Split in Two (when no decision is a decision)



June 21, 2019

Dear Friends,

My sister Marilyn recently traveled to Scotland and sent me a photo of the “Praying Hands of Mary” (see photo above) which is located in the longest glen of Scotland, Glen Lyon.  It is also known as “Fionn’s Rock” and the legend is that Celtic hero Fionn MacCumhaill (Finn McCool) himself split it into two with an arrow.   When I saw it, I literally put hands to mouth and muttered to myself, “If ever there was a photo representation of my life right now, this is it!”  I received the photo at a time where I felt split in two; on the one hand wanting to be in Northern California to help with family, and on the other hand desirous of spending quality time in the Coachella Valley desert with husband Dan.

Truth be told, I have spent a considerable amount of time worrying whether or not to keep my apartment in the San Francisco Bay area.  I’m one of my Mom’s main caretakers and she’s an 8 hour car trip away from the desert – but thankfully, the route is much shorter by plane.  God Bless my two sisters, Linda and Marilyn, who live fairly close to her and are devoted and dependable, but they need help and as the eldest,  I don’t relish all the responsibilities falling on their shoulders.

Here is my soul, ha ha —

I admit I’m lucky; I have two places that I can call home right now – the small senior apartment in northern California and a little retirement home in the desert.  I wring my hands often to determine if I should keep the expense of the apartment up north.  It allows me my own space when I am up there, sometimes a month at a time;  yet it is a bit of a financial albatross.   Of course, I can’t just look at the bottom line –  going north to be with family is something that my heart calls me to do and it is joyful and fulfilling to be sure!  I’ve managed to keep this bifurcated life going for 8 years.

I thought I had the situation all settled and a decision made.  I was going to give up the apartment and let the chips fall where they may; then Mom was hospitalized and I had to fly up north on last minute notice.  A woman that I know rather casually in my NorCal ukulele group listened to the account of Mom’s illness and sent me a nice email the next day which was food for thought:

“My Mother’s health began to decline considerably starting at age 89 until she passed away at age 93 in fall of 2018. I needed to spend more and more time helping her. I am wondering if you might want to consider keeping your apartment for a few years because you might be coming up to San Francisco more often than you imagine. I hope your Mother lives to a ripe old age in good health, but you never know.”

I admit I’ve had a lot of fun commuting between these two magical, mystical places – it’s been a merry ride:


I do know that when decisions don’t come easily or aren’t apparent right off the bat, more time may be needed.  Sister Linda is fond of saying, “My decision at this time is to not make a decision.”


“Today I know that choosing not to decide IS to decide. It can be very liberating to make a decision. Once the choice is made, I can trust that the consequences will unfold as they should…. I can await them with excitement and hope instead of fear and dread…When the time seems right, I will make the best choice I can and allow myself to enjoy the results.”  (Courage to Change, page 134)

I love that: await the outcome of decisions with excitement vs fear!

Here are my heartstrings – all 8 of them that factor into my decision. The song of their individual soul is each a captivating, heavenly and angelic tune that pulls me in like a helpless moth to the flame. No wonder I feel so split!  My dear friend Suzette says I’m not split in two; I’m split into eighths!😂

“Go to your bosom: knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.” – William Shakespeare

Hubby had wanted to move me to the desert during a softball break in the fall but in light of Mom’s recent health crisis, it seemed too soon.  Knowing that his softball season runs all year long (!), I asked him if there was another time, perhaps next spring, that worked in his schedule.  He thought about it and said how about late May when there’s only casual pick-up games?   My ears perked up, my heart lightened, and I replied, “Hey, I like it.  The apartment lease renews June 1 and we always get a rent increase.  YES, that sounds like a plan.” 😄

And then I skipped away happy in the notion that I have an 11 month reprieve.  I think I can manage to stay split in two (or eighths) and balance the checkbook for a little while longer.  Anyway, the sun shines quite brilliantly between those cracks, if only I will look within and acknowledge that an inner sun (Higher Power) is guiding my way!


I saw a quote the other day and it really captured a philosophy that I try to live by having faith that all is well and all will be well.  It said, “It’s all okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  And isn’t that what my wise daughter Meg recently counseled me about:  “Mom, you worry too much, things always work out!”

When decisions don’t come easily, may you find the light in your cracks and fissures!

It’s easy to find the light today, Summer Solstice, that longest day of the year with the MOST LIGHT — when the sun is at its highest position in the sky all year. It may hang lower in the sky or higher depending on the season, but the sun rises in its grandeur and majesty every single morning as a steadfast reminder that darkness is always followed by light. We can count on it.

Thank you for allowing me to share what’s on my mind and heart today. ❤️

Happy Summer Solstice!

And… a happy 39th wedding anniversary to hubby Dan and me, whooh! whooh!

Love, S.G.













25 thoughts on “Split in Two (when no decision is a decision)

    • The 39 years have indeed flown by and I shake my head in disbelief. It goes to show how important it is to enjoy the present.

      I can’t wait to catch up with you over that lunch that is overdue.👌😄👌



    • Dear Maria
      As a doting Grandmother yourself, and one who was also devoted to her Mother when she was alive, I know you understand. It’s hard because one can’t get back any time so we have to take advantage of each moment and make the most of it.



  1. Love this! I’ve also learned if it isn’t a “Yes!” it’s a “no” at least for now. The Yes we can feel in our body heart and spirit. Not so much the mind. Happy anniversary sis! 😘 We are so blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great comment! You have so much wisdom and thank you so much for sharing it with me.

      I’m trying to fill all of this in my heart, and even my heart is split in two! 🙀

      Love U Sis,


  2. You and your husband are so adorable! Happy anniversary. Making decisions has been so difficult for me since I retired— small ones and big ones. You have a dilemma but how wonderful you have reached a decision to stay the course for another 11 months. I am waiting for clarity before I make a decision and like you said—no decision is a decision unto itself

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Molly,

      Great to hear from you.

      I’ve been advised by wise friends that it’s good to wait for clarity. I completely agree. I went through this before retiring; my decision to retire was agonizing and I went back and forth for at least a year. I thought I’d reached some clarity but still I was unsure. However with that decision, it was definitely one where I needed to make the decision and then get excited about outcomes that would ensue. It’s what we make it, right!

      Loved hearing from you,



  3. Happy anniversary! I guess there are worse things than to be split between SoCal and NorCal! I love it here down south, but my brother and sister-in-law live up north so I always have somewhere to stay. If you can manage it, try to keep your San Francisco apartment. It’s just one less thing to worry about when you are caring for your mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comment and wisdom. We’ll see where the tea leaves and wind blows!

      No it’s not necessarily a bad thing being split; Northern California has always been my home but it’s gotten terribly crowded at least in the greater Bay Area. I never dreamed I would find myself in SoCal except the desert is pretty mellow and a fairly quiet place to retire to! Less congested and less of a rat race than the San Francisco area. But isn’t that what we hope for in
      retirement – to cultivate a more relaxed lifestyle? At least I do.

      You are an angel for stopping by!



  4. Happy Anniversary, Susan. I hope you and your hubby have many more years together! I can understand very well your feeling of being split in two. I am sure your mom appreciates the time and effort you are devoting to her care! I know you will make the correct decision in due time. You don’t have to be in a rush to decide!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Laurie

      I sincerely appreciate you stopping by and sharing your wise woman wisdom🙏😍🙏

      My Mom is so grateful and as a result it’s such a pleasure to be there for her. It wasn’t always this way so it’s a miracle. I love all my family so much so yes it’s really hard to be so far from them, but I am also happy to be retired in a more laid-back place! I know God has a plan and it’s unfolding. I just don’t know how the story end.

      I love not rushing to the finish line and trusting and having faith- it’s not easy though.



    • Oh thank you Rosie. J had a heck of a time trying to post it but I persevered. Just like we do with our personal growth and recovery – persevere one hour , one day a time!

      Thank you so much for reading!



  5. Hi Susan, Interesting how the Universe sends us messages. Interesting how a photo can resonate with us. A picture says a thousand words.

    Thank you for sharing your soul. Sometimes “a burden shared is a burden halved.” You are surrounded by much love and support. I love when we get advice from our daughters. I have sayings from them that have helped me and I hold them close to my heart. You have received wonderful advice on how a decision can be to not make a decision. Times gives answers. Your gut gives answers.

    Your photos are brilliant and appropriate for your story. I trust the light will continue to shine on you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear E/E,

      Yes very wise words you speak. I’m so glad we are open to our daughter’s wisdom! My only daughter is a blessing and very grounded and practical.

      Yes I believe a burden shared is a burden halved. Those who participate in Alanon (for the family and friends of alcoholics) would hold that saying very dear. For many, they have nowhere to turn and sharing in the rooms of Alanon becomes a life saver. They are surrounded by compassion and support they didn’t think existed. This is how I personally learned to get in touch with my feelings on a deeper basis and express myself with more clarity and confidence. I came to admit that I could not do it all alone. And guess what, an angel of the blogosphere such as you and Donna (Retirement Reflections) prop me up when I need it most.

      Every time I solve one issue, another one pops up! 😂 We are never done and we are always tested. Your words and wisdom mean a lot to me! Thank you for taking the time to write them! I will definitely take them to heart ❤️

      Love S.G.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Susan,

        The saying, a burden shared is a burden halved came from a friend at work many years ago. Your photos of the splitting/halving of the stones reminded me of this saying. Extremely kind words from you. 💕 Got me a little choked up. I, too, have met very kind, supportive people in the blogosphere, even the short time I have been here. You and Donna are definitely two of these souls. I think we are more vulnerable and exposed here, especially when we tell stories from our heart. I find it easier to express myself in writing versus talking. Likely the case for many of us that write our stories. I do agree with you that our lessons are never over. With time, we possibly learn better ways to handle challenges with continual growth and learning from each other. We also know our priorities and have fun along the way. Thank you for sharing your soul. You are a kindred spirit, Susan. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan: Sorry I am a little late in my reply but you know how it goes when you are busy as we are with grandkids and the gym!! Happy Anniversary first of all!! I hope your mom is doing better. Sorry I also have not contacted you! Your blog was very interesting and joyful as always!!! You always have so many interesting things to say. As far as you staying longer in your apartment in Pacifica; you know my thoughts on that!! I am so happy to have met you and enjoy our times together at the gym and/or at Nicks! But I totally understand your situation. I know whatever decision you make will be right for you and your husband at that time. Just remember I am always one of you great and probably newest friend in Pacifica!! Please keep writing these wonderful blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bonny,

      Sorry for getting back to this comment a bit late myself. I was hosting my 14 year old grandson, and his best friend, here in the desert. Every day was a whirlwind – there was golfing, hiking, golf cart rides for ice cream, World War II Air Museum, and a private bi plane ride just for the boys! And lots of lots of eating!! Mexican, sushi, pizza, hamburgers, Chinese. Oh man, do I need to exercise!

      But I wanted to thank you for your great comment. Thank you so much for reading. As my life stands right now, I’ll still be going back and forth so we’ll still able to grow in friendship!

      Your friend,
      with love,


  7. As always, your posts are just like talking intimately with a dear friend, and that you’ve been to me these many years. I just returned from crazy three months of preparing for, getting through, and now collapsing, post-conference, and how nice to sit a while with your thoughts, Sue. Right now, a “big decision” looms and how to handle it rents a lot of head space, but here’s my approach: I know “it’s there,” I’m ready to tackle it, but when and how? I wait for signs. My prayer is “put it in from of me at the right time, and I’ll follow through.” Meanwhile, maybe God splits us into eighths because there are so many aspects of our lives to learn, grow and enjoy. It’s so nice not to be alone, and you keep us all company, dear Sue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Suzette,
      I just loved the “rents a lot of head space” phrase! Wow, that about sums it up. The best part of me trusts that the signs will be there when the time is right, and that all I need to do is put one foot in front of the other and trust in God to show me the way. This I know with my heart, but sometimes the ego/the frail human part of me, wants to argue and have the upper hand. At the end of the day, I do sit with a calm heart, saying the Serenity Prayer, and asking God for help and guidance.

      It’s certainly an adventure and right now I’m simply open to possibilities, changes and detours! God always surprises.



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