This lovely man is my rock. For the fourteen years we’ve been married I have basked and thrived in the effusive wellspring of his love. When I have my victories or when my heart is broken, he is the first person I think of, the first one I turn to for sharing. This man gives me my wings.
I was listening to a life-coach on a podcast the other day, L’Erin Alta. (You should check her out, she is awesome!) She said life is not linear, life is unpredictable and messy. Yes! So true. We do attempt to streamline life in our stories and narratives, attempting to contain it with schedules, rules and boundaries. But the truth is, that is impossible. Life will not be harnessed or contained. We can not swoop in with butterfly nets to imprison what’s meant to fly beautifully and wildly free.
As gorgeous as life is, it can also be rocky and scary. We had a Nor’easter in our area two days ago, on Friday. If you’re a city girl like me, you might not know what that is. It is a cyclonic wind which blows from the northeast, typically accompanied by rain or snow. Hubby drives a tractor-trailer for a living, delivering large shipments to warehouses and other localities. On the morning of this windy snow storm, he was caught in snarled highway traffic shortly after leaving the trucking lot.
By the time we connected by cell phone (around 12:30 p.m.), I would learn that he had been sitting in interstate highway traffic for almost four hours. But he assured me he was merely waiting for an exit opportunity so he could turn around and return to his truck stop’s home base. There had been several car accidents, therefore, pileups and backups produced snail’s pace crawling for all other moving vehicles. We ended our call feeling relieved. Sure, he might be stuck in that traffic snarl for maybe another hour or two, but at least he’d be headed home soon.
It would not be so simple. Four hours later he had only moved a few miles. Yes, he had found an exit and yes, he was headed back, in homeward bound traffic on the other side of the highway, but now he was in a new snarl of traffic due to additional accidents ahead. Oh well. It was inconvenient, yes, there were only inches of vehicle movement at a time, but at least now, he was headed in the right direction.
We lost touch at 4:15 p.m. when our cell phones went silent during our second phone call for the day. All lines would remain jammed for the next few hours. No biggie, I thought. I mean, yes, it was sucking for him to be in that traffic, but we’d been here before, it wasn’t our first time through a Nor’easter. This is the northeast, wintertime came with these hazards.
But by 9:30 p.m., after not hearing from Hubby for five long hours, my stomach began a violent tremble. And I had to take deep breaths. We have no landline phone and now both our cell phones had stopped working. The only service ability I seemed to have was texting. But on Hubby’s end he had neither texting or dialing ability. I stayed calm. I knew he was safe. If anything, I told myself, there might be a fender bender or over-exposure from the cold. Nothing more than that. But my stomach! That damned trembling wouldn’t stop.
I texted our daughters. At least their phones seemed to be working. So they took over, flooding Hubby’s phone with calls and messages until they got through. Turns out, he was safe. We finally got a call through to each other at 10:30 p.m. A dozen of his co-workers decided to hunker down in their truck stop’s building for the night and wait for the plows and tow-trucks to remove disabled vehicles. But Hubby said, uh uh. I’m going home. Again, it wasn’t so simple. By the time he walked through our front door, it was 6:15 a.m., Saturday morning. What an ordeal!
It could have been worse for us. The only thing we lost was a little bit of sleep and a mere slither of our peace of mind. Other families were not so lucky. So far there are seven deaths attributed to the storm and power outages are still being worked on in our area. Fortunately our electricity remained on. Fallen trees are numerous throughout our community and surrounding cities.
What does this have to do with podcast updates? Too much to explain. But here’s what I can tell you. I have this best friend, who happens to also be my husband, who I get to explore the abrupt turns of life with. For the last two days we dove in, reliving our sides of the Nor’easter, sharing what we learned, recalling the epiphanies. You don’t just walk away from a traffic pile-up, after spending twenty-one hours in a truck and car, on dark highways and roads, hungry, needing to pee, cut off from your loved ones without a vibration thrumming through your bones from the experience. There are emotions to exhale, heart rhythms to recalibrate, and thankful relief to savor.
I got a reminder about my husband’s strength, his tenacity and the deep connection we share. And what I am now clear about is this: Hubby is all the podcast audience I need (of course I adore my other listeners too!). This essential understanding has released me from the narrow constraints of self-imposed expectations. I have decided to go in a new direction with the podcast. If you’re a reader and you decide to tune in, that’s great. If you choose not too, I am totally good with that.
iTunes has a mechanism for scoring podcasts based on subscriber numbers and ratings. I immediately fell under the pressure of aspiring to meet these rating rules. It inspired in me frantic and erratic show ideas and content, making me feel like a puppy attempting to outrun her shadow. While I have no regrets about the content I’ve produced so far, I realize that I was trying on and taking off show ideas with an irregular tempo. Thus, the new direction: a more sincere, Maria-esque style of content creation.
I love that you enjoy reading this blog. And if this is the only creative vehicle of mine you choose to follow, I can respect that.
I’m done with the browbeat about my podcast. You know it exists. If you want to check it out, you know where to find it. For the foreseeable future, I have no more plans to mention podcast episode updates on this blog.
The journey continues.
Life is not linear. It can get messy and hit unexpected bumps in the road. If we can remember to keep the faith and take a few deep breaths, we might actually discover an enjoyable ride.