an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
We are in a really lovely period of time right now. Summer is winding to a close, and we've enjoyed the heck out of it, but we still have a couple weeks until Kiddo heads back to school. I begin my lone and final class next Monday, but it will only consume 4 of my waking hours (plus study time). The air has shifted and, knock on wood, we haven't experienced anything but mild days and cool nights. One of my favorite patches of land not far from our home has started to display the telltale colors of the changing seasons. Soon, the whole field will look like it's on fire.
Kiddo is a late sleeper. Mario is in Boston all week. I wake up, step out onto our deck and feel the sun on my face for a moment, pour myself a cup of joe, and catch up on my favorite blogs. Last week I had a similar arrangement, but woke up with an immediate to-do list attacking my consciousness. This week is different. My motivation to perfect our house is high. In some ways, I'm actually excited to wrap up those little tasks that have been perpetually on our home improvement list. The blow of discouraging news has softened considerably. I'm able to look at what must be done with a quiet calm and a one thing at a time mentality. To not enjoy the peace that comes during these last remaining weeks of summer would be a travesty.
I am also using our impending move and home listing to change the aesthetic of our future home. No more hodge podge picture frames. As photos come off the wall, they are transplanted into new black or white frames before being carefully tucked away. Over the past months, when Michael's has a really good sale on frames, I stock up on sizes I need. Now they are being put to use. In some ways it's sad they won't be displayed for a long while, but I like to imagine how great it will feel to have everything streamlined and ready to hang in their beautifully matted frames when our next home presents itself.
That's just one example of my determination to adopt a glass half full mentality. Kiddo attends a small charter school we love dearly. Because they are underfunded by the state, and rely on parents to raise much of the money for field trips and such, they are having their annual yard sale next month. All of our unused items will get brought there, which will serve two purposes: to declutter our home and reduce the amount of "stuff" we have to load onto a U-haul in a year; and to raise much-needed funds for an amazing school that gives our son an education he wouldn't get at a traditional school. To be honest, I'm loving the extra space and bareness of the walls. Simplifying my life has such a calming effect.
I'm taking my own advice: no more sweating over what may or may not happen. No more wallowing in the fact that my life is not living up to my expectations. What is meant to happen will, and I've got to enjoy the now and what it has to offer instead of always looking to the future and focusing on the fact that some ideal, that only exists in my head, isn't coming to fruition fast enough. I don't want to miss a second of apple picking season, Jared's last year of middle school, and all the other amazing things that will occur during what will likely be our last New England fall. I can move my career forward during this time. Although I no longer wish to live in this area, I can enjoy the rest of our time here. A serious attitude adjustment was needed, and I think I'm getting there. There will be setbacks and frustrations, sure, but my mindset and optimism will determine whether or not I'm miserable or happy.
With the help of the book I'm reading, The Happiness Project, and some probing into my own thoughts, I've realized something: if all of our wishes come true and our house sells tomorrow; I get a great job in the meantime; our nest egg grows considerably; we move to our chosen destination . . . I would just end up dissatisfied there without a change in my thinking. How I feel about my life is all in my noggin. Sure, we all experience bumps in the road which get us down, and to some extent we are born with a set temperament, but enjoying one's life is a choice. I choose to be happy. I love the boys and am very happy with my life overall. But I've come to realize that I often view just living my life as a lack of forward motion. I'm a restless soul. I'm forward driven. I have worked for years to obtain my dream career. I want it noooow. Clearly I am the living embodiment of Veruca Salt. Bean feast anyone?
Those are some thoughts on this fine morning. I hadn't intended to write about my faulty thought processes at such length, but the words kept coming. An inner dialogue externalized, I suppose. I thought I'd finish up this post with some photos from a scenic overlook we stopped at during our drive through Washington State. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a desert-like place. The wind was pushing us around quite a bit, but the sunset and the views were amazing. There was even a reenactment of the classic Titanic scene. I'm so glad we stopped. And even more glad we didn't get blown off the edge of the ravine.