"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anais Nin

The truth to this quote astounds me at times. It's sort of been the catalyst behind this blog. My life expands constantly, a vast and inviting landscape of rolling hills and lush fields of opportunity and awesomeness...all because I vow to live bravely and with passion. 

I sat down this morning to pull another crossed off item from The List and tell you the story of how I came to do it. But as I sit here, sipping coffee and wrapping a blanket more tightly around me, I realize I'm smiling. And I realize that this is not unusual for me.

I often find myself driving along in the course of my day, smiling. Alone but smiling. I often find myself getting ready in the morning in front of the mirror, smiling. Alone but smiling. I often find myself curled up in my living room, comfortable and tired, smiling.  

I have no list of complaints...no regrets...no disappointments. I shocked someone the other day when in the course of our conversation he discovered I was a widow. It reminded me of the time at my old job {link is to that post from my old blog The Cat Widow} when someone who knew I was widowed actually FORGOT during a conversation with me only 3 months after Rick died. Well, just the other day someone who only met me after the commencement of my widowhood, found out and was shocked...simply because I'm joyful and complaint-free. The look I got began as sheer surprise...which quickly changed to pity...which was replaced with curiosity. And we told stories...and we smiled. And yes, my husband is dead, but life is good.

My old blog The Cat Widow may have chronicled my daily grieving process, but the tagline was always: Tomorrow may bring pain, but it cannot steal my joy.

But back to courage. It's a strange thing to say, but even I almost forget I'm a widow sometimes. It's not that I forget what's transpired in my life. It's just that the word doesn't seem to describe me anymore. It's a label that's still accurate. And it's the box I have to check on legal forms. But it just doesn't fit the woman typing this sentence right now. It has nothing to do with being young. It has nothing to do with having a truly fantastic significant other. It has to do with courage.

Being a widow made me braver...and now I often have the courage to leave the word behind. 


  1. Arielle, you are absolutely amazing. Keep smiling and writing, i love all of your posts and have followed you since your blog you had before the Cat Widow. Im so pleased to see youre happy and loving your life!


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