Let it Be

Last week definitely continued in the vein it began, learning of my friend’s passing.  Sadness and unpleasant news arrived numerous times during the week to tug at my heartstrings (actually it was more than a tug.)  It seems to me life needs to remind us from time to time that we are not invincible, nor is anyone around us.  And if I give that some thought, I guess that’s fair.  I don’t much like the reminder, but it does in the end circle around to me feeling so grateful for my life, my health, my loved ones, and all my other blessings.

Ever notice how bad news comes in three’s?  I enjoyed a great day with my sister-in-law in Truckee on Thursday, a very old tradition that we have recently resurrected.  We used to hit every store on the strip.  These days we are lucky if we get one or two in before we’ve found a quaint restaurant to settle into some corner and yack till the cows come home.  (it takes the cows a while)  On her way home she was involved in a collision with a semi -truck coming the opposite direction.  With only a foot or two to spare, she avoided what would have been a head-on collision.  Deep breath needed for that yoga move.

The following day I received the third of my negative stories, the health of another friend in question.  By Friday evening, I just wanted to throw myself down on the floor and cry, too many reminders of how fragile life is.

But … I had another yoga seminar to attend this weekend, a short one to learn about assisting students.  The class was scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  As I left the house, I reminisced to myself about the beginning of my teacher training class in February.  On some level I felt as if I was returning to that huge endeavor, but reminded myself on my way out of the driveway that this was a very short class, and a great chance to meet up with many of my classmates from the first class plus a few new ones, and that I had indeed finished that original hurdle.  As I drove through the countryside toward the center of our tiny town, the universe punctuated my sad week with two tiny dead fawns on the side of the road, clearly having been hit by a car.  (Okay, I get the message.)

I gave into my tears … they were overdue.  It wouldn’t be the first time I drove through the canyon with tears streaming down my face.  My yoga peeps would think I looked normal.  The class went quickly Friday night, and we met again Saturday at 1:00.  We began with a yoga session, followed by the course work.  The short yoga practice was actually perfect, not too difficult, but enough to get your blood flowing and break a sweat.  We concentrated on the mechanics of the poses as opposed to a flow.  As we neared the end, my dear teacher Tess, who makes any class such an adventure, said “we must experience the darkness to recognize the light.” 

I can’t even now recollect what that statement followed, why she even said those words.  (Of course, maybe in the big picture it was just for me.)  But I almost gasped out loud, in fact, I think I did.  Tears filled my eyes, and the remainder of our yoga practice I thanked the heavens for the reminder of why last week had been necessary.

I finished the class on a high, and came home so happy to spend the following day celebrating Father’s Day with Rick, a man I think is a hands-down great dad, to his own kids as well as a step-dad to mine.  We spent a lovely day doin’ what we love most, spending time in our home and our yard.  As the day was coming to a close, Rick said, “honey, come here, quick.”  He was standing at the end of our garage.  Up the driveway was a deer with her tiny tiny fawn …. so damn darling.  They trotted up the hill, a true joy to watch, and a reminder that as brutal as life can seem at times, there will be a light to catch hold of if we keep our eyes and hearts open.

Yoga, ever an inspiration and a reminder of how wondrous this life we lead is, even amidst the sorrow.

Namaste

P.S.  Lorene, words cannot express how grateful I am that you are okay.  And Tyler, new father with much to accomplish in this life, love your attitude.  Never change that.

P.S.S.  Monday morning I caught an early morning yoga class.  The teacher, Franchesca, who has truly a beautiful voice, closed our savasanah singing Let it Be … no music behind her, just her pure sweet voice.  Being such a Beatle’s fan, I love this song any day, but this day it was just what I needed.  I could not believe my ears.  Just in case I had missed it when Tess delivered my message, the angels saw fit to send it once more.  I’ve started this week with a peacefulness and gratitude for my blessings, the gift of this day and both the light and the dark.

“Let it Be”  (one verse)

And when the night is cloudy

There is still a light that shines on me

Shine until tomorrow

Let it be

I wake up to the sound of music

Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom

Let it Be

..

Friends

Friends are one of life’s amazing gifts.  They aren’t souls that gravitate toward us because they are part of our family, a work associate, or some other mandatory connection that you happen to enjoy (or not).  They enter our lives randomly, and the connection is immediate. Some call it chemistry, and there is definitely that…  there’s an ease we feel in their company, an absence of a need to try too hard, and in most cases a shared sense of humor.  I’ve never had a good friend that I didn’t laugh with … a lot.

My experience has been that friends come in all shapes and sizes and for all different lengths of time.  Some will only be with you for a specific part of your life, for as long as they are needed.  I have thought of those friends as my outside circle.  My inside circle has always been something altogether different, and those relationships have in most cases passed the test of time. Maybe because I was an only child, my friends took on an elevated importance in my life.  I have been beyond blessed and rich when it comes to friends.

A few days ago my dear friend, Cindi, sent me a text asking me to call.  At our age, it’s never good if a friend texts you asking you to call.  Not to be negative, but it’s usually news they don’t want to deliver via a text.  And sadly, my suspicions were correct, we had lost our dear friend, Carrie.  What compounded the hurt when receiving the news, is that I didn’t even know she was ill.  Life is interesting … some friends leave you for whatever reason with a great deal of drama, and some leave so quietly that you didn’t even know they were planning to go.

Carrie came into my life in my young thirties … our girls went to preschool together.  Our children were three years old in a class with an amazing teacher.  There were four of us mothers who gravitated to each other just as our children did the same.  It was a toss up who was enjoying who more, the kids or us moms.  Between us four women, we had a total of nine children, but this class in particular consisted of my Amy, and then Natalie, Taylor and Stevie, three girls and one boy.  We all shared a few precious years together, but in the last year of preschool, Mindy, who was Stevie’s mom developed brain cancer.  We lost Mindy in a short time.  Losing anyone is hard, but there are a few circumstances that rip your heart out more than others … to name a few, a child dying or a young mom dying leaving behind her kids.

We grieved Mindy’s loss and secretly thanked the heavens above for the reprieve.  Cindy, Carrie and I had been granted a stay … we would enjoy watching our children grow into adolescents and from there adults.  But the lesson would never be forgotten.  Giving birth to your children is one blessing, watching them grow up is quite another. 

Carrie and I lost touch for a number of years as our children were not in the same school district, but about ten years ago, we reunited.  And just as most old friends find, it was like no time had passed.  I enjoyed all her same sweet personality traits, like it was yesterday … the way she told a funny story, giggling all the while telling it, her fabulous sense of humor, and the look in her eye as she finished the tale asking only with her expression for your take on this hilarious narrative she had just shared with you.  They were such crazy life anecdotes about aging parents and the like, and always full of the ridiculous, so it was ever so much fun to join in and share the humor with her.

Carrie and Paul visited us probably a year and a half ago, spending a great weekend with us hiking.  As I piece together this story in hindsight, it was probably after that visit that she became ill and my mom also began to decline.  As our lives went in separate stressful directions, neither of us knew what the other was up to, and it wouldn’t have been unusual to lose touch for months or even a year.  There was just that comfort between friends that when the time was right, we would reunite with stories to share.

And it was time to reconnect, I had been thinking of her for a month or so.  She was on my list… I’ll never think of my list quite the same after this.

Our original circle of four has now suddenly become two … a new reprieve, a new lesson about appreciating the gift of watching your children become adults, perhaps marry and become parents in their own rite.

Cindi said something kind of interesting to me when we talked … she said “I imagined this conversation in your blog.”  She was right, this would make its way to my blog about crossroads, change, aging, loss, health, stress, fitness, yoga, renewal … in other words, life.

To Carrie, wherever she is, I send my love and sadly my regret.  I know she is beyond such earthly cares, but nonetheless I hope she knows.  And to my readers, get on the damn phone and call any loved one you have been thinking about, or text or do whatever you do to share that blessed connection you feel with them.

Namaste

The photo is of my daughter, Amy on the right, Taylor (Carrie’s daughter) in the middle and Natalie (Cindi’s daughter) on the left, and sweet Mindy behind in the big white collar.  Like mother(s) … like daughter(s)…always laughing.

Free

Slowing down is an interesting process.  My history, as probably most of my readers, has always been a fairly fast-paced hectic lifestyle, but I would have to say the last ten years were some of the busiest most demanding years of my entire life, for a number of different reasons.  Suffice it to say, my train has been barreling along at top speed for most of that time, so this experience of being unemployed, kids grown, grandkids still but a dream, parents off to higher pastures… leaves my days up to what I plan, which isn’t too much right now.

For the first week or so after my job ended, I was busy with a celebration trip to Hawaii, but once I returned home and Rick went back to work, the reality of this new chapter of my life definitely set in.  And as excited as I was, I also felt terrified to be without my income as well as the other perks of being employed.  I didn’t even get one day into unemployment without beginning to worry, whether or not it was warranted.  Man, that inner voice sure doesn’t hesitate to offer up negative imagery.  Yikes.

For about a week or so, I felt as if I’d done a truly beautiful swan dive from, of course, an extremely high cliff in some amazing tropical land, but seriously, I was screaming and flailing all the way down, not exactly a pretty picture.

It took about a week for me to settle down enough to realize that this was not a worst-case scenario story.  As my defenses let down, I was able to look at the whole picture and realize that I would be fine in the end, and more than that, that I would actually most likely find I that I loved this new chapter.

The conclusion of my employment, as it turns out, has been almost as time consuming as beginning a new job, so many things to figure out, insurance, where to move your 401K, trying to get all your ducks in a row.  I’ve spent hours on the phone, and on the computer, at doctor’s visits before the insurance ends, and even finally after 12 years of procrastinating had a colonoscopy … I’ll save the lessons about that for a whole post, without too much detail about the process … blimey.

As this week begins, I only have a few loose ends left, and I find my thoughts quieting down and moving toward my passions.  I am marveling every day at the ability to take my time with whatever I am doing.  It’s a lovely experience for me, and makes me realize how much I probably missed moving so quickly.  And it’s not that I’m regretting anything, just studying life, and enjoying this gift of time I have been given.  I hope to use it wisely.

We all are unique beings with different tastes and desires.  What I’m being drawn to is spending more time in nature and with my loved ones, also writing and  yoga.  This morning I took my usual walk over to the lake (really it’s a pond trying to run with the big dogs) and sat at my usual picnic table next to the pond watching the wildlife.  The fish were surely jumping, and the sky was as blue as blue can be. I typically stop for only about five minutes as there’s a list of to do’s a mile long waiting back at home, but today, there was no list a mile long.  I had a list, but it was manageable, not to mention nothing that needed to be done today, so I took extra time on my bench.  The breeze came up, and as it moved through the trees so full with their spring growth, I basked in the sunshine listening to the music of nature, the sounds of our earth.  Mother nature’s melody is as beautiful as any notes we humans can create.

And today, coincidentally, I received a sweet gift from my yoga teacher.  When we began our class, we were asked to fill out a questionnaire.  One of the questions was, if I remember right, to select a word that described how you wanted to feel at the end of the class, or maybe just in general, not really sure exactly how the question was worded.  But what I remember writing was “free.”  I wanted to feel a freedom that I knew had been missing from my life for quite some time.  I remember feeling a little funny about selecting that word, because I felt it could be misconstrued.  But nonetheless, it is what resonated with me, so I wrote it down.  I felt that the answer could be misunderstood as my wanting a freedom from my husband or my kids, or perhaps interpreted in regard to my mom passing, none of which was what I was yearning for.  No, the word simply meant a chance to spend my days exactly like I have been doing the last few weeks, choosing how my day will play out, gravitating toward my passions, opening new doors for new adventures, connecting with people, enjoying nature.

I opened the package from Tess with a note and a bracelet with the word I had selected.  “Free.”  I smiled to the heavens above, and sent a silent nod to Tess for being so thoughtful, and intuitive as to when that gift should arrive.  Life rarely disappoints me.

I know that this freedom will ebb and flow in my future, because that’s just life.  But for this moment in time, I will embrace this blessing with great enthusiasm and gratitude.

Endless second chances to take it once chance at a time … Kenny Loggins … the breeze has come to take me and it’s a sweet ride.  Thank you also, Kenny, for writing a song that never tires for me.  It lifts me, inspires me, and reminds me about what is important.

Namaste

A New Chapter

This life I lead never ceases to amaze me, the twists and turns along the road that in hindsight make up the story of my life.  At this stage more so than ever before, I realize the importance behind the words “the life I LEAD.”

I think it’s easy to forget that WE LEAD ourselves down the paths we travel.  The past month has taught me a great deal about my choices, my experiences, and the consequences for the choices I’ve made.  And while an argument can be made for the fact that life presents circumstances at times that we don’t choose, nor do we have any control over, what we DO choose is how we respond to these situations.

I used to joke to myself about my mom in her later years, that if there was a hard path or an easy one she could be going down, by God, she was going down the hard path, and you know what that meant … I was going right down that path by her side.  God bless my mom, there was a great deal of truth to my private joke, we usually took the E ticket ride (aging myself with the Disneyland rides in my day.)

And perhaps I’m more like my mom than I believe, as I have many times taken the path less traveled, and there have been major bumps along the road, but where we do part ways is that I’ve rarely been sorry for the choices I’ve made, mistakes or not.  And even though my mom suffered greatly with a lack of confidence in herself, somehow she managed to pass the seeds of confidence along to me, and with the help of the many angels I’ve already mentioned numerous times in my blog, I’ve come to this juncture in the road where I can see so plainly all the crossroads that lie in front of me.  I feel as though I stand on a mountain, the view behind me also clear as to how I arrived here, the choices I made that drove me here, and the fact that I have no one to blame for my life except me, and no one to thank for my life except me, my parents, God, and his many angels (not particularly in that order).  Pretty profound, right? (I don’t know about you guys, but I think I’m really starting to sound like a yogini .)

I find it interesting  when I take away anyone to blame but myself, that actually it’s very healing, and for me, that idea opens my heart to all things new.  And I hope it does the same for my mom and dad, wherever they may be.  The healing of souls, that divine connection that occurs when a child is born of two beings, that Godlike thread that weaves its way through our human hearts must exist beyond this dimension we know as Earth.  And I’m no scientist nor philosopher, but my good old Nebraska common sense passed down from my mom tells me that the sky, the oceans, the forests, streams and lakes, the flowers and trees, the faces and hearts and especially the eyes of those I love, and those of the people I’ve yet to love, could not possibly be random, so I’m left with the belief that our story does not end on this plane… not even close.

This new chapter of mine feels as if it has wings … and I may crash and burn with the best of the original aviators, Alberto Santos-Dumont or the Wright brothers … but in the meantime, it sure is exhilarating.

It’s only been a little over two weeks, and I’ve got more things to talk about than Carter has pills.  I’ve made plenty of notes, and I will be catching you up.  But to begin this new chapter, these are the thoughts that I find myself breathing in … and I invite you to share these breaths with me to see if you can’t catch a bit of what I’m feeling.  It only takes a little courage in your own ideas and wishes, that  long uneasy inhale, and then a slow exhale breathe into your dreams.

Namaste, my friends.  Missed you all, and happy to be writing again.

Crossroads

I began this blog at the end of January, three short months ago.   My tag line …  “A blog about crossroads, change, aging, loss, health, stress, fitness, yoga, renewal … in other words, life” could not have been better worded.

It’s actually hard for me to believe that all  of this … the THIS that has filled my 38 posts to date … happened in a three-month period.  I find myself taking deep breaths the last fews days, needed deep breaths to help center myself, trying to balance in my new surroundings.

I will never again believe that I can’t accomplish a great deal in a short period of time.  Earlier in my blog I commented on a quote I heard in the yoga class … something to the effect that you can change your life pretty dramatically in only months.  As I round this corner, I see the truth in that statement.  And not that I want to change my life drastically every few months, but when it’s necessary or life presents circumstances which require change, it’s good to know I can do this.  Anyone can.

This last week was filled with so many closures.  I received word from the cemetery that my mom’s marker was finally done.  (Seems they have a shortage of companies that manufacture these particular markers.)  I opened the mail to see a picture of her plaque, ready to mark her final resting spot.   Emotional … the feelings rose once again to the surface.  I didn’t even remember what I chose to write on her marker.  Goes to show what a state of mind you are in going through the death of a loved one.  Seeing the picture reminded me that all I wanted was for her to rest in peace, given the unrest her soul suffered during her lifetime.  No need for fancy words.  Rest in peace, Mom.  It was perfect. “Julia” played on the Beatles channel on my way through the canyon the following two days after I received the letter.  I hadn’t heard it since the yoga class.  Coincidence?  I think not.

After two years anticipating the end of my job at Virgin America, my job did just that, it ended.  After what seemed such an eternity waiting for the merger to complete, the closure came in a flash.  I will share what I wrote to my coworkers …

“Today at 1:45 I closed out of the windows on my computer for the last time with Virgin America.  As happy as that makes me in one sense, immediately the tears began to stream down my face.  I walked around my house for the next hour in a daze.  The end came unexpectedly, one day early … I wasn’t quite prepared.  Not that another day would have made any big difference, but somehow I just wasn’t quite ready.

I had a massage planned today for the day before my last day, since my last day I would be going down to the bay area to turn in my computer and badge.  But instead, as I traveled the little highway into town, I was no longer looking ahead.  I was looking back over my shoulder at such an amazing experience.  The ride into town can make me emotional any given day as I gaze at the beauty that surrounds me in our little town of Cool, but today such an empty feeling rose from my heart, and I probably understood the term bittersweet better than ever before.

I will cherish my free time going forward devoting myself to all of the passions I’ve not had the time to pursue, but letting go of this Virgin experience and Virgin family is harder than I ever imagined it might be.

I think back to the day I interviewed.  As a business owner of a small landscaping company seven years ago, I found my insurance rising so high that I needed to problem-solve.  I didn’t want to give up my business, but I also needed a job that might offer insurance, a part-time job.  The list of employers that offer part-time positions with benefits is quite small.  I think airlines and Starbucks might be the only two on the list.  So, it was a pretty simple choice, I was going to look to the airlines to solve my problem.  It was actually my husband, Rick, who said, hey, why don’t you look into Virgin America, I’ve heard good things about them.

Good idea, honey, I’ll do just that.  I went online, pressed send, and was attending an interview a few weeks later.  I drove into the parking lot of 555 Airport Boulevard feeling quite resentful if I’m truthful.  I didn’t really want a job.  I wanted insurance.  I wanted to continue playing in the gardens.  I walked through the doors a bit begrudgingly, and some hours later (man, long interview process) I walked out the double doors praying to the heavens above that I might be lucky enough to actually get this job.  I spent the following days wishing and manifesting.

There are different families I’ve come to belong to during my life.  They are all unique, and I don’t find them all that often.  They are special, made just for me.  What I’ve come to recognize is that when I find a new group that will some day feel like family, I know it.  I feel it from the first moments.  And I am drawn in like a moth to the light.  It feels like I’ve made my way home, and that is what it becomes.

It’s been quite an adventure these past seven years.  And I won’t list all the ways in which I’ve grown and changed, but I’ll just say that I would have missed out on so much had I never been fortunate enough to work for Virgin America.

I’ve enjoyed working with such an amazing group of people, both at the airport and at headquarters.  I’ve always been so proud to say I work at Virgin America … because we stood for something great.  I will take that pride with me going forward, along with such sentiment for all of you I have come to know and love.

Life moves forward, money changes hands, deals are closed, investors line their drawers with hundred-dollar bills … but no amount of money can ever equal or match what we Virgin America employees walk away from this deal with.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing this great experience and sharing yourselves with me.

Cheers to all of us … and cheers to Richard.

Sue”

I’ve remained in a bit of a daze the last two days.  Lots of tears, but also anticipation for what comes next.  I’ve arrived at the crossroads I spoke of in my tagline.  The past is the past.  The future reaches out to me.  It is a NEW DAY.  It is a clean slate … and there are a few highways I could venture down.   But I know where my heart is pulling me … and I am beyond excited to put one foot behind the other making my first few steps down the road that beckons me.

Taking a celebration vacation first … so I will be quiet for a week or two.  I look forward to the next chapter, and sharing it with you all.  As always, I thank you for tuning in.  The journey is so much richer shared.

Namaste

A PS few things I want to mention.

The blog picture was taken unknowingly by my dear teammate, Faye, as I left the building.  I’m so grateful to her for preserving this moment in time.  I sent it to a few friends and posted it on our work FB page.  One of my oldest dearest friends, Colleen, responded saying, “Wow a picture is worth 1000 words.”  Couldn’t have said it better, Coll.  And I also couldn’t have been luckier to have a life-long friend like you.

And Margie, your text the other morning meant more than I can say.  From one kindred spirit to another, we have so much to learn and catch up on.

 

 

Turkey talk

I’ve had a fire softly burning  this week to put my thoughts to this post. I’ve been thinking about kids and young adults making their way in the world.  Growing up is no easy task for, I would guess, many people.  There are a few lucky souls I believe who can say they had a blessed and happy childhood.  But I know far more people who can’t really say that.

When I came of age finally able to strike out on my own, while that was heavenly in many ways, personally I was a mess.  I think back to my twenties, and of all the decades, my twenties would be my least favorite, hands down.  In retrospect, I might have been one of the lucky ones, I found my therapist, Ron, by the time I was 23, so by 26 I was beginning to blossom.  But looking back, I was far from healed truly.  In a much bigger picture that can only be seen in retrospect, I was beginning my life, and in the early stages of shedding the drama that my parents left me with.

Years ago I read a book by Lillian Hellman entitled Pentimento.  The title means “a visible trace of an earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.”  Do you love that as much as I do?  The meaning  speaks to me of our lives … that girl I was at 26 only exists today as a trace beneath the layers of paint that have been applied over the years. I love my painting these days, but by golly, it’s been a work of art that has taken every minute of every day of every year since then.  And if my guess is right, it will continue until my painting is done, also known as until my life is over.  The work of creating and defining and improving myself I don’t think will ever end until I leave for higher ground.

As I thought about writing this post, I kept thinking about the turkeys that roam around our home.  Rick and I always call them a gaggle of turkeys , but I just looked it up, and it seems that a group of turkeys should more accurately be called a rafter of turkeys?  Gaggle … rafter … whichever, I couldn’t help thinking about how they travel together and the sounds they make with each other.  What a racket they make.

We as humans act much like those turkeys.  We  come into the world so pure and sweet, but from about day one, we are being bombarded by our loved ones and all they come to our story with.  We begin learning from a tender age about our parents’ sorrows and their insecurities, and in most cases, about their parents’, and so on.  The lessons aren’t taught necessarily in actual words.  In probably more cases than not, they are taught by actions.  There is no doubt that we continue to learn painful lessons from our parents for the following 20 or so years.  And not because our parents don’t love us, quite the opposite.  I think in most cases they are trying to save us from their sorrows and disappointments, so they warn us over and over again.

If my mom told me once, she told me one hundred times, that if I didn’t slow down, I would have a nervous breakdown just like she did.  I knew from my young twenties, that she wasn’t right about that belief, just like I knew she didn’t know how to drive on the freeway.  Years later I would congratulate myself on a basic instinct that told me her pain (nor her lack of driving abilities) did not need to be mine.

Back to those turkeys,  I always say,  we  just need to look to nature to understand our actions and behaviors as humans.  Families tend to act like a gaggle of turkeys, each gobbling louder than the next, working so hard to be heard and understood and above all, WARN our youth about what we have endured in the hopes that they won’t go down the same road.  As  I said, the gobble gobble starts in the minute we are born from a whole host of loving souls … otherwise known as our family.

Is there any wonder by the time we are about twenty heading out into the world that we are a bit confused and conflicted.  In most cases, we are just happy to be away from the incessant gobble gobble.  I believe it’s then the true journey of the soul begins.  It’s where we learn what of the gobble gobble resonates with us, and we begin to slowly but surely leave the excess non relevant gobble gobble behind.  It is no easy task.  And it doesn’t mean we leave those loved ones behind, we just choose not to carry their sorrows, their beliefs, their dreams with us, as we need room for our own dreams that we will be developing along the way.

Here I am at 62 still finding new dreams.  What a gift life is.  And while it might have been amazing to know in my twenties what I know now, I’d probably be long gone by now, as I  do so fervently believe life is about lessons.   My painting would not be nearly as beautiful had I finished it years ago.

Thinking back through my life up to present day, the journey has and continues to require a few necessary requirements, a dream or goal, perseverance, faith in a higher power as well as myself, and the willingness to work hard to achieve what I need.  It still remains sometimes easy to neglect what I need to do for myself, even when I know what  it is.  I think it might always be a little like that.  After all, if life was that easy, this world would be a much different place.  It’s not easy.  So, it’s up to us to figure out what makes us tick, what feels like a tick, and what tickles us.  They are three different things, each important in their own right.

I know yoga makes me happy, makes my heart soar truly, and yet over the last month when I have felt so down, I didn’t turn to yoga to help.  I’d like to say it’s just not ingrained enough, but I think that’s a cop out.  I am, once again, just human.  And sometimes I don’t gravitate to what I know I need.  And maybe that’s enough for where I have been, getting over being sick and anticipating the end of something I have felt a passion for, my job at Virgin America.

In the end, I return to the fact that, we humans are a puzzle.  I have faith in something higher than us, waiting for the time when we do choose to help ourselves.  That’s where our life changes and also the path where I believe we start to feel the higher powers lifting us along our journey.

I will close with a story about my dad, someone you readers have not heard much about yet.  I’m sure you will in time.  My dad probably taught me the best lesson ever about never taking my passions for granted, and more importantly, never wasting any blessing waiting for another day.  (I’m still human and overlook this lesson at times, but there will always come the time I remember…I love his voice reminding me.)

Without going into too much detail at this point about my father’s youth, suffice it to say he suffered true heartbreak as a child. He developed a love for music as a young boy, and it became his passion.  His father, for whatever reasons, rejected my father, and blatantly favored my father’s sister.   Thank goodness his mother took an opposite stance and from what I know supported him at every turn.  He worked at paper routes as a boy and any odd jobs he could muster up to pay for his music lessons.

He made his dreams come true, becoming in time an accomplished musician.  He played both violin and sax.   Family pictures line my hallway, treasures that I stop often to visit.  I have a number of pictures of him as a young man in various bands, and another in a group that played on a cruise ship, in the era of Titanic, so nostalgic.  I will use one of them as my post picture.

His passion came to a tragic halt when in his twenties, traveling in a storm, he crashed his car traveling over black ice, his arm out the window.  He spent a number of months in the hospital healing, and in the end they were able to save his hand, but his fingers would never again play music.

As a child, this story was lost on me.  He was just my dad, with the funny scar on his stomach from the skin they used to graft his wrist, and the stiff and missing fingers.  I think in retrospect his heart was broken beyond repair, but he never let me see that.  He had his demons for sure when he drank, but when he was sober, he was a light-hearted man for all he had been through.  He never passed up a chance at playing a practical joke.  As a child, the dog, the bird and I fought for his attention when he walked through  the door at the end of his work day.  He took his time with each of us.

I never knew my dad to be a musician … tragic really.  I didn’t see that underbelly that most likely defined my dad.  I was left with a man who never complained, but always had his music playing.

I loved him more than I could ever put to words, until he broke my heart.  And that’s what I mean when I refer to the gaggle of turkeys.  They can’t help themselves traveling together making so much goddamn noise … neither can we as humans.  We will all hurt each other in time.  That’s a given.  What’s much more important is what we learn to forgive both in ourselves as well as others.

My dad taught me more lessons than I will ever be able to count, but one that stays with me consistently, is this … never take for granted your gifts, whatever they may be.  Make the best of them every day, because you just never know when that passion or that gift will become only a memory.

Celebrate life … celebrate yourself with every single solitary flaw you possess … they will all come together to make a beautiful painting one day.

With love and namaste …

 

Changes

Happy Monday!  My last week at work has arrived at such speed.  It seems only yesterday I was starting this blog telling you of my upcoming changes, and now I turn around to find my yoga class a memory and my last day at Virgin five days away.  As almost always at big turns in my life, I have conflicted feelings, both excitement and sorrow.  I’m going to do my best to stay present this week, enjoy my colleagues/now friends for the last time in our role as the guest relations team.

This position has taught me a great deal about human nature, and if I never write a book about this experience, then I will have passed up a great and hilarious topic, for sure.  I will be writing more as the week progresses about the ending, but today I have different things on my mind.  I spent about two hours last night “writing” in my head when I should have been sleeping, so today I want to put it to the page while it’s fresh.

Will be back with that, and then toward the end of the week my thoughts on Virgin’s farewell.