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Just like starting over

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Remember when you were young, and the future felt like some distant place that would never really happen.  You felt light, and easy, optimistic and somewhat care free and in love?

Well we have reached the future and even with all our burdens, and all my processing of issues, I feel like everything is new and possible again.

So I am dedicating the following to the love of my life, my handsome husband.

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere alone

It’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over

With our new fixer-upper home, we have a lot of work in front of us, but I see this and everything else, as a brand new start.  It is a wonderful adventure that we will take together every step of the way.  Who ever thought we would be here now?  It’s feakin’ awesome.

I love you Ray. xo

late 1986 - of coarse see the hair!

Take a listen to this…..”No one ca get in the way of what I am feeling…”

Be kind to yourself.

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I was very kind to my self one day. I did a very simple exercise. I complimented myself. I told myself I was a good mother in the way I raised my children. I can’t tell you how incredible that felt.

Usually I would worry about all the things I would have done differently. Like not fight with their father, and not turn weekends into a cleaning marathons. I would beat my self up for making my children sad because I yelled. I constantly saw my errors instead of any of the wins.

One day it stopped, I stopped making chores a priority. I stopped expecting things I really deep inside didn’t care about. I learned that perfection was never going to exist in our home. I let that go along with all the other unrealistic goals.

I went a bit overboard, seriously, we had a messy house most every day of the year. But the kid’s friends would come over, and it was relaxed. I told them they never had to knock, come over any time, need dinner, then please join us. It was awesome. I sold my self short, I never knew how my children loved having the house where everyone was welcome and virtually nothing mattered.

I would drink wine, get silly and they would laugh at me. They would take over the living room to watch scarey gross movies. It was all that I always wanted; an open house.

We never even locked our doors until my one son bought his own computer, then he asked that we start locking the door. Probably a good idea, seeing my car was broken into twice, while in the drive.

Even with all this success, I still would focused on my mistakes. For so long I didn’t know how to make it up to them. I wasn’t perfect.

All three are in college now, living and learning and growing into fine human beings. They make me proud everyday.

I am a good Mom. Finally I believe that even with all the errors and the growing pains. I believe life teaches you what you need to learn, that is- if you are aware and open to the endless possibilities.

Tip: Never beat your self up – it does no good.

Inspiration: “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” ~Honoré de Balzac
(so, mothers forgive yourselves, we aren’t perfect)

One-day one-thing: If something doesn’t bring joy into your home – change it..

For Real

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We bit the bullet, for real this time.

We bought a house. This house we tried to buy before, maybe in February, but it got into multiple offers and we lost. Can’t remember what number it was? Maybe house #2 out of seven.

This house is small, not tiny, just like I wanted and cheap just like I wanted but it needs a ton of work.

I am going to document our progress on my blog “Project1923“, rightly named this because the house was built in 1923. I think it has its original garage that may have house a car like the one pictured below.  Heck those people may have lived in my house. I love thinking about how different their lives were and how similar.  So much time has past – 89 years!

Anyway, I’ll have to have another garage sale. We still have too much stuff and the stuff we have is way too big for our new small home.

This is my perfect chance to put everything I have learned to work, like “less is more”,”live in the moment,” “perfection is an illusion,”and “everything will work out.”

I plan to enjoy the work and I hope to make good choices.

I am STILL  finding it a bit difficult to believe this is really happening.  But it is.  So I’ve got to get ready. I am so excited!

We get the key on April 27th, but we won’t be moving in until some work is completed.

Please visit my Project1923 blog once and a while and help us out.  We need all the helpful suggestions and creative ideas you may have.

Cheers!

Tip: When it’s 90 degrees and you’re working on fixing something, and your patience is running thin, stop and get a cold drink for everyone who’s there.

Inspiration:”Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”- Yoko Ono

One-day one thing: Make signs for garage sale and pick a date.

Seriously only Friday

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I am so amazingly happy that it is a regular Friday.  No holiday anything.  Just a normal day, and the best day of the work week.

But I have lost some very important papers.  So that’s about all I can think about at the moment. Don’t you  hate it when that happens?

Living in my mother’s house without even a dresser to use for ourselves has served to teach me well.  I am living in disarray, in uncertainty, and in limbo.  I am a bit mental at the moment as well.  And I don’t even care, if I tell you this or not.  I am meeting the challenge of this living arrangement , but there has been collateral damage.  Well-being damage.  That’s okay. (it’s not forever….I keep telling myself)

Currently I am considering writing a book of how NOT to be when you get old.  I am getting old, but man when you are really old it’s an entirely different story.  Very scary.  Maybe if I take notes of  “do’s and don’ts” now I’ll be able to save myself and those around me later.

What’s the REAL kicker for this Friday?  A house, of coarse, what else?

Yep, once again, we are putting a bid in on a house.  I’ll keep you posted, because I cant help myself.  If we get this house, I am planning on posting before and after pics as we pour ourselves into making it livable. (Good thing, I like that kind of work )

So go ahead stay on task, sort something, donate at least one thing, and toss five items into the trash.

Meanwhile, I’ll be in a demented mode searching for lost papers and waiting and looking more and waiting….

Enjoy your Friday- Cheers!

Tip: Organize your important papers….lol…once and for all. 

Inspiration: “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.” – Maya Angelou

One-day one-thing: Find that accordion file and start the new year right.

Personalized A.D.D.

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Nothing accomplished.  December has become another month to just make it through.  To handle all the crises that came our way and try to do it without total self destruction.  Look at me, it’s only the 2oth and I am already writing the month off.

I am in New York, and last night  hearing my son tell me he is never ever moving back to Ohio makes me wonder than why the heck am I staying here?  My daughter would like us to move some where near the east coast, so she could visit more easily when she wanted.   My youngest son just wants to have his own room again.  Heavy sigh. (he just informed me, So Cal.)

I don’t know how to handle a situation I can not control.  We are not in a position to move anywhere, except maybe locally.  Do you know how scarey it is to have to sell your house, and it doesn’t sell?  Fourteen months on the market, not one offer.  I never want to be there again.  I also am not hip on getting a house that requires a bunch of repairs, but we are limited by our budget.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t  know how other people do it.  How do they just start over? That’s one of our issues, we can’t start completely over, because we have commitments and constraints. We hold certain cards, and without picking up a pair of aces I think we are working with a measurable handicap.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, it’s just means we have to plan around everything.

For about a week, for maybe 5 days, we thought we had an answer. We believed we made a choice.  But now, I am no longer interested in that. Too far and too close at the same time…why bother?

Just got our yearly Christmas news letter from some relatives.  I mean seriously, I had to read it twice  to make sure my sour mood wasn’t clouding my judgement.  Nope, it wasn’t, still as pretentious as ever.  Most years I don’t even read it.

Why did I choose to read it today?  Because I am an idiot, who feels bad, and wanted to feel worse?  No.  I think I was honestly hoping for a twinkle light of inspiration. Not to be.

Have I mentioned how stressful the holidays are for me?  I swear, the biggest luxury for me would be to avoid the entire Thanksgiving to New Years Day season.

I want to move beyond my dissatisfaction,  but it’s inside me tightly holding hands with my lack of clarity.

I can’t tell myself what to do anymore.  I can read my own advice and that helps in certain areas, but not this “where to live topic, how to get there, is it the right choice” dilemma.  So so complicated.

I am flailing.  Holding myself together, with avoidance, denial, and distractions.  My own personal brand of ADD.   A mental cocktail of sorts.  I highly recommended it for anyone, in a messed up situation.

About to go out to dinner…..it’ will be great, I will  be in full ADD mode.   Cheers!

The Perfect Gift – Encouragement

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(written Saturday night)

To tell you the truth, I don’t even think I have a positive thought in my brain right now.  Do you ever feel that way?

Just another day of house hunting disappointments.  Actually two on one day, no make that three. I sick of moaning about it, so I will keep this short. The first and second house of the day were no good.  The first one was okay but not right for us.

The second one, which was my only remaining  “maybe” out of about 30, I found out  is in a neighborhood that is fighting a huge incinerator installment.  The incinerator will bring 500 diesel fueled garbage trucks thorough their neighbor 24/7 from all over the county.

People from the Sierra Group have even  joined the fight to protect the health of the animals at the nearby Zoo.  No incinerator like this one exists anywhere in the USA.  I learned all this from homeowners who had activist signs in their yard.  It’s horrible what the city is doing.  As I was leaving,  I told her her neighborhood was nice she answered,” Yes it is very nice, but you know we all have guns…… it’s Cleveland after all.”

The third house lifted me up.  It matched all the crossed off goals under my photo. It had everything, even enough land to build a Eco-house if we wanted.  We stopped for some Mexican food and margaritas.  I was so excited my husband said I sounded like I was on drugs.  I just kept saying, “It’s perfect.  This has everything we want! ” On and on, even the food was great. When we got home and we called for the lock-box code, but we were too late the house already sold.  My heart sank.

I did learn quite a bit  today.  I know where I don’t want to live.  I think I know where we do want to live, so that means I have gained some focus, and direction.  That is, at least for now, and that alone is wonderful because it was just yesterday that I had absolutely zero vision.  I’m still in limbo but with a much better  idea of where we are going…….eventually.

I like this even better than the last one.

Here’s the thing, I could have stayed home, done laundry and moped around because I had no idea what to do.  I was blank screen.  And honestly I would have done just that, except the laundry.  But my Husband made encouraged me get out of the house, and just drive through various neighborhoods.

Even now  although I’m still bummed, at least for some amount of time today I was overjoyed, excited and deliriously happy.  I felt like we hit the lottery or something.  We both were so hopeful and life felt fun.  Those moments with those great feelings we shared were wonderful.  Some days you get those moments other days you don’t. Some day you think you’ll never have another fun day the rest of your life.  Believe me I know.

The lesson learned:  You have to shake it up when you least want to.  When you want to craw inside a cave and let the dishes pile up because you just don’t give a sh*t – that is exactly the time you have to force yourself to do something, anything.  I am as bad, if not worse,  at doing this at the the next person.  It can be really tough to pull yourself up, by yourself.  I know for sure I wouldn’t have budged an inch, without loving encouragement from my Husband.  Thanks MrRat.

Cheers to the great moments.

Tip: You can give up once in awhile but you really can’t quit.

Inspiration: ” One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” – John O’Donohue

One-day one-thing: Encourage someone, anyone.

Huge Motivator, It’s Really Small

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I can’t believe I have done it once again.  I am setting myself up for one more let down only this time it’s going to be the U.S. court system that delivers the blow.

This poor guy, I imagine he is poor now.  According to court records his 17 parcels are all on the chopping block.  Well I decided to try to take one off his hands.  This new possible house, I’ll call it No.3, is small.   Not unlike the house in my original plan, the small house in my journey to living better with less.

Here’s the kicker; all offers must be approved by the court.  So we put our offer in and wait.  Thus giving me enough time to question myself, and ponder the pros and cons of this “maybe ” purchase.

Love this, maybe someday

No.3 is  a small brick house with a pointy peak over the front door.  Nothing I currently own will fit in this house, therefore I am going to literally have to get rid of nearly everything.  Just like I said I was going to do before, but I still held on with a storage unit.  I told myself it was  because I didn’t know exactly where I would be living next.  (still true, but I think I was holding one to our past life)

Until we hear back, I’ll spend my time on Apartment Therapy looking at ways to make small look wonderful.   I’ll learn how to make form and function work with simple design and create spaces that fit our lives.  This will be fun.

All this time, what I am really learning through this process is even if most things don’t work out  eventually “some” thing will work out .

Then in creeps FUD; fear, uncertainty and doubt.

This house could be a bad decision, but then again, it could be a great decision.  As we get older we can clearly see the trail we have left behind.  Hindsight, that 20/20 bullsh*t that relentlessly gnaws at our psyche.  For some reason seeing that old trail we’ve left behind leads us to believe we have the super-power see our path into the future.  This is not good.

Thinking we know anything for certain about the future is ridiculous.  These thoughts beliefs can hold us back from looking things objectively, making changes, and it holds us back from taking risks.  We are conditioned by events throughout our entire lives, and somehow we decide that however we saw things,  that vision or” fact” should be set in stone.  Oh yeah, that’s what happens when you do” this” or ” that.”

Twenty years ago, I would buy this house and never look back.  It would be what it would be.   And no matter what happened after the purchase I would never look back and say, ” I suspected, I imagined,  I knew that would happen.”  No, I would just accept it, whatever happened, and I would move-on to whatever happened to be next.

How limited is our exposure?  Can you really say you’ve seen it all?  Have I witnessed everything you have witnessed.  Not a chance.

My point here is: forget about it.  Our minds are powerful, take the expiration off your brain and live again.

There’s an entire world of possibilities out there, just waiting.

Cheers!

Tip: Follow your instinct even if everyone disagrees. Repeat as necessary.

Inspiration:“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them.”~Epictetus

One-day one-thing: Correct negative thoughts in your brain when they happen, don’t dwell in fear.

Santa’s not going to do this by Himself.

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I better get cracking.  My starting point: I have nothing planned for Christmas and I am mentally and emotionally spent.

In my de-cluttering mode I sold our fake artificial Christmas tree.  I had no place put it anyway and I figured we would get by with less.  Everything else for the holidays  is in here.

Just an fyi, if anyone is seeking a nice Christmas tree, Costco has beautiful real trees, cut, for 29.99.   They even tempted me.  They have short needles and are a good height and shape.  I think the tree is a good value plus you get that fresh pine scent in your house.

This year’s challenge is to make Christmas memorable,  fun and easy with low stress levels – without spending a ton of cash.

Unfortunately, it’s a super busy month even without the holidays.  First I have a business trip to Monterrey.  It will be beautiful, maybe stressful but maybe not.   Next I’ll be driving to NYC to chauffeur  two of my children home.  I’m not complaining at all, I love both places,  it’s just time consuming.

In New York I’d be happy to walk around with a coffee.  I like the sparkling silver star that hangs high above 5th Ave near Tiffany’s. ( if you go to Tiffany’s jewelry repair, 6th floor as I recall, you an get an awesome view of the silver star)   I also love looking at Bergdorf Goodman’s windows, they never disappoint.

We’ll play it by ear.  It’s not like my kids are teens and I can tell them what we are doing.  It’s more like they are mini-grown-ups, you know, with big ideas of their own.  I remember when I was their age, I went out partying all winter break, without my parents.

You know what?  I am going to buy that Costco Christmas tree and put it up. Why not?  Dress it with lights, garland and ornaments, and put some presents underneath.  Bake some cookies for everyone to decorate and make hot chocolate. Wow, a somewhat normal and simple Christmas.  So what if it’s in a basement?

That’s all it ever has to be….simple and real.   In my heart, I knew this all along.

Post Script: We lost the second house we bid on.  It was a multiple bidding situation once again.  Heavy sigh.  I feel like the world is telling me something, something like “stop what you’re doing- it’s not working.”

Tip: Concentrate on shared experiences instead of things.

Inspiration: ” Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.” ~ Noam Chomsky

One-day one-thing: If you’re giving gifts, wrap them as you get them –  it’s the only way.

Giving up?

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Wow, can it be happening? Is giving up the same as surrendering?

I wish I knew.  Because I am trying , really trying hard to figure this all out.

I don’t think it is, but it’s awfully close.

Look at the note under my photo to the right.  I adjusted our goals.  I left the old “goals” there so I don’t lose sight of them.  Am I changing because we can’t get the other, am I finally learning that there are some things that can’t be left behind.

We all have commitments.  And the commitments that we can not or do not want to give up are what holds us back.  You can have all the open mind you want but you have to be realistic. Yuck!   I hate being realistic.   It’s no fun.

On the flip side, once you look at the circumstances realistically, it may be easier to focus.   Which is another one of my weakest skills.  Focus.  Blah.

I don’t like the idea of giving up.  I don’t like not getting what I want, in others words, “failing.”  And I hate to feel limited.  No one like those things.  To top that off, once again, I find I am quickly re-learning lessons of compromise and patience. (more of my weaknesses)

Sure, I can change my perspective.  Easy peasy.  Change your mind change your world.  (I do believe in  this)  But to do this at the same time I am redefining our goals, well, it seems a bit disingenuous.

So am I giving up?  Maybe.  But not without getting something out of this.  I have a plan to do something new, to try something, it’s a small independent business not like our other business at all.  It would be mine and have absolutely nothing to do with servers and corporate events.

I think I can manage to make this all work together.  And that idea right now is what is rumbling inside my brain and holding me together.  Keep thinking. Cheers!

Tip: Realize that life is full of unpredictable events, attempt to be flexible.

Inspiration: ” Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” ~ Albert Einstein

One-day one thing: On strike until the children go back to school. :)

Holding On but Wanting Change.

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I lost an entire post I wrote on my phone late last night.   I was in bed, writing on my iPhone.  I hate writing on that tiny thing.  (Thus the reason for my enormous laptop.)

When I was awake and writing, nothing I wrote made sense.  It all lacked purpose and focus.  I was getting very frustrated.  That’s when I asked my husband what should I write about?  He answered, “Write about losing the house.”

I said,” No. I’ve already whined about that enough.”

He said, “Well you haven’t stopped around me.”

Sigh.  He was right.  I have been moaning and putting myself down because I knew in my gut that we should have bid higher, but instead I listened to someone else.

He surprised me when he said,” You need to figure out why you can’t let it go. Is there something subconsciously stopping you for moving forward?  We can’t change the past.  We’ll never get another house because in your eyes nothing will ever be as good as the “one that got away.”  So maybe there something inside [you] that is causing you to close your mind.  I’m not saying there is, but it’s worth a look.”

Well, how nice, I thought to myself.  I took what he said to heart and really tried to figure it out.  I couldn’t think of anything except that maybe I no longer trusted my instincts.  But that wasn’t it.  So I went to bed with my phone.

(don’t sleep with your phone if you want restful sleep )

I was half  asleep when a light bulb in my head switch on.   That’s it, I figured it out!

The house that got away, was perfect.  It had a place for every one and a place for every thing.  It felt like it was ours.  I confessed I had already seen myself moving heavy sand stone and prepping the garden.  I visualize all of us there this holiday season, with candles glowing while we lazed around in pjs.  Cozy and comfortable.  Even my old furniture would fit.  It was going to be just like home.  There in lies the issue, I loved this place so much because basically the only real change would have been our zip code.  The familiarity and the easy comfort fiercely drew me in and wouldn’t let me go.  It was as though this new house would cause losing our old home, and everything we went through, to seamlessly disappear.

Snap back to reality.

I remember when we lost our home, we decided that we would take this as an opportunity to re-scuplt and redesign our lives.  I decided to have less stuff and focus more on living.  My journey to living better with less began.  I still want that and I am making progress but the final destination is under construction.  What form it will eventually take on is completely unknown at this point.  I recognized that this perfect house wasn’t anything new, it didn’t really fit anywhere within the changing our lives category.

Have you ever thought you wanted to change something but it never happens?  Could it be because you are holding on to old beliefs and ideas?  Are you limiting yourself by staying in a comfort zone?  Do you have trouble letting go?  Are you afraid of taking risks?

I can tell you this has really hit home for me on many levels.  All the be the change you want to see and /or want to be can’t happen if we [I] continue to hold onto old ideas and beliefs.  If  “comfort” and “familiarity” take over there won’t be any room left for change, adventure, and risk.  No matter what the issue;  job, relationships, losing weight, quitting smoking or starting your own business.  You can’t begin to change yourself until you let go of your old self.

this is a clue

You’ll know I’m crazy when I tell you I think we found “it.”  Without even seeing this new place in person, I am thinking it is the one for us.  Insane, I know.  It’s risky and different.  It’s exciting and unexpected. I guess I’m a *hopeless-optimists. (*that is when I’m not sad)

Maybe it’s the alignment of the stars, or the yoga, but I feel more grounded, more in touch with what change really means.

I ‘ll keep you posted.  Cheers!

Tip: Have faith in yourself,  if you fail, try a different way.

Inspiration: ” The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”~ Bill Clinton

One-day one-thing:  Eat a healthy salad for dinner. :)