Change is in the Air

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 018

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 0oo9027-R1-015-6needs to live like that?IMG_0626

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?

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18 Responses to Change is in the Air

  1. Marge says:

    How exciting! Having just recently done what you are planning on doing let me assure you it really revitalizes your life. The desert is beautiful, calm and serene but we felt we needed more stimulation than was offered in the desert. Yes living in a bigger city means more crowds and knowing what times to avoid traffic but the benefits of plays, concerts, museums, parks , sporting events and yes shopping makes it all worth while. We find we have more energy and do so much more than we did on the desert. No more being hermits from June through September. You can actually do things year round. Best of luck with the sale of your house and enjoy your new adventure.

  2. After my divorce in 2010 I moved into an apartment. While I felt at home there, it wasn’t MINE. But I was afraid to take any big steps too soon after the divorce. Finally I felt comfortable about doing something and I bought a small condo a few months ago. I’m pretty well settled in except for the second bedroom which doubles as my office. It’s a mess, especially after returning from NYC with loads of books and other goodies. But I’ll get it decorated eventually — like after I write this next book. 😉 Good luck with your move. I hope your house sells quickly and the packing and moving goes smoothly.

  3. robena grant says:

    Thanks, Marilyn. I’m at the point of weighing and balancing apartment vs. condo. I’ll be taking a look at what is available in the area of choice later in the week. I’m leaning toward apartment, as I’m just coming out of a huge money drain and a house that was under water for years. Not too sure I want to go that route again. Ha ha.

    • Marge says:

      After buying and selling 10 homes during the years not owning a home has been very liberating. We had never lived in an apt and this is a new adventure for us. Best part if you decide that location isn’t for you, you can just move. Something doesn’t work right you just call maintenance. No concern about repairs and upkeep. Since we don’t know exactly what part of town we want to be , renting gives us time to decide and if we came across a great deal we don’t have something to sell before we purchase.

      • robena grant says:

        Exactly what my daughter said, Marge. I’ll most likely rent first. although I do take a bit of a hit with income taxes by not having the mortgage and prop tax right off. But then again…freedom!!!

  4. Alison Henderson says:

    That sense of “rightness” is a sure sign you’re making the right choice. When I retired a couple of years ago, we considered the desert but I knew I’d never survive those summers. We settled on Carmel instead. I love the area, but it still feels like we’re on vacation – not like we actually live here. I don’t know how long it will take, if ever, to feel at home here. I suspect this may be a wonderful lull in life, a few years when we can enjoy ourselves with nothing more important to do. Our only child lives half a continent away, and I can foresee the day when I want (need) to see her and any future grandchildren much more often. Good luck with your move!

  5. Tonya Plank says:

    Great news! Welcome back! I really loved New York – lived there for 18 years. I’ve lived in L.A. for four years now and I really have really conflicted feelings toward this city. I just hate the traffic and lack of parking so much. I hate how sometimes just not wanting to deal with it all keeps me from going out. I keep saying I’m going to move out to a smaller city that doesn’t have such problems but where there’s still some liveliness, but after living in NY and LA for the past 22 years now, I’m not sure how happy I’d be in a smaller area. A friend actually suggested Palm Springs recently, and I thought about it, so it really helps me to read your perspective! Maybe I’ll stay here and just hope they get the public transportation system figured out and working sooner rather than later 🙂

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re coming! I’m looking forward to seeing more of you 🙂

  6. robena grant says:

    Yes, Tonya, L.A. is an acquired taste (I lived there for more than 26 years and raised my kids there) but seriously, if I had money I’d go to NY in a second. I was used to visiting my mother in law every year for almost forty years, and I love how close everything is, how much culture there is…I could go on. 🙂 But L.A. is widespread and choked with traffic. I do like the Encino/Sherman Oaks/Studio City area and am very familiar with that. I’ll be looking there first.
    You might like Palm Springs. It is getting a bit of a younger vibe these days, sort of a West Hollywood feel. But public transportation is not great. I found one thing that happened to me here was I allowed myself to age. Most of my friends were five to ten years older, and it was easy to slip into that mode. 😉

  7. Allison Morse says:

    Welcome back (soon) to L.A. I agree, as someone else pointed out, that if you feel the rightness of the decision, then you indeed know it is right for you at this time. During my twenties and thirties I did a lot of moving back and forth between LA and SF (then back to LA, then SF — you get my drift. Or maybe I was drifting : ) Some of those moves were work and school related. But a big part of it had to do with I never was sure about “rightness” of which place between the two I wanted to be in. Having finally settled on LA (at least for now : o It does finally seem right.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

    • robena grant says:

      I understand this, Allison. To be torn between two places and never truly putting down roots. The desert house always felt like I was visiting. Nothing permanent, but then the feeling could have come from it being a “seasonal” city. I had no idea you had waffled between SF and L.A. 🙂

  8. Love this life affirming blog. You’re back baby!
    I think you’ve accomplished so much while living in the desert that might not have been achieved if you’d stayed in the greater L.A. area. Pat yourself on the back for that.
    However, feeling that surge of life while visiting NYC was also good.
    There’s a balance to be had and you’ll find it.
    Rooting for you!

    • robena grant says:

      Thanks, Lynne. I’m looking forward to my return. Ha ha. L.A. is my true American home, the one with the deepest roots. But you are right, I did achieve several important things here, I worked hard at my craft without disturbance. I got published many times here. I allowed my kids to grow up and find their own place in life. Now I’m ready to return. Hope there’ll be a grandchild or two in my future. 😉

  9. Congrats on making the decision. Bet that proves to be the hardest part of the whole move.

  10. robena grant says:

    Yes, I think it was, Judy. The minute I signed the papers I knew it was right, but there had been a lot of procrastination before that event.

  11. Oh, wow, this is huge. I’m so excited for you, Robena! I was riveted by your story too, I might add. You describe the energy so well, and that’s how I know this is the right move for you. I’m so happy for you. Kudos on appreciating where you are now and on recognizing when it’s time to move on.

  12. robena grant says:

    Thanks, Nicci. I’m a Libra, so I do a lot of weighing and balancing, but when I do make my decision I stick to it (and almost want the results yesterday) and people assume I’m a bit spontaneous. This decision was about a year in the making. 🙂