Our Epitaphs.

I'm tired of grieving. I think I'm pretty much grieved-out at this juncture. I spiraled into a grief cocoon last week and didn't emerge until...well...yesterday! As anyone who has experienced deep grief knows, it's interminably exhausting. And it's relentless in its desires. Like having a sex addict for a lover.

Harold: You drive me wild with desire. I cannot get enough of you, my sweet!

Gladys: Again? Well, I guess we can. But we've already done it seven times today! Maybe we should call room service first for some cheeseburgers and iced tea. I'm feeling a bit dehydrated.

And grief is also a bully. It hits you over the head over and over...no matter how much you want to move on. No matter how desperately you want to focus on the present moment, and "let go of the past." Grief is annoying and, quite honestly, a pain in the bottom...like that kid on the playground in elementary school who just wouldn't stop trying to kiss you. Or tease you. Or pull your hair.

Stay away, you creepy and freakishly annoying kid!

"You drive me wild with desire...come to me!"

Before Cole moved on (shout out to Cole, because those of us who knew Cole also know he loved the limelight and also I do SO love typing his name), I had been designing a blog. No surprise to those who know I am pretty much constantly designing a new blog. I am certain I could have quite a lucrative business designing other people's blogs and websites...and be, well, most probably mostly miserable. So not doing that right now. But never say never.

I had also been planning on penning a book on single motherhood. And on MOVING ON. An empty nest was looming on the not-so-distant-horizon, and a new chapter of life was going to begin, whether I was fully ready for it or not. Knowing what (I thought) was ahead, my heart was already setting up defenses against what would inevitably be a tidal wave-ish feeling of loss. And so, like a knight from a Monty Python movie, I began slowly donning my invisible metal armor to protect myself from the injuries that might be inflicted in battle. Mentally and emotionally prepping my heart for the upcoming events that would transform my identity from single-mother to single...ummm...WOMAN. No qualifiers. No kids to tether me to anything or anyplace. A freedom I was desperately ready for, and also slightly dreaded.

My new blog, back in the winter of 2016, had a graphic of a little yellow cartoon car driving away from a house. On a road to a new adventure. A new identity. A new life. I was talking my heart into what lay ahead and attempting to embrace, and yes, even love what would be "the new me."

Little did I know how prematurely my nest would become empty. And not in the usual way.

Saying goodbye to your youngest child in the ICU of a hospital is not the same as saying goodbye to your child at a college dorm room. Or as they drive off on their first road-trip adventure to begin their life as an independent young adult.

Now it's 2019...three and one half years later. And I'm finally going to be starting my blog about moving on. And starting over. I mean, it's still going to be THIS blog, but I'm going to really focus on the whole "life re-creation" thing.

I originally wanted to write it for women. Because, I'm a woman. Hello there! And that's my area of expertise. Then my daughter pointed out that a lot of other people, of the male variety or other sexual identifications, might feel cut out of the loop.

And so, I tried imagining writing for the masses. But I'm still a woman. And I'm at the stage of life at which so many other women and mothers find themselves...starting over. Sometimes at what feels like square one. Ground Zero. Like a teenager. But with a lot of baggage in the overhead storage bin. Some of it so heavy it's almost impossible to even get it up there and out of the way. And I still find myself wanting to write for women. Especially single women. Because, well, that's the material that flows from my heart most easily.

I mean, I KNOW this sh*t. And yes, you may quote me on that. ;)

Yes, it may be a poor marketing move. Yes, it may make some people feel "left out" or

not included. That's not my intention. I intend to create stuff that is honest, real, unapologetically

true for me, and that feels inspiring, amusing, joyful, barrier-breaking, bridge-building, and sometimes just plain weird. Because I revel in my private weirdness. Stuff that makes us all think and feel and laugh and cry. (Mostly laugh!) And especially, stuff that enforces the idea that you must not give a flying **** about whether anyone else approves of the way you want to live "your one wild and precious life." (My favorite snippet from the beautiful Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day.)

I hope you will find value in at least some of my words and art and services. Women, men, mothers, fathers, single, married, straight, gay, human, alien...whatever. And pass along the love, support and laughter to others on this planet we share.

I have to create from my own journey. I don't know any other way. And I feel like there are so many other people who are yearning for laughter mixed with depth mixed with some brand of "lightened up enlightenment." (Hint: We are not our bodies...we are just renting these things for a short time. There's all sorts of unfathomably amazing stuff going on out there in the Universe, and in here in our bodies, as well. There's so much to be in awe of, so let's lighten up and enjoy the ride!).

Soon, I'm moving from my apartment in a renovated old mill building to a magical little cottage. Overlooking the water. Near the ocean. On a farm. It's going to be an adventure. And it's going to take me away from my beloved Maine. Because my healing here feels done, and I'm ready to move on. Again. (At least for the summer!). And I hear Cole's (you remember him) voice in my heart on an almost daily basis giving me a kick out the door into a new life. Once again, away from the familiar. Because we can either be comfortable, or we can be courageous.

Roots can be wonderful and comforting. But sometimes, they can strangle us and stifle us. And sometimes, they need to be pulled up and repotted for our best health and well-being. And so we can grow to our fullest potential. And experience more of life.

The last few years have been really difficult for me, to say the least. Trump being in office, although disturbing and frightening, still feels like nothing in comparison to ones' personal and tragic and heart-wrenching experiences.

I don't know any other way to keep going other than to create more adventure and joy and laughter and beauty and real-ness in my life...more of what lights ME up....and to give that back to the world. To fill those pits of despair with truth and beauty and water it with tears and nurture it with laughter. (Ok that last bit just sounded like a syrupy Susan Polis Schutz card, circa 1980-something...haha...shout out to my college friend, Anne Abbott!!). ;)

In any case, I hope you'll join me.

I'm going to be blogging, but I'm also going to be expanding into videos and my usual irreverent and uplifting artwork... and all sorts of whatever else feels "right" for me right now.

I intend to keep becoming more and more of the real me. As all of that other stuff keeps falling away. And the grief transforms into something that feels palatable. I hope you'll come along and discover and embrace and create more of the real you, as well. I could use some crazy and fun and courageous fellow-sister travelers. So please, JOIN ME!

Because we're here for far too brief a time to NOT live unapologetically REAL lives. And to share

our perfectly wondrous weirdness with one another. Without fear of rejection or ridicule. Normal is

boring, and so very over-rated. Dare to be YOU.

This is a book one would imagine I'd have in my vast and weird vintage book

collection, but alas, I do not! Which is why I was forced to politely borrow this

image. Something else to add to my list of sins. ;)

Life is so fleeting. And when it's over, you DO NOT want your epitaph to read,

"Here lies Gladys. She was a very nice woman who never really did what she wanted to do and never really said what she wanted to say because she was too busy trying to be perfect and make everyone else happy."

What a tragedy THAT would be! (Especially if your name isn't Gladys.)

And on that note, I shall bid you adieu. Please. Please. Please. Keep laughing. Keep loving. Keep speaking your truth. Life is simply tragic and depressing and dismal sometimes...but a sense of humor is the ultimate antidepressant. And the ultimate survival tool. Better than any therapy or pharmaceutical I've ever encountered. :)

Peace. Namaste. Auf Wiedersehen. Ciao. Adios. Adieu.

Kisses. Hugs. All that good stuff.

Sandi

xo

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