2019 has been a big year for me. A lot of activity and a lot of change! At the start of the year we (and by “we” I mostly mean my husband Mike) were in the home stretch of renovating our beautiful Portland home. This is the home we purchased in 2014, and had been renovating pretty much since we moved in. And we were also making plans for a major road trip, and planning to sell our home before leaving town. Such mixed feelings… our home was finally just the way we wanted it! But on the other hand, our home was also the way many prospective buyers would want it, and it was a seller’s market, so the timing to sell was pretty ideal.
The house sold quickly, with a short closing window. So suddenly, we were, in a sense, homeless. Or put another way “between homes”… in the middle between a familiar home we had grown to love, and the unknown of where we would land next.
Then came the road trip. We left Maine at the start of June, heading first to our grandson’s high school graduation in NC, and then, with grandson in tow, heading northwest across the US, through western Canada, and to Alaska! Again, so many mixed feelings. Being away from family, friends, and clients for a planned three to four months, not knowing exactly when we would be back to Maine, intending to still serve my clients from afar and maybe teach while in Alaska but having no firm plans. Again, in the middle, between the familiar and secure routine of home, and the unknown of what adventures were to come. It was both exciting and stressful.
When we returned to Maine at the end of August, we began hunting for our new home. It still being a seller’s market, homes meeting our search criteria were snapped up immediately by other eager buyers. A month into the search, with no solid leads, I started to feel a little frantic. Were we going to have to compromise on our dream? We weren’t seeking an ostentatious home, but rather a comfortable home, well built, with character, and a bit of privacy, that we would be happy to call "home" for the next several decades… we were seeking our “forever home”. Was this too much to ask? I didn't like how this uncertainty made me feel. So with a little self-reflection, self-talk, and lots of conversations with hubby, my frantic mindset gave way to surrender… to letting go of how our dream was to be met, but not letting go of the dream itself, and within a couple of days we found it… a beautiful site where we will build that perfect home. And we were also offered a place to live for the winter, which we graciously and gratefully accepted. It is amazing how it all worked out!
So what’s my point??
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know that I am typically seeking my life lesson from these “ah ha” moments. So here the latest round of lessons from “life school for Linda”…
I credit my dear friend Marie for helping me to understand what I gained in this year of change. As I was talking with her one morning about all of the change in my life, and maybe whining a little about it, she said “that would be a good blog for you to write… about being in the middle”. For a split second I didn’t quite get it, and then it was so very clear to me! What a gift it is to be in the middle… between here and there… between the familiar and the unknown.
In the middle, I have the freedom to choose! To make choices that are not as easily available when I am weighed down in security and familiarity and comfort. Wow!
So stepping forward out of the middle and heading now into the next segment of my life, here is what I choose:
I choose to take care of me. To find opportunities to learn that feed my soul. To seek a place of physical wellness and activity that brings me joy. To make more room in my routine to be selfish (i.e., to put my own oxygen mask on first).
I choose to be a more understanding friend to my husband, my family members, and other friends in my life. There’s a famous saying “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” (Dr. Stephen Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”). So I choose from this point forward to listen more intently, and understand more fully, the perspective of others. Who knows… I might learn something new! And at the very least, I am certain that even difficult conversations will be more effective than they might otherwise be.
I choose to stand in my power, and hold to what is important to me. This does not mean I need to take an “in your face” stance when dealing with opposition. But rather to seek a state of grace, and tap into my higher powers for support and guidance when my free will is being tested.
I choose to trust that whatever is happening in my life is happening for a purpose. This trust does not release me from accountability; in fact I think it puts an even greater accountability on me. For a high control person like myself, “trusting” can be hard work. So when I feel myself struggling, it’s time to let go, to trust, to accept the life preserver being tossed to me, and to be grateful and gracious.
How about you?
Have you found yourself in “the middle zone” between what was and what is to be? What was the experience like for you? What did you learn that you can share with others?
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