Changing My Life Has Turned Out to Be Very Time-Consuming

Spike: Hang on. Did you hear something?
Sebastian: I hear only the cacophonous clamor of my own failure.
Spike: A Dark Place, Part One (Season 9, No. 1), script by Victor Gischler

Now that I’m getting toward the end of this over-a-year-long project of getting my finances in order, selling my house, and changing the ways I spend my time, I’m realizing why so many people don’t walk away from the big things they know are making them unhappy. It’s a lot of work, and right now I have no idea how all of this is going to turn out. While I’m looking at places to live and packing, my feelings of victory are tempered by the knowledge that I have as much potential to screw things up as I do to make them shine.

I’m trying to focus on the fact that the key word in that last sentence is potential. It may run in all directions, but I have a lot of it. I am fortunate to have as many choices as I do, I am fortunate to have so much to do, and I am fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family and colleagues who help me along, no matter what I’ve gotten myself into.

One of the many things I learned from my parents is that at any time in your life, you can stop, get rid of what’s not working, keep what is, and walk less encumbered into something new. I have watched both my parents pick up and start over multiple times, and they’re both out there now encouraging me to take a risk and try, the way they always have.

And so that’s what I’m doing when I’m not posting here.

Also, Lucas turned thirteen today. Officially a teenager. So in addition to changing my life today, I will be eating cake.

Everything is better with cake.


  1. Patty
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Every time I drive by the new housing units across from Hochstein, I think of you and hope that you will find a lovely, magical place to live that will make you happy for a very long time. There are so many amazing living spaces being developed downtown right now. My dream place is the penthouse floor in the old Academy building on Fitzhugh Street, but then I remember that It reminds me of the house in Salem’s Lot.

  2. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Everything IS better with cake. And though people don’t talk about it much, having so many choices and changes is far scarier than having too few.

    I’ve made big changes in the last year or so, too, and it helps me to remember the line from Shakespeare In Love: “It will all turn out in the end.”

  3. adrienne
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Patty, Thank you! I’ve been looking at some amazing places, and I *think* I’ve found one that will work, but I have to verify that I can get my piano up there. Because I’m insisting on keeping my piano.

    Also, the comparison to Salem’s Lot is kind of a selling point. I think I’m going to have to look at that place.

    Kelly, Here’s the thing about having choices: if things don’t turn out well, I can’t pretend I didn’t have a choice. In fact, I can’t pretend I didn’t have endless choices. The thing is one never knows which are the ones that will matter.

    Congrats to you and your changes. It takes courage, I know.

  4. Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    One day at a time, right? For now, I say: Focus on the cake.

  5. adrienne
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Indeed. I’m so focused on cake that I’m planning a baking project for tomorrow morning, too, which I’m totally looking forward to. Also this afternoon I’m making this blue cheese dip that is one of my favorite things in the universe to eat because it’s all delicious and cheesy and fattening.

    I’ve been missing cooking while I’ve been so busy lately.

  6. momster
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Lucas has a lot of nerve trying to make us all feel older!It won’t work!I know he’ll have a happy day:)And,I hope you sit down,breathe deeply and slowly and enjoy your cake:)
    Don’t forget about parking when looking at city places.Is it included?Does it exist?You never know;)Love to you!

  7. Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday, I made apple cake.
    I neglected the cream cheese frosting, and went with strudel. The world is a good place…

    People used to say enviously how awesome it was that we totally left everything and went somewhere else, and just lived – and I wanted to tell them how much work it took. But, you know. And for anything worth that much awesome, you have to sort of take that much risk. Shake up the 8 ball, eat some cake, and hug the birthday boy.

  8. adrienne
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Momster, You should have heard Lucas singing Happy Birthday to himself last night. That kid’s hilarious.

    Tanita, I’ve been wanting to make an apple cake but haven’t gotten to it. I’m going to be baking a three-layer vanilla cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting in just a bit. It’s a recipe out of BAKED that I haven’t yet tried.

    And, yes, yes, thanks for mentioning that about the moving and the work and the risk. I know you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, and you two have taken much greater risks with your moves. I am currently only planning to move about a fifteen minute drive from where I already live.

    I wish the 8 Balls were more accurate predictors of the future. You’re inspiring me, though. Today’s post may have to be posing some of my current major life questions to them.

  9. Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I almost want to pack up & move somewhere but I don’t think Ron would go for it, especially since it would most likely involve the British Isles. Alas I will keep doing what I do here which is a lot of work but less than changing everything. Perhaps I will appease the wanderlust by getting rid of some stuff so the house is lighter.

  10. adrienne
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Well, I think more than moving, you just want to travel more, and you’re taking steps. GO, YOU!

    I do recommend getting rid of stuff. It’s time-consuming and a lot of work, but it does make you feel lighter when it’s done.

  11. momster
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Your time will come too Tammy.

  12. Posted November 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. On a black day, this post made all the difference.

  13. adrienne
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Maya. Thanks for being here and reading.

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