Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear Life. I don’t like this lesson. Not one bit.




Hello friends.

It’s been a hectic ten days and to be honest, I don’t even know where to begin. Every time I think of my blog I’ll have a post in my head that I plan on writing, and then poof! The topic suddenly feels outdated and is replaced by the latest happenings in my fluid, changing life. And of course, nothing gets written.

So today I decided to just start writing and this is what came out. Yep. Just a few things that I’ve learned lately and maybe you’ll be able to relate.

Here it goes:

Lesson 1: Having your best friends sell your home

is a blessing 

(thank you Kirsten and John)

In case you’re wondering we had our second Open House and it went well. I don’t want to jinx anything so I’ll share more later when things are definite.


But I actually had fun staging our home with fresh flowers and a less cluttered approach.

Kirsten was our realtor-hostess for both the Open Houses and I never realized how reassuring it would feel to have a friend standing in your place when strangers meander through your rooms. She has her own memories of parties and laughter and fun times in our home and I think people felt her happy connection to our home.


Our first Open House was during December when it was all dressed up for Christmas and Kirsten told me that we had visitors staying an unusually long time, just checking out the decorations. It’s been fun to listen to her descriptions of people and to hear their comments about my house. Don’t you wonder what people would say about your home when you’re not there? Luckily, the comments have been mostly kind.

I’ve even gotten several sweet emails from women who have walked through my home and gotten my blog address from Kirsten.

Emails like this one:

Hello.  I also live in Gold River and first noticed your home in Gold River Online, all  dressed up for Christmas, and I just loved it.  Yesterday your house was on OpenHouse, so I went by to see it in person.  What a wonderful decorator you are.  The realtor told me about your Blogspot, and I have just spent some time taking a look at your ideas and comments.  I just love everything about it.  I don't know where you are moving, (noticed in this morning's Gold River Online e-mail that a sale is pending - good luck) but I will follow you through your Blog.  Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with those of us who need some help. Mary

(Mary, where ever you are-I hope this little beam of happiness you sent me

finds its way back to you)


Lesson 2: Closeness does not mean Sameness.

This month has been a reminder to me about healthy boundaries. Because sometimes conflicts happen that require you to draw a line and state very clearly, “this is where I end, and you begin,” and we are different. And that’s perfectly fine.

Sometimes we have to remember there is a difference between closeness and sameness. And just because you have a ‘close’ extended family does not mean that everyone shares the same views, opinions, values and feelings.

You can love your family dearly, but still disagree on major issues. And you should never be made to feel guilt or pressure for being ‘different’ from other family members.

This was a life lesson that took me years to emotionally learn.

You have the right to make your own decisions without guilt. You have a right to make choices without having to always explain and justify your stance. Because the truth is, intrusive people who love you are still being intrusive, even when it’s disguised as love and concern.

Enough said.


Lesson 3:  Even when I think I’m in control…

I am not in control


Ok universe. How many times do you have to remind me?

Right after we signed papers with John and Kirsten over a bottle of wine, we headed down to Huntington Beach to celebrate Michael’s 19th birthday with him. It was his first birthday away from home and I felt a tremendous pull to be with him.

Unfortunately our three whirlwind days were filled with one stressful moment after another, so I won’t even bother to list them. Although one of the highlights happened when my cell phone was stolen during our short meeting with a realtor. One minute we were inside an empty house, and the next minute we were making a mad dash back to the highly congested spot where I dropped it.

And of course it was gone.

But because I had never synched my phone up to iCloud, (what the heck was iCloud ?) all my text messages (throughout the high school years) and photos were gone. Luckily, I had uploaded most of my photos to my home computer, but those text messages represented a chunk of life that is simply irreplaceable.

And yes. I moaned over this loss. I got outraged by the unfairness of it, did my usual second-guessing and re-tracing my steps over and over until it hit me. Maybe this is my lesson right now.

Because this is what Life seems intent on teaching me these days.

Things will come and go and even when we think we’re clutching tightly enough to our dearest possessions and our loved ones and our physical beauty…so that we avoid loss at any cost, life has a way of reminding us that attaching to things ultimately causes heartache.

It’s something I grapple with. Even though life is always changing, it’s not the shifting winds that causes me problems, it’s the holding on and insisting that things stay the same.

I don’t like this lesson, Life.

Not one bit.

But at least I’m learning.




Can you relate to any of this?

I’d love to know.




I’m partying with these friends:




Pam Kessler said...

OMG, I want to be that girl in the last photo. Holding onto the train waiting for it to slow down enough to jump off. Love that photo! You are so lucky to have someone who knows you selling your home. Hope it all comes together for you!

Art and Sand said...

I hate, hate, hate - the experience of selling a house. I hope never to have to go through it again.

I am hoping that your sale goes through - can't wait to get you in southern California. We are going to meet (wow, am I being bossy) at the Brentwood Country Mart, because KC says it is just too cute and fun.

I HATE, HATE, HATE people who steal. My phone was stolen, by a student, on the last full day of school - the day before I retired. My son turned on Find My iPhone and tracked the thief walking down the street with my phone. The principal is a fantastic person and he figured out who had stolen it and went to his neighborhood. His words were, "Mrs. Cook has spent 24 years teaching in this neighborhood and tomorrow is her last day of teaching. Are you going to allow the theft of her phone be the last thing she remembers about teaching at De Anza?" The boy gave him the phone.

I hope the sale, packing, move and relocation go smoothly for you.

Debra@CommonGround said...

I saw the title of your blogpost and immediately felt the connection to all we're going thru right now. For the last several years I've had a "word" for the new year, but this year, no matter how I cringed, the only thing that settled in my spirit was "let go". Fear and Freedom came with that phrase. I'm hoping there's a great contract that you'll be sharing soon, then on to the good stuff!

Cathi said...

The universe has a funny way of showing us who the boss is....haha...Glad everything is ok, despite some stressful moments. That last photo could have been me 35 years ago, that was what my daily uniform looked like back then. Have a fabulous week ahead, Leslie! xxoo

michele said...

i sure do. i became bitter about an issue on saturday (my pride/feelings were hurt) and realized that this is a very rare occurrence for feel bitterness, and that actually helped me recover gratitude more quickly. and then sunday my husband and i called our son at college to check in with him (on speaker on our way to the gym). he told us one of his friends had died just hours earlier. she planned to head over to his apartment and then went back inside to retrieve a scarf. it appears she slipped in the bathroom, breaking her neck. she was found 30 minutes later. i wept tears for her, the family, her friends and also tears of conviction. how easy it is to lose perspective and allow our circumstances to steal joy. i know you understand this well because your post begins with beautiful gratitude--the best antidote to fear and depression.


Unknown said...

Hello my friend,
You have so much going on with selling your lovely home, the impending move, the changes as your family grows up. I'm so sorry about the phone-I mean the loss of the texts. That's a heartbreak-and yet I bet you hold the memory of those within your heart. I'm with you on the setting boundaries-it's not always easy but it is so vital, especially at this stage in life. I know Gold River well (we have friends who live there) so I'm sure all will go well with these next stages of selling. It's an adventure for sure. I just posted on our recent trip to LA/Santa Monica/Malibu and it's still true-we love LA. I'm excited for your next chapter but I know it's a nail biter right now.
Hugs, Heather

Leslie said...

Leslie.. sounds like you've had a rough couple of weeks. This is a wonderful post and we can all relate on one level or another. The stolen phone, gratitude.. and close does not mean same. We should not harbor guild .. you really nailed that one! It's tough lesson. I could go on and on about all my lessons;) I think for me it's acceptance. Some people never change and we need to learn to find peace in what we have.


Blondie's Journal said...


I feel you and I should get together over a nice long lunch and discuss our lives. I spent more than the normal amount of time blogging today just to get my mind off several things that I'm having terrible issues with right now and you outlined each and every one in this post. I am so understanding the closeness/sameness situation right now with those I love. Why does everyone have an opinion for/about me when I have always been one to stand back, not pry, not judge. When I make mistakes, why am I not treated with some form of understanding? Why am I surrounded by people who believe they know more than me, and if they do, they certainly haven't learned common respect, understanding and loyalty.

I've always placed family first. Without family, what do you have? When they fail you, you feel very alone and lost.

I read a quote on a blog today, "You Are Stronger Than You Think". I keep repeating that to myself today. I don't know what else to do.

I wish you all the best with the selling of your home. I know it must be a relief to have your friends, who have a bit of an emotional attachment to it, doing the work. And your phone, you were violated. You had personal data (for lack of a better word) on it. It does scare me though that we do invest so much in those itty bitty little things and we can lose them so easily, or worse, have them stolen. Makes you think.


Something Nice and Pretty said...

I can so relate...I'm happy you have a friend to sell your home I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


You are so right, life does have a way of getting out attention.

I am excited for you to sell your home, obviously not as you, so that you can move on to your new adventures.

Families are sometimes a challenge and it is so hard, especially for me to set boundaries. But as I age I find that I simply do not have the energy to deal with the drama or their advice even though it may be well meaning. That said I also realize that even though I believe will all my heart that the advice and help I am offering them is sometimes unwanted and that no matter how hard I wish/want them to listen they won't and I can either be angry or accept that it is their life.

Life is so very short and precious and I find that as much as I treasure sentimental objects that in the end it is the memory imprinted on my heart and mind that means the most.

I am praying that your house sells and that whatever is going on with your family is something that does not cause too much long term friction.

Take care and be well,


AntiqueChase said...

your house is dreamy and to die for and I hope by the time you read this, it will be under contract!!
Happy new year! marcy

Jennifer said...

I'm sorry to hear about your rough time. And loosing your phone on top of everything else!! Why is it that some family members just do not understand boundaries?? My challenge is letting go of the controls, because I'm not really in control, I just think I am. Hope all calms down for you. Hang in there. xo

Pamela said...

Love your blog and writing!
I'm a new follower and I'm also a friend of Pam's :) !

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

You have a lot on your plate right now, Leslie. Selling a house is such a stressful time, but it sounds like that is coming together for you now...I am thinking good thoughts for you! The family stuff is the hardest though...well, because it's family! It can be so stressful! Over the years I have HAD to learn that I can't control another person, but I can control how I respond. Easy to say, I know, but it does help to try to remember that. The phone is the icing on the cake. I once lost all of some very special photos of a family destination wedding. I was SO sad, but I began to realize, that while I lost the photos...the memories were mine. It actually was a big lesson about material things in my life.
Life does just pile it on sometimes...but everything seems to work out as it should in the end. Take some time to relax and do something special for you...XO

Tamera Beardsley said...

My dear … your lesson three … i could barely read this one through my tears. This one seems to bring me to my knees … again and agin …

Having spent much of my life as a 'controller' … this realization … that there is little I actually can control… save maybe deciding my outfits and decor … has been heartbreaking in it's realization.

But sometimes …if I truly can give into the idea … at times there is a breeze of relief … as I have suffered most of my life with being overly conscience as well. The accepting that everyone has their own soul to grow … and lessons to learn … some days … I can find a bit of comfort in … the letting go ..

I too, save each test message … just to have a link back. I did however choose to let go of all of them when my son lost his phone … realizing some links are better than others :))

I send you loving hugs my dear. Thank you for sharing your lessons … so glad to not be learning these painful lessons alone


Donna@anangloinquébec said...

I think you are living something right now that is a culmination of all the stress and emotion of selling your home. I know that type of stress can have a far-reaching effect for me on everything else that is present in my life. It seems to reach out and trip me up as I make every attempt to move forward.
Just the fact that you list all of these scenarios as life lessons reminds me of your ability to pick yourself up and move forward. I have always admired that quality Leslie and you seem to have it down.
I too had my iPhone stolen. I had such mixed feelings. At first I was angry at my own stupidity of setting it down, turning to dry my hands in a public washroom and turning back to see it gone... and then I was so disappointed that someone would do this. Really stunned and at a loss. I did have it hooked up to iCloud but the battery was close to 0 and apparently if they remove the SIM card then iCloud is of no use. So, it never was traceable and I never got it back. Frustrating.
I hope this sale goes through quickly for you Leslie. I think the waiting and the not-knowing and the what is next can become hard to take. Hang in there girl!

Gypsy Heart said...

You really do have a lot on your plate right now and I do understand. Selling a home is very stressful and I'm glad you have your friends to handle this for you. It is a beautiful, warm and inviting home so I know it will all work out well.

You kinda know about some of my family stuff. :( It's not fun at all and yes, respect is a requirement in my opinion. Sometimes our close friends are more "family" than blood relations.

Last year was pure hell for me so I pray that this one will be good for both of us! I'm so grateful to have found you and your blog ~ at least the Universe smiled on that! Sending positive energy and peace your way.


karen@somewhatquirky said...

Well one thing I cannot relate to is having a phone available for text messaging when I was in high school! But everything else I can totally relate to and can't help but feel somehow proud for you that you - someone young enough to have a cell phone in high school - have figured these things out. I know that it doesn't make it any easier to live in it, but your perspective is a gift and will help you move gracefully through the rest of this time.

Carla from The River said...

Praying for you. I do know how you feel. Having a hard January as I type this. My grandma passed away Wednesday and we had a car accident on Saturday. No one was hurt bad, just bumps. Thank God. Our truck will need repair. It is the emotion...sometimes you just feel deflated.
xx oo

Burlap Luxe said...

Beautiful words, beautiful photos that inspire life, beautiful future. Bravely take that leap keeping us posted in where you land. Your home is charming as I could see myself having a hard time leaving.

Thank you dear new friend for sharing your heart, and having a good experience in selling, it's always exciting to here what one says and feels about your home, and what I see in photos I too would have been in awwwww! at the open house of your home.

Thank you dearly for taking the time to visit, and best a comment that joys my heart.

Blessings in your days ahead.


Lori said...

That just sucks! Why are there people out there that take things that do not belong to them. Feeling you need a hug and wish I could give you one. xo

Unknown said...

Lovely Leslie...Hold on to the words 'you have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life'...sadly nobody escapes change. Years ago our house was burgled and so many of our possessions were taken; it was heartbreaking, but that is all they were possessions...the things that truly matter are those you carry in your heart...nobody can take those away from you.
With my love xx

Irene said...

Say that again, for me! But, you know, just let go, and make room for the NEW!...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...