Life is about a lot of things

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Yesterday began as nothing special.  But that nothing special day changed drastically when my car made the familiar turn onto my road and I casually glanced along the macadam towards my house.  What I saw on the road made me do a double-take and tears instantly welled in the corners of my eyes.

A random woman, a stranger, was walking her two small dogs, one black and one white, down my road and for a split second I could have sworn it was my mother.  When she was still alive, my mother chose to park her car in my driveway and walk her two small dogs, one black and one white, on my road because it was a much quieter street than hers was.  When I came home from work, I would see the silhouette of my mother and her two sidekicks as they simultaneously pulled her in a myriad number of directions.  It was a struggle for her but she walked those little dogs until she could walk them no more.

Before I realized it, I had come to a complete stop and simply watched this woman walking down the road.  I don’t know how many minutes passed before the fading contour of her shadow turned onto the side road and disappeared.  The clock of my nothing special day stopped and I couldn’t move.  I could barely breathe.

The hopeful part of me anticipated that the woman would turn around and come back.  The stubborn part of me was willing to sit in the middle of the road until she did because the child in me thought for a split second that my mother would be the one to round that corner on her way back.

Eventually I collected myself and pulled my car into the driveway.  I was already on the verge of an ugly cry and I stood in front of the Birch sapling I planted last year in her memory and nothing could stop that surge of emotion from escaping.  But the cry was much shorter than I expected.  As I looked at that young sapling, struggling to grow again after such an arduous winter, I realized that life does go on.  We endure many hardships, we suffer through tough times, but beauty always has a way of sneaking into our lives, even when we think the best things in our lives have been taken.

mom's tree

(this photo was taken last year, shortly after it was planted)

Life evolves.  Life is about birth, growth, love and death.  But life is also about remembering, cherishing, holding on to memories and carrying on.  Life is about chance encounters, reconnecting with friends, deja vu and finding new things to love.  And life is about knowing you were once able love something so much that it physically hurts when you realize it is gone forever.

Life is about a lot of things.  But good or bad, life happens every day.  I am just thankful that I am still able to wake up each morning, engage with the people I still have in my life and spend time remembering those who have been able to emerge from their cocoon and spread their wings in a new reality.

Life is about a lot of things.  But most of all, life is about finding some happiness in the saddest part of your day.

To bake, or not to bake? That is the question.

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Once upon a time I had a cake decorating business that I ran from my home.  I made wedding cakes and novelty cakes and I really loved the creative escape….not to mention the fantastic smell in my house.

I slowly phased myself out of that cake business because “real life” didn’t want to make room for the enjoyable moments of,  not only creating extra income but, embracing another journey of artistic freedom.  But I’ve missed it.  And I knew I missed it but I didn’t realize how much until I agreed to make a cake for a 50th birthday party this weekend.  The birthday girl loves sailing and this was the cake I made for her surprise party.

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Just spending the last two days in the kitchen reminded me how one avenue of imagination can create a wider road of happiness.  This is one of my true passions and I made the mistake of ignoring it.  I put obligation and responsibility ahead of creativity and contentment.  And if the picture of the cake above wasn’t enough to make me rethink my decision…..

cake after

….the photograph of the rapidly disappearing remains of the cake certainly solidified my decision to put up my sign that I am back in the cake business.

Sometimes having to make a choice is difficult.  Sometimes we think we are doing what is best but maybe the best thing is to hang on to the things we really love and throw the rules out the window.  Life it too short to make decisions based on what we think we should do instead of making decisions based on what we really want.

The me that is me

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sunrise-18a

The sun peeks into my room at dawn,

and I greet it with a smile.

The morning brings the songs of life

and I do nothing but listen for a while.

I smile knowing that all is right

as I prepare to greet the day.

I feel like I am where I should be,

sadness and happiness equally weigh.

Every part of my life right now

is exactly what it should be.

I wouldn’t change a single thing

for these moments have brought me to me.

I have loved and lost and cried my tears,

my heart has been broken before.

But mending those breaks only fueled my fire,

left me stronger and wanting more.

 I know what I want, I know what I deserve,

and that I will never second guess.

It may be elusive and difficult to get

but I will never settle for less.

 The sun peeks into my room at dawn,

never knowing what it will see.

But I greet it every day with strength

and the confidence to believe in the me that is me.

 (image credit)

Screw it, Ray Bradbury….something GOOD this way comes

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For the first time in my life, I feel like I am in the right place at the right time.  Something good is about to happen.  It may not be news-worthy to the world but it will affect me immensely.  I feel it.  I feel it like the Earth feels the tidal pull.  I feel it like the horizon feels the sun rise being birthed from its shores.  I feel it like the night sky feels the first star burning its light into the blackness.  It’s there…..and I can almost reach out and touch it.  I just don’t know what it is.

Many things have happened to me throughout my lifetime.  Some of those things have been wonderful and some have been stored in the vault of memories titled ‘lessons’.  The culmination of all of those events has brought me to where I am now.  Because of those situations, I have gained confidence where I used to wallow in self-doubt.  I have achieved a level of comfort in who I am as a person.  And I have grasped the definition of what I want in my life.  It took me 46 years to get here but the journey was worth it.  I have finally allowed myself to be the person who was hiding in my own shadow.

shadow

(image credit)

Sure, there are moments I fall back into the secluded darkness of that shadow but those moments are fleeting.  Those junctures of time only serve to remind me of who I once was and who I have since become.  I feed on the strength I have gained.  I thrive on being the person I was meant to be and I hold fast to the lessons that each of those bumps has etched into the road that is my life.

There will always be moments that I shall forget the tenacity that has brought me to my now.   There will forever be junctures in my life that I may lose sight of the higher roads that I have taken.  But I can only take comfort in the fact that the skin I am cloaked in now fits me as it should.  I can take solace in the conviction that I have learned from each lesson I was taught.  And I can count on the feeling that I am where I need to be and that something good IS going to happen…..and it’s going to happen to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you just want to be the biggest loser

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After many months of prolonging the inevitable torture, I am finally ready to admit it is time to be serious and get myself into summer-shape.  And by summer-shape, I don’t mean round.

violet2

(image credit)

It’s time to hold myself accountable for those invisible pounds that crept into my room at night and methodically attached themselves to parts of my body whilst I slumbered.  My wardrobe has begun to mock me while threatening to abandon ship.  It’s time to get a buddy and make the goal a reality.  It’s time to put the spring back in my step instead of breaking the diving board.  It’s time to get back what I’ve lost.  No, wait.  It’s time to lose….what I….got back.  Now I’m confused.

A few years ago, I went on a very noble quest to get healthy.  And that I did.  I diligently tracked my food choices and the only processed food I ate was food I had processed myself.  There was no bread involved, nothing packaged and nothing I couldn’t pronounce.  I simply ate whole, natural food and at the end of my journey I had lost fifty pounds and felt amazing.

As reality is wont to do, it came stomping in and replaced my determination with dejection.   It exchanged my willpower with weakness and it magically turned me into a shape-shifter.  I went from healthy and happy to fleshy and faking it without even putting up a fight.

Well, the gloves are back on.  I remember what it felt like to be so proud of my accomplishment.  I recall how wonderful I felt being so healthy and I wish that for myself again.  Since I began my first journey on May 1st, I shall do the same again this year.  The lemons will be stocked, the spices abundant and the determination back and in high gear.

Cooking has always been a passion so now I shall choose a much more intelligent selection of ingredients before I lift the “mystery box” and delve into the long-lost world of cooking with the right food.  I may not win a million dollars at the end of my arduous journey but I will be The Biggest Loser….or the smallest loser…..why is this so confusing??