That’s Not How it Was Supposed to Happen

not this wayHow many times have you thought that, or even said it out loud? A lot of things come about and unfold in a very different way than we had ever predicted.

I read and re-read an issue of Shambhala Sun magazine from 2011. It’s about love in all of its chameleon-like forms. Today, I read a passage that struck a cord in me;

“…Finally, as in a fairy tale, she said, “Okay, I’ll marry you”. So they got married and had a couple of kids and then, as you might have predicted, she left and he went crazy for a while. Love is a whole thing – the wooing, the doubts, the attempt to overcome the doubts, the breakup, the going crazy. You don’t get only the nice bits and you don’t actually want to get only the nice bits.  Obstacles are intrinsic to love and enlightenment; without obstacles the transformation inside the lover can’t find its form or come into being…”

Singledom has never felt better, even though, just like the rest of you fabulous darlings, I’m getting older with every tick of the clock. Motherhood has never been more satisfying, even though my baby is way too big to cuddle, and is almost ready to fly the coop. My career  has never been more satisfying, despite not being or doing what I thought I would be when I started out over 20 years ago. My friendships have never been more rich and satisfying.

Who knew life would be this way?

Like venturing out on a roadtrip, it’s the winding backroads and charming little towns that  you didn’t know were there,  which make the journey an adventure.

It’s only the view from the valley that allows you to take in the full majesty of the mountains, and only from the mountain-tops that you can appreciate the lush tangle of life that exists in their shadow.

Life isn’t what I thought it would be, but unlike many people who’ve settled for relationships (of every kind), I’ve left my door open just a little bit for something wonderful.

Instead of imagining the worst, why not begin to daydream about meandering around the next bend when you bump into that special something or someone?

 

 

 

 

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Waitin’ On the Day

Tuesday, by far, the longest day of any week.

It’s time to sit back darling. Relax by an open window with the moonlight shining in on you and take  time to breathe deeply, and dream of the day you’ve been waiting on….

 

Life-Uversity

carrouselIt never ends, does it?

You know what I mean darlings, this learning something new every day.

When I was much younger, and had a whole  of  uncultivated fabulousness, I thought that one day, I would have it all together. All -as in my life. As in career, finances, family and my man.

Ha! Haha! Please stop reading for 15 seconds while I try to contain my hysterical laughter and go get a tissue.

Life, as it turns out is a series of lessons, tests of character, and moments of exquisitely breathtaking, and sometimes painful beauty.

Dennis Leary had a blunt, but oh-so-marvelously-truthful comedy skit about happiness. At about fifty-five seconds into this video, he nails it. He speaks the truth about happiness as we know it; it is fleeting, so enjoy it while it lasts.

On the flip side, my juicy little niblets, life is agonizing as well. The key is to ride the ups and downs of life more like a carousel than a thundering roller coaster destined for hell.

Life, if anything, is chaos, change, impermanence, and a relentless opportunity to learn that you really know absolutely everything and nothing at all.

So choose joy when you can. Choose mischief and fun, and  the occasional sweaty tousle under the sheets when the opportunity arises (ah-hem).

Just remember, what goes up must also come down. And what hits rock bottom generally bounces back up.

 

 

When Women Go Wrong

 

….men go right after them…

~Mae West~

womengowrong

That Ship Has Sailed

sailboatsPeople change.

So it naturally follows that what we want, what we need, and what makes us happy changes as well.

In a day, a moment, a split-second, everything can change. And, it can change back.

We live during a time when communication is too often summed up in pithy short one-liners that are often contradictory; “Don’t burn your bridges”, or if it suits you better, “Sometimes the future is best seen by the light of a burning bridge”.

Hmm…how on earth does a girl choose?

Do we light that sucker up, or do we keep smiling and leave the bridge in tact?

Well, if someone is toxic, mean-spirited, and generally an all around douche, burn that bridge baby.  Otherwise, keep your mouth shut and carry on.

Trust me, if you think that a certain ship has sailed, whether it be a relationship, professional contact, or opportunity, be sure that same ship will come back to port, if even just to refuel and load more rum.

Be ready for it darlings.

Perception

"The truth can be  seen from different doorways."

“The truth can be seen from different doorways.”

You call it a lie, I call it protecting someone from a painful truth.

I call it a lie, you call it protecting someone from a painful truth.

From either perspective, the other is an inconsiderate pimple on the bum of life.

Perception is as unique as our fingerprints,  as  delicate and yet  impossibly strong as a spider web.

When you open your eyes to limitless perceptions of the most seemingly insignificant things, it can take you down an endless rabbit-hole of realities you never dreamed existed.

As I sat across from a woman whom I hadn’t seen since she was a girl, this concept of perception whispered underneath the chatter of the café.

I had always thought of her as meek, raised in a traditional Mennonite family. She, as it turns out always thought of me as bubbly, cheerful, having a wonderful life. After 22 years of living our lives and becoming the women that we are, we learned that none of that was true. Twenty years ago, she was thirsty for travel and adventure, and inside I was a trembling mess of insecurity trying to escape a life of abuse. Who knew?

What is important, is that today, we are both strong, capable, very amazing women who have both travelled, and come home to roost, comfortable in our own skin and knowledge of who we are. Yes darlings, we’re deliciously confident women. Perception.

The creative spirit is one that needs sustenance. If we deny it, it withers like tender shoots in the scorching mid-day sun.  I wish you all simple abundance, unfettered joy, and true love.

The creative spirit is one that needs sustenance. If we deny it, it withers like tender shoots in the scorching mid-day sun.
I wish you all simple abundance, unfettered joy, and true love.

Later that day, having tea with a friend at the AGO, I shared the news of my recent professional triumph, and we discussed the world we work in, both from very different perspectives.  The conversation left me with a richer sense of the industry within which we work, and a delicately beaded clutch of knowledge to bring to the boardroom table.

I chose my galleries with care, and wandered off to see Scott McFarland’s; Snow , Shacks, Streets, Shrubs exhibit.  The wide-format photos were magnificent, and just like the review said, it made time slow down as I stopped to consider each piece.

Two of the photos were taken just up the road from where I live, in Caledon. The photos had been edited, one side of the wide print including snow and barren trees, the other, carefully blended  the snow with green grass and trees in their full, early summer splendor.  Seasons of nature and an individual’s lifetime lend their own light, shadows and perspective.

seaworldBrian Jungen and Duane Linlater’s Modest Livelihood film installation was my final stop at the gallery this weekend. As someone intimately familiar with the clinical aspects of human anatomy, I found the film (presented from the perspective of two indigenous artists who are moose-hunting), fascinating with regard to our perceptions of mortality, our own bodies and how we relate to the natural world.

Having grown up in the country with hunters and farmers, my perception of what we put on the table is much different than most. When I balk at the idea of a ‘juicy steak’ from the grill this long weekend, very few people understand my perspective, and why I can’t think of anything worse.

Perception; stretched out with an old beaux on Friday night, toasting my success with a glass of  bubbly, we had the opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings about why things went side-ways all of those years ago. Like side-ways in a ‘what the hell just happened’ kind of way. After all, when two people care about and even admire one another, what could possibly go wrong? Perception, expectation; basically everything.

I’ve been around here for a while, and I’ve learned that my perception is mine alone. It takes some sincere caring, courage and ego-dropping not only ask for another’s perspective, but to chew it over when it has the potential to leave a stinging, bitter taste.

The truth can be seen from different doorways indeed. I hope I’m always brave enough to go linger a while with my neighbour on their doorstep, and consider their point of view. Sometimes the bitterness we expect turns out to be something very, very sweet.

 

Darkest Before the Dawn

"Surely a man has come to himself only when he has found the best that is in him, and has satisfied his heart with the highest achievement he is fit for.” ~Woodrow Wilson~

“Surely a man has come to himself only when he has found the best that is in him, and has satisfied his heart with the highest achievement he is fit for.”
~Woodrow Wilson~

Stick with this one darlings, it’s going to be a meandering read, but it will make sense in the end. I promise.

We all have days that mark significant changes in our lives.

Yesterday was one of them. Well,  for me anyway my juicy little plums.

It was the kind of day that demands a popped cork,some kind of celebration with someone special, and the quiet contemplation of feeling the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Although I love order,  knowing the next step, the next task, and the next expectation, I love happy endings even more. Which aren’t  endings at all really. They’re just bright shiny markers on the twisting, turning road of life.

I had definite plans in my head about how this long weekend would roll-out. I allowed myself the indulgence of daydreaming about seeing someone very special on Friday night, working my ass off on Saturday and Sunday, and relaxing on Monday.  Even though I had some work to do, I was ok with what I had thought my plans would be.  (Refer to How to Enjoy a Long Weekend).

But my plans went the way of good intentions around 9:30am yesterday morning.  I arrived home at least two hours later than I had planned and had to rush or entirely abandon all of my deliciously sinful daydreams. Instead, I  settled for a quick shower and threw on some comfy clothes.  It’s amazing what a combination of total freedom and stability can achieve emotionally.

So, although my day, and as it turns out, my evening was not what I had expected, I experienced one of the best days I’ve had in a long, long time. So good in fact, that my plans for working my ass off today and tomorrow have been abandoned. Apparently all of my hard work has already paid off for now, and I can take time to re-focus, creatively strategize, and allow myself the indulgence of a little hope.

Between work, parenting,  friendships and men, I’ve re-learned a few lessons this week;

1) Always believe, deep down in your core, that you have value and something wonderful to offer the world.

2) You never communicate as clearly and brilliantly as you think you do. Make space for intentional conversation with no expectations. Speak from your heart.

3) Logic will never speak the language of emotion. Sometimes our hearts take us to places more rich, a bit scarier and way more satisfying than our heads ever will. Be brave and pack a lunch.

4) Given the truth in item #2, there are always people out there who care about you more than you know or could even guess.

5) To be still and present in the darkness of the soul is a skill that takes practice and incredible courage. Learn to connect with your breath.

6) Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.