Thursday, December 30, 2010


This has been a year of laughter, tears, service, heart, soul, friendship, delight, confusion, and many blessings.  This is the year that I can stand here whole again after six years of widowhood.  Healed?  No.  Done?  No.  Like I was Before?  Never!!  Transformed?  To my very core.

The photo is the tree I decorated for Christmas - it seems fitting to have this be the primary photo in this post as it signifies the green and growing nature of my life and spirit right now. 

What do I know?  I know that I am a strong and resilient soul who is loyal and steadfast to those values and people that are important to me.  I know that I like the person that has emerged from this grief journey.  I know that I am strong in the broken places.  I know that I can stand alone and create a beautiful life each day.  I know that I am a good and loving companion to the right man should he come along.  I know that I am grateful for the companionship of the man that is currently in my life - he needed a place to come for awhile and I needed to open my heart again and see how I have changed.

One of my intentions for 2010 was to "Practice Self-Compassion" - a difficult thing to do.  Most of us are so good at being compassionate towards others and suck at doing the same for ourselves.  I made strides forward this year.  Have I learned to do this now?   Nope - but I am getting better and better.  Treating myself well - forgiving myself - embracing my own humanity - celebrating my accomplishments - being a well-loved, self-contained woman, filled with gratitude for all that spirit has brought to my life - those are the things that I am learning and practicing and relearning and practicing and getting better and better at doing.   It has brought such balance to my life.   This photo is the mantra that I taped to my bathroom mirror this year - it has helped to moderate my "inner critic" voice - I sing it sometimes :-)  and it is true.  Here it is:  "WHOLE, CAPABLE,  RESOURCEFUL, CREATIVE, RESILIENT."

I am grateful for my work and can say with a whole heart that my work has made a lasting difference to many.  I am grateful for Jonathan, my dearest brother and business partner, we stand united in our deepest values while preparing ourselves for the uncertain future - remaining committed to doing this work together.  

I am blessed that my BFF and a day - Joan - who my long-time readers will recognize as "J" - has moved to Minnesota and now lives 2 miles from me.  A long-held dream for both of us.   The last time we lived this close was 1979-1980, when we shared an apartment in California with our two boys.   Many new things will come to fruition in 2011 for us both!! 

I have continued to keep my commitment to fitness by faithfully seeing my personal trainer, Suzy Levi, for functional fitness and Pilates training.   I am now in my third year of weekly sessions with Suzy and am stronger, have better balance, and know that exercise and movement are the keys to active aging and good health.  In addition to the physical fitness side of things - Suzy and I have developed a treasured relationship - fitness is about more than the physical side of things.

Another of my intentions this year was to "do push-ups at least five days a week" and for the most part I have done that  - I can now do a set of 50 push ups!!  - that 's right - FIFTY.   When I first began to see Suzy in 2007, one of things I wanted to do (but didn't think I could) was push ups.  She just smiled and said, "oh you will, that's just the beginning."  She was right about that.

"Supporting those in Grief and Life Transitions" has been an ongoing intention the past three years.  I have continued to be present to and part of the grief journey of many widowed who (unfortunately) have followed me on the widowed road.   This next year holds a renewal of "The Grief Project" - the dream I have held in my heart the past five years will finally become a reality.  Much more to come about this new endeavor of hope and love.

I met a man this year who has been a wonderful companion.  He also has walked his own widowed road and so we share a very deep understanding of loss and renewal.  We have laughed and loved, and done many simple everyday kinds of things together.  He is a simple yet complex man and while I feel deeply for him in my heart - I think this is a just for now and a blessed time for both of us.  We needed this and are enjoying it as the old year comes to a close a new year begins. 

This year has been busy = has been revelatory = has been fun and filled with good work and laughter.  There are some changes to come - that's life - there is so much to look forward to.

While I have not been very faithful in posting to this blog the last few months - doesn't mean it is not important to me.  It has brought some of the most wonderful people into my life.  I appreciate and love each of you.  I hope the new year holds all comfort, joy, blessings and love for each of you.  There is much more to come........................

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Whoa - it's been too long ------

I have not posted since the day before Thanksgiving - much too long.  One reason:  I was on vacation for two weeks.  I did not "go away" for vacation - I stayed right here at home.  I nursed my cold, baked cookies, played with the animals (Miss Kitty the resident feline and Foxy the doggie visitor that I love).  I read books, cleaned a few closets, made a couple of gallons of chicken soup and celebrated Hanukkah. 

Just as I was healing from my cold, complete with chills, runny nose, cough and general malaise - the guy fell ill.  Ratz!  We have been taking it easy.  Lots of juice, soup, and naps.  Finally feeling better and hoping that this is the only cold we each have this year.   We can put that stuff behind us.  

Don't know if you have heard:  Minnesota is in the midst of a blizzard.  It is the largest snowfall I have experienced since I arrived in 1988.   Something like 1-2 inches snowfall per hour; tiny grains of snow that don't let up. 

We have had a wonderful day today.  The guy and I shoveled and walked and talked and shoveled and walked outside again in over the knee deep snow, came inside and drank hot coffee with Bailey's and then walked outside some more.  Both of us are hyperactive kids - that's for sure.  This photo is looking out my front door.  It has snowed for at least 5 additional hours since this was taken.

It began snowing on Friday night sometime after 11 pm.  The amount of snow is astounding - I think we are at 16 plus inches and it is still snowing tonight (Saturday) at nearly 10 pm.   When you live in Minnesota - you get to live in winter - cold, snow, ice, real winter.  One amazing bonus you get once in a great while is this blizzard - a chance to have everything just stop.   The silence of winter, wrapped in white. 

Sorry that I have been so silent - I am ready to return to more regular posting - so many interesting things happening in my life.  After so much sorrow - after the after - I am blessed and filled with joy.  If you are in the path of this winter storm - stay home sta7 warm.  Light and love flows out.