Ditch The List

I am notorious for making lists. To-do lists, wish lists, lists of gaps in my wardrobe or decor, client deadline lists, etc. I am to a fault highly organized and punctual.

I also have a repution for living my life with a can-do spirit and abundant optimism. So much so Lori’s “la la land” was where people thought I lived 30+ years before it became a popular musical.

This week a pastor and author friend sent me this kind message: “I was thinking about you yesterday. It’s amazing to me how you have gone through so many trials and tribulations and still come through them on top, optimistic, energetic, beautiful, and looking to the future. Love being around you – which hasn’t happened enough lately!  … Could use a Lori fix.”

His note immediately lifted my spirits, but more than that it caused me to pause and think about how I navigate the world with such resilience, joy, and dare I say grace?!

After all, I am asked this very question (How do you navigate the world with…) quite often as if I know a secret or have discovered an elusive formula.

I have lots of answers: Forgive early and often, follow your bliss, make yourself happy first, only give from your overflow, be grateful, enjoy the present, grieve as long as it takes… the list goes on.

Throw out your list!

A longer list doesn’t make you more productive. In fact, you may find if you ignore your sacred to-do list for two weeks or a month, many of the items are no longer important.

I actually discovered this while living in Mexico for six months last year as when I returned home to six months of mail, I realized only about 5% of it required my attention.

Do you have a list of things you’ve promised to do for other people? Is it so big it causes you anxiety? Are you on this list anywhere?

I am not giving you permission to not keep your word. I believe strongly your word is your bond. I am not ignoring that we all have obligations, which very often are quite challenging. What I am saying is … asking rather, “Why are you signing up for things that you are not passionate about?” Guess what? Other people are likely passionate about some of the very tasks you are slogging through. Stop filling the space and feeling resentful. Get out of their way, for God’s sake.

As a very competent and capable person I know firsthand it is easy to fall into the trap of volunteering for everything. Stop it.

Whenever you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. Too often it is you (or your family), or a longer-term dream.

Do I still make lists? Of course, I do! But more often than not –  unless it is a shopping list – I write it down and never look back.

These days I am too (hmmm, busy is certainly not the right word, though some who do not know me well think I am always busy) enthralled with speaking dreams into the Universe and watching with awe how the Universe conspires to help me achieve it.

I have found that putting me first is the best way for me to be my best self and better to and for others.

Write that down.

~Just L (September 20, 2018, Goddess Wisdom)

 

Personal Life, Politics, and Pinot Blanc –I Would Die 4 U

I have been pondering my personal life, politics, and Pinot Blanc… After all, aren’t they the same thing? ~ Just L (March 9, 2012)

I believe that every single event in life that happens is an opportunity to choose love over fear.” ~Oprah Winfrey

It was one of those days when I was reminded how precious life is.

Prince died today. 57 years-old… four years older than me.

Of course, those who know me, know I love music, but I am not a super fan of those who rise in the ranks of popular culture per se. I’d much rather quote an obscure author any day.

Still, it is today…

Every time I tell someone how old I am — which for some reason has come up in conversation more often than usual as of late — they say, “I hope I look half as good as you at my age.”

I smile, and say, “thank you.” In my heart, I hope they get to love and be loved half as well as I have been loved at my age. I pray they become better not bitter, and can laugh at themselves no matter how talented, beautiful, inspiring they become on any given day. And — most of all – love themselves, on the most crappy days.

In the last week or so, I have lost some relatives who had lived a long life and a few precious friends whose lives were cut too short. The thing that keeps me from being filled with sadness is that I know, without a doubt, these individuals experienced extraordinary, unconditional love. I won’t say their names out of respect for their wishes — which reflects the elegant ways in which they lived their lives — but, their lives are forever etched in the history of my heart, and will live on as I interact with others each day… Hopefully with half as much grace.

So, Prince: A plethora of talent packed into a pint-sized frame.

Many of his songs were a soundtrack to some stellar times….

“Party like it’s 1999,” which was released in 1982, a couple of years after I left high school, and the year after my son was born… was an anthem for New Year’s Eve 1999/2000, as if I had waited 18 years just to be able to give this track it’s proper moment. Only some will understand this.

The week “Purple Rain” was released, I saw the movie twice with two different “suitors” in the same week. They both brought flowers, and respectfully picked me up from my parent’s home. The very same home my parents still live in and love in, together. To this day, I am friends with both of these men who are now married to the love of their lives. I celebrate their extraordinary strength and resilience. Still, I get to hold a sweet memory and a sweet spot for them both from June 1984.

I had a husband who was careless with my heart. The fact is, as a narcissist, he probably never cared. Yet, whenever I think of him jumping out of the Jeep and breaking out some stellar dance moves, while singing (not lip syncing) “Kiss” — I can”t help but smile. It could be at a stop light, in the middle of a sandy jetty, or on a muddy mountain top. Sipping a cherry Slurpee and taking in that show = priceless.

As I sit here, I am recovering from heartbreak. A year and a half ago, I fell in love with the one I thought was to be the love of the second half of my life. We had that Prince New Year moment. You should have seen the way he looked at me. We shared a deep appreciation for music, and being the same age shared insider secrets that seemed to bond us. Finding him was like spotting your first crush at a crowded concert. I can see him in his purple “Prince” shirt now. We were, by all accounts perfect together, until we were not. He simply ceased to exist in my life after a particularly unexplained, difficult night for me. That was a little over two months ago. I have never been so entirely broken. This will take some time.

As I write it is thundering and lightning outside of my expanse of windows to the west. On the Gram, I posted “Nothing like lightning, thunder and warm April showers to send me running across the street to swing at the park! ‪#‎thunderstorm‬ ‪#‎kidatheartforever‬‪#‎thrills‬ ‪#‎simplepleasures‬

In spite of life’s seeming complicated moments where one realizes that intensity is not truth, and too often sadness takes people far ashore, I relish the simple pleasures: Warm rain, fireworks, roller coasters, kissing, and swings. These are a few of my favorite things.

On a night like this where I was running through the rain barefoot and swinging at the park across from my home, everything important comes into focus.

And, as much as I appreciate sharing these universal adventures with people everywhere, the romantic in me believes these are the very things lovers should share…. Whether you are half my age, 53 (me) or 72 (my mother who still adores my father)… These are the moments meant to be shared….  with family, friends, and especially loves. If you are fortunate — your love, as in your “one and only” — who gets you, ride or die, laughs, cries, and protects your solitude relishes these moments as much as you do.

Tonight, now sopping wet and smiling, I sit alone. And write. This is my life: Today.

p.s. I am planning a visit to see my parents in the coming two months, I have a list of people I wish to connect with: To be silly with, to share life stories, and simply be with, because life is too short to take for granted, and I surely do not want to miss a moment of sharing sweet laughter with the ones I love. I have received a few notes from some, and I hope you will plan to share your stories, and even dare to bare your souls, with me. After all, if not now, when?

“Personal Life, Politics, and Pinot Blanc” is a periodic series of ponderings by Just L.

~Ponderings by Just L (April 21, 2016)

Personal Life, Politics, and Pinot Blanc – “Yes” I say!

I have been pondering my personal life, politics, and Pinot Blanc… After all, aren’t they the same thing? ~ Just L (March 9, 2012)

I believe that every single event in life that happens is an opportunity to choose love over fear.” ~Oprah Winfrey

 

On January 1, 2015, I prayed, “May there only be things brought to me that I can say yes to. Move everything else that does not serve me well out of my way.”

Believing in God, this course I stayed…

A great expanse of happiness fills my heart today.

I realized…

The past year brought me a new love. A man’s man—made for me almost too perfectly. I would have never dreamed it this way.

As a writer and consultant, I appreciate the work I get to do and the brilliant people I get to work with everyday.

I have become so confident in my authenticity, abilities, my friendships, and grateful for the simple pleasures and great new adventures of each new day that the yammering of naysayers has faded away.

I’ve forgiven those who hurt me, stole from me, and lied to get by. Apparently I had more than enough to give anyway.

The heart swell I feel watching my adult children create their own path is more than I can say. Though their lives are changing, it is clear our special bond is here to stay.

Don’t ever let life’s trials steal your joy: “YES” I say!

“Personal Life, Politics, and Pinot Blanc” is a periodic series of ponderings by Just L.

~Ponderings by Just L (March 24, 2016)

Personal Life, Politics, and Pinot Blanc – Sacrifice

I have been pondering my personal life, politics, and Pinot Blanc… After all, aren’t they the same thing? ~ Just L (March 9, 2012)

I believe that every single event in life that happens is an opportunity to choose love over fear.” ~Oprah Winfrey

No one will ever understand your sacrifice…

Whether it is time; money; dreams deferred. It makes no difference whether you raised children on your own, cashed out your retirement to invest in another’s dream, gave your all to a love, or to an unwinnable war. The reason makes no difference. No one else will understand the depth of your sacrifice in any case. Make sure you are genuinely at peace with it; preferably before you give.

“Personal Life, Politics, and Pinot Blanc” is a periodic series of ponderings by Just L.

~Ponderings by Just L (originally penned December 7, 2010)