Embracing Uncertainty | Cheryl Strayed, Thanksgiving & India

I love Thanksgiving. Unlike Christmas, it is a quiet and reflective week and an awesome holiday. It is a day that we get to stop and just be. A day to reflect and a day to be thankful. The fact that tomorrow is the first #powdereddonutday of “Year 2” makes this an even more reflective time. The thing about “Year 2” is that I can no longer say, one year ago, and remember a moment that I was with Maureen. As a dear friend who also lost a loved one noted, “you don’t create any new memories.” That is the crazy part about this journey, and I think Cheryl Strayed captured it well in this quote from PopSugar. “It is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.” Those are incredibly powerful and true words, and as I continue to write, I think you will see that theme evolve in my writing. What does it mean to go on as you never have? What does it mean to Embrace Uncertainty? One week after watching Wild with my daughter, Kyla, we met Cheryl Strayed at a book signing here in Austin. The day after making my post “Embracing Uncertainty | What is Our Wild?” I had wandered into BookPeople and was blown away. I have fully embraced serendipity and synchronicity, but even this one shook me a bit. Her story moved me and Kyla deeply, and there, as I looked up on Tuesday was the list of upcoming events. In just a few days, Cheryl was going to be here in...

Embracing Uncertainty | What is Our Wild?

You know that feeling. The feeling you get when you turn the page, and there is nothing on the next one. Or perhaps, that moment when you reach a fold in a map where the trail ends (of course, the paper ones before smart phones made them electronic). Or perhaps that moment, like the one Cheryl Strayed faced in the movie Wild. My daughter, Kyla, and I watched this yesterday afternoon as the rains cleared in Austin. Kyla’s history teacher had suggested Wild as a possible backdrop for her trimester project in his class, rich in natural beauty, rooted in history with John Muir and the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as a personal story that is incredibly powerful. There were some intense moments in the movie, moments that can make a dad uncomfortable, moments that you would prefer a daughter could watch with her mom to explain. However, just like buying bras, these are our moments now. These are the moments that a daughter and her dad handle together now, because like Cheryl, Kyla lost her mom. There is a great quote about dads from Cheryl’s book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,“ from which the movie was adapted. “The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.” As the kids and I move forward into year two of our grief journey, some things are becoming clearer, others less certain. One thing that is certain...