A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter Y)

Today for the second day, pounding is resounding through the neighborhood from the work on our flat roof. I, however, am taking the day off, saying yes to the need to rest.

Yes, it’s the day for a Y word.

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Saying Yes is a part of accepting change, and therefore a part of selling a house.

 It seems lately there has been a lot of saying yes to hard things. Yes, to big expenditures. Yes, to big decisions to stop having other people live with us, rent from us, borrow from us.  Yes to letting go of favorite things and activities in favor of new plans. To say yes to the future that God is gently bringing to us, one second at a time, takes a lot of trust and is a test of our courage.

Last night we had dinner at a favorite restaurant that has been operating since the early eighties, before we were in Florida. It’s an Amish place known for its pies and farm style cooking. We’ve seen them expand into a beautiful new building decorated with handmade quilts on the walls, a gift shop and a toy train that circles the dining are on a track on the second story balcony. It’s been a landmark restaurant in a land where restaurants come and go rather quickly. They are serving their last meals on Sunday and closing for good. Change has come for them and they said yes.

One day this week the husband came home and announced he had put in his retirement notice. I’ll admit, the timing is partly because he sees that I’m selling the house out from under him and he’ll have no place to come home to.  But, other changes have been happening as well, and considering them over the past weeks has given him the courage to take that step toward big change. God works with people in ways that are right for their temperament and their ability to accept. It’s different for each individual, but he knows us. He gets us ready to change if we let him. He changes us and works with us so that we’re able to move forward. Yes is all about letting that happen.

One of these days soon, we will be signing our names to a contract of sale. We’re selling our house, not our life, and yet things in our life are going to change and never be quite the same ever again. There is a lot of freedom in the act of saying yes. It’s also a little scary.

 

For Mother’s Day

20170512_162317-1Hi Mom,

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I can’t be with you – seems we’re hardly ever together this time of year. I wish that was not the case. I’ve been thinking ever so hard about what I could do or say to show you how much I love you, care about you, respect you and enjoy you. Nothing I think of quite fits the bill. We should talk sometime about what things make your heart glad so that I won’t be wondering.

I guess we all like to know that we’ve accomplished worthwhile things, helped others, added to the well-being of society… all that sort of thing. Do you wonder what you have done? I ask because I think we all have those alone moments when we are uncertain we’ve mattered in any way (I have them). Even if we think we have done our job, we’re not sure anyone else would second our opinion, ha ha. So I’ve thought of a few things you’ve done for me and will try to express them in a thankful way.

One of the most important things centers around the idea of contentment. There are so many people who are not content and are difficult to be around. They can’t even voice a statement of fact without it sounding like a complaint. You, on the other hand, are able to express even things that trouble you without complaining. I can’t imagine you whining about anything. You’ve shown me it’s possible to be this way and that it is a good choice. I’ve seen that everything doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be content. And because you are content in so many situations, it is a pleasure to be with you. I want to emulate that so that people will want to be with me as well.

From you, I’ve learned that pleasure can be pursued in many small ways – anyone can do it! (Should do it!) The pleasure of coffee in a special cup, a favorite meal (even though it be fast food), a preferred morning ritual, a favorite view of the neighborhood, a pleasurable activity (even though it be thought of as work) – are all the kind of things that should be included to make life happy.

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You’ve shown me that grieving and joy are not mutually exclusive. You’ve accepted loss as a part of life and don’t let it spoil the present or take hope away from the future. That’s huge.

You’ve been a champion of humor, of adventure, of seeing new places and doing things differently. I guess I would call that bravery. Sometimes it is brave to laugh when you could cry. It is brave to go, to join, to do, when you could sit home and do nothing. It is brave to choose “different” when we suddenly find we can no longer do “the same”.

There is much I’ve learned from your gracious way of stepping back from things too. It’s not always about saying “yes”. Sometimes it’s necessary and right to say “no”. I say you do it graciously, because you do not make others feel sorry for you, or make them feel guilty for their own choices. I guess that ties back in with being content and showing it to others.

I am more and more aware that there is no avoiding the process of aging (at least no desirable way) and am so thankful that, in you, I have an example that I want to emulate. You are the leader, you are showing the way, and you are helping me to not be afraid. Thank you.

Other miscellaneous things you’ve taught me:

  • Never stop drinking coffee.
  • Never stop digging in the dirt, gardening in some fashion.
  • It’s just money.
  • Being clean can make things almost like new, use Oxiclean.
  • Never pass up a colorful piece of cloth.
  • Always be reading something.
  • Let people know you like them.
  • Never assume you have it all figured out, or that you even should.

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#AtoZChallenge: My Favorite Things Y

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This pelican has nothing to do with the post subject but posts are better with pictures and I’ve always wanted to use this one.

Yes.

I have spent many years being very fond of the word “yes”, except for a brief period around two years old when I was probably practicing “no” more than “yes”. It has been not only a joy to have said yes to many things but it has been the source of adventure that has made life rich. It is hard to go through life without any regrets, but I can’t think of a single “yes” that I would take back if I could. (Perhaps that’s just the blessing of selective memory? Perhaps. ) You know the results of the things you say yes to. The times you answer “no”, you always wonder… what if I had said “yes”.

When I was very young, I said “yes” to God, which was about the only thing I had a choice in. Kids aren’t aware of all the choices they have because they don’t really seem like choices. Should I obey? Should I lie? Should I hide? But the chosen answers do start the formation of character.

As a young adult, I’m glad I said “yes” to the hard work of schooling, to marriage, to employment opportunities, to children.

I’m glad I said “yes” to travel experiences in a faraway part of the world. I’m glad I spent time camping on the Appalachian Trail. I’m glad I said “yes” to riding a horse across Florida.

I’m glad I said “yes” to all the beginning conversations that ended in long time friendships. I could really have missed out there. I’m glad I stretched myself to come alongside some who were in need. I’ve been repaid for those “yeses” as they have given me a sense of purpose and a chance to share burdens with others without going through the hardship myself – vicarious learning.

I’m glad I said “yes” to writing – years of corresponding with friends and family, years of journaling, and years now of this blog. It is my record of life.

To be fair, the word “no” is not bad just because “yes” has been good. “No” finds its rightful place more often now and it feels more like wisdom to say it. I am only content in saying it because of all the times I’ve said “yes”. (No, I don’t want to go waterskiing. I’ve done that and I have no desire to have my arms pulled out of their sockets today. Thanks.)

There is a whole world of “yes” out there, still to be explored, no matter who you are or what your circumstances.  Think about it.

 

What unregretted “yes” pops into your mind as you read this?

A to Z Challenge: The Joy of YES (the letter Y)

photo of painting by Andrea Heimer
photo of painting by Andrea Heimer

Yes. A beautiful word. I can think of so many times when I’ve been thankful to hear a “yes” from someone. Yes, you can do that. Yes, it can be worked out. Yes, I have time. Yes, you’re accepted. Yes, it’s going to be okay. Yes, I found it, it’s here. Yes, it can be fixed. Yes, I love you.   It’s easy to get in trouble with my “yes” and my “no”. My fearful “no” makes me miss out on valuable experiences. My unthinking, default “yes” results in an overcommitted, overwhelming schedule. So, to be purposeful and joyful in saying YES I am going to

  1. Say yes to people I love. My cousin recently asked me for some sewing help. She and her daughter came over and we spent time together doing a project she really wanted done. That was a good “yes” and actually got me thinking about the subject.

 

  1. Say yes to experiences rather than vicarious living. Going to Cambodia was something I never imagined myself doing. It has also been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had in all my life. And it grows better each time I go.

 

  1. Say yes to creativity over merely consuming. Writing something, sewing something, growing a beautiful plant, making music are the activities I run to when I wonder who I am. For some strange but wonderful reason, I need to create to be happy.

 

  1. Say yes to things that are lasting over things that are temporary. As I sit here thinking, I know science doesn’t have an answer that satisfies me as to how I can be aware, have a conscience, be a unique person, be more than just physical matter. The metaphysical, the spiritual side of me exists and it feels a connection to the eternal.

So may my yes’s be many, made with joy and wisdom. And may my no’s be few and judiciously spoken.