xmas treeOther than my son, my dog, and random pieces of furniture, there is not one single element of my life as it existed on January 1, 2014, that remains standing. I often wake up in the morning and look around in awe at how this sea change occurred and how I came to be in this wondrous new life I’ve fashioned.

Since I was twelve years old the ceremony of taking down the Christmas tree and “undecorating” the house has always held great meaning for me. It forces me to pause and think back over the past year and applaud my successes and mourn my failures, which are epic. I look at the blank slate of the year lying ahead, still unwritten, like a pristine notebook on the first day of school, with a slight shudder of excitement, anticipation, and dread. Who and/or what will still be populating my world one year hence?

What tiny voice whispered in my ear one dark and sleepless night in Cary NC and caused me to jettison a man I loved so deeply, our home, my job…and move to a land where I knew no one? What invisible hand gently pushed against my back and nudged me to this place, when I had the whole wide world to choose from?

My exit from NC was the second time I have cast aside a wonderful love in order to follow my inner whisperer. Both times caused so much pain and heartbreak, and months of acid tears I thought would erode me. I have decided that personal sorrow and universal sorrow are made of the same stuff, and in their essential nature are the doorways to compassion.

Is the constant change and transience of human life essential to bringing about spiritual growth and insight? I view all events, both good and bad, as a treasure chest for the evolution of soul. Every occurrence and person crossing my path has meaning and is a result and consequence of previous choices and actions. If we are able to see our challenges as opportunities for constructive change, then hopefully our growth will be rapid. I have finally learned to stop attempting to control every element of my life and relinquish attachment to people and places, and realize there is a purposeful evolution to our lives.

Despite occasional exhaustion brought on by this voluminous life I signed up for, I wake up every morning fueled by the knowledge that my life is NOT a random walk, and that when I make my final bow and exit stage left I will look back proudly, grinning and clutching my PHD in LIFE.

Right now, with all the ornaments carefully packed away, and my sadly denuded Xmas tree in its final resting place, I plan on a long nap in the hammock. Because, unlike those years leading up to my husband’s suicide, when I could smell and sense the predatory nature of the wolf on the other side of my door, today I can’t wait to throw open that door and embrace whatever lovely gift the Universe has waiting for me on the other side.

Wishing you all the enchantment life can hold in 2015. Thanks for loyally following my foolishness.

Brace yourselves…Gracie has another blind date Saturday. One day…one of these fellas WON’T be appalling and won’t I be in for a surprise?!?

Feature image courtesy of


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