It feels nice to be back. A year + has gone by since we moved to Virginia. It is very lovely here, and we are enjoying new beginnings. During those months, we worked from sun to sun to restore our 1910 farmhouse – an immense endeavor. We stayed with my sister and b-i-l, and traveled over an hour each way every day. We still have tons of work to do but we were able to move in during the first seven months. We kept as many as the original features as we could, and strived to achieve a rustic early american look. I think we achieved what we set out to do. In two words – thrilling exhaustion. Will we ever attempt this again? I doubt it, but one never knows, so I’ll leave it at that. For some of you who might be thinking of undertaking a similar endeavor, this is what I learned.
- It is more work than you will ever imagine.
- It takes more time and money than budgeted.
- You will drive each other crazy to the point of no return at times.
- Sometimes, you will doubt your strength to keep on going, but somehow you do go on.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Be prepared to handle good moments, somber moments, crazy moments, sad moments, angry moments, and happy moments.
- You need to pat each other on the back to keep going.
- When you see the results of your hard work, it pays, and it feels very good.
- You must have patience, endurance, and vision.
During that time we were offline and totally disconnected. I found that I enjoyed the time away from all of it. During my free moments I managed to write The Five-dollar Miracle the old-fashioned way – via pen and paper. It is in the first stage of revision and editing, and I hope that by the end of this year it will be published. This one is a bit different from my previous works.
To all of you who followed this blog and read some of the older posts while I was away, I thank you.
We all have heard the popular phrase “till the cows come home,” referring to a long and indefinite period of time. “I will party till the cows come home” is a good example of it. However, what happens when the cows come home? And if they do, are we prepared to receive them? I have asked myself that question many times, and the answer is always the same – I’ll never know until I see them.
Preparing for life changes can be exciting, exhilarating, scary, and many other things; however, we won’t know until the cows come home. We continue with our plans of leaving Jersey and moving to the country. Although we are preparing for it, and are excited … we won’t know until the cows come home. For now, all we can do is wait for them, and prepare for their arrival. In a way, it is good that things happen a bit slow, it gives you time to appreciate the road, the roses, the thorns, and yes, it gives you time to wait for those cows.
Picture taken on our way to the farmhouse. I guess some cows where having second thoughts and heading back.
Starting to live a simple life has not been easy. Mostly, because it has been a slow process and one that has been the result of some good and not so good events. It has been ticking, and finally the pieces are starting to fall in place, slowly, one by one. It is a process of shedding, not only the material, but of the feelings attached to those material things. It’s been a time to shed emotions, and of retrospection; a time of discovery, and of realization. It has also been a time to do just the opposite of what had been expected and go against the current, of letting go. That has been the spiritual side of it, although the material part has had its own challenges.
Once you see the material for what it is, it becomes less important, little by little, step by step. What used to be hard to get rid of, one day becomes easy, the feelings attached are still there, but you realize that the feelings will always be there, and they don’t need the physicality of an object to be brought to memory. Most of it is crap, from shoppaholic days, or the result of some old empty void being filled at the time. Once acknowledged, it is free to let go, and so is all the stuff that goes with it.
There are catalysts in our lives that act as switches, to turn us on to achieve our next level as evolving human and spiritual beings. These catalysts can take the form of persons (even the ones that may hurt you), events, and things. So however we have arrived to the start of living a simple life – I thank the persons (good and bad), the events, and the things, which have made it possible.
Once the switch has been flipped, the rest of our life – the simple life – follows.
Flip the Switch