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Monday, December 8, 2014

Do you believe we can change our pace?


I am living proof that we can decide to purposefully change the pace of our lives.

I have been looking through old journals and realize there was a common theme in many of my entries...I needed to find a way to slow down!

I was often crying out from the stress of the rushing around and never feeling like I got everything done.  I was writing regularly for a season to then have gaps from over scheduling myself and letting the simple act of writing in a journal feel like I privilege I did not have time to engage in.

I created moments but they would often be swallowed by that monster of must do's that would strangle the life out of any breathing freedom from stress I would grasp at.

We went through difficult seasons as a family, we had pain, sorrow, loss...some events that were much more than any family should ever experience let alone all of them piled one after another like a mountain of suffocating trash in a heap.

In all of these several years of seeking some way to grab hold of some peaceful practice to regulate my time and my life I struggled.  I sought the correct answers; prayer, reading every idea or book or thoughts on time management and living stress free, new ideas for list making planning and goal setting your life, even ignoring the people who attempt to suck the life out of me and in so doing probably cause much harm and shame...

Well, you get the idea...

I feel like I see the way now, I have found that place.  I don't know how much of this has to do with age, or if all that cramming of knowledge into my brain over these years is finally sorted and ordered and coming to clear focus to be useful now.

I do know that I take time on the weekend, I plan out my week, I look at time as a gift that I need to use wisely and cherish- it is NOT unlimited!  I am careful how many shiny bright distractions of activity and tantalizing events attempt to sneak their way into stealing my time, energy and focus.
I make my time for the week set out as if I have appointments to keep- even appointed time to read, study, or pray.

I even schedule a good old soak in the tub on a somewhat regular basis- we all need to detoxify and there is no more blissful method than a good soak in an Epsom salt bubble bath with a clay mask on your face, a candle lit room and classical music playing from Pandora on your phone.

In all of these appointments I still allow for change, for moments of nothing, for surprises.  I claim my time and my week, but I let it breath as well.

So here I am, writing my thoughts because I have allotted myself the time to do that this morning.  And my grandest thought this morning is 'How can I help others find this place?'

Well, in the posts ahead I hope to help you all do just that.

I will try to post as I see the things I have learned that may actually help you the reader find your own gentle pace in your life.  Thank you for taking your time to read what I have to offer, I look forward to more chats with you.  Now go take a moment, breath deeply, and let it out slowly...and take claim to this day.  Don't let this day claim you!

I bid you peace,

BettyK


Looking over Albuquerque from the Sandia Peak 






Thursday, November 20, 2014

We've come so far...

I look back on my last post and so much has happened.  We were in such a whirlwind of change that I did not take time to post here.  I have debated on tossing the entire blog idea but this week I have fresh vision.

I often talk with my husband of how it seems like there are so many people struggling with their dreams, their plans, their destiny...just whatever they want to call their very own purpose.  I feel like this year and all of our transition has really opened our focus to be clear on where we have been, where we are, and we we may potentially go in a fresh new way.  We have gained so much freedom in our move, but also found so much possibility and potential that we didn't even acknowledge we had in our grasp.
So to recap this year:

January- husband gets laid off after 10 years at same job, go on unemployment and cannot seem to find work...

February-still no work for husband, part time for me but coming to end soon...

March- still no work for husband but  on March 26th we feel compelled to make the decision to move west...

April- repair and paint entire house, begin selling off most of what we own, put our house on the market, pull out retirement to work with for move...

May- still pressing on, no idea of where we will live or work or what really we will do, just compelled to go west, Albuquerque is our goal. Sell minivan and SUV- get a Subaru, remember Albuquerque is our goal...

June- grandchild number 6 is born, feel relieved we were here, offer on house and move is progressing, we have 4 weeks to go...

July- we say goodbyes, sell final items, pack a U-haul and tow our car and head to Albuquerque- takes us 3 days to get there, but we did it!

August- takes us  24 days of hotel stays to finally get in an apartment. Several job interviews but not a job, yet...

September- total car (that cute Subaru is gone), no one hurt thankfully and we get a replacement car and SUV for Chris out of the deal, Chris starts to work, I still don't have a job, but all is working out well!...

October- pressing on enjoying the fantastic weather, southwest laid back lifestyle, learning and growing so much- been able to communicate, reflect and grow more than we ever have in our lives together...

November- going to be here for Thanksgiving, spending it with Chris' coworkers, growth still happening in both of us, connecting with many here, staying connected with family, life seems really clear here- we live in Albuquerque- we have a terrific window open in front of us, we feel so many ideas and fresh vision of what possibilities there are in front of us- we feel fully alive!

so this was the recap, the lessons we have been learning along the way and the events that have made us smile, scream, sigh and laugh will be in posts to come...for now I leave you with a picture that I randomly took when we were driving up to Santa Fe one day, I didn't purposely frame it the way it came out, I didn't even realize until I was looking over the days pictures on the computer, but this is now very appropriate for me....keeping our eyes on the road ahead we are finding our way!
May you find your way as well today!

BettyK




Friday, June 13, 2014

more to miss...

So yesterday we were introduced to grand child number 6, she was born in the morning and I didn't get a chance to hold her until afternoon due to such a crazy day, but oh she is so beautiful! She has been another reason we have been waiting to move to New Mexico.  Now we are getting to the bottom of our list of must do items before we move...now we just need to sell the house and we are off.  I know we are going to miss these kiddos and our family and friends here so much, but still most of me just cannot wait to go!

here's the lovely miss Megan ~

and here is the link to check out our house...in case any one of you out there need to move to Lancaster Pa...it's a terrific place!
http://www.berkshirehathawayhs.com/Homesale-Realty-PA305/homes-for-sale/PA/Lancaster/17603/622-Second-Street-122069632
MLS: 221351
that's all for now...
BettyK

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Separation...the process

As I sit here typing at the desk on a fantastic morning I hear the birds out the window and feel a little bit of a breeze gently roll in periodically. It is a quiet Saturday morning and though this neighborhood is generally really quiet for the city- today it is exceptionally peaceful.   I feel like we have come so far in such a short time...it was only 58 days ago that we actually decided we were going to take the plunge and relocate.

Since that day we have pulled everything we had out of storage, sold most of what we own, and cleaned, organized and painted our entire house.  This week the house went on the market and next week we get rid of the minivan and pick up our Subaru Outback.  Our daughter has a baby in a little over 2 weeks and then after our week or so of welcoming her into the world we are free to go...well, once the house sells.
all clean and ready to sell...






In this process that normally would have taken 6 months we have been running full steam most days, because of this we had a slight mishap- my husband fell down the basement steps and smashed his face into the concrete floor.  Thank God there were no broken or dislocated parts of him but he did have a glorious shiner and had to get stitches above his eye.  He has stopped for some well needed rest.
thank God - it could have been worse!



So today I thought I would update you who do read this on how we are looking at what to do from here. This has been such a therapeutic process of purging our belongings and trimming down.  We have felt more freedom with each yard sale and each item that has gone out the door...it is amazing the stuff you can accumulate and the attachments you think you have that really are all in your head.

We have researched online and found a church out there with a great feel to it that seems like it may be a good fit for us.  We won't know for sure until we are there and attend for a bit but this is a place to start.  I contacted the church and asked if there was anyone in the congregation who may be interested in giving us input into Albuquerque for our move, a realtor who attends was glad to connect with us.  Holly has been terrific at answering questions and being a voice for clarity on good and bad areas to consider rental or purchase options.

I had looked up apartments and short term rentals but things can look fantastic on the internet but be not so great in real life, as it was with the list of apartment complexes I had thought looked good and asked Holly's opinion- she ruled out all but one.  She was great with the reasons for each- poor neighborhood, too much travel involved if we work across the city, not quite the best locations for whatever reasons...so this was terrific to hear from someone who is actually there.

We have decided we are going to actually rent a U Haul truck and drive that while we tow our car.  After researching the options of shipping our stuff, getting rid of so much we drive a long van out and get a car when there, driving a pull along trailer, our final choice ended up being the best for us.  We are planning on taking 3-4 days to get out there so we can enjoy the trip...and deal with the emotions that I am sure are going to hit when we start feeling the separation...

Hence the title of this entry.  The separation process.  It has already begun on many levels.  The downsizing of our possessions has been a prompt to feel some very real emotions.  I had to ask my daughters to come over to help me go through that last corner of the basement and the last bins of items labeled 'memories' because I just couldn't go through another one myself.  I had so many boxes of pictures, so many of the children's art pieces or papers from school years, so many old baby clothes from when they were born...letting go of much of this was strange, yet satisfying.

See when I was young we moved a lot, when we moved several times we left behind most of what we had accumulated; furniture, toys, household items etc. and just started fresh in a new place.  Because of this I realize I didn't know what to hold on to because I was afraid I would forget if I let go of too much.  I remember the feeling of not feeling like I had a place to officially call home as a child myself so I wanted to make sure I saved whatever I needed to to make my kids feel like I made 'home' for them.

I think I over did it.  I saved everything! As I watched my kids look at things, say things like "awe that's neat, I remember that" then just toss stuff in the trash or the donate box I was shocked.  I realize they felt 'home' was with us...this was beautiful to realize.  They enjoyed talking over memories and they were happy with our move and they were well balanced healthy minded individuals.  We had created our home.

Now the thought of separating from our kids and this place, it's not so bad.  I think of how terrific it is going to be when we visit each other.  I think of how today's technology is going to provide the opportunity for me to see my grandchildren grow even though we are over 1800 miles apart.  I think of how much they will be making sure they spend time with each other and form their own families and 'homes'.

I know as I said earlier that there will be some feelings I will have to face as we leave and travel through each state.  I know as we find ourselves getting close to birthdays or holidays I will be thinking about where my kids are, what everyone is doing, and how I miss them.  But I will just get back to the old fashioned letter writing of old and find that as well as today's technological methods to keep up and let them know I miss them and I love them.  I already stocked my granddaughter with postage and cards and information on how to mail letters so she and I can be 'pen pals' - This is going to be great!

We will wait for the house to sell but in the mean time enjoy every moment here with them until the day comes to leave, then we will separate- but only in driving distance, not in our hearts.

everyone hanging in our living room...love my family!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Not everyone will understand what I do...

So today I thought I would update but also mention some obstacles we are facing in this Big Move we are planning.  If you are new here my husband and I are selling off or giving away most of our possessions and moving across the US, leaving behind our family of adult children and grandchildren as well as our parents and many of our siblings.  We originally wanted to look at moving out west in our later years of life for health reasons, but now we see the time is right for so many more reasons to move now...this is our process.

We have been trying to explain or decisions and actions as patiently as we can, we have been trying to be sure to include as many people as we can in discussing the process, but there have still been repeated comments along the lines of    "you're doing what??????"

It is hard to face the feeling of loss already as we think of missing our families and friends here, but we are more strongly experiencing the sensation of being compelled to do this as if we almost have no choice.  We have lived such a stressed out lifestyle for many years.  We have tried so many seasons of simplifying our activities, changing our financial positions, diving into church activities all for momentary changes that often did not have lasting effects.  We have grown and developed over the years of our marriage and family lives, we have survived some horrific events in the lives of our family as a unit that have molded and shaped us and been used to see life and growth produced rather than the death that could have come.

As they say whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger, well in many ways we as a family are a rock!

But now my husband and I come to this season where things are shifting.  The focus has been on the children or our parents or whatever else for so many years, feels like always actually. This season we are being catapulted into what seems to be a season to focus on what is to happen now with us.  We have never lived alone until recently and we still have so much of our adult children's belongings being removed from our home almost daily.  We have poured so many hard years into the lives of our families that we just gave ourselves the scraps we could to just keep it together.

This season of moving, and this being such a drastic move, we are already learning how to communicate and love each other on a totally different level.

We are trying to lovingly continue the separation but there are some pretty deep wounds coming up to the surface in some of our family members that are making the separation look like it is going to become painful and sorrowful.  It doesn't have to be this way, but some chose the way of pain rather than the way of life and we cannot help the choices others make.

So my summary for today is that there will be decisions you make in life, if you are truly making the decisions that are yours to make and owning your own responsibility, that some other people in your world may not understand or accept.  The truth is we need to do whatever we are meant to do whatever the cost.

Are the decisions you are making today 'Big'?

Are you feeling the pressure to change your course because others don't like how it feels to them, or how it affects them?

What are you going to do under this pressure?

I am going to stay calm and carry on....I must, this is where we are meant to be.  We have felt drawn into this move by circumstances, possibilities and yes- God's spirit leading us and confirming by many things that this is our next portion of our journey.

I arise today excited to see what unfolds as our preparations continue and we see the road ahead...

westward ho!