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