Escape to Reality

“Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.”
— Rumi

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Sometimes when a dream dies, it can feel like a death. A death of the self – an idea, a belief, or an identity…or all of the above.

Our family has had a series of big hits lately. To protect everyone’s privacy I won’t go into details, but I can share that there were a lot of surprises – the kind that make your mouth make a silent ‘o’ as you stop to catch your breath. The kind that make you wonder if you ever really knew a person like you thought you did. The kind that make you take a step back and wonder who you are. Heavy stuff.

Miraculously, Andy and I happened to have a trip to Mexico scheduled in April. One week in paradise at an all-inclusive. Nothing to do but lie in the sun, float in the bath water Caribbean, eat a ridiculous amount of food, make love, and share our broken and gentle hearts with each other.

When we arrived last Sunday, we brought only the hope that time would restore us. Neither of us are strangers to reinvention and we both know from experience that when one door closes, another opens. But this time, I will admit we were going on blind faith.

The lunar eclipse this week signified the end of an old way and new beginnings. On the day of the eclipse, Andy and I sat on the beach and took stock of our life – the cast of characters, our finances, our work goals for the year, our deepest desires.

I love this man for his ability to look at the big picture and stay in the field of possibilities with me. What emerged was a beautiful plan (I love a plan) that is based on reality – not fantasy – and it is quite amazing and enlivening. I won’t spoil it by detailing it, but let’s just say it involves a lot of travel and more beaches…feeding the soul while still actively parenting two teenagers and an 11 year old. Of course, more hospice work as well. Appreciating what IS vs. what we wish could be.

Thank you to the ocean for restoring me. Thank you to my sweet friends for loving me. Thank you to my children for grounding me. Thank you to my husband for your truth and vulnerability. Thank you life for all your gifts. I’m committed to staying present to all of it.

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This Aint No Dress Rehearsal!

Pure Joy
Pure Joy

This picture makes me happy – I’ve got my sparkly, Free People dress on.  My favorite color is turquoise and my scarf makes me look like I’m flying, and it’s 4th of July (one of my most favorite days*)  and I’m at the beach!

In Santa Cruz!

So I don’t usually use the word ‘aint’ but it just fits.  I was looking through my journal from the past year.  I am noticing that my journal is a much better resource than it used to be.  I am more discerning about what I write.  I write down my dreams and prayers more than the daily minutiae.  It’s satisfying when I see progress (forward movement) on some of my desires.  For example, last year, I hadn’t completed any hospice training and this year, I volunteer for two local hospice organizations.

In a journal entry from last February, 2012, I wrote:  “At Lili’s School of Rock show there was a little girl who was singing the lead in one of the songs.  She seemed wooden and stone faced.  The little girl in me was dying to grab her mic and belt it out.  I wanted to be the rock star!  All my life!  And I heard a voice in my head saying “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.”  And I got it.  I want to LIVE as if THIS is my LIFE and I’m the STAR and we’re rolling film right NOW!  What would look different?”

Ok, it’s a little embarrassing to share my journal, and yes, I did write all of that and use CAPS for emphasis and all those exclamation points!!!  And I do want to qualify that I don’t really want to be a rock star, I just want to star in my own life.  I want to show up and live each day like it’s not a dress rehearsal.  I know that could sound corny…but here’s the thing…

When you are around people who are dying, especially young people in their 40’s who have lovers and young children, and exciting career possibilities, you start to think about life and the impermanence of it.  The preciousness of it.  When Lance died, one of the messages I got was that I never, ever wanted the people in my life to wonder if I loved them.  I wanted to live each day loving my people and letting them know it.  I also want to celebrate life and hold the knowledge that it doesn’t last forever.  I asked myself in my journal “What would look different?” which is a really juicy question to ask oneself.  What would look different?  The things I can think of right now are I would live by the ocean, I would have a BLUE BUS all tricked out to explore the Golden State of California, I would swim with dolphins more, I would travel in a gypsy caravan of women and children all over the world, dancing, singing, drumming, praying, laughing, loving.  What about you?

My Blue Bus...the Blue Pearl
My Blue Bus…the Blue Pearl

*I always spent it with my grandparents in Narrangansett, Rhode Island, at the beach, with no alcoholic parents to mess it up.

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