Trips and Chips

Sometimes we all just need to get away. We need to throw caution to the wind, buy the plane ticket and go. And that is exactly what I did. After stressful few weeks, it was time to take a break, see friends, smile and unplug. It was time to relax and get away from all the ugliness that had been.

And the result was a wonderful trip to clear the mind and the heart. I pressed a quick reset and reboot. Because sometimes we have to get away to get a better view, to get perspective on what, ad who, is really good for us and our life. We have to take separate heartbeats, dry our cheeks, and take a deep breath.

In this day and age of bigger is better and fastest is the best, we have to take a moment to have fun when things have been hard or overwhelming. And so there was Austin, TX. And there was a wonderful hotel. And seeing friends, laughing, exploring, talking, trusting, shopping, eating and catching up. And there was so much love there with all of us. There was a ghost trip, meeting new people, seeing old friends, and talking about dreams, life and other follies.

It was a great trip. Not just because of of the wonderful people I saw, though that was amazing; but also because it reminded me that there is life beyond what I have been dealing with. It is always good to reminded that the world, that life, that you yourself, are bigger than what has been placed in front of you.

And one of the things that I saw again, once away and unplugged, was how much I love taking care of others. I remember back in 2013, when I my sister and nephew were living with me, and Mom and Dad would stay with me for Dad’s treatments. I loved taking care of all of them. To make sure that they were all loved and cared for, having everything they needed – it was bliss.

And indeed, all I have ever wanted to do in my life is take care of those that I love. For all of my independence, and fierceness, this is all I want. It took me a minute to remember and see, but I have a new family now that loves me dearly, that has been there for me through everything, and who have been my strength in between heartbeats and seconds. And I want to continue to take care of them as much as they have taken care of me.

A gentle pat, a sympathetic look, a knowing smile, a hug…I think life is in these simple gestures, these priceless moments of truly being seen, heard, felt, and appreciated, for the unique facets of who we are, at our core. And that is all I want to give and be given in return in this life.

These moments come in random forms—they arrive unexpectedly, and it is up to us to pay close attention, to listen, to stand still long enough, so that we can push past the noise of the world and all its perceived barriers, and, finally, meaningfully, let our true selves break through.

So let the chips fall where they may. As long as I have people to love and take care of, as long as I am cherished, loved, respected and am treated with kindness, I will be happy. To write, to take care of those I love, and to be cherished by those who love me, is truly all I could ask for.

Life is too short for drama but somehow never long enough for all the love that can be felt in a lifetime. Take trips. Love deep. And have fun.

To Bill’s Friends

Just want to take a moment to say hello to all of Bill’s friends. He said that you read this blog and report back to him what it says.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day and your busy schedules to stop by and not only read my blog, but discuss it and dissect it at length with an ex-boyfriend. You have no idea how much it means to me that you would all be that interested in my writing and my life. I truly have no words to describe the level of respect I have for you and your task.

I never would have thought that any of you would have had that much time to spend on me.

So thank you again, and I invite you to stop by as often as you like. 🙂

The Sisterhood

When I was younger, in high school, college and beyond, I always had more male friends than female.  But somewhere along the way, not sure where, that changed. Maybe it is part of growing up, that as we grow up and pair off, we align more with our own. One thing that I know for sure, is that your girlfriends are the ones who will always have your back. I have been very blessed, and have some of the best guy friends around, but my girls are my heart.

Throwing dinner parties is a way to get friends together over good food, good conversation and good wine. And I have always loved having friends over. But lately the dinner party has evolved into a celebration of not only friendship, but of women too. These are the women who are strong and have loyalty, character, strength and are my tribe. They are the best of the best, and I am proud to have them as my friends.

I have written extensively on the importance of making sure that you have those of your cloth around you.  Those who hold the same values as you will not disappoint. It is when we choose those who do not that we get hurt. Think about it, when someone you love betrays you, it is ultimately because your values and theirs did not line up. So it is crucial to be discerning when choosing friends or lovers. Your inner circle should be of the utmost quality. And these ladies are.

So I cooked a wonderful meal for a small group of women who came. And it truly was a celebration. They each have their own story, their own paths, and I am blessed that their paths have crossed with mine.

And that is one of the things about life, that no matter where we are, we can always identify and find our tribe. Those who hold the same values, the same loyalty, the same love of wine and sarcastic sense of humor.

I am finally hitting my stride in this new normal. I am finally happy and functioning at full capacity. And these ladies are too. I will have my tribe. And we will lift each other up.

Life is short. Find your friends. lean on them. Love them. Celebrate them.

Patron Saint of Ada

Happy birthday Mom! You wpuld have been 78 today. I think aboit what I would have bought you. You banned me from buying any more nik-naks…so probably some of your favorite shoes, or some books you wanted, some garden tools and flowers. Maybe even help you in the garden.

I have taken care of your plants, your house, your cats, your clothes, your belongings, dad….you. And I did it with complete honor and dedication. And I know even though you are not here, you are watching over me as my guardian angel. It has never been more evident than in the past few weeks. I have no doubt you kept many calamities from happening.

And now it is your birthday and I was trying to figure out how to celebrate it. I thought about going to a big dinner, and enjoying steak and wine. But then I settled in and decided on something different. So I went to the grocery store, got some wine, I got some ice cream. And then I went out on my back deck and I sat in the shade and I drank the wine and I ate the ice cream while watching the birds, and the squirrels, and the Chipmunks. I drank my wine while watching the cats.

Because it ocurred to me that while you did enjoy fine things in life, you are more about the little things in everyday life. You enjoyed the simple moments, the beautiful little perfect moments that would never make a history book, but that would always make you smile.

So that is how I celebrate your birthday with you today – By simply relaxing on the back deck noticing all the little beautiful things around me and being so thankful that I had you as a mother. I miss you more than you know and I will love you always. Happy birthday

New Beginnings

Lately there has been a ton of new beginnings, and tomorrow continues the trend. A new project in my career, and it is exciting.

I will miss being a bum, so to speak. But I have learned valuable lessons during my time off. That is to make myself a priority. And many people are accused of being selfish when they make themselves a priority, but that’s not the case. You must take care of yourself in order to take care of anyone else.

Taking care of yourself is also a sign of self-love. If we love ourselves we’re going to take care of ourselves. That means taking time off when you need it, taking a stroll through the park when you need it. And listening to your mind, your body, and your soul. It means making sure that you give yourself all you need to truly be healthy. To eat right, to exercise, to get rest, but it’s so much more than that too.

At church today the sermon talked about slowing down and stepping aside enough to hear God’s voice, and understand his plan for you. The priests mentioned that many times were often rushing around so much that we can’t even hear what God says to us. We pray at night it we are so busy during the day that we cannot hear God’s answer. This time off has shown me the beautiful rhythm of God’s grace.

And I plan to take care of myself enough to make sure I hear his voice. And that means taking care of myself enough so that I can be still, is that I do not get so wrapped up in all the pressure, that I take time, and then I find the beauty in this amazing life that I’ve been blessed to have.

And so it is that I go off on this new adventure.

Life is short. Have adventures. Build the life you want. And take care of yourself.