Let’s talk moving!!!

We recently moved from our lovely home in Waxhaw, to an even lovelier home in Waxhaw.  While such a move may seem like it was going to be easy, it was NOT!  We did all the prep work on our home to put it on the market, and that, my friends, is a blog for another time.  Having never actually sold a home, I was not prepared for how inconvenient yet necessary it was to keep a house very, very tidy and to be ready at a moments notice to vacant for potential buyers to view.  And while you like to have notice, who in their right mind, who wants to sell, is going to say no to a potential buyer.  We never did.  We managed to sell our home in about a month.  Miracle!!!  While the whole selling our home was going on we were also looking for our next home.  After viewing at least 30 homes from Mooresville to Waxhaw we finally found one we all felt truly at home in.  The catch:  The sellers, while needing to sell, also needed to stay in the home until school was out, and our buyers need to close in 30 days.

Solution:  We put all our “stuff” into various places all over the Charlotte area.  A pod was somewhere, we had a storage unit somewhere else, the movers had more stuff somewhere, and we had what we needed to survive in an apartment for 6 weeks.

Making all that happen was like that old-time vaudeville act of the man spinning the plates on poles and trying to make sure they all stayed up.  We did it and it was quite an adventure.

For six weeks we lived in a small apartment, with less stuff, and guess what…we survived!  Now the spinning plates act started again.  Time to make sure all the plates stay up and “stuff”  arrived at the new house in the proper order.  It took some planning, lots of phone calls and not a small amount of prayer, but it got done.

Are we finished unpacking…really?  Nope.  Even after getting rid of “stuff” we find we still have lots of “stuff” and are still working out the “where will I put this “stuff”?” questions.

It will take some time, but we love our new home and as far as I am concerned I would be extremely happy if we never, ever, ever had to move again.

This is now our view from our deck.

new house

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Perspective

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Perspective….the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship.

Perspective, it’s all about how we see things. Everyone processes information differently so everyone can have a different perspective when viewing the same situations, photos, scenes, tasks and people.

For instance what do you see when you look at the picture posted above? Do you dead trees, and a brown colorless, lifeless piece of land? Does the photo show you a land that is sad, worthless and depressing? Or do you like me, see the potential of this piece of land? The lush green undergrowth that will soon fill this property, how it will be teeming with life and beauty. The beautiful majestic trees in full leaf shading the land and becoming home to birds, squirrels and even raccoons. The wonder of new birth that happens every spring just when you are sure that this year spring was not happening.

Perspective isn’t just about things, it’s also about tasks, chores and home improvements. I recently spent some time with my daughter in Ohio. I told her I would love to work on a couple projects around the house with her. She took me at my word and had a laundry list of things she wanted to accomplish while her husband was out of town to surprise him. Since her husband may read this I won’t go into detail, but when I saw what she had in mind my perspective on the list was a very positive “ain’t no way”, but as we worked through the list it suddenly became clear we can do this. My perspective changed when I made the choice to see the end results and not focus on the amount of work it was going to take to get there. And that change in my perspective made the experience fun and rewarding, dispute the bruised knee, sore arms, banged finger and stiff back. Home improvements need a safety warning for people of a certain level of gracefulness!

It’s the same when we look at people. We need to see the possibilities in that person dispute the outward appearances. We need to look beyond the current laundry list of things that may be wrong or need changed and instead look at what the possibilities could be for that person. We need to change our perspective on their future and if we can perhaps help them change their own perspective too.

Perspective…it’s all about what we do with the information we receive whether it’s visual or verbal, familiar or foreign, positive or negative. What will you do today with the information you receive? What will your perspective be?

Lessons learned in a Traffic Jam

 

Slow moving

Lessons learned in a Traffic Jam

Recently I had the unique experience of being in a minivan with 6 other adults (family members) after a wonderful visit to Sanibel Island Beach in Florida.  After the beach we went to a fun restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner and unfortunately, our timing led us be in the midst of a two-hour traffic jam to get off the island.

I learned a few insights during my incarceration in the minivan about traffic jams and people.

Go to the bathroom before you get into the minivan or car or whatever mode of transportation you are using.  Within an hour we knew that a few of us, me included, were not going to last much longer and finding a proper place to stop was becoming imperative.  We were lucky enough to find a public park and after pulling out of the traffic jam, using the facilities, stretching our legs and discussing our options, we were able to get back into line only a couple of cars behind the one we were original behind.

Always take your cell phone charger with you, even if you don’t think you will need it. With everyone using their cell phones to see if there were alternative routes off the island, searching random things out of boredom, or attempting to see if we could figure out why the traffic was not moving, we were running out of power…a serious tragedy if they all ran out at once.  This leads into my next lesson.

Do some research if you are going to a new destination or even if you are revisiting someplace you had been before.  Things change and it never hurts to look up your destination on-line or to ask someone who has been there recently to see if there are any tips or suggestions for making your visit more enjoyable.  If we had looked up Sanibel Island we would have seen that leaving the island between 4pm and 6pm was discouraged because of traffic delays.

Plan alternative routes in case of a problem.  Chances are you will not need this information but having it may help with all the suggestions you may receive from the various smart phone users who still have power in their phones.  If you are the driver, good luck choosing the one that works best.  Of course, there is always the option of ‘staying the course’ and just riding out the slow traffic because in our case, there was only one bridge off the island and all roads eventually lead to it.

Forget finding out why traffic isn’t moving (and does it really matter)?  No one walking, jogging or riding by on bikes will have any idea why you are not moving.  I know because we asked a few and were rewarded with the same answer of a shoulder shrug and “I have no idea” each time. We are on an island with one bridge off so knowing would not have made us go any faster.

Have beverages and maybe snacks your car. After about an hour, and after our pit stop, a nice cool drink of water would have been wonderful.  We did have three very yummy desserts from our lunch in to go containers in the small cooler but with no utensils available they were pretty safe there.  Although I am sure had the traffic jam lasted much longer we would have resorted to using our fingers, at least I would have.

If you are the driver, be patient (our driver was extremely patient, not only with traffic but with us).  Switching lanes to get into the faster moving lane was not an option for us, it was a two lane road.  However, if you are stuck in a traffic jam on a multi-lane highway, keep in mind moving into the faster moving lane will immediately result in that lane becoming the slower moving lane.  If you are a passenger, be patient with your driver. Remember all decisions are ultimately theirs and you are along for the ride.  Not happy about that, then you drive next time!

Enjoy the slow pace and company.  Since you are not getting anywhere fast why not just sit back, turn on some music, talk to each other or enjoy the scenery.  Make the most of the rare opportunity to have some ‘down time’ in a world that is way too fast paced and rarely allows us the chance to just relax.

All in all, I would not have traded those two hours in the minivan, it was a bonding experience and actually fun. Besides, it has given me some great stuff to blog about. After all the best blog material comes from real life, so family and friends beware!

Let me know what lessons you have learned being stuck in a traffic jam.

Happy driving,

Paula