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I don’t know exactly what I expected from my 50’s, but I’m finding this season of my life to be very interesting and eye-opening. I’ve been doing some intense work on myself lately. As many of you know, this work began in earnest last October with a 31 day writing challenge (Simply 50 - refining life for the next decade). Since then, I’ve been in the thick of it as I try to really live the words I chose for that challenge. I've discovered this work is fascinating and difficult.
I’m realizing a lot about myself...
I have changes to make.
I have habits to break.
I have limiting beliefs to release.
I want things to happen faster.
I want things to slow down.
Recently, I was becoming lost in the minutia. The details of the journey were bogging me down.
I was completely overwhelmed by the entire process and by the urgency I was feeling to fix myself!
Then, right on cue, the Universe stepped in with trio of wake-up calls.
I’ll quickly share the recent events that have led me to reevaluate my Project Fix Kristen timetable and some of my methods…
Most of us vividly remember our first best friend. Mine was a neighbor in the suburbs of Philadelphia...and later a school-mate. We were about four years old when we met. Her name was Susie.
Ours was my intro into the world of friendship. I’m smiling as I type, recalling our easy joy and shared laughter.
Decades ago, we lost touch. While I think of Susie fondly from time to time, I haven’t connected with her in ages. I learned recently that she died several years ago at age 45. I had no idea. The news stopped me cold. My heart aches knowing that she’s gone. (Update below)
At a family wedding, my father-in-law collapsed just as the bride was about to walk down the aisle. Out cold. Chest compressions. Ambulance. Overnight hospital stay.
He’s only 68 years old. Thankfully, it was diagnosed as dehydration and he was released the next day. He’s feeling fine. What a frightening 15 hours.
My daughter’s boyfriend left our house around 10 pm. He drove literally one block and in a freak accident, rolled his small convertible car. Miraculously, he walked away uninjured. Shaken and scared, we waited for his parents to arrive. Surrounded by a fire truck, police cars and a dozen neighbors... I tried to shut off the ‘what if’ game in my head. Thankfully, everyone was safe.
Once I moved past feeling completely rattled, I witnessed the true wake-up call potential of these events that occurred within the span of one week.
Crisis has a remarkable way of slamming us into the present moment.
Everything else falls away and we are here. Now.
The little shit no longer matters.
We’re left with compassion.
It’s how we deal with what happens that determines our happiness. How we perceive our circumstances really is our choice. Every moment of every day.
Half-empty or half-full.
Some days my commitment to choosing happiness always is strong and other days the work of finding even a sliver of happy seems daunting.
But...I’m all in.
I’m fully committed to this journey of self-improvement.
There are times when I’m so excited about the changes I see in myself that I’m positively giddy.
But, there are also moments when it feels like I’ve opened a can of worms that I’ll never control.
Two steps forward, one step back.
I'll take it.
All this to say, a trio of wake-up calls has put me back on course. Moving forward (with more patience) towards the changes I'd like to make. And the person I'd like to be. At the very least, I owe it to Susie to continually strive to live my absolute best life.
What changes are you making?
Are you gentle with yourself during the process of changing? (If so, please share your tips:-)
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Thank you for reading. And commenting...my replies might be slow, but I always read every single comment and smile:-)
Have a super week!
P.S. Regarding my friend Susie...
The Universe is truly amazing!
Okay, here's the brief update...
After I learned of Susan's death, I spent some time searching for her mom and brother online. I haven't had any contact with them in 30+ years, but I hoped to locate them and offer my condolences.
Through Facebook, I found someone I believed could be Susan's brother's wife.
As I was sharing this experience with my family, my daughter mentioned a boy with the same (unusual) last name who'd been in one of her classes her sophomore year. '
We did a bit more research online...
The world is incredibly small:-)
A week ago, I had the pure pleasure of sitting down with Susan's brother, sister-in-law and mother at her brother's home. Less than three miles from where I currently live! Over 1,700 miles from where we first met. Neighbors again and we didn't even know it.
I'm blown away by the workings of the Universe. It was such a full-circle moment that I'm still breathless when I think about all of us sharing stories and remembering Susan. And missing her.
Gotta love the Milky Way!
Top photo credit: Peter Cain
Loveland Pass. August 2016. Family 14er Adventure.