I had jury duty. In Kentucky.
Funny you should ask.
When I moved from Vermont to Chicago, I learned that in order to get my license here in Illinois, I was going to have to take the driver’s test. The WRITTEN test! WTF. So, seeing that our farm is in Kentucky, and we spend about 50% of our time there, I got the brilliant idea to register the car and license myself down there.
Never in my wildest dreams did I even think about jury duty!
And that is how I found myself making the 7 hour drive on Sunday afternoon, to report for jury on Monday morning, only to have the case postponed. I couldn’t decide if this pleased me or not. I felt sort of burdened by the thought of the whole process but, I also felt excited to be a part of the process, knowing this is what allows us all the hope for a fair trial.
Anyway, there I was on Monday afternoon, released from duty, trying to decide if I should turn right back around and head back to Chicago or spend 1/2 a day on a farm project? I decided to visit an Aunt who had been ill and then head back to the city. So, there I was, back in the car making the 7 hour return trip just 24 hours later.
While driving by myself I usually listen to music that the rest of the fam does not love… But, one of my favorite stations is the Joel Osteen channel, when he is giving a sermon. Being Jewish, it might seem odd that I enjoy Joel. But I do. I really find him motivational, and I am able to separate the GOD talk (I must say it is glorious God talk, if you are a Church goer!) from the motivational talk.
Joel’s sermon “Stay Passionate about Life” was on and it was rich. He was talking about not making comparisons and living our best lives. Not worrying about what others have, but rather to focus on what you are doing, and how you are living. Honestly, I have been known to dwell in comparison every so often. My man however, is pretty good about NOT living there. He is often heard saying “ Don’t count other people’s money”. My reaction to that is I don’t really count anyones money, but I def can be heard counting their vacations!!! HAHAHAHA. #truth.
And then he said it. “Tell your heart to beat again…Some of you today, you’ve been through disappointments and life hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped. You could easily just sit on the sidelines. But God is telling you, you need to tell your heart to beat again. Tell your heart to dream again. Tell your heart to believe again”.
Mind you, this, on the very day that I heard Luke Perry died. 52 years old. His heart stopped. One minute he was fine, and the next not. Devastating. My mind shattered. It wasn’t that I was ever a 90210 Dylan fan, it was just the random suddenness. And his age. So unbelievably sad for his friends and family. Made me want to squeeze my peeps. And hard.
As I was speeding through the heartland to return to my city life, and most importantly to my man, whom I now anxiously felt I needed to hug. I got to thinking about when my heart almost stopped beating…in the proverbial way, that is.
See, not so long ago, I was single. And single for a very long time. I lived in beautiful, but small Vermont. I was not the outdoorsy type, and I was hard pressed to find one healthy, viable option for a potential partner. After awhile I started to doubt. My heart began to atrophy. I was starting to feel my heart was going to require some serious massaging to be brought back to life.
I decided one August to change my love trajectory. But how and where to begin? I knew that my daughter was growing up, and that my purpose was going to be changing. I knew that my heart had entered into serious doubt mode. It felt I was almost at the point of not being able to trust others OR my own heart. So, I did what any teenage girl might do….I made a vision board. Yup. I legit cut out pics and words of what I was looking for in a partner.
I wanted a powerful man, with a sense of humor, who loved live music and dance, who adored me, who was looking for a solid commitment to me and us. I know…I know….isn’t that what every one is looking for? Could I ask for anything more? But, after all, I deserved, and still do, tons of goodness.
Then I went on to surround myself with happy couples. Loving couples. At the time, I could only think of 2 that really exemplified the giddy kind of love that I was looking for. So, as often as I could, I hung out with both of them, or just the women of the pairings. And I continued to put out the vision of what I was hoping to find.
I was essentially determined to resuscitate my own heart.
Just a few months later, in January of that same year, my #farmboy showed up in Vermont from Chicago, just to take me out for dinner. He sort of landed on my proverbial doorstep, if you will..actually, it was at a local restaurant, but you get the point. You see, we dated in high school. We lost touch, and when we reconnected he was going through tough times. We began inboxing each other daily long, funny, poignant letters.. He made me laugh. We shared about ourselves. I simply felt I was there to help him get through his challenges. I was paying it forward for all those that were there for me during my tough times.
But, just like in high school, he really made me laugh. He was smart. He was cute.
And, just like that, he snuck in to my heart and began to resuscitate it. Much like I hoped I was doing for his heart.
I believed. I knew I would be/could be a good partner in a healthy and loving relationship. I knew I wanted my heart to beat again, and would. I knew I wanted to really be alive.
Today my life is intertwined with that of my mans in every way. My heart beats with love for him, our children and our life together.
I am here, as proof, that if you end bad habits that might be standing in your way, and surround yourself with all the goodness you are hoping to have for yourself, that chances are very good that you will be be alive and that you can make your heart beat again!
Can I challenge you? Take a look at your life. Are you grateful every day? Is there something that you are needing/lacking to make your heart beat again? What do you need to do to resuscitate your heart? Is it travel, and seeing the world? Maybe you can start putting your change in a jar and start imagining where your first trip will be. (I promise to be happy for you, and not to count your trips!!!) Are you at a place in life where a new career/job is needed? Start listing your skill set and talking with people who are in that field.
What is it for you that will make your heart beat again? That will help you feel alive? That will help you keep from comparing?
Joel also asked….”Are you really alive?” Well, let me tell you something….with the news that very day about the passing of Luke Perry, I was, as so many of us were, reminded about living each day to the fullest. To be ALIVE.
Let’s live as large, and as thankful as possible, as everyday is a gift. How grateful we must all be to be alive. Go out there and stay passionate. Do not compare yourself. AND, make YOUR heart beat again!
mad love all! mad, mad love!
RIP Luke Perry