it just keeps getting better…

When you don’t do something for awhile, it can seem unfamiliar and the starting point anything but obvious. So, somewhat recently on Live & Learn, when David shared three lines of a poem in the midst of one of his posts, it stopped me in my tracks. Not just because the words were just spot on truth for me. Not just because I found myself wishing that I had been the one to assemble them in the way the author had so eloquently (and seemingly so effortlessly) done. But because those three lines capture what had been elusive to me: what I needed to get this post started.

The three lines by poet John O’Donohue posted on this blog read like this…

Unknown to us, there are moments

When crevices we cannot see open
For time to come alive with beginning

and reminded me that much as we try, we can’t know what is to come.

In months that have somehow managed to have sped by, under the hood has been an ongoing process.  An examination of not my conscience, but rather my very consciousness and a riotous path of change and growth. Big things have ended, little things have cropped up and simmered right back down and all along there has been an eyes-wide-open-deer-in-the-headlights-bring-it stance on it all.  I like to think of it as beginner’s mind, which for me is any time we find ourselves in some degree of both amazement and trepidation – and often, dogged determination – in some kind of new or changing time.  But beginner’s mind cannot last forever, for eventually a beginning moves to somewhere in the middle. Yes?

There is the saying that all good things come to an end.

I think perhaps that is not always true.

And, on the contrary, it can actually get better.

However we slice it, in review, it might help for you to know that as I cast my glance in the rear view mirror, I see a marriage that ended, and necessarily so; and subsequently I see a rift in a family for a young and yet so wise and resilient young boy; I see a move to where less truly became more in ways so unexpected and a brand of co-parenting of which I am proud of for my son.   I see professional hurdles and challenges and just a whole lot of unpleasantness that are best described as hanging on tightly to a ship’s mast out on a stormy sea. I see a bank account that some days had more question marks than dollar signs.

But in the midst of all of that: endings, upsets and so many unknowns, there has also been grace and goodness, and so much understanding and without question,  many unanticipated lessons.

wrong roadI have navigated these last few years, with my kiddo and I, bolstered of course by our magical friends and family, in an intentional and optimistic way. I found a way to go at it at my own pace and in my own way.  I wanted to – I had to – go through the pain, not around the pain.  I wanted to understand, and to admit where the wrong turn(s?) have been made and why. So, the kiddo and I, we have laughed, we have logged miles, we have sat side by side on the couch checking off episodes of our favorite TV shows. We created our signature ‘funk-food-dinner-and-movie nights‘ (sometimes, mama’s in a funk and can’t find her way around the kitchen…). And, we have done our own thing – he with his friends, me with mine. Sometimes that happens all together. I dipped my toe in the dating pool. Murky waters I tell you.  But that is another story for another day. Or not.

With this in mind, almost exactly a year ago, I took a few days away to reset, and continue this re-evaluation. I went up to the mountains, a place that I consider a second home.  I spent nearly a week: I went driving around the entire lake, hiking, sitting, walking, and chasing sunsets.  And thinking. A lot.  And learning. For example, one night the power went out. All of it. Guess what I learned? That I really am a little bit afraid of the dark!  Who knew!?  

I learned something else equally important.

On my last day there, I positioned myself at a stunning location facing west and since the summer rush had subsided, the beach was nearly left just for me. And my glass of wine.

beach

I sat in wait and I was not disappointed.  The sunset was literally spectacular. And slow. And evolving.

Like we are.

I savored each moment as the sun performed right in front of me.

sunset

As the sun sank lower and lower, and aware that I had parked somewhat far away, I – so reluctantly – left in time to get to my car before darkness set in fully (I’d  already completed my Intro to Darkness course, successfully, I might add). I walked along, hopping over some boulders, looking back to catch every last possible glimpse. I wanted that image printed in me as much as in my camera’s SD card.

We all see sunsets, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Right? The sun sets every day. It has to.

I thought I’d seen the last of it, but the sunset had changed once again.

It was like it had one more act, an encore perhaps?

I found myself smiling, relaxed and leaning up against a railing on the boat launch and muttering to myself, ‘it just keeps getting better’. And then, I thought to myself, huh, and nodding, and thinking, realizing…

…it’s all going to be ok. It just keeps getting better…

I was smiling.

sunset4

I’m not going to lie.

The last few years have been enlightening, maybe you could even say “exhilarating” at times. But not easy.

But, I realized what I was saying. Out loud.

As I heard myself, I smiled bigger as I realized, yes, it does. It just keeps getting better.

It’s true.  There have been moments unbeknownst to me where things were at play and I had no idea.

My kiddo is doing awesome. He continues to teach me and surprise me.   His resilience is not just comforting; it’s affirming. At work we have a new captain of the ship and while you cannot turn a ship on a dime, it seems the seas have calmed and we are headed in a better direction; I am excited to be starting a new academic year, energized and maybe somewhat overwhelmed, but excited.

Colleagues have said to me, “I’m so glad you hung in there…”

And, I met someone. Someone most special. In the most unexpected of places.

People keep telling me, “You look so happy, it’s good to see you smiling again…”

It just keeps getting better.

Kiddo and I mixed it up this summer and instead of hitting the road, we jetted off through the friendly skies to enjoy our annual summer trip. Let’s just say, it was monumental.

So lessons learned:  Don’t get stuck in the dark. And it can definitely get better.  Sometimes we just to have to trust the wisdom penned by John O’Donohue.

And a ps…to the ‘nudgers’, you know exactly who you are, and thank you.  You have no idea…

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22 thoughts on “it just keeps getting better…

    • Thank you Carolann..it’s good to ‘be back” (fingers crossed!). Zephyr Cove is in Northern California, actually on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, On the eastern side of the lake, facing west over the water (obviously!). A stunning location for sure! Thanks again 🙂

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  1. Bonnie, I so admire your spirit and your heart. Having been through my own tough times not that long ago, I know how tempting it is to go *around* the problem rather than through it, but you’re clearly the better for having persevered. So happy that you’re happy and entering a wonderful new chapter of your life. You deserve nothing less…. BIG hugs….L

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    • Lori! Thank you my friend – it’s a circuitous path no matter which way we go. It’s just nice to really like the right now of now! 🙂 Big hugs and thank you for the smiles I can feel all the way here! xo

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  2. Bonnie, I knew nothing of your story–only your comments on DK’s site and a few posts before this hiatus. I’ve loved your words and insight, grace and enormous heart. Welcome back.

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  3. After this…”But in the midst of all of that: endings, upsets and so many unknowns, there has also been grace and goodness, and so much understanding …” I was swept away. So happy you are happy. Smile On Bonnie.

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  4. I love this, Bonnie. It seems like you have been through hell and come back even stronger. The lines from John O’Donohue really get in there and speak to me as well. You’re an inspiration, my friend xxxxx

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    • Hi Dianne!! Not sure if it was hell and back, but I sure like right now way better!! I am so glad that the O’Donohue lines strike a chord with you too – I love his elusive way of describing something you could almost miss if you aren’t paying attention. xx

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  5. You have been re-booted BonBon, and the updates are stunningly real and honest and incredibly captured by your amazing mind. I find myself smiling whenever I think of you; of conversations long gone but still there, at the beginning of this road you are now traveling, and I think to myself “Wow. This is what tenacious looks like. This is what strength sounds like. This is what hope can do. This is what love has done.” I am so very proud of you Bonnie, and proud to call you friend. The road continues, with bumps and holes, and detours, and I know you’ll travel it well. Just remember, there are pit stops and rest areas along the way that are filled with those like me, who will always have an open door, an extra room, a full wine glass, and a heart full of loving friendship should you ever want to stop….xoxo

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    • Rhon! Tenacious, I love that word and thank you for using that one. Your response is why we connected in the first place – love the idea of pit stops and rest stops along the way and friends all along the road, and of course I’d love to drop in! xoxo

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  6. Your incredible openness to the experiences of change BonBon has been nothing short of instructive for those of us who sometimes hesitate to look. I have been so damn lucky to have traveled this journey with you – and I never forget that good fortune for a moment. Travel on your journey my friend – the best is yet to be. I know this as surely as I know anything (ok, perhaps more than I know most things). xox

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    • I like how you think, you know that. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last, that I say those words to you. Thank you for being such a trusted shot gun rider along this funny road. Get cozy and turn the station to whatever you like (you can sing, so that makes sense anyway!) and thank you, for your perspective. Means the world. xo

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