Friday, February 10, 2012

Larger than Life

I have always been a substantial woman – in presence, in attitude and in beliefs. I grew up with the belief that BIGGER is better. As I age, gracefully I might add, I find that livin’ large isn’t all it has cracked up to be.

Large homes, large SUVs, large purchases and large consumption is what has run this country and many of us into the ground. Two years ago as I said the most powerful word known to man. This simple word had more impact on my life than anything else I can think of…I said the word “NO”. As 10+ years of relationship came to a screeching halt with that simple word – my life blossomed like never before.

A friend of mine says “Move a muscle, change a thought” and I did just that. With that word, my world came to a screeching halt (or I thought it did). I moved out of my home with my possessions. And I had possessions!!!! My poor movers just stood there. I moved a HUGE bedroom set, a HUGE sofa and living room, HUGE appliances and a HUGE collection of extremely high end clothes, sheets, gadgets and everything in between from 3,500 sf into 2,300 sf. OH THE HORROR!

I adore my little home but it took me awhile to find my authentic self and to realize what was important and exactly what I could survive without. As I moved my items into my home, all I could do was laugh. There were boxes and boxes and boxes of memories, fun, sadness and possessions. I laughed so long and so hard that I ended up on a heap on my sofa. Boxes were everywhere. Not only am I a victim of excess, I am also a victim of service. I have always had others to do things for me and now I had the daunting task of unpacking. Oh…the horror!!!! As I made my way through these boxes I chuckled even more. I gave away things, tossed things and had a lot of WTF moments when I asked myself “WTF was I thinking when I bought this”. I mused to my friends that I would write a book and entitle it “My life in boxes”.

In this resurgence of self I realized many things. My friends asked me why I was so agitated in my new space. I had no idea. Then it descended upon me like a ton of bricks. At 46, I was alone! ALONE!!!! By myself!!! OH THE HORROR!!!!! I went to college, got married, had a child, got divorced and was always in the presence of someone (lover, daughter, etc.) Now I realize I am only responsible for myself. do not have to worry about my daughter. She is an adult and on her own. I don’t have to worry about school districts or cart her or her friends to movies, to school, to practice (and while I miss that – a part of me is relieved). I can live wherever I want to live. OH THE HORROR. This means I have to be responsible for MY actions. I can’t blame you if something goes wrong!!!!!!

I realized that I had never lived by myself! I live in this lovely home alone (because my SigOt, short for Significant Other) is on a short assignment in another state. This was the first time and the first place where I could be me (whoever that was). This is the first time in my 46 years that I moved into a place and made it MINE. With much encouragement, love and support from my SigOt (“Honey, this is your home, if you want it” he said sweetly) I took off like a spinning top. I moved, I rearranged, I sold, I gave away, I mused, I cried, I pondered, I wondered and I changed. I painted the entire downstairs – the colors I wanted – burlap, yam and I finally had my red (Claret) dining room. As I sat on my sofa, a few nights ago, I heard a small still voice say to me “This is YOUR home” and I cried.

Because of a bitter ex – I relinquished (not without a fight) my 4WD, 6 cylinder, 15 mpg, beast master Jeep. To think, this was a gift from someone I planned to spend the rest of my life with and she wouldn’t give me the title to the vehicle – instead she demanded it back. My attorney intervened and she went silent. Driving home one night with expired tags, the vehicle was impounded and guess what? I had NO feelings about it. It was no longer a symbol of love. It had become just a car. As I stood in the parking lot of a Big Lots calling cab companies, an Angel appeared and gave me a ride home. My Angel, Kimberly, in her youth, imparted so much to me. I took her words and still hold them close.

I stand here two years later – wise, smarter, healthier, authentic, happy, blissful, smaller, humble, patient, and glorious. To complete my downsizing – I moved (with much resistance) into a Mini Cooper. I love my little car. I know present to you…My Mini Cooper!!!