What Do I Know?

July 28, 2021

This Memorial Day will be the second anniversary of an event that changed the life of my little family. A serious health incident rocked us to the core and changed everything about how we move through life and what we stress over…or not.

After two years of saying WTF?!?! in my head several times a day; after questioning whatever fate brought this on us; after 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 long passed and we came out the other side intact. Thank God for that. And while it was two years ago, it remains fresh and always might, as life-changing events do. And that’s a good thing. It keeps us sharp.

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 still think 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.

Two years ago, I found myself re-thinking again, but it was different this time. This crisis was not mine, physically but mine in my heart and spirit. We made the changes needed; we pivoted to get back into some sort of balance so that life can move forward. 

In this process, I once again learned 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 didn’t. I learned again to live for the moment in real time and to 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. Mostly I wanted to share this story (again) to help people open their eyes to their blessings. Don’t ever take your joy for granted. Don’t take love for granted. Shower the people you love with every drop of you. Give all you have to every single day. Fall in love with your life and remember love is all there is.

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.