Embracing My Crazy Life

“How does life get this crazy?” my friend Lori asked this morning, as we were trying to find a time to meet and plan a pollinator garden.

I knew her question was rhetorical, but I wanted to answer anyway, to remind both of us that we’re choosing to spend our time in positive ways. “Life gets so crazy because we’re both active and involved people,” I texted back, “which is a good thing.”

Lori recently retired from a career in healthcare, and her days are filled with family, tending her horse community, and projects to benefit the community, like the pollinator garden.

I am retirement age, and although I have retired from the work of re-storying houses because it was time to settle, I am not likely to ever retire from writing or ecological restoration. I still have things to say, books and ideas circling in my mind, and I am still engaged in removing invasive weeds and helping heal and restore my patch of this earth.

Which means my life will continue to be a bit crazy. I’m finally embracing that, because I have realized that I love what I do and I’m not going to change.

Here’s a brief summary of my crazy life since I last posted on this blog, two and a half months ago:

• I researched and wrote the story of a photographer’s life and work for what will be a truly gorgeous (and fascinating) photo coffee table book to be published this fall by Portfolio Publications. That work involved dozens of phone interviews and weeks of organizing the material into a coherent narrative, as well as writing and fact-checking photo captions, plus writing the jacket copy, pull quotes, and front- and back-matter. Over 20k words in total, in less than three months. Whew!

Book jacket for the photographer’s book. Book and jacket design by Jenny Barry of Jennifer Barry Design.

• I drove six and a half hours to Colorado to guest-teach restoration ecology for a class in environmental ethics taught by my friend Evonne Ellis at Western State University in Gunnison. While I was there, I visited my house in Paonia, did some yard work, and gave the house some love. (And said hello to some bighorn sheep.)

Bighorn sheep licking road salt from the eastbound lane of US 50 by Blue Mesa Reservoir.

• I dreamed up and started filming “Weekly Wildflower,” my new series of one-minute-plus videos that profile local native plants and their relationships. I shoot each live on my morning walks, and they run on Wednesdays.

Click the link below to watch a sample “Weekly Wildflower.”

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You can follow me on FB, Instagram, or Twitter to see the videos. Eventually they will migrate to Substack and come out as weekly newsletters. Once I figure out how Substack works, that is!

Sunrise from the porch of my cabin at Ring Lake Ranch. It’s a glorious place!

• I spent two weeks in Wyoming, mostly at Ring Lake Ranch, the spiritual retreat center/guest ranch were I worked the past two summers. At the ranch, I worked on eradicating invasive weeds, either by pulling them up outright or spraying them. And then I headed home to Cody to hang out with friends (thank you, Connie and Jay!) and soak up the sagebrush country in spring, resplendent with Indian paintbrush in bloom.

Northwestern indian paintbrush blooming in the McCullough Peaks east of Cody.

• I was barely back from that 2,000-mile roadtrip when I learned that the latest offer on my Paonia house (there had been several, but none had made it to closing) was actually going to close the following Friday. So on Thursday afternoon, I set off on yet another road trip to western Colorado, spent one last night in my Paonia house, attended closing, and drove the seven hours back to Santa Fe Friday night tired and very relieved to be home for good!

My sweet Paonia house this spring

• Last week, I set up my recording studio in my closet, and began narrating the audiobook version of my memoir, Bless the Birds. This project has been nagging at me since before the book’s publication two years ago, but I wasn’t ready until now. I had forgotten how much I love narration, and the seductive lure of telling stories to an invisible audience. So you can think of me in my closet, headphones on, reading away.

The recording studio in the corner of my closet….

These are not easy times, to say the least. But I am happy. I embrace my crazy life because I am doing useful and positive work, and I have wonderfully supportive friends and family. As I wrote in Bless the Birds, I am old,

I have lived through loss, fear, and pain. I am still walking forward, still finding joy in the lives around me, human and moreso. Still loving.

That’s the key: Still loving.

My hope for you, dear friends, is that you are also still loving this life and this planet. And that you are still working on positive contributions to our communities, each other, and our Earth, no matter the difficult times. Thank you!

12 thoughts on “Embracing My Crazy Life

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Carroll, Thank you. I can’t not write memoir, though I have neglected this blog for other projects for the last couple of months. But I will write more regularly!

  • I am always inspired by your fierce embrace of living in the now and finding meaning in your daily walk. I am happy to hear you’ll post more often to let us know about your projects. I look forward to your audio book, Susan. You are one of my heroes!

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Joyce, I am honored by your words, and to think that I’ve inspired you. Thank you! I am finding so much joy in my life and work right now, despite these difficult times. Or perhaps the difficult times help me value what I have. Blessings!

  • As you well know, my friend, I don’t always read your blogs right away. But your Facebook teaser was so spot on for me that I read this one just now and was nodding my head and agreement on so many things. Thank you so much for continuing your various practices of connecting yourself with the world and for all the wonderful work you do to help this world. I love you my “crazy” friend. From your equally crazy friend.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Dear Carolyn, I am honored that my words spoke to you, because you have always seemed to me someone who walks so thoughtfully through life. I cherish the times we spent at Crestone, and the connections we’ve shared. One of these days, crazy and loving and wonderful friend, our paths will cross in person again! Much love to you.

  • Congratulations on embracing what might be called either crazy or passion-and-direction. Yup. That’s what it is–crazy from the outside, passion-and-direction from the inside.

    You’ll figure out Substack as soon as you have a few minutes to focus on it. (My sister writes there: Meg Mahoney. She’s very perceptive.)

    And hurray on your Paonia house finding its new people!

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thanks, Deb! You know about craziness in life and work…. 🙂 As for Substack, I don’t have the brain bandwidth to figure it out now. After I’m done narrating Bless the Birds, I’ll turn my learning-new-things energy to Substack and taking “Weekly Wildflower” to a bigger audience. And I’ll go back to work on the book-in-progress. But for now, it’s narration and wrestling with GarageBand. Hugs to you!

  • Thank you for sharing your journeys–always inspiring to see how you find understanding and grace in the ordinary moments, some of which would defeat most of us!

  • Oh Susan! I loved hearing you read your Wildflower Notes. Your voice is engaging and kind—I felt how well you understood these participants and their role keeping the desert life rich and alive. I might have spotted the pollinator, but not that she was nestled among hundreds of other flowers. I won’t soon forget that.

    My husband is failing quickly these days so your “Bless the Birds” has been a close companion. Thank you. I am crying and laughing alongside you on a path you tread with heart wide open.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Oh, Susan! I am so sorry that your husband is failing so quickly. Know that I am thinking of both of you and sending love as you take this journey. May your heart hold you on this path, and may you both feel each other’s love even when words fail.

      I am honored that Bless the Birds is a companion for you right now, and that you took the time to watch Weekly Wildflower. Joy is where we find it, especially in times when our heart hurts and our spirits are weary. Be kind to yourself! Warm hugs, S

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