Albert stopped me on the sidewalk this week. “I don’t want you to hear this in bits and pieces from the neighbours, but we just found out that Laurie has lung cancer.”

In the seven or so years we’ve lived across the street from Albert and Laurie, we’ve chatted a dozen or so times–usually about the weather, or the cherry blossoms. We wave and we smile with sincere cheer. When my son was born, Laurie brought over apple cobbler. And that’s about the extent of our relationship. I can’t even recall their last name, but I remember what their kid was for Halloween, and I know that Albert sails, and now I know that Laurie is having a hard time breathing.

Jump cut to Albert in front of my house, leaning against his garden rake. My eyes filled with quiet tears. “Albert,” I warned, “I’m going to hug you.” And we hugged, and talked briefly about treatment possibilities. And I offered to water their plants or bring over dinner. And that was that.

I did the math: when I’m Laurie’s age, about fifty, my son will be a teenager like hers is now. And I thought about how inconceivably ripped off I’d feel to be called out of this life in my mere fifties. I wondered if Laurie is regretting anything. I wondered if she’s happy with how she’s lived her life–if she’s felt… free.

And I noticed that I was asking those same questions of myself, actually. And just when I was about to go back on existential autopilot with, “people get sick, people die, that’s life,” I decided to allow myself to be affected. I decided that not only is life short, but MY life is short. And that being the case, I need to fill my cup with a little more delight and inspiration.

So this week, I’m taking my kid out of daycare early and we’re going to the art gallery. I’m going to burn some CD’s for friends, just because, and I’m going to actually CALL some friends. {Radical… picking up the phone instead of pressing “send”.} I’m going to give myself the space to think about truth and pop culture. I’m going to meander and weave and warble out some thoughts that have been sitting on the branches of my mind for awhile.

This means that I’m going to take a week off of blogging. My palms are kind of sweaty. It’s almost blasphemous for a serious blogger to not have daily content. Will my traffic slip? Will they still love me? Oi. And what timing! I’m featured in the May issue of Better Homes & Gardens {albeit in my last business incarnation,} and I’m booking up LA and Portland gigs. I should be diligently at the helm. Should be… Should be…

My life is short, no matter how long it ends up being. It is bigger than web stats, my heart is larger than “should.” Inspiration lives beyond expectation. I’m going to inhale it more deeply, while I can.

If you need some sweetness to tide you over for the next few days, here’s some heart candy for you to check out while I’m at the art gallery and wandering aimlessly:

you’re a mess of contradictions. how very beautiful

your friend, anxiety
talkin’ sweet about love: what the shrinks need to hear

comparison is a killer. cut it out.

20 bites on what inspires me

hot advice for anyone with a website, blog, business, career or j-o-b. yep, I’m talkin’ to you

what is your relationship to…life?

confessions of an ambitious girl

complete collection of truisms


With Love,