indeed, the closing on the family compound was supposed to be tomorrow…and God willing, it will be rescheduled after the repairs from the hurricane damage are complete.
But many things have changed in the past yer, and yet the more things change the more they stay the same – I am still taking care of the estate and the compound, I am still shopping for contracts, I am still going away for Christmas (the exact plans I had last year that I had to cancel), I still have a crush on the same artist, still still planning to unpack the garage, still trying to workout more…
But instead of thinking about it being wasted time, or a wasted year…it is as if I have been given a do-over. Everything that I wanted to do last year, but could not because of all the responsibility. It is the do over year.
So what would you differently if you had a do over? Well, this year I will be more careful about with whom I share my time. Helping is fine, but being full on responsible for another is a different story. I am not going to mother any adults this year. And I will not be as tolerant of other’s issues. I will be selfish enough to make sure that I work on my dreams, not everyone else’s. I will be more fierce in what I want, and not entertain what I don’t. I did far too much of that this past year, and it got me no where but aggravated. And I will be able discern when to be soft, because life is about balance.
This year has been a learning year, and now I get to apply all the knowledge and wisdom. I get to pic up where life left off at this time last year, and do what I wanted to do then, now. The sale of the property, the man, the traveling, the adventures, the laughter, the love, the thrill of it all…Because something this past year has taught me is that life is too short to waste a do over.
So follow our conscience, take the risks, make the changes, kiss the girl, tell the guy how you feel. buy the shoes, wear the lipstick and make some noise. And pray and have faith, above all else, that everything will work out in the end. My friend’s passing taught me again that we should not take any moment for granted. And this year will be everything that life has to offer.
There is an old saying that says man plans God laughs. And I don’t think I have ever witnessed more of an example of this then the last 48 hours or so.
I was a grand plan that I had. After 2 years of being up for sale, the family compound finally had a buyer and the closing date of October 24th. And It was such a relief to think that another family might have this beautiful wonderful property. To be able to pass it on to another family, and be able to let go and have closure of the past 2 years was something of significance to be celebrated. And oh what a list of plans I made for after the sale.
This time was to be the start of my new life, of My New Self, and my new dreams, after having to survive in the new normal without my parents. And since I could not change it, I decided to embrace this new life that I have been given. And I would not only what I embrace it, I was going to celebrate it and make it worth my time. And then…
And then the third strongest hurricane in the United States, and the first one that had gone up through Georgia since the 1800s, hit. Two weeks before before the closing of the sale of the family compound, a freak once a century, almost Category 5 hurricane, comes barreling through the Gulf leaving a huge path of Destruction along its wake. And in its wake, is my parents compound.
At first the damage didn’t seem that bad, but that was in the dark. It’s true the truth comes out in the light of day. Five trees crashing the roofs of three dwellings. The office completely buried by a tree to the point where we cannot even determine the extent of the damage. Almost every tree in the backyard completely down and laying on the ground. “Warzone” is the phrase that has been used to describe how it looks.
There is no electricity, there is no water, there is no air conditioner, there is no internet, nothing. Many thousands without power after this massive hurricane came through. Just two weeks before the closing.
To say that this has been an emotional roller coaster might be an understatement. Many emotions, in no particular order, anger at the fact that after 2 years we only had two weeks to go and now this. Frustration at the fact that we were so close, at the same time feeling so completely blessed because things could have been so much worse and are worse for many people. Disappointment desperation, here wondering if we’re going to be able to get the repairs done in time. So many things going through my head that it makes it hard to sleep.
Yes God laughed at my plans and showed me that he had other plans. Except I’m not sure what those other plans are yet because as of right now the only plans I have are to try to clean up from the massive storm. And try to clean up my life now that the plans that I originally made, must be edited.
Many people say that things happen for a reason. Right now I’m not exactly sure what that reason is, but after a tall glass of wine and a full night of sleep, I am feeling much better. And if you can’t beat them, join them! There is nothing that can be done about the damage except to clean it up. There is nothing that can be done about the delays to the closing, except just to roll with the punches. And so, I will simply celebrate these things in life and have faith that they will lead to good things. Eventually.
Life is short. And sometimes it is messy. And sometimes a hurricane rolls right through our plans. Pick yourself up, dust youself off, and clean it up.
Some decisions in life have more weight than others. But no matter what we do or which we choose, we can always change our minds again and make another decision. I have recently made a rather big decision, and it was the first one that I have made, just for myself, in nine years. For nine years I have had others to consider with my decisions. what would they want, what would be best for them, and I must keep promises made to them.
But now, there is no one and nothing else to consider except for answering one questions: What do I want? And it feels wonderful. And so I decided where I would make my fresh start. As any good real estate agent would say, it is all about location, location, location! And so it is. And I have chosen one.
This is a large country, and it can be a bit intimidating to be ale to choose from any of the 49 states in which you do not currently live. But one place stood out more than any other. A perfect location between my friends here, and those further north. A perfect place where I already know those who love me, and whose family already feels like home.
Indeed there are giggles and plans of eats, treats, outings and planning, There are promises of match-making and girls days out, and lunching and living. There are shrieks of happiness and celebration that I will be closer to others, and those who are farther can easily visit.
This new place is where I will have the fresh start, build my businesses, find love, life and pursue happiness in earnest. It is where I will once again feel family around and have friends visit.
And while it is extremely exciting and exhilarating, it is also terrifying beyond belief. This is it, this is what I have wanted. This is what i have worked so hard to do. To quit corporate America to build my own dreams. Holy crap. This is where the rubber meets the road. The corporate job is always there as a backup, but otherwise, this is me…
And all those insecurities that whisper in my ear. Can I do this? Will I do this? what if I fail? Have a chosen the right place? Should I have chosen the other place? But my faith will hush them, and I will move forward, keeping all that Atlanta has been to me and taught me deep in my heart. Keeping my parents memories deep in my soul, hoping that I make them proud in this new life, as I silently tell them that I love them with each breath.
So this is it. Sink or swim. Fly or fall. I am stepping out of my comfort zone, to reach for everything that is on the other side of fear. To become. So take chances, take risks, don’t play it safe. Better to have tried and failed than to be on your deathbed wishing you had…Take the vacation, quit the job you hate, kiss that girl, or ask that man out, tell someone you love them (or even just like them). If this life is what we make it, then don’t make it boring. Make it spectacular.
Life is short. And if it doesn’t scare the crap out of you now and then, you aren’t doing it right.
A fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning. We are all in need of them at some point in our lives. And why not? They say every day is the start of a new day with endless possibilities. At least that is what I was taught. It is never too late for a new beginning, or to change direction or to change your mind. And if you find that you were wrong? Just start again. There are an unlimited number of starts in life.
And that is a good thing. How many times have we ourselves, or someone we know, changed their career, living space, or life, because they wanted to start over again? But why would someone want to do that? Isn’t rebuilding or re-establishing hard?
Yes it is, or it can be. But that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. And I think most people want a new beginning because they look at where they are and they are not happy. It is a feeling of “DIS” – displeasure, disengagement, disinterest, disappointment, disillusionment; a general feeling of disenchantment. And so they decide to walk away from the past and go straight for the future, because where they are doesn’t seem to have a future.
How does one go about that fresh start? I truly don’t know. Many times it starts with a new location. Indeed it is easier to start new, when in a new place. Whether it is moving where you have never lived, or going back home, a change of location has a psychological effect when it comes to starting over. There is something cathartic about unpacking in a new place, a new space, where there is no history, no memories and that blank canvass is entirely what you choose to make of it.
And if there is a new location, there is usually a new way of earning money, whether that is a new job or even a new career. This can be scary and exciting at the same time. Because we all have to live, we all need to have electricity, and food, and shelter. So figuring this one out is important. But if all those other people can do it, so can we.
And what of love? Whether running to or from, or neither, a fresh start can be good. A new beginning can refocus our time and energy, give us a chance to heal and develop past the past hurts. Many times we end up finding our hearts, whether through deep friendships that develop, romance, or simply by falling in love with our own lives. We can learn to love whole and fully in the new.
Most of all, a fresh start gives us hope. Whatever it is that we seek, is seeking us too. And the universe loves a person too stubborn to give up on their dreams. So go forth and seek. Don’t be afraid to start over. Because everything we want is on the other side of fear.
And so I pray, and I seek, and I hope, and I have faith. And I throw my entire heart into this, into my next chapter. With every breath and every heartbeat, I move forward. Oh, it is terrifying isn’t it? But you know what is just as verifying? Staying in the same place and never trying. So here I go.
Life is short, so join me, won’t you? And maybe together, all of us who are starting again, can watch out for each other, and cheer each other on, one step at a time.
There is a feeling that we all get from time to time. It starts out small, from deep within. Then it grows and grows until it is satiated. It is thirst. Thirst for life, for adventure, for love, a sense of knowing and feeling that were are alive. A sense of knowing that we are fully experiencing life. It is breaking out of the lonely or isolation and turning to your dreams, with your feet still on the ground. It is thirst for knowledge as well.
There is a wanderlust to see new places, experience new things, make new memories. Fresh air from fresh perspectives. Why do we go through phases of thirst? Maybe after a long, hard time, we need to break out. Maybe after feeling responsible for too much for too long. Or maybe just a simple need to feed curiosity and to learn new things. A thirst to mix in a bit of adventure into the every day. Take pictures of the strange pleases visited and have stories to tell around the hearth of a happy home.
I have always said that we must always be curious about life and the world around us. And that curiosity has created a deep thirst inside of me. I want to go and see and do and be. I want to break out of all that has passed and celebrate life at full force. Tired of waiting, patience has not always been my strong point, especially when I know what I want.
And that is perhaps one of the most difficult things for me, at this moment. To be ready and thirsty, but have to wait. Even just a little while longer. Trips are being planned, adventures to enjoy that will mark the start of a new phase of this life. Leaving all the old, tattered and torn behind, to step into and embrace what moving forward is all about.
But that does not always mean you must go far and away. And so closer to home there is learning the Tango, and going to new places to eat when meeting old friends. It is something to celebrate because the thirst also marks something else – the return of my curiosity, and the energy to follow it. The adrenaline junkie within me, sitting on my shoulder now, whispering in my ear.
But it is a thirst for more than adventure and excitement. It is a thirst for a fulfilling life. It is a thirst to do better and be better in every way. To work hard, play hard, and rest heard. To laugh as much as possible because there have been more tears shed than are even in the ocean. It is the thirst for balance. It is the search for deep love, acceptance, friendships, understanding, compassion and empathy. It is the thirst for the beauty and humanity in life. It is the thirst for enjoying the perfect small moments as well as having your breath taken away by what you never thought existed.
So here I am and here I go, drinking in every delicious moment of life, down to the last drop. The Fall air will (eventually) bring cooler temperatures, perfect for talking on outside patios and decks. My home finally settled, life is getting good. Thirsty for more, looking forward to a big tall glass, maybe even a pitcher, of all the future holds.
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