I’ve watched people at wine tastings – they pour a little in their glass, swirl it around, sniff the bouquet, then take a slow sip, swishing the liquid in their mouth before finally swallowing. They savor the ritual of the taste and there is never gulping.
I used to be a gulper. Not with wine (I don’t drink). But with life.
There was never any slow tasting-it was always a quick pour and swallow and on to the next glass.
If I thought of an idea-boom-I was doing it. Head first, no safety net, just a full body dive into the unknown.
I didn’t research or think ahead or consider other options. I just did it. And if it didn’t work out, I did something else.
But this meant that I was more often living in the future of the next great possibility, and not savoring what was happening in the now, right in front of me.
People often ask me when this shifted. I’m sure it started before my open heart surgery, but I know that the recovery experience brought me face to face with the present moment. Because my body and my mind had slowed down, I was no longer able to rush forward and I discovered some of the joys of simply being in the present moment, of tasting, not gulping.
Now, four years later, as I think about my move to the California coast in the Spring, I realize that I am no longer a gulper. I have become a true taster.
I’ve started considering how the big move might happen. When I imagine packing up my house and finding a new place to live, the bigness of it all is overwhelming. I could make a trip beforehand to find my new rental, but what if I don’t find something right away? And what if I don’t like living there? Should I keep my house here as a safety net? Should I put all of my stuff in storage here, just in case?
And then I step back and just breathe.
I let go of the HOW and come back to the WHY of my moving: To be in clean, cool air. To live in a smaller community. To walk on the beach. To grow my business in a new direction. And I realize that, of course I will love living there-that was just my fear talking.
In that space of letting go and coming back to the why, a new idea comes to me: I can take the RV and stay for the summer in an RV park so I can get to know the area as a resident, set up the business and take my time to find exactly where I want to live.
And I can keep my house in AZ to take the pressure off.
I looked online at the various parks to get an idea of costs. Spring is many months away-too soon to make a reservation–so I let go of the specifics and leaned back into the realization that I now have a solid direction to move in.
I imagined me and Laddy in the RV, me working on my laptop at the dinette and him lying in front of the screen door, both of us breathing in that sweet ocean air. And I wondered if I really wanted to live in just 24 feet for that long. Wouldn’t I feel more like I was living there if I were in a house?
I explored Craigslist and found a cozy house for rent for the entire summer, fully furnished, two blocks from the bay and a short walk to the farmer’s market. I spoke with the owners and it seemed perfect. Until she said No Dogs.
And then it occurred to me that I don’t need to commit to an entire summer, I can rent a furnished place a month at a time, even stay in the RV a month at a time, and still be able to take my time finding a place to live.
And I don’t need to keep my house in AZ. Nor do I need to hire a moving van the day I leave. I can pack up my house a little at a time and store everything in a Pod, then have it shipped to me when I am ready at my new address.
Because when I settle into the calm of the present moment, I have big faith that I will be happy and successful living in this place of my dreams.
I don’t have all the details worked out. But I don’t need to right now. I have a direction, a path and I am still exploring the options, staying open to other possibilities.
I never thought I would enjoy this slower pace, the swish and swirl of rolling an idea around without taking immediate action.
But I actually get excited when I let go of one idea and a new possibility appears. I like to imagine and visualize the scenario in my mind’s eye. It’s like I’m trying it on, tasting it, taking a slow sip to see if I really like it without having to actually do it.
But the moment it becomes stressful and anxious and I feel like gulping in fear, I come back to the WHY and I ask myself, “What can I do right now, to stay on this path.”
And the answer is never about the future. It is always about this moment. Today. And the answer is always, “Keep doing the work you love. Save money. And breathe.”
I’d love to hear how you drink in life! I’d also love to hear how you moved from one place to another, through all of the unknowns.
Please share by clicking on Comments below.