Ever notice how life has a way of changing things up on you without asking? Have you ever had a well thought out plan go very wrong? Like you’re minding your own business and BAMM, something outrageous happens? You name the Life Event. Most of us have been hit by at least one or maybe several of these life changing stressors by now.
Money, good looks, nor physical strength can shield us from these most unfortunate events. They cross all socioeconomic, and cultural borders. Who ever said life is fair? Life sometimes down right sucks. On the other hand, life can be taken away from us without warning.
Come on Allison, why such a depressing blog post? Well, let me tell ya’ (can you hear my John Wayne impersonation?) As many of you recall (that is if you are actually reading my blog) the Emotional Sherpa stepped off his original path searching for his TRUE SELF, and landed in a foreign country. His backpack was filled with supplies he needed for his planned adventure, which was not the adventure that happened. Not even close. Did you know, in a pinch, a silk sleeping bag liner can double as a beautiful Spanish shawl? Just picture it. Creativity is a must if you want to be a TRUE adventurer.
OK, so here’s a brief account of the most unfortunate events encountered by the Emotional Sherpa (EM) this last month. Like Alice through the looking glass, what a bizarre turn of events for the EM. The Way (El Camino) was well planned out. The Emotional Sherpa wanted to complete this 500 mile Pilgrimage. Life had an entirely different plan and gave the EM what he needed not what he wanted. The Sherpa needed to unplug, reboot, and recharge. EM did not need to walk under the pretense of resting. It took pretty much an act of God to take that Sherpa’s shoes off, and put his feet up in a resting position. And that’s what the Emotional Sherpa did. Control is an illusion you know.
Mary Oliver’s poem, Tripping Over Joy sums up The Way I needed it, not The WAY I wanted it.
Tripping Over Joy
~ Mary Oliver
“What is the difference between your experience with Existence and that of a Saint?
The Saint know that the spiritual path is a sublime chess game with God, and the Beloved has just made a Fantastic Move, that Saint is now continually tripping over joy, and bursting out in laughter, and saying, ” I surrender!”
Whereas, my dear, I am afraid you still think you have a thousand serious moves.”
That being said, here are a few Tips from the Trail for those of you who like to Bushwhack their way through the woods when you’d be better off sticking to the trail:
- Know these fundamental words and phrases in the mother tongue of the foreign land you enter: help, please and thank you, pain, hot and cold, where’s the bathroom/wash closet?, can I have some privacy please?, do that to me again and I will kill you, more coffee please, where’s the closest ATM?, take me to your leader. Fuck is a universal word. No translation needed. And, I tried the phrase, “take me to your leader” and it didn’t work. Still worth knowing this phrase in different languages anyway. Also, web based translation apps are awesome when you have access to wifi. Wifi is not a given. Just sayin….
- Clicking your heels 3 times and repeating, ” There’s no place like home” does not work. I tried it. I am so pissed at Judy Garland for lying to me year after year. Seek therapy if you, too have PTSD symptoms related to childhood trauma. What I am going to do is change up my Polyanna way of being and take on a more Columbo like mode of operation. It’ll be a subtle change for those of you who like my Polyanna world view.
- Never let a loved one go to the hospital alone, especially in a foreign country. Medical advocacy is a must. Make friends with nurses, and doctors, and other health professionals if you don’t have them in your inner circle already. Just like many of us going to get our cars serviced. When you don’t know what their talking about, it’s easy to just let “the expert” do their thing. Trust me. Make friends with medically trained people, and question and challenge every procedure, diagnosis, and treatment plan. Share your wheel house with your friends and family, and access the wheelhouses of those with medical training.
- Heard of Advanced Directives? Learn about them, read the fine print, discuss your wishes with your children if appropriate, and have them in writing. It’s a very lucky child who’s parents have put their affairs in order while they are still of sound mind and body. Luckier, if everything is paid for in advance! Sounds morbid and uncomfortable to discuss when mom and dad seem fine, and at the same time very important conversations to have in advance of an unexpected, unfortunate event.
- Lastly, remember, “Every single day is a little life, and our whole life is but a day repeated. Therefore, live everyday as if it would be your last. Those who dare lose a day are dangerously prodigal; those who dare misspend it are desperate. ” ~ Joseph Hall.
See, Hear, Feel, Smell and Touch this day.
Happy trails to you and yours, Allison