How I ended up on the other side of the world

It’s been exactly a year since I wrote my last post. A year ago today I was settling in to my new home in Maine; my husband and I were trying to design a new life and meaningful work. We were establishing a new office downtown while literally re-working the land around our house; planting gardens and making this place our home. So how did I end up living on the other side of the planet?

We had often talked about some day moving part-time to New Zealand, where two of our children had settled and were establishing families. How we could do that was a mystery, and didn’t seem practical or even possible. We both have dear family and friends in the States, and I love my new spot on the coast of Maine. But on the other hand, I hate the cold winters. So I would jokingly say that some day, who knows when, we would live in NZ in the winter and in Maine in the summer.

Then we had a month in which everything we knew went through radical shape shifting, as if our lives had been thrown in a blender and the switch was turned on high. Continue reading “How I ended up on the other side of the world”

Downsizing in paradise

“You must give birth to your images.  They are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness you feel.  The future must enter you long before it happens.”  Rilke

Welcome, beautiful new year. I waited until today to begin this blog, a day that contains the gift, promise and clarity of a new year and the subtle underlying energy of a new moon.

Here, at this halfway point in our life, my adventurous husband and I decided to relocate to a place that is exquisitely beautiful. We both wanted to expand into new challenges and realized that we needed the charged support we somehow receive from nature to help us do it. So we have put ourselves on an island that is connected to land by two bridges, and we are located between those two connections. From here, we have a view west where we can watch the setting of the sun every evening and track it’s path as it shifts a tiny bit each day. On the clearest mornings I can see the white glinting top of Mount Washington 200 miles away. I have discovered that moving “away” has made me feel infinitely more connected to everything. I know that may sound trite, but every day it astounds me.

How we found this place involved trusting in some synchronicities and gut feelings that really made no logical sense, until we pushed it far enough. At some point it became obvious to us that our desires were leading us to this home, new work, and a new life.

From a conventional standpoint we just “downsized’. How ironic. The house is much smaller, cheaper and nondescript. But instead of dealing with an annoying traffic intersection every time I leave the house, this is what I see:

What interests me now is the challenge of revamping oneself at midlife: to finally figure out why we are here, what we are supposed to be doing, and make it happen. For many of us that is connected to realizing we are no longer young and our bodies are not going to be automatically fit and healthy, and we have to make changes. Sometimes we need to change basic things like what we are ingesting and getting more exercise; and other times it is about changing the way we habitually think, or allowing a new level of trust in our own feelings.

Learning to follow one’s gut is an art and science. It is also a mystery. I am interested in this mystery….  Also, I want to understand what really being healthy means. It has to mean more than just the absence of illness. In the second half of life, in particular, what are we here to create?