What a year! A wedding. A divorce. Selling a home. Buying a home. Losing one life style. Nurturing a new one. Saying goodbye. Saying hello. Dark nights. Bright mornings. A roller coaster ride to be sure!
In my late 50's and thinking that I had mastered the art of living with enough experience to pass it forward, I blinked... and life turned me into a student. And its most important lesson was that all of us have within the ability to be stronger than we think. So, I am standing here to tell you, if your resolve is tested, and you find a door closing, find an open window...and climb through!
And in the multitude of changes of these past 12 months, there are two defining, breath-taking moments I'll keep with me always. Actual times when there was a catch in my breathing pattern. One, was observing my oldest son's expression as he watched the love of his life walk toward him on their wedding day in June. The blue sky, sandy beach, the salty air added to the perfectness of this life changing moment. For both of us.
The other was observing the pride on my youngest son's face as he closed and latched the door on a rented moving truck and headed to settlement on his new home. Our addresses separate for the first time in his life. And in mine. Knowing I too was packing, he hugged me and said "Let's do this Mom!" And so I did! A few months later, I sold a home at 11:00 in the morning and bought a home at 3:30 in the afternoon!
In 2013 I was "schooled" as the kids would say. I did things I never thought I could do. I learned things I never thought I needed to know. Yes, I made some mistakes. But I also made some gains. And along the way I even picked up some tidbits to pass forward:
- Know when you're about to fly solo, and being conscience of a budget, while packing the contents of a four bedroom colonial to move, the size of the moving truck is not the place to economize.
- When you're standing in your new home, surrounded by boxes of pictures, clothes, dishes and cookware...it's on you. So don't hesitate to pull in every favor that is owed!
- And since you will never know when you will need them, stay in good standing with your family. They will make the difference. Trust me here.
- There are only one or two things you can't do without a man, but there is almost nothing you can't do without quality duct tape!
- When you're full of yourself after taking carpentry courses at Home Depot to fix up your new place, remember there is a difference between masonry drill bits and those used on wood. Remember this before you leave the store and go home to put on sweat pants...which don't flatter anyone.
- It is a real joy to select all the paint colors for your new home without compromising with someone else's preference. To stand with paint chips in your hand and say "I'll take this one and this one..." is exhilarating. BUT only buy a quality product that already has primer in it. You don't want to have to paint twice! (This one should be highlighted)!
- When you are picking your lifelong friends, select a couple tall ones. They come in handy when scraping wallpaper.
- ...But be careful of their choice of beverage.You're the new kid in town. The contents of your recycle can will be judged.
- And remember, no matter how tired you are, the car key remote will not turn off the TV, so don't ignore the horn blowing outside.
- You have to go through a divorce to really appreciate country music.
- Most important, if you don't already know how, learn to pray. It always gives you someone to talk to when your alone. And the results are amazing.
I entered 2013, knowing major changes were ahead and completely apprehensive as to what they would bring. I enter 2014 living in a home that I love with an independent lifestyle that I am embracing. A sidebar to this whole New Year's thing is that January 1 is my birthday. A date, in spite of its personal significance to me, I usually hate because it brings an official end to the holiday season. But this year, for some strange reason, I am eager to put away the decorations. Eager to throw out the eggnog and that strange cheese ball thing. This birthday girl will be looking toward the sky and waiting the ball to drop! (Just please, 2014, don't let it be on my head.)
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!