Another Move...Another Lesson
Seven years ago I left an empty marriage to a good man.
I moved into the in-law apartment of a good friend that summer. It was a tiny two-room place that her little guys sometimes forgot someone was living in.
It was perfect.
Then I moved into a small sublet in a working class part of town. My landlords were easy, my neighbor lent me her can-opener that fall and her shovel that winter, and while there was no air-conditioning, the place almost always seemed to have a breeze.
On my final steamy night there, I awoke to flashing lights on my wall. Five police cruisers and an ambulance sat in the parking lot, while police hovered over a man who'd been stabbed by his father during an argument.
A sign that I had made the right choice and it was time to go.
Still, my time there was perfect.
My next home had a state-of-the-art kitchen, an office, more than an acre of land, and birds that sang to me every morning. It was just as I had imagined.
Six weeks ago came the news I knew would come one day. It was time to go. My landlords- who lived in the attached in-law apartment, could no longer care for so much property and it was time to sell. I had a month to move.
Perfect. Plenty of time.
As I write, I'm sitting on the floor of my new apartment. Part of a complex in a nearby town, it's much smaller, which meant I had to part with a lot.*
Air conditioners hum outside my window and footsteps pad around above me. Occasionally a dog barks.
I have to jiggle the toilet handle because it keeps flushing if I don't. My kitchen is a galley with a total of 4 feet of counter space separated by the stove and sink.
During the search, we looked at a total of two places. This was the one that felt right.
15 years ago, I would have panicked. One month?
How do I find a place in one month?
I have so much stuff! Where will I put it all?
For days, I would have traveled back and forth from apartment to apartment, looking for the right one.
But none would have felt quite right. Each would have something wrong.
Maybe it's the wisdom that comes with wrinkles and gray hair. I suspect green smoothies have something to do with it. Pretty sure it's the gratitude, though.
Eight years ago I started to notice all the things going right in my life, rather than focusing on what was going wrong. I began to wake every morning saying thank you for another day of being alive.
A client taught me to say it again when I drove back into the driveway.
I began to understand that no matter what choice I made in life, there would be good parts and bad parts, and that I could handle either.
So I let go of overthinking.
Today I cleared out the last of the boxes. I'm watching the rain fall outside the window, without making a sound. There are no air conditioners buzzing at this very moment.
Just quiet rain falling.
I swam in the heated pool yesterday and you'll find me in the little gym here every morning.
It's often empty.
My neighbor stopped in to welcome me and brought a 2016 animal calendar as a gift.
*Stay tuned for another post about what I learned in letting go. More than a hundred photos, and more than a hundred books. It was emotionally draining...but I did it.