The theme is listening. I’ve listened to people complain about the election. I’ve listened to co-workers discuss Thanksgiving plans. I’ve listened to mumblings and grumblings from those who hate holidays.
I’ve done plenty of listening to others, but I’ve also listened closely to the voice inside of me. Some call it conscience, I call it the quiet little voice. Lately this voice has been clamoring for attention.
For the past few years my husband and I talked about someday moving to a different place. Getting out of suburbia and moving closer to the heart of the city. Trading the large house for a small cottage or condo.
My mind was agreeable to the concept in the abstract. I need to shed the mortgage and the last tie to my past. But, actually taking the big step to put the house on the market and commit to sifting through the last bits of my kid’s childhood. Packing up, and downsizing in the most severe way. Well my heart wasn’t quite ready, until today.
When my daughter left for college, we talked about it over coffee one morning. It’s time he and I agreed. I spoke to an agent I trusted, and she assured me she could sell the house with a minimal of fuss. Then Hurricane Matthew swept in and we spent another month trying to get back on track.
Two weeks ago, I took a deep breath and called her again. I am ready when you are she said. I cleaned and spruced the place up, then took a deep breath and let her inside the house. She assured me it was going to sell and left me with papers and figures and stats.
I stared at the folder for another couple of weeks, made a few phone calls and then promptly got sick. As I sat on the sofa recovering in solitude, the little voice spoke up. Why are you stalling? the voice asked. Good question. I got out my journal and wrote down all the reasons I wanted to move and all the reasons I dreaded moving from this house.
l listened to my fears, and I comforted myself with this:
My dream was to give my kids a home in a neighborhood, filled with kids and sidewalks- a permanent place we could all call home. We had moved four times in eight years, never staying in one place more than a couple of years. We lived in a series of subdivisions- raw, new and transient. This neighborhood was closest to my own childhood experience- a place safe to roam and play.
My three are adults now. All of the kids in the neighborhood are grown and gone. We parents are left with large houses and empty nests. Rather than hold onto the past and wait in vacant rooms for grandchildren, I chose to strike out on a new adventure with my husband.
I listened to the little voice when it that told me to sign the papers today. So I did. Here’s to heeding the little voice that tells us when we are ready for a new adventure.