By MGAL Expert Dina Ferrante
If you’re lucky, there comes a time when you look at your life and ask yourself “how did I get here?” Sometimes you answer yourself by shrugging your shoulders and continuing to trudge along, unconscious and numb. If you’re really lucky, you pause and reflect even if for only a split second (which can be enough time to get yourself an amazing life coach even though you don’t live in California) and you gracefully dive into the giant pool of discomfort called change.
If you’re really, really lucky you decide to be honest with yourself about what’s not working in your life because you’ve kind of had enough of the struggle. The questions shifts to “now what do I do?”
You see, a year ago, between the two of us, Ralph (my dear “life partner” – somebody please come up with a better term that describes the person you want to spend your life with, but can’t bring yourself to get married again because it was a big flop the first time) and I owned three businesses, were raising an 11 year old, big eating boy. We were choking on our mortgage and would look at each other nightly, bleary eyed and pale, and say, “how did this happen?”.
Sure, let’s build a house we can’t comfortably afford!
A boat, yeah, you gotta have a boat!
YES, I’ve always wanted to own a coffeehouse and chitchat with all the nice people.
HUM, I think I’ll own a yoga studio, I am a yoga teacher after all…and so on…
We had crafted this said pile of madness and together we decided to dismantle it when we saw weariness in each other’s bodies and eyes. So one thorny knot at a time, my dear life partner and I began the process of disentangling ourselves from this complicated (and expensive) life we had created.
This wasn’t as quick and easy as it seems through my short description here. In fact it was a long, arduous process in which our life change decision is still constantly questioned by our friends, family members, ourselves and even some people we don’t even know.
There are many times when one of us will look pleadingly at the other and say “please, can we forget the whole thing and go back to the numbness. It’s easier!”
But we moved forward anyway…
First up was to sell the coffeehouse we had owned for less than a year. If I’ve ever been on the brink of insanity, it was during this time of my life. Suffice to say that owning a coffeehouse in a small town is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Next on the list was my beloved yoga studio. It seems that yoga teachers (me) want to be yoga studio owners and yoga studio owners (this one anyway) want to go back to being students so they don’t have to do the accounting or clean the toilets.
Two businesses down.
And if you really want to sell your house in the worst real estate market in history, you suck it up, take the loss and move on.
We decided to keep the kid.
But most of our belongings have been donated, sold or stored and the very heavy weights we’d been carrying were heaved overboard, along with the boat.
Then, just to seal the deal, we also threw in a month long excursion to Bali to clearly mark the distinction from complicated and stressful to freedom and ease, because …
“Why not?” is the question that has taken the place of “How did we get here?” and that feels really, really good.
And now we sit, in eager and excited anticipation about the journey that lies ahead.
Did I mention we live on the east coast and are about to head west? More on that later…
In the meantime, Is it time for you to start asking Why not?