Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu

No U TurnIt’s over. We let go of our house.

In the end, I hardly shed a tear.

I’m relieved that it’s over. So many dreams; so much money. All gone now. But I’m so busy moving on and creating our next chapter that I have little time for regrets.

The strangest thing about selling your house is the moment you hand over the keys to someone and they stand there expectantly waiting for you to leave.

Leave? My house?

You are waiting for me to leave MY house?

But it wasn’t our house anymore. Now it’s their house.

It’s weird imagining someone else cooking in my kitchen while their guests sit around chatting at the big island I designed.

Will they ever put in that skylight I’d always wanted?

It’s odd thinking about these strangers taking a bath in MY tub and stepping out onto the heated tile floor I’d insisted on installing.

Will the new owners keep up the shower glass that my husband and I religiously squeegeed after every single shower?

Will they enjoy the tasteful and soothing Benjamin Moore White Satin blue I’d agonized over for hours and hours before finally making the commitment, or will they decide it needs to be painted puce?

Who knows? Who cares? It’s not my house anymore. I wish the new owners well.

And I hope for the sake of all that is good and holy they don’t paint that gorgeous bathroom puce.

Tears in Heaven

I thought I handled the house thing pretty well, but the worst was yet to come.

The day after we handed over the keys, as we were unpacking, my little 13 year old bichon, Jean-Luc, fell seriously ill.

For all his fluff, Jean-Luc was one tough little guy. A few years back he’d survived a serious mauling. And then a couple of months ago he became very ill and we found out that not only did he have diabetes, but he had a large bladder stone that needed immediate surgery. He came through the surgery with flying colors, and seemed a lot perkier with his twice daily insulin shots.

But that night, as I cuddled him in my arms surrounded by moving boxes full of crap that won’t matter to anyone someday, he looked up at me and made it very clear that he had had enough. He spent his last night suffering in a lot pain, and at 11:15 the next morning I took him to the vet where he went quickly and peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge while lying in my arms.

Jean-Luc

I’m going to miss him so much.

Freedom. Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose?

What makes a life?

It’s not our stuff.

Going through nearly 30 years of accumulated belongings, Jeff and I faced hard decisions about what to keep and what to throw out.

As with everything else that stays or goes in our lives these days, we based our decisions on love. Over and over again we held up some beloved treasure, or accumulated detritus, and asked ourselves, “Do we love it?”

If the answer was no then into the good-bye pile it went.

Jean-Luc would not have gone into the good-bye pile, but I wasn’t given a real choice there.

Sometimes the choices were brutal. My husband let go of an old tuba he’d had for many years, and I pared down the children’s artwork even more.

The secret was to see these things not in terms of their sentimental value, but as obstacles standing between us and the life we are dreaming of. We are in full-on dream mode these days.

The only thing we know for certain is each other.

Having gone to the wall with and for one another two years ago, we’ve determined that our love for each other must be the determining factor for everything that stays or goes in our lives.

The question that must be asked and answered by both of us in the affirmative is, “Does it serve us?”

If it doesn’t serve our own personal growth and the sanctity of our marriage and our future together then into the good-bye pile it goes.

Our Lives Become the Choices We Make

Later today, I’m leaving for my next travel nurse contract. Making money is a big part of my contribution to our future together. We have big dreams that are going to cost a lot of money, and both of us need to focus on making money these days if we want to see those dreams come true.

These next 10 years will likely be my most financially productive, and I need to make the most of them. Having taken off 10 years to raise my kids, and spent another 10 working part-time, I have a lot of lost income to make up for if I’m going to avoid ending up penniless like my mother.

Our future financial security, and where and how we want to live as we get older, consume much of our thoughts and conversations today. Our years of living for our children are over. Now is the time to focus on us. What do we want? And how are we going to make it happen?

The future seems bright. But on the way to the future, it seems that there are an awful lot of painful good-byes.

Jean-Luc2

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IMG_20131204_123253_087Okay. There. I said it. I feel much better now that I’ve gotten that out in the open. I know a mother is NEVER supposed to think that her child’s love interest is good enough for her precious booby-woobie, but this time my son done got himself a winner.

In case you’re wondering what my son will think when he reads this–HA! As if he pays attention to anything I have to say–let me reassure you that he’s already heard this from my own lips.

I love J. She’s delightful in every way, and has the additional benefit of not being named Emily.

We’re so glad the Emily years are over! And may I say that the months of Danielle weren’t so hot, either.

I’m not sure that J and Wolfie are going to make it (I fear not. They are too young, and I’m sensing that the planets are not quite aligned, yet), but if J is a sign of trends in women to come then we’re definitely on the upswing.

J is helpful, kind (she works at the Humane Society, for goodness’ sake), pretty, sweet, AND she was homeschooled which means she’s read actual books. This is like a homeschool mom’s dream come true.

What I love about their relationship is how much time they spend talking to one another. This is new. Because, based on Emily and Emily 2.0 (and that yukky Danielle), it didn’t seem like conversation and mental acuity was high on my son’s list of priorities when it came to women. I’m glad to see that as his frontal lobe seems to finally be developing he’s now showing an interest in the minds of his female companions. It gives me hope for my grandchildren.

J is bright and shiny like a new penny, or a ray of sunshine. She’s different from the dark and moody girls we’ve endured lo these past 9 years since puberty. Finally! A girl NOT on psychotropic medication. A mother’s dream!

And don’t think that I’m not aware that my son has purposely been lowering and lowering my expectations all these years. His father did the same thing to his mother so that by the time I came along my husband’s mother was just glad that I had all of my teeth.

J can cook. And she doesn’t have a ton of special dietary restrictions and food pickinesses that drive me crazy. ((I know. Pickinesses is not a word. But I’m old and can’t think of real words sometimes, so I just have to make them up.)

Danielle was a yoga instructor and she’d only eat yogurt and wheatgrass juice, and I think Emily 2.0 claimed that she could only eat raw birdseed and bananas. And only the bananas on Thursdays. It was a bitch trying to feed her on family holidays. Although I really should post my recipe for banana-birdseed dressing on Pinterest.

J will eat whatever you put in front of her, or at least she knows how to make you think she’s eating it like any person raised with table manners knows how to do.

J is proof that girls mature much faster than boys, and that boys eventually do grow up and start thinking with the bigger head.

I keep wanting to pull her aside and say, “Honey, you’re too good for him.” But I don’t want her to leave. In fact, if they break up, we’re keeping her.

Sorry son. We love you to pieces, but this time you’re out of your league. The girl is just too good for you.

 

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