I liked our new home. Granted, we didn't own it, we were renting it. But for now it was our home. It was a small ranch; less than half the size of the house we had just sold. Actually, we'd had to put most of our paintings, books and furniture in storage. Even after selling things on Craig's list, and the tag sale I did two weeks before the closing, there just wasn't enough room for everything in this house. And I got rid of tons of stuff. Stuff that we'd forgotten we had, stuff that we no longer needed... you get the picture. And yes, it did create a bit of distress amongst some people in the family, you know... the kind of people who like to hold on to every matchstick and never used moldy armchairs, you know the type I am sure. But for me, this clearing out was... was the best thing I'd done in years! And, we got thousands of dollars for it. While unpacking, I felt like a child playing house. I liked that the whole place was on one floor. I loved how well the Welsh dresser and the oak corner cabinet fitted in the kitchen, it was almost like having new furniture. Those two particular pieces had sat in the dining room before, and I hardly ever saw them, because we hardly ever ate in the dining room. Oh, and best of all, I got rid of all our bulky-dust-collecting desktops and replaced them with unobtrusive laptops. There was no room for an office in this house of three bedrooms, eat in kitchen and living room. So, in one of the far corners of the living room, between two pretty windows, we put a beautiful, small square oak Portuguese table, that had sat in the basement of the other house for twelve years. A solid pine shelve above it for files, a pretty woven rattan basket on one corner for paper work, a nice lamp on the other, a sleek laptop, a telephone, and our new office blended with, and enhanced the room. I had chosen that corner for the office, because both windows on either side of it looked out on beautiful flowering trees, bushes and grass. I could sit there and write. Indeed! It came to me that this was the perfect time to take a sabbatical from Real Estate, and write. "Why not? We are debt free," I reminded myself. "We have a roof over our heads and money in the bank from the sale of the house to last us until... until my book hits the shelves and makes the New York bestseller list!" I put the last of the unpacked boxes on the curb outside, and for the first time in five months, I started writing again. Pounding away on the keyboard as soon as I woke up in the morning, I felt alive and at one with myself. I was so sure of my purpose, that even when a friend criticized me for concentrating exclusively on writing and not trying to get a part-time job, I shrugged it off. I attended a writing intensive at the Omega Center in Rhinebeck, led by Mark Matousek, whose memoir; Sex Death Enlightenment, had drawn me to him. At the end of the workshop, Mark told me to dig and sift through the darker, buried layers of my being. "Tell the ugly story", he urged. "Only then will your book be ready." I was in the in the midst of digging up emotional artifacts, when a life threatening infection put me in hospital. It wasn't until the end of the summer, when I got better, that I felt able to write again. Then something else came up, and this time the old record started playing in my head again. "Not enough money. And just how long do you think you're going to last, if your husband never gets another job or if real estate doesn't pick up?" It went, over and over again. "And if he doesn't get a job and if you don't sell any more houses, and if the landlord decides to sell the house and you have no money to buy it and someone else buys it, you'll have to find another place, but what if you can't find another place that you can afford? You were lucky to find this one, but are you going to be lucky again? And what about the college loans? And shouldn't you be trying to get some real estate business and stop wasting your time writing? Oh I get it, you think you can write a bestseller like Eat, Pray, Love and live happily ever after? Please..."
Having survived.... See you next week...
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