Following Your Bliss

Follow Your BlissJoseph Campbell’s famous phrase “follow your bliss” has become my personal mantra to remind me that I want to live a life of self-fulfillment and joy.

Do you follow your bliss? With all the extra time on you have now that you don’t have soccer games or homework help duty or extra clothes to wash, there is no excuse not to spend that time on yourself doing something positive and life-affirming.

Many years ago, I learned how to country-western dance and I went from having two-left feet to competing in amateur contests. For several years, it was one of the most “blissful” times of my life, but unfortunately cut short by the disappearance of places to dance, a new job and in the past few year, a very bad back.

Since then I have found other ways to spend my free time and follow my bliss.  Come join me and to get up and dance like no one is watching  no matter how you choose to follow YOUR bliss! Just do it!

Don’t you want to re-ignite your passion for living? It’s really easy and and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Instead of a bucket list, which conjurs up negative images,  I’ve decided to call it my “bliss list” – things I want to do while I am still healthy and able!

So why not start a list and share it with all of us!

Mid-Life Crisis or Just Plain Crazy!

Are you going through a Mid-Life Crisis or are life’s circumstances just making you go crazy or do you just want to cut loose from those ties that bind and get a little bit crazy (thanks to Seal for the proper prose)?

Whether you’re a women going through menopause with  hormonal shifts making you crazy or a man trying to deal with his own feelings of lost youth, this syndrome has been the topic medical journals  and tawdry tabloid scandals.

Do all men and women need to break free with affairs, fast cars and wild lifestyles? Or has mother-nature actually built in our need for a last hurrah?

What’s your take on mid-life crises and how did you handle your own?

Date Night or How I Learned to Re-Kinect with My Son-Pt. I

I have learned over the years that the hardest part of being a mom is letting go. Not just of the preconceived notions of what being a parent is, or what you want your child to be, or of hours lost with them when you no longer stay married to their dad.

From infancy and childhood, to terrible teens and beyond, I have discovered that letting requires a varied degree of pain and suffering as well as a healthy dose of faith as you watch your baby become an independent adult.  But what I find myself longing for the most are those special moments we spent alone – just the two of us – whether a trip to the zoo or a museum or the beach – it never mattered where but the time spent together always meant something new and exciting was waiting to be discovered and shared.  It was a time when mommy was king of the world and I could be the sole focus of my sons’ attention!  Those times are now a distant memory captured in photo albums in my garage.

Several weeks ago, I received an invite to a Microsoft event, “Project Natal as imagined by Cirque du Soleil” and my youngest son said he’d like to go and what’s more, he insisted that it just be me and him – alone!  Our first “date” our first real alone, one on one time in way too many months.

As the evening of June 14th drew nearer, my youngest son kept hounding me what exactly were we going to see, what exactly ,/i>was the event about, who was going to be there. I really didn’t know what to answer him as the details of the event were still a state secret at that point. I somewhat confidently assured him that if it had to do with Microsoft’s XBox 360 ( a video gaming platform) and a Cirque du Soleil performance, how could it be anything but great?? But I still wondered if he would cancel on me at the last minute if something “better” or more interesting or of the female species would come up and spoil my plans to spend some long overdue alone time with my youngest.  Unfortunately, he’s cancelled on me too many times in recent history and I wasn’t feeling all that confident that he would make this date!

When finally the night of “Project Natal” came,  my “date” was on time (for a change), traffic from the San Fernando valley going towards downtown L.A. was really moving quickly (also for a change) and my son and I had a meaningful conversation about what’s been going on in his life (a truly refreshing change) along the way.

This the evening was off to a magnificent start, but it was only the beginning.

(…..to be continued)

How Empty is Your Nest?

Life After Kids
Please Join me for the debut of the LIVE Web Series LIFE AFTER KIDS this Sunday at 9P EDT/6p PDT on MingleMediaTV.

Sunday’s show will begin to explore what is known as empty-nest syndrome – the time when your child or children have grown, are no longer living home and have begun their own lives – very often not including “you.”

It doesn’t matter if you are a single parent, or a couple, this change in parental status can have profound effect on us,  for some it may be a traumatic time filled with loneliness and for others, it maybe the long awaited freedom to be an “adult” again.

I want to hear from you. What was your experience? How did it affect you? or your partner or spouse? What did you do to deal with it? I will share my experiences and I hope you will share yours.

Sunday is just the beginning of an exciting journey we can all take together to find and follow our bliss!  So, let’s start that conversation Sunday @6pmPDT/9pmEDT on MingleMediaTV!

Reflections on an Empty Nest

My nest feels empty at the strangest moments.  Like when I open the refrigerator to see a half-consumed bottle of wine, some coffee creamer, leftover Chinese food and way too many individual packets of soy sauce instead of a refrigerator overflowing with homemade and healthy foods, sandwich fixings, power drinks and granola bars that you packed ever so carefully your child’s backpack daily.   I mean, nowadays,  it’s cheaper to eat out or call in then to shop and cook for one.   And when your children were young, of course, as filled as your refrigerator was, there was always something one or the other needed that you didn’t have, and as a dutiful mom, you would run out at store closing to make sure they had exactly what they wanted, when they wanted it.  That was then, and this is now.

Okay, so now that they’re gone,  I promised I would write something everyday, just for me, as I would have so much more time on my hands not having to cater to boys’ the daily needs, but I have been sorely remiss.  I had been feeling joyful and happy  in my phase of  life after kids,  loving not having a strict routine, and loving being more in the moment.  But in the past month, that seems to have shifted a bit and with all the time in the world to write, it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Having moved seven times in ten years, I had accumulated more stuff than any ten people should be allowed to collect in one garage, so with my bad back, I decided to hire someone to help clear the clutter out of my life.  She would do the heavy lifting and I could sit there and pass judgment on every item.  Keep. Toss. Donate. File. Shred. Maybe. Keep. NO – Toss!

But as we dug in, the more we tossed, the heavier a fog of melancholy weighed me down.  Was it the impending milestones my sons were about to reach tugging at my heart?  My eldest was going to graduate from college and my “baby” was going to graduate from high school. Where had all the time gone?  Why are they so grown up and I am still so young? What am I to do now?

Oh the joy and the pain of it all.  I miss my babies.  I missed having them depend on me for mostly everything.  I missed feeling like  I was the only one who can give them what they wanted and needed.  But of late, the heavy lifting  as a parent is done.  I have loved, nurtured and guided  my boys in the best way I knew how. I have hoped and prayed that I have supported them and taught them enough to fly the coop and someday make a nest of their own.  I have given them everything from the bottom of my heart and sometimes from the very bottom of my wallet.

So while the media swears my nest is empty and I will attest to the fact that my cupboards and refrigerator are pretty much bare, the fact remains that my nest will always be full.  Maybe not with the pitter-patter of little feet or the wretched smell that emanates from a soccer backpack after a big tournament, or teary faces to be wiped, but full of the promise of what these boys have now become as they take the next step on  journey to become men and the pride in knowing that I didn’t do such a bad job after all and maybe I did help them a bit along their way!

Originally posted 6/9/09