My husband says I live the “Life of Lisa.” He thinks that because I have an unstructured life and he makes the dough, and that our daughter is independent and mostly on her own, that I have the most care-free life in the world. He believes I wake up every morning, yawn, and see the day stretched before me like a golden lane bathed in endless possibilities and sunshine.
Which I suppose is true.
I mean sure. Life is good. It’s great not to have to get up at the crack of dawn and scurry off to work. For one thing, I’m not a morning person. For another, I’m horrible with stress and obnoxious co-workers. I’d much prefer to lay in bed and work on a story.
But things have changed.
It used to be that when I finally got out of bed, I’d head out for a walk on the beach with Koko, our little golden retriever and the happiest dog in the world. He’d have the biggest smile on his face and an insatiable need to make friends with everyone we passed. I also had the most gorgeous half-Arab palamino horse, named Honey. Most days I’d go to the barn where she was stabled at Nellie Gail and together we’d explore the incredibly idyllic nearby trails. I must say, galloping top speed on a lovely trail with my willing steed and best friend was pretty dang cool.
My mom was a huge part of my life too. She was ninety-two and lived near the barn at an assisted living home in Mission Viejo. She was good company and I’d often spend afternoons with her after riding Honey. I’d hoist her wheelchair in the back of my Highlander and somehow wrangle her into the passenger seat. Then we’d take off for stroll around Dana Point Harbor or for a milkshake at Ruby’s and shopping at the mall. She was great fun, but boy did she love playing the addled “little old lady” part. One time, my brother and I were pushing her around Ikea and she picked out a silk English rose stem to buy. She then proceeded to use it to whack it on the derriers of surprised patrons as they went by. You should have seen the looks on their faces.
Yes, life was pretty darn good. But, in the back of my mind I’d always wondered: Should I be doing more with my life? Should I be actually be accomplishing something. There had to be more to life than living “the dream” in So Cal.
I wish I would have told that annoying little voice to go where the sun don’t shine.
Because suddenly, like so often happens when things are perfect – when you should just be enjoying every second for what it’s worth – those important loved ones in my life passed on.
But I keep writing stories. Stories about those incredible people and animals and experiences that that have touched me so deeply and will forever be a part of who I am.
Because life is about living and moving on and growing older. It’s about being with one good man all these years, and having one incredibly lovely daughter. It’s about love and change, laughter and heartbreak.
And, it’s about finally finding a new purpose.
Yes, I still live the Life of Lisa. But it’s different. Which is okay. Because I look back and realize what a mind-blowing experience its been, just to be here on planet earth and experience all it has to offer.
And I must say, the Life of Lisa is still – as my husband might say – a golden lane of endless possibilities.