Friday, February 27, 2009

What Is It That I Really Want?

I've read two books in the last two days, and hope to finish a third by tonight. The first was The Dip, which I've already given my thoughts on. The second was The Old Man and the Sea. This book was sent to me with a note attached: "word economy = nobel prize"... after reading, I can attest that this is true. And the third book of the week is An Exact Replica Of A Figment Of My Imagination. This one was also sent with a note: "how to turn journalizing into a Bestseller."  This is what I hope my book to be; not in content, but in concept.

In my Coaches Training this past weekend I received a lot of 10-minute coaching sessions. While the coaching was practiced by novices, it was led by experts. And as a result, I received some amazing coaching, as the essence of coaching is to allow the client (me) to answer his/her (my) own questions and draw his/her (my) own conclusions as to necessary action (if any) in his/her (my) life. In one of these sessions I focused on what I want people to get out of my writing; essentially: why am I writing? There were as many moments of silence as can occur in ten minutes during that session. In my memory, at least.

I tasked myself with trying to put into words what I want people to get out of my writing. I agreed to make a list of no less than ten things I wanted people to understand. I came up with things like: connect with emotions, relate experiences, embody change, and find yourself through my emotions. It all made sense at the time I wrote it down, but still I couldn't capture what I really wanted to say. And then I started reading this book. An Exact Replica...

The book is about the experience of the author's first child being stillborn and moving forward in life to have a second child that people will always see as her first. I'm only half way through it, and already I can relate to her. Not because I've endured a stillborn child; I've never even been pregnant. But the author has these emotions, these feelings, these thoughts, these rants that are so much in the moment of how she feels, how can I possibly not relate? As a writer, I've always been encouraged to show, not tell. So let me show you what I mean.

I have this idea that we are all humans and we all experience the same core emotions humans are capable of experiencing. Anger. Happiness. Sadness. Fear. And the varying fractions and multiples of each that lead us to frustration and despair and hysteria and joy and jumping up and down for such things and crying happy tears and tears of pain and regret and sorrow and faith and raising a fist to God and demanding to know why, why, for the love of God, why? The circumstances that lead us to these emotions and these actions are always different, as we are all unique. But the emotions themselves are what we all feel, what we can all relate to. 

This is what I wish to capture in my writing. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Dip

I started reading The Dip yesterday afternoon. Between a few pages then, a few pages last night, and a few pages this morning, I finished the 80-page book before I got out of bed. As I read through the pages I started to think about the areas in my own life where I've quit before or during the Dip, as well as the times I've pushed on, all the way to the end of the Cul De Sac, or even carried myself right over the Cliff. 

The Dip is is the place where it gets hard, but if you're good at what you do and really lean into it, you can push yourself through and come out successful because you've been able to be "the best in the world" at what you do (page 6). The Cul De Sac is the dead end that leads you nowhere but to the end of the street because that's just all there is (page 19). And the Cliff is the act of committing and then completely falling off the edge due to your commitment--as in dying of emphysema due to 20 years of smoking or buying a gym membership and then never going to the gym (page 20).

I've realized that much of my time in my former company was spent in the Cul De Sac. I was never going to become Executive Management, but I kept pushing upward, just the same. At some point, the opportunity for growth ceased to exist, and I failed to realize it. As a result, I became bored with my job, abandoned something I was really good at (helping people grow), and accepted multiple positions that exhausted me because I started from scratch and lead myself down a path I really didn't want to go down (the corporate life). I didn't realize it at the time, but quitting that job was the best thing I could have done for myself; it was the only way to keep from circling the Cul De Sac (aka Drain). 

As I've embarked on my writing career, I've come to learn that writing a book--being a writer--has a huge Dip. For all the writers that are out there and successful, there are ten times as many unsuccessful and failed writers. Writing a book is hard. You have to write. Every day. Even when you don't want to, even when you don't think it's good. There was the initial excitement of quitting my job and being a writer, but the honeymoon wore off pretty quickly. When there was no income. When there was no structure. When there are no words. The honeymoon is over, and it's just me. And my head. And the Dip. 

Without even realizing it, I seem to have prepared for this Dip (albeit a little late in my process), by hiring a Life Coach to coach me through finishing the book. The first part of growth is becoming aware. I have finally acknowledged that this is going to be harder than I thought. I've reevaluated my priorities, and writing this book is still at the top of the list. My vision for what the book will be is now crystal clear, and it's a matter of pressing through. Through the days I don't want to write, through the days I think my writing is crap, through the days of starting new chapters and throwing out old ones, and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The whole point is to process through it, because if I don't then I'm just like all the unsuccessful writers before me who set out on a journey and turned around just before they hit their stride. I will hit my stride. I will lean into this Dip and hit my stride. And ride it all the way to the New York Times Best Seller List. I envision this every day. Not because it's easy, but because I want it that bad.

I don't think it's necessary to buy The Dip or even to read it in order to find out if you're close to the Dip, headed down the Cul De Sac or over the Cliff. I think asking yourself the question is the first step. And if you think you want the book, email me. I'll send it to you for free. First come, first serve. As long as you promise to pass it on when you're done. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wine or Not, It's In My Hands

I got an email from my best friend just after 12:30 this afternoon asking if I'd be interested in going to a business "mixer" at a local wine store/tasting spot near Long Beach. Why not? $20 very well spent.

I met real estate agents and brokers and life coaches and hypnotists and a minister/financial planner (whose motto is "Jesus saves, so why don't you?") and anti-aging specialists and wine connoisseurs and business developers...all in all, this was the perfect place for me to be tonight.

All weekend long I focused on becoming a life coach. And in this 2-hour spot, I got to actually tell people I was a life coach. Which means...I'm actually a Life Coach, certification or not. I networked with several people and ended up making plans with 3 of them to get together this week and talk about doing a seminar for first time home buyers. A couple of Realtors, a Lender, and myself are going to figure out how to put together something where people who have never owned homes can see the benefits of capitalizing on an amazing opportunity that's happening right now in the real estate industry: BUYER'S MARKET!! We all want to help people realize their goals of actually owning a home, and I'd like to coach them through the entire process (having just gone through it, myself).

It's all kind of mind boggling to me that this is even an option, when just last week I was only going to a training class. Last week my future was in the hands of this training class, and today my future is in my own hands. What a transformation! I can see the possibilities for just about anyone...sure, maybe that's the two "2-oz" glasses of wine that were poured tonight speaking. And still, there's something there. 

We all create our own realities. If we're open to opportunities, they come to us. If we're not, then maybe something other than opportunities come to us. It seems the choice is in our hands. Isn't it always?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Healing Balance

I'm a big believer in energy and balance and using energy to create balance. I believe that thinking positively brings me closer to happiness. I believe that being around positive energy and people contributes to my own happiness. I believe that negative energy gets trapped in our bodies and unless given an escape route--massage, exercise, sex, hiking, softball, dancing, crying (to name a few)--that this negative energy manifests. Manifests into sore muscles and knots. Colds and flus. Maybe even cancers. That's what I believe.

Today was Day 1 of my Coaches Training. It amazing and humbling experience. I think I could actually feel myself grow. In one workshop I was called on to coach someone while the other 20-some-odd people listened with intent to give feedback. I could feel the redness in my face, the tenseness of my muscles, and worse, I could hear myself flounder as the words began to form mid-air and make nearly no sense at all as they flew across the room. And I couldn't get them back. This is supposed to be your big calling, and you've buckled under pressure. That little voice in my head that keeps me from accomplishing all of my dreams started to stir. And then a funny thing happened. I told her to go away.

It felt odd. Strange. Out of the normal. Not right. Uncomfortable. I felt downright crazy for talking to myself in that moment, even if it was only in my head. For a moment I was afraid I'd spoken out loud. I looked around, and by that time, eyes were on the next would-be-coach. I took a deep breath, and as soon as they called for a break I bolted upright and headed for the bathroom to regain my composure. As I stood washing my hands, almost ready to go back into the fire pit, a woman approached me to tell me she liked where I was going with the questions I asked. She wanted to work with me on the next exercise. Huh. "Well sure", I said, all smiles. I might be able to do this...

I went back into the room and spoke to the woman I had a part in coaching. I thanked her for allowing me to be a part of her process. She smiled and leaned in for a hug. She made sure to lean her head to the right, so my head was over her left shoulder. I remember from a seminar of Dr. Wayne Dyer's that this has something to do with energy and the heart. And then she hugged me. This was no ordinary hug. She took long, deep, slow breaths in and let them out just the same. I could tell because two or three of my breaths equalled one of hers. And then it hit me: slow down. Absorb her energy.

She held tight to my frame and I began to release the tension in my neck. Next was the tension in my back. And arms. And chest. My breaths had become slow like hers, and I was nearly on pace with her, almost without trying. I could feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. I was in the middle of the "classroom" and no less than 15 people were in the room. And I had tears rolling down my cheeks, not caring who saw. This moment was for me, and not for them.

As we separated, I thanked her again, but this was for something different. I felt a shift, as she called it. A shift in my energy, from negative to positive. I don't mean to say that all of my negative energy was released, but I do mean to say that some of it was. I felt it actually leave my body. Through the hug, through my pores, through my tears. And that was enough release, enough energy, enough balance to get me through the rest of the night.

Volunteer Client Found

Today I begin the first day of the rest of my life. I guess we do this every day. But it's not every day that I start Life Coach Training. I'm pretty excited to get started, and even more excited that I've found a volunteer client to coach for my homework assignment tomorrow night. As it turns out, I will need to coach a volunteer client on the second night of each of the 4 remaining courses. I can either use the same volunteer from this course, or use a new volunteer every time, and I'm sure there are benefits to both. If anyone is interested, please email me and let me know. 

I was hoping to get a good night's sleep last night, but our new puppy got sick late in the afternoon. He spent a good chunk of the wee hours of the morning throwing up grass he'd eaten earlier in the day to try and make himself hurl. So every other hour had us jumping up to try and get him to the hardwood floors for easier mess cleaning, and subsequently cleaning up said mess. he seems to have gotten it all out of his system and is sleeping soundly (and snoring loudly) at the moment.

Last night and this morning (or maybe this entire week and month) have reminded me that things will always come up. It's rare that things will go according to plan 100% of the time, so I need to be prepared to be flexible. And in order to be flexible, I need to take care of myself. I've not meditated much in the last week, and plan on doing that this morning before I head out to class this afternoon. I'm also taking myself to breakfast. A) to ensure I actually eat breakfast, B) so that I don't have to clean up after myself when I'm done, and C) to sit with myself and enjoy my own company out amongst strangers. The next 3 days (today included) are going to be intense and I need to make sure I'm ready to take that on. 

I'm finding that the more time I take for myself, the more time I can give to others. It's a rather peaceful feeling, and I'm glad I can recognize it. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Outlines and Honor

I've never been much of an outliner. How do I know what I'm going to write before I write it? I write much better when I don't have any idea what I'm even going to write about when I sit down to write. That's my style. Half the time when I blog, I barely have a word in my head to run with when I start. Which may give the sense that I don't know what I'm talking about or where I'm going in the beginning, but I usually manage to bring it all around by the end. 

Writing with deadlines and minimum or exact word requirements haven't always worked well for me, either. I tend to leave it to the last minute and then throw something together. Sometimes it works out to be brilliant, and other times it's just a mess. I think my best work comes when I'm not thinking at all about what I'm writing, but merely getting lost in whatever it is. 

Which is why writing this book has been so challenging for me. I've written hundreds of pages and thousands of words, and while it all makes sense when I'm writing it, I seem to have no idea of how to put it all together when I'm done. This has come up in some of my life coach sessions, since part of the reason I have a coach is to be coached through finishing my book and ultimately getting it published. One of my coach's suggestions was to get an outline together. But I already said I don't really work well with outlines. Or maybe I do...

I've taken the hundreds of pages and put them in their respective chapters (although I still have no idea as to the order of these chapters), and have begun to see that the writing itself is not so great, but the process of having written has served me well. I'm now going through the chapters and creating an outline, based on the details within. It seems so simple, now, to create an outline, based on what I've already written. Paradigm shift.

And although I tend to work best without an agenda, I'm finding that all I need is a spark of inspiration to propel me into my vision. A quick look at the outline, and I can brainstorm about where I was and what I felt and my thoughts and plans and fears. Where before there were words on pages that somehow went together but I didn't know how, a structure emerges, and the pages begin to make sense. I'm beginning to really see the fruits of my efforts, and more importantly, I'm taking action and working towards the goal I'd set for myself: finish the book. 

I'm learning that by honoring myself in writing and believing in myself to do so, I'm also honoring my father. Which was the idea in beginning the book, in the first place. By tossing out what I previously believed (I don't work well with outlines), and trying a different approach, I've become better at being me. Which means I'm growing. And for me, that's the whole idea in living life. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Volunteer Client Needed

Next weekend I'm starting my first Coaches Training Institute Co-Active Coaching Course, and am super excited! According to the "syllabus," the second night's homework will be to coach a client in a half-hour or one-hour appointment, which can be in person or over the phone. I'll need to get it scheduled prior to the beginning of my course on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 (10:00am PST). The appointment will need to be scheduled for sometime between 6:00pm-11:00pm PST on Feb 21, since I'll need to report back on the experience on the following day.
The “client” should be a volunteer client, not an existing client, nor should he/she be a spouse, partner, close family member or close personal friend.
This caveat limits participation in my homework assignment to people I don't know (or at least, don't know well), and expands my opportunity to meet new people and really get my feet wet in this new career. While I'm just beginning my professional coaching career, I feel like I've been preparing for this my entire life. I'm excited to finally dive in and begin co-creating paths to success and personal fulfillment!

What is Co-Active Coaching?
Co-Active Coaching has impacted the lives and careers of thousands of managers, leaders, and coaches around the world. It has led to the first ICF accredited coach training program, the most widely used text book in coaching, the largest number of certified coaches globally and a powerful, experiential leadership program that unlocks participants' unique and natural leadership strengths.
CTI coaching holds that people are naturally creative, resourceful, whole, and completely capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face. The job of a Co-Active Coach® is to ask powerful questions, listen and observe to elicit the skills and creativity a client already possesses, rather than instruct or advise.
To train successful coaches, CTI uses an approach that includes four key elements:
1) In-depth, in-person Co-Active training
2) Professional practicum leading to certification
3) Business/entrepreneurial skills development
4) Supportive community of coaches.
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer client, and the date/timeframe above works for you, please contact me at dian at to set up an appointment. I'm sure I will need plenty  of volunteer clients as my education continues, so please contact me if you'd like to participate in a future assignment, or even just get some free coaching in while I'm learning. While these assignments are required in my education, please know that any persons participating as a volunteer client will not be obligated to participate in ongoing sessions.  

I look forward to hearing from anyone who's looking to grow!!

Who Are We To Say?

I try not to go on rants about..well, about anything--outside of my journal--but this thought of the day, I guess, has been sitting in my inbox for over 4 months now, and I can't seem to delete it without saying something about it. So here goes:

When that which is god -- or that which is that which man wants to call "God" -- is being understood by man, man has to translate it into the format he understands. But this Energy -- this Source that man is giving the label of "God", cannot be quantified in anything that man understands. And as man attempts to do it, the distortions are enormous.
Are we (humans) really so arrogant as to believe that we know we are right about who and what God is? About what God's intentions are with the world? Are we really so arrogant as to distort those beliefs and amend them to fit our lives? To suppose that we know who and where and how God has intervened into our lives? And that we ought to make sure everyone else understands just what we understand so they can be just as right with the world and God as we are?

I believe there's something strong, something profound about faith and believing in a power greater than ourselves. There must be, in order for life to be what it is, with all its eccentricities and life forms and microorganisms and coffee flavors. This is my belief, and I hold to it. That being said, my belief in no way diminishes or replaces whatever your belief, no matter how strongly you or I believe in them; they neither cancel each other out nor are in absolution, the Truth of what is. 

We cannot possibly know who and what we don't understand. And when we attempt to say that we do understand, we end up distorting whatever Truth that is unknown. Much of what is written about God comes from an archaic age, and has not changed with the times. Would we conduct business the same as we did 2,000 years ago because that's how someone who said he heard God speak said we should? 

So much is written about God, and even more so, translated. The bible is the most translated book in the history of books. Translation is neither simple, nor exact. Anyone who is fluent in more than one language knows that there is often not an exact word or phrase  when translating from one language to the other. Each language has its own idiosyncrasies and groupings of words that don't make sense when separate but ring true in their original form.

I find it interesting that we, "man", hold God in such high regard and say that He is all knowing and then promptly decide that we know what He's talking about (or what He even said to begin with). We allow ourselves to believe that our vision of God is the (only) Truth, rather than opening up to the idea that there may be many Truths, or at least that our Truth may not be all there is to it. 

Sheryl Crow, Hard to Make A Stand:
We got loud guitars and big suspicions,
Great big guns and small ambitions,
And we still argue over who is God
And I say, "Hey there Miscreation,
Bring a flower time is wasting
We all need a revelation"
But I wonder if part of the problem is that we're all trying to make a stand instead of listening, learning, being open to what someone else has to say instead of creating a space in which others must conform to. It is not possible to understand what we think of as God. I hope I am not so arrogant as to say that what I believe is the only Truth. 

Seek first to understand, and then to be understood. Love thy neighbor. And stop trying to be better than everyone else. Just try to be better than who you were yesterday. The world will be a much better place.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Writing and Failure

This morning I decided to actually read through the 103 pages of the original draft of 7 Days. I vaguely remember discarding the hard copy a few months ago, thinking, I'm never gonna use any of this, which means I had to reprint it. There's something about being able to physically see the words on the page that makes me feel like the writing is if it's all fake when it's sitting on the screen in front of me. 

As I read through the first chapter, I realized that it's all crap. It's not that everything is useless, it's that I can't use most of what was written. It's frustrating to see 103 pages of writing in front of me--writing that took me months to complete--and realize that I can't use but a few sentences. I guess the silver lining is going through the process. 

If I hadn't written those pages, I wouldn't know what was on them. Having gone through the experience, I can play with what was written, pull out the chunks that work, and see where to go from here. 

In my Life Coach training (really just the book I've been reading, Co-Active Coaching, as classes don't start until Feb 21st), I've been learning that failure is a necessity for success and the importance of celebrating failure.
In order to take the risks that will enable them to walk and run in their lives, clients must be willing to glop, fall, and get back up and learn fro the experience. ... Whether a person fails or succeeds, one of the underlying goals is always to look at the learning that results from the experience.
I can choose to look at the 103 pages of nearly useless material as failure, or I can choose to celebrate the 103 pages and learn from everything within them. As I'm reading through each chapter of the draft, I'm pulling out the nuggets and making notes and getting ideas on how to move forward. I'm realizing that without thinking about it, I'm choosing to celebrate the failure of a partial manuscript that doesn't work as is and work towards something that's not only readable, but meaningful.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Process of Fear

This morning I reluctantly got up with Jackson after Erin got in the shower. I took him out to take care of business, which he promptly did. He's such a good boy (in the morning). After Erin left for work I sat in my IKEA chair, feet up on the ottoman, Macbook in lap, puppy curled up asleep on the floor to my right. 

I drank my morning Nalgene of water and got started on 30 minutes of journaling. Fear. Compromise. Emotions. Out of control. Expectations. Let go. Protect. Armor. Barrier. Calm. Assure. Reassure. Inner child. Irrational. Back. Forth. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Weakness. Vulnerability. Trust. Allow. Relax. One step. Forward. Learn. Comfort. Growth. Release. Okay. Catharsis. Process. Whole. Me. Love. Appreciate. Gratitude. Home. 

Everyone I know who's bought a home has confirmed that buying a home is stressful. And like anything else in life, it must be experienced for one's self to truly understand the stress these people speak of. I am and have always been one who learns from doing rather than being told. We're not half way through escrow and I, too, can confirm that buying a home is stressful. 

Prepared with an excellent real estate agent and hours of research in Home Depot and on the internet and HGTV, Erin and I began the process. And no matter how much one learns from Sandra on Property Virgins, there's something to be said for going through the process, rather than being told about it or even watching someone else go through it. I didn't learn how to hit a ball until I actually swung a bat, even though I'd watched my father do it up to that moment. Buying a home is no different.

There are documents to sign, papers to fill out, monies to account for, incomes to prove, repairs to be made, inspections to be done, discussions to have, compromises to come to, miscommunications to avoid, tears to be shed, expectations to meet, and faith to be had. And through it all I'm supposed to keep my emotions in check and not let the rain affect my conversation skills. I wish it were that easy.

The past couple of days have been days filled with fear and stress, and no effort to release or relieve any of it. Most days I feel fine. Most days I get out of bed and find that I'm in a better place than I was the day before. But the occasional multiple days of rain in Southern California tend to screen my emotions, allowing only the dark and insecure ones through. The peeking sun rings distant, and while I can hear it, even see the call coming through, I do not answer it. 

With this morning's sunshine breaking through the clouds and the bright blue sky following suit, my dark emotions rest at bay. A few breaths of fresh air and Vitamin K rejuvenate my soul and bring a bright eye to the shadows that lured this fear of yesteryear into my world. My inner child fears are comforted and walked away. And what remains is my resilient adult experience, and the memory of the path to this place. There is no need for armor, and so it cannot be found. I breathe deeply and freely, knowing that whatever fears and stresses come with buying this home: those, too, shall pass. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Excerpt: Coming Home

From 7 Days:

Journal Entry: January 5, 2006
What do I do now? It's all over. He's gone. And I'm just supposed to go on with my life? I'm supposed to just go out for a drink after spending the last six days in the hospital? I'm supposed to just...what? I don't know what I'm supposed to do. There is no rule book. There is no manual. There is no one who has the answers. No one who has done this before. No. One. None.
Pulling my hand from my father's cooling chest was almost harder than watching him die. Almost. Once he was gone, I was left to return to my life. I missed work to be with my father while he was sick. I took him to the hospital during my lunch hours. I left work at exactly 4:30 p.m. to visit him in the VA Hospital. I arrived at work religiously at 7:15 a.m. to ensure that 4:30 departure. Now that he was gone, what would I do with my life? What would I go back to now that he was finally gone?

The life I'd come to know over the previous year had vanished with my father's death. There was nothing to get back to. My relationship had begun to fall apart long before my father fell ill. It was just a matter of time before that met its death, too. Reese spent the days between my father's death and his funeral comforting me as best she knew how. And in the days after his funeral...well, she spent those days withdrawing from me. And all I could do was cling tighter, feel her slip through my fingers like sand, and fear I would not be able to stop her. Because then where would I be?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'm truly in awe of this meditation thing. I can't seem to do two days in a row, at least not for any great length of time because, so far, each meditation has been such a powerful experience. I suppose with time I will have less to release, maybe less tension and more balance, and the meditations will serve as turning the covers rather than building the bed. 

Today's mediation was, again, focused on releasing the old and making room for the new. Aside from a quick peek 30 seconds into the meditation (it was actually on accident), I was able to keep my eyes closed without much effort. The hard part wasn't even keeping still, but sitting up straight and maintaining good posture. Maybe that will also come in time. As for the ease of the eyes and the stillness, I think I can comfortably attribute that to giving meditation the proper respect when sitting down with it. 

In the past I've believed that I couldn't do it. That it wouldn't work. That it was silly. That it was for other people, but not for me. That I'd have to be far to existential in order for meditation to work for me. That I'd have to wear long, flowing dresses in the wind and linen shirt/pant suits in order to really grasp the concept. Essentially, I accepted any excuse for not meditating.

And now that I've begun to make a (semi) habit of it, I'm finding that if I just let myself go, let myself think, the meditation does the rest. Elizabeth Gilbert talks a little bit about this in her book, Eat, Pray, Love, and maybe that's what allowed me to give meditation a chance. Apparently, just like everything else in life, meditation takes practice. 

So I will continue to sit in silence with myself and my thoughts, and be open to the idea that meditation is not just for enlightened people, but regular city folk like me, as well. And maybe, just maybe, one day I'll be able to get lost in myself so deeply that an hour or two goes by and my eyes don't even think about peeking.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Changes, Fast and Proud

Erin and I decided to really buy a house on Monday, January 6. We looked at 3 houses on Sunday, January 11. We put an offer in on one of those houses on the 13th. Our offer got declined on the 14th. We looked at another house on the 15th. No good. We went away for the weekend. We looked at a condo and a house on Monday the 19th. We kept them on the long list and kept on looking. On the 20th I looked at the outside of a condo during the day. That night we saw the inside. And later that night we put in an offer. On the evening of the 22nd the offer was countered. We accepted the counter nearly on the spot, citing devastation at the thought of "losing" the home if we countered and got rejected or another offer got accepted. Friday, January 24 revealed that there were multiple interested parties regarding the condo we'd just signed the agreement on. January 29th, 6 days after we accepted their counter, we opened escrow. Concept to reality (at least the reality of being in escrow) was 23 days. Probably closer to 60 days, come moving day, but all in all, this is happening pretty quickly.

I took Jackson over to the house last week to show him his new yard. I watched him frolic up and down the grass and walkway and thought, he's going to take this move much better than the cats. Sly and Killer have made 8 moves with me over the last 9 1/2 years. It takes Sly couple of days to adjust, AKA lying around like he owns the place, while Killer sometimes doesn't come out from beneath the bed but to eat and relieve herself for the first few days. And then there's me.

My adjustment period has come to be considerably longer than Killer's. While I don't generally hide myself under the bed for days on end, my mind is surely not all there in the rooms as I saunter about, putting this blanket in that cabinet, that dish on this shelf, and so on. I think about the places I've lived, the people I've lived with and how I've changed over the years.

My best friend and I were roommates in one of my first apartments. By the end of moving day I was completely unpacked, my clothes and personal belongings put away neatly in my room. The kitchen was unpacked, dishes put away, wine glasses hanging from an IKEA rack I'd put up at some point during the day. We put the microwave rack together and had a friend come over to put the TV rack together, in exchange for a beer or two (of which he gave a capful to Sly, who did not hold his alcohol well). This was how I thought all moves would go from there on out.

But not every move gets to be because you want it. The next move was because my best friend got engaged and moved into a house with her fiance. Not being able to afford the apartment on my own, I moved. Further from family, further from work, and smaller in size. I hadn't learned the art of downsizing at that point. The next move was into my grandfather's house after Grandma died to help him transition. Then I tried to save my relationship and moved from the back bedroom of my grandfather's house into a 2-bedroom apartment a few miles down the road. It was a great townhouse, only problem was it didn't fix my relationship. So when she moved out two months after we moved in, it was like I had moved again. I stared at empty spots on the walls and shelves where her things once were, and did not fill those spaces for quite some time.  A far cry from the neat and tidy, everything-in-its-place-where-it-belongs just a few years prior. 

I've since recovered, and two moves later I'm ready to move again. Finally it's a move I'm making not due to blind and fumbling circumstances that I've allowed to be beyond my control, but as a result of sitting down and making an adult, conscious decision to do so. 

I don't expect that we'll be living in boxes for even a week, but I'm not going to stress myself out with getting everything unpacked on moving day. I'm going to savor the experience of moving into our first home and all the little things that come with it. I'll bask in the aroma of fresh appliances and newly laid tile. I'll rollick in lavender and vanilla tubs, knowing that we are all those tubs have ever known. And we'll let the feeling of being real, live home owners sink in slowly but surely as we make the house truly ours, with our experiences and memories and excitement and blunders.

I've spent the last 10 years acquiring things, and I seem to be transitioning from acquiring things to acquiring meaningful  things. Not just things, but people as well. I don't mean to say that all the things and people prior have been meaningless, but that moving forward I'm making conscious decisions to allow only people and things into my life that bring me joy. I'm just pretty excited about living my life in a manner that I'm proud of. Not for anyone else's sake, but for my own.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Visions of Inspiration, Update

This week I'll be posting some house updates (the physical inspection is today at noon), as well as an excerpt from 7 Days. In the meantime, I'm going to share with you my updated Vision Statement. This first month of 2009 has been a whirlwind of excitement, and I hope the rest of the year brings more. So to get myself in the mood, I've improved upon my last Vision Statement (I think) and hope it inspires you to create or update your own.


If you don't see the video here, go here