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
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.
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.