I’ve often spoken about the life-changing moment I had when I was 28 years old, my mother was diagnosed with a rare cancer and only given three months to live. I was with my mom in a NYC hospital on a sunny, Sunday afternoon and as I watched her lay in bed, I could hear voices emanating from the street below us through an open hospital window. I got up to see what all the laughter was about and as I looked down I saw a gathering of young people enjoying their lives. I glanced over to my mother’s lifeless body and realized she was the picture of death. The people down on that Manhattan sidewalk represented life to me and that’s what I chose: life! I vowed right there and then that I was going to live my life however I wanted. I was going to do whatever it was that I ever wanted to do because I did not want to be lying on my death-bed, as did my mom, and have one iota of regret for anything I never did or at least tried to do.
That’s how I have lived my life these past 39 years since the death of my mother: brazen, daring, at times quite reckless but always, always to its fullest. Sometimes I would win. Sometimes I would lose. I never let the consequences of my actions get me down because I always knew the alternative, doing nothing, was never an option for me. I’ve moved and lived where ever I wanted to live. I’ve taken jobs that were exciting and daring, I’ve taken risks and opened (and closed) businesses on a whim. I’ve been an entrepreneur. I’ve been an inventor. I’ve been an actress starring in a show-stopping role. I’ve been a journalist, published author and a financial wizard. I was a one-time millionaire thanks in part to house-flipping and inheritances. I retired young thanks to all my crazy, cockamamie ideas.
In retrospect, I wouldn’t change any part of my life whatsoever. I just wish my mom could have been around to see how well (and how badly at times) I did.
Now, with the sale of my Florida condo, which was the last of my dreams ascertained, I find myself with just a few remaining challenges left in my life. What do you do when you’ve accomplished all of your dreams and you barely have any more dreams left? Oh, I’ve got a few travel plans up my sleeve and another search for paradise-lost is underway, but other than those minor, easily ascertained goals, I don’t have any more mountains left to climb.
I’m in the process of re-inventing myself, yet once again! Who will I be next? What’s next? Or should there be anything next? What if I just want to spend quiet time with my thoughts, shelve any aspirations and just enjoy the everyday life that surrounds me? I’ve been seriously thinking about that. What if I just want to detach from the world right now, stop it from spinning and just slow down and actually look at the world from wherever I choose to sit?
Lately, I’ve been discovering that I enjoy my time with animals way better than when I am with humans. I’m also much happier in nature with the plants and the flowers and the birds and the bees than dealing with anything that has to do with people. Since I live on 3.5 acres, I’m zoned to have chickens, goats, basic farm animals and 1 horse per acre. I’ve often thought about clearing one of my acres, erecting a modular stall and at least getting two ponies (one for each granddaughter, now that they are of age). Each time I tell my daughters that I want to do this, they just laugh at me, which is the perfect catalyst to encourage me to do it! I can offer one of the stalls to a fellow horse lover for free, in exchange for the person helping me manage my two ponies. I’ve planned it all out in my head. I know it doable. I’ve got a very good friend who has been raising her own horses and ponies since she was a little girl.
A recent visit to her farm convinced me that if I really want to do this, I can! The pony part would be easy. I had no idea that ponies are just like large dogs. The horse part, however, would be a bit of a challenge for me, so I might hold off on that part of the dream. My home is right in the middle of horse country so, I would have a plethora of resources available to me. Plus my granddaughters would love to ride their very own pony!
Life is a journey. Never be afraid to follow your dreams and see where they take you.
Live well, my friend and prosper. Live well and prosper.