Monday, September 22, 2014

Letting Go

Moving sales are different from yard sales. I never really knew that. Sure, you read the sign "Moving Sale" and think, "Oh, someone's moving and selling all their cool stuff!" That's great - until it's YOUR cool stuff sitting in boxes and bins and being rummaged through.

So many awesome, amazing people stopped by this weekend and gave great homes to favorite things. Others are adopting furniture this week that I honestly hate to see go. Every time I've sold stuff in the past, it's been the junk. You know, the stuff you don't want anymore and don't mind sending to a new home for a few pennies. This time I was waving goodbye to old friends as they carried away possessions I'd had for years.

It's good to know one of my paintings will grace the wall of a friend's newly renovated house. It's comforting to know the cedar chest I've had for 20 years is now holding toys and games for a friend's two daughters. Decor and figurines and books - all have scampered away into the arms of new parents. The books - oh it was like selling children!


... I feel a certain sense of freedom. Stuff can tie us down whether we intend for it to or not. I didn't realize how much we've accumulated over the years and I certainly didn't realize just how hard it was to let things go out of necessity. The house we're moving into is only 700 square feet. That's half of what we live in now. Most people our age are upgrading to newer houses, larger houses, houses they actually own. We're downsizing to an older house ("vintage") and still renting.

And yet...I'm seeing a dream come true before my very eyes. Lesson learned: keep saying yes, and keep waking through those open doors until they stop opening. You just never ever know where they will lead. And, trust me: you WILL have to let go of the old in order to make room for the new. Pruning of possessions. It's painful but liberating.

What have you had to let go of recently? Ever had a moving sale and watched things you didn't want to lose go away? What about downsizing? Thoughts? Have a great week! I'm off to Google ways to hang shelves without putting holes in cinder block walls!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Finally, the news I've been wanting to share!

One of my favorite scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is when Bilbo finally decides to leave the comfort of the Shire and follow Gandalf on an adventure. He goes tearing out of his house, down a steep embankment and shouts to a passerby: "I'm going on an adventure!" This scene is made infinitely better because it's Martin Freeman acting it out...but I digress.

Later, at the end of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, eager Bilbo looks out over the charred landscape as the newly released dragon swoops toward Laketown, bent on destroying it and all its inhabitants. His face is filled with fear, anger, worry, and guilt. "What have we done?" He whispers.

What have we done indeed.

My Insecure Writer's Support Group post hinted at some changes being made around our homestead. I haven't been able to shout if from the social media street corner yet due to a possible snafu with my husband's job (which, by the way, does not yet know and we'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible). BUT I did want to let the blogverse know:

We're moving to Savannah October 01.

Brief history: I lived in Savannah twelve years ago and fell in love with the city, the people, and the proximity to the beach. My husband and I have been wanting to move back there for ten years. We knew the time to move was coming soon. We had no idea it would strike while we were on vacation. A small, hand drawn sign in a window beckoned "Hiring Full Time Inquire Within". So I inquired. Three days later I was called back to an interview. Three days after that I drove the 3 1/2 hours back to Savannah and emerged from the shop, an hour and a half later, with a new job.

The week after that I took that drive again to look at a house to rent. Three days ago I got final word that the house was ours.

My husband still awaits news on the job prospects he's interested in. 

On the one hand, I'm running around, shouting at the top of my lungs, "I'm Going on an ADVENTURE!!!" On the other hand, I'm looking at the chaos around me, hyperventilating and breathing into a paper bag: "What have we done? What have we done?"

No dragons or Laketown dwellers (or dwarfs for that matter) have been or will be harmed in this move. A few people have expressed displeasure. One refused to talk to me for 24 hours. Others perk up the moment we mention "free place to stay near the beach". I'm surrounded by mixed feelings, packing tape, and boxes beckoning me to either sort, discard, store or stow. We're going from a 1400 square foot house to a 700 square foot bungalow. Yes. Bungalow. How groovy is that?

How did this all come about? I said YES to a heck load of crazy questions. "Inquire Within". OK. "When can you come down for an interview?" "Saturday." "When are you planning on moving to Savannah?" "October 01". That was the big whopper. We'd not even decided on moving officially. But the question was asked and I answered with wide eyes. The first thing I said after I hung up the phone was, "What the hell have I done?" My husband just laughed. 

He's still laughing.

Point is, I'm freaking out but I'm excited. New job, new house, not so new city. I've had more story ideas in the past 2 weeks than I've had in years. I've got to pack up the house, decide what we can take, have to store, and must get rid of in two weeks while working and doing all the other "normal" life things.

"What have we done?"

You can say that again, Bilbo.

Happy Week!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Bold and the Beautiful

I could write something here about coffee. Or really strong black tea. As much as I LOVE both of those beverages, I'm thinking more about bold moves in regards to chasing one's dreams.

"Fortune favors the bold" is attributed to Oscar Wilde. Wilde was known for being flamboyant, over the top, larger than life and a bit too bold for late Victorian sensibilities. I've always thought he was fantastic. Come on, anyone who would write "The Importance of Being Ernest" is someone I'd love to have tea and a chat with!

What do you think Wilde meant by this little quip? Assuming he said it, I like to think he was referring to those of us to step out of our comfort zone and go after those things which we know we are destined for. Another favorite quote of mine was recently spotted on a mug in a Books-A-Million. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Frightening words but true.

What's your comfort zone? Is it a physical location, one you've been long hovering in, knowing you need to step out and move on? Or is it a writing style, a particular genre you just KNOW you could never in a million years leave? Maybe it's a group of people who, though they drag you down and never encourage you to go after your goals, are long time friends, those who may not support change but will be there with you as long as you stay put.

I know I'm waxing a bit deep this Monday. I've had a lot happen in the past two weeks. Good things. Scary things. Things I'm not quite yet ready to talk about in the bog-verse. Very bold things, one of which I should get some news back on this afternoon, just as soon as a friend calls back. Argh! Waiting for opportunities to come about is one thing; waiting for news about those opportunities is an entirely different sort of anxiety! If you could spare some positive thoughts this way, friends, I'd appreciate it! Right now, I'm one big jumble of nerves!

Are YOU doing anything BOLD and DARING? What's the SCARIEST thing you've ever done? Any of you AWAITING news that could CHANGE EVERYTHING? Pour another strong cuppa; it's going to be a crazy ride! Oh, and I promise not to leave you hanging forever. Just as soon as I can, I shall divulge all :D

PS: I'm reading some absolutely lovely tributes to Tina Downey. I regret that I didn't know Tina well; She occasionally popped up in my readings and was ALWAYS cheerful. She was, from what I'm reading, a force of nature, a positive powerhouse, and an ardent supporter of all things awesome. You can check out everyone participating in the Tribute and find out more at the A-Z Challenge site.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group - September

Welcome! Once more, we're gathering throughout the blog-verse to hoist our colors of insecurity and sail the wild seas of the writing life. Thankfully, we have each other, other ships that sail with us, encourage us and help us stay afloat!

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh who had the courage to set up this fabulous island of hope and to the entire crew of the Insecure Writer's Support Group website.

Insecurities? Yeah. I've got 'em.

What is it about the potential to see a dream come true - a long awaited dream - that freaks some of us out and makes us wonder what the h#!! were we thinking when we took that gigantic step into unfamiliar waters? I'm there. I'm drifting in the realm of waiting. No, it's not a book deal or publishing contract but it IS something that induces insecurity that I can relate to writing.

In order to succeed at anything we have to take risks. We HAVE to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Without risk we grow stagnate. Without growth we die. Stagnation does mean security (in a way); it can mean that we are "safe" and "comfortable" and "well taken care of".

But... can also mean that we are bored.




Sometimes these steps aren't all that big. We see something, shrug one shoulder and say, "Sure, why not." And we step through the door, purchase a ticket, shake a hand, agree to meet for coffee. Suddenly, "Hi how are you" becomes a whole lot more. That door you thought opened to a suggestion is now the portal to another life. It's crazy, it's strange, it's down right panic inducing. And it gives you a choice: you either keep saying yes or you say no and the door shuts and you're left alone, again, in the dark.

What do you do? Be it writing, moving away from the familiar, taking on a new job, going back to school or anything worth taking a risk, what DO you DO? Do you say yes and ride the wild waves to freedom? Or do you say no, maybe, not now and risk having that door locked forever?

Either way is a risk. Perhaps we just have to ask ourselves which is more frightening? The new and unexplored or the eternal mundane?

Be BOLD, dear friends. Write on!

PS: I'll be making my IWSG rounds tomorrow and Friday. Working on Wednesdays makes it a bit difficult to keep up with all the posts on the day they are posted. But I promise I'll return the visit! Cheers :)