I bought the domain name for this blog almost a year ago, right after both my parents had died, just four weeks apart, after suffering through 5 and 2 months’ of sudden, unexpected illnesses. I resigned from my job (6 years as editor in chief of Redbook magazine; 20 years in magazine publishing) to take care of them, along with the help of my two brothers. This all happened just one week after my book about my divorce, called “Falling Apart in One Piece” was published (apparently, the universe wanted to let me know I’d seen nothing yet). And three weeks after my boyfriend had moved in with my son and me, a blazing act of optimism. And just a few weeks before my son went into a severe panic about my absences. So, uh, yeah, that’s a lot of change at once. And the change isn’t over yet, I suspect.
That’s what this blog is about: those moments in life when suddenly, we face a blank, or a crisis, or a change, or any kind of moment where we think: What am I supposed to do now? I’ve had a year filled with these kinds of changes, and I still don’t really know what I’m doing. But I’m trying to live the freedom in that, not the fear. (Some days I succeed at that; most days I just drink a glass or three of wine.)
But I do know that I’m searching, as we all are, for that ‘safe place’ where it all feels right. And in this era of working too hard and too many hours away from our kids and not enough time to just breathe and be and relish our day-to-day lives, I’m trying to redefine my safe place. Not to believe that it’s security, or money, or anything that I can control. That, in fact, it’s the opposite: trying to build a life that’s about connection and warmth and joy, and learning to receive the hard stuff in a resilient frame of mind.
I don’t know how I’m going to get there. And I’m pretty sure there’s another huge full-time job between me and the clarity and bravery it takes to make different choices, but in the meantime I’ll write about the struggle to get there. As we all struggle, to make our lives work, to define our happiness, to face down challenges and heartbreak, to b r e a t h e and laugh and celebrate.
Here’s to all our efforts on that journey! I know we can change the world if we set our minds to it, and start living life the way it’s meant to be. Let’s share our stories and our struggles and our successes, to help urge ourselves along to a place where life feels like it works for us, instead of US working for IT.
This blog is dedicated to my parents, who taught me so much about life, who taught me not to be afraid—and especially to my mother, who taught me to live life by my instincts and never let someone else decide what was good enough for me.
Here’s to the mission we all share: to create lives that are more than good enough, even when—especially when—it’s scary. (And a lot of things are feeling scary these days, aren’t they?) Here’s to filling in the blanks. And not with the first answer that comes to mind, or the answer that we know, and especially not the answers that the government and corporate America seem to think about what’s “enough” for us, but instead to find the answers that come to us slowly, as if in a dream, and make us go: Oh yes, that’s it, that’s it. The life I’ve always wanted to live. It’s waiting for me. I know it is…