The Wonderful Me: An Intro

Hiddy there,
My name is Mary Lotus and I’m a 60 something year old, kick ass, wonder woman. I lived the daily grind just like most of you. I married fairly young, had kiddos, worked 40+ hours a week, planned my retirement, paid my bills and all the other stuff regular people do. We had a mortgage, car payments and credit card debt. Basically we worked to pay our bills, all the while believing we were living the American dream.
Just when you think you’re on top, life has a way of giving you a little smack to the head. In my case, literally. I was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Luckily, the tumor was removed by surgery. I endured all the radiation and experimental chemo treatments. I also lost all my hair and what does one do when faced with a glaringly white beacon of a bald head? Why get it tattooed of course. I had big beautiful, bold colored peonies tattooed in a Japanese style. (My ears rang for days afterwards).My Head
I dealt with metastasis twice after that. I had many surgeries and endured many treatments. Today, I wear my scars with pride. Here is a picture of me dressed as Mother Nature. It’s one of my favorite pictures.
Eventually, the kids grew up and moved away and started their own lives. I worked more overtime to be able to afford my new snazzy car and my husband was busy being a journeyman electrician. We ate out a lot and watched TV to unwind at night. There wasn’t any time for vacations or much of anything else. That was until my husband died unexpectantly, after almost 30 years of marriage.
Unbeknownst to me, my husband had taken on more debt and had let the life insurance lapse. I was left alone, without a plan, with no future. Life just sucked. One night, several months after his death, I was watching TV when it dawned on me that I didn’t even like the show. It was just habit, what we used to do.
I had an epiphany that night. I realized I didn’t know who I was or really what I wanted to do with my life. I had spent my life compromising so much (evidentially, that’s the key to a successful marriage), that I had lost my own identity. I was in my 50’s with no clear cut plan and shortly, not even a pot to piss in. All I had was my income. The money I’d been using to pay most of the bills, was coming from the savings account that was drying up fast. Everything we had worked so hard for, the bank owned. We were stuck in the bigger is better cycle. All I saw in my future were payments. Payments for “stuff”, that as it turned out, I didn’t even really want.
I sat myself down with pen and a notebook. What dreams did I have before life swept me away? What would I regret if I didn’t get to do it? Where do I see myself in my golden years? I almost filled the entire thing. It took me awhile to whittle down some realistic choices, even if they did seem “crazy and far fetched”. This wasn’t a time to play it safe. I’d already done that. This was a royal opportunity that most people would never get in their lives. A chance for a complete do-over!
First thing I did was book a flight to Central America for myself and my grown children. We arrived with nothing but a passport, an arrival and departure date and backpacks. We sat off with no itinerary or agenda other than traveling through the rain forest (Did I tell ya, I did the whole thing in sandals?). For weeks, we slept and ate where we could. We ran across a fella who told us about this new thing called a zip line (minus pesky American safety standards). I’ll never forget travelling above the rainforest on that line or seeing a sloth from 20 feet away. Life is made of memories, better make some good ones.Zip Line
When we got back to the States I decided I was going to sell everything I could, surrender the vehicles, cash in my retirement, pay off what debt was left, buy some land in the middle of the woods and build a house there. And by golly, that’s exactly what I did. I lived in my husbands boy scout pup tent for several months while building my house. (I’ll save that story for some other time.) The beginning of my homesteading lifestyle took a deep hold.tent
Today, I’m a plump (My doctor told me, it’s better to be a squirrel that stores away nuts for winter, yada yada, something.) big ball of awesome sauce. I have the most delightful gray hair that I’m letting grow out. I love wearing it in pigtails. I wish it would just turn white already, that would be cool. I don’t wear make-up, my boobs are down to my waist (not really) and I just gave up drinking diet pop, my last addiction. I still hear it calling my sweet name.IMG_1902
I look forward to sharing my adventures with you. Some will be serious, some educational, and hopefully a few wacky doodle stories thrown in for good measure (Like the time I showed up to a friends house in a different state with no pants on.) But, that’s for another day.
Onward in Strength,
Mary Lotus