Friday, May 28, 2010

MyTake(andYours): California Dreamin'

MyTake(andYours): California Dreamin'

California Dreamin'

I'm here on the west coast visiting my LA daughter and marveling at the good weather, fragrant flowers and well, traffic...and I haven't even been on a freeway yet. Just getting there seems to be an angst driven process. And yet people here seem a lot more chill than they do on the east coast - well to a degree anyway.

Yesterday I got to meet many cool people from AVSquad - a movie trailer making place. It was inspiring to meet so many creatives and discover that even though they all have jobs in creative fields, their side projects abound.

It got me wondering how much more creative percolation goes on if your day job and side dreams align. Would I work on my novel more if I heard my co-worker talking about finishing his screenplay? Can't help but think the answer is yes. But then I learned from my daughter that when what you love (e.g. music, movies etc.) becomes a stressor related to your job, it can burn out the love. Good to keep in mind!

Mostly am glad for the sunshine, change of scenery and my daughter. Her smile and creative projects are fuel for my soul. And the celebrity sitings are sort of fun too. Yesterday we had coffee at Starbucks with Creed from "The Office." True, we weren't sitting at the same table, but when I first saw him I felt like I was seeing an old friend; like I knew more people out here.... maybe my father's dementia is rubbing off....

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Next Move

I have moved around a lot – on the outside it must’ve looked like I had ants in my pants. Somehow in my apartment dweller days, it seemed it was easier to move, than wash windows.

But as I morphed from renter to owner, I came to see 7 years in one place was my limit. My pastime is reading “homes for sale” ads and imagining what I would do in terms of renovation if I acquired them. Sometimes I think my true calling was to be a real estate rehabber; but that would be a very stressful self-admission that I’ve been in the wrong career now for some time.

For me moving is like other people changing clothes. I want something different to live in - not wear. When I was a new mom, climbing the corporate ladder and “having it all" (ha ha ha), my moves were tied to a room for another child, a backyard to fit a swingset and a bigger better place overall. I always seemed to want more "space." A wise therapist once informed me that maybe I needed more space, but not a bigger house?

Once I tried on Seattle. But despite a number of dear friends, not enough sunshine. Too many cloudy days wouldn't suit me; I felt like I dodged a bullet on that one - it's harder to sell houses than return clothes...though I had to do it once quite quickly after I lost a job!

I am comfortable where there’s a lot of nature, water and the ability to see things going on in life outside my door. I like to live near a “town” where I can know the shopkeepers and a few neighbors. When I am too far into the woods or away from a large body of water – I feel mildly freaked out.

It turns out that I need to be living in a place that feels beautiful to me or it's like my hard wiring is out of whack. That feeling of beauty I get in my home is like what sunshine and water are to plants. Nourishment - pure and simple.

When I was 30 moving often involved more - land, bedrooms etc. Now I want bedrooms without a flight of stairs in case I need knee surgery. In my married days, a move's "stretching" or reaching almost always referred to finances. Today it may mean putting up with less - like not getting that extra bedroom or a coveted garage.

Yesterday I revisited a condo development where I once lived. I had a chance to rent or buy the same style unit I used to own, only this time with a better view and a garage! I'd have to essentially re-do the entire place – but I’d done that with the other unit. I was experienced with the exact floorplan!

Instantly I wanted to by-pass renting entirely and jump wholeheartedly into owning and renovating. After all, that river view was gorgeous and I could finally have it! It was thrilling to know it - and know it was within reach. But within an hour of looking at the place I started to retreat. I got a hit of Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Hadn't I done this before? Did I really want to do it again?

Within a few hours, I had my “Final Answer.” No this wasn’t Groundhog Day. I didn’t want to repeat the whole thing. Yes, I’d wanted a river view – but that was then. Now I'm jonesing for a new place with more space and a river view. It's good to know I can keep moving forward and not detouring to retrace some old footprints. That river view had become like the white go-go boots I wanted but never got. I'd moved on and so had my definition of what made me happy.