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What Do I Know?

This past summer has been a challenging one for me on a variety of levels. There have been tragic losses and great triumphs. But the big one? Our little family had a serious health scare on Memorial Day and I am still reeling as I write this blog.

After weeks of saying WTF?!?! in my head several times a day; after weeks of questioning whatever fate brought this on us; after weeks of wondering how to put one foot in front of the other, I am ready to tell you what I have discovered.

First, let me say that things are fine now. The incident has passed and we came out the other side intact. Thank God for that.

I learned a lot from this latest adventure in my life, but I confess that I am tired of ‘growing.’ I am tired of life lessons, but I guess that’s part of the deal, right? We don’t get to decide when we are done learning or growing. We take life as it comes: the good, the bad, the hard and the easy.

I have spent the last 30 years of my professional life teaching people about making the healthiest choices for their families and their own lives. My work is steeped in macrobiotic and Traditional Chinese Medicine theories, as well as conventional nutrition wisdom and we have always lived what we taught. It was never just some nice theory for us; something to be taught but not actually lived.

We walked the walk.

I have said a million times that living a healthy life is no guarantee that you can avoid illness or misfortune. Life can…and does throw us curve balls and how we manage them is a testament to our humility or arrogance.

I keep thinking that I should have seen the unforeseeable coming. The unforeseeable is the story of my life in many ways. After 15 years of macrobiotics (including recovering from cancer), I had a congenital brain aneurysm explode at my brain stem. I live with three more of them in my head. My brain hemorrhage was the result of non-existent levels of vitamin B 12. Back then, supplements were not a valued part of macrobiotics (in my interpretation of it).

Recovering from that required a re-thinking of what I thought I knew. We thought we ate the perfect diet, lived a healthy life. I beat cancer; we were good, right? All in, right? Nope. So we pivoted and adapted, adjusting our diet and lifestyle so that I could (again) recover my health.

And here I am again: re-thinking. It’s different this time. This crisis is not mine, physically but it’s mine in my heart and spirit. I am still in the process of the pivot, the changes needed to get back into some sort of balance so that life can move forward. 

In this process, I am once again learning that I know very little about very little and that my only path forward is to stay open minded and open hearted and listen. In listening, I learn and I can turn the lesson into action. The experience then becomes yet another stitch in the tapestry of my life that I draw on in my work; my life’s mission.

I will tell you this much. I thought I had things in perspective. I love my husband and my family. We do not leave things unsaid; we don’t let “stuff” fester. We don’t go to bed angry. We share a vision for our life and work. I thought I was on a pretty balanced track.

It was as though, God or Mother Nature (or whoever or whatever you worship) thought they would give this little woman some real perspective. As a result, I no longer waste one minute on nonsense; not the news; politics; the weather; not silly pettiness; and sure as hell not on anyone who is toxic.

While I wish I hadn’t had the experience I just did; while I wish this cup had passed me by; it has not and I am forced once again to figure it out and re-discover my joy. I am learning to live for the moment in real time and I wring every drop of joy from each one. I treasure every blessing and moment of love.

This blog may seem cryptic and even a bit…self-indulgent, telling you my feelings without any real facts, but for me, writing is cathartic; a way to make something real for myself and to make sense of what doesn’t make sense. I’m sharing it with you because this little community is a sacred place of love and acceptance and I value each one of you.

Stay well and safe. And cherish each moment as though it’s your last because as my sweet husband always says, everything is fine until it isn’t.

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