Number Two

As I walked in, a wonderful sense of Love came over me. And then without even realizing it, there were tears streaming down my cheeks as I walked from the back of the room past all the pews, closer to the front of the church.

I had gone to sit in the quiet of the beautiful cathedral here in downtown Atlanta. It’s a place I’ve been going for many, many years, and I consider it my spiritual home. I have many times gone there to sit in the quiet the chapel, or been in my own thoughts on a spring day in the little garden Courtyard. Today I just needed to be in quiet contemplation and Remembrance as I sat in the huge Cathedral, below all the stained glass, staring up at the altar, and crying.

This is a hard week for me. They say that the anniversary of a loved one’s death gets a little easier every year. And to some extent that is true. I don’t think you ever get over losing your parents though. But you do learn to live, function and be happy in the “new normal.” And indeed I have. I am even thriving.

And yet here I am, this week, with the memories and thoughts, and missing my Dad so much. I feel as though I have my PhD in grief, and grief management. A very specialized doctorate, it comes after a great deal of Blood, Sweat, tears, and experience.

And as I reflect this week, not only on everything that happened two years ago, but of everything that has happened since. I think, I hope, that my father would be proud of me. I’m thankful every single day, and so very careful not to take any of the goodness that is in my life now for granted. This life, that I have been given, and so blessed to have, is truly amazing and wonderful. I’ve come a long way and many lifetimes since that day two years ago.

And so later on this week, when it is the actual anniversary, I will take time to reflect, and cry, and laugh, and celebrate. I will celebrate my father’s life, the beautiful and wonderful time we had together, and all the victories that I have overcome since. I have that day planned, something I know to do that will honor him, and celebrate this life that has been graciously given to me. This week I will also have love and thankfulness in my heart.

So every year, on the anniversaries of their deaths, I decided not to do anything sad or depressing. I will do something on each of those days to honorand and celebrate them and this beautiful life. And so the tradition continues.

Life is short. Feel all you can, love all you can, cry, and laugh, and miss them all you can. Honor them all you can. And mostly, live your life fully, all you can.


Anticipation is defined as excitement, waiting eagerly for something you know is going to happen. And oooooh, this is where I am in life. There are several trips that are in the process of being planned.

The first up is a to Belize, which I have wanted to do for several years.  Originally I wanted to take my Dad on the trip, one last time for him to see the ocean, but his health prevented it. Now, since it’s just me, I am going to enjoy. Visiting friends, playing in the water, the beach and the waves, and maybe even getting a bit less pale. Having a few frozen drinks, listening to music, even seeing family while there.

You have to do things that awaken you, that make you smile, that make you excited, that make you anticipate Life. It could be a trip, a project, an adventure of some sort, or maybe even a persona challenge, but find that anticipation.

And it is not just the event or trip, the excitement is in the journey of the preparation too.  Planning who is going with me, all the clothes to take, all the things to do, books to read…and all the sunscreen to take (many bottles). All the laughter and memories to be made. Even getting all the laundry done and the pet sitter scheduled is part of it and fun.

And that is the thing about life, you have to take a break and do what excites you. But some choose not to be enchanted, and they want to stay in their misery instead. Why?  I don’t know. I’ve been depressed in life, after the loss of family and it is horrible. So why anyone would choose to stay in that place is truly beyond my understanding.  The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about them. Because they will suck the life out of any room that they are in. So go forward without them. When and if they get tired of being miserable, they will catch up.  If not, oh well.

Take the trip, buy the lipstick, wear the shoes, kiss the guy, take the chances.  You only get this one life. And it is short. So we might as well enjoy it, and milk it for every beautiful, wonderful, exciting moment possible. Always be curious. And always anticipate joy, love, and happiness.

The Great Purge of 2019

Everyone at some point in their lives, if not several times in their lives, will feel the need to purge our lives. The desire to simplify, to lighten, to de-clutter can be overwhelming. What what precipitates such a desire?  It can be any number of things; such as a tumultuous time in life, or a session with a life coach, or maybe an impending move, it could be anything really.  For me it is a combination of several things.  After a difficult time, where I had to keep many things for many people, and keep records for just in case, I am now ready to purge what is not needed.

It is also letting go of my old life. It is letting go of everything that came before. And you can let go while still honoring the past. But you cannot build a future of you are still holding onto that “has happened.” And sometime you need to clean out the old to make room for the new.

I am ready for the new, ready to shed ALL OF IT. And so starts the Great Purge of 2019. I started with the clothes, and have bagged over 15 bags to be taken to the trash or Goodwill.  And the result is surprisingly cathartic.  I already feel so much lighter and more is coming. I contacted a charity to get the furniture that needs to go away.  And I am going through paperwork and old records that no longer need to be kept.  And last will be all the extra “stuff.”

It is time to clean out all the debris, all the old, all of the baggage, all of the irrelevant minutia that can bog down the mind and spirit. It is more than cleaning out, more that getting rid of clutter, it is the purging of all that I will not be taking with me in this move. It is exciting and wonderful, preparing for this new time.

Life is short. Clean it out sometimes. Take the old, dust it off, enjoy them memories and let go of the bad. Because in letting go we make room for all of the wonderful that is to come. And the wonderful is coming…a lot of it is already here.

When you have been shattered, the new you can emerge.

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 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.



All as it Should

The holiday season can be a hard time for those who have lost loved ones. It can be a hard time for those who are alone, or those who have moved away from family, or those who find themselves in the middle of a transition in their life. Facing the holidays can be daunting as you try to figure out what to do and how.

We all have those moments were we realize that there has been a shift . It could be a change in season, a relationship, a job, or life.  And in this holiday season, there has been a huge shift in my life.

Last holiday season was one of the worst I have ever experienced. It was the first without both of my parents. There had been so much loss including love and siblings, that I was truly devastated.

When hard times happen, you have c choice to let it drag you down, or use it to rise above. I chose to make love so present in my life that it is tangible.  So, if I didn’t have any family, I was going to make it the best Framily holiday ever.

An interesting and wonderful thing happens with you live life with love forward…it is returned back to you.  Several wonderful close friends extended invitations for Thanksgiving. And then I got an invitation from a dear cousin, and immediately excepted.  Excited to see them, I hit the road for the short trip Thanksgiving morning.  And the adventure began…

It was wonderful, seeing everyone, catching up, and laughing. My heart was full and happy as I saw family that I had not seen in a year or more. There was so much love in that house an in those conversations.  Many smiles and hugs and genuine conversations. So much support.

I had forgotten what it was like to have a family. To have those who love you and whom you love around.  In the midst of grief and being so busy, I had forgotten what it was like to feel loved.

And then as I snuggled down into the sheets and under the big blankets of my cousins bed, I realized that I was no longer alone.

And I felt so loved and so not alone, that I slept deeper than I had in a few years. I woke up  feeling light and happy and wonderful.

The rest of the Thanksgiving weekend was spent at the family compound, then visiting my dearest friends, more laughter, drinks, good food and more love.

Finally, my life has shifted. And I ma so thankful and happy that I just sat down and sobbed when I go home. This is it. This is the life I have wanted and worked and prayed for. This is life as it should be.

I am no longer alone. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends. This is all that life should be. And this is the life that I am blessed to have.

Life is short. Love much, love hard, and love forward.

What Are You Hungry For?

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.

Nine Years a Decision

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.

Fresh Starts

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.

Life is short. Stay thirsty my friends.

The Joy of Girling

There is a joy in being the girl. There is a joy in being feminine. A joy to curling the eyelashes, applying the lipstick and moving in mysterious ways. There is a joy in being soft and smelling wonderful.

And I am loving all of it.  Fixing my hair again, long baths in wonderful oils, and candles glowing, giving off a warm light.  I feel good, I look good, smell good, and did I mention, feel good?  My nails are polished, both fingers and toes. The hair is fresh. And life is good.

And there is a smile that travels across my face, from the depths of my heart. Someone  this passed weekend, reminded me that “they have been through a lot.” And indeed they have.  Everyone has been through a lot by a certain age. And to declare it and want attention for it, is like saying “I have two feet!” big deal, So does everybody else. The same with all the “a lot” we have all been through.

The trick is how we come out of it, if we do. Some people choose to let it make them fearful.  They shrivel up, keeping others at arms distance, out of fear of being hurt and going through “a lot” again. Some let it make them bitter. Some simply hide it a little hole and bury themselves in work and excuses to stop living and start just existing.

But not me. I will do none of that. The worst that has happened is not where I am going to set the bar. No, I will not have my worst days as the boundaries of my life and my heart. I will not let what has broken my heart, even recently, make me anything but finer. You won’t see me throwing a pity party, or lowering my head.

I will instead stand at the edge of the cliff, arms open wide and shout out to the wind that I am ready. I will face life, and all that is in it, head on. I am not scared or intimidated in any way. Bring. It. On. With a smile on my lips, a mischievous twinkle in my eye, and a spring in my step, I will make this spectacular.

What “a lot” I have been through is no measure of my life. It is however, what has made me brave, and strong, and ready to love with no boundaries. I want to feel life in full force. After all, if my “a lot” hasn’t killed me, then what do I have to fear?


So I want to love fully, with my whole heart, I want to hold hands, and feel kisses, and enjoy this fall weather (if it ever cools down). I want to laugh uncontrollably, have have tears falling down my cheeks from that laughter. I want smiles and late night conversations, and snuggles and closeness. I want LIFE.

The offer has been finalized and the house is selling. Career is wonderful and friends are all around. Only one thing is missing, and I have a sneaky feeling it will be along presently. In the meantime…

I will enjoy being a woman. I will relish doing all things girly. The hair, the nails. the shoes, the everything of being feminine. Because part of life is having fun. Part of living to the fullest is enjoying who you are, where you are, and understanding that where you stand is holy ground.

Life is short. Life is what you make it. So make it full of wonderful.

Ordinary Moments make an Extraordinary Life

It seems that life is full of what would be called ordinary moments. Those moments of living, working, eating, cleaning, and doing stuff. These are the moments that comprise our days and nights, were many of our heartbeats fall. And it seems that life has become a nice run of the every day.

I have been embroiled in working, breathing, resting, writing late into the night, thinking and living.  I am looking forward to fall and the cooler weather, but for the next week at least, it is hot temperatures in the 90s, and not much rain despite the hurricane hitting the east coast.

It seems this year has been in a holding pattern, taking care of the last of the estate, selling the compound, taking care of all of it. Hopefully all of that will be coming to an end soon, and freedom won;t be too far away.

The secret is to enjoy those ordinary moments. And I am doing my best to enjoy everything about life right now.  That delicious cup of coffee, my favorite song on the radio, all the freelance and contract writing I am doing.  Talking and planning with friends. laughing, loving and even sharing in the bad news.

Somehow, I need to find the discipline to get to bed and get up earlier, workout, read more and clean a bit more. But that can start next week, and this one i s almost over. But in between all of that, when it is quiet and low, and I am snuggled in my house, with the warm blanket, cats and TV remote, there must be joy.  We must find joy in the ordinary, that is the only way to become, rebuild, re-establish life and desolation or hardship.

Because if we can find enjoyment in the simple and plain, then life will never cease to amaze us, we will never cease to be entertained and will will not ever be bored.  Because we define the sizer and depth of our lives, so why not find exquisite joy in the every day? Those big moments don’t happen often, but the small ones do. So fill like up, fill up your soul, your smile, your heart, with what is already there in front of us?  Time will pass anyway, weather we are enjoying ourselves or not, so we night as well.

And now, to cozy down, my  freshly showered body and clean sheets. I say my prayers, make my wishes and ask for my hearts desire. All my prayers have been answered, so far. Patience will bring the rest (I hope). And I will make this promise to myself, that each day I will be disciplined in the practice of joy (and exercise, and rest…and food), so that each day may be better than the last.

Life is short. Make it spectacular.

This Day

This day, September 11th, will always be remembered by those who were old enough to experience it. At the risk of sounding old, the younger generation has no idea what it is like to see, either in person or on the news, an area that vast, where rescuers are still looking for remains even a year later. They have no idea what it is like to know people who were or should have been in those buildings, wondering if they are alive, or if they were one of the many who jumped or were buried alive.

They have no idea what it was like to go and see Ground Zero, before it was built back up, before there were monuments and new buildings, when it was just a huge hole, larger than you could ever imagine, and know that so many people were now part of the dust.

To me this day is a somber one, but one we should never forget because there are so many lessons that were learned.  It was the day our innocence was lost as a country, I think.

But for me it is also a day to be thankful.  thankful that I live in this wonderful country. No matter how many problems we seem to have, at least we are free.  And I am thankful for that freedom.  That were are still Americans and not subject to Sharia Law. That as a woman, I am still allowed every right I had before that date so many years ago.

I am thankful for my job and amazing career, for my friends, and that we are all OK. That we work hard and have a roof over our heads, food, running water, electricity, a comfortable bed where we sleep and do not hear the sounds of guns shots and war, as many in other countries do.

For me this is a day to be thankful and realize how lucky I am, how lucky we are, as a nation. And I thank God.

And every day, I should do my bet to be my best, because by miracle and luck, I am in this country, the greatest country in the world.  And I should not take anything for granted. Life is delicate and fragile.  And today is not a dress rehearsal.

Life is short. Make it good. Make it memorable. Make it worth it.

Collateral Faith

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Many times in life we have to take a leap of faith to reach our goals.  We must work hard, take risks, create true priorities and stick with them.  And we must do one more thing…  we must have Collateral faith.  A deep unexplainable belief that it will all work out, some how, some way.   We must believe in every day miracles. We must believe in Grace.

To me the word collateral means the entire field, so to pair it with Faith means that we must have faith on all levels, even when our knees are shaking and our voice is trembling.  It is when we are the most unsure that our faith in the world around us must be the most steadfast.  Because faith will get you through many dark hours.

But that is hard. But the alternative is not acceptable. We have all met the alternative – those people who are forever negative. They expect things to go wrong. Where they place their faith, their thoughts, their hopes, is where their life lands. So if that is the case, which we have seen over and over, then why not put all your faith and belief in the fact that it will all work out?  Why not believe that the odds are ever in our favor? Even if there are bumps and hard times along the way, you will always be safe in the knowledge that eventually, it will be OK.

The alternative is to be so negative and riddled with fear, that we become our own self fulling prophecy. All decisions we make come down to love and faith, or fear.  And fear is no way to live. Fear paralyzes us, steals joy and sucks the life right out of us.

There are several pivotal events in my life right now. I have worked very hard to make these possibilities come to fruition, and much hard work is still ahead. I have calculated the risks, and some are very high.  But I must believe, collaterally, that it will all work out. I pray that the timing, which is so very important, happens smoothly.  Because sometimes there is nothing else you can do, but have that faith.  After all the work, all the sweat, and blood, and tears, and late nights, and negotiations, and thoughts…all that you can control, is your faith.

It is exciting and terrifying at the same time.  But that is just how life is isn’t it? And so it goes, in this crazy, wonderful, amazing, journey. Life is short. Make it spectacular.

Stop Chasing What no Longer Serves You

Stop chasing what no longer serves you. We see this messages in all of it’s various forms all over the place.  Social media, books, billboards, cards, the message is loud and clear if we can truly receive, comprehend and apply it. and it applies to a job, marriage, relationship, family, hobbies, and anything else that may no longer serve us.  But what exactly does it mean and how do we go about doing it?

To me, not chasing after what doesn’t serve us, means that first we have to recognize that what it is, is no longer beneficial to us. Does that sound selfish or superficial?  It shouldn’t. If you no longer enjoy your job, if it causes you more stress that the pay is worth, if it is interfering with your health, then that job is no longer serving you.  If you are in a relationship that no longer makes you happy, that hurts you, that makes you feel bad, then it no longer serves you. The same is true with family even.

And that is not superficial or selfish.  it is part of taking care of yourself emotionally, physically and mentally.  It is also part of growing up and maturing.  recognize when it is time to move on.  It doesn’t mean that the person, situation, job, etc. are bad, they are just no longer good for you., and if you continue to chase them you will only harm yourself.

I recently had to come to that conclusion.  There is something I have always placed on my goal board, something that I used to hold very dear. But I had to realize that chasing it is no longer a good thing, as it is no longer a source of happiness or joy. It no longer serves me, and is actually harmful. It was a hard conclusion to reach, because it means letting go.

But when we let go, there is relief. Because we no longer have to be hurt, or disappointed or damaged. We can leave, wishing the person or situation well, and go about our lives.  We can find other things, people, jobs, relationships, or situations that make our lives fulfilling and good.  Already, even as it is bittersweet to let go, I feel better never having to try to make that situation good for me again.  There is a peace in acceptance.

So stop chasing. Stop trying to force those things that are no longer mutually beneficial. Life is too short.  Make it good.

Live in the Questions

In life, we are driven not only to asks questions, but to find the answers. But what if that is not the best way?  What if we have it wrong, forever searching for the answers to the questions we ask?

In a world of social media, Snapchat filters and who ever is perfect is the best, can we afford to not know? In a world of Google and the fastest with the answer wins, can it be that being patient with ourselves could be the secret? I think so.


Maybe the key to is to be patient with ourselves. Maybe we don’t have to know all the answers all of the time. What if we give ourselves permission to not know what we are doing, where we are going, or with whom?  Because let’s face it. No one knows all of the answers all of time. And even the people who seem to have it the most together, often times do not when the doors are closed and the blinds are drawn.

We have often heard that if we cannot change the circumstance, we can change our attitude about it. So, what if we savor the questions as part of the journey instead of tearing the world upside down looking for the answers?  No doubt, it is uncomfortable to not know the answers, but we were never promised to always be comfortable in life. We are not owed anything, much less always being comfortable. And discomfort, being out of our comfort zone, is often where the most growth happens.

What if we did view the questions as books, a great novel for us to read, that ultimately adds to our own life? It is often said that we find what we want when we stop searching.

My great search as of late, has been how to pick up and rebuild my life after this huge title wave took my family and left me with an unfamiliar landscape.  To say finding the answers has been brutal is an understatement.  And I still do not know exactly what the answers are. But maybe we are not supposed to know.  Maybe it is just in living my life every day, loving as much as I can, having faith and believing with all of my heart.  Maybe it is getting out of bed every day, and no matter how bad or depressed you feel, knowing deep down that you are stronger than all of it, and that you will rise.

Maybe it is simply allowing ourselves the comfort of the discomfort in not knowing. It’s OK, to be confused, or bored, or restless, or whatever. There is nothing so urgent that we have to know right now, or even tomorrow, or even next week or month.

So let’s leave the answers to the experts and just enjoy life.  Let Google sleep. Instead, let’s try to be the best that we can be, and strive to be better every day.  Think of how much energy we will save and laughter we will have when the great search is off of our shoulders.  Let’s always be curious about life, but not forget that what we seek is also seeking us. And let the answers come to us, as we are busy living, loving, being and growing, creating the wonderful, complex, amazing, tragic, spectacular life that we are destined to live.


In the Quiet

When someone thinks of a quiet life, they usually think of a life that is small, uneventful, even boring.  But that is not the case.  Many times a quiet life is a full life, full of many wonderful moments, times, friends and accomplishments.

Many of the best moments in life are quiet, and definitely some of the biggest moments as well. Think about it – A marriage proposal use isn’t big and loud, it’s a quiet moment between two people.  A promotion is often quiet notification after a lot of hard work.  Even when someone dies, if they are lucky, that person simply, quietly, slips from tihs life into the Hands of God.

The same thing the next chapter in my life. The chapter is not being closed with the big bang, but by quietly signing papers. There will be a flurry of activity before then, and there will be a wonderful celebration after, to make the quiet start of the next. But in between, life will be made of a thousand small, quiet, wonderful moments.

And all the adventure life holds, can also be traced to the quiet.  Adventure, love, new things, ideas, friendships, and solutions, are all started in quiet times, when our minds have time to wonder and think. Our transformations and challenges. Our answers and prayers are found in the quiet as well.  Where we can hear our heart beating.

And maybe the secret to living out loud, are all the quiet moments that fill us up and make our lives complete.  Indeed, there is a time to be loud, but most of our lives are not lived in the big and loud.  Our lives are built on the silent smiles, the looks, the planning, the writing, the working, the holding of hands, the start gazing, the reading, the researching, the risk taking, the breath before the kiss,, the second before that loud happening.  yes, that is where life is built – solid, fun, true, rich and deep. Life is build in the quiet.

Life is short. Make it good, no, make it spectacular.


Striving for Fall

As the holiday weekend approaches, it is the official end of summer.  Yes, in the south there will still be days of 90 or higher, but already the temperatures are cooler at night. The first day of fall is still some time away, but you can feel the shift in the air and in the attitudes of people.  Summer is carefree, vacations, day drinking, out on the lake, lazy weekends.  But fall is one of my favorite times of the year.

For me summer has always been a busy time, but in fall I can enjoy my days more.  Windows are open so a  fresh breeze can flow through the house, but this time with no danger of pollen. Temperatures of more enjoyable as the heat of summer subsides, making outside patios more inviting.  the humidity lowers a bit, and even on the cool evenings it is easier to spend time on the deck with friends, sipping wine or hot tea.

The weekend is the last blowout of summer.  It also brings with it my father’s birthday – he would have been 82. And so a quiet toast to the man who was my first love, the man who taught me how a woman should be treated, the man who made my mother so undeniably happy.

This weekend also brings the welcome of the next season for me.  I have worked hard to get everything lined up, and with a lot of prayer, sweat equity and faith, it is all coming to fruition.  All I have to do is stay the course.

But what do we do when life is falling into place?  That may seem like a strange question, but it makes sense.  We strive, because we must always work hard to be better and to be curious of the world around us. When we stop learning and growing then we become stagnant.

Sometimes that means fine tuning our daily habits.  Because ultimately our daily habits define who we are and what we are to become. For me, this means, as much as I hate to admit it, I need some routine in my life.  I am working on getting to bed earlier, to get up earlier, work out, drink more water, read more, depend on technology less. Which means I need discipline to reduce the bad habits.

By reducing our bad habits, we open the door for more positivity to come into our lives. And who can’t use more of that? Oh, but it is hard.  Because we certainly do enjoy those bad habits or at least I do.  But maybe if we can reduce the frequency of the bad habits, then they can instead become guilty pleasures, to be indulged less often, but enjoyed much more. And maybe that is one of the secrets to life.

So this Fall I strive. And hopefully striving will continue to thriving. And the warmth of all of it, of a happy life and a happy heart, will keep me cozy during winter’s cold.  After all, there is nothing like a fire in the soul to heat the heart and the home. So strive.

Life is short.  Make it good.


Motivation’s Ghost

Motivation can be hard.  And there are a thousand, maybe eve a a million reason to procrastinate being motivated.  And it could be about anything – to exercise, to do work, to clean the house, organize, get a new job, or anything else that maybe we don;t want to do.  What I have found is that motivation, or lack there of, and procrastination go hand in hand.

Why is it so hard to get motivated to stop procrastinating, get off the couch and get busy doing the things we need to do?  I am not truly sure, but it is probably a combination of things depending on the person and situation. It is something I struggle with though, and many others do as well.

I usually procrastinate for several reasons – If I dread or do not enjoy the task.  If I am afraid it will take a lot of time.  If I am not sure if I can do it well.  And usually once I get started it isn’t all that difficult. It can also be hard to stay motivated when you are alone.  When you have others in the house with you, you can work on the buddy system, so to speak.  If the other person knows you are supposed to be working out every night, or cooking better, or working on whatever goal, they will ask you why you are jut sitting on the couch?  And then you are motivated.

Many times we set out with lofty goals for the day.  For me, I will get up early, do some PiYo, work hard at writing, do the documentation that I need, write blogs, work on the book, work out more at lunch, eat right, clean the house, cook a healthy dinner…and then I get home, get comfortable, and before I know it time slips away and it is 9pm.  Too late to start anything really.

Maybe the trick is time management, and not procrastinating so much.  Because if we did not procrastinate, time management would not be a problem. At least for me. I have read many things about how to  get and stay motivated. The term just Do It isn’t so popular and a part of our culture for nothing.  and that is what we have to do – is just do it.  we have to make ourselves get off the couch, do the work, the cooking, the cleaning, the exercises, the whatever.  that is why it is not easy. If it was easy everyone would be good at it.

It takes strength and perseverance to accomplish motivation.  And sometimes it takes something else.  I am tapping in to two things right now to help me. One is giving myself a deadline. The other is keeping my friend Melissa in mind.  before she passed, she talked about not taking your life or your physical body for granted.  She talked about how she used to resent having to exercise and would make any excuse not to do it.  Then, she got cancer and was too weak to move around by herself.  She said she would never resent having to do anything like that again. She would celebrate being able to exercise to move around on her own every day from that point, but she never got the chance.

So here I am, looking at the treadmill. And running is hard, though it feels good afterward. Obtaining our goals is hard. But something happens when you take the dread, procrastination and resentment out of the picture…you actually get motivated.  You love yourself despite of yourself – even of you don’t like everything about yourself or your life.

So motivation is slowly coming back. I call it Motivation’s Ghost, because he shows up just a little bit at first, here and there.  And then, if we grab on, maybe he will stay a little longer with each visit, until he is a regular.

The Fruition of a Passionate Soul on Fire

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.  – Maya Angelou

There are times in life when you just feel the electricity in the  air.  It is the energy of possibilities of the future. There is a shift, and all of the sudden you are sensitive to everything that is within your grasp. And it is exciting. Maybe it happens after a hard time. Or maybe after working hard, and after the dust clears, you see a glimpse of the future. Maybe it is an “ah-ha” moment, when the light comes on in your mind. Who knows, but no matter the source, the energy is undeniable.

There is a fire within me, burns from my soul to and goes where the heart meets the mind. After a few years of sleeping, the passion has awakened and I am excited about all of the possibilities in the future. I have set my intentions – the latest contract, remote freelance, personal business and investment goals.  Fitness goals, travel and fun.

I have more energy than I have had in a long time, even if I have a hard time keeping focused.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. – Nelson Mandela

I am acutely aware that everything for which I have prayed, I have been given.  By the Grace of God go I. There has been a lot of work and a lot of preparation, but in two months, the landscape of life will look completely different. This is extremely exciting.

And what is also exciting is when you see everything lining up with your goals and aspirations. You work hard in this life, dream big, pour your heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into building the life that you want. And then, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. You see things lining up, you feel those dreams getting closer.  And you cannot wait, excitement brimming from every part of you.

This is where I am. A friend of mine sent me a massage saying that she loved seeing all of my happy posts on social media.  What is even better than seeing them, is posting them. Know that this is my time. But it is more than that.  There is a deeper happiness, a deeper appreciation, a deeper sense of self and satisfaction than ever before.

Patience has never been my strong point, and I am anxious for these changes and the new good to start.  But there are moments here to still savor.  There is so much beauty in where I am, and where I am going, that I do not want to miss a single moment. Every breath, every heartbeat, every second, is a gift filled with all the magic mysteries of life.  And I am beyond grateful for all of them.

Finally, this little life that has been under construction for so long, is about to break free, shiny, new, and glorious. Life is short.  Make it good.