September 25, 2011

cackle with impunity

I'm 50 years old. I'm 50 years old. I'm 50 years old.

Nope, it doesn't matter how many times I say it: it still sounds like I'm talking about someone else. Me, fifty? No way. (Except that I am...)

When I went to Canada in July I bought a copy of their version of More Magazine (it's a lot better that ours, by the way) to read on the plane, and inside found this article: 50 Things to do for Your 50th Birthday

Some of the suggestions made me smile:

3. What did you love to do when you were 10? Draw, ride horses, play piano? Do it again.

4. Give yourself permission to flip the bird to the universe and burn your copy of The Secret.

One made me a little sad:

25. Write your own eulogy and then file it away with your will.

And then I got to this one, and literally laughed out loud:

46. Forget about composing a bucket list and instead draw up a fuck-it list: things I will no longer worry about or bow down to, such as demanding relatives or those last 10 pounds.

I've pretty much lived my life fuck-it list style, which is why my 80 year old mother is currently not speaking to me, and why my ex-husband said of me, after our last conversation,"I put up with her shit for 20 years, and I don't have to put up with it any more!" (Except that sometimes he still does have to...) 

I've never made a list, though, and I love lists! So here, in no particular order, is 

My (Incomplete) Fuck-it List:
·        I will not pretend I'm heterosexual, Republican, or Christian. It's okay with me if you are, I'm just...not.
·        I will speak up against bigotry and hate whenever I encounter it. 
·        If I see you abusing a child or an animal, I'm going to say something to you, and/or call the cops. My definition of those things may be stricter than yours, but if it looks abusive to me, I'm on it.

·        If I see someone doing something nice, or looking like they need a kind word, I will say something. They may think I'm crazy, but it may make their day. That's a chance worth taking.
·        I will address bad customer service. If someone is doing their best and it's still not good, that's one thing. But if they're not really trying? I'm on it.
·        I will Laugh. Out. Loud.

One of the best things about gathering years
is the right to cackle with impunity.
- Clarissa Pinkola-Estes

What would you add to this list?

Next up: My Bucket List, aka "Things to do Before I Go"

September 21, 2011

the gods will offer you chances

The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

~Charles Bukowski

September 17, 2011

when our hearts are conscious

I've been in Toronto since Wednesday, training for my new job. I've experienced cultural differences on several levels - Canadian vs. American, and non-profit vs. corporate for-profit.  Everyone here has been really friendly, helpful, accommodating, and it's actually been a lot of fun!

We wrapped up yesterday, and last night I went to dinner with one of the VPs,  who, even though he was doing his corporate "duty" by taking the new Director out to dinner, was also a genuinely nice guy whose company I really enjoyed. It wasn't "just" dinner in Toronto, though...No, we drove to Niagara Falls, about an hour south of the city, and had dinner at a restaurant on the 33rd floor of the Hilton, overlooking the Falls, complete with a fireworks display.

Have I mentioned that I'm the luckiest person I know?

You can lean right over the guard rail, and the water is literally just a few feet below
When night falls, the lights come up...

 And then, FIREWORKS!

From the restaurant

Next up, Chicago for more training. I have to run - my limo will be here in 1/2 hour to take me to the airport. (TRUST ME, I'm totally awed by this, and any attempts to be casual about it are purely an act!!)

Have I mentioned that I'm the luckiest person I know? :)

We can only be said to be alive in those moments 
when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  
~Thornton Wilder

September 14, 2011

the freedom to move forward

I am the newest Regional Director of Shelter Outreach for Pethealth, Inc.  I'll provide customer support to current clients - animal shelters and rescues - in Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri, and will bring new shelters and rescues on board.

Pethealth, Inc offers a suite of products for the animal welfare field, including microchips, pet insurance, and shelter management software (PetPoint). As Shelter Manager at the Kentucky Humane Society, I got to know the products, and the company, and I knew that if I left KHS, I wanted to work for Pethealth, Inc.

So, that's what I'm going to do.

And the Kentucky Humane Society - my former employer - will now be one of my clients.

This Uncertain Summer is officially over.

The freedom to move forward to new opportunities and to produce results comes from living in the present not the past - Brian Koslow

September 9, 2011

'til you yourself are a sail

Last month I mentioned that I'd been feeling drawn to the sea, and wondered what I was really trying to say to myself with that feeling. Yesterday, all at once, I figured it out.

When I lost my job, I abruptly found myself in cast out into completely unfamiliar territory, not knowing where I was going, or what lay ahead. I couldn't stay, so I just had to go. If I was going to save myself, I had to take that leap of faith, and leave the shore.

I spent a good deal of time out on open waters. Uncharted waters. There was no going back, and the far shore was nowhere in sight. No wonder the idea of the sea felt so familiar to me: I've spent an entire season and then some trying to find the other shore.

I'm almost there. I wonder how long it will take me to get my land legs back?

And then today I received this in the mail:

The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. 
Hone and spread your spirit, 'til you yourself are a sail, 
whetted, translucent, 
broadside to the merest puff.
 - Annie Dillard

September 7, 2011

look out the streaked window with complacency

Hello, September. I'm so glad you're here, and with you, the onset of autumn.  This Uncertain Summer is all but over. Next week I fly to Canada, then Chicago, for training at my new job. Tomorrow I'll be FIFTY. So  - yeah - we're turning the corner...

After months and days of hellish heat, autumn blew in a few nights ago on the back of a storm, and has settled in to stay awhile. Daytime temps are cool, nights are downright chilly. It's been raining on and off since Sunday, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Bring on the cozy...


The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain.  This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency.          ~Susan Allen Toth,  England For All Seasons


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