I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats wondering about the wild and crazy adventures I’ve been having so far, in Asheville.
It’s a much younger scene than where I came from, in Florida. The street music, the art festivals, the food, the natural beauty... Asheville’s got it all. I just haven’t experienced much of it, yet. The issue? Drizzly, grey, foggy, cold, rain. Nearly. Every. Day. Apparently, this is an anomaly. The tourist brochures are completely unaware of conditions like this.
I have had some interesting experiences that will share with you, however.
1. I live in a “bear free” community, meaning the black bear seen here a couple of months ago hadn’t read the covenants. We put our trash and recycling through very special processes to ensure they do not attract bears. If we see a bear, we are not supposed to feed it. That tidbit of advice seems wise.
2. When you suddenly live alone, your day/night cycle becomes wonky. If you wake up at 3 am and cannot sleep, you can get up and do stuff, without bothering anyone. I’ve developed an odd habit that I call Two Awakenings. During the first, in the middle of the night, I get many of my “thinking” chores done... like writing blog posts. I’ll work on some curriculum, make a few comments on Facebook, and plan for the coming day. LISTS ARE CREATED. Eventually, I get sleepy and go back to bed, until Second Awakening. This is the one that usually sticks. It occurs some time in the morning, and coffee is consumed. I am incapable of peopling until Second Awakening.
3. There is a store nearby called Whole Foods, which apparently requires a special degree to understand. I went there last week, in search of nutrition. I walked around, determined not to be exposed as a WFF (Whole Foods Fraud), looking as purposeful as I could, for someone who had NOT ONE CLUE about what she was seeing. I honestly didn’t recognize about 80% of the products. At the end of one aisle, there was a wall of homemade soap bricks, just waiting to be confidently sniffed and selected.
Thankfully, I had my friends Lydia and Melanie, who live inside my cell phone, texting me instructions and definitions and encouragement, so I didn’t have to “out” myself by asking someone WHERE AM I AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY FOOD? They steered me to several products, and I successfully made it out of the store with 1. my dignity, 2. several food items, and 3. no panic attacks. I have now completed Whole Foods 101: How to Survive Your Inaugural Visit. I have a very long way to go.
4. It gets very cold here at night. There have been nights I’ve wanted to sleep in four pairs of leggings. Hypothetically. Okay, I have.
5. I have always been somewhat of a minimalist. I currently live in an apartment with a mattress, a folding chair, and a folding table which serves as my dining space, my crafting space, and my work space.
It seems a bit decadent, but I am thinking about getting a separate table for jigsaw puzzling, an activity I quite enjoy but haven’t been able to do in decades, because of demon cats who will bat ONE PIECE off the table, and kick it purposefully under the couch. Now I am living with only one cat, my 15yo Blaze, who cannot jump that high, anymore. And, no couch.
6. My new fitness regime. Because I arrived in Asheville with very little, and I despise shopping, I am an active online consumer. Packages arrive at our Clubhouse, and I need to carry them up several flights of stairs myself. And here’s the thing: the more I buy, the fitter I become. 😊 It’s a win-win. I am getting actual muscles. 💪🏼
7. I’ve spent most of my adult life living with my husband and our two boys. And, while they might not have noticed or cared, out of sheer respect I have always refrained from “girlifying” our home. I am having the best time, now, hanging fairy lights and strands of Pom Pom around my apartment. I’d nearly forgotten that I am a girl. It brings me joy.
8. My crafty friend Ceal (who also has a heart the size of North Carolina), lives nearby. We’ve been meeting for lunch, and a tiny bit of shopping (I can’t handle much). Tomorrow we’ll spend the whole day having artsy fun together. Yay! On one of our visits, I found my Unicorn... a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle plastic placemat that is just perfect for my cat’s water bowl. Occasionally, life hands you a gift. Sometimes that gift shows up in the Target Dollar Spot.
9. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS HERE. It’s beautiful, everywhere you turn. It’s easier to think, in the mountains. The air is fresh, and clean, and you can check your mail without sweating. Seriously, the amount of beauty here is astounding.
10. I miss my family. I cannot wait for them to get here. Although, in a strange twist, I’m probably spending more quality face time with them now than I did when I was living with them. Skype is a wonderful invention. My boys have actually been in touch, on a regular basis. When I text them, I sometimes get a paragraph back, instead of their usual “k”. We are getting through this. It’s a beautiful thing.
11. Life is what you make of it. When you have dreams and goals, you find ways to reach them, even when those ways seem unconventional to others. Thank you to those who have supported me on this whacky, madcap journey. Because living an “okay” life was no longer an option. We want to live our BEST lives. We are going for it.
12. Sometimes, in order to live your BEST life, you need to do hard things and make big sacrifices. Yesterday, I lost my favorite pair of blue jeans. There will be pain. I will get through it.
I am kicking up my “A Life Inspired” business several notches. Very soon I will have more LIVE Online workshop offerings, and I am scouting out locations for an in-person Soul Restoration Retreat. I hope you will consider taking a class, or two. They are healing, and soul-filling, and artsy, and will load you up with concrete ideas and strategies for creating YOUR best life. You deserve that.
You are loved