[Please click to hear my audio version of this blog post: Wow! What a ride!]
Today I began a new project: a podcast. They tell me it’s like a blog with audio. Or, if you prefer, T.V. without the pictures. I got this thing handled. Here’s what you can expect: life as I see it. It’s not a cancer podcast. It’s not a life-is-the-same-for-loren-the-way-it-was-6-weeks-ago podcast. It’s a this-is-the-quirky-way-I-view-life podcast. Hopefully, it will be insightful, irreverent…and occasionally funny. Any of you who have gone through a “life changing experience” probably already understand the things I’m now learning. Everything you do—no matter how ordinary—is viewed in a new light. Time speeds by because there are suddenly so many things we want to do now that we are aware of a possible expiration date.
Some weird examples come to mind—I’ve had a German Shepherd by my side since childhood. I’ve literally never been without one. The hardest part of owning any dog is when they get old and die. Ayla, my beautiful and devoted canine shadow, is at that age where I start to worry how long she has. For the first time in my life the thought occurred to me—which one of us will go first? Don’t get me wrong—I’m not giving up and never will. I will be dragged kicking and screaming from this body (despite its’ many flaws). Those are just the kind of thoughts that now come up.
This last weekend Susie and I took the new R.V. to our favorite beach. Susie spent the time talking to real estate clients, doing paperwork and chilling. I meditated and stared at the ocean with an urgency I had not felt before. I was rewarded by something I hope to see a thousand more times. A pod of pacific white-sided dolphins appeared directly in front of us, where a small wave was curling. They stayed in that spot for 3 hours, surfing the incoming swell and jumping back through the waves as they broke. I mentioned the specific kind of dolphin for a reason (not just to be Mr. Science). These are a pelagic species rarely seen near shore. They are about half the size of a bottlenose dolphin and far more athletic. Eco-geek that I am, I wanted to run up and down the beach stopping Frisbee players, romantic couples and family units to shout “DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT’S GOING ON RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU?!”
For me, time just keeps speeding past. I don’t want to miss another sunset, another milestone in my kids’ lives. I’m not pushing for grandkids but I don’t want to miss them if they come. I want to see my boy’s name up in lights and see both my girls achieve all that they dream. It’s weird how time takes on new meaning—and it’s not a bad thing. Suddenly, no moment is wasted and there is no time to dwell on the negative. I know that many of you figured this stuff out long ago. I’m just so happy to have joined your fraternity of enlightenment.
Let me leave you with a final thought I borrowed from Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”