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  • Writer's pictureTracy Bottiglieri

The Ride of My Life


convertible, LA, ventura highway
Joe, me and Coop standing beside our convertible in LA

My life used to be like a ride in a reliable convertible. Steady, safe, and happy while the top was up. Fun, exciting, and special when the top was down! Because I knew the car so well, I could tell when it needed a little work done. While I was driving, looking out the window, and feeling the wind in my hair, I knew I had it good. Not everyone had a trusted and true convertible that made their heart sing!


 

Now I am truly on a roller coaster. Most of us know the expression of riding a roller coaster of emotions. This is how it is for me lately. I have moments where I’m enjoying the thrill of the unknown as my hands fly above my head, waiting for the next turn to be revealed. And then another moment can lead to sadness or disappointment as I plunge into the realization of my old life and future dreams being gone forever. Up. Down. And sometimes all around.

I miss the steady days. I felt like I had life somewhat figured out. I had lived into my middle-aged years, learning all along the way. I loved my kids. I loved my husband. I loved my extended family. I loved my friends. I loved God. I loved my job. And I was balancing all as best as I could. But how hard is it really to balance life when you love all of it?! I knew I was lucky! And I tried to make sure the people around me knew I was grateful to have them in my life. At times, I know I could have done a better job of letting people know how important they were to me. (I hope you all know it now 😘)


Currently, my most troublesome feelings relate to fears of my unknown future. I’m sure some of you can relate. Maybe most of you? Change is hard! We've always known that to be the case. Even positive changes can be challenging. Who wouldn't love to take a little peek around the next bend of life...just to get an idea of what is up ahead so we can better prepare for it.


Or maybe the best part of life is in the UN-knowing. Just trusting that you are doing the best you can. Not waiting for the other shoe to drop, but simply living your life. Unafraid. In the moment. And enjoying (or dealing with) life as we live it.


Do any of you overthink your life? Sometimes I simply have to turn my brain off and go with it. In some ways, for about a year after Joe passed away, it was "easier" to simply live my life. Let me try to explain. I was absolutely devastated, and I still am! But I was also numb. My brain was protecting me from the trauma of his death. I was living life just at the moment...not looking ahead. I couldn't deal with anything that was too far in my future. Today, I need to remind myself to "be present" when I am trying too hard to figure out what comes next.


While I do not know exactly what the future holds, I do know the end result I want to achieve. My goal is to be excited about my future and develop dreams surrounding it. That doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten Joe. Or that my new future will be so much better than if Joe was with me. I know that isn’t the case.


But it is my reality.


Despite Joe not physically being a part of my life as I move forward, I will always carry his memory and our shared memories with me. Although he is gone, my love for him will never die.


Still, I want to live the remainder of my life to its fullest potential.


I want to let my hands dance above my head again in a bright, new, modern convertible! While my old convertible was familiar, and I knew every potential hiccup; my new convertible will be different and foreign to me. I will need to take time to discover its benefits and learn how to best deal with its problems. Something to make and cherish on my own. And I want to enjoy this new ride for as long as I am able.


I look forward to sharing my new "convertible of life" with each of my friends and family.






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4 Comments


clgreenspun
Jun 17, 2021

Boy, life sure does keep us on our toes, doesn't it? Your life got abruptly disrupted. But Tracy, I marvel at your resilience and fortitude to pivot in the face of this unspeakable tragedy and at your ability to model for your boys each and every day the path forward. I hope you recognize and acknowledge this in yourself and realize that though you don't have all the answers, you do have all the right stuff to guide you along the way. Love you.

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Abby Gritz
Jun 08, 2021

I love your metaphors, I love your insight, I love your optimism, I love how you teach, inspire and remind ME to dream, trust and live. You are and always have been full of insight and optimism. Despite the most horrific thing that could happen, you still are generously teaching others which always amazes me. I so admire you Tracy. The world needs more of you and your gifts that you are continuously giving. 💛

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Pam Wingrove
Jun 03, 2021

Another lovely post Tracy! This applies to us all. When our dreams or plans don’t work out and we have to learn to live in and find a way to love our new reality. I haven’t experienced the loss you have but I have wrestled with this in other ways in my life. Thank you for putting this into words!

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Tracy Bottiglieri
Tracy Bottiglieri
Jun 03, 2021
Replying to

Isn’t it so true, Pam. I can’t think of anyone I’ve met who says life has gone exactly as they have planned at all times. I actually have the saying I added at the end of my blog post taped on my mudroom door. It’s the perfect location to be reminded daily to pivot and work on my own dreams. Life goes on. ❤️

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