June 15, 2010

Tea & Sympathy

Image by your Uncle Beefy.

Hello again, Kids. So how ya' been? As you know, and expected, I've been a bit scarce 'round these here parts. Things have wound down around the accident. It's not over but the flurry of paperwork and multiple phone calls have calmed. At this point, all I know is that the guy who hit me did, in fact, manage to get away, no information is immediately available when his plates are run, and outside of muscle pain it appears that I sustained no serious injuries after a visit to the doctor's office. And there you have it.

Since the accident I haven't felt quite the same. Something in me shifted. And, I think, in a good way. Now, I didn't have any "life flashing before my eyes" moments I can tell you that much. But, I did have a sudden and deep realization that anything can happen at any time... to anyone. Even me. I don't know how dramatic that sounds to you but, I will tell you what, it snapped me into a level of attentive awareness that I haven't felt since... well, maybe never.

Life is short, people. And, I am feeling that to the core these days. I know... that's what old people say. No. That's what wise people say! I just never paid attention until now. Maybe I'm "old" enough now? Who knows? But this change in perspective has me looking at things very differently. I've become much more aware of the way fear operates in my life. The vast extent to which I will look outside of myself for answers that invariably can only, and should only, be found inside. The self-doubt, the trepidation, the insecurities that, when left unquestioned, lead one to a "safe" and mostly unfulfilled and stifled kind of life.

I kinda got a taste of that during my 40th birthday meltdown last July. But the haze of too much wine and overarching humiliation might have grayed down the potential clarity of the moment. Although I do think it got me on the tracks to where I am finding myself now. Lighter, less fearful, more forgiving (to others AND myself), and ready to lean into this life I have been given. No more passive bystander, pleasing-all-at-any-cost bullshit! (Yep... look at that! I just said "bullshit" on my blog. Twice!) Or, for the moment, much more conscious efforts to cut away at that stuff. I mean, for heaven's sake, enough already! Jeesh!

Uh huh, another "What the hell am I doing?!!" moment for your Uncle Beefy... sans the emotional tail-spinning. And, for this, I am most grateful.

(Charity reminded me of this image when she dug it up out of "The Bedlam" archives. I think it's from The New York Times if memory serves correctly? But I want to make it into a giant poster and put it in my entry to serve as a constant visual reminder to move fearlessly through life! Let's face it, Kids... this is what AWESOME looks like!)

So, some places that I am seeking out information and inspiration these days; Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Non-Conformity & Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday are two biggies for me, along with Pia Jane Bijkerk, Jessica Swift, fear.less, and Please Feed The Animals (the blog from the maker of Lemonade: The Movie).

And, what about you? Where do you turn for inspiration? Are you content in your life? Do you feel you're living pretty authentically? Is there anything you'd love to do but find you are holding yourself back? Why? Fear? Money? People's approval? Have you stopped to recognize the wonder that is you? Have you taken time to be grateful for who you are and what you have to offer? Other thoughts?


  1. When I turned 40 (6 years ago) I didn't realize how fast life would start to fly by. So I grabbed the bull by the horns and took control before I missed something. In the past 5 years I have slowed down my personal life and revved up my business life. On my days off I require quiet places and sensitive people. I am much more aware of how unkind people can be so I have,myself, become a much more generous and calm person. Turns out we really do only have one life and it's up to us to choose how we want to live it. I want to succeed in life and business but only in a happy, kind, sensitive way. And knowing that I live my life with the best intentions everyday is something that I've only had a grasp on in the past 4 or 5 years. I'm excited about the next 45 years - no fear for me anymore. Thanks for sharing your angst - you're a good soul Beefy - 5 years from now you'll look back and see what an important time it was for you right now. Most people live on auto pilot and never even have the opportunity to revisit their potential - you're there - you're checking it out right now - brilliant fun!

  2. Beefy ~ I just absolutely love your 'wise musings'! Putting it all in perspective is the way to go...and living life for YOU is the only ticket for a fabulous first class ride through this journey on Earth. I have been feeling these 'altering' moments a lot lately, and what I have discovered is that saying NO is definitely OKAY! It's too difficult to please everyone, and ultimately when doing so, we forget to please ourselves slipping into that dark hole of not-so-happy. Here's to enlarging that dynamite pink wonder of a woman image and livin' life to the fullest!

  3. Uncle Beefy;
    I am new to the show but I adore the pic and wholeheartedly agree that it should flank your walls. It is great!
    Yes, I too am on the edge of 41 and it is what you make of it.
    ROCK ON!


  4. I wish we were friends in real life. Truly enjoy your blog and insights. All the best :)

  5. HI Darling! I go to You Bradford, for inspiration for one and some other gems. I also love design trend sites. They feed me. I am at a turninf point this year. I know it. I had a baby 4 weeks before the big 30 milestone and another weeks before the big 40. I will be 50 next year and having another baby would just be...well...freakish so i will have to make something else instead! I am uncomfortable these days, so I know change is coming.

    Love and Huge hugs to my friend.

  6. Last year, when I was 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My first thought was "shit...I thought I had more time!" While I knew I wasn't going to die, I realized that I had been putting off really living my life. I was always thinking that when I reached some goal THEN I would be happy, but I wasn't, and now everything was going to change. In my journal I wrote the phrase "I am fighting for the life I've been waiting for," and I knew that once my treatment was over, I was going to do whatever it took to create the life I was dreaming of (and learn to appreciate the wondrous things I already had.) My treatment ended at the end of February this year and I am working my way back to strength and health, and have started doing the work to create the life I waited so long for. You are so right, we don't have forever and we each have to decide how we want to spend the rest of our lives - however long or short they may be.

    Be well Beefy, I'm cheering for you!

  7. wow...you know, I am so happy to hear from you lovely Uncle & so happy to hear how you are & where you are at as of now. The other comments here are so insightful and lovely...I don't think I can add much except to echo Fiona's " you're a good soul" and Anon's wish to be friends in real life, and Acacia's cheering you on...also, I think blowing up that awesome image is a fantastic idea. I admire the journey you are on dear one, I went on a similar one myself awhile ago & came out the other side a much better person. I am excited for all the amazing adventures you are going to have. I think you are beautiful...

  8. One of my favorite quotes, and I can't think of the author's name, is simply: "Do all you can, in the time you have, with what you have, in the place you are". Pretty much sums it up. Time spent regretting and over-analyzing past events accomplishes little and wastes an enormous amount of time and energy much better spent on living! I hope yours is a long and pleasant one, bon chance!!

  9. I am pretty new to your blog, but wow, you sure sound like a lot like me these days. I turned 40 last year, and it was rough -- not the birthday itself, but the whole long realization throughout the year of what it all meant.

    I am trying to be braver, less fearful and comfortable in my own skin. I have so much, in so many ways, and yet so much is still a struggle. And, it's definitely a "one step up, two backwards" sort of game. Just when I think I've got a handle on things, some tempest in a teapot of friend/family drama will find me apologizing and over-extending all over again.

    I look forward to checking out your links. Thanks -- and I love that image. So much.

  10. Glad to hear the accident hasn't had too many negative effects, & has in fact prompted a very positive shift in perspective.

    Here's to living a life without fear & limitation. Best wishes as you discover what this means for you!!

  11. you are a good man, man. I never say 'man'- but man, you are good. It is you who took this 'thunk on the (head) trunk' as an opportunity. Here is a big digital kiss. thanks for including us.

  12. Fiona... See! It's that "auto-pilot" thing that I SO feel you on! Yes! I'm checking in! Thanks for sharing your own story. It helps me feel inspired and a little less alone. :)

    Mel... Yes, it's impossible to please everyone! And now that I'm getting more comfortable with "disappointment" to others, the more that seems to be "popping" up. Slowly but surely. :)

    La Maison Fou... WELCOME to "the show"! Glad you stopped by and thanks for taking the time to read! Can't wait to peruse your site some more!

    Anonymous... thanks for your kind, if shy, words. Means a lot. Take good care of yourself! :)

    Laurel... m'dear, thanks for your steadfast support! And power to you in your own journey! :)

    Acacia... What can I say? Thank you SO, SO much for sharing your story here! I'm humbled and relatively speechless. I cannot imagine the strength and resolve it would take to bounce back from something like what you've been through. While you may be "cheering me on"... I'm guessing there's an army (myself included) that is giving you a standing ovation! I'll be cheering for you from this side! :)

    Melissa de la Fuente... thanks for the kind words and compliments. Always lovely to see you 'round all the places we connect! :)

    Carrie Miller... you know I'm a sucker for a great quote! Fantastic! Thanks for spreading the knowledge and the love! :)

    Kelly... thanks for stopping by The Bedlam and taking the time to comment. We're clearly in similar spaces, which seems pretty typical for us 40 set. What I'm finding is that once I step up and assume the learning of the repetitive lessons... that the "dramas" start to dissipate. And pretty quickly! Don't let the drama-makers bring you down! :)

    Tomas & Jones... Indeed! It has become a "positive" for me really and I'm thankful to have been blessed with the willingness to start to see it this way. Best wishes to you!

    Sara... LOL, man! ;) Thanks for commenting and crackin' me up! :)

    Thanks, All for the warm and wonderful comments! Take good care of yourselves today and from here on out! :)

  13. Don't you worry about a thing gorgeous one, you're only just starting on your exciting journey. At 54 I feel I'm just starting to hit my straps & it's an awesome feeling. You'll do your best work after 50, I promise.
    Millie ^_^


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