Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Well, if there’s one thing that’s ringing loud and clear…it is screaming to me: “you are NOT finished yet, Nancy”. None of us are finished yet so we must dive headfirst into change. Change is inevitable. Fighting and resisting movement can be exhausting and frankly, a huge waste of time.
We packed up and moved from our home in beautiful Asheville, NC in June 2016. I honestly assumed we would be in storage for just a few weeks before finding a house and settling into a new art studio. I didn’t pack winter coats and the kids each had their sleeping bags, which I thought would be a fun adventure for them during the short Summer we’d be apartment living. After all, we’d been looking for new homes since late 2015. I knew we’d be settled soon.
It’s now January 2017 and we are still living in an apartment to the North of Charlotte. We’ve set up camp in an unassuming town with very little distraction. We have in our possession about 3% of everything we own as a family. Our kids are still sleeping on the floor at night and we have a small circular side table (seats 2) that we take turns sitting at during dinner. We do have the old sofa we bought 17 years ago that acts as a refuge for each of us and I packed 1 easel.
1 easel sounds like more than enough for most people, but I have a habit of painting on at least 3 easels at a time, so I have been doing things differently here. My “studio” is in the kitchen/den and I share space with our family dog who loves to occasionally dip her nose into my paints, which are usually strewn across the floor.
If I said I was miserable, I would be lying. There is a true inner peace that has come over me like none other as we live here minimally in this 3rd story walk-up apartment. I have about 30 articles of clothing (ranging from Summer to early Fall) that I layer with a coat which I adopted from my mother. Our family is closer than ever: physically and emotionally speaking. We still don’t own a TV, which has been my husband’s initiative, for several years now. I am productive, secluded, pensive and honestly content. Each morning, the fog lifts from the pasture that sits directly behind our complex and the sunsets are nothing short of breathtaking.
A small part of me is actually scared to change again. To go back to our additional 97% of things waiting for us in storage may be too much. The approximate 3% has been enough for us. Walking a few steps and seeing my entire family together at any moment feels safe to me.
But when you’re finished changing, you’re finished. So, I imagine I will keep this forward momentum and adopt the parts I love about this life into my next phase. Until then, I will watch the cows graze, paint from the kitchen/den area, enjoy the noises from other apartment dwellers and be so very thankful that I have a safe place to live at this moment in my life.