Sunday, January 12, 2014

Big Changes to Start 2014

I knew everything was going to change when I went to Africa.  Don't ask me how I knew, I just did.

I returned to New Zealand with a heavy heart and a knowing that I would never fit back into the life I had.  It's such a disconcerting feeling, because I truly loved my life and I was grateful for it every day.  It was a charmed life, I had everything I needed and wanted at my fingertips.  It wasn't flashy but it was mine and I was content with everything I had.

It wasn't always that way of course, I worked hard to get my life in that beautifully balanced state.  Finally everything was just ticking along at a steady pace and I was blissfully content after many years of struggle and challenges.

My view as I write this piece
When I returned from Africa, I looked at things differently.  My house seemed so white, so clean, so big, filled with so many things I didn't need.  The garden, though nice, seemed excessive for one person.  I had so much, but no one to share it with.

Two days after my arrival back in New Zealand, I was told that my house was going to be sold and I would need to find somewhere else to live.

Hakuna Matata.  That was my reaction.

I started packing up things I didn't need and purging things I would never use.  I donated a huge pile of stuff to charity.  
Karma packed himself

When it came to my everyday items, I struggled to pack them.  Suddenly I was wrought with fear.  I didn't want to move.  I felt paralyzed.  I was getting flashbacks of all the wonderful moments I'd had in that house.  There were ghosts too - but they were just as comforting.  The house had history.  I was in a state of disbelief that it was coming to an end. I beat myself up thinking that I wasn't grateful enough.  I cried for days.  I couldn't stop myself.  I was grief stricken.

It was an emotional upheaval leaving Canada to move to New Zealand 10 years ago but I think this move was harder.  I'd never felt that blissful contentment in Canada - ever.   This time I was leaving comfort for limbo land, putting my stuff into storage and moving into a temporary home at a resort.  It sounds pretty great but the reality is - it isn't home.  I'm not sure when I'll have a "home" again.  Something inside of me says it's not going to happen for a while. 

Life at a retreat from the fishbowl looking out
I have a way of making do with very little.  I'm not motivated by money but I always seem to have enough.  Sometimes I do wish I had more of it so that I could give myself more security but everything I need is provided for, it's a gift.  Owning a house comes with so many hassles and I've always said I didn't want to own a house on my own (unless I had a lot of money to afford to pay people to fix things without feeling sick about it).  I've been thinking about it more recently.  Maybe it's time to start saving to buy something so I won't worry and I can put down some roots.  That's why I feel a bit guilty living at the retreat.  I could save the money I'm spending to live here and either use it for my upcoming trip to Africa or to buy myself a home.  Either way, living here feels totally indulgent and I'm out of my comfort zone.

I am very blessed.  I have the most amazing friends who have offered to store my things.  I didn't want to take advantage of their generosity so I've split my household items between four separate locations.  Two different garages for the stuff I don't need, my personal items are stored in a friend's spare bedroom, and the most important items have moved up to the retreat.  

View of the main house from the natural mineral pool
Everything except for my one little cat Karma.  He chases birds and there is a large family of quail who live and nest here at the retreat.  They would be easy pickings for Karma so he wasn't allowed to come.  I had to make the very difficult decision to give him to my friend Liz.  Liz has a stable family home and her 12 year old son loves playing with Karma - so he'll be well looked after.  My heart broke when I gave him away.  Karma brought so much joy and happiness into my life.  Whenever I'd hear his little bell, I'd feel lighter.  I loved that little boy so much.

Mac and I settling in
It was good news for Mac who never liked Karma.  Mac doesn't chase birds any more but he still likes a good fight with other cats.   He's scrappy for an old boy.  Mac has lived in the old house most of his life so I wasn't sure how he'd adapt to the new place.  He seemed okay for the first few hours, in fact he was really smoochy.  I didn't realize he could purr so loud. 

Change is hard and emotionally draining.  Living in this beautiful resort with magnificent views of Mount Maunganui  will take time to get used to.  I have access to a warm mineral swimming pool and hot tub from the french doors to my room that lead out onto the deck.  There is no more street noise, no buses or cars zooming past, no airplane engines roaring overhead.  The silence is almost deafening... the big house creaks and groans, the mini fridge makes strange noises at night.  

Neither of us slept very well last night.  The creaks and groans of the new house kept us awake.  Mac slept under the covers curled up next to me - something he has never done before.  In fact, he is still under there - 15 hours later. 

I know how he feels.  I have only left my room briefly to eat a late breakfast.  I've been in here all day getting my bearings and trying to figure out how I'll fit in.

The rational side of me sees this as one big adventure.  The fear based side of me wants to crawl under the covers with Mac.  I realize I'm not sounding very grateful for what I have here. 

The views are stunning up here
I feel like I've lost the innate connection with myself.  I was once Superman, now I feel like Clark Kent.  My super hero powers are gone.  I lost my Kryptonite.   I'm like a child again, pure and ready for life to reveal itself in a different way.  I have no preconceived idea of how I'm supposed to be or what I'm going to do.  This is where trust comes in.  I'm sitting in the quiet (with the strange new sounds) waiting.  

What I'm waiting for, I do not know.  I'm glad I have a good book.  Give me a few days, I'll get my gratitude back, hopefully around the same time that Mac comes out from under the covers.

1 comment:

Lisa (barely sane) Zawitkoski said...

Hi Tracy,

So well written. Life is a journey and as hard as change can be, the belief that things will always be better or just be what they are is what has always helped me. I believe that things good or bad, challenging and stressful make us better in some way and lead us to live a life full of understanding and love. And make us better people.

Lisa (fellow canadian/kiwi)