Monday, September 19, 2016

Strange Things Are Happening to Me

I was wide awake twenty minutes before my alarm went off again this morning. I think this has been happening for at least a week now. Maybe more. My alarm is set for 5:00 a.m., it is pitch black outside and I've been going to bed later. This is nothing short of a miracle. I love it!

I love the quiet of the morning and I have been sabotaging my own happiness by sleeping through this, the happiest part of my day. I wake up motivated to get as much done before the rest of the world seeps into my day.

What to do? Where to start?

Unfortunately, I have replaced my addiction to TV watching with on-line selling. I started selling off my excess daycare wares two weeks ago and I'm still going strong. I have made $343.25 to date and I have 16 more items up for bid at the moment. My goal of selling $50 per week is being exceeded but far better than that, I seem to have regained a foothold on the excess that was taking over my life. I am finally willing and ready to let go.

It was not so very long ago when I opened a drawer or a cupboard or focused on the clutter within the garage and I felt defeated. I was overwhelmed. I had a sickly attachment to "stuff" and deciding what to purge felt akin to deciding which toe I could live without. There was a physical and emotional hold which resulted in a lot of television watching and sleeping in lieu of "cutting off a toe".

Granted, the decision to close my daycare has been a catalyst for this change. If this decision wasn't so right for me right now, I wouldn't find this process so easy. It is not just letting go of "the stuff", it is letting go of the lifestyle. Our house is not going to look like and BE a daycare. If not a daycare, then "what"?

I know that part of my fascination with the Home and Garden network comes from the idea of wondering what our home could be transformed into next. The entire time I was babysitting, I wished for the HGTV network to knock on my door and offer to do a renovation on creating "convertible spaces" within my home. Somewhat akin to how a Murphy bed disappears into a wall when not in use as a bed, I wished for a home where booster seats, playpens and play areas could "vanish into a wall" the moment my daycare day ended.

My goal is to make our house "work" for me. It has served well as a daycare for the better part of the last 18 years. It has been done a very good job. But what now? What can I do to help this house pay its own way in the world?

My dream goal has been to open a Bed and Breakfast. Ever since I stayed in my very first B & B in 2005, I knew "that" was it for me. That was the direction I wanted to work towards. My dream was open a B & B, do bookkeeping on the side and write. Just write.

I'm at a crossroad now. My daycare days must end. It is hard but it is necessary. Now it is time to transform my world and turn it into what I have been dreaming of.

As I dig into the closets, drawers, garage, playhouse, nooks and crannies around here I am not yet "cleaning". I am purging. Simply erasing the identity of what once lived here. This house has to work for me. I don't think Scott McGillivray is going to drop by and turn my main floor into a fully independent rent-able space for me, while he pats me on the back and applauds me for choosing the downstairs suite as my own home. I know I would have his approval but I know just as certainly, that he won't offer to do it for free because it would make a good half hour segment on his rental property TV series.

Since I can't count on Scott, I must count on myself. I don't have the funds for a full-on renovation. I must work with what I have. I don't have much. I have $343.25 from sold daycare assets but that may have to go towards groceries in the next month or two. I must start from where I AM and look forward.

I'm still looking off into the sunset and seeing the retreat I want to create. An oasis, a shelter from the storm, a quiet place for someone to go off, lose themselves and find themselves in the process. Yes, the dream is still very much alive. I'm glad.

But in the meantime, I must pay the bills around here. Am I scared? No. Am I nervous? Amazingly not. Do I know what I want? Hmmm.

My very wise son sat down with me and looked at me rather incredulously when I told him this. It was that look of "Who are you and where is my mother??" It was a look of "Oh no. Has she slipped from reality and relying solely on 'faith' to get her where she needs to go next?" He reworded his question and said, "Really now. Where do you see yourself going? What is your end goal? What does retirement look like to you?"

I slipped into my newfound peaceful spot and told him this:

First of all, I need to fix "me". I need to get happy, stay happy and like myself again. I need to start from there and move forward. That is the gift "the next three months" of forced slowdown in my daycare world has given me.

Secondly, I need to get financially independent &/or solvent. I may never earn what I can earn from my daycare again. This is sobering. I liked my lifestyle. I didn't go crazy and wild, but if I wanted something I could buy it. If I wanted to give someone a gift, I didn't have to think twice about it. I gave and did and spent what I wanted. I don't need extravagance but I do want stability and comfort.

Thirdly, once I am all grounded and happy as well as self supporting and independent, I would like to get married. Yes, "get married" slipped off the tip of my tongue before I censored myself. "Get married", as in I want an equal partner in life to walk beside me as I go forward from here. Once I have my feet firmly planted on the ground again and am content in the life I have built, I want to find a companion, a partner, a yin to my yang.

"In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, 陰陽 yīnyáng "dark—bright") describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another." ~

I am looking toward the future with great hope and a healthy dose of anticipation. Do I know all the answers? Not in a heartbeat. Am I nervous? Truth be told, I can't dwell on that right now. But I have the very same feeling I had when I moved to Saskatoon 29 years ago. It's going to be okay. I know this with every fibre of my being. “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end” ~ Patel, Hotel Manager, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”~ Joseph Campbell

I feel like I'm starting to live in my "Field of Dreams" again. If I build it, they will come...

Life isn’t a project to be completed; it is an unknowable landscape to be explored. Be open and excited for whatever terrain you encounter this weekend....Or as the Swedish army manual says, “If the terrain and the map do not agree, follow the terrain”. ~ Project Happiness 

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