When life throws you lemons – throw ’em back!

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

Nido Qubein

A couple of months ago, I was “retired” from service – like a horse who can no longer pull its load, like  a service animal too old to assist someone, like an outdated trolley.  Signs told me it was coming, but I raged against the machine.  The inevitable hit me.  My lawyer advised me to let it go.  To take this chance to start a new life.  He spoke from experience of many years and clients.  He said, “it will be a long journey and it will be ugly and at the end, you will have gained nothing but some money. What is your priority?  More money or worth of self?  You choose and I will support your decision.”

I decided to let it go.  Worth of self was more important.  I had talked this over with my husband whose heart broke for me.  He agreed.  So, I walked out with my head held high.  I remembered I am onna bugeisha – (女武芸者?): a female warrior or female samurai.  Besides having the typical “housewife” they also diverged from this traditional roles by stepping outside of the housewife role; they were well trained in weapons and fought equally beside their male counterparts.  They protected the honor and safety of their family and others in time of war or time of danger.   My husband reminded me of this in how I had stepped outside of typical female roles and professions associated with women.  That I practiced bushido and no matter what an employer said, there was nothing outmoded, weak, or useless.  He told me I wielded calculus, physics, and engineering with the same expertise I wield my wakizashi to protect not only my family, but the welfare of the people of my state.  My loved one said, so?  They think you are no longer viable as an over 50 infrastructure engineer?  Then dammit, take your money, go back to school, get another certification.  Start a new life.

So…this old warhorse, trolley, watch dog, warrior is starting over.  May 16, I am going back to school.  I find it fortuitous that I start on that date, the date when if my grandmother Ninny had lived, would have been her 104th birthday.  My Ninny was a soft spoken, gentle Southern lady with a spine of pure titanium. My mother, another warrior who stepped outside of the typical female role who worked while my Papa was the “house husband” until I was a teen.  An aunt, another warrior with three  MS degrees and two PhDs.  The middle aunt, a petroleum engineer.  Good examples of doing their dream rather than what society expected.

May 16th – rebirth day!  May 16th – a new start!

Martin Luther said years ago:  “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree”.  Well, I have planted my apple tree.  May 16th, it will blossom.

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Moonlight, Kendo, Coffee spoons, Perfect Cherry Blossoms, and Springsteen

 

Regret, melancholy, walling oneself up alive,
Breaking down the wall,
Blowing that spark into a fire,
Doing kendo in the dark.
 
We make choices
We make sacrifices
We love deeply and intensely
We seek perfection and only at the last moment
Do we realize a thing was perfect all the time.
 
Living life by carefully dipped measures
Afraid to move to take chances to open up again.
But being brave enough to let the wind of change
Turn that last spark in us into a conflagration.
 
Turning up the MP3 full blast
Springsteen in all his rampant pounding wailing.
Dancing in the moonlight,
Doing kendo in the dark.
 
Lifting my shinai to the moon
And laughing aloud.
I remember when I taught my love how to dance
How to rhumba to jive to hustle
How to move his hips and shake his butt
He taught me how to do kendo in the dark.
Now I’m learning again.
 
I’m not bricking up that wall again.
I’m piling up perfect cherry blossoms
In all the cracks of my days.
Decadent display of pink and white.
I’m driving too fast and listening
To Springsteen too loud.
(Oops girl, slow down – that county mountie
Looked too hard at you whizzing past!) <huge grin>
 
I’m not measuring the moonlight
By coffee spoons.
I’m bathing in it and being profligate.
No regrets, no retreat, no surrender.
I’m starting a fire.
I’m relighting passion
I’m thinking of love
And doing kendo in the dark.

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