Falling In Love Again

Sometimes the familiar becomes dull and ordinary and the longing for something different becomes an overwhelming desire.  This just happened to me. There is a fine line between good change and change from plain boredom. It is not always easy to find which is which and to determine what you need to do.

Actually if you read my blogs, you know I jump head first in to things I believe are pointing me in the right direction. I’ve even written about this particular dilemma, which tells you it has taken me a little time to find my answers. Unheard of for me! But a lesson in how to figure out what’s best, which I’ll share with you!

My love, my house. Twice in the last two months I have cheated on it. Twice I have thought it is time to move on. Never mind the economy, the logistics of trying to open a new shop, promote it and then sell and buy a house and move six dogs and 3000 sq. feet of antiques and art I refuse to part with. I can deal with that. So I thought!

Friends e-mailed me after my Facebook comment, “Silly me, I’ve been looking at houses, thinking of moving!” I got a “Whoa Nellie” from a dear, long distance friend. I received a comment from an old work buddy that reminded me, “You were crazy back in 1973”. My mother, my best supporter, said, “Whatever you think you need to do.”

I took all the remarks to heart and thought, “I need to move!”

It made sense to me. I wanted a smaller house. I wanted a lesser mortgage payment. I wanted to be closer to my shop.

“Obviously you are bored.” Another good friend shot that at me over the phone.

I was a little indigent on that one! Bored? Not me!

How could I possibly be bored? I am working feverishly, day and night, on my new shop, promoting events, building up a customer base, and getting to know the most wonderful people in the town where I have my shop.

So, I ignored everyone and went to house hunt. I found out something very interesting. I didn’t see a house I liked as much as mine. I found great houses, for less money, in a closer location. Everything I thought I needed in a house was there.  There was something missing, however, in each house I looked at. My history.

My current house is full of memories. It is full of all that has been my life for almost thirty years. It finally has the look, as an antique and art dealer, I wanted. I had achieved that comfy cottage, rambling ranch, with its three outbuildings, in the center of town. Job well done!

After dealing with six dogs slowly destroying my living room, I found a solution last month. The dogs stay in my sunroom, happily sleeping on the sofas and chairs. The front window and its temptation of street activity, now removed from their sight, leaves them docile and sleeping while I am at work. How crazy of me to want to start that from scratch again?

Yes, to my old work buddy, I may still be as crazy in 2011 as I was in 1973! But that made me fun, didn’t it?

So what was all the hoopla about? Why, in the middle of all I have going on, did I add the stress of this distraction? And there is the key word…distraction!

Sometimes in the middle of everything that is what we call “our life”, a distraction, however ill placed, helps make everything else easier. A fantasy if you like, that gives you a brief departure from the things you have at hand to deal with.

I have discovered that even when you love what you are doing, sometimes a distraction is needed to put things back in perspective. A rest so to speak!

Last night a huge storm blew through Decatur and most of the surrounding Atlanta towns. I was worried about the power and shut off the TV and computer. I sat in my newly furnished sunroom (the wicker gone, now replaced with comfy couches for dogs and humans to nap) with the soft glow of a few lamps, and listened to the rain pounding on my roof. I sat quietly for an hour and watched the dogs snore, each with its belly up in the air, except for my seven-pound Chi, who curled up on my lap. I observed my little kingdom, called home.

In that hour the peace that surrounded me, while the rain pelted down, made me realize I love my home! Why I doubted that I don’t know. Will I doubt it again? I might. After all, as humans we are open to questions and change. That is a very good thing.

Questions, doubts, even worry, when properly placed, make us think about our lives. What can I do to make my life better?

Of course, my other favorite question is, what can I do to make life better for those around me? I try to make any business judgments with my shop more about how others will feel at the shop, then about how I feel, how much money can I make, what can I sell. At my shop I sell good will. Sound funny to you? Maybe. But I feel my shop won’t be a success for me unless my customers and artists are happy with their experience there. The rest will come with hard work and determination.

Maybe that is why I cheated on my house. It was my distraction because my brain cells were overloaded with my shop’s business plan. So I chose to look at houses. I discovered the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. My pasture is ablaze with color. But I had the distraction I needed and last night put me at rest, finally, well, for a while!

Distraction, change, questions. All three are good things. The checking out what our options are, not a bad idea sometimes. I cheated on my house. Which is not the same as cheating on your mate or friends. Know where to draw the line! But sometimes we need to stand back and look at what we have to really appreciate the life we have.

I know I did. Now I love my house again! Thank goodness that has been resolved….at least until I need another distraction!

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Barbara Barth, CEO of Life

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