Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I Did Instead

I imagine it happens to most people who live long enough. This feeling Peggy Lee sang about so morosely--"Is That All There Is?" The idea that the life you are leading, the activities you are involved in, and the people you spend your time with are pretty much set. You drive the same old roads, shop in the same old stores, go to the same old church, same post office, same doctor, mall, theater, etc.

I suppose for some people this feeling can be weathered to some extent. Maybe an exotic vacation or two. Many decide to split their year between two different climates.
It was very early this morning when I realized what may have happened to me had I NOT moved from Oak Ridge, New Jersey to Madison, Wisconsin.

I mean there were a lot of things I didn't like about NJ, but I had a pretty good life there, lots of friends and activities. Except for all the necessary driving, life was not bad. And everything isn't so rosy in Madison either. I mean no place is perfect this side of heaven.

But this morning I had a sudden insight into the mindset of women who leave their husbands and children and just go off and start a new life. They just can't take the mundane any longer. Sure, it's irresponsible, inconsiderate. Maybe even callous and hateful. But I think I now understand their mindset a little better. I'm not sure I could have done that, but I really needed a change.

What I did instead was to pack up my family and furniture, sell our house, leave all my friends and move to Wisconsin. My husband was luke warm about the idea. He'd have been happy staying in NJ. My daughter went beyond hostile and is only now inching her way back to a degree of normalcy. I don't think some of our friends at church can still believe we're gone for good--even seven months later.

It hasn't been easy in a lot of ways, but I know it was the right thing to do. I'm absolutely exhausted from all the unpacking, renovations, rearranging, cleaning, etc. But underneath all the fatigue, I feel good. I see hope for so, so many new things in my future.

So I guess this old dog is going to share a psyche with her inner puppy for a while. It'll be a little like growing up all over again only this time I will know more and worry less.

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