Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mud between my toes

Life is messy. It took me all this time to figure that out. Go figure. I don’t think that I am in anyway unique in this, I am sure that the majority of people figure it out eventually too. We assume that our lives will reach a comfortable destination, jigsaw puzzle complete, trouble free and with a high degree of satisfaction. That is what we strive for, isn’t it? All we have to think about now is yearly vacations, our children/grandchildren visiting during the holidays, enjoying friends and family and our most challenging decision of the day will be what recipe from Bon Appetite we will tackle for dinner.

I always assumed that when I reached the ripe old age of my age, I would have the love of my life by my side (and of course, he would have been my high school sweetheart and we were still madly in love with one another. Even though I never had a real high school sweetheart), the white picket-fenced house I always thought I wanted, the amazing career I was destined to have, the guest room of my guests dream (Frette linens and all), in other words, a rather Clorox bleach existence. I didn’t foresee renting a “room” and putting all of my belongings in storage, having to look for a new job or business, relationship issues, and a feeling of “where am I going from here.” Not now. Figured I had been there, done that in my 20’s and 30’s. I shouldn’t be doing this in my 50’s. Should I? It wasn’t what I expected of me. Or what I assumed others expected of me.

These last few months (in reality I am sure it has been years, or my lifetime) I have gained a new insight into life as I know it. I look around and see that so many people are in the very same boat as me and none of us have life jackets on. Most weren’t prepared for this. It makes me feel as if we are running a marathon and we are way way behind. Why even finish? Might as well get off the track, take a short cut back to the car and drive over to Starbucks. Drown my non-victory in a tall non-fat 2 pump mocha, extra hot with whip. Maybe even throw in a maple scone (delicious) if I really want to rub a little salt into the wound.

Why am I thinking about this on this stormy April morning? Because in just the past few days opportunities have been presented to me that weren’t anywhere near my mind even a week ago. Today I will find out if I get to rent this unbelievably charming cottage in St. Helena. Hardwood floors, fireplace, gas stove, plantation shutters, did I mention "charming?" On a pristine street, just off of Main, everything in town within walking distance. Oh, I am keeping my fingers crossed. For a long time now I have wanted to live where I could walk to town in the morning for my coffee (unless of course I was already at my own coffee house at 5:00 am everyday), walk into town in the evening. Just walk. And walk.

I was also asked to join in a business that I do have an interest in, which I will tell you more about later. Once again, don’t want to say too much in case it doesn’t happen, but I am going to work with the owner starting next week and see how I like it. She said, “Work a couple of weeks and you will either love it or hate it." If I do love it, this is an incredible opportunity for me. The coffee house/kiosk/shop is still in the forefront of my mind and tugging at my heartstrings, but with all of the roadblocks I have been facing, I do believe I really need to keep an open mind and possibly take a different road if necessary.

Point of today’s blog; I’m happy that my life’s path isn’t all set in stone. Strangely, I’m kind of thriving in this beautiful mess that I’ve created. It is stimulating and exciting (even if at times nerve wracking) to be presented with both challenges and opportunities. It isn’t about reaching a destination, or win or lose. It is about life. And this is what living is really all about. Taking chances, seeing what makes your heart sing, finding new things to love and everyday putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes those steps take us down lovely garden paths, and every once in a while we step in a mud puddle. Life. Messy. Sloppy. Magnificent.

(Olivia, if you are reading this, I love & miss you like crazy:)

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