Before leaving for my trip to NYC, I spoke with real estate agents, and my accountant. I knew it was time to stop sinking money into the bottomless pit that is my house, even though I love it and have had many years of happiness and creativity in this small desert home. Sometimes one has to accept that they are in the wrong place, trying hard to make it work, but something is always missing. So it was with this house, this area, and my life.
You would think it would take less than ten years to understand that my initial move to the desert communities was not the best one for me. Maybe I’m a slow learner. You’d think I’d have twigged to it earlier, because I still returned to the city for my monthly romance writer chapter meetings, that I had doctors that I still visited, and that I hopped in the car and drove two and a half hours to help my son or daughter if ever they needed anything, or if I needed to get away. Holidays were always spent in Los Angeles. Every time I traveled I wished that I could fly non-stop.
The desert has been beautiful at times. I’ve enjoyed aspects of the peace and quiet where I could write to my heart’s content without fear of interruption. But then there were the long hot summers that took their toll on my sanity. There is a ghost town effect in the summer when many of our Canadian and northern US neighbors return home. The real season runs through the fall and winter months, and that’s when I found my energy level getting a surge. That’s when I become a social being again. On the other hand, in the summer I could drive to wherever I needed to be with no traffic, no lines, no hassle, and I could be the only person at a matinee in the movie theater. But who needs to live like that?
I need more stimulation in my life. That became evident on my recent trip to NYC. I came alive, like a person crossing the desert, and finally meeting an oasis and having to take small sips of water. I walked around New York saying, “Yes, I am a city gal.” I realized I’d slipped into some kind of inertia, everything was too simple in my life. I thought of myself as old, I had begun to act older. But not any more folks!
I’m heading back to Los Angeles! I’ll be closer to my children. I won’t have the nagging fears that my impending knee surgery would leave me in a bind down here. For years I’d felt I should be independent of my kids, let them have their lives without mother hovering over their shoulders. I understand now that I can do that in L.A. and yet have the comfort of knowing they are only a few miles away.
The minute I made my decision I felt a burst of “this is so right” energy. The real estate papers have been signed, the house will list in mid-August, and I hope it won’t be too long before we get some nibbles. Real estate doesn’t move fast down here, so I’m prepared for it to take a while. In the meantime, my daughter and I are going to look around the Sherman Oaks and Studio City area. I’m not buying another house. I don’t need much space, so I’ll look at apartments and small condos. If I find something I really, really love, I’ll move right away. Otherwise, I’ll stay here and enjoy the upcoming fall. It’s all good. When the time is right it will all fall into place.
What about you? Are you happy living where you are? Do you ever get a hankering to move?