It was not supposed to be a preparation for heat (Ohio is hotter than Dakar in the summer) or lack of electricity (I understand it might go out for hours, not DAYS in Dakar-7 DAYS!).
I was given the gift of a week with nothing but hanging out with family and friends. Couldn’t do laundry, couldn’t clean the house, might as well hang out and have fun.
At first it seemed like a punishment-sleeping on the screen porch to be awoken by the neighbor chasing her cat, or someone’s generator, or my dog barking at a Harley. UGH!
Instead, I found that I had a lot of good time with friends and family (in their air conditioning on 95+ degree days). That was the real silver lining. It’s often hard to slow down enough to take time to “hang out” and the power outage provided me with the time.
One of my friends suggested the power outage was an exercise in not missing Granville when we are gone. I actually think it might have been an exercise in realizing that we don’t really need our house to have a connection to Granville, our families, and friends. Even without spending any time in our house this past week, we still did all the normal things we would do over the Fourth of July, PLUS some extras (with all the time free from laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.). So as of today, we have decided to rent the house and will spend next summer on vacation with family, mooching off family and friends by staying in their guest rooms, and having a little more freedom.
It’s kind of exciting, but it’s also a little daunting to realize that we have three weeks to sell what we want to sell, move what we want to keep into storage, and pack what we are taking with us.
I just finished reading A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen and a NYT Opionion piece “The Busy Trap“.
I think both authors would applaud our decision about the house.
In “The Busy Trap”, the author reflects on the busy-ness that is central to so many of our lives.
“The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it.”
Well, the busy-ness might be because of acquiescence, but I have had enough and I’m getting off that train. The hours driving between activities, the rushed meals, often eaten separately from each other or in the car, the exhaustion that comes from there not being time for quiet. It’s going to stay here and not make the move with me.
My favorite quote from Anna Quindlen’s book is:
“Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live…to love the journey, not the destination.”
So, we’re going to sell our stuff, downsize, and embrace this new journey. Call us crazy, but I have a feeling it’s going to be great!