The Art of Living Lost: P.S. I Love You!

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Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand. – Patti Smith

Last year this quote added a bit of a tail to the drifting kite that was my life as the author of The Art of Living Lost. At the time, I didn’t know who Patti Smith was, but I made a vow to personally thank her for the light she brought into my life. Fast-forward, I’ve repeated the quote many times, and when I sat to research Patti, I realized the full genesis of her quote and immediately fell in love.

For those of you who don’t understand the difference between Patty Smyth, Patti Scialfa, and Patti Smith, let me explain; Patty Smyth is the artist who’s famous for the songs The Warrior and Goodbye to You. Patti Scialfa is the stunning red-head that was the first permanent female member of the E-Street Band. Patti Smith, who initially voiced the prophetic quote at the beginning of this BLOG, is a true Renaissance woman. She’s a painter, a poet, an author, and a singer. She’s a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. In 1978 she released Because the Night a song she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen. Bruce would go on to re-release the song in 1986 followed by a rendition released by 10,000 Maniacs in 1993. Ironically, Patti’s resume as a musician doesn’t come close to describing the genius of the person I met on Saturday at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. [Read more…]

The Art of Living Lost: Finding the Best Job Ever!

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The Art of Living Lost

What would you do if you could do anything? I asked myself this question on my seemingly endless road to self-discovery.

Once upon a time, I was a successful career woman working hard and traveling all over the world. I learned about business and economics first-hand and met the extraordinary people who would one day comfort me through the great storm of grief. However, this was the old me. The new me wanted to raise my kids, guide them through the chaos of high school, and launch them into adulthood.

It was with this in mind that I decided to pursue one of my dream jobs, Fright-Fest ghoul. Yes, I said it, GHOUL!

[Read more…]

The Art of Living Lost: Secrets Behind the Fall of Wonder Woman

My friends call me Wonder Woman, which always makes me laugh because while they find me unique in what I accomplish, it’s their daily demands that secretly fuel my need to be everything to everyone. Or more accurately, they make me believe it’s admirable to be a crazy woman – working, loving, and caring for all the things in my life until I privately crash with exhaustion. It’s this collapse that has inspired me to share the details of my descent into overwhelming loss, revealing how that experience helped me discover my real strength, appreciating that the best thing about being lost is the joy you discover along the way!

When my husband Chris passed away in January, it was the end of a defining chapter in my life. He was one of the few people who knew me; he gave me the courage to be big and bold, understanding that behind my big persona was a shy woman. I met Chris when I was 24, and we dated and were married for 23 years. I only mention this as a point of comparison; in the 24 years I lived before Chris, I learned to walk, talk, ride a bike and drive a car. In the 23 years I lived with Chris, I learned to earn an income and to be a wife and mother. After Chris died, there was a fundamental shift in my existence; many of the pieces of my life no longer fit together.

The good news is that while parts of my soul were torn away, other bits grew in their place. Words like fortitude, honor, freedom, and strength tiptoed into my vocabulary. It’s hard to watch your husband be zippered into a bag and taken away by the coroner. It’s harder to tell your children, “your father is dead.” That’s grit. Expecting your mother-in-law to live with you and share in the joy of your kid’s lives forever, that’s an honor. Buying a home based solely on your earned income to debt ratio; that’s freedom. Getting out of bed every day; that requires a strength that even I can’t describe.

Welcome to my joy-filled journey.