Saturday, January 7, 2017

Downsized Space, Upsized Attitude

New year, new home. We've moved into our new condo, which is 1/1000 of the space (indoor and out) that we had in North Carolina. That is downsizing!

We have furniture we have to sell or donate. And I'm ready for my third run to Goodwill with  leftover household goods.

We've had to downsize our outside space too. The garages are one large building with a row of doors into narrow parking spots. I've scraped the white paint off of the door frame onto our car trying to get into it. Our personal outdoor space is a concrete slab large enough for my potting bench and a small table and chairs. But the HOA won't let me me install my wonderful washing machine-converted-to-sink outside.

We face a green area between buildings that is smaller than our former front yard. While I will enjoy the trees leafing out and the roses blooming, I will miss my former view. My eye had an unimpeded view across the flower beds to the pine trees at the road 300 feet away. From my desk I watched the flowering spring trees go through their cycles.

canine traffic jam
The desk got left behind (it never would have fit!) and I've taken a space near our big bedroom window for my morning reading and writing. The first morning I sat down with my cup of mocha, watched the geese v-ing to ponds that lie beyond. Movement in my peripheral vision interrupted my reverie. Who was walking in "my" yard?   A bundled up senior citizen strolled behind a little dog. And there were more, and more. My thinking time and space were invaded by strangers left, right and center.

I've gone from living in my personal park to being on the doggie commute route. After the first flash of irritation I turned the parade into a list of owner-pet entities.  Shrouded in down jackets and hats, the people are difficult to differentiate. So I identify them by their dogs. There's the pug lady, the woman with a pair of big black canines, a mutt overdressed in a jacket with a faux fur collar, the red coat dog, the pajama guy ambling by with his cup of coffee in one hand, leash in the other, the scruffy hound whose owner needs a shave, and a fuzzball waddling as slowly as its aged owner.

I feel like I've been dropped into a reality show, maybe "Life Swap." I'd like my old life back, but that won't happen even if I win the million dollars.

So I doggedly plug away at accepting what is.

This quote helps me refocus.  "...gather up the fragments of your life and give them to Jesus, and He will make sure that nothing is wasted. Refuse to think about what you have lost; instead inventory what you have left and use it with a thankful heart." Joyce Mayer.

The process of shrinking my domain may expand my capacity for gratitude and flexibility. Perhaps there are unexpected blessings waiting for me in this new life. Downsizing space may result in an upsized attitude.

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