Tag Archive | love

my balanced life (or my broken heart beats)


 

I’ve never understood how a heart can be broken and still keep beating.  And yet, here I sit once again, heart broken and still beating.

Carrie and Herman Wandall

Checking Facebook is mindless and automatic.   Glancing past the inanities of our every day life as a way to pass the time, fill an overactive mind always seeking new information.

Sometimes buried in the food porn and relationship updates, I stumble across life-changing, heart-breaking news.

Hello Family and Dear friends,

Our dear Carrie will not be with us as long as we would like. Please send your love, visit, call, send a note or what ever way you would like to show Carrie your Love. Thank you all again for all that you have done for Carrie and I. We are both eternally grateful for all your love and support. Love to all Herman and Carrie

Herman and Carrie, who personify Sufi poet Hafiz’s “A Love Like That”.  Carrie, who has fought so valiantly to beat ovarian cancer.  Carrie, who will not be with us as long as we would like.

Carrie standing in the surf

Last time my heart was broken, Carrie healed me. Saved me, really. I wish there were a way to return the gift she gave me.

Heal her, save her, the way she did for me.

I have a hard time imagining my world without Carrie.  Without yoga classes and healing Reiki sessions.  My world is different, I am different, for having met her, for having spent hours in her yoga studio.

Carrie’s love, her legacy, will live on. The lives she touched will touch others, passing on her legacy to all we touch.

Carrie had a way of blanketing people in love and peace.  In my darkest, most painfully heart-broken days, I knew if I could just make it to her yoga studio, I’d be okay.  I’d survive another hour, another day.  Even when I was too beaten to do anything but child’s pose, life was better if I could just get there.

Now it’s our turn to send a blanket of love and peace to cover Carrie as she finishes her journey on earth.

Our turn to cover Herman with a blanket of love and peace as he says goodbye to his love.

Heart broken but still beating.

adventures in dating (or come over)


I love country music. Handsome country artists sing songs of love and wanting.  They beg me to come over, come over, come over.  They let me know how much they want to make me feel wanted.

Kenny Chesney's Come Over

When Kenny Chesney sings, it feels like his lyricist spills my life onto sheet music.

We don’t have to miss each other, come over

We don’t have to fix each other, come over

We don’t have to say forever, come over

You don’t have to stay forever, come over

Hunter Hayes sings of making me feel wanted more poetically than any man I’ve dated.

As good as you make me feel

I wanna make you feel better

Better than your fairy tales

Better than your best dreams

You’re more than everything I need

You’re all I ever wanted

Luke Bryan knows the words I long to hear.  When he sings about how he doesn’t want this night to end, it reminds me of all the nights I didn’t want to end.

Jake Owen tells me, I know it would kill me if I fall, I can’t be alone with you.  And it makes me want someone who’ll fall for me.

Josh Turner and Keith Urban make me believe in forever.  Chris Young makes me fall in love every time he croons another line.

I love country music but it’s killing my love life.  These handsome crooners set the bar high.  Higher than the men who’ve touched my life so far.

When I find a man who can sail over that, I’m keeping him.

There’s a want and there’s a need

There’s a history between

Girls like her and guys like me

Cowboys and angels

Hey, cowboy.  You’re angel’s waiting.

adventures in dating (or my heart opener)


yoga fish pose on beach

yoga fish pose

It’s been over a year since I started dating Coach.  I’ve been thinking about those days a lot lately.  Remembering how afraid I was.  Afraid of being hurt.  Afraid of trusting the wrong man.  Afraid of loving again.

I read Holly Sidell’s article, He’s Not The One, around that time.  Told myself Coach isn’t the one.  He isn’t the one. He. Isn’t. The. One.

The mantra did nothing to stop me from falling for him.

I remember trying to relax enough to enjoy the little time I had with him.  He lived an hour away, and traveled three weekends out of four.  For speaking engagements.  Trips to Colorado to see his boys.

Actually, being with Coach was always easy.  The doubts only crept in when he was gone.  Which was most of the time.

I didn’t realize how hard I was fighting to keep my heart protected.

About a month after we started dating, I was in yoga class.  It was a chest opening class.

The first pose was supported fish pose.  Lying on our backs, a block under the back of our head and a second block under our upper back, chest extended up to the ceiling.  There is no way to lie in a fish pose without exposing your heart.  Literally and figuratively.

Not an easy pose for someone who’d spent the last month trying to hide her heart.

As I lay in supported fish pose that morning, I felt a physical and spiritual ache as my heart opened up.  Tears slid out of the corners of my eyes into my hairline.

I struggled through that entire class.  The supported fish pose was just the first in a string of chest opening poses.

In trying to protect my spiritual heart, my body automatically curved in, protecting my physical heart.

Chest openers provide the physical opening, exposing the spiritual heart to the light as well.

Self-knowledge comes slowly to me.  Slowly and usually painfully.

It took a few more classes before I put all the pieces together.  Lying in another supported fish pose, in another class, I thought my way through what my heart was trying to tell me.

I could relax and enjoy my time with Coach.  Risk my heart. Trust myself to survive if it didn’t work out.

Or I could continue to make myself miserable with worry, afraid of a heartache that may never come, and never allowing myself to enjoy time with a smart, funny man.

In the end, Coach was not my life mate, the one I’m destined to spend the rest of my life with.

But he was an important step in my development.  Dating him taught me many things.  Things like trusting my gut, that still small voice that speaks to each of us. Whether we choose to listen to it or not.

The most important lesson, that I can fall in love and survive.  I am strong.  I am resilient.

I can choose love.  Because I know if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still be okay.

What do you choose?

my balanced life (or my frozen lungs)


Grandma and Grandpa Banis on their Hawaiian vacation

Grandma and Grandpa in Hawaii

My chest feels like someone has been beating on it with a ball peen hammer.  Like someone is trying to get in.  Or get out.

Bang.  Bang.  Bang. 

 

Each deep breath is punctuated by face-reddening, uncontrollable coughing.

Hack. Hack. Hack.

 

I am sick.

Bronchitis, I think.  The good doctor who loaded me up with steroids, cough syrup with codeine and antibiotics didn’t say, specifically.  But he talked about reducing swelling in my lungs.  Sounds like bronchitis to me.

Ancient Chinese Medicine teaches that each major organ in your body relates to an emotion.  The lungs represent grief.

As I lay in bed, feeling the effects of the ever-present tapping on my breastplate, I wonder which grief has frozen my lungs.

The death of a marriage.

The disappointment of a lying boyfriend.

The literal death of my grandmother.  My last living grandparent.

Grandma Banis stood next to me that summer day I pulled in more than my share of fish.  She loved telling the story over the years, imitating my girlish delight with each caught-fish. Wheeee!”

She taught me to sew, a meticulous taskmaster who still managed to make it fun.  I remember scouring through patterns and fabrics with her for hours.  Picking blouse and skirt patterns that would be easy enough.  Choosing different fabrics so that once I had a pattern set to my measurements, I could make it over and over.

I remember my first lesson on zippers.  I think I ripped it out six times, because as Grandma said, “We don’t do no half-ass work around here, Gina.”

After that first lesson, I never ripped out another zipper.  I wish all of my life-lessons were as effective as her lesson on zippers.

Grandma’s passing wasn’t a surprise.  Over three years in a nursing home left her a shell of her former sassy self.  I don’t like to remember her like that, and hate some of the pictures posted of her with her face sunken because the nursing home lost her teeth.  I prefer remembering her with her hair just so, make-up carefully applied, smart pantsuits (that she most likely whipped up on her trusty sewing machine.)

A widow-woman for the last ten years or so, as far as I know she never dated or even entertained the notion of being involved with another man.  I think she was content to wait to reunite with Grandpa Banis.

And now she has.

Good-bye, Grandma.

adventures in dating (or here comes the rubber band man)


men are from mars women are from venus

I’ve been reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D.  For some reason, reading Gray’s theories about men and women make me as prickly as a porcupine.  Men are strong, silent types who have to solve their own problems. Women are clingy, drama queens who just need to sit in your lap for a few minutes to make their problems go away.  Seriously?

The only chapter that makes sense to me is the chapter about men being like rubber bands.  They get close to a woman, realize the level of intimacy is too strong for their comfort, and then run as far away as their rubber band will allow.

If we women do not chase after them (with phone calls, texts, emails), eventually, they will realize they miss us and bounce back to us with even stronger feelings than they had before.

I don’t know if that is true or not.  But I do know one night, Nature Boy told me he could live the rest of his life on air and my touch. Then the next morning, he yelled a lot, ran down the stairs, jumped over the doggy gate and got bitten by my sweet Rocky dog, never to be seen again.

I tried calling him after that, tried to figure out what went wrong, tried to assure him I didn’t want more than he was willing to give.

Then, I gave up.

A couple of weeks passed, then the text.  Have a great day.

Then a few days later, a phone call.  Hey, what are you up to?

About a week later, a phone call about his computer freezing up.  He doesn’t know what to do.  “Bring it to me,” I say.  “I’ll fix it.”

Do you ever wonder, when you haven’t seen someone in a while, if you were missing them, or just missing being with someone?

I was missing him. 

Do you ever wonder, if you come back together again, will it still be as comfortable? As peaceful?  As exciting?

It was.

We spent the evening together, downloading anti-virus programs, updating his security settings, basic computer fixes.  Went out for sushi while we waited on updates.  Laughed and talked about anything and everything.

When he kissed me at the end of the night, it was like that first kiss all over again.

Boing.  Rubber band man is back.

Another week passed, with calls (from him to me, not vice versa), and another meeting to give his computer back.

And now he’s MIA again.  Guess he’s trying to outrun the rubber band again.

Question:  Have you read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?  What’s your take on Gray’s theories?

my balanced life (or bring on the joy)


Do you remember what joy feels like?

little blonde girl in a grass skirt running in the surf

I spent the weekend at the beach in a one-bedroom condo across the street from a perfect stretch of beach.  My sister and her husband came down for the weekend, with my three-year-old niece.

If you ever forget what joy feels like, spend the weekend with a three year old.  Dress her in a grass skirt and watch her run along the shoreline, kicking up water, laughing and giggling with the glee of the ages.

Three year olds are as tickled by the dead fiddler crab as she is the live hermit crabs.  That kind of exuberance is contagious.

Three year olds don’t worry about how they look in their bathing suit.

little blonde girl buried in sand

They don’t worry about getting covered in sand.  Although if you bury them in it, they may exclaim, “Daddy, that’s gwoss,” before shaking themselves free and galloping down the beach again.

If you’re lucky, they are as happy to take a long nap after a morning on the beach as you are.  And you might find, if you wake up with a little hand holding yours, a little bit of their natural joy seeped from their hand to yours while you slept.

Question:  What brings you joy? 

live your dreams or live your fears


In this small Southern town I live in, everyone knows everyone.  Everywhere I go, chances are good I’ll see someone I know.

beautiful Southern sunset over the May River

Darryl is a server at two of my favorite restaurants.  We also run into each other in the evening at other restaurants and at the Farmer’s Market.

(Farmer’s Market is a pretty big deal around here.  We do it Southern style, which means that in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables there’s also live music, fried shrimp, and the crepe lady who is really and truly French.)

Darryl always asks how I’m doing.  I always tell him I’m doing great.  For two reasons, really.  Great is my standard answer to how I’m doing.  And I usually am doing great.

One day at The Cottage, after I told him I was doing great, his response was, “Living the dream?”

I assured him I was.  And I am living the dream.  I have an incredible life.  Counting my blessings could take all week!

I asked him if he was living the dream, and he responded that he was dreaming the life.

I wonder how many of us dream the life instead of live the dream.  What holds us back from living the dream?

A few days ago I was reading something by Joyce Meyers that talked about living your fears.  It made me think of Darryl, who’s dreaming the life instead of living the dream.

What’s your dream?  Are you living it yet?  Or just dreaming about it?

If you’re still just dreaming about it, what’s holding you back?

I have a friend who wants to be an author.  Every year, the goal of writing a book is on the resolution list.  He’s a successful attorney with two beautiful children, but he still has a dream.

I don’t know Darryl well enough to ask him what his dream is, but I know from his answer that he isn’t living it yet.

No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to live the dream.

Salsa dancing at 84 like abuelita, my friend’s mother.

Kayaking at 55 like my friend Denise.

Starting a blog and writing my first book.

Riding a zip line and whitewater rafting.

This year has been my year of living the dream!

I wish I could take everyone by the hand and drag them into the dream with me.  But it’s a step you have to take for yourself.

Question:  Are you living your dream?  Or living your fear?  Living the dream?  Or dreaming the life?