On this day 17 years ago, I was consumed with loss and everything being left behind. I faced the future with dread. Little of my emotion was focused on the excitement of exploration and the new experiences that lay ahead. You can read more about this in my previous post Relocate, Reinvent, Reroot, Rebloom, Relax!
Today is the 17th anniversary of my and my husband’s move from New Jersey to South Carolina to live a retired and slower-paced lifestyle in a scenic and idyllic Lowcountry coastal community. This anniversary also marks the fact we’ve resided in Beaufort, South Carolina and our home longer than we’ve lived in any other state, town or home throughout my life. By all measure this is my “home”. I am struck by this and that I continue to mark this date and count the years as I would my wedding anniversary, birthdays and loss of loved ones.
I’ve moved many times and could not recall ever keeping track of the anniversary of a move. As an “army brat’ and corporate employee I was used to and expected to move and for change to occur. Always in pursuit of the better job or new experience. I sought opportunity, wherever that would lead. I had rarely, if ever, initiated a move with the expressed intent of personal rather than professional gain – deciding what is important and choosing to move to improve our quality of life was a foreign concept.
Seventeen years has passed at lightening speed. In the time we’ve been South Carolina residents I’ve had remarkable new professional and personal experiences that likely go beyond anything I would have had, had I remained in NJ. My husband has become a volunteer rock star and is making a significant and real difference in our community. As I think about the circumstances of my life today – the many blessings, wonderful opportunities and community involvement – we are living the life we designed and both my husband and I are better and happier for making the move. Despite the emotional angst and baggage I’ve carried forward we are the benefactors of our decision.
Our move has been an unexpected gift. Going forward I will reframe this day. I will honor our courage to leave the status quo to create and embrace a more fulfilling future. I will be thankful for what I know for sure has been an improved quality of life with many more rewards than was ever envisioned. I will give thanks for a past that I cared so much about. And I will remember that to live is to struggle, learn, grow and celebrate!