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Hey Zube, How’s It Going?

*I have to preface this…I tried not to, I really did! Just to be funny like that, but honestly, without a preface you probably wouldn’t have read the whole post anyway, and frankly I wouldn’t fault you for that one bit. There’s a reason. So I’ll just say, half of the following paragraphs, the half immediately following this preface, are written to make a point. The point will become clear in the remaining half. So bear with me, if you would, because I believe the point being made is a valuable one.

Ahem…

Ugh…how’s it going? I’ll tell you how it’s going!

My car broke down. Not only did it break down, it made the ugliest noise I’ve ever heard a car make in my entire life. Like elves were under the hood angrily throwing giant size cutlery at metal walls. The tow truck driver, who knows a little something about cars, said it sounds like the engine. The ENGINE! I called EVERYWHERE and mechanic shops are so backed up and short-staffed, most didn’t answer and the ones that did refused to take it.

We had it towed back to the house.

I can’t believe it’s the engine! We just bought it in June. Used, but still. JUNE! I had the oil changed two and a half weeks ago but apparently it ran out of oil.

Now I’m anxious my kids will need me to go to Texas for something. I’ve always told them all they have to do is call and I’ll be home in 24 hours. That’s my thing, dude. “I can be back in Texas at the drop of a hat if you guys need me! Just say the word.”

It’s the holidays, anything could come up!

Speaking of the kids, I haven’t talked to them in almost two weeks. They went out of town for Thanksgiving I’m pretty sure, but I didn’t even get a call on Thanksgiving so I have no idea.

Every time this happens and I don’t hear from them I’m afraid they’re mad at me. I scour my brain for anything I might have done that could have upset them until my brain is raw and throbbing. I’m back in Colorado to spend some time with Zeke and a part of me just wants to run to Texas. Like I could do anything differently there…

It doesn’t even matter because I can’t anyway. Damn car.

And then there’s Zeke. I barely got to see him for two and a half months because I was in Texas going to high school football games. Most of the time I was only able to wave to Cora Jane in the sea of marching band kids and a couple of times I took pictures so she knew I was there because the band was too far away for me to even find her. I drove three-and-a-half hours to Laredo, Texas for one game, damn near the Mexico border, and all I could do was wave. A seven hour round trip!

Sometimes Keenan showed up, but I never knew beforehand.

Work? Ugh, work. I’ve been doing the Tarot and Astrology gig for almost a year and a half now and I’m barely making ends meet. I wake up at 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning and read and study and obsess over it all. I’m always doing something for what seems like longer than an eight hour work day and yet my bank account is regularly at about $50.

I never know if I’ll be in Texas or Colorado on a weekly basis. It’s like, my schedule changes daily. My fucking head spins!

My wardrobe is 90% hand-me-downs and I spend all of my money on plane tickets and gas. I realized my dumbass left all of my winter coats in Texas. How did I let that happen?

When I’m in Texas I worry sometimes that Zeke will get sick of all this and no matter where I am I wonder sometimes if my kids will end up hating me and maybe I should probably just give up now, get a bunch of cats, and grow old alone.

And then I remember Zeke cat-napped my cat. I got Alfredo because *I* got lonely! But he hates the car so he stays with Zeke.

I’m doomed.

Sheesh.

That was actually difficult to write. It was an answer to the question, and an honest one at that, but it’s not how I look at things. I had to stop and scrunch my face and laugh a bit at some awesome memories that came up while I wrote it. I even threw my head back and laughed so loud I scared the cat (who still loves me the most, don’t tell Zeke) when I remembered driving to Laredo, Texas and looking up to see a sign that said something like, TURN LEFT HERE TO STAY IN LAREDO, TEXAS BECAUSE IF YOU KEEP GOING STRAIGHT YOU’RE GONNA BE IN MEXICO YOU ABSENTMINDED MOTHERFUCKER!

Anyway, I’m going to answer the question all for-real-like now.

“How’s it going, Zube?”

I’ll tell you how it’s going. It’s like this…I drove 931 fucking miles two weeks ago from my apartment in Texas to Zeke’s house in Colorado and my car broke down after I arrived THREE MILES from Zeke’s while I was out running errands. What are the odds? He was working but showed up after a few minutes AND he didn’t yell or get mad. He told jokes while we waited for the tow truck driver to show up. Inappropriate ones, of course.

Fortunately we have AAA and the tow truck driver, Wesley, was super cool. Zeke turned the car on so they could give it a listen and it sounds like shit. Shit squared even. Wesley said it’s probably the engine. Specifically the lower block but when he started talking like that my eyes glazed over a bit. Lower block, upper block…it’s no matter to me what block people come from, guess that translates to noises from engines as well. Anyway, there was no oil on the dipstick which is effing weird because I just changed the oil (before it was even due!) the day before I headed up. Meh. What are ya gonna do though?

Can you IMAGINE if that had happened in Amarillo or something?! Seven hours away from Boerne and Breckenridge! How freaking lucky am I it broke down in Breck after a fourteen hour drive and so close to home? Crazy.

I’m a little nervous the kids might need me to come home because that’s my big thing. It’s why I live my life the way I do with work and everything. I might be here in Colorado but if they need anything I’ll drop every last bit of it and head there. I tease Zeke about that because he was the same way with his girls who lived in Denver growing up. I’m like, I do that and mine are in Texas! Neener! Anyway, if I need to get down there, we’ll figure it out. Doesn’t help to worry about it.

I posted on a local Facebook board asking for mechanic recommendations and mentioned needing to get on the road by latest Christmas. I also mentioned I was aware of staffing shortages and completely understand things might take a bit. Not only did I get a ton of recommendations, a shop actually messaged me before I even had to reach out! At 8PM two days before Thanksgiving.

It’s gonna get fixed this week. For a pretty penny, it’s the engine after all. But it’ll be abundance flowing to local business owners and their families. Good people.

Work is wild. It’s scary and weird and frantic and inconsistent…I wake up at stupid-early-thirty in the morning for no good reason. I think God does it. It’s fine by me because the world feels so quiet and full of potential and I get a lot of shit done in the wee hours. I relish my alone time and chat with my invisible people and sort shit out, all before dawn.

I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing and I’ve only been at it for a year and a half and things are tight but it’s like, they always work out! Somehow all of the bills get paid and money comes and goes and I travel back and forth and I’m innovative as shit and I don’t actually need much and everything just happens when I don’t think about it too much. I always manage to have about $50 in the bank.

I get in my head sometimes but that seems like a pretty human thing to do. Fairly quickly I’m able to step back and freshen my perspective.

I was kinda stressed when I didn’t hear from the kids for almost two weeks. I don’t really like where my mind goes when I don’t hear from them. I’m supposed to talk to them three times a week but if people are gonna ignore court orders then they’re probably also just gonna ignore court orders that say to follow court orders. And for a hefty sum to boot because lawyers don’t take arms or legs for payment. I know, I’ve asked.

It is what it is. But I meditated and prayed and did some visualizations where I hugged the kids and told them I think they’re rock stars and I love them and they’re free to be who they are and I’m gonna take such good care of myself they don’t ever have to worry about me. Visualizing doesn’t hold a candle to actually being with them but it’s meaningful to me and I always feel better after.

We spent Thanksgiving with Zeke’s girls and had a super time and made turkey and went out to eat and went for a hike. They live in California and Washington and are in their twenties and it’s just really fun to liven things up around here where we’re kinda old and farty.

I borrowed one of their winter coats.

I talked to my kiddos last night. Maybe that had something to do with sending a message that I planned on calling the school today to make sure everyone is okay if I didn’t hear from them last night since it had been so long. I wasn’t screechy about it or anything, totally matter of fact. Whatever it was, they called, happy and full of stories. They’re still amazing, unsurprisingly. Rocks stars even. Rock stars who are free to be who they are.

I’m only supposed to see them four times a year but I manage to eek out bonus sightings. This is exactly the reason I leapt off the entrepreneurial cliff; so I could be my own boss. I drove all over southern Texas the past few months. It was beautiful to watch Cora Jane with her friends in band; the way she wears her hair all wacky and messy like on the tippy top of her head, dancing to Sweet Caroline. I barely got to interact with her, but it didn’t matter. She’s a joy to watch.

I also learned that it’s really hard to pick out your band kid while they’re doing their routine out on the football field and to forego guilt over that and simply enjoy absorbing the show in its entirety. Marching band is hella impressive, dude. Those kids work hard and without much individual recognition.

Once in a while Keenan showed up at the games and we’d get to sit together for a bit. We’d buy candy and he’d help me find his sister. We’d look for Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky. Always Jupiter first with Saturn nearby and quite a bit dimmer. If the Moon was visible I’d tell him what sign it was in. We downloaded some sky map thing and would find Venus and Mars and Mercury underneath us in the stands or off to the side chilling over other continents. Keenan knows a ton of shit about space, so he’d fill me in on how the Moon was made and I’d tell stories I half-believe about UFO sightings I’ve had. He’s brilliant and fun.

I’m so lucky.

I savor every stolen moment and I’m a guiltless thief.

Somehow everything is folding and unfolding into a beautiful patchwork life.

I don’t know exactly how I got here and it’s not always entirely comfortable but I keep on keeping on, armed with faith that things will only get better and better, which they seem to be. And even in the moments when it seems like things might not be seeming to be getting better and better, I’m able to hunker down and call on Larry and God and my crew of invisibles and who knows or cares if it’s their doing or my imagination or that I’ve cried so many tears there aren’t any left, somehow I end up being pretty damn contented with how things are.

And when I’m in that place I notice even the smallest of magical things.

Which is a blessing.

Random “Moose-ings”

It doesn’t happen every time I’m in Colorado because we’re both busy chicks, but sometimes the stars align and my good friend, Susan, and I manage to finagle a free morning together to go for a hike. I call it a hike, anyway. Susan calls it walking her dog. Ha!

I’ve actually written about a hike with Susan before.

I no longer live at 10,000 feet altitude full time, have had my fair share of bad habits (which are dwindling!) over the years, and am not as physically fit as Susan, so we have a mutually agreed upon conversational cadence where I fill her in on my life as we stroll downhill and she catches me up on her life when we’re uphill.

It’s lovely. It flows. Like our friendship.

On this morning’s stroll, about half-way through, Susan stopped mid-sentence and asked, hushed, “What was that?” I couldn’t hear a thing over the sound of my sucking wind, but happily stopped under the guise of listening a little more intently so I could catch my breath.

Grunt-yell-click!

Maybe it wasn’t a click. But it was something like…something like I can’t type phonetically. And I’m creative and shit.

I had even less of an idea what the sound was coming from though.

“That’s a moose. I’ve never heard one make that sound before.”

Of course Susan knew.

We both peered off in the direction the sound was coming from, which was a wooded area a little ways uphill across the dirt road. Before long, unsurprisingly at this point, a moose emerged walking directly toward us. Walking directly toward us a bit too determinedly for my liking.

Turns out she was walking a bit too determinedly towards us for Susan’s liking as well.

“I don’t like that sound. Let’s get back in these trees!”

We traversed the ditch on the side of the road, slowly but likely as determinedly as the impending moose, and retreated into a cluster of trees.

I want to describe this because it’s part of the hilarity of this story. There just so happened to be two trees in this cluster that appeared to be growing from the same root, and we each grabbed one. Susan grabbed the one facing the road, and I grabbed the one facing downhill, as we were also on a steep incline. This happened to put us butt to butt, hugging trees. Holding one another in place, because slipping down the incline was not outside of the realm of possibility.

It was as though the Universe had put those two trees there for just this occasion.

We were one with these trees. However un-zen-like it felt.

I don’t know how long this all took, but momentarily I heard Susan say, “Oh Teresa, there’s another one! Do you see it?”

I told her I did not see it. I did not tell her my inability to see the second moose was because my eyes were closed and my face was buried in bark.

And maybe I was talking to Larry. My Spirit Guide.

“Dude! I’m freaking spiritual? These are God’s creatures! Why am I a scared fucking moron right now? Larry? LARRY?”

Ahem.

The pronouncement of a second moose did encourage me to at least lay my eyes on it so I could see for myself that there was, in fact, a second moose. And there was. Off to the other side.

I’d like you to imagine, two ladies clinging to trees on the side of a dirt road, one furnished with a leash attached to a whimpering dog eager to play Chase the Moose (I bet at least a few of you forgot that while I’m hiking, Susan is walking her dog, Tia), a female moose to the right about a McDonald’s-store-sized distance away (laugh if you must but I suck at guesstimating distance and that was the first thing to pop into my head!), and a male to the left, at about the same distance.

Engrossed as I was with the tree bark before me, I had not ascertained the respective genitalia of our moose onlookers, but I think Susan must moonlight as a damn zoologist or something. Maybe she hadn’t had time to fill me in on that endeavor in our previous walks. Perhaps we should walk uphill more. Clearly I’m out of the loop.

Invisible in this scene, yet still massively present, were the thoughts running through my head…what exactly would death by moose be like? Surely moose don’t eat people? Do they bite? Would we be memorialized on the front page of the Summit Daily? What would the headline be? What on Earth would my friends in Texas think? Jersey? Mississippi?

These thoughts were interrupted only by Susan whispering loudly, and a little too eagerly than was appropriate given the current circumstances, “Oh my goodness, Teresa! We’ve interrupted a moose date! They’re rutting!”

I’d never heard the word ‘rutting’ before, but I’m darn good at extrapolating meaning.

Anyway, after contemplating us for a moment (probably a shorter moment than it felt) the female snarfed and scampered off into the valley below us. You know, nevermind. I think bunnies scamper. Moose don’t scamper. She galloped. Yes. Galloped is more like it.

Her suitor, remembering what it was he’d been getting on about before being so rudely interrupted by a couple of noisy talking white trees, followed in lusty pursuit.

Shaken but alive, we climbed out of the ditch on the side of the road, dusted ourselves off, waved at the truck who had missed the whole thing but slowed down because we must have looked a bit disheveled, and continued walking and laughing.

We walked the remainder of our hike uneventfully. Arriving back at Susan’s house I admit, I breathed a bit easier and not only because our hike at 10,000 feet altitude had come an end.

On the drive home I remembered the morning Susan was to take me to the airport to fly to Mississippi for rehab. The morning I encountered a mama moose and her two babies just past the driveway. I remembered how significant that felt.

I looked up the spiritual symbolism of moose when I got home and laughed a bit when I saw confidence.

I’m going to sit with that for a while. Confidence has been a lifelong quest, and I might’ve strayed from that path a bit.

Thank you, Universe, for the reminder.

Namaste.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a…Gift from the Universe!

I journal just about every day. There is no literary genius in this daily journal. In fact if anyone were to find it and read it after I’m gone, I’d be posthumously embarrassed, if there’s such a possibility. Not because there’s anything nefarious in it, but because it’s mostly positive self-pep-talk and gratitude for stuff and things that have yet to manifest.

Journaling keeps me sane and grateful. Sometimes, especially when I’m down, I ask for signs from the Universe.

I’m mindful not to ask for those too much. It’s not even that I don’t want to be greedy, I just tend to get plenty of those without asking.

Yesterday, though, I was feeling absolutely buoyant, for no particular reason. Actually, for lots of little reasons would be more accurate, just not one big one in particular.

While I was journaling I realized I rarely ask the Universe for anything when I’m feeling good. So I did.

And then I forgot all about it. Which is how I roll. That’s basically the key to manifesting, difficult as it may be to master.

Last night I was at the high school football game three hours away watching Cora Jane in marching band and wondering why I still remember the jersey numbers of the kids on the football team when I was a cheerleader in high school.

I’m going to rewind for a minute to tell a story within a story because none of this will make sense unless I do.

A week after Keenan was born, I gathered up two-year-old Cora and her new baby brother and we all took the two hour sojourn to the airport to pick up my Mom.

As we neared the airport, Keenan was sleeping soundly, as newborns tend to do, and Cora was beginning to get bored, as two-year-olds tend to do. I was getting flustered, as new Moms tend to do.

I took advantage of the airplanes that started appearing.

“Ooh, Cora, look at the airplane!”

She quietly observed each plane I pointed out.

After about the fourth one she sighed and soberly remarked (to herself mostly), “Wow. My Mom really likes airplanes.” Absolutely nonplussed. Deadpan.

You guys, I was hormonal and frazzled, as any week out mother on a two hour solo journey with two kids would be, and I cannot describe to you how funny this was. I’d been schooled by my two-year-old.

I was like, “I don’t like airplanes! I don’t give a shit about airplanes! You’re two! I’m pointing at the airplanes because TWO-YEAR-OLDS like airplanes!”

In my head of course. Also, in my head, I wished another adult was around to share how absolutely hilarious my two-year-old was.

I tell my kids stories about when they were little all the time. If I didn’t, I don’t know that they’d remember the good stuff about us together and there was so much of it. I worry sometimes that my storytelling is annoying, but they always prompt me to ‘tell it again’ when I stop midway because I’ve already told this one. Which warms my heart. More than you can imagine.

Cora loves this story in particular. Especially because she’s older and can see it from my point of view.

As a joke I text her videos and photos of airplanes accompanied with, “Look, a boring airplane.”

Ahem, anyway. Circling back to last night.

We’re in the stands at the stadium and there is a *dull roar behind us. As the rumble gets louder, a very low-flying plane approaching the nearby airport emerges from directly behind us and every head in the stands turns upward.

(*see what I did there? Dull roar…I can almost hear the dull roar of your laughter…)

I swear to you, time slowed down.

I looked to my left and damn near every kid in the marching band was pointing at the plane and saying, “Ooooooh! A plane!”

Except for my kid. My kid was looking at me incredulously with the biggest grin ever on her face.

I nearly froze with joy. Momentarily I gained my composure and mouthed, “Did you see the plane?”

She nodded and we both threw our heads back laughing.

On the three hour drive home I mostly meditated. Or had a meditative time observing how fucking fast Texans drive.

When suddenly I realized. The airplane. That unexpected perfect moment.

I’d received my gift.

I’m so glad I asked for it.

Have a blessed day.

Shhhhhhh…

In spite of all my spiritual bullshit, as someone not so fond of me once called it, I’m very human and very flawed. I’m also very okay with that and some folks don’t think that’s so spiritual. Which is fine, too.

I remember hearing Pema Chodron on a YouTube video once sharing her personal experience with meditation and she joked about what a terrible meditator she is and that people tend to assume that since she’s, like, an actual monk, it’s something she is good at. But, apparently she has a busy mind.

I heard this at a time when I was beginning my meditation journey and it was perfect and timely because I was a terrible meditator as well. Especially in the beginning. I simply decided not to care. I told myself it didn’t matter how shittily I meditated, I was going to SIT for the designated time NO MATTER WHAT.

As I practiced there began to be spaces amidst the perpetual streams of thoughts. Mostly when I didn’t criticize or judge myself for the thoughts showing up.

My mind is still busy sometimes when I meditate, but there is quite a bit more space, and sometimes some pretty cool shit happens. That’s just bonus and never my intention when I sit. Interestingly, as cool shit started visiting, my mind grabbed hold once again and attempted to make meditation about cool shit happening.

So I let go again.

It’s a process, I suppose is all I’m saying.

While I’m stringent about my ‘meditation time’ I’m rather loosey-goosey with how it goes.

I’m ‘off’ when I miss it, which happens now and again. But I never skip it.

I meditate twenty minutes a day. Sometimes that length is a struggle, but it’s where I’ve settled in over the past almost four years.

Something has happened, though, in the past few weeks. I have been, hmmm, called into silence? Beckoned? Dragged, with requisite kicking and screaming?

Actually, and honestly, perhaps I’ve voluntarily jumped, head first?

My meditation time has become one hour. I’m floored by this. In fact, a month ago one hour would have seemed absolutely arduous and even counterproductive. But…

The thing I love about at least giving my mind the opportunity for silence is that ideas have space to pop in. I pay attention. There are quieter voices in my head that aren’t heard above the din of the rest but if I make the time to listen, I catch them.

It was in this way that I heard the whisper to meditate longer. And so I did, no matter the protestations of the other, rowdier voices.

I’ve also become increasingly…bothered? Resistant? Averse? Whatever. I can’t quite put my finger on it, exactly. But…noise…no thanks. I’m preferring no noise. Hmmm…that’s not quite true, either. I don’t mind the day to day conversations in the background, clinks and clangs, or hums and honks that are a part of life. But as someone who, while I don’t watch television, enjoys watching YouTube and reading to occupy my brain, I’m losing interest in those things.

This feels…important for some reason.

I share it, also, because I’ve heard it echoed by others.

Zeke said to me yesterday, “It’s weird but I haven’t been playing the radio lately.” You guys, sometimes I’ll walk through the house and between the garage and the bedroom I’ll be met with no less than three radios and one television. All on! This is a rather drastic change for him.

Are you becoming still? I’d love to hear of others’ experiences.

This shift seems significant and appropriate and lovely.

Well, That Answers That

I was driving along running errands and, as I am wont to do, I decided to have a little chat with my Spirit Team.

I powered off the radio, took a deep breath, and said some thing like this…

“All right you guys, I’m really happy. Like really happy. I just feel a little…I don’t know, aimless. That’s fine. It really is. I’m okay with aimless. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy, happily busy as a matter of fact. I’m just not really sure if, well, if there’s something else I’m supposed to be doing. I’m busy without direction. I’m digging it, honestly. But…anyway, I’m pretty dense when it comes to messages that are nuanced, so if you guys could give me a solid shout out that I’m headed in the right direction, if there even is a right direction, I’d really appreciate it. Eternally grateful for your love and all that.”

I remained silent for just a minute, enjoying the view of Lake Dillon as Colorado tag after Colorado tag sped by me. It’s funny, I get the sense that Colorado people, one of whom I happen to be, don’t like driving behind vehicles that have Texas tags, ha ha! They’re always passing me and then driving just as fast, or even slower, than I am. It’s okay though, I used to be one of those Colorado people.

As I turned the radio back on, I looked down at the trip odometer which I hadn’t reset since I drove up from Texas last week and it said, 1234.5 miles.

I smiled. That felt like a pretty immediate response. All things in divine order. One step at a time. Chop wood, carry water.

After a few minutes, I arrived at my destination. I pulled into a parking space, turned off the car, and got out. As I walked past the car I had parked next to this license plate caught my eye. Believe it or not, I’ve outgrown looking for signs, for the most part anyway. So it’s not like I’m always looking at license plates, but for some reason this one jumped out; it was damn near glowing.

Here’s the thing, I don’t share stuff like this because I’m so awesome and I want everyone to know or anything like that. I mean I am awesome but so is everybody else and I want everyone else to know they’re as awesome as me. We’re awesome!!! I share things like this because once upon a time I didn’t feel I was special enough to receive messages from my Spirit Team. But I am. And you are. We all have a Spirit Team and they have messages for us.

We just have to ask. And then listen. Sometimes with your eyes.

After my errands were done and I got back into the car, I wanted to double check the meaning of abide. The immediate intuited message I got was to keep on keeping on. I did a little search on Google and the archaic definition made my neck shiver.

That’s how I know things.

Yup. Exactly.

Namaste, and beautiful people. Abide.