Turn 40! Jump out of an airplane – at last! – on my birthday, April 27th… weeeee!
Go paragliding on my bestie’s 40th – June 18th… weeeee!
Fit and Fabulous and Forty is living AWAKE and all the way. Here’s how I’ll do it:
Eat actual food… Learn a new recipe every month… Play with slowcooker and solar.
Lose this 15 pounds! No reason not to be my high school weight. Healthy, strong, trim. (Binge-eating/food addiction journal?)
Coffee and Diet Pepsi are occasional treats, not daily necessities. Green tea.
I am smoke free. Completely smoke free. Not one cigarette. Bright, clean, pink lungs!
Move to a place with more space, SUN SUN SUN, and cheaper rent (suburbs, gulp).
Surround myself with plants.
Write every day… journal… blog… poetry… vignettes… articles… Write every day.
Master circular breathing… Didge daily… Play with others… Meditate…
Pray every morning… Angels said Leaf Pose for me… Pray every morning. For reals.
Choose gratitude every day, even the bad ones. I sit peacefully at the center of my life.
Read A Course In Miracles! A miracle a day for me in two, zero, one, and three!
Study throat chakra blockage and clearing… Heal it… and others… eventually…
Get voice coach… Learn 2 each, upbeat song and ballad… Have them at the ready.
Identify and perfect 2 monologues, comedic and dramatic… At the ready…
Audition for everything… Fail gloriously!… Relish every chance to improve and learn… Have fun! ENJOY the practice! “Thank you for the chance to celebrate my craft!” I love to audition! I love to audition! I’m so good at auditioning! Can’t wait to audition!
Invest in good headshots… ? blerg… hate to spend money… Can’t my bestie just do it?
Get one paying gig… anywhere… anything… Rebuild resume… Network… PERFORM! Love the stage again. Revel in the play and laughter of rehearsal and take it seriously.
Perform with Africa Heartwood Project… traditional chorals/ basic percussion…
Get a drum of my own.
(Re)learn guitar… Progress… My wrist is tight but fine. It will stay fine. Play through it.
Play the piano. I have such a pretty little [poor neglected] piano.
Travel. Go to a new state. See a new country.
Cruise for the first time, possibly (friend’s June wedding if I’m not in a show)
New York for another wedding (and if so, all of New England!)
At least one old festival and one new festival
$ Oh yeah, money. I’m over it. Poverty is not this life’s sacred! Money. Thank you. $
Continue African Dance… Add Afro-Brazilian (Samba Fogo) and/or Zumba weekly…
Add three elements to hooping repertoire… PRACTICE… more fluid and dance-y-like…
Conquer blinding dizziness of LED hoop… Use it, silly! (smaller diameter than I like)
Get my own fire hoop… ? … At least spin again in someone else’s.
Jog the steps of the Capitol at least once a week.
GET UP GET UP GET UP! I slept the first half. Now it’s fun. Wake up and LIVE!
When you joked, “… epitaph will read, ‘Lovingly gave half her life to sleep,'” you didn’t know you were manifesting the first half, did you? Get up, little wildfire. Don’t be afraid anymore to live out loud. It is what you came here to do. Get up and do it.
“If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” Emile Zola
me, too… 🙂
I only just began to understand that I can let go my Screaming Banshee and live out loud. She had a job, to protect me and insist on personal truth. I don’t need protecting anymore. Life isn’t so scary anymore. My truth is finally pleasurable. What a relief!
I freaking love 40. Happy New Year!
(P.S. Totally didn’t mean for my [first] vision board to match my bedroom. Isn’t it pretty?)
I turned off the radio as I drove to visit my two little ladies. I said aloud, “Well, angels, now’s a good time to talk. Help me get through to [Jane]. So far, my face has not seemed to comfort her at all. I don’t care that dementia has made her angry. I only care that she does not seem to receive any benefit from my being there… so I leave. Please bring her angels in with me today so maybe she’ll recognize something familiar. I don’t know. Just… help me find a way to bring her peace. And let them both let go easily when they’re ready.”
I sat down with [Joan] first. She’s blind and a little confused, but her personality’s in full force. She’s quick, clever, kinda wicked, and pleased with her own jokes. I adore her. She hasn’t eaten for weeks but she’s still drinking, so she’s not quite active[ly dying]. But she’s slept through my last two visits. I miss her. I held her hand for 15 minutes or so. It’s hard to stick around when her roommate blares the TV. I sent her my thanks and love, and left.
Then the long walk down the hall. I felt the fear creeping back up in me. “How do I honor [Jane’s] feelings without mirroring them back?” I prayed. “How do I bring joy without invalidating her anger? Walk in with me.” Oh, thank goodness! She was asleep.
I turned on some instrumental Christmas music and sat down, continuing to pray. I sat for about 20 minutes, longer than usual during naps, just enjoying a feeling. At last I decided to go. I quietly gathered my things, then turned back to say good-bye. And there she was. “Oh, hello!” I said, introducing myself again. “Do you remember me?”
“I was just going to play some music and sit with you. Would that be alright?”
So I started over. Her garbled noises began. I felt the fear creeping up. (“Stay with me.”) Finally [Jane] enunciated clearly, “Heeeelllp! Help, heeellllllp,” over and over.
“How can I help?”
She indicated a string just out of her reach.
“Would you like the light on?”
She would. *click*
And she quickly changed her mind: “HEEELLLP! HELLLLP!”
“That’s pretty bright. Do you want it off?”
“We had a Christmas Eve blizzard all day yesterday, [Jane], and the sun came out today for the picture-perfect white Christmas! Did you know that?”
“It’s gorgeous out there and it’s all the light we need, don’t you think?”
“It is so beautiful today. Merry Christmas!”
She pointed to the closet.
“What a pretty sweater! Looks like Santa came last night. You musta been good,” and I’ll be damned if she didn’t burst out laughing! So I did too. [Jane] indicated that she’d like to wear it, but I was scared to move her. That twisted body looks like it hurts. (“Stay with me!”) I pushed her crash pad aside, sat on her bed, and gingerly tugged and lifted and wiggled and pulled until [Jane] at last wore her new Christmas sweater.
“We did it!” I sighed. “It even matches your nails. You look beautiful.”
And then the most amazing thing happened. Her eyebrows raised and she began to tell me in an excited, indecipherable whisper about this girl and that girl, pointing wildly at me.
“Me?” I asked.
“No, me!” she corrected.
“Of course! Tell me more.”
And she did. I kept praying that she wouldn’t feel patronized, knowing I couldn’t understand, when I had the thought, “For god’s sake, Christie, you’re an actress. Mean it!”
So I did. It was fun! This woman told me everything. She was so happy to tell me everything. I held and squoze and shook her hand and heard her everything. It was so wonderful to touch her! I was overwhelmed at the immediacy of their answer/ attendance. I was crying and laughing. I was playing, for heaven’s sake, and I stayed for an hour!
I thanked [Jane] for a wonderful Christmas and left to see Les Miserable with my family, my best friend and her daughter. My bestie whispered as the show began, “I’ve been waiting for this for 20 years!” We both fell in love with Les Miserable in high school: Me, the theatre geek onstage; she, the gifted flautist in the orchestra.
Les Miserable does not disappoint. See it! “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Some timing, huh? Sometimes you just have to believe in magic.
Thank you, angels. You seriously rock. Merry Xmas. Love, Xie
Phil and I went to San Francisco and I came home inspired! We attended their Burning Man Decompression. Decompression is where the good people who revel in the desert get together post-burn to bond and party, to share stories from the “playa,” as it’s called. Or Black Rock City, the fifth largest city in Nevada for the week of our festival. Salt Lake City’s Utah Decompression was the following weekend, last weekend. You follow.
I made my entire outfit – vest, hat, bustle – in a day and a half. Then I put it on and walked out the door. Just like that! I even bedazzled a cool fedora for Phil. We were super sexy and cute. I even stitched the leafy “feathers” that adorn my shoulder shrug and chapeau!
“When you help, you see life as weak.
When you fix, you see life as broken.
When you serve, you see life as whole.” (I don’t know who said it but it’s awesome.)
“Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego. Serving is the work of the soul.”
-Rachael Naomi Remen, MD
I just found out my work friend was in the delivery room standing next to her husband when she bled out and her heart stopped. She vividly remembers the operation and all of the days following, when she couldn’t respond. It’s about a 3-hour story, she says. We’re going to dinner soon. I knew I felt the spirit with her! This place is amazing.
”Living authentically means cultivating the COURAGE to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the COMPASSION that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and staying connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the CONNECTION and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.
Authenticity demands WHOLE-HEARTED living and loving – even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the JOY is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.
Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite GRACE, JOY, & GRATITUDE into our lives.” ~ Brené Brown
I think of this challenge, to stay “connected to one another through a loving and resilient human spirit,” in the context of my family and ask myself if not associating with them is just another bout of willfulness. I resolve that it is not. I feel sorrow, but more peace. It’s the right choice, at last. We weren’t a good fit. To pound my head again and again into that impenetrable wall is not only the definition of insanity, it’s painful for them as well as for me. I no longer expect a different result, from any of us. Resignation is a kind of sadness, but it’s also enormously unburdening. I cannot change them. Neither can I change the truth that closeness with them is unsafe. So I’m not.
Althooough… I read “nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are,” substituting “what THEY are supposed to be and embrace who THEY are,” and… ugh. Okay, okay, to forgive is incumbent upon me, and… family is family and… it’s childish to withhold my involvement simply because they are. I am not petty and hateful… always.
*Sigh* It’s a process. Forever, I’m resigned. Didn’t I say resignation was peaceful? 🙂
They are crazy-makers, bless them.
I got the phone call. I can see why her patients and families love her so much. With that lilting Irish accent she told me, “I’m here with John Doe, but he’s not here with me. He’s floating on angel’s wings above us.” I assured her I’d text the team. “I got here at 3:15,” she said, “so we’ll say 3:00. He liked neat, even things. He died at 3 o’clock.”