Never Leave Your Heart Alone

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
And it's open for distraction 
You found all the words you need 
Well, I found nothing 
I just grumble 
'cause I don't know what I feel 

The moral to the story goes 
Never leave your heart 
Never leave your heart... alone 
-Butterfly Boucher 

Last month, my uncle had major heart surgery: a valve replacement, a bypass, and a pacemaker installed. One of his valves had actually never functioned properly and because his heart condition was something he'd been born with, rather than something he'd developed, his physicians recommended anyone else in the family who had something slightly "off" with their ticker look into getting an echocardiogram. As luck would have it, I was born with heart murmur and my mom was adamant that I inquire after my needing an echocardiogram at my next doctor appointment.

After having my annual physical last week, here's the boring good news: my heart murmur appears to have resolved itself sometime between my preteens and now. Although I seem to have a mild tendency towards hypertension, my heart is just fine.

Even if my heart's ceased murmuring (and to be honest, it never made any cool "swishing" sound, it was just really loud) this is no time to stop listening to my heart.

And lately, that heart has been whispering, quietly and persistently, that it's time to shake things up a little bit, that it's time for . . . change.

I've been re-reading some of the Anne of Green Gables books lately. (Okay, not the best example of change since I've been reading these books over and over since I was ten.)  I stumbled upon a little nugget of wisdom in the final chapter of Anne of Avonlea:

"'Changes ain't totally pleasant but they're excellent things,' said Mr. Harrison philosophically. 'Two years is about long enough for things to stay exactly the same. If they stayed put any longer they might grow mossy.'"

Things are growing a bit mossy around here. It's been two years of the same job, same house, same boy . . . and these are good things. This spring will likely mark the second spring without any major travels. And as  someone who spent her first few years out of college in a new house every six months, there's something discomfiting about two whole years of sameness.

As it appears that I'm not destined to become an overnight fiction writing success nor are millions of dollars are going to rain down from the skies to allow me to spend my days canning, gardening, and writing in the comfort of a home I actually own, there's little I can do but keep plugging away. As an acquaintance told me the other day: the only way to keep moving forward is to keep moving forward. The issue with moving forward at this point in my life is that sometimes that forward motion happens so slowly that I begin to suspect I'm just going in circles.    

They say a rolling stone gathers no moss and so when my friend Betsy ask me in all seriousness -not in that dreamy, sighy "oh wouldn't it be lovely" way that we're so prone too - if I'd accompany her on a trip to western Ireland next April (2013), I listened hard to my heart. And in the possibility of returning to Clew Bay and the little hamlet where I spent 14 weeks as a college student, a place not far from my Irish ancestors' hometown, I found that change in the everyday, that something "big" to look forward to that I've been searching for lately.

 Is there money for such a voyage? Not yet. Is it too far out to really, really be scheming about such things when so much could change between now and then? Probably. Is it a good investment? Not from a literal "portfolio" sense. But as investment in myself, in dragging myself out of the "blahs," and keeping the aforementioned hypertension at bay? Yes. Yes it is a good investment.

Hang on Ireland. I'm coming home.

Never, ever leave your heart alone.


  1. great decision! And I think it will help with the "same" days of drudgery, too... a little dream...

  2. Ada, I absolutely LOVE this. Love that you are strongly considering it, love how you wrote this post and your whole approach to life/change. Understanding that sameness is good but that you recognize the longing for something to look forward to...some adventure. I'm happy for you and I find it inspiring for myself!

  3. I am SOOOOO Jealous! I think a little heart rejuvination is right up your ally and I'm living through you on your Irish Adventure!

  4. I know what you mean, I get that feeling too. I always describe it like Bilbo Baggins does in referring to the Ring's effect on him, "I feel like butter scraped over too much bread." I think a trip to Ireland would be WONDERFUL!

  5. You summed it up perfectly. I can't wait for us to go.

  6. Love it! And I hear you on the feeling like things are the can be difficult to get excited about things coming up. Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one that obsessively re-reads the Anne of Green Gables books. I think I know some of them off by heart :) I just finished re-reading Anne of Ingleside yesterday, and Rilla of Ingleside before that :)


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