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I’m still adjusting to LWS (life without school). I love having time to myself now. I love not having anything to do. Life at home shouldn’t be about deadlines. Truly being able to relax for the first time in six years is incredibly wonderful.

I’ve been spending my days of LWS just decompressing. I was lucky I was still functioning by the time school ended. I was so burned out and so tired all the time. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I wasn’t eating properly. I’ve messed up my digestive system so badly that I’m now on a gluten free, lactose free diet to try to get things to settle down again. I’ll eventually add food groups back in, but for now it’s nice to have things on an even keel.

I ended the week by visiting a tattoo shop. I had two tattoos already, and the same tattoo artist did them both. Unfortunately, she’s on a medical leave of absence. I took a leap of faith and when I said I wanted a tattoo, they asked if I wanted it done right then, I said, “sure”. I ended up with a very nice guy named Danny. Going on impulse again, I asked to have the lyrics from a favorite song tattooed on my arm.

IMG_0183Yes, I like my music loud and with a harder edge. A song called, “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx:A.M. spoke to me. It has a line that mentions, “there’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive”. While I understand that this actually refers to a heroin overdose, it reminded me that it took my father’s dying when I was 28 to finally make me look around and realize I was wasting my life sitting at home every night, and if I didn’t change something, I was going to end up very much alone. His passing is what pushed me to get up and get out of the house and find someone to love. I met my husband when I was 29.

So my newest ink is in reference to the fact that life truly is beautiful. It’s also meant to be lived.

My mother would never have approved of me getting tattooed. She objected to pierced ears. I had to wait until I was 21 to get my ears pierced. Two ladies I worked with took me on a lunch break to an ear-piercing jewelry counter at a department store located downtown near where we worked. Years later, at a different employer, a coworker got a tattoo, and I always wanted one. I was married and out on my own at the time, but I still hesitated because I knew my mother would have been disappointed in me.

She passed away when I was 46. It took me quite a while to get over losing her. In fact, it was during a bit of a midlife crisis when my Hubby pushed me to think outside the box and do something different to change things up. I got my first tattoo – the heron on my ankle when I was 50.

FullSizeRender(3)The second tattoo came along when I was 53. Having gotten one, I decided ‘why not?’ on a second one. I do believe that once you get one, you get more. There’s something about the experience. I won’t lie. It hurts. It hurts a lot. But there’s something addicting about the pain Yeah, I know. I’m a sick puppy. The second tattoo was my Aquarius waves glyph on my left arm.

IMG_0207(1)So my third tattoo was added at age 57. It sits on my right arm.

IMG_0190(1)Am I done? I don’t know. Tattoos are kind-of like having babies. You forget the pain. It just takes a while (for me) to do so – usually a few years! Maybe I’ll get my next one to celebrate my 60th birthday. We all get our thrills in different ways, I guess. I’m just thrilled to be here and thrilled to be happy and relaxed for the first time in many years. Life is truly beautiful.