I am, in my own special way, quite the Pollyanna – life gives you lemons, make that lemonade! The silver lining, etc. This philosophy has largely stood me in good stead. It’s not that I’m oblivious to life’s larger horrors and smaller inconveniences. But I decided several years ago (coinciding with the implosion of life as I knew it – coincidence? I think not) … where was I? My pithy survival mantra at the time was: lie down and die, or get up and live.
And so I got up and lived. I Let That Shit Go and mostly it’s stayed gone, and good riddance. It’s painful but also useful to figure out what you really need vs. what you don’t. What is essential, what is important, and what is ultimately just some pretty window-dressing.
New Mexico is literally on fire right now – numerous wildfires scattered around the state (drought, high winds) and while I myself am perfectly safe in my urban location – let me make that clear – it’s terrible. My allergies are terrible. I’ve been pretty miserable these last few weeks. And as I wrote last time, I’ve felt weirdly … stuck, and my usual, useful toolkit for fixing that hasn’t seemed to work. It’s been a waiting game.
But sometimes … sometimes, friends, life doesn’t hand you lemons. It hands you the actual lemonade, all perfectly sweetened, nicely chilled, and ready to drink from a frosty glass.
Shortly after my recent wah wah wah I’m stuuuuuuck post, I received a surprise message from a lovely friend inviting me on a trip to Ireland next month. An unexpected late vacancy meant an unexpected offer. Ireland! I’ve been to England and Wales and Scotland, but not Ireland, and it was very much on my bucket list. And I don’t have to figure out the trip either, that’s mostly done, I just need to show up. So now I have the perfectly pleasant scramble of sorting a few details on my end. And not just the pleasure but the usefulness of the lesson for me.
I’ve run the last ten years of my life like a ship’s captain, marshaling the crew I was responsible for – four kids as a single mom, planning everything to the nth degree, doing my best to watch for obstacles and not hit any icebergs or run us aground. I haven’t done it perfectly; my self-assessment of my recently concluded job as captain is “good enough.” I tried. During that time, my spontaneity was non-existent. So this trip to Ireland, fabulous in so many ways, is also a chance to Go Do A Thing without six months of cautious prep work, but instead trusting and relying on others. I think it’ll be great for me and my control issues, letting go of my illusion that I can anticipate all the variables if I just throw enough hours of planning at it. I’m probably never going to be “oh that wild March, footloose and fancy-free!” But I’d like to steer my new, smaller, sleeker one-woman craft in that general direction. I’m excited to try this out over the next few months.
Did you read this far? I have a question! I want to subscribe to a couple of additional, fun online reads (I get the NY Times and Washington Post, that’s my news, not my fun). I’m thinking of getting The New Yorker but also some others. What online paywalled reading do you enjoy? Travel mags? Design? Something highbrow? Something humorous? My interests are pretty wide-ranging.