If I was still living on Brandon Rd., I most likely wouldn't be having any money challenges and I could satisfy an inner itch for shopping by constantly going to the malls or online to buy. Every day something new, every day something else, every day more and more, fill the rooms of my house with more color, re-decorate, re-furnish, re-align, re-do, re-make.
To what end?
Indeed. How much "stuff" do we need? If I already have 40 pairs of shoes why do I need another? And what about the 50 books I want to read, but haven't gotten to yet? Fifty books; I'm not a speed reader, so that's going to take some time.
In 2002, we went out of the box, Bob & I did. We put our 4-bedrm suburban home up for sale, left good-paying jobs and bought an Inn. We moved to New Hampshire, took on a business we knew nothing about and excelled at it; loved taking care of all the particulars, all the business of the business. Yes, it was scary, from the moment the 'for sale' sign was planted out on the front lawn, through all the paperwork and phone calls, in getting financing and finalizing all the legalities, right down to getting used to a new state and new town and new people.
But we did it!
Challenges are the best things in life, they can be just as heart-stopping and exhilarating any other heady elixir. I remember a blue and white placemat I did up in needlepoint probably 20 yrs ago, and how HARD it was, how difficult to follow the pattern, yet I was absolutely determined to get it done and I did! How in recent years I've taught myself the particulars of "lace" knitting, and love the daring-do of figuring out how to create this wispy, delicate pattern which is beginning to take shape.
It is in the stepping forward, coming out of our comfort zones, enduring risk, thinking for my self, stepping up, being brave; Nike is right, just do it!
Here is my latest knitting project:
It's not exactly challenging, it's easy, in fact, something I've done many times before, combining stitches which, if I had a dollar for everytime I've knit them I'd be a billionaire! It frees my mind, though, to think up new projects, new knitting ideas, while at the same time, I'm creating something as well.
And I need the time, the space to knit "mindlessly", if you will, because there is so much else which has entered my life. There's my website, The Knit Stitch, the writing of this blog, My Space, my monthly newsletter, creating a new ebook and getting my "other" book set for publishing.
Publishing! Me? Am I sure this is right, me? Shouldn't I be just sitting here, at a low-paying job, satisfied with what I've got and leave it at that? No, I'm learning it's no fun to be on the straight and narrow, because you miss out on life while you have your nose to the ground.
How does the song go again? "I wanna live forever, I heard you say, But never say forever That ain't the way 'Cause I don't wanna live life by design So never say forever It's such a long, long time." From "Never Say Forever."
(For one of the best CD's I've heard in ages, go see the SweetLife. )
Safe is not good, it's only easy.
And to get where you want to be, can be a many-layered road; just defining your goals is only peeling away the initial sheen -- then it's on to the very heart of the challenge, seeing all the details, doing all the chores, checking them off your list as you go and having the satisfaction that they are now accomplished. And isn't THAT a nice word!
The Inn didn't work out. Not the way we planned, anyway. How many others can say the same? What has come and gone in 5 years for you? We have found another house, other cars, new friends. My nephew has died, a trusted Internet mentor met an unexpected death, my mom has passed away. Big blows, hitting hard, coming at you from the side and from behind; intended for creating great upheaval and unhappiness.
At first, it does. As time passes, though, as the fog slowly lifts away, you should be left with something you probably didn't possess previously; a clarity, as to what is most important, a luminosity on making your life count for something.
It's quiet at the center, quite like throwing a stone in still waters -- do it just once and watch what happens -- ripples move the water, one, then two, then three and more, outward, larger, stronger as thought creates action, which creates more action and creates new thought. If you are progressing in ways amenable to you and you alone (this is life's keystone), then thoughts and actions oftentimes lead to metamorphosis; to a "you" who never could have been "you" even five years ago.
I could still be living on Brandon Rd. My life could be ordered, secure, on track. Or I can be where I am, knowing not what tomorrow will bring, yet believing that those ripples in the water will touch others.
That will make all the difference.