I took time off from unpacking, cleaning and organizing, and drove to our beloved CHSP this evening. After walking the dogs, I sat and wrote this post. This was my view. To get the full effect, you may want to click on the picture.
Getting out of the hood and returning to familiar, peaceful, beautiful grounds was heavenly.
I promised to answer some of the FAQs I’ve received, so, here you go. They are in no particular order. Sorry about the length. Just wanted to get all the FAQs out of the way in one post. I will try my best to make this my last L-O-N-G post.
FAQ 1: Why did you move?
Within a 48-hour period my roommate announced he was moving to San Antonio and my landlord went up on the rent. I was very blessed these last 2 years to find 2 fabulous roommates. I felt I was pushing my luck. Plus, to keep the other bedroom rented, I previously had to go DOWN in rent, not up. I could not afford the increase. With the extra expense, cost of gasoline and the stress of finding yet another roommate, I decided it was time to pare down, cut back and move closer to work.
FAQ 2: Why this apartment?
I literally had no other choice that fit my parameters. I wanted to be close to work, it had to be within my budget, and it had to be a place that took my animals.
Close to work: I drive a 1993 Buick Century. I wanted to be within 5 miles of work so that I could make it there without a car, should it come to that.
Within my budget: This included deposits. There was another place, more upscale, that would have worked if they had not wanted $1100 down! As far as my monthly expenses, I want to be self-sufficient and have money left over at the end of the month without having to continuously ‘Rob from Peter to pay Paul’.
My furry family: It was suggested by many that I give them up. That was not an option. Ever. One friend even offered to take the dogs for awhile so that I would have more opportunities. For me, that was not an option either. When I declined the offer, final answer, the following comment (or something close to it) was made, “Well, it doesn’t make sense for you to put yourself in harm’s way. You’re going to end up dead or in the hospital and I’ll get them anyway."
Perhaps, but I’m not stupid. I’m taking every precaution to make sure that doesn’t happen. And it also occurred to me… it’s not just about keeping my furbabies with me right now in this particular moment in time. It’s about a debt I owe to other animals as well. When I made my commitments to Miss Hope, Bentley and Nonni, I did so for life. And I will make sure I do everything I can to give them healthy, happy lives. For a myriad of reasons, I was not able to do that for the following animals while they were in my charge over the years:
Horses – Dan, Toni, and Paint
Ducks – Gigi and Waterloo
Dogs – Spotty (my childhood pet), Racket, Mitzy, Max, Beau and Bear
Cats – Lilly, Misty, Blue, Lex and Aries
So, right or wrong, the 4 of us make up a family and I chose to keep them with me. I love them. They love me and they bring me such joy, comfort and security. They are blessings to me and I hope when the day comes that they leave this earth, the same can be said about me for them.
FAQ 3: Are you safe?
Probably. With precautions. For example, I don’t go out after dark and I pay $20 extra to have a reserved parking space next to the building, under lighting. Also, it is my nature to be very friendly and outgoing but I am working on keeping a low profile. I have already been “misread” by one person of the male persuasion, and I do not want to make that mistake again. It is definitely a different environment, but I am adapting, and it is getting better.
FAQ 4: What is your game plan?
My ultimate goal has not changed. It is still to establish a mobile income and have an RV one day. It is my motivation and that dream is what keeps me going. As you know, I sold most of my “things.” It amazed me to realize just how much crap I had collected in 53 years! LOL.
I had wanted to take with me to the apartment only the things that would fit in an RV and the things I would use to establish a mobile income, but I ran out of time. Consequently, I have a storage unit crammed full of boxes.
My immediate goal is to get rid of all items in the storage unit and minimize the items at the apartment. I want a pristine, minimal existence. I have been carrying some of these items around with me for 20 years, and it’s all mostly papers! It is things I should have let go of long ago. I am finally ready and will do it as quickly as possible. The good news is that it is no longer painful for me. It is now freeing, cathartic and peaceful to discard.
The next goal will be to write, write and then write some more. I will have my living room set up and ready to launch my Etsy Store: RVScrapper, and I will be ready for production through my business: All Things Photo, but it will all sit dormant until I get some stories completed and polished.
FAQ 5: Where are you spiritually?
To be honest, I was mad at God for awhile. I was rebellious, even impudent, which I suppose could be categorized as arrogant, to say the least. I kept looking at my life, and all that I’ve lost, and all I could think was, “Really? This is Your great plan for me. Really?!? This had better be the bottom floor of this downward spiral!" And yes, I literally said those words out loud to God and repeated them often in my head while shaking a figurative fist in defiance to the sky. I scare myself sometimes.
Granted, some epiphanies outside of that base attitude had occurred. For example, it had already dawned on me that as long as I lived in places that allowed for storage, I would have probably kept carrying all the boxes of baggage around with me. In my mind, it was a logical assumption to conclude that God had removed everything from my life that had allowed for that; leaving me no choice but to get rid of the boxes. It had also occurred to me that this time period in my life could be a real blessing – a time to clean up, clear out and start anew. I don’t want to look back one day and think, “Geez, I wish I had seen that apartment as an opportunity.”
Then I had dinner with my awesome friend David, the minister at Unity Church of Arlington. He reminded me that we always make choices based on what we value most at the moment. Nothing had been stripped from me or taken from me that wasn’t a result of decisions previously made, based on what was important to me at the time. Plus, God has given me everything I asked for – a place to live that met all my requirements. REMINDER: Be careful what you ask for. Or at the very least, be real clear and very specific before asking. ;)
He also reminded me that our part is to sit at God’s feet and edify Him. We do that through, among other things, praise and gratitude and living in positive light and Grace. We lay our needs at the Cross and don’t pick them back up. Take action, but leave the results up to Him. David made a good point that to focus on the results is, in short, a form of idolatry.
I realize that I need to get back to the basics. I need to re-establish my morning routine of prayer and meditation. I need to quiet the noise in my life and in my mind, and do the work that will allow me to get centered and stable. The rest will take care of itself. All I need to do is the next right thing, day in and day out, while Living in Grace.
Then, before I know it, one day I will look back on all this from the window of my RV. :)
Living in this apartment, on my own, with my furry family allows for all of that. But I sure hope I’ve learned my lesson about limiting God when I ask for something. God is Good. All the time. God is abundant. He is limitless. So a life sans the roaches would have been really, really nice. LOL.
I love my wonderful readers. Thank you for staying with me through all of this.