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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

how a single spoon taught me about life…(and thoughts on being a stripper)

 

Ever since we drove out of town and headed toward our new place in Southern California, life has been…well… interesting. I won’t bother to explain how we never met up with Patrick in San Luis Obispo despite our planned stop-over, because that sudden change-in-plans was only the first of many along the way.

But in the process I’m proud to say that I’ve become an existential stripper. A shedder of all kinds of things, but mostly rigid paradigms. A goofy Sandra Bullock character hanging clumsily on a dance pole as I toss out one Lovely Expectation after another to an amused universe.

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“Ok.. what else? !” Sandra yells to the air. “You want this one too? Why not?”

To perfectly honest it’s all just life.  A confusing mix-up that lead to a missing dryer. Patrick in another city. Silverware that’s still sitting in some mislabeled box.

You know how it goes sometimes.

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Although I do have to admit that the one Ouchy loss has been the complete absence of any internet and TV service since we’ve been down here. Apparently, while we were plowing through our final moving details we neglected to do the proper homework on the best internet-television providers for this area. And when we finally figured it out we got an installation date that was days away.

Which has made a profound difference in how I’ve been experiencing all this newness.

Can you remember the last time you went seven days without easy access to the outside world?

Seven days…

With no bustling news reports streaming in the background, no convenient blog feeds on my laptop. No spontaneous emails to my friends and family. In fact I can’t remember the last time I stared at a black, dead computer screen for so long.

(Is it sacrilegious to thank God for my laptop that I can take to the closest Starbucks?)

Because honestly, even my trusted IPhone is having glitches receiving emails and FB right now.

The point of all this is not to complain but to tell you how uncharacteristically quiet this transition has been for me. Whether I like it or not, all my busyness in the form of unpacking, cleaning,  shopping, organizing, and getting chronically lost while driving, has taken place in an atmosphere of steady silence. Which feels completely foreign to me.

Not having access to some basic items (imagine life without TV and the internet) has helped me realize just how cozy my previous life was in my 3,400 square foot home with all my collected stuff. And it makes me wonder, “When did I get so comfortable with having so much?”

It’s a good question to reflect on.

Because even if it’s temporary, I’m learning that there’s value in having to give things up. Losing all the luxurious space of our old home is an adjustment. Keeping most of our belongings in boxes is awkward. Having to endure this unexpected disconnection from social media with all the warm chatter of news and blog feeds and Pinterest has been difficult.

But you what? It’s humbling, you lose things and you gain things.

And these kinds of bumpy inconveniences have been good for my soul; they’ve given me back a sense of joy for the smallest pleasures. Having to hang wet clothes over boxes so they’ll dry, made me downright giddy when we finally plugged in our dryer. (And feel empathy for those who don’t own appliances) Being lost on new streets is frustrating, but it’s also an invitation to keep moving through the world in a powerful, interesting way.

Tomorrow the internet will be back in our lives. (Hooray!!!)  But not before I take a moment to acknowledge the unforgettable clarity I’ve had during these early days in our new city.

Maybe you can relate to my ten random thoughts:

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a sample of my farewell party décor, lovingly created by Mary & Kirsten

 

1.  Gratitude has the power to cancel out sadness.

I didn’t know that before relocating. But it’s hard to feel weepy and clingy to people and familiar places when you’re operating from a general state of feeling damn lucky.

Someone asked me if I was going to be sad at our farewell party and I honestly worried that I might. But then I walked into Mary’s front door and gazed at all the touching decorations and saw the meticulous planning that went into our beach themed party and I was speechless. I simply felt too overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of my friends to be sad.

2. If you really have to, two people can function an entire week with only two plastic forks, one plastic knife and a real spoon. 

Every day we re-wash the same utensils (I keep planning on finding the silverware) and everyday I’ve been surprised that we get by just fine. It’s funny because we think we need so much to live, but there’s a profound difference between what we need and what we want.

And when life is going along smoothly it’s easy to get these confused.

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3. I don’t need a big yard after all.

Maybe it has something to do with our sudden proximity to the ocean… but my old vision of a ‘nice home’ (big, inside and out) is changing dramatically by the day.

 

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4. Moving into a smaller home will mean parting with a lot more stuff..

For an antique lover-and-thrift store-bargain-hunter like myself, this has been hard to think about. How do you choose which special “find” goes?  But recently, when Oprah decided to have a garage sale to get rid of some of her most beautiful belongings, I was inspired by her viewpoint. 

I mean if Oprah can do it, I can do it.

 

5. When searching for Open Houses on the real estate market you really should read the dates of the Open House very carefully.

True story. Saturday we drove up to a house on the husband’s list and parked outside. The door was closed, but no big deal. I knocked lightly and entered and Jim followed. We noticed the real estate spec sheets for the house on the entry table but the house looked dark and not to my taste. I moved to the window to see the view while Mr. Moss gazed over the room, looking uncomfortable. “Where’s everyone at?” He whispered. We kept walking toward the patio when I suddenly spotted some Barbie dolls lying all over the couch and a man outside doing yard work. And we froze. Without a word, we turned and rushed out so fast that Mr.Moss dropped the home’s spec sheet in the hallway. And once we were in our car we never laughed so hard. Especially after he read that the actual Open House was for the following day.

 

6. All my fancy-schmancy china. 

Do you know that I never once used the beautiful Royal Doulton china that I got for my wedding?

I had this epiphany while packing it away again.  Pu-leeze. If you have something in your closet or attic or where-ever you save things for a ‘special occasion,’ find a way to enjoy it right away. Life’s too damn short to save the good china.

 

7.  Right now I’m reading… THIS book by a recovered anorexic because I recognized one of my old patients in her words.

 

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8. I just downloaded… this new IPhone app that will allow me to get creative with my IPhone pictures.You might like it.

 

If you ever feel shy about owning your success, ask yourself: What would Meryl do? <br />Source: Mashable

 

9. I stumbled on… the official tumblr blog of  Leanin.org and immediately became a follower. It’s a blog filled with powerful messages for women…

like this Meryl Streep one: don’t be shy about owning your success.

 

10. Bummer. I stepped on my favorite glasses today and now I might have to get these.

very chic don’t you think?

Well that’s all for now, the internet will be back in our lives tomorrow and I can’t wait to connect with you all again! I have the most incredible followers in the whole word and I feel so blessed each time you visit here.

Stay curious my friends,

 

xo

Leslie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 comments:

Art and Sand said...

I just downloaded the app and am playing with it.

When we downsized to our little beach cottage, I gave away so much "stuff". I worried about missing things, but I honestly don't remember what we gave away.

The first post I read that says you are settled is when I insist that we get together for lunch.

Good luck settling in, finding your real utensils and learning the roads.

Oh yes, and in finding a home.

Blondie's Journal said...

It is amazing how we can get by when we are not encumbered by material things, but also that comfort zone of knowing how to get from place to place, who to count on and the fact the realization that although it's painful, technology can be set aside for a few days (like the silverware!).

I hadn't realized you had off and moved already. I must have missed some posts. Are you in a temporary place? Whatever...I wish you much luck, my friend. Keep us posted!

XO,
Jane

michele said...

so much wonder and wisdom here, leslie, and i'm swingin round the stripper pole with you. cleaning out the closets feels so liberating, and living with less feels spiritually right. best to you as you hunt for your new home. man, i could use some sunshine and would love to tag along for those open houses (omg, your mixup is frightening/hilarious!).

peace.

michele

Vannessa@Luxuria said...

When I left my home in the UK to go and live in Spain, everything I owned went into storage. Eight years after (when I stopped paying storage insurance because everyone told me it was a waste of money and like a muppet I followed), the storage company disappeared off the face of the earth. Everything from my home was gone; all wedding gifts, wedding photos, furniture, clothes…….you name it, it was gone. I cried for about 1 week. Six months later if you asked me what I missed most, the answer would simply be photos. Apart from some treasured photos, I can't even remember half the stuff that went into storage. Since that time I have become ruthless at shedding things and I think my life is richer for it. Why? I try and focus on creating memories rather than things, and that is exactly what your new adventure will be about; memories by the ocean;-) Thank you for your lovely comments over at mine Leslie; they really were so heart-felt xx

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh Leslie...you ARE having an adventure, aren't you? Not always fun...but learning and doing...and something new everyday. I loved reading your post and your reflections! XO

Calypso In The Country said...

I guess every new experience can make us analyze something in our lives. I remember last year after Hurricane Sandy, we had no power for 12 days! Even though we had a generator, it was just used for the basic necessities. I remember how exciting it was to be able to do a load of laundry...and wash dishes in the dishwasher. It was so assuring to hear that hum of the appliances again! Keep us posted on your adventures! Enjoy your weekend!
-Shelley

Chris said...

Hi Leslie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I always think I could live without tv, computers, phones, etc, but when I'm without them for more than a few days, I admit that I DO need them. I like the way you're embracing the changes coming your way, Leslie. Good luck house hunting!

Heather Lindstrom said...

Good morning Leslie-I've been wondering how your move and settling in has been going for you. I relished this post and the process of making such a transition. Despite the feelings of loss for the previous cozy life, I hear excitement and adventure. There is something very freeing about clearing up the clutter. Looking forward to hearing your next chapters my friend.
xx, H

Sheepskins fairylights said...

Lovely you're back. Great post, your words ALWAYS resonate with me :-) Xx

Carla from The River said...

Always enjoy your posts.
I love the glasses. Let us know if you do get them.
xx oo
Carla

Lori said...

I just read that Oprah link and wow ~ makes sense. We talked about this a couple of years ago that we have too much stuff! I have been getting better in paring down and sorting through ~ hubby not so much. We go without Internet and tv at the cottage and I love it ~ mind you it is by choice and I think the longest we have stayed down is 4 days. It is crazy how attached we have become to being plugged in all the time. Glad you had a good party ~ happy weekend xoxo

Cathi said...

I downsized many years ago when I moved down to So Cal and it's been very freeing to me. It's nice not being a prisoner to your "stuff". Going without modern conveniences even for a short time, makes us appreciate things more doesn't it? One of my fave things to do in new areas is to get myself lost, that is when the adventures begin! I hope you're enjoying your new home. Happy weekend to you! xxoo

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