Tag Archives: life lessons

You’re sexy…

Does it ever suddenly hit you what a word truly means or where it comes from? Like there’s this Swedish word “gift” which means both “married” and “poison.” Just like “vind” means both “wind” and “attic,” maybe because the wind blows through the attic?

Yesterday I wrote a blog called “Amusing musings…” which led me to ponder muse, musing and amusing. So a muse is amusing and makes you muse upon things?

I don’t think I’ve ever pondered that before. And let me tell you it took me over twenty years to realize that married and poison was the same word in Swedish. I used both words for over twenty years without realizing.

In the same way I’ve asked people how they are, told them I love them, said I’m fine, and a plethora of other things, without really putting any intention behind the words. It’s been empty words.

In a similar manner we tell ourselves stories all the time, without really noticing what we’re saying. I just caught myself berating myself for where I’m at with my life, thinking I should be further along with certain things and will life ever get easier?

In the past year my coach has made me think about what’s working and what I’d love to create more of, as well as what I’d love to create in general. I’ve had to switch my faulty thinking patterns around. And it’s worked wonders.

The amazing thing is, we’re only partly aware of what we’re thinking most of the time. Like you walk around feeling a tad irritated for three hours, but don’t even stop to ask yourself why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and how you could think about it differently so as to feel better.

Similarly, one day you catch yourself having a thought only to realize you think that thought quite often, but you’re so used to thinking it you don’t even notice. Like when you tie your shoelaces — you don’t really think about what you’re doing, yet you have to think to be able to do it.

I used the same word for marriage and poison for over twenty years without realizing. I just never questioned it. Just like I never questioned some of my own thoughts, or the way I view the world.

Becoming aware is long process, yet it starts over night. Likewise, shifting one’s thoughts, or awareness if you so like, is a long process, yet it starts over night. You have to make a decision about what you’d like to think and where your focus should be.

I’m reminded of Trainspotting: Choose life, choose a fucking big television. Only I think you should choose your thoughts instead. Because really, that’s choosing life. The life we want to create. Personally I’m gonna go have a shower, pamper myself and curl my hair. Just so I can think I’m beautiful and sexy. I could contemplate my wrinkles instead, but that’s a lot less fun than thinking I’m hot as hell…

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Amusing musings…

I remember when I first started this blog — I was doing yoga in Runyon Canyon and walking around looking for topics to write about as I had challenged myself to do a post a year for a year…and I did.

When I write on here I learn. It’s where I process what’s happened. The more stressed I get, or the more happy I get, the more I write. If I’m stressed I need to process what’s happened, if I’m happy I want to share my happiness with the world.

Today I was running around looking for an external hard drive for over two hours. That wasn’t fun (esp. as I didn’t find it), but it was hilarious because I kept looking in places where I’d already looked, thinking it should logically be there. Only it was totally illogical to look again, because it wasn’t there.

It made me realize that we do that a lot, don’t we? We look for things in places where we know we won’t find them. Ever had a friend who never showed up? The kind that cancelled every coffee you ever booked? Ever been in a relationship where you break up and keep getting back together? Ever had a boss who just never praised you when you did well?

These things are structures. Those people are living according to a structure where they will keep repeating a certain behavior. So why do we still go there looking for that coffee, that love, that praise? We’re looking in the wrong place!

Our looking in the wrong place is a structure too. It’s something we keep doing. And for no good reason. What we’re looking for won’t happen.

I remember that before I broke up with the guy I was with for over three years back in my twenties, I kept having a line from a play I was doing going round and round in my head: “The wonderful thing isn’t going to happen, Thorvald.” Meaning, Hedda Gabler would never be loved the way she wanted to be loved by Thorvald (at least I think it was Thorvald and Hedda this was about…I may have mixed up the character by now…but it was the play Hedda Gabler by Ibsen).

The reason that line kept going round and round in my head was because my ex would never turn around and love me the way I wanted to be loved.

This came back to me when my coach pointed out that I expect flakiness. That I think flakiness is normal in relationships, but it’s not. It’s what’s normal to me. It’s my dysfunctional structure to be around guys where the wonderful thing will never happen.

Now, sitting thinking about your past isn’t necessarily helpful — you want to be moving towards what you want to create, not away from what you don’t want to create. I’d like to create intimacy. To me intimacy is a big scary thing as I’ve hidden in clouds of aloofness to protect myself from flakiness, but it’s what I’d love. What I’d truly love to create.

I’m obsessing about structure lately, have you noticed? Because I had some big epiphany that your entire life is built around structure. You put the right structures in place, you can do anything.

It’s like building a house: for the house to do what you want it to, you need a foundation, the proper pipes, the right electrical wiring, etc. If you don’t put structures in place, the house collapses on you, or things don’t work as they should, or keep breaking.

If you think about your exercise regime, your daily schedule, the way you plan your week, how you organize your wardrobe, etc. it’s all structures. There are also mental patterns that are structures, like the way you view situations, people, etc. and therefore react to them.

Writing this blog I was also reminded of that year when I wrote a blog a day and doing yoga and running in Runyon Canyon. It was a structure. One that I loved at that time. Challenges work for me because I thrive on them. So I think I need to make a few more challenges now. Challenge myself to put a few new structures in place.

I’ve been grumpy (and exhausted) for like a week due to the fact that I raise one kid with behavioral issues and I have to wait for him to do a program before he can start school again and having him at home all day long is driving me up the walls. Because I’ve felt like I can’t put structures in place. But I can. And I will.

I’d also like to run into someone who’d hug me for an hour. The past few months have been challenging with his issues and the schools. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this who’ve told me I’m a special soul who is doing an amazing job (incredible given how grumpy I’ve felt but considering his behavioral patterns I’m possibly a saint after all). It’s hard to reignite your own flame constantly, but compared to how much better I am at it now than a year ago, I’m well pleased with myself.

Now I’m off to look for more work, it’s an exciting Friday night…

Oh no, wait, I’m supposed to put a sexual metaphor in here as is the style of this blog…but I’m too tired…no, I can’t say that. It would be like totally rude if I said that to guy. Uhm…feed me chocolate, pour me wine and massage my feet till I fall asleep we have sex. Or just take me to Runyon Canyon and let me feel the desert wind blowing through my hair again as I run in the sun.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Magical moments and painting with caramel sauce…

It was maybe three years ago I was having a conversation with my best friend about death: what would we do if one of us died? Like how do you handle the death of the person that’s been the closest to you for an odd twenty years?

I didn’t have the answer. She didn’t have the answer. All I’ve really thought about when it comes to life and death is that you have to fill your life with as much love as possible. Some people are special — we don’t have a magical connection with everyone, but out of billions of people, there are several whom we can create great friendships with.

People die, love doesn’t. There is so much magic to be experienced in life with so many people. Sometimes all we have to do is open the door. Open the door to the possibility that someone might be magic. Open the door to our heart. Open the door to the beauty around us.

This conversation together with my constant traveling suddenly made me very aware of what I’ve often taken for granted. Like spending time with my best friend. In the past I just used to fall into the familiar feeling of being around her, now I’m aware that our time together is limited — not least because we live in different parts of the world.

Your experience shifts when you realize time is limited. It’s like suddenly you enjoy things more. You savor the moment in an entirely different way.

The other day, as a Facebook acquaintance posted about his son’s sudden death, I was reminded of this once more. That time is limited. That we really need to indulge in the moment and appreciate the people in our lives as we never know if it’s the last time we see them.

It also hit me that time with ourselves is limited. We make a point out of appreciating the time we spend with other people, but do we make a time to appreciate the time we spend with ourselves?  Do we take care of ourselves, love ourselves, indulge in the things that make us feel good? Like do you appreciate your own talents, your own sense of humor, the little things that make you, you? It’s great when others appreciate us for those things — don’t we all love hearing what makes us special — but how about appreciating that ourselves? Even if our soul is immortal, our current incarnation is not.

Fill your life with the good stuff. I was telling a friend the other day that I’ve filled my house with important stuff — like poetry, wine, art, herbs, cooking utensils, laughter and love. It makes me feel at home, because it’s the things I treasure and I want my surroundings to be a reflection of what I love. That way I get to live the magic every single day.

Of course I also have to do what I love. I write the poetry that paint my walls, I make the charcoal drawings that fill this house. I live. Even if only three people read my poems, and five people saw my art, I know I lived that poetic/artistic moment.

This house is alive with who I am. And last week I even bought a bed for my bedroom so now I can fall asleep dreaming beautiful dreams too…

Slowly, slowly we can piece our magic together, but even while we are doing it, we can live. We can create beautiful moments before “everything’s ready.” Before we are famous. Before we are rich. Before anyone else sees, or appreciates our art.

Recently life’s felt like a whirlwind blowing in the right direction. Like climbing a steep mountain to get to the top. It’s been good, but very challenging. And at night I’ve been exhausted, but I’ve lit my candles, poured a glass of red and turned on the stove to let my troubles bubble away in caramel sauce. Because I love baking. I love the scent of caramel. I love feeling like this is my home and I’m creating magic. Even in the midst of the storm, just as I said in a previous blog.

There are times when I fail and I freak out about everything at once — then slowly I bring my attention back to what’s working, to what is slowly changing thanks to the structures I’m putting in place and to what is possible. I turn on the stove and mix whatever spices draw me to them that day, write a poem, or paint a charcoal painting. I live. If so just a little bit. And a spark of magic is created…a spark that sooner or later starts a fire.

Magic. Create it.

Love. Love as much as you can. Life is short and wonderful people are magical and beautiful and utterly tremedously amazing.

Live the small moments. Create magic in everyday life. And run off to Paris or with the circus as often as possible…

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men. ” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

So there you are. Now go paint someone with caramel, or chocolate sauce, or something. Make it good. Make it magical.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Candle magic in the storm…

Do you ever wait for the perfect moment? A better home? A nicer car? And in the meantime neglect to make the most out of your current situation?

I used to be like that. I’d draw plans for a castle while living in a shack type thing. Instead of turning the shack into a castle I was waiting. Because it was just temporarily I was living there.

A lot of the things in my life were temporary. I was waiting for that magic moment when I had money, when I had visas, when I could settle, when I was doing what I love all day long… Then one morning about a year and a half ago I woke up and decided it was time to live life, no matter what.

So with no money I came up with things to do with the kids. I started writing poetry again. Happy poetry. I drew charcoal drawings again. I did everything I could to live, even if I couldn’t live exactly as I wanted.

Then it felt like life tested me. I got stuck in Europe with no visa. I was miserable being away from the kids. I was panicky. I’d wake up screaming in the night. But I realized that I had to find joy anyway. No matter what life presented me with. I had to enjoy the moment and put the panic and fear aside. And for the first time in years I took time to make new friends. To create a social life, even if I was just there temporarily. And I had fun. I still struggled with being away from the kids, but I created joy anyway. Because that’s the kind of person I want to be — I kept thinking if there was one thing I could teach people it would be that. To create joy and love, even when life gives you lemons. Because life will, in some way or another, always throw screwballs.

I came back to SA with a new visa plan, a great lawyer, more opportunities, but I’ve still battled. I found my dream home, but I had to live on a blow up mattress on the floor for six weeks as they did repairs (and it’s still raining in), the neighbor was loco, the furniture I ordered custom made grew mold, I finally had the kids but one of them has such severe issues my every day was taken up trying to sort him out and my work went out the window as I was running around to doctors, therapists, schools and golly knows what and the donkeys and still came home to tantrums, fights and nightmares. I couldn’t have babysitters, because they couldn’t handle him. I was never alone and I was losing my mind. But slowly things got better. Slowly my house became my home. Slowly my kid started finding his feet again. Slowly.

In the midst of the mania I decided to light candles. I was so run down — there were times I didn’t have time to shower for four days, because with a toddler and one kid throwing tantrums I couldn’t leave them alone. And at night I was so tired I just toppled over. But every night I lit candles. Even if it was only ten minutes to myself, I had ten minutes of calm and beauty. The kids asleep and only me and the candles.

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A rare shot of myself on this blog…came across this photo a few days ago and found it apt for this blog… 

Now I’m thinking I must do the same in the morning. Establish a routine that serves me. A routine that makes me feel happy.

Slowly I’m putting structures in place. Slowly my life is becoming a happy place to be. Even when it rains. Because I keep looking for the poetry. I keep looking for ways to make things work with the resources I have. And I try to be patient, because some things, like Magique have taken forever to sort out in the midst of the chaos. But for that too, I’ve put structures in place. I’ve hired people to ensure I sort out the things I’ve done wrong in the past. I’ve taken charge to put structures in place, both in my personal and professional life. And slowly we will get there.

I feel alive, because I have the sense that I’m finally living. I’m not waiting for some magic moment when I’ll receive an Oscar (though that’d be great), or Magique will be raining money on my head, or I’ll have fifty million to make a movie and decorate my home. I’m simply using my resources to create magic. In the now. And putting supporting structures in place. In the now. Because there’s so much beauty and I want to experience it. Right now.

It’s time to light a candle and crack on with today’s workload. A very happy me actually has some time to work.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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You can make love…

Love is a choice. In every instance in life, you can come from a perspective of love, or somewhere else. Usually your ego, or programmed behavior.

I help raise a kid with behavioral difficulties and the other week the kids were running amok in the doctor’s office and the one with behavioral issues then had a meltdown in the parking lot and ran off.

When you look at a kid who has been emotionally traumatized and has special needs, they don’t react like your ordinary kid. You can’t just discipline more, or love more. It doesn’t change the behavior. You use positive re-enforcement and a number of other techniques. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes get angry, or feel embarrassed.

At the doctor’s I felt embarrassed. There’s another way of seeing it though. I could just have seen it from the point of view of being a single mother, who took on raising a drug addict’s three children (and had a fourth mentorship kid with that day) and is doing the best she can with the situation. Or I could get super embarrassed that my kid didn’t behave, thinking everyone must think me a fool.

We are so programmed thinking one thing and letting our egos run the day we rarely stop to question the truth of our feelings. I’ve been running around to doctors, psychiatrists, special needs schools, therapists and god knows what and the monkeys. I try my best to implement positive parenting at home. There are times when I fail. I get sad, or angry. I want just a normal life where I don’t have to fear a couple of meltdowns a day. But by the end of the day, I get up, focus on solutions and what I’d love to create and set to work. So am I the fool with a misbehaving child, or the person who deserve credit for helping?

Ever considered as well when you are in the run up for a job, or you date someone for a while and it doesn’t work out, that it’s not about what didn’t work, but about what made you get as far as you did? Can you see the beauty in what they appreciated in you? As opposed to what made it not work out? Can you build on that beauty? Can you appreciate yourself and your skills the way they did?

The other day I handed my car in to change the break pads, only they realized that underneath that, a screw of sorts was broken and had I kept driving I would possibly have had an accident. Now, said massive screw wasn’t available right away, but had to be sent from another town. So I ended up carless for five or so odd days.

As I walked away from the repair center I was feeling a bit frustrated — I had weekend plans. The sun was shining though so I decided to walk to fetch the little one instead of taking an Uber. As I walked I saw a van, which was totally closed, no windows open, but I could hear voices. Soon I heard a chorus of “Marias” being shouted, a window opened and faces revealed themselves to greet me. It was kids from Hangberg who I’ve met over the years, on their way to a soccer game. It made me smile. Those are the kids that make the struggles we face worth it. Those smiling faces.

Later that day I walked to the harbor with one of my kids, to eat ice cream and he rollerbladed. It was sunny and wonderful and all things glorious, even if I had a sore throat and no car. It was a blessing.

A few days later I ordered an Uber to go to a funeral. As I walked out the door with one of the kids to fetch it, I realized it had cancelled and another Uber was on its way. I messaged them saying we’d started walking as we were running late and asked them to fetch us along the road. It said it’d be there in five minutes, but five minutes later it said in six minutes. It started raining. We kept walking. The Uber went to our address instead of where I told him to go. Then he drove past us and cancelled. The third Uber showed up.

I walked twenty minutes in the rain with a cold, freezing. I was getting angrier and angrier. Then I realized that this was the opportunate moment to enjoy life. I was on my way to a funeral. I started telling my child that maybe luck prevented us from catching those Ubers. You never know. But you do know that you are alive, you still have beautiful moments to look forward to and a healthy life to enjoy. You can dance. You can giggle at raindrops. You can laugh with friends. You can make love. You can create art. You can write poems. You can eat delicious meals. You can lick salted caramel out of the pot. You can speak for hours with people close to your heart. You can hug. You can kiss. You can run across fields with your children. You can jump in waves. You can chase someone along the shoreline till you both fall down from exhaustion and laughter. You can feel life. You can live life.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Love and life and inside-out knickers…

Do you ever screw up your vibration? No, not vibrator. Don’t screw the vibrator. Or do. The point, in this case, is your personal vibration. Or the vibration you use when dealing with others.

I was chatting to my coach yesterday and told him I could see myself reacting to something. Like, say, your neighbor did something and you see yourself running into their house screaming that’s totally unacceptable. Or you get scared of a situation looming on the horizon and feel like removing yourself from it entirely. Or someone annoys you and you feel like telling them to fuck off, even though you quite like them. You are in some form of reaction or another, most likely one you’ve been in before.

Ever found yourself reacting the same way in personal relationships? Or work relationships? Yeah.

So I saw myself wanting to react the way I normally do in a particular situation. I didn’t want to react that way, because I know it doesn’t serve me, so I asked my coach what to do? His reply? Shift your focus to love. You’re coming from a place of love.

Suddenly life became very simple.

Life is simple. It’s just we complicate it all the time because our ego gets in the way. We feel hurt, so we hurt. We feel humiliated so we run and hide, or get furious. Half of the time these emotions come from interpreting situations in idiotic ways. Using our ego to look at something, basically and then acting on that. Or using our past to cross reference a situation, when, in fact, in our past we’ve used our ego to navigate the world and it didn’t end up too great, did it?

Sometimes, when I know my ego is in operation, I do the polar opposite of what I want to do. I want to run and hide, I step bravely forward. I want to go aloof, I chat till tomorrow. I want to lash out in anger, I retract with humility. But just doing the polar opposite doesn’t change the underlying ego hick-up that’s making me want to react in the first place. Shifting to a perspective where you’re coming from love does.

I know I’m in a pretty good mood these days, because my sense of humor has returned. I started laughing about screwing with vibrators vibrations yesterday, after posting the following on Facebook: “All three kids in bed by 8:30pm (and no one got seriously traumatized in the process), the dishes done, breakfast prepped…the age of miracles has arrived! (That’s not to say that I didn’t put my knickers on inside out this morning as I was so stressed getting the kids to school BUT they arrived on time AND I managed to shower which is miraculous. Seriously. Never mind the knickers.)”

My sense of humor is still as dirty as it ever was, but at least I’m picking up clean laundry from the laundrette today, so there’s hope…but then again I’m not sure I ever want an entirely clean mind. Everyone who says I’m a bad person because I have a blog with sexy headlines (but who not-so-secretly read Fifty Shades)  would suddenly lose their angle. I mean that would be so sad. My ego would be like totally upset there wasn’t anyone who imaginarily hated me anymore. Shame.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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It’s time to pull the zipper down…

There are moments in life that undress you. One moment you stand there fully clothed and the next you’re stark naked.

I always liked when people got naked. Usually it’s when they run into trouble, face their demons and crack open. Their carefully crafted coping mechanisms fail. The ego driven patterns they’re hiding their flaws behind crack. And suddenly they find themselves naked. Usually uncomfortable for them, but nice for the onlookers, who suddenly see their heart.

Maybe they need to wash off some of the crap they’ve landed themselves in, but their heart is right there. And it’s beautiful.

I had one of those moments the other day. Someone asked me something along the lines of: “Wouldn’t your gran like to have had one more experience? Like if you’d asked her before she died, wasn’t there something she wished she’d done?” And my reply was: “No, she’d just have wanted to spend more time with her family.”

When I said it I didn’t think too much about it, but when I came home it made me teary-eyed. One, because that side of the family is gone save from my sister and I. Two, because I’ve been driven by so many other things than my gran was — she was driven by family and she was happy and content, save from when people started passing over. That was her downfall — she couldn’t deal with that and let new people enter her life.

I, on the other hand, have had many incredible experiences all over the world, but it wasn’t until the past five odd years I started feeling remotely happy being me. And it wasn’t until last year I started taking my social life seriously. Because even though I knew more people than most could dream of, I was so scared of rejection I never focused on actually stitching it all together. And while this blog can attest to my many epiphanies surrounding dating over the years, I never truly thought myself capable of finding a man who loved me that I loved. Until possibly earlier this year.

I know I’m a bit of an adrenaline and experience junkie. And I get high on breaking convention. I also get a sense of fulfillment from film and Magique, as well as Little Angels, that I don’t think my gran got from her work. But I also know that as a child I filled my life with stories because I felt lonely — I was bullied and unhappy around my step-mom so I hid in books.

Yesterday I went to the doctor as I’ve caught the latest Cape Town epidemic: a stomach bug. Nothing serious, just an upset tummy, but you know after a week you start feeling a tad drained. The kind doctor put me on a fast — rehydration drinks for 24 hrs followed by bread and potatoes only for 24 hrs.

Now, I’ve done a lot of juice fasts in my day and they’re fascinating, because food is one of those feel good things. Makes you happy when you taste yummy things. Also gives you energy. When you don’t have energy you get cranky and start facing your demons. Same thing if you’re bored and alone without distraction.

Today, I realized, while tired and grumpy, just how addicted I am to food. And get me right: I’m pro a certain level of food addiction. Life should be tasty, if you ask me. But I can also see how a good book and a glass of wine, or a treat and my favorite Netflix, is a substitute for going out there and meeting people. I think good books, food and Netflix are wonderful,  it’s just using one good thing to replace another isn’t a great strategy.

Co-incidentally (if there is such a thing) I’m reading Brand’s Recovery at the moment as I always wanted an excuse to attend an AA meeting so I could learn the darn steps. Now there’s a book for that. Not that I think it can substitute what you get from the group meetings, in fact I believe if you suffer from any kind of addiction AA should be your next stop (take it from one who has known and dated enough former addicts to break the rules of probability), but for us who don’t want to turn into addicts to join AA it’s a great book. At least if you’ve lived in London and are used to foul language.

Anyway, my point, dear readers, is that I realized I have my little addictions. I already knew I had patterns. Run from loneliness by creating loneliness is one of them (sounds counter-intuitive, but hey, constantly moving round the world and being a workaholic you’re too busy to get a stabile social life so you never need feel rejected). Using food and stories to combat loneliness is an addiction though. I always said that books were my drug as a kid. If it hadn’t been for stories I thought I’d ended up committing suicide or taking drugs. I never wanted to do either, but I figured that’s because I had something that gave me hope. People always look at me with incredulity when I say those things these days, because I’m no longer the shy kid hiding in my room, petrified of my step-sisters cool friends, but I still carry that child inside me. The child that couldn’t for the life of her understand why she didn’t have friends. Couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, but figured she was seriously flawed somehow.

The truth is, I never fully opened up. I tried. Just as I tried liking myself. And it gets better all the time. I no longer want to run into walls because I hate myself so much and the experience in hospice was the latest thing that made me feel like I cracked open. And that comment about gran’s greatest desire brought it home even more — because there are few things more important than the people in our lives. I need to open myself up to those people. Unlike gran it isn’t just about family for me. I think everyone we love is family. And there are a whole bunchload of people I really love. I’d like to be fully present with them. And spend as much time with them as physically possible.

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