I Opened the Door

It’s late. The full moon is hanging high outside the window, beaming brightly enough to light the room. We’ve watched it move in the sky a bit, first hanging low and so large it looked like a burning planet hovering just above the street lights. Now it’s softly shadowed by the tall trees in our backyard giving it just enough of a picturesque silhouette to frame it perfectly until it subtly moves again on its trajectory.

I’m writing in the moon glow after a long day of interesting happenings that re-confirmed my faith in life, after years of wondering if my out-of-control circumstances were leaving me in the dust.

“What a transitional day,” Sir Husband said as he took photos of the moon from the front porch.

I am exhausted from our day. So much energy was going out and coming in from all directions. Push push push…pull pull pull…run run run. Positive, but consuming nonetheless. Because just a few hours before that special moon rose, I took my own advice and changed my life. I gave my notice at the bookstore.

We are taught to follow our hearts, lead with our intuition, and trust that life always works out for the best. Some call that faith. Others call it luck. I call it my day.

I have been working for a long time on healing, on figuring out what I need to do, and who I need to be as I remake myself from a new and necessary perspective. We walk our paths and create our destinies, and learn by trial and error.

So as I shared with a friend today, I put my money where my mouth is and am living what I write about: hope, dreams, courage, strength, and a life in pursuit of bliss. It’s a big deal to quit a job, but I’m not doubting, I’m just doing what I know is right in my heart. I’m making room for all the goodness of what is right in my life, instead of putting up with what is wrong and therefore blocking the joy. It’s a scary leap but not really. I mean honestly it’s just a few hours a week at a bookstore.

No one deserves unhappiness in life, and no one can fix that but ourselves. Change is uncomfortable, but not as bad as living with daily despair. With change comes hope, with hope comes action, and with action comes joy.

Sir Husband is right along with me as we heal and grow together.  “Come out here and kiss me under this magical moon,” he said.

The full moon tonight was significant for two reasons. First, because it’s the second full moon in a month, and will not occur again until 2018. But second, because it was the first opportunity in a long time for the cosmos to work in our favor, if we believe in that. I do.

Within hours of giving my notice, career intentions came forth, seemingly out of nowhere. My phone rang off the hook. My email was on fire. And texts were pinging for hours. I was offered three freelance writing projects and a request to help edit a book. Ideas flowed into my head about what I needed to do, next steps, no fear, just inspiration.

All kinds of things opened up in my mind, and in my life. I got encouragement and a standing ovation for moving forward in my life from friends, from family, people I work with, and even strangers I met at dinner who heard us talking. And, in the quick hour Sir Husband and I took to catch our breath from the whirlwind of change, we found not one, but two pieces of deep blue sea glass on our special little beach- a rare and valued color. We took it as a sign.

I paused just now, and went outside with Sir Husband. We stood under the giant, beautiful moon and thought about the day. I rediscovered myself differently, still connected to the old, but opened up to the new. A wise woman told me that energy in our lives wants to flow, and it relies on us to guide it. Instead of shutting down when exhausted, or lost, or afraid, we must redirect it into renewal, creativity, and joy.

I decided to manifest a miracle today, the one that happens once in a blue moon.

Manifest a Blue Moon Miracle

It’s go time.  And we don’t even have to do anything except decide. Yes DECIDE.

This captivating and magical rare blue moon is giving us an open portal to manifestation, for whatever it is we are dreaming. Working towards. Thinking about. Desiring.

Maybe it’s closure of something, a relationship, a job, a lifestyle, an attitude. And with that closure comes an opening for something new. Because it’s when we decide to make change – and make it – even without all the answers, that is when miracles happen. No more excuses.

But let’s back up.

Perhaps you have noticed, or been part of turmoil, both in your own life and the world at large. These are changing times, a time when we as humanity start to awaken to a different side of ourselves, our spiritual side. Along with change comes chaos. We don’t know what to do with all of the messages or opportunities we have, that help us connect to ourselves as a vibrant and vital part of divinity. In other words, there’s more to life than our daily existence.

So how does the blue moon come into play? It’s simple astrology.

Full moons help us end situations. That old saying “once in a blue moon,” offers us the freedom we need to choose to make our lives better, however we want to make them. Literally.

We can listen to our hearts under the big, blue moon, and we can speak our truths, out loud. We can put pain and struggle and crises behind us, and move forward choosing what feels right. We can expand our empowerment, and not only believe in the goodness we so desire, but initiate it. And we can take an inventory and look at the big picture. Review the aspects of ourselves and our lives, and decide if they are keepers. If not, it’s time to make some decisions.

It’s not now or never, the blue moon will come again in January, 2018. But if you feel the nudging inside, or have had a wake up call, now is the time. Have a little trust, a little faith, in life, in the Universe, in yourself.  Sure it may seem strange, or scary, or even exhausting, and it’s ok to take some deep breaths and welcome the transition.  Do what works for you.

And if you think it’s all nonsense that’s fine. But at least take a look at the moon tonight. It’s a rare thing, this beautiful blue moon. It’s the second full moon in a month, and the dust in the atmosphere actually gives the moon a hue of blue. And while you’re looking at it, close your eyes and go all in. Even if you don’t believe, are you ready for a miracle?  It’s go time.

I Just Moved Up on the List

In the barely awake, fresh coffee haze of my morning, while scanning my emails, I noticed my son’s college tuition bill hanging out in my inbox. I panicked when I glanced at it, it’s due next week and his financial aid was not credited. Why? I guess they are missing some last-minute forms he was supposed to turn in a while back.

I reached for my phone to contact my son, who I knew would be asleep but instead accidentally texted my friend, who got a crack-of-dawn eyeful of parenting. She responded right away, and I think for a second caught a glimpse of her future, when her son eventually heads to school. Regardless, I had just typed the wrong person in my state of panic while trying to re-read the email and log on to his college account.

I’m starting to think the older I get, the more I fail at multi-tasking. I haven’t had time to google it, but I’m not on my game like I was for the last 20 years of raising kids. For the moment I’ll blame it on mid-life hormones, but in all honesty I think it’s years of excessive mental strain combined with my personality. My mind goes a mile a minute most of the time, and it wants to accomplish everything it needs to each day with utmost efficiency and speed. Some may call that OCD. I prefer to just think I try to kick butt at managing the daily list.

It wasn’t a bad text, just a shot of stern, layered with some urgency, and a dose of defeat. I know I talk about the boys being real people now, fairly grown up, and their kookiness at this awkward in between time of barely-past-teenager to now-young-adult. It goes without saying that no matter what they think they still need some assistance,  boys especially. But this morning when I tried to help manage the situation I realized I really can’t. This one is on him. He lives and works near the out-of-state school, he didn’t come home this summer, and he has to handle it in person. He is truly the one managing his own life.

This morning I was caught in the gap between worrying and trying to fix it, realizing that I can’t, and letting go. That’s a new place to be. And when I really thought about it, it was sort of freeing. I didn’t have to multi-task, but it seemed odd to un-do what felt natural – managing someone else’s stuff.

I carried that with me most of the day, a turning point of sorts. I think I forgot about my own transition in this new phase of my life, until just now overshadowed by his. We do that as parents for so long, putting them first, that we must learn there comes a time when we don’t put on the bandage anymore, and can focus on ourselves.

Meanwhile, same day, my youngest started driver’s ed and cannot even reach the pedals. That’s not true, he really can. He’s 15 going on 30 and signed himself up when I wasn’t looking. Never mind the hefty fee that he assumed I would cough up when it came time to pay. Point is, the turning points come quickly and when we aren’t really looking, and sometimes they aren’t even recognizable.

Late in the afternoon, now a different kind of tired, with a glass of wine in hand, I scanned my emails again, and noticed an invite from a friend and her husband to have dinner.  I perked up and for a minute remembered a me that used to be, but whose kids are now grown up. I embraced this shift in my world with a smile. Life goes on, and I’m ready.

#Truthbomb – End the Fight

It’s that time of day again, when I sit down and try to write something meaningful and poignant. But my eyes are dilated. Note to self, write blog before you go to eye doctor. Oops.

However, I do have something meaningful to say, just through the post of an inspirational guru who gets the job done with super sass. Danielle LaPorte, who shares her “white hot truth and sermons on life,” sends out weekly truthbombs for the willing and brave.

I think what she said today is important, and I think it will help a lot of people. I would like to claim it as my own, and I actually have my own version of it, not to mention practiced it over and over. But my eyes are dilated, so her words will do.

* * * * * *

When you’re done fighting for it. The upside of giving up.

Do you know the story of the man who was hitting himself over the head with a hammer? “Why do you keep hitting yourself with that hammer?” a shocked passerby asked him. “Because,” the man replied, “it’s going to feel so good when I stop.”

Examine the evidence. You keep fighting the same fight. You’re losing sleep. You’re sick of hearing yourself complain about the same damn things over and over again (yammer, hammer, hammer). Clearly, wrestling isn’t getting you closer to free. It’s quite possible that…you have no fight left in you.

This is excellent news! This is beautiful! Because…

When you have no fight left in you, you get to stop fighting. And this defeat can be a major victory.

He’s not going to change — even though he could. And if he did, it would take a few years — how many more years are you going to give? She’s not going to budge. She’s told you so, repeatedly — so believe her. Your industry isn’t getting more enlightened, the signs are everywhere — stop trying to change the game and go where you can really play. In terms of some of your dreams…if it were going to happen, it would have happened by now.

We are talking about the divinity of laying your burden right the hell DOWN.

4 ways to make it easier to let go of goals and projects  this includes work projects, relationship “projects”, soul projects:

  1. Focus on the relief of giving up. I’m going to stop fighting with this because I just.want.peace. I’m going to stop grinding, because I want more ease in in my life. I’m declaring my karma PAID, IN FULL. I’m done learning my lessons through suffering, I’m going to learn more gracefully now. I know there’s a better way and I’m going to allow for that. I already feel relieved.
  1. Focus on the benefits of no longer fighting. Less fighting, less crying, less over-eating, fewer therapy bills. More sleep, more space, more time, more creativity, more free expression, way more energy, more YOU…(keep the list going…)
  2. Focus on your core desired feelings. The big bonus of NOT feeling the way you want to is that you get really clear on how you DO want to feel. We learn through contrast.
  3. Focus on your NEW ideal. Note: NEW. Don’t slip into dream-resurrection. (They’ll change, you’ll change, the industry will change…) You want an equal relationship, you want to feel vital, you want to earn a living that’s totally in sync with your soul.

When you stop struggling to make something go the way you’ve wanted it to, you shift the energy grid of your life. Facing the facts is liberating (even though it can be wrenching) — and with that truth comes a major power surge. And when you’re done fighting, you’re done fighting. It’s bittersweet relief. Focus on the sweet.

* * * * * * *

Thank you Danielle. I’ll just pepper it with a little bit of my own learned wisdom.

Stop fighting yourself.  We can get so caught up in the fight, that even when it’s long over, and no one is standing on the playing field but ourselves, we have to look around at the empty stadium and realize that we are the only ones left. We need to stop the battle inside ourselves and say thank you. Thank yourself for giving it your best shot. Thank yourself for trying. Thank yourself for believing and fighting until the end. And then thank yourself for walking away. Because in the end, we only have ourselves, and that’s who really matters.

www.daniellelaporte.com

Home is Where the Fish is

It’s no mystery to those who know me, that although I was born in the midwest, I am a native of New England. In heart and mind that is. All the trips my family took to the Cape and the Islands, staying in rose-covered cottages each summer as I was growing up – boats and beaches, whales and lobsters, and of course chowder and fish. I ate none of it. I ordered a cheeseburger. My Indiana roots had that covered, but my my past life Mayflower roots rose to the surface at about the age of 18.

While I wouldn’t touch a New England-style fish growing up, now that’s my favorite. Lobster straight up, no butter, no mayo, just the lobster, and a roll, maybe some home made potato chips. Broiled, baked, or grilled cod, a local favorite, with just some butter or olive oil, a dash of white wine and some crumbs, I’m in heaven. Fish sandwich so fresh it melts in your mouth, and a side of slaw. No need for anything else. I love everything about New England fish and there’s nothing like it, no matter what anyone thinks.

When I moved to New York to be with Sir Husband a few years ago I was leery of giving up fresh fish. It could not be fresh anywhere else, that’s not possible. Straight from the boat to the grill on the coast, no dead fish on ice in planes or in trucks trekking across state lines for me. Sir Husband assured me the fish in upstate New York was incredibly fresh and delicious. He was so wrong. Sadly he did not believe me.

But it wasn’t just the fish. New England was in my blood, whether from past lifetimes as a Pilgrim or Salem witch, I could not let it go. I love everything about it, and can’t even really pinpoint why. Why do we love anywhere? It feels right to us, deep on the inside. So living in upstate New York, I was a like fish out of water. Sure it’s lovely but there’s no ocean, a lake will not do. And there is fish, but it’s not the fresh kind that fresh really is.

Sir Husband and I grew up together in the midwest, but we both moved east after college. Only he moved to New York, it was where he wanted to be. He could not believe that I was possibly at all right about the fish. “How could it be that good?” he would say. He didn’t mean just the fish.

Many a night we got into long conversations and debates around the dinner table jousting about my Boston home – the history, the culture, the scenery, the vibe, I lived there longer than anywhere else in my life. My children chimed in and laughed a lot, sometimes siding with him, sometimes with me. They are native Bostonians for real. But Sir Husband poo-poo’d me, and when we went out to dinner he would order fish just to make a point to me that it was delicious. It was not. Mmmmmm, he would say. Gross. I usually ordered a cheeseburger.

But then we moved from Sir Husband’s longtime New York home back to my coastal homeland. And we started buying fish on a regular basis in the port, where fisherman unload their boats right on the docks. No messing around here, from the water to the frying pan now.

At the end of a long workday, we grabbed a piece of fish, and grilled it, made some rice pilaf and sliced some fresh summer tomatoes. It was late and we were hungry. As I carried a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses to the table I heard something that changed my life in one moment.

“I love New England,” Sir Husband said.

“What?” I said, and turned around to see him for myself. “Say it again.”

“You heard me,” he said as he put our fish on the plates. “You heard me.”

Music to my ears. He’s finally home.

Declutter Your Life, Soar Your Soul

Let’s admit it, we as a culture are attached to our stuff. We accumulate it, we love it, we store it. And before we know it, we are hoarders, or at least watching Hoarders on TV wondering how on earth that happens.

If you’re like me, it won’t happen. I’ve been throwing things out as long as I can remember. I’ve seen the show a few times and as uncomfortable as it is to watch, I can still learn a lot. But not as much as I just learned when I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I only read it because everyone is talking about it and I had to see what the deal was. I didn’t think I needed it.

Author Marie Kondo, a Japanese cleaning consultant, teaches how to tidy up on a grand scale, and has something big going. Not only is her book wildly popular with the masses, she has a several-months long waiting list for an appointment. What does she know that I don’t? I have considered myself the Queen of Lean…items that is. I clean things out frequently, and I didn’t think I kept much. I was wrong on two counts.

Kondo teaches the KonMari method, which is to clean out and organize by category, not room by room…and if you do it once you will never need to do it again. But where’s the fun in that? I also learned that even those of us who clean out need a refresher course, and I was amazed at how much I truly did have in spite of my semi-annual pitch outs.

I’ve frequently heard through the years that people who throw things away, or are very organized, or streamline their environment on a regular basis, are trying to find something that they can control in their lives when their lives feel out of control. I buy that.

Kondo says that we don’t keep anything that does not bring us pure joy by having it. That applies to everything from clothing to paper clips. And when we are surrounded by joy we will feel more joyful. Likewise, when we remove things that do not bring us joy, we open up “space” in our lives – and by default then, space in our bodies, minds, and spirits. I knew this would be fun, why not. I had a long chat with Sir Husband about it, and we agreed that we could use more joy in our lives, and more space would just be a bonus.

I was actually eager to get started. I love doing this. So with Sir Husband at work and morning coffee in hand, I started in the living room, and figured I’d have that room along with our bedroom, bathroom, and hall closet done by noon, we don’t have that much stuff. Oops. Little did I know.

When I touched items to try to see if they elicited joy, enough to keep them, all kinds of other things were elicited, and I would not call it all joy. My life is surrounded by the things accumulated during a difficult marriage – a pretty good chunk of my lifetime. I am pretty sure I already got rid of most of the things from my childhood.

The question is, are those feelings that are coming up about each item because of the less than joyous time in my life? Or because of the person or people affiliated with those things who may have robbed me of joy? And does that even matter? Is it about joy in general, then or now?

I went pretty deep with this. And while I could not really answer those questions without consulting the book again – although I’m pretty sure she did not go into that kind of detail – I learned something else.

As I touched each item with an open heart and mind, other things came to me that were surprising. This book belongs to….  This DVD belongs to…  This CD belongs to… 

There were several things that did not feel like they were mine, in fact they felt as if they belonged to others. Not literally – I did not take these items. I mean energetically. As if the cosmos were saying that these items should go to these people.  See? Deep.

It was kind of tiring. Not from moving things around physically, in fact I always feel energized cleaning things out and organizing both what I’m keeping, as well as organizing what I’m giving away. But after working on half of the living room I was drained, fatigued, emotionally tired, heavy layers of something hovering and lifting and hovering again, in and on my body. It didn’t last long.

This Japanese art thing truly must be an ancient secret divulged not just from Eastern tradition, but philosophy and spirituality.

I was chatting with a wise woman about it, and she said she too, feels tremendous ease in “living simply.” When she did a similar task of cleaning out her home, she used the “love it or use it” motto. If it doesn’t serve you, then let it go. That one works well for Sir Husband, who much to my surprise dug right in to his large bookcase of books when he got home from work.

There’s always time for some life-changing magic.

Read Between the Lines

I’m seriously mind blown by people. It amazes me what they will do, allow, ask for, demand, create, or ignore in my presence on any given day at work. I work in retail, which in and of itself is not my favorite, but I stick with it because it’s books and I love books.

The little independent store has a distinctive welcome, relax, read vibe. Rows of brand new books, the touch of which are smooth, crisp, sensual if you will. The store smells of clean and perfectly printed paper and the aromatic candle burning at the counter. The colors, images, and styles of book covers beg you to take a peak inside, where words create images in your mind and imagination. Big leather chairs for comfortable seating help you to do just that. Long antique windows stream in bright, natural light even on a cloudy day. Soft acoustic guitar, classical or jazz background music hovers in the background. It’s really a special nook on quiet Main Street.

Oh so sorry my dog peed on the rug. We’ll come back later.

Are you going to clean that up?

We accidentally spilled our coffee on the carpet. Sorry.

Did you clean it up?

We left the dirty diaper in the bathroom trash.

That probably smells lovely. Thank you.

My baby ripped the covers of the books we were reading. We left them back on the floor.

Hmmm.

Do you have an iPhone 5 charger here somewhere I can borrow? I forgot to charge my phone. 

Sure this is an Apple store

Can I use your printer? 

Ummm…it’s broken?

I’m going to leave the kids here while I go to yoga class.

Ah, did not realize I was your daycare.

It’s not hard to lose faith in some people, some days. It’s not a playground, or day care, or dog park, public bathroom, or even cell phone charging station. But I guess it’s good that it feels like home to them.

While every day at the bookstore is different, some things never change. Like the wonder of new books and what’s inside of them. Although it’s small, there is literally something for everyone. The information contained inside these walls expands worlds. Who will you meet? What will they want, or do, or say? It’s almost like a portal to something beyond yourself, taking you to another place you probably haven’t been, or maybe where you were. You can see it through new eyes, hear different perspectives, learn something new or challenge something old. Or simply make or clean up messes.

I recently saw a social media post from Wayne Dyer, self development author and speaker who exudes wisdom. It sticks with me every time I go to work. Read the books that mysteriously show up in your life and pay close attention to conversations that seem to indicate you are being called to something new. 

If I am paying attention, perhaps I’m headed towards day care or dog care, cleaning services, or even a job at Apple. But not really. What I’m paying attention to is the intuition that happens when I pick up a book, or talk with a customer. When people come into the bookstore they always have something to say, something to share, or something to ponder. And the exchange goes both ways. What is the meaning in this for me? Is there a connection? Is my world expanding even as we speak? The idea is that there is a message in all of our encounters, with people and with books.

Such simple advice from Dr. Dyer, but also so easy to forget, when you are scrubbing carpet or changing someone else’s diaper trash, or sadly storing away ripped or damaged books.

But it’s all about living in the present moment they say. Mindfulness, present awareness, it is supposed to decrease stress and increase gratitude for all the things we miss when our thoughts and emotions are elsewhere. That’s actually what happens when we read. We are fully present in that moment, reading, no matter where the pages take us, and there’s a lot to be gained from that.

You don’t have to work in a bookstore to read books that show up in your life. Same can be said for conversations. And if we are paying attention in those moments, who knows where we will be called. The question is, are we listening.

A lot happens at the pretty, little bookstore. That’s not to say I don’t have some grrr with the messy side of retail, because I’m not sure how I’d fare if there wasn’t something deeper. And while I may lose faith in people, I guess I never lose faith in myself. Because when I’m cleaning up after them, I’m growing, expanding, and learning. The question is, am I paying attention.

A Call to Healing: The Lost Tribe

There are different times in our lives when things float to the surface of our psyche, tapping or nudging to be noticed. They may seem to come out of nowhere, but indeed they come from somewhere deep inside of us, lost or forgotten pain that decides it’s time to surface. We can pay attention to it, or we can shove it away until later. It will come again, it always does.

I knew a long time ago when I lived a life surrounded by close friends who were like family that I had a good thing going. I recognized it at the time, and cherished every moment with each of them as if I knew somehow that one day they all would be gone. They say we write the scripts of our lives before we get here, I can’t imagine that I would have written in so much pain. But I try to step back and look at what the message in that pain may be. It takes an open mind and heart, time and patience, and also some degree of personal responsibility.

I built a life with my children surrounded by like-minded moms, and dads, who became part of my tribe. You know the phrase, it takes a village? Well it does, especially with kids. It’s easy to meet similar souls when your children are young. Each year as they grow together, you grow together as parents. And like with the children, sometimes friendships stick, and sometimes they don’t. But eventually you settle in to a tight-knit group of people who you can call home.

It takes a long time to build your tribe of like-minded people, so when life changes you hope for the best on several fronts – that they will understand, support, and endure. The insanity of Mr. Ex’s addiction was the first thing creating static with my friends. To the outside world, my inside one seemed crazy, and it was. It is nearly impossible to manage life with an addict, you are always at the end of a smoking gun, or caught in the crossfire of their own drama. At the same time I was raising a child on the autism spectrum, whose day to day life literally hung in the balance. My friends were in an awkward position, although most of them stayed true, offering the kind of support only a family-like tribe does. Unconditional.

They stuck with me through my dramatic life changes year after year, watching me survive, helping me survive. They supported and encouraged me leaving my marriage to an addict and years of subsequent abuse, they even helped me along the way. They cheered in joy and hugged in happiness when I re-met the love of my life, my childhood best friend and cherished life partner. They even stayed with me when I moved out of state, again and again. But eventually my life’s stories took their toll. The excessive terroristic reign of Scary Mrs. Ex and her tribe, did mine in. Caught up in a situation that was not my doing, and my family’s need to live with police assistance because of it, makes it a bit awkward for most.

I read an article about a woman who had trouble keeping friends by affiliation that her mother was a drug addict. She lived her life under the judgmental eyes that she too, must be an addict, although she was not, and in fact held her family together because her mother could not. I get that. I did the same in my family when Mr. Ex was in his throws. But I think it’s more than that. I think people get tired of watching drama and trauma up close on a daily basis, and stay away from the toxicity of it. I think they take as much as they can and then they opt out. I guess I don’t really blame them. In fact, this isn’t about blame at all.

It’s about pain. These people were family to me, and I feel their loss quite deeply. My life is peaceful and calm now, finally through all the horror. They don’t know the me I am, the me I’ve become, me without the chaos. The one who evolved, who learned, whose life changed for the better, and who has a wonderful husband. There is space and room for friends and for fun, connection and companionship. I miss those gone, and I hold dear the special few who are right now by my side.

I am trying to make new friends in yet another new state, find a new village, a new tribe, or even a few souls who are seeking the same, and slowly I am. But what I find are people who already have what I lost. I see it so clearly I almost cannot stand it because it reminds me, and I feel a bit alienated. I’m sure I have plenty to work on here, and I’m sure it is all about grief.

I saw a post on Facebook that said it sucks when you think you have a new friend and you really don’t. Sure does. And likewise, it sucks when you lost those you thought were lifelong.

Tap…tap…tap. Pay attention to the call. In order to heal we need to feel, says Baron Baptiste, my first yoga instructor and a well-respected guru.

When we live with an open heart, we know we can be hurt, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As hard as it is, friends will come and go, and those who stay are gifts. And if I did indeed write the script of my life, then I must have also written in the love of my life, a love beyond words. When we have and share love, for as long as we have it, we have everything.

Simply A Sliver Will Do

“We finally had a sliver of vacation!” Sir Husband said as we drove away at dusk from our favorite local destination spot – a beautiful and bustling seaport village only a half hour or so from home.

“Vacation” for us turns into a few hours together on our mutual day off. He works hard for his money and doesn’t get much time to show for it, so most of our happy honey time together is every night at home, not in a get away sort of way. The man was more than happy when we got to spend a little time indulging in the dream down the road. “One day it will be more than a sliver,” he said. “It will be the whole pie, even if it’s here.”

Here is not only quite close to home, it’s really more like home. My mother has lived here for many years, so we know it like the back of our hand, and it’s not necessarily a vacation. But we love it, and actually wish we had moved here too.

We drove the winding shoreline along with the tourists who stop for a glimpse of the First Family of Maine’s summer home. I have to say I’m not a fan of politics or taking sides of much of anything, but I enjoy a ride past the Bush compound when we’re in that neck of the woods, you never know who or what you will see.

The nearby beach is one of our favorites, tiny and simple. We enjoy walking atop the long rock jetty out into the sea, and watching the ships sail by. The yachts and boats that float around this port are something to behold.

So is the seafood. One of our preferred food haunts for more than a decade is just a quick walk from the beach, where good ol’ George H.W. has his own table in the corner. The circa 1960s fish shack only seats a handful and we love the fried platter of all kinds of local seafood.

But it’s not just the seafood at this incredible family-run dive. It’s the dessert. Simply called peanut butter pie, this large piece of pie is homemade vanilla ice cream, layered with swirls of homemade peanut butter throughout, sitting in a homemade thick graham cracker crust, covered in homemade hot fudge and yes, freshly whipped cream. Mmmmmm. I order it every time, and I put my face in it when it arrives. Literally. It’s so dense, one time I accidentally bent my fork when trying to eat it, so I gave up and just had at it. Sir Husband says people would pay money to see his princess eat this pie.

Our little sliver of vacation most certainly would include the usual, from a good look at the Bush compound and activity there, to walking on the beach and sitting on the jetty, to a cold chardonnay and fresh fish, and of course my favorite dessert, a big piece of the pie.

We took it all in on our special vacation day together – the balmy sea breeze, salty air, and glorious summer sunshine….feet sinking into the soft sand, toes touching the chilly water, hand-holding and happiness to just be together without worry or requirements. But we forgot one thing. Tourist season. The wait for fish was forever, our little dive was out. So we ordered pizza instead and went over to my mother’s.

While it may have only been a few hours – to unplug, be at the ocean, and enjoy being part of the vacation life that we really don’t ever get – it was just what Sir Husband needed. The only thing missing was the peanut butter pie. One day we will have more than a sliver.

My Fear of Disappointing Others

I’m a coward. I realized that today. Or maybe it’s best to not generalize with that broad of a term. What it comes down to is not disappointing others. So when I have to change plans that I may have had with someone, or can’t do something they need or ask me to do, or even when I am feeling inadequate when comparing myself to others who may be doing more than I am in work, in life or in general, I feel like I’m letting someone down, and feel really bad about it.

Any 12-step program for victims of abuse or alcoholism or addiction, or whatever is the issue of choice (and I hate the word “victim,”) would validate me. Of course you don’t want to disappoint anyone! You grew up….were raised in….were part of…in a marriage of... – choose your scenario – and it’s perfectly natural that you make sure you will not be hurt by disappointing people. I also think it’s a personality trait that may be nurtured into fear of asserting your own needs or internal power.

Whatever the reason, this internal issue prevents me from having the confidence in the decisions I make that are best for ME, as I interact with the world at large. So life is a learning curve. I’m sure I’m learning.

This desire to not disappoint is interesting, it somehow transforms into obligation. I will answer texts even if I don’t want to, just so the other person isn’t disappointed to not have a response, even if it does not call for one. I’ll send a smiley face so they are acknowledged. I will take phone calls when it’s not convenient, or agree to plans so I don’t appear anti-social even if it’s not the best timing. I force myself to do things when I’m better off resting my tired body, or taking care of my own needs. I try to not disappoint people and obligate myself to my own detriment. Not good.

But I don’t know how to NOT do it. I am pretty sure I have been this way forever. And I’m not sure what to do about it. It does not feel natural to assert my own needs, because I have lived most of my life with other people asserting theirs. It usually made me feel small, or unimportant, or worse, worthless. The assertion was always that their needs were more important than mine, mine didn’t matter, and how dare I even have any. And when I did assert them, there was always a punishment, and I was told I was being selfish. Tough stuff. Is it really selfish to have personal needs?

Well I do have needs, and I’d like to assert them. But I’m afraid to. Funny thing is, I’m really not. When it comes to fighting for my family, or what is right, or advocating for the underdog, I’m determined, tenacious, and once I was even labeled formidable. Don’t know if that’s a good thing.

So I thought about this a lot today when I had to change some plans. Then I remembered something a wise woman once told me. To label myself a coward means I’m not standing in my power, not tending to my own self needs, but instead am neglecting myself, and worse, judging myself for not measuring up to some set of standards. But whose? Hmmm. If I like myself and am confident enough to believe in myself, then disappointing others won’t be an issue…for me anyway, and I guess that’s what really matters. Here’s to self-love. For all of us.