This is not what I planned…

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

I am officially the DIRTY THIRTY now 🙂 Seems strange to say “I’m 30”. Either way, it feels weird and this is definitely NOT what I pictured in my youth. My recently adopted thought process as a new 30-year old is to quit planning and just LIVE – go where life takes you, wherever that is. Are there things I would do differently to this point? Sure. Are there things I would do all over again exactly as I did them? Yup! Life is crazy, good,  a constant growing and changing process. And something I have finally accepted.

On the eve of my 30th birthday, my horse needed emergency surgery for colic. That means she had an impaction in her colon that would turn fatal if not treated surgically. There are different types of impactions. Annie’s was an almost foot-long impaction of SAND. “Sand colic” is very common in coastal areas where horses are grazing in pastures where the soil is primarily sand rather than good old fashioned dirt. If you remember middle school science class, sand is the smallest particle of sediment that cannot be broken down any further …. hence, the build-up in the intestines if ingested.

We drove her up to NC State Veterinary Hospital at 10 pm the night before my birthday and arrived sometime after midnight. They got her into surgery about 2:30 am and she was in the recovery room around 5am. We stuck around until about 9am after she had recovered enough to be moved to her ICU stall. We gave her a few pats, made sure she looked comfortable enough, and headed back to New Bern to meet the packers who were on day 2 of packing our house for the move while she recovered for a few more days in ICU. The packers finished about 6pm when we went to a local restaurant for a quick ‘birthday dinner’, and then passed out on our air mattress, completely exhausted, by 9pm.

I always imagined my milestone 30th birthday going much differently…

Fast-forward to now… I have to wait until January to move Annie to Arizona as she cannot travel until then. I already quit my job, all of our household good are on a moving truck headed west, and we already moved out of our house. Where was I going to live and work for 2 months?? The plan to move to NYC is slipping away, quickly.

I luckily landed a long-term sub position teaching high school math until Christmas and I have wonderful, gracious friends that have opened their homes to me while I’m stuck here homeless nursing Annie back to health.

My lesson: wake up each day with only the ‘plan’ to LIVE, whatever that means to you. It might mean to go to work, or maybe be a mom, or go to school, or whatever. All of us have different lives but we can all live fully in what we are doing. I think I got so busy planning and planning all these years, I forgot to LIVE. It feels good to live each moment and day for just what they are and not think about how they fit into the long-term, giant puzzle of life.

Savor what makes you, and those around you, happy each day and find your place of contribution in this world. Don’t become so busy planning out your life that you miss it altogether. Life is now, in the present. Not in the past. Not in the future.

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