In the Beginning…

Most of you probably don’t even know how this all began. My mother died four years ago on May 14th, 2008. I had recently separated from my partner of 8 years and left a job of almost 13 years. I was alone. I was numb. I had no direction. The only solace I found was driving down country highways with a pack of cigarettes, a cup of coffee and country music blaring on my radio. I quickly became friends with the 3rd shift employees of gas stations and grocery stores. I came home late and went to sleep with my pup Griffin snuggled at my feet. Day after day I lost clients as I canceled or forgot appointments. Quickly my business declined and my credit card debt grew. While talking to my cousin Caroline one day, she suggested I start a blog for my business to help me get more clients. “You’re a great writer”, she said, “people will be able to relate to you and they’ll want to come see you.”

I had never heard of blogging before and I didn’t really understand much about the internet. I had exited a relationship into a world of Facebook and Myspace. Youtube and dating sites. To say it simply…I was lost. Nothing made sense to me anymore. I couldn’t even figure out how to do my bills online. But I was determined to try.

One night in July, I found myself distracted while driving around and went home early. I sat down at the computer and began my blog which was originally titled Suicide Birds and Seahorses. I started to explain why I was starting the blog. Actually, it might be easier if you read my first entry. Here it is, Suicide Birds and Seahorses July 28th, 2008:

Hmmmm….where should I start…well, I guess at the beginning…I’m not even sure that I understand the purpose of this, but I know eventually it will find me. Let’s start, Halloween, 2007. Unsatisfied, unfulfilled with my life, I sat on the porch in the Smokey Mountains at 2:30 a.m. with a friend discussing that I was nearing 40, and I didn’t feel as if I knew what I was supposed to be doing, or better yet, wasn’t doing what I felt I should be doing anymore, but I didn’t even know what that was I guess. My friend, a very wise, yet unfulfilled 57 year old, sat back, stared right into my eyes and said, “Don’t wait until you’re 57 and you’re husband sits on the couch all day watching CNN news.” It was the moment in Thelma and Louise when Thelma can no longer go back, those words released me. And I could not go back. Within the next few months, I left a seven year relationship, which at times, I am unsure was the correct decision, resigned from a job I had been with for 12 years and began writing a book. And then not one book, but two and now three. Oh, did I mention I’m a recovering addict and as such, I can’t limit myself to any one thing. And then, my mother became extremely ill and was in the hospital until May 14th, when she passed away. And driving away from the hospital that night, Bob Dylan singing “Shelter From the Storm” through my speakers, a bird swooped down and dove directly in front of my car. A suicide bird, I thought. But why would they take such a risk. For the excitement, for the test, the chance that maybe they would make it to the other side and maybe they wouldn’t? Could these small creatures really be that wise. Swallow Sage? And maybe, we were all suicide birds, putting ourselves in risky situations, or taking chances to feel for one small moment that we were truly alive. And that’s how it began for me, through all this crap that has happened, although I’ve always known it served a purpose, I’ve begun my own nosedive in front of cars on the interstate late at night. It started with dedicating one year of my life to living freely, taking chances, going where I wanted to go and not being afraid to meet new people. But now I think, maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be for me. Maybe I’m not supposed to sit like a bird on a wire, waiting for winter to fly south. Maybe, I’m supposed to fly south now, or tomorrow. But nothing makes sense and everything makes sense, all at once. Suddenly. And I don’t question anymore. Or at least I try not to. Haha…I’m not that arrogant. And one thing I know, is that the magic still exists in me, and that is part of my journey, to forever stay four, wading through the creek behind our house, watching the sunlight hit the moss on the rocks, or seven, my mom and I checking out twenty books each at the library, or nine, and still now, believing that somewhere, way down beneath the still waters of St. Barts or off the coast of Tulum, live sea horses who sport bright red top hats and sing Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”…at least I hope…I hope they do…

Wow! That just made me start crying. Four years later and my life has changed so drastically. I’m in a new relationship and married. I’m living in my mother’s old condo. I have three new dogs. I have a successful practice with clients who love coming to see me and I delight in waiting to see them. I run a full service website with my husband where we interview celebrities and do social reviews. I haven’t finished a book and now I’m writing 10 instead of 3. I still drive around at night. I still get sad. I still miss my mom.

But time goes on.

I can either sit back and be sad all of the time about things I can’t change and continue to be that lost and numb person I was four years ago, or I can ebb and flow with the tides of life and enjoy what comes my way. I prefer the later.

In exactly 10 days I turn 40. I will be posting a journal entry every day on my blog and doing a video for my YouTube channel every day. When I started this project four years ago, I did it for myself. I didn’t care how many views I got or how many people commented on my posts. I did it because I loved to write and I loved to find things to write about. I think I’ve lost some of that passion. Today, I write to inspire, not to be inspired. I need to be inspired again. I need to get back on that old, dusty road and continue my adventure…because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

*I need to ask my readers for a favor! I’m trying to put together some great goals to accomplish in the next year. I’m already determined to finish writing my first book, be in the best shape I’ve ever been, pay off all of my debt and quit smoking. What are some things you think I should do? What are some books you think are important that I read? I’ve come so far in four years and accomplished so much I’d like to prove what can happen in a year. When Adele won Album of the Year at The Grammy’s she talked about the power of just one year and I agree. If I can overcome three major losses and come out on top, so can anyone else. Follow the journey with me…even make your own…because, like my mother always said, we’re on borrowed time as it is!

Please follow me here for my year long journey!
And follow my videos on YouTube HERE!

If you’d like to take a look at my old blog, Suicide Birds and Seahorses, check it out HERE!

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The One That Got Away…

This wasn’t the blog I was going to write tonight. I had something else completely planned but I got sidetracked. As many of you know, I believe everything happens for a reason and tonight has proven to be no different. Recently I started a YouTube channel called PEMOVISION. Tonight I recorded a video about an old, lost love inspired by the new Katy Perry song The One That Got Away. After recording it, I came home and edited it and posted it. Alex had told me to watch the video for the song, but I hadn’t actually had a chance to look at it yet. I sat down and searched for the video and began watching. I found myself transfixed by the images before me. You see, the video is about an older woman looking back on an old romance in her life.

I guess I related to it because I often feel as if I’m looking back instead of living in the present or looking forward. A lot of people comment on my constant dialogue about aging and think I have a problem getting older. That’s not it at all. I love getting older. I actually love the gray hair, the wisdom and the “I don’t care” attitude that comes with age. I just wish time would stop and we wouldn’t have to get any older, not because I’m afraid of the years. I’m just not ready for it to be over yet. I think my mom dying at such a young age forced some stop watch to begin ticking in my brain. If you have things you want to do, you better do them now. You’re not going to be here forever!

Earlier in the evening, we had a ridiculous fight at dinner which resulted in the two of us screaming at each other over the dog. Threats of break-ups and boundaries drawn were smeared all over the place. We hadn’t had a fight like this in quite some time. Interestingly enough, now writing this, I can’t remember how the fight originated. But, as I watched the video, I wasn’t reminded of my old, lost love, as I was when I heard the song and recorded my own video. This time, I saw Alex and myself, joking, laughing, fighting and loving on the images flashing before me. And I realized…I didn’t want that to ever stop either.

We grow up…maybe too much sometimes. All enjoyment of flight and fancy stops. We don’t have time to finger paint with each other, or watch movies in bed with movie popcorn and melting chocolate on our fingertips. Long car rides and even longer discussions about love and life stop as we have to be at work to clock in or get the kids to soccer practice on time. Time warps us into believing we have to live a certain way. Aging reminds us we’re living that certain way. And yet the clock just keeps on ticking.

I don’t want to live that way. Recently I got on a friend of mine for having her son go to bed so late. She told me she likes having him on her schedule. As soon as I left I realized what a cool mom she is because she makes sure he has everything he needs to grow up and achieve success yet he lives this bohemian lifestyle. He’ll probably be much better off than any of us.

My goal is to stop living by the rules we’re told we have to follow as we get older. I want to finger paint a little bit more. Drink fresh squeezed apple juice. Eat cookies on Christmas Eve with Santa. I want to live the greatest love I’ve ever imagined with my husband. Crazy, stupid love. He’s the one I chose to be with and I don’t ever want him to be the one that got away. And I want to enjoy being 39 years young…because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

Check out the video…you’ll love it!

Stillness…

Years ago I heard about a study where a scientist went looking for an amount of space where absolute silence existed. He went all over the world searching for one square foot of silence but couldn’t find it, not even in the recesses of the western Pacific forests. The reason? Nothing could stop and be silent for any period of time…either a leaf fell from a tree, or an insect moved or someone’s breath made a sound…but nothing could rest long enough for the scientist to measure silence.

Sad really that we aren’t able to find measurable amounts of silence or be able to practice stillness in our own lives.

When I was fifteen I was fortunate enough to go with my father and stepmother to the island of St. Barts. One day we took a boat trip on a catamaran and I remember sitting at the end of the boat, my feet dangling in the azure waters, earphones beating the sounds of Paul Simon’s Graceland into my thoughts. For hours, I played the cassette tape over and over again, listening to every word and every beat as my feet grazed the tops of the waves and my eyes glanced upwards towards the Caribbean mountains of the islands. To this day, that is probably one of my fondest memories, and one of only a few moments of true stillness in my life.

I struggle today with staying still for too long. Either I’m writing or counseling, talking on the phone, planning with friends or Alex, driving here or there…but always moving.

Today was different. I allowed myself to sleep in and then I took the puppies outside to run around with their older brother. I sat on a chair and watched as they played, enjoying the simple act of play which only puppies, who know no better, can teach us. I watched the birds fly overhead, probably wondering what was going on below as they chased each other for no reason. I smelled the dirt and the fresh grass. I listened to the wind.

And then I went inside and as they took a nap, I layed on the bed, fan blowing the sheets around my ankles, and I read some ridiculous suspense novel for probably an hour. Afterwards I placed the book on my nightstand and just listened to the sounds coming through the window. And I remembered that day on the boat and wondered where so many days in between had gone. And the day drifted on and on and on.

When Alex came home from work, we sat on the back patio, planning our garden for the summer, as the dogs again played, never tiring of this game of chase and catch. We talked to our 90 year old neighbor about her rose bushes and we hung up the wind chimes. I sat on the front porch, talking to my best friend Tonya on the phone, watching the worms crawl around in the soil in our mulch and I waved to my other neighbors as they walked down the street. And the day drifted on…

And I remembered stillness; the very act which is so vital like air to our lungs. We forget to take a few moments every day to remember why we’re here and to truly enjoy the simple things, the small things. My mother loved the small things. The sound of rain on the rooftop or the glaze of the first snow on the trees. The smell of homemade, chocolate chip cookies in the oven and the touch of grass on the bottom of your feet at night in the summer. And most importantly, she loved the feel of the crisp sheets against her legs as she fell asleep…and I’m reminded of that every night.

And she doesn’t have the luxury to be hurried anymore or to take these things for granted…because she’s gone, as are many others. But we’re not, which is why we should stop, drop and roll through the spring grass and enjoy the small things…staying still a few moments every day…

Because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

Our Big Gay Dream Wedding!!!

Ok Everyone…If you don’t know by now we’re getting married in Las Vegas and the big day is August 25th!!!! We are trying to win our dream wedding at Crate and Barrel and need you help…

Go to the link below and vote for us!!! We don’t even need 100,000 so we would be more than willing to host a huge party when we get back for everyone that votes and supports us!!! So get everyone to vote…we only need about 5000 votes to catch up!!!

Vote Here for Peter and Alex’s Dream Wedding!!!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!!!

The Living Dead…On Borrowed Time.

I decided to go out to my mom’s grave today. I didn’t really have much else to do and I was just driving around in the snowstorm waiting for Alex to get off work. I rarely go out there because honestly I don’t get much out of being there anyway and my mom always said we’re just a bag of soul, so in reality, I know she’s not there. But I do find some solace in knowing her body is out there, being that I do still have some strange attachment to those things physical, as I believe most of us do.

Nonetheless, I sat there in my car, watching her grave under a foot of snow, music lightly playing in the background, and for a moment, I felt something, but I know it wasn’t her. She’s not there.

After I picked up Alex I told him I had gone out to the grave. Having a wonderful sense of humor that he knows I can appreciate he asked me if my mom was cold, as in “Do you think she’s cold out there?” I laughed and explained that strangely, I had thought about that while I was sitting there. Sometimes my mind goes to the strangest places.

As I drove away, Alex played on his phone and I imagined for a second that I was somehow having a conversation with my mother on this very topic and what she would say. “Oh honey,” she would laugh, “we’re just not that tangible. We’re just a bag of soul and we’re on borrowed time as it is.” And then I remembered that she got it from an old movie she loved…”On Borrowed Time”. Somehow, like many of her Bobbieisms, as we called them, it just stuck.

But what’s scarier is that I think she used it as a reminder that life really is short. Too short. Yesterday, I started making a list, inspired by the television show The Buried Life, of all of the things I wanted to do before I died. See Niagra Falls. Stand on the edge of Grand Canyon. Have my book published. Have a song written about me. And after a put my pen down I realized that these things didn’t really matter at all because they just emphasized the glass half empty not half full. And today I choose to live with the glass half full. Well, almost full actually. I have so much to do and so many small things I like to enjoy that life has become about enjoying the small details and trying not to get boggled down in all of the crap, as my mom used to eloquently refer to it.

The living dead; those people who don’t realize our time is an evaporating resource, are the scariest of all. Walking around, taking for granted the people and the opportunities they have in their lives. Not enjoying the taste of a birthday cupcake or the smell of the fresh snow, even if it’s on a grave. I like those details. Even now, as I write this, candles lit all around the room, a little John Coltrane on the stereo, Alex and the puppies upstairs…I am in love with my life.

Last week, while at dinner, I had a moment of true time appreciation. “If this was our life, for the rest of our lives together, would you be happy? Would you be content?” I asked him, hopeful, as I watched him think about it for a minute. “Well, I really want to live somewhere warm.” He said honestly. “But yes,” he said, looking at me across the table, “this would be enough”. And then he went back to eating, not much of a romantic. But that’s ok. I’m learning to be appreciative of the small things. I like writing about him. It makes me happy. It fills my cup. He inspires me to be alive, which is great because what I realize is that once…I was The Living Dead. But no more.

And all of us can change. We’ll be in snow covered graves soon enough and even if we leave a legacy, who could possibly know the details that meant so much…like the sound of a rainstorm on the roof at 3am or the feel of wet grass under your barefeet or laughing so hard with a friend you feel like you’re going to pee or crying so hard that you know, you just know, you’re alive. To me, that is living…and you better get to it soon, because we’re on borrowed time as it is!