It’s weirdly strange sometimes how our cunning plan gets pushed along without our being in charge of it. When we started this blog it was with the intention of writing about the process of downsizing our lives, making it easier to cast off the ties that bind us to the land and get out there on the deep blue sea. Since then we’ve donated a ton of stuff, sold some stuff, put our boat on the market, and looked at a few boats, but that’s really about it in terms of downsizing. I mean, how do people really go about making their lives simpler while still living in the same house and working at the same jobs, parenting the same children? It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Until the Universe starts taking charge. And then anything can happen. You know all those books that talk about how to manifest change in your life? The ones that tell you to just move forward as though the changes were actually already happening? Apparently they are at least partly right. Problem is, once you put your goals and aspirations out into the Universe and begin acting ‘as if’ they were already happening, you lose a little bit of control about how things go down. I think this falls under the category of being careful what you pray for. Here’s what I mean:
In my work as psychotherapist, I have an office to maintain. Like boats and houses, offices tend to get bigger and fancier, and more expensive, as one gains more experience. I started out practicing in a very modest office with minimal expenses. Soon I moved to a little nicer office, and after many years there, I moved to a really nice office. I felt I had ‘arrived’. My office is on the Foss Waterway, half a mile from our boat. I walk from the marina to work. The office is filled with light from the huge windows, something that is really important to me up here. But what I really like is that my office is quite beautiful and I enjoy working in such a space. I love the furnishings, sometimes more than the ones I have at home. I enjoy just hanging out there when I have some time between clients. Actually, it’s a little like having my own private apartment away from home.
A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from the new building property management telling me that the bank now owned my building. The ‘new owners’ had decided they needed my office for their own use. Since they had not yet renewed my lease, which expired in November 2011, they were legally able to ask me find a new place as of April 1. Oh. Super. I knew there must be SOME reason why they dropped the negotiations on the new lease. Now I know why. The idea of having to move my office, with all the myriad details of such a move (which are considerable in my business) made me want to throw up a little. I responded with my usual hands-on-hips foot stomping at such a situation.
Then Mike said something that made me think again. “This might be a good time for you to consider not having an office, or doing a different kind of work so that you can be ready to walk away when we get to the point where we can leave.”, he said mildly. Hmmm. My husband speaks quietly but carries a big brain in his head. He was kind of correct, in a way, so I began to feel differently about this move. The hands came decidedly off of the hips. My footsteps became quiet. Although I do need an office, I don’t really need such a big and expensive office, even though I like having it. Sure, it’s the trapping of success in my field, but I’m redefining success, aren’t I? Maybe I could get by with something that costs me less, which would enable me to work less? Maybe I could begin doing some work over the computer, or even meet with certain people in my home office? Maybe this is the price of my freedom. I can get on board with that.
I began to look at new spaces and, just like looking at boats, it soon became clear what I really needed, versus what I wanted. Of course I want a big space. I like having space to roam in a room. But I NEED only a small space, just enough for some choice furnishings. I need to stay close to my current location. And I need to have a lease that will allow me to walk away if we get the opportunity to cruise sooner rather than later, and that will allow me to sublet the office on the days I don’t work. This would be perfect!
And so the Universe is on notice that this is what I require. I see this as the first solid move we’ve made in the direction of getting the heck out of Dodge. I may not be financially able to walk away from my career yet, but I can begin downsizing in that area as a way of preparing myself. And it was the Universe that made that decision easy.
Now, will the forces of the Universe please converge and get our boat sold? Many thanks, big U.!