The Happiest of New Years

Yes, it is that time of year again, then end of one and the beginning of another. Tomorrow the last day of this 2018, and I am not sad to say goodbye.  It has been a difficult year, and it seems that way for most I know,  Most years are filled with a mixture of good and bad.

But 2018, though better than the two years before, has been less than stellar.  But not only did I survive, I did so with dignity and Grace – yes, grace. I managed not to kill anyone, punch anyone in the throat, even when my greedy nephew got in my face. That alone is an accomplishment to be celebrated.

I said goodbye to one of my best friends this year, as she lost her battle with cancer.  By the time they found it, it has spread to everywhere just about.  I said goodbye to the family compound and to family period. I said goodbye to those toxic. And I am proud of that.

I also said goodbye to grief.  I will always grieve the loss of my parents, but I am no longer submerged in the exhausting daily battle.  I said goodbye to grief running my life.

But this is also the year that I said hello to finally taking care of y self again.  I said hello to indulging in small guilty pleasures that make me smile.  I said hello to exercise and PiYo, and running again.  I said hello to organizing and getting my life under control. And, this is the year that I said hello to him.

This next year holds all the promise of the New Chapter.  The old has been neatly tied up and closed. So I am also celebrating what is next and oh how that excites me! There are trips and love and adventures and life that is waiting. And I am more than ready.

There are no resolutions this year, only goals and things I know that I want and will do. Starting my new life my new businesses, my new goals, my new adventures. If this is my life, and we write our own story, then I am going wide open.

There is an energy around that has not happened in a long time.  It is the energy of Hope. The energy of knowing that all that you worked for, is coming for you, in spades.

So goodbye to 2018. And Hello to all that the future holds. It is going to be spectacular.  I have not been this excited for many years. And it is not just the excitement of the unknown; it is, fr the first time in a long time, the excitement of what I know is coming as well.

So here is to the last year – it didn’t kill us. And to the next – May it make us happier than we ever thought possible.

Life is short. Celebrate it.

The Best Christmas Gift

During the holidays it is easy to get caught up in all of the commercialism of gifts.  And it is fun to buy gifts for people, it is one of my favorite things about this season, but it is not the main reason to celebrate.  As a Christian, I indeed celebrate the birth of Our savior, but I also celebrate those who are close to me as well.  All to often the holidays are also a reminder of all whom we have lost through out the years.

Last Christmas may not have been the worst, but it was close.  So this year, I was determined to make this holiday season good. No, great.  And sometimes that is what we have to do in life.  We have to make a decision to enjoy ourselves.  We have to make an effort, every day, to smile. to be thankful, to be gracious. Because it could always be worse, which is not a theory I want to test after the last few years.

And when we make that decision to enjoy what is around us, our whole outlook changes.  Last year, as the first Christmas without both parents, there was not too much too enjoy, as grief seemed to not only be at the table, but on the couch, on the bed, and moved in completely.  This year, was going to be different, dammit.

So there was decorations, and a real tree, that leaned a little too far to the right. There were also friends invited over to enjoy. Because the holidays must be spent with those we love and who love us.  So it would be my family of choice, And they did not let me down. And more friends over for Christmas dinner.

And so it was Christmas day, and there was a flurry of activity from the kitchen.  One of my best friends and my man, all prepping and helping get food ready.  And there was a ton of food. All kinds of yummies.  I made some of my mother’s favorite things.

And when it was all ready, and the table was set, I saw how blessed I am.  There, sitting at the family dinner table I have been sitting at since I was a little girl, the table that is now at my house, were my family of choice. My best friends who had come to share in good food, good drinks and lots of love for Christmas.

And after the meal, when the left overs were taken home, and everyone’s had full bellies, and all had left for the night, I looked out again mt my wrecked, messy kitchen and saw the best gift ever – love. There it as, staring back at me through dirty dishes piled up in the sick and all across the kitchen counter. And I loved it.

Life is short. Appreciate all those dirty dishes, because that means you have people who love you with whom to share your meals. And love is the best dish, and gift, of all.

The Closing Table

It was much easier than expected. Papers were signed, keys were given, smiles were exchanged and it was done.  Eighteen years in our family, and the touch was passed from our family to theirs.  They now will enjoy the fruit trees and the gardens, they will now enjoy the beautiful view of the waters, and hear the sounds of the lake at night. They will enjoy the land and the workshop and the warmth of the hearth ad the love my parents set into motion.

And oddly enough, it was not hard at all.  Maybe after all of the drama, maybe after all of the fights, maybe after this bringing out the worst in almost everyone, it was time to let go.  I kept my cool, for the most part, most of the time during the struggle of almost 2 years since my father passed. Oh, but it has been hard, and tested every bit of me.

And so the closing was more than just a legal and real estate deal.  It was the closing of a huge chapter for me.  It was the closing of one of the most difficult chapters – no, THE most difficult chapter of my life thus far. Taking care of Mom when she was sick, Mom’s passing, taking care of Dad alone while he was sick, Dad’s passing, taking care of the estate with greedy, sniping siblings, dealing with negotiations, offers, counter offers, contracts, hurricanes, repairs, contractors, insurance…and finally, the sale. Handles completely alone.

Now the estate is settled. My job is complete. There is no more to do.

And now, I am free. Free to do as I please, where I choose, with whomever I choose. My debts have been paid in full, and I owe nothing. And that freedom is both daunting and intoxicating. Life is an open road. Where shall I go? And damn where I want. I live by my rules now.

And so is the closing on one chapter, and the beginning of another. Life is short. Have adventures.

The Last Night

It was the last night at the compound, after two of the most difficult weeks. The contractor refusing to finish the job, having to get more contractors in to finish everything, lots of family drama, lots of loose ends to get tied up, lots of rain making things hard, not much sleep and a lot of stress.  And then…suddenly, it was the night before closing, and all through the house, I was the only mouse stirring.

It was surreal as I gently packed up the last of what I would take and arranged everything to look good for the new family that would move in in less than 24 hours. I cried, as I thought of all the wonderful memories of the good times here, while we were all still a family. FAMILY. A sacred word in that space, in that house in that time.

But it was time to let it all go.  Life then is not the same life it is now.  So many are gone and not coming back. It was time to pass the torch to another family, to make wonderful memories in that beautiful place. Other laughter, other good times, other gifts given to others from others. Yes, it was time to let go.

And on that last night, there was closure of the circle. And I slept sound, comfortable in the knowledge that all was as it should be.  That the saga was over, and life is budding with new opportunities.

And in that last night, I said goodbye. And is saying goodbye, I found Peace.  And isn’t that just how life is?  Sometimes, even when it is difficult, when it is time to let go, there is a peace at the end of it. And after all, that which gives you peace will lead to happiness. And so it goes…


Anticipation is defined as the act of looking forward, or pleasurable expectation. That accurately describes the end of the year. There is so much anticipation of the things I am looking forward to. The end of his year is the beginning of so many possibilities. And they are endless.

A new life awaits me, full of promise and possibilities. No longer held back or held down, I am leaping forward, in faith and love, to build the amazing life that I have always wanted. And things are lining up perfectly.

We do not get many chances to press the reset button and completely start over, but it feels like I have been given that chance, a new chance at this new life. With it comes a new love, new job possibilities as my business truly takes off, a planned move, and trips and adventures being planned.

It is all right there, at my fingertips, as I reach and strive for my goals.

Yes the anticipation is sweet, but not as sweet as the realization of all coming to fruition. My heart quickens, my breath catches and a smile slowly stretches across my face, as I wait, just a little longer, until finally…

Anticipation turns to reality.



Year View Mirror

It is that time of year when we tend to look back and reflect.  We think about how far we have come in 12 months, what we have done, what we have left undone, who we have lost and what we have accomplished.  And 2018 has been quite a year.  It was very different than what I expected.  Indeed my life is very different now than what it was at the beginning.

I have changed jobs, changed addresses, changed options, changed sizes, change goal, positions, hopes, dreams, goals, boyfriends, clothes, furniture and attitudes. In the beginning, my middle nephew was living with me while getting his medical and employment issues straight. I made sure he had what he needed. He had new clothes, shoes, doctors, a new haircut and a new address as well.  It was not enough though.

At the close of the year, I am once again living alone and enjoying my own space.  The closing is soon, and I will me free – unencumbered by taking care of others. My life has been returned to me, and I plan to take full advantage.

This year has also seen me come into my own – as a leader, a matriarch, a business woman, a negotiator, a disciplinarian, a guardian, and a confidant human in this world.  I know that of which I am capable, I know my strength and my worth, and never again will I forget it. It has seen me come to peace with making a new life, one that has been built one tear drop, one heartbeat, one prayer at a time. It has seen me wonder down paths of self discovery and avenues of pain, pleasure, love, lust, change, risk, shame, grace, pride and anger. And it has seen me walk the street of forgiveness, both for myself and for others.

One of the great things about the rear view mirror, is that whatever you see is behind you. And this year, I am not sad about saying goodbye to 2018.  Because this year has also seen an unmatched amount of strive, and greed, and dishonesty, and accusations, and disrespect, and taking advantage. It has seen those who are too disinterested to care, and those who cared too much to stay. It has seen the death of one of my dearest friends, and has seen others flourish.

But as I look in the rear view mirror, I wave goodbye.  To those who tried to hurt me – you only made me stronger and wiser. To those who loved me, thank you, you gave me life and restored my faith.  To those whom I loved, you are my heart.

Life is short. Stop looking behind you and go fill speed ahead.

Family Christmas

The holidays are all about family. I tried to outrun that last year, to no avail.  But this year it is my decision to embrace it fully.  This will be the best year of my family – the family I have chosen.  My friends are my family of choice and as such they are the cream of the crop.

There will be dinners and gatherings, wine and laughter.  There will be sharing and loving and toasts and meals and good food and conversations.  The Christmas tree is only half decorated, to make sure that ornaments are hung with those who mean the most. Company is coming and I am excited. And this Christmas will be the first of many happy ones.

There will be no more grief. Because the fact is, even though there has been so much loss, I am not alone. I am surrounded by everything and everyone that I want. The foundation on which my life is built is fertile ground. And it is within my reach to have the life of my dreams, full of love, happiness fulfillment.

Life is short. And it’s what we make it.  We can decide to drown in all the negative that happens, or we can rise above and soar. I will always soar. The view is so much better from up high.

Sanctity of the Quiet

There are times in life when we are quiet, and thoughtful. Time s when we are simple in our enjoyment of the small and subtle tides of life. I was back at the family compound this past weekend.  I was the only one there, with a long list of thing to do to prepare for the once again rescheduled closing.

There was cleaning and arranging the remaining books on the bookshelves, there was making up the remaining beds to make sure that everything is warm and welcoming when they arrive. I feel like this is what Mom would have done, so I want to do it too.  There was cleaning up with bricks that once held down tarps for the roof. And meetings with the landscaper, the man pulling up the tree roots and evening out the yard.  There were conversations with the contractor and the wonderful lady who will do the final cleaning before the closing.

And in the quiet hum of taking care of business, I found that I was happy.  There was contentment and peace. And I was glad to be alone, working in peace, getting things checked off the To Do list. It is a good feeling to know that you are taking care of and getting affairs in order. It is good to know that you are doing what loved ones would want done.

Last weekend’s trip was so full of drama – my sister’s youngest child being verbally abusive, yelling and cussing me out because I had the audacity to ask him to help construct the greenhouse, then even putting his hands on me in anger. Having to call the police, making sure he is arrested for trespassing if he shows up again, and making sure he understands the consequences of his actions, were exhausting but had to be done. I am tired of the ugliness, entitlement and violence that comes from them. I will never be a weak leader, and I will never accept being bullied.

The contrast of this past weekend was substantial and palpable. My life is beautiful and good.  I have, through hard work, prayer and faith, made this life full of love. The holiday season will be the happiest one in a long time.

And that is how life is.  When you are quiet and you listen to God’s voice, when you quiet the storms within, when you breath and have faith, you find the kind of peace that parts the waters.

Life is short. Find the sanctity of the quiet.

A Leader is Borne

Courage, strength, depth of character and leadership are often borne from traumatic times. Sometimes in life, we gain strengths and talents along the way, dealing with the curve balls we are thrown.

Someone close to me mentioned that I am a leader. Actually they corrected me when I said that I was not a leader at all. They told me that after watching me handle all the craziness in dealing with the estate, the family, the closing, the repairs after the hurricane and the subsequent fallout, that I was very much a leader.

And I have to say, that I believe him.  I remember a day very clearly, when I was sobbing and praying in a tiny room at the hospital in Dothan Alabama. The hospital chapel was under renovation, so this room was the most that they could offer.  Mom was dying and there was no one there to help or who knew what to do.  My father was too heartbroken, my half siblings were ready to break out the champagne at my mother’s death, and my closest sister did not care at all and refused to come. They all just wanted the money when Dad died.

And I sobbed, and begged God to help me make these decisions that needed to be made, to lead the people related by blood, because I had no idea what to do or how to do.  I begged for God to give me wisdom, Grace, and guidance, because I was not ready to do all of this alone.  I was not strong enough, or smart enough, or good enough, or enough of a leader to do what needed to be done.

And over the last 2.5 years, I have come into myself and my leadership qualities. I have become comfortable with being the matriarch of whatever you would call those related by blood (I will no longer call them family). I have done all if it, some things well, others not so much, but it has been my best. I have led with a true heart and good intentions. I have been honest and forthcoming and I have been extremely tough when needed.

And now, it is coming to an end. And I look back and have to smile.  One of the last gifts that Mom and Dad have given me is the ability to lead through fire,because with fire within me burn brighter, stronger and hotter than the fire around me. They have given me that ability, the reluctant leader coming into her own. They knew I could handle it, they had faith in my and their choice that I would. And that means the world to me. I know that I have not let them down.

I know that if I can lead my way, and those by blood through all if this, I can lead through anything.  I am a leader.  I do not seek it, but when it comes to me I will rise and deliver. That is what I have discovered about myself.

So when times get tough, when you are terrified and don’t think you have what it takes to make t through, trust me, you do.  You are stronger than you think and you can rise to soar above all the minutia.

I sit comfortable in the chair of a leader, of a strong woman, and i=of a human being who can. And you should too.

Life is short.  so is trauma. But the gifts you develop from that trauma, will last and carry you through the toughest of times.



The Busy Time

It is that time of year where everything gets cray busy. Between work, friends, decorating, shopping, planning tips, catching up, and everyday business, it is hard to cach your breath.  Add to that the craziness that has been getting ready for the closing, doing voice work, dealing with crazy family drama and moving things up from point A to point B…and Life has been going at break neck speed. I need to double my vitamins just to keep up.

I am very much looking forward to the day when things slow down.  When I can breath and when all of everything is handled. But even in the most hectic of times, we must take a breath and let go.  I have been praying that it all comes together and works out, letting God work His magic through my life. After you have done everything you can do, it is what ever it will be.

And isn’t that the case with life?  We cannot force it, and if we do, things usually end up worse how they started. Maybe we try to force it because we are afraid of it not working out the way we envisioned. Or maybe we, as humans, are just stubborn to give up control.

When this week has been overwhelming, I go to where all the heirlooms are in my house.  Those wonderful things that have been passed down to me.  And I am instantly at peace with the world.  I am not a materialist person, but these items, cherished my my parents, are now cherished by me.  There is comfort and belonging with them.

Yes, in this busy time, we can all take a moment to observe what gives us peace, purpose and fulfillment.  Because on the busiest or hardest of days, that is what will get us through. And now, all before this chapter is closed and other is spectacularly opened, I cherish those quiet seconds, as I am comfortable with my place in this world.

The Packing

The house is all quiet, except for the Crickets that can be heard. And when I step outside to hear the Crickets more, I look up and see every single star in the sky. There are no city lights out here, so there is no light pollution in the star shine brighter than I remember them in a long time. And there is a piece in the column that washes over me standing in the driveway, looking at the stars on this cold night.

I am here packing of all the books, the rest of the kitchen things, and the rest of everything that needs to be taken with me. And instead of being an emotional wreck, I’m at peace. I’m at peace with the fact that the closing will happen in a week, a piece with the fact that this will be one of my last trips here, peace with the fact that the torch will be passed from this family, to another family to enjoy this beautiful place.

Somehow I know that all is how it is supposed to be. This is exactly what my parents would have wanted, and I have carried it out well. While there is still much to be done, there is still time to reflect.

And isn’t that how it is in life? Sometimes we just need to take a moment, take a breath, to catch up with ourselves. Sometimes it takes a moment, and a breath, and a Beat, to truly grasp the meaning of a moment.

And U droft to sleep knowing thst even when it’s hard, life always works out for the best. And so I have to trust it. Tomorrow morning continues with the packing, and the moving, and the everything. But for now I fall asleep under the warm blanket of the love my parents gave me to last a lifetime.

The Sacred Geometry of Chance

“He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance”- Shape of my heart, Sting

Life is a series of chances and outcomes, it is calculated risks and leaps of faith. The fact is that we all do the best we can at any given time, with the cards and information we have. And sometimes we get lucky, sometimes we fall on our face, sometimes it’s a wash.

And when those unexpected hands come to you?  PLAY THEM. It’s true that you may get stung by someone who is bluffing, but you also may end up with a royal flush. You won’t know until you play. And make the wager worth it.

I have recently been dealt a very unexpected but amazing hand of cards. And I do love taking calculated risks, but sometimes even I get nervous.  But life is short, and sometimes you have to make blind bets.  And so far taking that leap of faith seems to have netted me the jackpot.  What are the chances?  Maybe a mathematician could run the numbers, but right now I am basking in the glow of bliss.

The bottom line is that you can go over the numbers every which way, but there are never any guarantees in life. Sometimes the best thing we can do is let go and have faith, even when the stakes are high.  Right now they are very high in my life, and I am banking on a lot.  Between the repairs finishing on time, staying on top of the details, and wagering my heart, there is a lot on the table.

But I have a feeling that the sacred geometry of chance will swing in my favor. It feels like the odds are with me. And any good gambler knows that sometimes you have to follow your gut.  And isn’t that the case in life?  Sometimes you just have to go with it.  Sometimes you have to say your prayers close your eyes and have faith.

And would we really want it any other way?  The easy answer is yes, because then we would always know the answers and which way the odds would go.  But that is not what life is about.  And what makes life so rich are the chances we take. And if you win? If you can take the chance, then some might say that you already have. Because you are still living life to the fullest. And if we can go through life, with all it does to us, and still be willing to take chances, to grow, to love, to create a life…then that is the biggest jackpot of all.

So don’t just play with the numbers, dance with them – drink with them, move with them, get to know the mysterious ways in which they move. I have a hunch, that maybe in those numbers can be found the secrets to life, love and all the beauty the universe holds.




The Happy Christmas Tree

There are times in life when we look up and realize that things have all worked out, that we are good, that life is good.  This realization can happen in the grocery store, at home, at work, in the car, or just about anywhere. And many times it is not one huge moment either. Many times it is a quiet moment, a small stitch in time, when it happens. And when it does, you the reaction isn’t always big, but many times small as well.  Subtle, maybe even unnoticeable to those who are not observant.  But you smile and feel warm all over.

It is the holiday season, one of the hardest seasons of the year for many people. Those who are alone, who have lost loved ones or who are away from home. Last Christmas was terrible difficult for me. And throughout the year, there have been some very hard moments.  There has been some very deep healing. And many times, you do not even realize that the healing is happening, because you are simply going through your day and your life, getting things done.

Last night I was putting up the Christmas tree. I decided that this year, Christmas was going to be celebrated. The tree, the ornaments, the decorations, the lights, they were all going up.  This year, life and all it’s trappings will be celebrated. And I put the lights on the tree, quietly humming and smiling. And then it was all the ornaments, placed carefully, finding the perfect place for each of them.

And there in my living room, I had a wonderful, small, quiet moment. I looked up from the tree and felt a warmth in my heart. There I was in my little house, decorating the tree, celebrating the holidays and my little life. And it occurred to me that I am happy.  Blissfully happy.  In this moment,  everything for which I have prayed: A life full of love, wonderful friends, a great job, a wonderful career, I am no longer alone and everything is falling into place.

And maybe that is how it is in life…slowly, surely, as we are busy taking all of those baby steps, we travel thousands of miles to where we are happy. And so seamless is the transition, we don’t even feel it until we are fully in its embrace.

Then when we get to that happy place, we get to decorate our life however we want.  Because we feel joy borne from tragedy. And that kind of joy bubbling up from the deepest places is so true, so distinct, so strong, that it can make any life beautiful.

And so it goes.




There are moments in life where you recognize just how close you are to your dreams coming to fruition.  This is that time for me.  In the twilight of all that is past, there is a new sunrise and my dreams are on the horizon. Everything I want is just within my rasp.

I would love to write something amazing and wise, love to say something profound.  but the truth is that this moment is so pure and simple, that is is profound all on it’s own.  My words are not needed.

And as excited as I am for the dreams, I am extremely aware of this lovely time and want to enjoy these moments. I want to remember the feeling of seeing all that I want right there. I want to remember the anticipation.

Life is short.  Don’t forget to enjoy those delicious moments.

The Final Days

Here it is, the home stretch, the final days before the closing. And there is a frenzy of activity getting everything ready. There are many loose ends to tie up, with only 9 days to go. And how else would be really? Life is often a mish-mash of last minute details to work out, even for the most organized people.

And in these final days before the closing, I am finding myself looking forward to the sale, if not terrified to making sure it all goes smoothly. I am looking forward to the closure, to the knowledge that I have served my parents well.  Looking forward to the peace after the storm of all of it.

Because for one chapter to begin, another must end.  And I feel that this deserves and will be given, a good ending. And there are beginnings waiting for me. Beautiful. amazing, exciting, beginning of life.

But before the beginning, I will cry at the closing. I will cry while at the last night, and shed tears of joy as I raise a toast to a job well done for my lovely parents. And I will smile when I think of the many memories, in these final days before the closing.