The word suddenly indeed takes center stage with what is on my mind. Friday, like every Friday, is spent with my mom. Due to the nor’easter that hit the east coast this week, we decided to ditch our outside plans. Mother Nature had another idea for me.
Our usual Friday consists of errands. Bank, bakery, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, which means we are in and out of the car a lot. Well, I am. At 91 getting in and out of a vehicle is not an easy task, now add Macular degeneration to the mix, and it’s downright difficult. Not that this stops mom from giving it her best, but knowing her limits.
So, with our change in plans, I was able to spend some quality one-on-one outside of the car. This is where the magic happened.
Suddenly I felt our roles had reversed. Not that V hasn’t given me the opportunity to play worried mother with her in the past. Like the time she didn’t answer her phone, did not let my sisters where she was going or me, which led us to frantically drive to her apartment only to see her laughing around a table with her friends. We all looked surprised as she asked: “what are you doing here?”
Macular degeneration is something that little by little, but suddenly leaves you without full use of your eyes, something that has taken a toll on my mom physically & mentally. Just imagine having your independence pulled out from under your feet.
Now, my once never asking for help independent mother before it was fashionable, suddenly has to have her daughters read her mail. Along with everything else in print.
After reading the mail on Friday, I had the pleasure of reading a letter to my mom. Not just any letter, a letter from a friend, who just happens to be an avid reader and recently read an incredible book about Jackie O., her sister Lee and mother Janet. Knowing my mom shares the same love for Jackie O, she created a CliffsNotes version for me to share. The highlight of the day!
Over the next few hours, we not only discussed the story in the letter, but it also opened the door to discuss all sorts of subjects, including, but not limited to the fact that very wealthy people are weird. Money does not prevent weirdness, but it can pay someone to brush it under the rug.
My mom insisted on making my lunch. Considering cooking and serving are the two things she can do independently I said yes. What was on the menu you ask? A grilled cheese cut into four squares, veggie chips, and applesauce. Suddenly, feeling five years old again felt terrific!
As we were eating my mom suddenly got serious. Not the norm. Mom began explaining to me that she has been having more bad days than good ones, along with a lecture on the fact that people shouldn’t live this long. What?!
I’m not naive. I understand that at 91 life has an expiration date, but for whatever reason, it suddenly became very evident. Maybe there was something in the cheese?
Suddenly I realized that my days of eating grilled cheese cut into four squares are limited.
Suddenly I realized the promise I made to marry my mom when I was 3 was not going to be fulfilled.
Suddenly I realized that my daily phone chats on the way home from work won’t be around forever.
Suddenly I realized I’m not young anymore and neither is the one person in this world who loves me the most.
Suddenly has a way a sneaking up on you, so make sure you Enjoy the Ride!
Wouldn’t it be great to go back to the days when we were that fresh warm and fuzzy little piece of cashmere that was cooed and coddled at just the right moments? The answer is yes, yes it would be great.
Sadly, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Instead, we must endure life. That’s right folks, our parents and the parents before them and so forth and so on had to make the brave decision to send their cotton balls out into the world to create their own fabric of life. One thread at a time.
I remember my days as a fresh little piece of lambswool, untethered by this thing we call life. Did you know that lambswool is the highest quality of sheep’s wool to be found? Yep, it’s the perfect combination of strong, smooth, flexible fibers just like the innocence of childhood, where everything is magical. Until puberty came along like a hot iron.
Have you ever put a hot iron on a piece of lambswool? Well, the result was the teenage years, and it came in the form of acne, temptation, “love” and an attitude that included, but was not limited to, thinking I was smarter than, well, everyone older than me.
This is when my life turned into that love it or hate fabric polyester. Not the evolved polyester of today, I’m talking about the one that fell from grace once it went double-knit. Better known as the lesson learning fabric.
I spent over a decade living in this durable, lightweight, retaining my shape, easy to wash, flexible, but uncomfortable, unbreathable, cheap, ugly and highly flammable fabric. The keyword here is durable.
However, towards the end of my polyester days, I did recognize that when I blended with other fabrics such as rayon, I began to shine. The rayon in my life were work mentors and friends.
Then ladies and gentleman, just as I reached my peak shimmer, marriage and motherhood wove its way right into this semi-retired jumpsuit to create the perfect blend of comfort and durability. Once again, let’s focus on the durability portion.
No one fully prepared me for all that this blend was bringing to the loom of life. All I can say is hallelujah Levi Straus for adding denim into the world of textiles. And a double hallelujah to the genius who decided to include lycra for flexibility. Can I get an AMEN?
This blend of sturdy cotton warp-faced textile, with a dash of spandex, is precisely what is needed to keep a marriage alive, raise children, work full-time outside of the home while still maintaining a CEO status in the home. Welcome to the 21st century.
Now that my children are young adults, still living at home, and my marriage has reached a chapter that is one part wooing and another part tired as hell, I feel like I’m sporting the tattered, torn, stained yet sturdy burlap sack fabric look. Only Marilyn can pull of this look … seriously.
Thankfully I feel like I still have some thread left on my spool ready for new experiences that can be woven right into my unique design.
Enjoy the Ride!
As you know from my previous post I recently experienced the art of Floating. What is it you ask? Well, it can be described as the best freaking thing since sliced bread by me.
In the beginning, it took me awhile to get comfortable. Naked and alone in pitch black room takes a minute to absorb.
I closed the door but left the low light and music on at first. The water was body temperature warm and soothing. Eventually, I did turn the lights and music off as I slipped into the quiet, peaceful zen. It didn’t take long before I was able to completely let go. Free at last.
The coolest part for me was having no concept of time whatsoever, and not caring about it at all. It feels so good.
Float Spas are popping up in my area, but from what I understand floating is nothing new, however, the experience has certainly changed. Once you add the word Spa it becomes sexy.
Apparently, floating also went by the name Isolation Tank, and are you ready … Sensory Deprivation Tank, as far back as 1954. This sounds scientific, not sexy so there were no appointments needed.
Today isolation tanks are located in beautiful rooms with inviting names like “Oasis” or “Grotto” that are chock full of amenities like fluffy towels, robes, scented soap, and shampoo. Anything to divert you away from the fact that you will soon be naked as a jaybird.
My room was spectacular with its private shower, candles, and a hint of lavender. This is how you get your zen on. The room my husband experienced is best described as a Pink Floyd lap of luxury fusion. Trippy with a dash of zen.
The idea behind the floatation therapy is to provide you with a way to pause the hectic, saturated world and enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. It takes you away from the endless sensory experiences that seem to consume us these days. It should be mandatory for teenagers and college students.
Just imagine if you could go into your head and give it a good Spring cleaning, leaving not a single dust bunny to clutter your thoughts, allowing you to focus on whatever you please. It basically brings out the best in your brain. My mind left fresh s a daisy.
As for the physical benefits, whew there is something to be said about feeling like a noodle. My muscles take a beating at the gym at least 4 times a week, so they were very grateful for this treat.
The magnesium from the Epsom salt-infused water brings your muscles back to life. It relieves tension and makes your skin incredible. I left looking like a smooth glow-worm.
All in all, it was peaceful, relaxing, invigorating, enlightening all rolled up into one amazing 90 minutes. This was a first for me and my husband, and we would both do it again, and again, and again. As they say, whatever makes your boat float, or in this case, booty.
Enjoy the Ride!
past tense: faded; past participle: faded 1. gradually grow faint and disappear.
I know we all meet sorrow in our own way. For me, it’s looking for the silver lining. Much easier said than done, but hope is always doable.
At first, I thought I might have some sort of super powers. Somehow going about my daily routine like a badass. I went to work without missing a beat. I even went out socializing without a care in the world trying my best to squash the memories. Guess what? Even the baddest of asses have their moments.
For over a month now I’ve been trying very hard to kick my sorrow to the curb. I hosted Thanksgiving like a pilgrim! I channeled my inner Martha Stewart to deck the damn halls! I got all gussied up to attend an amazing Christmas party, and I’ve been working out as if I’m being considered for the Olympics! But guess what people? IT DOESN’T WORK!
When the family leaves, the work is done, the sweat is showered off, and I come home, do you know who is waiting? Yep, just like that annoying guest at the party who never seems to realize it’s time to hit the road …. sorrow is there to greet me with open arms. It’s really beginning to be a huge pain in the ass!
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if sorrow is going to hang around for awhile, I need to do something about it. I think t’s time we become friends or form some sort of relationship. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m tired of fighting this weightlifter of an emotion.
Wait a minute, “friends” might be a little strong, maybe I’ll start with a roomie and work my way up to besties. I’m only human.
So, for now, it looks like I’ll be chillin with sorrow. I’ve set up some free space in my head so he can get cozy. Yes, sorrow is a man …. because I said so.
I must say since he’s been hanging around, I’ve been learning a lesson here and there about myself, so at least he’s earning his keep. If only he cleaned bathrooms.
Who knows next maybe he’ll show me how to be strong as him. Stranger things have happened…look who is our new prez.
Maybe he’ll even wine and dine me as he leads me to that silver lining. Where I can only imagine unicorns are running free.
Better yet … maybe one day I’ll be able to sit by a nice sunny window, sipping a hot cup of coffee, listening to Marvin Gaye while I watch all of this just fade away. Goals!
Enjoy the Ride!
It’s funny how during all of the darkness over the past month, we have been able to see some light. A glimmer here a glimmer there help the heart heal.
We are both very big believers in noticing the signs that are sent our way, and we were not blind to them even during the darkest of times. Hope comes in all shapes and sizes, the key is recognizing it.
The day after the nightmare began, I went with my daughter to see my husband at the hospital. While walking through the lobby we were greeted by a very friendly face. Sister Kate. The world is so small.
I know Sister Kate from my job, and I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. Our relationship is she is a patient and I’m in shock that this nice, warm, funny person is a Catholic nun. Where the hell were YOU when I was in school is ALWAYS my thought when I see her.
Sister Kate immediately knew from my haggard look that something was wrong. This was the first time I uttered the words “My husband tried to take his life” and the flood-gates opened. Her warm kind hug is just what I needed before heading to face my reality. Never underestimate the power of fate.
We walked into the room to find my husband under 24hr guard by none other than an Italian grandmother from South Philly. There isn’t a pill on the planet that can compare to the healing powers of this woman.
The room was stark, nothing but a bed. My husband was stripped of anything that could possibly hurt him, and yet this woman made that room feel like home. I was waiting for her to pull a portable oven out of her purse.
Lena was just what this doctor ordered…. a mothers’ love. Never underestimate the power of an Italian woman who gets joy from taking care of a man.
During this visit is when we learned that my husband had ZERO memory of the past 12 hours. If only the rest of us had that pleasure.
The following day my son came with me. This time the guard on duty was Lorraine, a very feisty black woman. She was definitely sent for me.
This day was very heavy as we sat patiently waiting for information on the next hospital setting. The silence was deafening. Except for Lorraine’s gum cracking which was no doubt echoing throughout the halls.
My son was saved by a friend who called insisting on taking him out to lunch. Perfect timing!
As we sat in awkward silence listening to that poor piece of gum being assaulted in Lorraine’s mouth, we heard the words “who are you all voting for?” Of all the questions on the planet to ask, this was the one she chose to ask the man on suicide watch.
This is when the unexpected public service announcement was made. Lorraine would be voting for Trump. Why do you ask? Well, because she was tired of her neighbors collecting free money for their 5 children that she named Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro & Cinco. Fast forward to 11/9 … yep, this is one reason why.
On that Sunday I went to see my husband at the next facility. No one could have prepared me for this step of the journey. I’m not sure who decided that people with depression should be dehumanized to feel better, but they need to be fired.
I left this visit defeated, broken and wondering where is that place Dr. Drew sends his patients and do they take Blue Cross? The lack of life in this place could make even the happiest of people second guessing the existence of rainbows. WTF!
When I returned home I was flat. There was just nothing left to feel. I was done. With a weak smile for the sake of the kids of course.
As my son was about to head back to school, he decided to raid my change jar to feed the parking meter in town. He took out a huge pile of coins searching for quarters.
Next thing I hear is “mom, didn’t you loose a ring?” I had lost my wedding band on Thanksgiving 2015.
I have torn this house apart more than once searching for it. Trust me when I tell you I put the FBI to shame with my search efforts.
Sure enough, there was my ring, on the floor, with a dime stuck in the center. My eyes could just about register what they were seeing. The dam broke, and 4 days of emotion exploded into the room.
If ever there was going to be a sign that everything was going to be ok, this friends, was it.
Still dodging potholes while Enjoying the Ride!
We all know the saying. We’ve all used it to describe various things in our lives. Those of us with children know it well. Somehow watching our children go from bottles to red Solo cups overnight.
The seasons always leave us with this phrase, especially summer, which seems to be running out of Dodge faster each year. One minute we’re watching fireworks, the next we’re trying to escape a pumpkin invasion.
The holidays use to leave us with this feeling, however, now that Christmas hits the stores before Halloween it’s no longer the case. The Christmas season officially lasts longer than most relationships.
These are examples of what I consider a natural course in change. They are as comfortable as that old sweatshirt in our closets.
But what about those other moments? You know, the ones that leave us numb in disbelief. The moments that leave us repeatedly asking “what just happened?” A vast majority have been doing this since Tuesday.
All I know is that NOTHING could have prepared me for life changing, blink of an eye, roller coaster ride I’ve been living for the past few weeks. By the way, I hate roller coasters in and outside of the amusement park.
October 12th was nothing short of a typical day in the life of me. Morning chores, work, and home. Boring at best.
I called my husband to let him know I was on my way. Everything was normal at 6:11 p.m. When I arrived home at 6:27 I was met by my daughter outside of the house. She said that my husband was screaming, cursing and acting crazy. Out of character was an understatement.
When I walked in to try to find out what was going on it escalated. So, I got the fur babies ready for a walk, and off we went while that fire simmered down. If they could talk, maybe I could have gotten a heads up.
While out on the walk I received a text stating “I’m moving on.” WHAT?!
I called home only to hear a voice I never heard before informing me that he is “done” “moving on.” I ran with the fur babies in tow, possibly airborne, with my heart in my stomach back to the house.
How did I go from saying “I’m on my way home “to screaming “What is happening?”
How did I go from hearing “I’m feeding the dogs” to “I’m moving on.”?
How did I go from walking my dogs to pulling pills out of the mouth of the man I love?
How did I go from a hum drum day to rushing into an ER?
How did I go from worrying about bullshit to making life-changing decisions?
How did I go from thinking everything was fine to feeling like I was hit with a bat?
How did I go from seeing the strength in my husband’s eyes to staring at his weakness?
How did I go from a happy go lucky girl to a sleepless shell?
I don’t have the answers to all of these questions just yet, but I have hope.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I have faith.
I don’t know how to live my new normal, but I have an open mind.
I don’t know if we’ll be ok, but we have our love.
I don’t know how I was blind, but now I can see.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but I’m trying.
I DO know that I have 99 problems, but my new perspective won’t allow Donald Trump to be one of them, and for that, I am grateful.
Enjoy the Ride … one speed bump at a time!
At this point in my life, why do I continue to let my Inner Critic rise to the occasion to spew its negativity? Really, it needs to just shut up!
The other day I was stretching at the gym when I noticed this young woman staring at me. For the record, the inner critic loves to come to the gym.
Now, I could have thought that she was admiring my flexibility, but nooooo not when I have the asshole in tow.
Immediately I assumed she was looking at my faults. We all know spandex does not lie. When you wear it at 52, after years of abusing yourself with food and bearing children …. it screams the truth.
We made eye contact, exchanged awkward smiles and moved along. The smile was received as sympathy for my flaws. Without one piece of evidence.
Later in the workout I noticed her looking in my direction …. again! I should have been thinking that perhaps she was looking for a date, but no not with the good ole critic by my side. It was all about body shaming from that one.
I allowed these negative thoughts to grow throughout the workout. I was ridiculously self-conscience the entire time. As if the struggle isn’t hard enough, I had to dodge some extra punches.
After the hour was over and the stretching complete, the young woman sheepishly approaches me. Mind you she was built like an instructor, not a client, so I assumed she was nervous about how she was going to be brutally honest with me. If only negative thoughts burned calories … I would be transparent.
There I stood waiting for the punch. Feeling horrible about everything spandex, everything about the workout and everything about myself. Defeat at its highest power.
This is what went down:
Young Woman: Oh hi I was just wondering where you get your hair cut. I saw you last week and loved your cut and I’m looking for a change.
Me: What did you say? I blamed my shock o the music.
Young Woman: I was just asking where you get your hair cut I love it!
Me: Gave her all the details and made her very happy.
By the time I got to the car I was furious with myself. I could not believe I put my accomplishments in the back seat while this miserable ass drove me to the point of such defeat. My inner critic has a name, and I think it might be Donald, after another ass I know who continuously spews negative energy.
Think about it….
No more trips to the past for me. Been there, done that.
No more beating myself up over my looks.
No more insecurities.
It’s all about moving forward to crush my goals like the badass rockstar from Mars that I know I am! Yes, that is the sound of someone wearing their positive pants.
I’m off to let my fabulous hair blow in the wind while I ….. Enjoy the Ride!
Quote: thejealouscurator.com; Photo: Huffington Post
It’s been a while since I’ve paused to do what I love so much, but better late than never folks. I bet you’re all wondering what the hell I’ve been up to over these past few months. Sadly the answer is NOT traveling the world with my lottery winnings in tow.
The biggest thing that has happened to us over the past few months is we have broken our ties with CABLE TELEVISION. That’s right people I am living the Antenna Life a/k/a Clean Livin’. Yes, I did say “no cable” and “antenna” in November of 2105.
This relationship came to erupt end when my son accidentally changed our plan via the remote when he was trying to order a movie. You know what prevents this from happening …. wearing your GLASSES.
Within minutes, I called our new server Verizon Fios to alert them of the accident. Of course, I acted as if my son were a toddler playing with the remote opposed to the 20-year old ordering some god forsaken movie in the middle of the day, but that didn’t seem to matter. He could have been legally blind, randomly hitting buttons and zero fucks would still be given!
This is when I was informed that our plan was no longer available. In less than an hour our plan disappeared? Yes. Apparently that’s how our plan rolled. I had no idea we had the playah of cable plans, the plan that jumped from one customer to the next without looking back.
After several calls to rectify this is a civil manner we were calmly told “there is NOTHING we can do.” Really? In 2015, there is N O T H I N G that can be done? Not a single button could be pushed to rectify an accidental incident for a new customer … nada! Alrighty then ….
Have you ever gone from calm, cool and collected to cursing like Tony Montana? I have.
scare the crap out of you bore you with the ugly details of these negotiations, just know they ended with more money in my pocket each month and a new pair of boots on my feet to prove it!
Leaving the 21st century wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be … for us. My son’s response was “Whew! I got out just in time!” and my daughter responded with “I think I just saw a dinosaur walk by.” They think we have lost our minds, but they weren’t paying the bill so we don’t care.
No fears people we do have a Smart TV that allows us an occasional re-entry into the current century via Netflix. But I must say, we’ve been enjoying the calmness of outdated sitcoms much much more than anything from this century. Less violence goes a long way, especially at bedtime.
I’ve been hooked on the original reality show The Munsters for weeks now. The Kardashians have nothing on this story line! Lilly and Herman recently had an awful argument, but no worries Grandpa and that hideous character Marilyn worked diligently to get them to make up. Do you see how deep I’m in? I’ll leave my other addiction, My Favorite Martian, for another post. I’m crushing hard on Bill Bixby … really hard.
Enjoy the Ride! Even if it’s in reverse, way back to the 70’s when we enjoyed life at a slower pace and weren’t polarized by fear, negativity and Donald Trump on a daily basis.
Over the years I have had little subtle pebbles tossed in my direction to get my attention. Sometimes they are just little dings that I usually dismiss, and other times they are more like implosions. 0 to 100 that’s me.
It’s not as though there aren’t “in betweens” so to speak, there are, I just choose not to take those too seriously, and always, always, always give other people the benefit of the doubt about their intentions. Seeing the good in others certainly has its ups & downs.
It just never occurred to me that anyone would really be annoyed by another person happy nature? Seems Effed up if you ask me.
So when people have made sly comments about my happy nature or overly enthusiastic reactions, I really didn’t take them too serious. How can anyone be annoyed by happiness?
What could be worse than that you ask? Pulling in the reins on my happy disposition to please the cantankerous crowd. Oh yes, I did!
This is an old habit of mine that has always been hard for me to break, mainly because I want to make the people around me happy, it’s just my nature. Seeing the line between them and me is the struggle. I’m a Pisces, it’s how we roll.
Last week authentic Lisa decided to go into full protest mode and she was not shy about it at all!
There I was attending an unexpected Yoga class on Friday morning. I normally can not attend on Friday because I take my mother shopping, but she called and for whatever reason changed plans. Let the DIVINE intervention shenanigans begin.
During class, we were experiencing the Fish Pose. Now, I am very new to Yoga, and almost always need some sort of adjustment to get the pose correctly. In my head I’m a rubber band, outside not so much.
I got myself into the pose, sort of like an octopus gets into a paper bag, but I did it. Gracefulness is not my forte.
My instructor came over to compliment me on my accomplishment. She stated “Look at that arch Lisa!” “I’m not surprised, you have such an open heart and happy soul.” Validation in the house.
Right after this pose we went into Savasana a/k/a the Corpse pose. Lay flat and do nothing, of course I’m really good at this one. It is the final pose where you calm your nervous system, and relax your mind and body into bliss. It’s heaven.
Well, as I entered my state of bliss I began to cry. My authentic self just lets loose from the depths of the damn closet demanding her freedom, just as I was getting my bliss on. Pay backs are a bitch.
Even Pinterest got involved slamming this quote right in my face!
The reminders are popping up everywhere I go these days, keeping me in check with myself. Hey, we can’t all be at the top of this class called life.
I started this blog ride 3 years ago yesterday, basically to document travel adventures in my husband’s mid-life crisis convertible, but the universe took the wheel for a different ride. I was not in control.
Instead this blog provided me a place to get real with myself by writing it down and bringing it to life. Can’t ignore that anymore…check.
So, here I am again making it real, learning more crap about myself and Enjoying the Ride!
Thanks to all the folks I picked up along the way, you are the best travel companions a girl could have on this bumpy road called life!
The Daily Post has a great subject line No Time To Waste.
Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.
Over the years I’ve heard this wonderful “Life is too short” line many times. But it’s not every day that a seasoned life liver crosses your path and hits you up with valuable words to live by. This happened back in my crazed mother of young children trying to “do it all” days. Ugh …. I think I just got a chill.
I was at the playground with my little angels when a grandmotherly type woman approached me. Apparently she recognized that I was dressed in stress from head to toe when she started a very important conversation. She obviously recognized this look.
This lovely woman began asking me about my children and motherhood in general. After listening to my ramblings about the pressures of having an endless messy house, she calmly stated: “Life is too short to worry about dust bunnies, you’ll have plenty of time to clean when your kids are grown.” Who was this woman of wisdom dressed in grandmother clothing? Gandhi? …. Yoda?
I often think about her wise words and pass them along to other young mothers on the brink of exploding from trying to DO IT ALL. She was so right!
Now that my kids are at an age were my needs no longer include pushing strollers, holding hands or driving from A to B and back again, I do have plenty of time to worry about those dust bunnies. But guess what? Now I’m at an age where a heard of full-grown dust kangaroos could hop over me and I wouldn’t care. Talk about a silver lining!
How would you fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.”
Save the Dust Bunnies and Enjoy the Ride!