I have a very rich fantasy life. No, not that kind. The kind where I hang on to this idea of what my life will be like shortly, with just a few adjustments. In that life, I do yoga regularly (therefore, in that life I’m also substantially thinner), I walk the dogs, I rescue more dogs, I eat right, I’m mostly in Paso Robles, I blog regularly while also writing my next book (writing daily, of course, this is a fantasy after all), I stay in touch with my family and friends, and I do  volunteer work (see: rescue more dogs above). It’s a beautiful life. IMG_4557

That’s not my real life.

Sigh. No sooner did I say I’d be back to blogging regularly (which is sort of warm up for me when I need to be writing “book stuff”), than real life came bulldozing through, knocking fantasy life aside and demanding my immediate attention or destruction was imminent. I’m a lawyer. You may remember that (I forget too, sometimes). I practice estate planning (yes, yes, death and taxes…you remember my joke in The Dog Lived, right?). I don’t regularly have emergencies in that practice. But when someone gets diagnosed with a terminal illness, or dies, or when concerns about Alzheimer’s or dementia in a client pop up, we get busy. And lately, man oh man, lately it’s been bad. Aging is not for sissies. And cancer? Cancer can go eff itself!255

I recently learned of the passing of one of the women I went to India with–she’s the second of my group of twelve to pass away. Joanne was my suite mate, and, for those of you who have read “The Dogs Were Rescued (and So Was I)”, she was the one I tried to switch places with so she could go to Mother Teresa’s, the one who was stage IV and still helped me with my grief over Seamus, the one who took a “mental health” day with me (we went shopping), and one who leaves behind a young adult daughter. Rest in peace, Joanne– and say hello to Melissa for us.  

I also have so many clients dealing with so many (literally) life and death issues right now, it’s got me working like crazy and well, thinking a lot too. These clients know the end is near and we’re looking at doing some charitable gifts as well as straightening out their final gifts to family and friends. It’s sobering. Looking at your will and trust when you know that’s really it–this is no longer a hypothetical exercise that we can change later–that’s a difficult thing. It takes time and it takes careful consideration. Because in the end, we’re talking about their legacy. What will they have left behind? How will they be remembered? Who will they have taken care of? And of course, I’m seeing my clients evaluate their lives, and spend their last days with who or what is most important to them. 216

Gets you thinking doesn’t it? About your own legacy? About how short life is? Right, right, I’m a cancer survivor. I’ve had those thoughts before. And because of all we’ve been through, Chris and I really started focusing on our Paso Robles dream a few years ago. I opened an office in Paso, Chris centered his business in Paso, and we’ve been moving along, with occasional distractions, but moving in that direction. These past two months of crazy busy work, was a good reminder though, of the importance of following those dreams– not letting “real life” push the fantasy life completely out of focus. Ironically (? wait…is it ironic? Isn’t it? Checking in with Alanis), it was nearly two months ago that Chris and I actually rented a townhouse in Paso Robles and began living there part time. My next blog post (which turns out is this one), was going to be giving you an update on that– with photos even! But, real life got in the way. 

Soon though (she promises, ever so earnestly), I shall do that. Sharing the fantasy life helps me think it might be “real life” one day. 

In the meantime, tell me– How’s your real life going? And what’s in your fantasy life? Because it’s not just me, is it?