Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Uber-Decluttering for a New Life Direction
Now that I feel more settled than I have in about three years, I finally have the space to go back to the beginning of this adventure. I can now give some thought to the many requests about what it took to sell our home, cars, almost all our stuff, leave our friends, family and community in Phoenix, not to mention my business, and go live in Mexico for a while with no idea of where to go next, eventually ending somewhere we never thought we'd be, doing work we never imagined we'd do. (I can also now reply to those whose reaction was more along the lines of "What the hell are you thinking???")
I am going to attempt to recreate the adventure here, with the intention of distilling out the lessons. Or maybe I'll just write and let you take what you will. At least, I hope you'll enjoy the tale. And for those of you whose interest ran more along the lines of "How can I do that?" I hope this will inspire.
So, first, if you don't know the backstory of this journey and would like to, please see the blog entry from November 27, 2007 for a brief summary of events. I'll wait here.
Done? OK, onward. Or actually, backward.
In the summer of 2005, we got an invitation from some friends who had always wanted to live in San Miguel de Allende, which is a lovely colonial town in central Mexico. The invitation included an opportunity for Raymond to be trained in our friend's consulting business as well. So it was a career opportunity for Raymond, as well as an adventure for us both. I had been feeling kind of "done" with my professional organizing business, but I wasn't sure what direction to go in. We adore Mexico, so all of those factors were pushing us in the direction of Yes.
However. We had lived in Phoenix for 35 years. In a row. We had a large community of friends, family, business colleagues. We had a home we owned and loved. We had an ancient cat (17 years!) and a very old dog (14!). We had stuff - not a huge amount, as I did practice what I preached as a professional declutterer, but you know, enough to fill a home. I had never lived anywhere outside of Phoenix. (Whew - recreating this in writing is bringing back all those feelings: fear, excitement, grief, uncertainty. As Homer Simpson said, "Everything looks bad if you remember it.")
When we first got the invitation, I knew there was no way. NO way. Impossible. What would we do with our critters? How would we leave everything we knew? Everything we had worked for? All our peeps? Crazy.
Then the air conditioning went out, ever so conveniently on the Friday night of the three-day 4th of July weekend. No repair without massive holiday rates. We called the B&B two blocks away, the Yum Yum Tree, and booked a room for a night or three. And sitting by their pool on a hot summer night, I knew. Actually, I felt it. I knew it was an improbable, rash move. But I felt my soul stir, and knew on some level that we were leaving.
It wasn't until we were back home a couple days later, air back on, continuing to discuss, still processing, that we actually chose. We were outside on our front porch, watching the stars come out, having a much-needed mood enhancing beverage, and our heads caught up to our hearts. And we said Yes.
Oh, shit. We just said Yes.