Friday, August 06, 2010

Off to my happy place.

Yesterday's horoscope:

If you're dealing with personal or relationship issues, don't fret -- change is coming. It doesn't come about without some serious effort, though, so be sure you're ready to sweat. Your energy demands a good, long look at your unconscious patterns that keep repeating or emotional baggage you've been trying to get rid of for too long. Deal with all the bits and pieces of your past if you want a future of your own making.

Tomorrow's horoscope:

Now is the time to give voice to your true desires, because they can be met if you speak up now. The universe is sure to get right back to you when you identify your goals, so be sure you know what you're talking about! Then you can speak up to anyone handy -- you never know who might be the one who can get you what you need, so you need to ensure that your message spreads far and wide.

Today's horoscope was all about squeezing more money out of the budget and sounded like it has been written by Suze Orman. Good, useful advice, but I prefer the ones about futures of my own making and identifying my goals and giving voice to my true desires. That's the hard stuff - I can figure out a budget, but figuring out my true desires? Oh, shit. Very hard.

Pet and house sitter(s) are ready to move in, extra pet food and chewies and paper products have been stockpiled, and tomorrow I'm off to Asheville.

The Pendulum of Relocation has been swinging back and forth now for months. Ask me next week and I may give a totally different and equally thoroughly rationalized answer, but right now, dammit, I want to move to Asheville. I've felt drawn to the city ever since my first visit several years ago, before my granddaughter was a gleam in her parents' eye. I felt at home there. I felt this weird feeling when I was there, like not so tense and not so stressed and just sort of relaxed and "be"-ing, and I know there's a name for that feeling...I think they call it "happy."

When I sat in those endless, awful department meetings at the builder, the ones where we went line by line through insanely complicated and detailed project checklists for HOURS, and staggered out sweating and with pounding heads, feeling like we'd been tortured and interrogated, I would sometimes let my mind wander while someone else was in the hotseat. Once, our boss asked me a question while my mind was elsewhere, and I just sighed and said the first thing that popped into my head: "Sorry, what? I had gone to my happy place." Fortunately, it broke the tension that built in every meeting, and everybody laughed. It became one of our team jokes - when someone was freaking out, we'd all say, "Go to your happy place...."

And that's a digression from my point, which is, I really think Asheville is my happy place. I can give you a thousand reasons why moving to MD would make more sense in terms of future job opportunities and earning potential, but you know what? I don't think I want it. To tell the truth, I cringe a little when I think about another big city and the sort of stress that comes with it. I have focused on a sound, safe "big corporation" career path for most of my working life, and look where it got me.

I think about the people I've lost in the last decade, about my husband who worked like a dog, 50-60 hour work weeks most of his life, and who literally worked until he collapsed on the job. He was still taking calls on his cell phone in the emergency room after he was admitted when a metastasized tumor the size of a baseball broke his femur. His phone was still ringing, and he was still trying to take care of his responsibilities.

When my parents died, I remember standing by their bedsides and thinking about how they lived their entire lives so cautiously, and though they had decades of retired life, they never really had fun. Though they were financially comfortable and could have traveled and enjoyed life, they couldn't bring themselves to DO anything, because OMG, what if it was the wrong thing? What if something happened? "Something" was never defined, of course - just something, anything, and they wouldn't be sitting in their house worrying about it.

So I've been thinking about that a lot as I'm going through the house, sorting pictures and trying to find homes for all those things "Somebody might want someday." I want to be happy more than I want to have great job opportunities. I want a pleasant job that pays the bills, has benefits and lets me put a few bucks toward retirement, and my online job searches have shown me that such things do exist in Asheville - not in volume, but they do exist.

I don't really care about being a paralegal - scratch that, I'd honestly rather NOT be a paralegal. BTDT, have the war wounds and they ache when I think of doing it again. My skills do translate to a variety of jobs that don't involve lawyers or law firms, and I'm keeping an open mind about alternative paths. But that's for the next trip. This trip is to spend a few days with family, check out some rental communities that look very nice, try to network a little, and mostly just breathe in and out and think very hard about whether this really would be my happy place.


needlefingers said...

We're going to spend a week in a cabin outside Asheville in October, for a LEAF to SAFF trip. We stayed there a couple of nights on the way to DC last year and wanted to go back to experience more of it. It's easy to see why you love it.

Btw, I found out this year my happy place is Maine. :)

Anonymous said...

go to that happy place.mary in cincinnati

caroline said...

We go to Asheville every year for the Grove Park Arts & Crafts Furniture conference & show. My partner teaches and exhibits there. It really, really IS that nice. Christ, we've even made friends there via me petting the knitted item of a person at the show. go figure. And Renee's shop, Yarn Paradise is enough reason all by itself to move there. heh. Oh, that and 350 independent, non-chain restaurants? Ack. I dream of the place. Roll with it, darlin'!

k said...

Yes! Asheville! Yes! I was so shocked when you started talking about Baltimore or DC or wherever!

Sorry. Moment over. You know what is best, and I'm sure it will all work out fine wherever you go, because you are talented and beautiful and strong.