Finding My Way Home

I Need Someone To Set This To Music

Finding My Way Home

Every day, it’s something.

Life just pushes you along.

Moments pass so quickly,

like the words of your favorite song.

All along I wonder:

Is this where I’m supposed to be?

Every day brought me closer

to this person I call “me”.

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                All our life’s a journey;

paths you choose alone.

Step by step move forward

until you find your home.

 

Each path is so different.

You’re hoping it’s the one.

Yet each time there’s something

that says “No, you’re still not done.

Keep moving forward.

I know it’s hard on you

But hold on, you’ll get there.

Then, you’ll know just what to do.”

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                All our life’s a journey;

paths you choose alone.

Step by step keep moving

until you find your home.

 

Well all at once it happens.

There’s a vision I can see.

Everything I cherish

is right in front of me.

I can see flowers blooming.

Birds are singing their sweet song.

Someone out there listened

and put me right where I belong.

And when this moment happens,

all the doors seem to open wide.

“This is your home,” it’s calling.

Go ahead. Step inside.”

“Oh the journey’s not quite over.

There’s still lots for you to do

But trust me, this is the moment

that’s been waiting here for you.

(Chorus)                                                                                                                                                  All our life’s a journey;

you’ve never been alone.

Every step you’ve taken

put you right where you belong.

All our life’s a journey;

you’ve never been alone.

Every step you’ve taken

put you right where you belong.

The Stress Of Moving

Dr. Wayne Dyer, in his book “I Can See Clearly Now” wrote about ending each day by thinking about all the positive things that happened during that day instead of leaving the day with anger or frustration.  He called it “Now I lay me down to sleep”.  He talked about how if we fall to sleep thinking about everything that went wrong with the day, it negatively affects our sleep. So then it’s logical that if our thoughts are the opposite – all the good things that happened during the day – then we can enter into sleep with a positive sense of peace and then it’s peaceful thoughts that fill our dreams.

The Stress Of Moving

Develop A Plan

You know, I’m a teacher at heart.  I like having a lesson plan.  So, when I entered into buying a house I had a plan.  And, everything was going according to that plan.  Then, I actually was able to move up the closing date which gave me extra time to make the house just perfect before I moved.  So, I set in on arranging to have the walls painted, the floors refinished, and electrical work done with time to spare so that I could actually move some things in early.

Gather Necessary Resources

And in the beginning, everything was on track.  I have a niece who agreed to paint walls. My daughter’s brother-in-law could fit me in to do the electrical work and I found someone who not only agreed to refinish the floors  but also offered to install a pocket door over a pantry and add a closet at the front entrance.  I was so excited that I came straight from the closing and started pulling up carpet.

I gathered packing boxes and did research on the cost of my top priority items.  I then laid out a time table with the amount of time I had available, bought the paint, ordered the pocket door and scheduled it for pick up and kept working on that carpet.  My hands and arms ached from pulling staples but I didn’t want anything to slow down all these great people who had so willingly found time in their schedules to fit me in.

Thrilled is an understatement.

Carry Out The Plan

I’ve been packing for a month, here and there.  I like to take my time with things; clean things up, get rid of things, sort things into the right box so unpacking will be easy. And, I take care of grandchildren so I can’t pack nonstop.  I like it paced out slow and easy.

Each of my “sub-contractors” checked in with dates and times when they would arrive to begin their work.

My plan was humming along.

Be Flexible

Now I’m going to tell you that not everything always goes according to plan.  Every teacher knows that and adjusts. Still, it’s hard not to get frustrated and anxious.  Will everything get done on time?  Not everything is getting done as fast as promised. My time to get some things in ahead of time is running out. Still I keep moving forward.  Time to order the refrigerator and microwave.  This is exciting.  It can be delivered on Saturday.  Can I be there on Saturday?  Absolutely!

Be Gentle With Yourself And Others

Saturday comes.  The kitchen is in disarray.  The stove had to be moved out of the way.  It was sitting in the middle of the floor. Chunks of drywall and wood needed to be bagged and pulled out of the way from the pocket door work. The wall where the refrigerator will go needed to be painted.  The floor needed to be cleaned. I didn’t have the microwave there early enough to have it installed by the electrician. He had everything else done.  I should have ordered it sooner.

My niece came to paint the wall even though there was an impending weather event.  She got as much of the kitchen painted as she could before I forced her to leave before the roads got bad.

The refrigerator was delivered…damaged.  They didn’t even take it off the truck.  The microwave that I ordered is too big for the space.  It needs to be returned as well.

The pocket door is half done, the floor refinishing is waiting, the front closet is waiting, and I still have more staples to pull!

I looked around at everything disheartened and so I just turned and left.

End The Day With Positive Thoughts

“Now I lay me down to sleep.”  Let’s see.  How can I end today on a positive note?  Easy.

Dear God,

I want to thank you for Rhonda (the painter).  Do you know she came today even though she knew the roads could get bad early.  She came because she had promised. Then when she left, she even loaded her car with excess carpet remnants to free up space in the garage.

Then there is all that electrical work.  Rick (the electrician) had someone cancel this past week so he was able to come both Tuesday and Thursday.  He has taken special care to make sure my house will have the right outlets.  No more extension cords. The outlet is ready for the microwave when I get the right one. He even said that he would come back next week to add an additional outlet on a wall in my new office just so I can add the right kind of light next to a chair.

Earlier in the day, I got to attend a music class with my grand-daughters.  It is the best hour of each Saturday.  Happy little kids.  Proud parents and grandparents.  It always leaves me feeling blessed.

And then, when I locked up the house for the day, I drove to Best Buy where I had ordered the refrigerator and microwave.  I asked to talk to a supervisor (a suggestion from my daughter).  I told him the whole story – the refrigerator came damaged, the microwave was too big… He could hear my frustration.  He said, “Let’s start at the beginning.  Let’s talk about the microwave.”  So I said that I clearly ordered the wrong size.  It will look gigantic over the stove and hang way too low.  He then broke into this little smile and said “You know we have this new microwave design.  I haven’t even put it out on the shelf yet.  It’s that new.”  It’s 10 inches shorter than the other one and will fit fantastically in my kitchen.  Then he said that we would have to reorder the refrigerator and make things right (with the price) because of my inconvenience. I left pleased.

After thinking through all the positive things that happened over the past days, I fell asleep at peace.

And I Slept Like A Baby

Is everything going smoothly and perfect.  No. But, there are lots of things that are going well. Regardless, in thirteen days I will be moving in.  Ready or not, here I come. And I am going to trust that everything will actually get done on time…maybe with a little time to spare!

No Pictures Yet! No One Needs To See Chaos 🙂

 

Fate? Is That What This Is?

Opening Doors

It’s happening again!  I was presented with a door.  That’s how I like to think of big life decisions.  My opportunity.  My choice.

Do I open the door?  Do I step through? Or do I stay on this side of the door?  Safe. Safe from fear of the unknown. What do I do? I think of how many times I may have been presented with a door and I didn’t open it.  Fear is a powerful thing.

I think of the times when I did attempt to open the door and something would happen that stopped me from stepping through.  I had thought the time was right  but something told me “No, not this one.  Not this time.” So, I backed away.

Then there are those times when I felt pulled through the door…let’s say ‘guided’ through.  That seems less harsh.

So Here It Is Again

I’m going along with my life, feeling relatively content yet not quite.  I keep poking at the edges of home ownership.  Twice, I have come close.  Twice, I backed away committing to myself to just let it go.  I’m not young anymore.  I’ve owned homes.  There are advantages to renting.  I haven’t mowed a lawn or shoveled snow for the last five years. Owning a home comes with commitment and obligations, so I was resting back into contentment with my comfortable rental space.

And then it happened.

My daughter and her family moved to a larger home to make room for their growing family.  I help pack them up, unpack them, clean out cabinets.  All of that.  I would say almost immediately I was drawn to the view from their kitchen window.  It was the most beautiful back yard.  It reminded me of a small English garden.  It wouldn’t be long and I would meet the neighbor.  She was somewhat embarrassed with how the yard looked.  She hadn’t spent as much time on it as she’d liked.  Her husband had been ill. As much as I could, I praised her for how it didn’t matter.  It was such a peaceful, beautiful space.

How did it happen that I found out that she was actually moving out?  Her husband had passed away and her children worried about her living there on her own.  How did I hear about that?  It turns out that there is another neighbor who cares for little kids the same age as one of my grandchildren.  This person reached out, almost daily, saying “Bring your grand daughter.  Bring her to play.”  And so I did.  As it would happen, she was very close to her neighbor.  She was saddened by the knowledge that her friend was moving.  I was as compassionate as I could be but also felt bad for my own daughter.  This neighbor was going to be fun to know – a lovely grandma type for my grandchildren to grow up next to.

How did it happen that my interest in this house became known to the owner?  Apparently, my son-in-law mentioned something.  All of a sudden, the owner is asking me if I was the lady who was interested in buying the house.  This took me by surprise.  I loved the garden like backyard.  By looking at the house, though, I assumed that 1) it would be too big for one person, 2) it would surely cost more than I could ever afford.  I was clearly surprised by her question and minimized its validity. Still, I would look across from my daughter’s kitchen window and dream of what it would be like if I were the grandma person next door.  I could see it.  I could see them playing on the patio.  I could see myself teaching them how to plant flowers and water the gardens.  I longed for  a dream like that to actually be possible.  It made me sad because I assumed that I would never see that dream become reality.

When I finally did dip a toe in the water to actually say that I might be interested, I was told that, as I had assumed, the house was going to be priced out of my reach.  I resigned myself to simply being happy that I still lived close enough to care for my grandchildren three days a week and there are so many advantages to renting.

But then I get a phone call.  It’s the daughter of this lovely lady.  She said, “I heard about your interest in buying my mom’s house.  We like your story.  We’d be willing to drop the price.”  Would I be interested in the house if it came at this reduced price?

The Door Had Been Opened A Crack

My first reaction was, of course, excitement…followed quickly by fear!  Slam the door shut! Quick!

I didn’t though.  I took a deep breath and figured that there were many opportunities to close this door.  I didn’t need to rush it.  I mean, after all, I would probably not qualify for a loan or an inspection would probably find that there were costly repairs that would need to be done.  I assumed that, given time, I would learn that this was still out of reach, but then…

This Scrolled Up On Facebook

Sunday Blessing:

May you lean into the change and cycle you are currently going through or being called towards.  May you find the courage to trust yourself and shout YES to the burn of transformation.  May you let go of all the no longer essential parts of yourself, and ignore the fading, fear-filled voices.  Because this is where you cross the river.  This is where you stop being the scared person you once were.  This is where you shoot out of the cracks you’ve fallen into. This is where the waiting ends and a new voice is birthed.  A voice you recognize as your own, the new you.  And there’s no going back, because no one’s gonna save you, except you.  May you lean in.  May you lean in.

________

Tanya Markul, Thug Unicorn

And this may have been the sign that I needed.  So I decided it was ok to ‘lean in’. And I picked up the phone and started making phone calls:  a mortgage company – “Would I qualify? What would an inspection cost?  How much would it cost to hire a lawyer to write up an offer to purchase?”

And so it began.

Potential Roadblock #1 – Maybe I won’t qualify for a loan

I sent all the necessary documents to prove my income and assets.  I had no downpayment. Still, they said I would qualify for a loan.  Pre-approval letter attached to the email response.

Potential Roadblock #2 – Inspection may turn up additional problems

I learned that  writing a offer to purchase typically is done first and then the inspection but the lawyer was a cost that I didn’t want to incur if there were expensive problems with the house.  I wanted to know before I wrote the offer.  The inspection was expensive but not as expensive as paying a lawyer so let’s do that first.

The inspection took over four hours.  I was next door taking care of my grand daughter.  He came, luckily, during her nap so we could really talk.  My first question, “Are there any red flags?”  He, of course, didn’t want to go there first but insisted on going step by step through everything he looked at and what he thought and then, in the end, he said, “basically there are no red flags.”

So now, I know that I qualify for the loan.  There are no issues with the house. So what next?

Potential Roadblock #3 – Will an offer be accepted?

So what offer would I make?  Would I offer them the price they want?  How do I know if that’s reasonable?  My daughter suggested that I ask the realtor that helped them buy their house.  My concern was that I didn’t want to go through a realtor.  My daughter insisted that she would simply give me advise, no obligation.  And that is just what she did.  In the end, she actually indicated that she would list it for the amount that the owners suggested they wanted so that was a good sign but wait a minute…if the house was listed for that amount with a realtor, then there would be fees paid for that assistance so then I had a bargaining chip.

In the end, after talking it through with a mortgage person, I was able to understand the overall costs of a home purchase: closing costs, prepays, and downpayment.  Oh my goodness, this is where I needed to take a deep breath.  Remember, I don’t have a downpayment.

Well, the mortgage company came up with an option that required only 3% down.  I could afford that. Then, after working the numbers over and over again, I figured out what what kind of offer I could make that I could afford.

And they accepted it!

No More Roadblocks!

And so this door is wide open and, step by step, I stepped through that door. I am buying a house!  This house with the beautiful English garden, this house that looked too big for one person, this house that would probably be too expensive, this house that I could see myself in before I ever stepped in the door.

And all I can think is…this must be fate!

 

 

 

 

Words

 

It’s all been said before.
You’ve heard the words.

“Relax.
Go with the flow.
Just focus on today.
Take one moment at a time.”

Right? Right!

Words!
Just words!
No one can tell you how to handle this.
No one can feel what I feel.

Everything will be ok.
 Just breathe!
Focus on this moment.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

But everything doesn’t feel ok.

It’s hard to breathe.

I can’t focus.

I am worried.

Ok.
I will listen.
I will be by your side.
Cry, if you need to.
I’ll hold your hand.
Scream if it helps.
I’ll understand.

Sometimes,
Silence
Is the best advice.

Sometimes,
Being present
Is the best friend.

The words will always be there.
They linger in the air
For just the right moment.
When I’m ready
They’ll be heard.

Never Leaving Home

IMG_9485

I left a place that I called “home”
But realized that “home” is not a place at all.
A place is rooms with carpeted floors
A box with windows and paint on the wall.
A “home”, on the other hand,
Is much more than that.
A “home” is pictures, and gifts,
and stories from your past.
A “home” is the collection of treasures
from your children’s younger days.
Those things they wanted kept safe
When they moved away.
A “home” is those stubborn plants
that survive!
They must want to be with me.
They’re still alive!
“Home” is a typewriter,
an old-fashioned pair of shoes,
a harmonica, a magazine rack;
things I could never bear to lose.
“Home is all those things
that I was willing to pack and carry away.
Then, quickly take them out, place them around me.
And then I realize
“Home” never moved away.

Once Again, Time To Get Thankful

IMG_8813Over the past months, I have been through a very dark time; emotions at an all time high. I practiced breathing with regular walks in a woods and soothing music during car rides. I wished, with all my might, that things could be different. Still the inevitable was going to happen. It was out of my control.

I sit now, in a quiet place, on the other side of the storm, and I’m being told that it’s time to give thanks. Give thanks and then think about what you would really want in your life. Believe that it already exists. Stop any negative noise that tells you different. That will negate the process.

So, I did it. I first thought about everything that I am truly thankful for and the list is long. I have my health, a beautiful family, a lovely place to live, enough money to pay the bills, and connections to people whom I truly enjoy. I have everything I need, so this changes what you would think I would request.

If I Could Have, In My Life, Anything I Wanted What Would It Be?

Turns out  it’s not to undo everything that just happened in my most current storm.  I do understand that everything happens for a reason and I have to be open and accepting.

It also turns out that it’s not money; at least not millions of dollars. I really just want enough money to stay independent. I want enough money to, once in awhile, buy something frivolous. I want enough money so that I can look around me and say with pride “I must have done a good job.”

It’s not about wanting the lives of people who have passed to be back. I really have always thought that they never left. I feel their presence in every big event. I feel their arms around me in every crisis.

So, Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want!

After giving it some serious thought, I realized that what I really want is bigger than all of the above.

I want to love and be loved by the people around me. I want to be important in the lives of my kids but not so much that it makes us all dependent on each other. I want to stay healthy and strong because with that strength comes my desire to remain independent. I to be surrounded by people who accept others for being a child of God regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or beliefs. I want, also, surround myself with people who are want to help others.  I want to be one of those people too.  I want to always be humble. A long time ago, I was told that I was not so special, and for a while, I believed that to be a negative. Now, I agree.  I am a small dot in this massive universe. Small dot or not, though, I want to matter.

Now, Imagine That You Already Have Everything You Wished For

I have read that a person brings energy into their life (either positive or negative) based on what you allow yourself to believe. I want to bring in as much positive energy as I can, so here goes:

  • I believe that I put out love and I am truly loved by others.
  • I am important in the lives of my family but they are not dependent on me.
  • I am healthy and strong. I am independent.
  • I am surrounded by people who accept others for being a child of God regardless of race, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
  • I am surrounded by people who love to help others.  I am one of them.
  • I am humble.
  • I do matter.
Try It Yourself

This was an eye opener for me. Initially, I thought what everyone thinks when asked, “If you could have anything you want, what would it be?” My answer was, “A million dollars.” But by doing this activity, I realized how weak that wish really is. I don’t want or need a million dollars to be happy.  I am, instead, truly blessed.  And, although I have been put through a storm, it only made me stronger. Every storm tests your resolve and I believe I weathered this one. This has made me ponder what is really important in life. I will continue to remind myself of all that I have to be thankful for and every time I allow a negative thought, I will go back to my thankful list. Negative thinking sinks boats when there’s a storm.

So, if you could have anything you want, what would you wish for? Start with thankfulness for all you have, then think again about what else you need to fulfill your life. Then turn them all into positive belief statements. Pretend you already have them. Allow this positive energy to help make all your wishes come true.

Today’s Challenge To Myself

To have a beautiful life,
find the beauty in everything.
Sarah Marie Thompson

Ok, I need to play this out. This is the month from hell. Rethinking it as beauty, is today’s challenge to myself.

My daughter, her husband, and my grandson are leaving.

Sadness

Beauty

I will no longer take care of my grandson 3 days a week. What a gift it has been to have been allowed to care for him for nearly 2 years.
I will miss the time I have spent with this daughter.  She was so insistent that I get involved with her passion.  So, I spent time volunteering to stuff envelopes, run errands, and help out at events. I was able to be part of the magic that is First Stage, a children’s theater academy.  I was able to help my daughter but I ended up feeling like part of a greater family.
I worry for my daughter.  She has left friends, family, and a job she loved to make this move. I am proud of my daughter.  She loves her husband so much.  She is, selflessly, turning the spotlight on him right now. That’s true love.
And the hardest part of all is that they will all be so far away.  Thankfully, there are such things as Face Time now.  Video chats can happen every day, if we choose.

I am moving too!

Sadness

Beauty

I somehow found myself renting a place that actually faces a nature preserve. This beautiful space has been my meditation space for 3 years. I am moving closer to another daughter.  We can easily walk to each other’s place whenever we want to.
When I first moved here, the animals that came out of the woods, scared me a bit.  Raccoons would peer right into my patio door at night.  Now, we have become comfortable with each other.  I will miss their visits. I, now, have such a beautiful appreciation for the gentle nature of animals.  They have taught me so much about resilience, risk taking, and simply being gentle with myself.  Their messages will live with me forever.
The paths into the woods were just steps away from my back door.  Walking these paths has become a time of true meditation. I have found something that brings me peace when I am troubled.  I know, now, that it’s worth a small drive to spend time in such a sanctuary.
Why would I leave such a beautiful place?  Rent!  My income will not increase but the rent goes up each year.  That fact makes it too difficult to stay. My rent will go down substantially with this move allowing me the extra cash I will need, now, for airline tickets to visit my other daughter and grandson.

You know, I think this worked. Maybe just for the moment but this was a great way to refocus my brain.