I had to laugh at myself this evening as a bubble of dawning realization popped over my head (those bubbles can be pretty dang messy at times). Dan and I did a lot of talking this weekend about what our future holds. He retires in a year, but as I’m ten years younger, I will be working (happily and gratefully) for another nine years. After a lot of deliberation, we have pretty much settled on retiring to Mexico on the Pacific coast. We love the idea of an adventure, finding a community of Ex-Pats by the ocean, a place where we can enjoy a slower paced life, but remain active. I do have to say it blows my mind to even be talking about retirement.
Now, back to that bubble…my first response to our decision was to jump on the computer to research our options, sending Dan several links about everything to do with retiring to Mexico. Hell, I even found our community and our specific house. That’s when the bubble popped. I realized that change has always been difficult for me, and so to manage it, I have to dream and plan and dream some more.
I did the same thing before my move to Birmingham. There was so much emotional turmoil- my long marriage was ending, I was leaving a job that I loved and moving to a new city to a new job, all alone. I was terrified, and so I fell back into what I knew best- dreaming and planning. I found my wonderful old home, the Blue House, on-line. I dreamed of every room, decorating to the smallest detail, visualized myself and my dogs happily there. I bought things for the house and tucked them away in preparation. The excitement built and built until the fear of change was at least muted a great deal. I’m not saying it wasn’t still terrifying to me, but I finally saw it as the adventure it was- as well as a path to even more positive change in my life.
I remember doing the same thing when my extremely homebody self left home for the first time ever to go away to Florida State for undergrad. I planned my dorm room, I dreamed about what it would all be like…and it became the adventure of my young lifetime. Every single bit of it.
I don’t ever want to cringe from change- something I know is wired into my DNA. I have to keep making myself face it, over and over again throughout my life. If dreaming and planning helps me to wrap my head around it all, then that is what I will continue to do. I live so much in my own head that it is the easiest way for me to set the stage for accepting and embracing change.
As we kissed goodnight this evening, I apologized to Dan for going overboard with the over-enthusiastic detective work on Mexico. He laughed and smiled, telling me to dream as much as I wanted- I had plenty of time. He knows me so well, thankfully. As I fall sleep tonight, I will see the ocean, see our far-off home…but I will awake filled with gratitude for my funky old home in the ‘hood, a job that I love, and a husband who gets me and loves me in all my wacky glory.