Dying For Sex

“You needn’t die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from the beginning to the end.”-Stephen King

Recently I binged on a six episode podcast in a span of 24 hours.  It was beautiful, poignant, and emotional, and I had to share this.  The series is called Dying for Sex.  It’s a conversation between two best friends, where one particular friend has stage 4 cancer, divorces her husband, and explores her sexuality with the time she has left.  It contains such beauty, humor, rawness, vulnerability, and inspiration.  It serves as reminder for one to think of how do you want to live your life, knowing that you will die. 

       How often do we forget that we are going to die?  That is the only certainty we have.  I’m not trying to be morbid or focus solely on the negative here, but it is true.  Yet, when we know this and can hold this in our hands, it reminds us of the preciousness of our lives.

       This is a foundational principle in Buddhism.  In fact in Bhutan, people remind themselves five times a day they are going to die to bring about their happiness.  If you have problems doing this, you can buy an app called “We Croak,” which will remind you.  I purchased this years ago, and try to remind myself how precious life is frequently.  

       When you know death is imminent, you cut out the crap, and live a life aligned to what is most important to you.  But the truth is none of us know when our time is.  What are we waiting for?  What do you need to do to live in alignment with your values?  What is on your bucket list? 

More info on the podcast : https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dying-for-sex/id1495392900

It’s Like

Yesterday, I lost my English Bulldog companion of 15 years.  And it’s been more difficult than I expected.  As I was reading this book on the Dark Night of the Soul by Thomas Moore, it said you should try to describe your intense emotions in metaphors versus literally.   And this is what I have come up with so far…
                                It’s like…
It’s like the dizziness you feel from spinning in circles.
It’s like finding your first gray hair.
It’s like living in a country where you don’t understand the language.
It’s like a first break up.
It’s like breaking a bone, which you feel will never heal.
It’s like learning to use crutches.
It’s like visiting your childhood home.
It’s like a late January day in England, where the sunsets are at 3 :30 pm.
It’s like letting the world see you without makeup.
It’s like struggling to get onto another flight after yours was cancelled.
It’s like getting lost and not having cell service or a GPS.
It’s like driving on an empty tank, wondering if you will make it to the next gas station.
It’s like endless vomiting after a night out drinking.
It’s like a 100 degree day without air conditioning.
It’s like a yeast infection.
It’s like losing your appetite because you lost your sense of taste.
It’s like 24 hours of no sleep. 
It’s like standing on a crowded train at rush hour for a long commute. 
It’s like knowing you will never hear your favorite song again.
Metaphors can’t convey the pain, loneliness, and distance I feel from myself losing him.
 
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Puzo’s New Lease on Life

            Recently Puzo had a near death experience.  Or at least so I thought.  Puzo is my English Bulldog who was extremely sick days before his 15th birthday.  I had gone away to Majorca for 6 days, and he developed diarrehea when I left.  When I returned, his illness would not stop.  He would not eat, and everything was coming out of him.  Pure incontinence.  I was preparing for the worst with each day.  Would I have to put him to sleep the next week?  With each area I cleaned up, I reminded myself this was a meditation.  All my love for him.  I distracted myself by binging on the Netflix’s reality show Love is Blind, just to not have to think of the horror awaiting me.  

Luckily I was able to secure medication for him prior to his vet appointment, and we celebrated his birthday in pure doggie style, with rotisserie chicken.  The day after his birthday, we even made it to the Champ de Mars with his stroller, as his incontinence stopped.  The vet confirmed his prognosis.  Nothing was wrong with him, he’s just old.  I made the realization, that when I go on holiday, his anxiety exacerbates and he somaticizes his stress.  The other two times earlier in the year, something similar happened and he acted out.  We picked up anxiety meds for my next vacation.

             Since his illness has worked through his system, he seems to have a new lease on life.  He’s been given another chance, not even a second chance.  At this point, it’s easily his fourth or fifth chance on life.  He seems to be appreciating life more.  I know I am anthropomorphisizing him a bit, yet I can’t help and notice shifts in his behavior.  He is waking up earlier in the morning, as soon as the sun rises.  He is wanting to take in more of the day.  He soaks in all of the rays when we go to the Eiffel Tower, and sit on blanket in the grass. I swear this Parisian monument and park inspires him.  People wait their whole lives to visit here, and this is the park we go to several times a week.  Puzo tries to get out of his stroller as we near the park or when we leave, his excitement on his wrinkled face shows.  He wants to prove he can walk further than I let him.  Even on our tiny promenades in our tiny passage, he is walking more with ease and down the hallway.  I am witnessing his exploratory nature increase, he is showing me he is not ready to give up.  He loves his wanderlust life too much.  A dog who my mom purchased for me when I was in my 20s from Amish country to Ohio.  He’s jetsetted with me to New York City, California, Hawaii, back to California, the United Kingdom and now Paris.  He has a new perspective on life, and so do I .  

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.” – Milan Kundera