My forever friend

Maggie died on June 17, 2020. My heart is broken. She was the dog of my lifetime. Some may understand. I feel I have lost a dear friend. Maggie and I had a relationship, a deep, knowable, living, loving connection. For nearly eleven years, after school and practice and bedtime stories and baths and homework and the day’s last hugs with my former smalls – it was Maggie and me. My brown girl and me coasting past dusk to slumber. My husband travels a lot and our alpha yellow lab while kingly and loving, he prefers his nightime space on his mat not far from us. For many, many nights. hers were the last eyes mine met. On June 17 mine were the last eyes hers met.

My brave and beautiful youngest, my most tender-hearted yet strong oldest joined my forever loyal husband and me to say good bye to our dear family friend. I am moved beyond measure at their choice to witness this moment. My middle love was at work, on the front lines checking families out at the grocery store with a smile behind a mask strapped to her pretty face for eight hours. I had to tell her of this sad, sad surprise in an ordinary day over the phone. The decline was swift and seemingly out of the blue.

Our last snuggles. What a treat.

Maggie will forever wear my forever friendship bracelet my soul sister, Beth gave to me – a treasure I have treasured for years. If you know Beth, you know this is the perfect homegoing trinket for my best four-legged friend to take over the rainbow. Here is the inside:

The inscription reads: Side by side or miles apart, we are forever connected by the heart. Beth lives in Colorado. Maggie lives in heaven.

There are a zillion happy memories. Only one sad one. Love wins.

I love you forever, Maggie.

People you should meet…

A few posts ago I asked for stories of complete indulgence.  I was in a bit of a funk over a difference of opinion in my home over spending money on vacation.  Too boring, too many factors to detail but suffice it to say we are going to Hilton Head, SC staying in a lovely and affordable condo and everyone is happy.   

I wasn’t sure what I was looking for from that post but I was motivated by disgust with myself for living a restrained and careful and hesitant life.  I fancy myself a glam gal but am earthy at heart.  I am reasonable and not terribly ‘spendy’.  However, I am not afraid to live a full life.  I want it with the intensity of a jungle cat.  I was feeling stuck and needed a bridge from intense desire and good intention to action plans and taking steps.  Maybe that’s what I was looking for.  Because that’s what I got.

Several folks wrote to share inspiring and personal stories of their own – facing the fire of desire and change and living in the glow of the unknown.  Real people who continue to take real steps everyday toward their heart.  Great accounts of ‘getting there’.  How sweet.  How humble.  How generous to let the stories out of your heart and into mine and now yours.  I am grateful. 

These, friends, are people you should know.

Mother Runner, stronger than she knows, and building more – look out!! 

So I’ve been thinking about your post and if I’ve ever followed my heart’s desire. There are some big things, like getting married to my high-school sweet-heart and having kids instead of a career. That has worked out well. I have 5 kids. We are still married and very happy. But while that was following my heart it wasn’t a leap or huge change. I guess taking up running was that. At 37 I had 5 kids, youngest was 2, and was physically breaking down. We thought I had something serious, and after numerous test showed nothing I knew I needed to change. I started running, and then yoga. I was never an athletic kid. I was the tall, lanky teen, who looked too thin and had no muscle tone. I hated to put out any effort. And then right before I turned 38 I started running. I loved it. It was a tough road. I had a few bad injuries, since this old body was not up to the pounding. But I have stuck with it (I’m 43). And this year another small leap. I’m still running, but I have put it on the back burner in order to go after strength, I am now practicing kettlebell. I always hated that I was physically weak. I want to be strong. With 1 in college and 4 more kids to care for, I know I need to be strong. I want to increase my physical strength to match my needed emotional/inner strength.

(I wish you lived close, so we could have coffee.)

Novelist and Soldier to boot! – mother, friend, tenacious like I’ve never seen.

every day. every day that i labor and pray and survive the failures in my fight for my crazy unlikely dream.

it is not for the feint of heart. i could use a little less baking to be honest with you. “half-baked bs” is a lot easier. 🙂 sometimes i’m not sure i’m strong enough for the oven.

but i i am. i am. i am. i am.

i’ve told you my mantra? its: “i am a soldier.” i put fear, exhaustion, pain etc. to the side, square my shoulders, look ahead and move ahead.

one day i was getting out of bed at 4:30 to write after a late night and chris murmured, “you’re a soldier.” it woke me up and i embraced it. i’m a soldier. soldiers don’t fight just battles, they fight wars. eventually somebody wins. i’d love it to be me.

(It will be you, I am sure of it.  Watch out, she’s on her way to big things.  I’ve read her stuff.  And am honored to have a first peek at something that will be on many, many coffee tables, bookshelves, and nightstands)

Entrepreneur, fitness instructor with the guts to make change, preserve her beautiful self and take something great and run.

A few years back as I was still working full time in a job that was becoming more stressful, more meaningless and more of a lame attempt to get a paycheck, I was becoming less and less happy. My husband hated seeing me come home with so much anger and complaining that he decided we needed to have “that talk”.

He knew how much happiness teaching/instructing brought to me, but knew due to my full time job, that I was limited to how many hours I could teach.

After weeks of doing budgets, research and talking, we both decided I would quit my full time job and I would teach full time. Wow – talk about a load of stress taken off my shoulders!

Are times tough? You betcha! Do I still stress? You betcha. But this is a different stress. This isn’t a “I hate my job stress”, but a stress that a husband and wife work through. Am I happy? You betcha! And it shows with how I teach, with how I hold myself and with how I treat others.

I used to take offense when others would ask what I do all day since I don’t work. Now I just smile and say I take care of me, my husband, my house, my animals and my participants.

It was a huge leap of faith, but with the backing and support of my husband and many others, I am so happy that I took that leap!

(I am happy you did too.  She’s a fellow fitness instructor with a fiercely loyal following.  They love her.  Me too.  She and her husband are bound for a magazine cover.  I’m thinking Entrepreneur – stay tuned.)

 

And so since reading these and others, I signed up for another half marathon, led my first yoga workshop, and got in touch with an author I am trying to get an appointment with.  It worked.  You inspired me.  I am taking steps.  Getting to that sweet spot.  Thank you.  And so I begin this day in gratitude.  That, my friends is a sweet, sweet spot.

How did your day start?