11 May A house, an ending and a beginning
I haven’t been able to write for the last several weeks–getting my house ready for sale would be the easiest excuse–the cleaner, less emotional answer. The truth is that this whole decision to move has created all kinds of unexpected emotions. It was a smart decision and one I made of my own free will a few months ago. The house is too big for one person. I want a simpler life. I want to be debt-free. Now I find it’s a matter of needing to let go and move on. And while that sounds so practical and wise, it’s awfully damned difficult.
With a signed contract (fingers crossed) and 79 days left in the house, I’m in the midst of an identity crisis. Or is it a housing crisis? I can’t actually ‘see’ myself anyplace else. There are bound to be plenty of options but it’s more than just finding an available spot, it needs to feel right.
So, I ran away; I’m at the beach. Proximity to water always seems to open me up. This morning’s writing brought forth a couple of “aha” moments. The house, my deceased husband’s childhood home, has been a place I’ve loved since the first time I laid eyes on it in 1975. Forty years. It has been my home for the last 16 years. I’m leaving, I’m finally closing a door on that part of my life. I’ve been grieving without understanding who or what I was grieving for–until this morning. Myself. The life a young 22-year-old woman expected as she walked down the aisle. The life that kept bumping up against big obstacles and challenges. I find myself in a “Now what?” place.
The idea of leaving this too-large house, becoming debt free, and living a less cluttered life seemed inspiring at the time. I hadn’t expected to feel so emotional (and a little lost) in the process. I’m having to let go of expectation. And, a large dose of judgment about what my life ‘ought’ to look like.
What the hell does life look like at 60? I have no concrete answer to that. Life is what we make of it. And, I’m giving myself the greatest opportunity of my whole life, really. I get to create whatever I want. I get to take care of me—finally—without fretting over what ‘people’ think. No rules, no expectations, no restraints–and that’s scary as hell if you’ve lived a somewhat controlled, vigilant life.
I’ve done one round of uncluttering and scaling down–in terms of personal possessions. Now it’s time to dig deeper. To open doors and examine it all. This house selling isn’t as much about the house in literal terms as it is swapping out my old life for a more satisfying experience suited to who I am right now and how I want to live for the next 30 years.
I will figure it out, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m looking at housing options, trying to intuit what feels like the right fit for this next stage. I am reminding myself that this is an exciting opportunity. Change can be challenging and much of it is about attitude. Shifts can create an opening for unexpected new delights and challenges. I remind myself that I should be grateful to have this opportunity.