Sh*t Happens

What do you do when everything feels like the stars are aligning in your favor, and then they aren’t?

In Chapter 4 of the book we’re reading in The Book Club at Wrong Turn at Albuquerque (How to Be a Badass by Jen Sincero), she says,

“When taking great leaps forward, life often turns to shit before it turns to Shinola.”

Ain’t it the truth?

On Friday I dropped my oldest at college for his final year of his undergrad degree. He is excited (it’s been a long haul) and full of goals for the year. We spent a great day together.

From there, I went on to visit my (single and pregnant) daughter at her new apartment in the new city she moved to with her transfer with the Navy. We spent the weekend shopping for things for her place, talking baby stuff, and watching movies in our pj’s. Again, a great time.

Yesterday, on my way home, I stopped to see my best friend from college. We haven’t seen each other since her wedding day…22 years ago. It’s ridiculous since we live mere hours apart but that’s what life does to people. I can’t even describe what it was like to sit and laugh with her.

I was looking forward to the 3.5+ hour drive home from her place as a time of prepping my mind for today. So many things I wanted to accomplish. Today is the one year birthday of Wrong Turn at Albuquerque, and I was formulating my thoughts – the blog I would write, the posts I would make, the giveaway I would present. I was feeling pretty good.order to chaos

And then it turned to shit.

Just as I was leaving my girlfriend’s house, I got a frantic text message from my Beast. In all caps, he let me know that he had just come home to find one of our cats lying in the yard and unresponsive. He was rushing her to the vet.

If she had been an old cat, that would be one thing, but she wasn’t. Not even two and a half years old, and she had seemed fine when I left – curled in a ball on the guest bed, one paw covering her face from any light that might interrupt her slumber. I almost didn’t tell her goodbye before I left because I didn’t want to disturb her. I actually walked out of the room. Something told me to go back.

According to Space.com, “Galaxies are composed of stars, dust, and dark matter, all held together by gravity.” And that was our girl. She was a tortie and her light and dark coloring combined with the finest freckling was beautiful. She was our Galaxie (spelled like the car, though, because Beast is a car guy).


More pointedly, she was my Galaxie. She had chosen me as her person when we brought her and her sister home 2 years ago. She would curl into my lap in the evenings, insisting that I rub her perfectly freckled face just the way she liked. We would hold hands (one of her favorite things) and, in return, she brought a peace to my days that only an animal that loves you can.

But back to the book. The premise in the aforementioned chapter is that, just when things are looking up, the Universe will come along and shake things up for you to discern just how serious you are about moving forward in life. Because, when shit happens, we tend to react one of two ways – we either press forward or we become paralyzed and don’t. We may not believe that we’re making a choice between a life of “less” or a life of “more”, but that’s what we’re doing when we’re faced with how to move forward in the face of derailment.

Today, like my girl, I want nothing more than to curl into a ball and hide my face from the world. Let the one year birthday of my other growing “baby” be damned. There is part of me that doesn’t care one twit that we have garnered over 13k Likes on our Facebook page in this last year. That we have a Sisterhood that, in five months, has grown to nearly two thousand members and is changing women’s lives. That our less than two month old Book Club has over 100 members and continues to grow.

But I do care.

In fact, I care an awful lot.

So I am pressing forward today. With tear-stained cheeks, I am writing this blog, formulating plans for the future, preparing for announcement of terrific additions to the future.

They say that galaxies never actually die. They simply evolve into the next thing. To every yin, there is a yang. It is the balance of life.


To her sister Brian (Bri-yin?), Galaxie was the yang.

Our balance – my balance – has been upset, but we will evolve.

My girl has moved on to become whatever is next for her. Through my tears, I am doing the same.




5 thoughts on “Sh*t Happens

  1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Galaxie. I know how hard it is to lose a member of your family. I’m sending hugs your way.

  2. I am new here, Karen. This is my first reading. Please accept my sincere condolences. Your Galaxie looks so much like my Picasso. It’s such a blessing to have such sweet spirits living with and loving us. I am glad you had the time you did with her, but it is clear that she was taken from you too soon. Thank you for sharing this blog with us all.

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