My Best Life

Yesterday my supervisor at work said “you really know how to live your best life.”

This quote has stuck with me ever since, and it has been repeating in my mind while snowshoeing today on Mt. Hood. (I’m typing this in a snow-covered forest while standing in my snowshoes, because if I don’t write it now, I won’t write it!)

You really know how to live your best life.


I suppose I do. I have traveled around Europe and the UK for the past three years, petsitting for lodging and working as a digital nomad for income.

I had to go to Europe.

…at the end of a failed marriage to a man who was no longer my husband due to a TBI, which happened after surviving multiple assaults, I felt I had little choice.

Travel and survive, or stay and die by my own hand. The suicidal ideation was crippling; the confusion, devastating.


Still, I’ve written and spoken about this at length before, and I don’t need to do it again….

Now there are more joyful things to talk about, as you can see in my last few posts, including my amazing partner, Brian. I’m still grateful every day for him, his love, and his kindness.

Now I’m technically no longer digital nomad. I have settled down with Brian in Portland, and things are going so very well. It’s so wonderful to have a home and family again.

While I will still travel and petsit, I will do it for shorter periods of time. Instead of traveling full-time, I will travel about three months a year, probably breaking it up into three separate trips of a month each. This is because Brian will be traveling with me, for at least part of the time, as we can work it out with his employer.

In fact, my life is so very full now with Brian, friends, French conversation groups, dance classes, snowshoeing, painting, and full-time work! I’ve had to pull back on tracking just to make room for all of the things!

I’ve sold paintings (plural) and have been commissioned for pet portraits, too. I’ve many patron on Patreon, and you can support me there, for as little as $1/mo.

I went to Texas for the first time in three years, home for the holidays for the first time in six. Met a friend I hadn’t seen in over 30 years.

This is why I haven’t written much in the last several months.

Picking up from July, Brian visited me while I was petsitting in London this summer. He came over for 10 days, his first time ever. We had an amazing time.

After that, we’ve done great things in Portland, as we usually do together. We both love the urban life. We’ve gone to the symphony. We’ve sampled different restaurants and cocktail bars. We’ve gone to the theater & cinema. We’ve solved puzzles and attended OMSI after dark. We hosted an epic party for Halloween inspired by Harry Potter, as you saw my last post. (I still haven’t written the continuation!)

We enjoyed a staycation for my birthday in this magnificent city. We are enjoying a quiet holiday season together, for which I am so grateful I cannot even find the words. After being alone on Christmas for the past three years, it means so very much to have a special man with whom to share it.

I am indeed living my best life, and it is so good here in Portland with Brian. It’s sometimes shocking to remember how drastically different it was just one year ago.

Another quote has stuck with me for the past week:

There’s nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.

~Hannah Gadsby in “Nanette

Damn fucking straight.

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