After a tumultuous 10 months during which my little world was thrown for a loop, I've changed it all up, and I'm beginning to return to a level state. Not fully, and not quite plumb....but it's palpable.
2009 started out on such a high note! I loved my job, I'd finished all necessary work on the house, after 20 years of pecking away at it. I was ready to hunker down and work thru late June, before taking 2 full weeks off to vacation in Italy. I left a week of vacation for the end of the year, to celebrate Christmas. Good plan! Then I got slammed...unexpected layoff 2 days after I returned from Italy, debit card scam, big car repair, breast cancer scare, 3 count'em 3 molars cracked and I needed gum surgery and porcelain crowns...after my dental insurance ran out. The jobhunt in NYC was terrifyingly underwhelming. There were 900,000 other New Yorkers out of work, and scurrying to find it. I felt like an ant caught under a magnifying glass on a sunny day...the heat was on.
Was this my midlife crisis? I guess it could have been. I take after my paternal grandmother who lived to be 102, so at 48 I am definitely on the cusp of "mid." I didn't choose a particular day during all of this to confront my life, but I started paying attention to it.
Where am I, why am I, what is the master plan, what shapes my path?
Turns out, I do. I shape it. Life is a series of connections that push and pull in directions. So, I picked a direction---forward. I turned my mid life crisis into a mid life celebration.
Crisis averted? Not so fast.
It took a lot of honest introspection and a bit of bold thinking, to shape my new path. At the start of 2010 I made a list of all the cities that I liked and asked myself if I could live there. I couldn't get to "yes." I golf in the Carolinas, and have enjoyed my vacations immensely. I planned to visit Charlotte, NC. Small city with an actual skyline, temperate weather, slower lifestyle, lower cost of living, exactly halfway between both my parents in NY and FL, and family. Spent a week in Charlotte in early March. Felt very much at "home" and that was enough for me. The other half of the equation was "can I leave New York" and my immediate family? That took quite a bit of soul searching.
Fast forward to March 2010. The jobhunt was brutal, and I was 6 months into it. I listed my home for sale and sold it in under 3 months, packed, moved, drove south. It's mid June and I'm now deep into my househunt. My realtor is wonderful and we laugh a lot, out l-o-u-d. The jobhunt comes next. I was teary when I left, and it's taken these 2 weeks for my hands, wrists and arms to stop aching. I'm almost able to sleep through the night.
I can feel the stress leaving my mind and my body. I have friends flung around down South, and I'm already making new ones, through networking and by just being. I happen to like people, and I'm a joiner. Life is good!
Almost level, practically plumb.