Thursday, January 31, 2013


This week's word is RUMINATION. I love the fact that its source is "rumen," as in a ruminant animal, as in a cow chewing her cud.  The rumen has something to do with digestion and multiple stomachs. I don't understand the biology, but I completely understand what it means to ruminate.  I ruminate all the time, mentally chewing my options over, endlessly  considering and reconsidering. I can't stop weighing the "what ifs?" and it is paralyzing.  I'm terrified of making the wrong choice. 

This week's epiphany is that I can't see the future. I absolute can, and should, consider an issue thoroughly from all perspectives. But, ultimately, I can't know how my choice will work out.

Lately, I've been obsessively ruminating about my work/life balance. Should we buy a house in Ashland? Or, should I quit my job? Or, should I find some other way to free myself from my daily nightmare commute? I can't stop weighing the pros and cons of every option.

I can't know the future, but I do know the past.  I know, right down the marrow of my bones, that I can't keep doing what I've been doing. The daily 40+ mile round trip over a bad road and a mountain pass is no longer sustainable.  After 15 years, my number is up.  It's time to retire my commuter cup. 

I'm not sad to see the end of January, but it does beg the question: what does February have in store?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hit by a Truck

Feels like I was hit by a truck.

Oh wait...I was.

I was the victim of a hit and run driver last Wednesday.  Driving home on the Hilt Road, a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction almost hit me head on. He smashed into the driver's side of my Chevy Tracker and never stopped. He left me alone on the side of our dark, cold, deserted country road.

There I sat, shocked, traumatized, my coat pocket full of broken glass. Thank goodness for cell phones. I called 911 and then Sequoia.  Sequoia showed up first, bless him. An officer arrived and took a report.  The next day, the officer called to tell me the driver had turned himself in and wanted to apologize.  I was dubious, but asked the officer for the driver's name and number. 

Turns out, the man who hit me is an old rancher who has lived in the valley all his life. His kids and grandkids live in the valley. He's well known by everyone.

I'm having a hard time making sense of it all.  It sure seems like the universe is telling me that it's time to make a change.  I can't sustain this lifestyle any longer.

Today’s insight #1: I deserve to be happy.

In my heart, I nurture a strangely opposite belief: I have not earned my unhappiness.  Unhappiness dishonors my many blessings.  Because I’m so richly, uniquely blessed, my unhappiness is trivial, ungrateful, undeserved.
The truth is: I am unhappy. There's no shame or judgement in that, it just is.

I deserve to be happy. 
Today’s insight #2: I am allowed to embrace abundance.  My choices don’t have to be black or white, either/or.  I see the world in what programmers used to call “if/then” statements.  If I take this, I have to give up that. If I do this, I can’t do that.  If I move to town, I can never travel.  If I don’t work at a job, any job, I will starve.

The truth is, I can move to town and still travel. I can quit my job and survive.  It’s not against the rules. I won’t be hit by lightning.
I am allowed to embrace abundance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


This week’s question: how do I hold my darkness? 
I keep pushing it down and burying it deep, but the darkness always re-emerges, sometimes when I least expect it. It's real, it's part of me, it has something to say, something to teach me. It will not be denied.

Is it possible to hold my darkness gently, with care and compassion? With, dare I say it, love?
At music club last night, we got to laughing about songs with the word "Groovy" in the title.  Out of nowhere, Joe started plucking out the bass line of the Simon and Garfunkle song "Feeling Groovy." I sang the melody, Jesse and Joe layered on the harmonies, Jimmy noodled in the background. It sounded wonderful. What started as a random laugh resulted in an impromptu moment of ineffable musical sweetness.
I live for those moments.  The challenge is to live for all moments, good and bad, dark and light. 

   I've got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
   I'm dappled and drowsy and ready for sleep
   Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
   Life, I love you
   All is groovy

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Good Stuff

The last month was incredibly intense, but the good stuff was really, really good. My favorite time in December was the quiet week spent with my beloved girl Arly.   We toured wedding venues in a snow storm, played foster parents to Brown Dog, giggled at bad TV and generally had the loveliest time I can imagine. That girl is such a joy, such a shining light in the world.
Also among the good stuff: Kiva’s promotion to Kitchen Manager at Hamburger Mary’s.  That girl has some mad skills in the kitchen.  She does everything from fine dining to breakfast short order cooking.  She does the ordering, makes the schedule, manages a staff and generally makes the trains run on time.  She is powerhouse. Now, if she can just get her living situation worked out...
Both of my daughters are amazing forces for good in the world.  I love them more than I can say.