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On Growth, Reflection & Adventure

Ever had a plan that didn’t quite turn out the way you’d imagined it would? Me too. In particular the last 18 months have unfolded in ways I did not plan or expect.

I’ve learned that sometimes, I don’t know what’s best. Sometimes, something else that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams, wants to live, wants to be expressed. And if I allow it, and don’t fight it because it isn’t part of my plan, if I can open up even just a little, to the possibility of something other than my rigid plan, I am rewarded with the magic of truly living.

Here’s the somewhat condensed version:

On Growth, Part 1:
My husband James and I sold our house and decided to rent for a while. Not a bad idea except that we had a dog, Zoe our 14 year old golden retriever. LOVE that dog! Anyway, it turns out dogs are not quite as welcome in rental properties, especially by landlords and strata/condo boards. Who knew? We moved 5 times in 6 months, trying to find a place that would permit us to bring Zoe. Upsetting, unsettling and exhausting pretty much describes it.

One day, we were talking about how unsettled and unhappy we were feeling. During that conversation, we started focusing on and talking about what we would love instead. And from that, the idea to spend the winter in Mexico was born. We sold a car and bought a small SUV so we could take Zoe, built her a ramp so she didn’t have to jump, gave our notice and started packing everything back into storage.

On Growth Part 2:
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, sometimes life’s plan does not align with ours. Such was the case with Zoe going to Mexico because a week before we left, my beloved girl had a stroke. The decision to say good bye to her that day was not a difficult one because it was so clear that that was best for her. Learning to live without her by my side however, has been anything but easy. But I did learn, am still learning. But that’s life, isn’t it? We learn to adjust and adapt because the very nature of life is ever moving and marching forward.

On Growth & Reflection:
Hindsight is truly a wonderful thing. Looking back I know without a doubt that the timing of Zoe’s transition was perfect for both her and for us. Traveling meant we didn’t have constant reminders of her everywhere, which was a blessing. Our first stop was San Diego where we spent 5 weeks which I am so grateful to have had. I love the ocean and spent every moment I could with it; walking on the beach, sitting in the sand, hearing the roar of the waves and watching the sunlight dance. I cried and grieved and ached and mourned. And I started to let go and heal.

On Reflection & Adventure
Healing doesn’t happen overnight – at least it doesn’t for me. But I was reminded that interspersed with the pain and grief, its okay to laugh and and have fun. And being on an adventure like driving to Mexico was a great distraction, filled with new opportunities, people, food, sounds and experiences.

Other than our first week, we had no concrete plans for what we were going to do or where we would stay. Everything fell effortlessly and easily into place. It was almost serendipitous how we met the right people who either had the information we were looking for knew someone who did.

I continued working with clients and got a real taste of the laptop lifestyle, which I completely fell in love with.

We were gone a total of 5 months, almost to the day, arriving home with a new perspective, a new appreciation for where we live and filled with gratitude for the incredible people, experiences, love and generosity that were bestowed on us.

The magnitude of my being able to say yes to this idea, this opportunity, this gift, is not lost on me. Some days I would literally pinch myself; I’m doing work I love, getting paid, while on extended vacation. In Mexico!

This is actually my life ~ talk about living the dream!

The photo was taken on the beach in Nuevo Vallarta during a baby turtle release as part of Turtle Protection Program. You can see the babies making their way to the ocean. So cool!