Let’s get on with the show!

My smiling, determined, cousin, Carol, said, “Let’s get on with the show!” or words to that effect, on her deathbed. Dying just wasn’t her thang. A constant re-inventor, designer and seize-the-dayer, the notion of being dependent upon others as she wasted away in her plush, pillowy bed, was not on this fighter’s radar. Carol, the hurricane inspiration for this blog, was 68 when she died of pancreatic cancer.

To be forthcoming, Carol and I did not always get along. A decade older than me, she was the sister of my best friend in the world.  Jealousy and judgment caused a seismic rift between us, but in the end our mutual stubborn streaks gave way to love and forgiveness.

When it comes down to it, much of what keeps me up at night, turns my hair grey, and prompts me to stuff my face full of unhealthy crap, is utter nonsense. If I tallied up all the days and nights I’ve worried about things and people I can’t control it would easily amount to five years or 1,825 days or 43,800 hours of  wasted time.

At 68, Carolyn was too young to die. She had so much to live for. But I suppose everyone feels like that, including my 92-year-old dad who felt certain he’d visit dear old England one last time, but died in the hospital following a nasty infection.

Those loved ones, who ran out of time, fuel me with the passion to change. Starting today with the birth of this blog, I’m going to rededicate my life and focus on the good, not the bad.  I need a shift. A Cataclysmic Act III Shift. Because I don’t have six decades to figure this out any more. I’m in the home stretch. Not the end, I hope–and pray. I’m at that place in a race where the thought of giving up crosses your mind, because you are exhausted, but don’t because you’ve worked too damn hard to get to this point..

I see myself with a mile to go. Hopefully I’ll live as long as my dad. But if I don’t, I want to have the best possible quality of Life I can conjure.

Yes, I wish I had more money. And it would be great to be 50 pounds lighter. I wish the marriage thing worked out. Yeah, there’s a lot that could be better. But I’m sitting in my backyard typing on a new laptop (my 8-year-old Mac finally went kaput), enjoying the warm temps and the peace. No grandkiddos. No cooking or cleaning. Just me and my thoughts. Like Anne Morrow Lindbergh in “A Gift From the Sea”. I get to breathe. And rest. And be thankful: For my busy life as a mom, Gma, sister, cousin, teacher, friend and neighbor: To live in a rustic house in California: To have my dear blue heeler, Monet: To be friends with my ex-husband: To be able to vote for the candidate of my choice: To have interesting and deep discussions with my homies: To have health, a job, a home, food on the table, the desire to reflect, and change.

My heart is open. And I hope yours is too. For this will be a corner of the universe where we can have a cup of tea together, a few laughs and, no doubt, tears, as we share the journey. I am convinced, no matter how bad it may seem, Life IZ Good. The Best is Yet to Be. Proclaim it! Shout it from the balcony.  I don’t care if you are in your 20s or, like me, been on the planet for six decades. Birthdays don’t define us. Nor do looks. Wrinkles, double chins, pot bellies, are a reflection of life and, in my case, poor choices, physical qualities I don’t intend to face lift away. Because for me to see the goodness in others, I have to see goodness in myself–flaws and all.

So it begins.


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I’ve never done anything like this before. Being so incredibly vulnerable is scary. Figuring out internal stuff and sharing it with strangers is way, way  outside my box. But I’ve decided to take the plunge because I’m hoping to stumble upon some ideas and thoughts that may connect with others.

I’m 62. Not retired. Not even close to financially secure. I have a sizable mortgage, live close to the beach and have a clear vision of the life I wish to live; traveling in some sort of mini RV and meeting people I can grow and learn from. I always wished to be a pioneer woman and this would be my shot, minus the covered wagon.

I am in the process of shifting the way I think: I wish I was Mary Poppins, but I’m not. Life has kind of scratched up my rosy-colored glasses: I am a realist , but I also believe that The Best IZ Yet to Be.  Or, as another one of my Disney’s idols—Pollyanna Whitaker—once said, “If you look for the good you will surely find it.”

That’s what this journey is about: Retraining my greying mind and softening my heart. Returning, in a way, to that little pigtailed girl who lived on Spreckles Lane and knew, just knew, that things were going to go her way.

All those mean, nasty-spirited people who leave cruel comments, who shout down others’ ideas on TV and through social media, be gone! This is a soft-lit den, an oasis where we can re-group, re-think and challenge ourselves to dwell on the positive and possible.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton