This was the advice that stopped me in my tracks while reading the recently published book from my dear friend, Susan O’Malley, Advice from my 80-year-old self. It was exactly what I needed to hear and I couldn’t help but feel Susan’s presence as I let it sink into my soul.
Alex and I have been in the trenches for months now. Waiting, hoping and acting in faith that eventually this time this referral, this interview, this promising job opportunity will pan out. It feels as though we’ve been in the land of limbo forever. Dr. Seuss calls it “the waiting place.” I like to call it the place from you-know-where. Mostly because everything in my life seems to be falling into the “pending” box on the floor at my feet — "I will do that when we know where we’re moving. I’ll do that project when we move into our new apartment. I'll buy that when I know our new budget. I’ll focus on what I want to do after we’ve moved.” The list goes on.
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the logistics of life’s possible transitions, and upon reading the advice from Susan’s book, I realized I’ve been holding back my own happiness. I don’t need to know where we’re going in order to feel peace. I can feel it right now, today. In addition, I don’t need to finish that project or buy that thing or figure out what I’m doing right now in order to be happy and feel that my life, my family, my own self, is enough. Everything I need is already right in front of me. One does not come to this realization and then live it perfectly 100% of the time. It's something I have to remind myself of every morning when I wake up. Day after day, it sinks into my soul a little further and the peace comes. It is not earned. It is a gift. A gift from Susan.
Despite her passing exactly a year ago today, Susan's book continues to bring her spirit to life. The collective wisdom of her work has yet again struck me to my core at a time when I needed it most. Thank you Susan. I miss you. Every time I remind myself that “I don’t need to know where we're going,” I smile and think of you.