Life’s a Ride…to Nowhere in Particular.

As I sit on the NJ Transit train feeling the light bumping and swaying underneath me and an empty seat beside me, I bid farewell to the fast paced dirty streets of NYC…but I am not really alone. In fact, as I board my noon train heading to NJ, my youngest son boards a noon train too. A different noon train. I am simply heading home from a day in the city; he is heading back to his new home in Florida as he finishes his 2nd semester in College.

He was not lost...but I was so happy he was found!

The bumping of the tracks feel like a continuation of the bumps we’ve experienced as he transforms from my baby to an emerging adult. Both of us struggling with hanging on, and letting go.

My text: I’m on.
His text: Me too.

I find comfort in the fact that we are both traveling by train at the exact moment even though we are not together. Even though I know that we will not be landing in the same spot. I let go of the concept that we won’t see each other on the other side and instead focus on the ride and the fact that even though we aren’t together, we are both on this ‘ride’. I don’t know why that causes me comfort, but oddly it does.

It is only then that I see the parallels of my 18 year-olds life and mine. I see that we are experiencing a new path in our lives filled with twists and turns, doing our best to understand where we fit in, what our boundaries are and just how independent we really are. At times I barely feel equipped to be so separate from him, not knowing how to help him while he keeps me at bay, while other times I pray he will simply call and beg for my help to give my life the purpose I am used to. I find myself frustrated with him, angry for not needing me, furious that it feels like I am locked out of my own house and sad…that he won’t let me just be his mamma.

Yet sitting on the train, envisioning his train racing beside mine at a speed that I don’t care to think about, I am reminded of the way he used to play as a kid. How often he would play with his friends in a similar parallel world. The day would be about his ball, his friends ball and the net. It wasn’t a game that needed conversation, interaction or mental support…it was just a way to play. With his friend right beside him. I can remember their little faces as they cheered at their own talent, shooting and dribbling endlessly with such joy. But I can even recall the way they would say goodbye; one arm tightly hugging the ball with a glance and a simple ‘see ya tomorrow.’ At the time I wondered if they cared more about their ball than each other.

Clearly I am a classic over-thinker. 

No one would leave upset. No one felt disappointed or left out. They had had their play date where each of them would ‘play’ and that was that. In retrospect, their ability to play with little or no expectation was perfect. They seemed to have no plans on just how the whole thing would go, and so however it went…was perfect.

I wondered now if that lack of expectation was just what my life needed.

I then realized, after my 8th text in 20 minutes to my boy on the train…that perhaps I had a bit to learn; about letting go, trusting in the path ahead to guide us, and allowing both of us the freedom we needed so that we may grow into the next whoever we are supposed to be. Because if this life is simply about enjoying the ride to nowhere in particular, then we can truly enjoy the freedom of this moment as it is right now. No matter how fast we seem to be traveling.

A Rainbow for the New Year

My fingers hit the keyboard gently this morning in hopes of finding just the right words to send to my people. “My” people…the ones that have inspired me this year to honor my life and the way I live it. The ones who have struggled with pain, cancer, stress, chaos and even just the feeling of ‘is this really all there is?’ For those that have reached out for a hug, dared to say ‘I can’t do this anymore’ For those that wanted to simply give up, but instead decided to lie down and rest and for those that feel torment in their heart, but allow me to love them anyway. For all of you and more, I thank you for giving me the permission to touch your life, help alter your perspectives and trusting me to tag along in your life. I have so enjoyed being a part of your life story.

I offer you this rainbow…
rainbow - blog

2015 has been a year of unpredictability and prayer. A year that has taught me to trust my instincts, fight for what I believe, surrender to what is beyond my control and seize the steering wheel any time I can. It has been a reminder to love whether they show up, or not, because it is what we give that really matters.  It has been a year of balance between holding on and letting go and understanding that everything that comes to us is a precious gift we call Life: A one time offer.

Yet as I continue tapping on the keypad, I search for words just beyond your rainbow; words that will carry you into the New Year. It is then that I don’t see words at all, but instead this large blank slate reminding me of what matters most.

Sometimes we do not have the answers. Not right now anyway.

If we can lean into that, lower our shoulders, soften the lines in our face, and quiet our ego, we can then be confident that the answers will come. And they will.

It is in that moment that we live our life fully committed to being the best we can be now; not holding out for tomorrow, saving our best for a different day, a better mood, a little later…It is about closing each day with the confidence that we have honored our word to ourselves, others and the life we are committed to.

All that wander, are not lost.

Merely because some days do not look like others, does not mean you are aimlessly wandering. Some days you will need to lean into feeling tired, ask for help, remain silent, allow emotions to overcome you or choose to get off the path completely. It does not mean you have failed, are weak or have limitations. But rather, that you are strong and know what you need. This is your true ability to be present in your life.

So if you feel lost, confused, frustrated about where you have been, worried about where you will go next or are just simply terrified that this is all there is, then it is time to get back to this moment.  Take a deep breathe…inhale all that is good, and then exhale, letting go of all that does not feed your soul. Feel your breathe, your heartbeat and the floor underneath your feet and know for sure that your life is here and now.

Once you feel grounded again you can face your blank slate…and see the pot of gold that lies at the other side of the majestic glow of a rainbow.

2016. It’s your rainbow…