What I’m looking forward to…..and what I’ll miss…..

As I reflect on my plans for the future and get closer to finalizing my decisions on when, how, and other specific details that are still being mulled over and analyzed (to death, as usual), I find myself thinking a LOT about what I am looking forward to……..and what I will miss!  I am literally starting my life all over again – starting fresh – beginning a new chapter – reinventing myself.

This is all so very exciting………….and so very scary!!!

It should be easy, this time.  After all, it is not the first time I’ve packed up and moved to a whole new state and started a whole new life.  This time should be easier because I’m going home to a familiar place where my family and old friends are…….not like that other time when I moved to a new location with all new people to meet.  Of course, I was much, much younger and more fearless that other time and I didn’t do it alone (I had a new husband and son to share the excitement and fears with).  But, as much as I know in my heart it is the right thing to do at the perfect time in my life, it still isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

Every day I do at least one thing that makes me stop and think about how it will be different soon or that I will need to add it to my list of things that need to be considered or worked out.  Of course, there are the big things, like how much I adore Dr. P and now I’ll have to find a new doctor – I finally found my way to Dr. Hincks and love him, but now I’ll have to find a new dentist – and Dr. Cindy is such an amazing Vet and the girls actually get excited about going to see her and now I’ll have to find a new Vet that we’re comfortable with.  Then there are also smaller, less significant things that I find myself reflecting on daily that are going to make for a lot of changes in my life.

So, I thought I’d get some of them off my chest……..here they are…….the big and the small…….all the things that I’ve been pondering:  What I’m looking forward to in my new life in Albion and what I’ll really miss about my current life in Sanford!

What I’m looking forward to – in no particular order (except the first one):

  • Spending unlimited time with my Mom

No more planning trips to spend physical time with her……no more relying on Skype or Email or IMs to communicate on a daily basis.  We can sit and talk over a cup of coffee or tea, go to lunch or shopping together, cook together, or share an adventure whenever we want to.

  • Un-rushed access to family and life long friends

It will be such a pleasure to not have to cram visits with people I want to see into a short vacation trip.  Inevitably, time runs out and I miss seeing someone (or several someones) and we end up apologizing for not connecting while I’m there and promising to ensure we make time on the next trip.  Soon, it won’t matter if we’re busy when we’d like to get together because we’ll be able to do it “whenever”.

  • Time

I can’t tell you what peace I feel when I think about no longer being on a set schedule and having to find time to fit in the pleasures in life around work and other obligations.  Of course, I’ll still want some structure to my days and I won’t turn into a lazy lump (well, maybe I will do that “occasionally”), but I won’t have to plan out everything that needs to be done and when it’ll get done.  No more stress over juggling that “work / life balance” thing that no one ever really finds the secret to.

I look forward to time to unpack and set up my house the right way right from the start.  I look forward to time to just sit on my patio and enjoy my back yard and watch the girls run and play and wrestle – for as long as I want, not just an hour here and an hour there.  I look forward to time to really get back into reading and enjoying books, again.  I look forward to time to ride my mower around the yard and maybe even have a garden and have the time to tend to it properly.  I look forward to time to enjoy a hobby.  I look forward to time to go for long rides and day trips to discover new and exciting adventures.  I look forward to being able to just decide that if Mom and I want to go to the Adirondacks for a few days to see the mountains in the fall or to Henderson Harbor for a little trip, we can just do it without having to plan for it months in advance!  And, I look forward to time to blog about all my new adventures and experiences as I enjoy my new life!

  • My new home

A couple of months ago, I bought an adorable little cape cod style house that I will be living in after I make the move.  I love it – it was like it was made just for me!  Everything is sized just right, the dormers in the upstairs bedrooms are HUGE and I can picture myself sitting and reading in a comfortable chair in the one in the master bedroom,  and it has a lovely, inviting yard that I had fenced in for the girls to have a safe place to run and play.

  • The lake, etc….

I’m going to love being able to spend time at the lake watching boats pull in and out of the point, listening to the seagulls and waves, skipping stones, and maybe even a little fishing.  I’m also looking forward to walking along the canal tow path and hoping for a passing boat.  And, if that isn’t enough, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Finger Lakes are close enough for nice little weekend get aways.

  • Friends

There is nothing like spending time with people you’ve known for most of your life and that you share fond memories with.  A few years ago, I started reconnecting with friends I had lost touch with over the years.  That is easy to do when you live in different states, but oh, so sad when you realize it has happened.  I have made a conscious effort to find ways to get together with those I could and ways to stay connected in some fashion with those I couldn’t get together with.  I am sad to say that we have lost several of them over the years and others that we know are still here, but aren’t sure where they ended up in life.  So, I am hoping to coordinate a regular “get together” for those of us in and around Albion – maybe a monthly lunch date or dinner parties or something…..not sure what, yet, but I’ll figure it out and make it happen for any who may be interested.

  • Snow

Yeah, I know – I’ll get over this one pretty quick – probably by the time the first big one snows me in for a few days!  But, I am surprised at how much I am looking forward to my first winter back home.  It will be fun watching the girls react to the first deep snow drift they’ve ever had to romp through in order to “take care of business”.  They have experienced snow before, but in very small doses that went away in a day or two.  This will be funny!  As for me, I’ve been home during the winter a few times over the years and that has always been more than enough for me —- not a big “snow” fan!  But, I’m looking forward to getting used to it and Christmas decorations against a snowy white backdrop and looking out at the yard blanketed with snow from my nice warm house while sipping a cup of hot chocolate!  (The fact that I’ll be retired and won’t “have” to go out and clean off my car and drive in it to get to work every day will go a long way in helping this idealistic view of snow become a reality……hehehehe……..at least for the first winter, anyway!)

  • Milder summers

The older I get, the less tolerant of the heat I get!  I have gotten so that I practically hibernate through July and August, except when I really have to go outside.  The heat bothers my asthma and I just don’t feel well when it is as hot as it gets here in the height of the summer months.  I can’t imagine living in a state that gets even hotter and stays hotter longer than NC does.  So, yeah, I’m looking forward to milder summers.  Sure, Albion gets pretty hot at times, but it is like the snow, here – maybe a little here and there – nothing prolonged or unavoidable.  I’ve been told that I’ll have less days where I can sit outside comfortably and ride around with the top down on the pony because of the long winter season.  But, I think I may actually have MORE days to enjoy those types of activities because of less sweltering hot days.

  • WalMart

Yep, you read that right!  I’m actually looking forward to WalMart!  I was concerned that the only place to buy necessities and household items will be WalMart in Albion, unless I want to drive to Brockport or Batavia.  I hate WalMart……..let me say that again……..I HATE WalMart!!!  But, it is actually a much more pleasant experience shopping in WalMart in Albion than it is in any WalMart I’ve ever been in before – including the one here in Sanford.  Here, you have to drive around for an hour to find a parking spot even remotely this side of the north-forty, put up with aisles crowded with crazies, and spend a minimum of 20-30 minutes in the EXPRESS lane to check out!!!  OK, I exaggerate – but only slightly!!!  I dread it when I have to go there!  But, in Albion, you can go shopping on a Friday evening, Saturday morning, or any other typically super busy shopping day, and still get a parking spot within a slot or two from the front door and find almost no one in the store!!!  But, at least one of those 1/2 dozen or so people out shopping will be someone you know and were hoping to run into!

  • Wegman’s

I am soooooooo looking forward to making a trip in to Brockport (20-30 mins drive) at least once a month to shop for groceries at Wegman’s!  Enough said – those who know Wegman’s are smiling and nodding right now!

What I’ll miss – again, in no particular order (except the first one):

  • Ronald and Lisa

I’ve known Ronald since about 1966-67 (my 5th grade year in school), when my family moved to the home my Mom still lives in.  I didn’t know him really well, though, until we started dating about 1983 or so – I knew his younger siblings better and I dated a close mutual friend through much of my high school years.  Then, we got married in 1985.  Although the marriage didn’t last, our friendship did and we’ve lived in the same town and been close for all these years.  Ronald is my very best friend and I can’t imagine not having him nearby.  His wife, Lisa, and I have grown very close, as well.  I also can’t imagine not being able to spend time with her and our talks.  I’m going to miss them most of all!  But, we have Skype and email.  And Ronald still has some ties in Albion, so they will be up for visits.  I won’t allow any circumstances to result in us losing touch – it won’t happen!  That doesn’t keep me from getting really sad when I think about moving away from them, though.

  • My Sanford friends

 I have met so many wonderful people here – especially in the last 5-10 years.  There are some who I’ve grown very fond of and will miss very much.  I hope we’ll stay in touch – we have Facebook and my blog and email and we can actually even break down and write letters!  hehehehe  For those with children, I’ve enjoyed watching their babies grow into little people and hope that I can continue to keep up with them.  Ya’ll know who you are………if you “unfriend” me or stop following my blog, I’ll come back and slap you silly!  (just kidding – sorta)

  • This community

I love this community!  It has a small town feel with city benefits and citizens with hearts of gold!  I’ve known it for many years, but never to the extent we saw it after the tornado that ripped through here earlier this year.  The way this community came together, rolled up their sleeves, and rebuilt (a lot of which is still ongoing) was an inspiring experience I’ll never forget.  The same for a lot of other situations — non-profit fundraising events, community involvement, and most recently the way folks have reached out to help a friend of mine whose sister needs a kidney transplant and has to raise an unbelievable amount of money to cover the costs her insurance carrier has denied.  I don’t remember any other community I’ve lived in being this willing to do whatever it takes to help their neighbors in need.  I hope I find the same sense of community when I move back home or, if not, that I can influence that in some small way.

  • Mild winters

HA – I know – I mentioned above that I was looking forward to snow, but that will absolutely fade once I get into that first winter – right after the beauty of the first big snow fall and a very white Christmas – most likely about the time I realize I’m into the second consecutive month of knee-deep or deeper snow in the yard and remember how much I HATE snow!!!  hahaha  Not having to shovel sidewalks, plow driveways, scrape windows, and wear 10 layers of clothes to keep warm EVERY DAY for MONTHS, is something I will desperately miss!

  • A few special mentions

Dr. P – I adore Dr. P and can’t imagine being able to find a doctor that I trust so completely and who is one of the sweetest men I know!

Dr. Cindy – she is the most amazing veterinarian on the face of the earth!  I’ve never known a vet who has cared so deeply for my animals and me.  She has helped me through many difficult decisions and illnesses with my girls.  This is the most difficult one to leave – I may just have to put the girls in the car and make the 16 or so hour trip down here for anything that isn’t an emergency!

Dr. Hincks – it took me a long time to settle in with a dentist that I love as much as Dr. Hincks and everyone in his office!  I hope it doesn’t take me that long to find someone half as good!!!

Rae-Zor Grooming, Boarding and Day Care – Rae and her crew are wonderful!  The girls love going there for their “vacations” whenever I have to leave town and I never worry about how they are being treated or if they are safe.  They enjoy going there and are treated like royalty!  I likely won’t need this type of service as much after we get settled in, but there will be times when I will OR just to take them for doggie day care to socialize with other dogs.  I’m not getting warm fuzzies about finding anything like that in fairly close proximity to our town.

  • Work

Yeah, I’m retiring, but it will likely be more of a semi-retirement.  First – I will miss the people I work with and the fact that I go in to work every day and contribute to keeping healthy babies healthy because of the life saving vaccines we produce.  But, also, I can’t imagine not working at all!  I plan to focus on settling in to my new home and getting re-acquainted with the town over the winter, so I won’t look for work until at least the spring.  Then, I plan to look for something that I can feel good about and enjoy doing that is low to no stress and feeds my creative energy!  AND – I plan on work being PART TIME, not a full 40+ hour week.  I still want to enjoy that “time” I’m so looking forward to!  Hhhmmm – I’ll be giving that a lot of thought while I’m looking out my window at the snow this winter!

  • My current house

I love this house!  And, aside from a couple of things I haven’t gotten to, yet, I have renovated and upgraded it to be just the way I want it……..and now I’m gonna sell it to someone who’ll likely not particularly like my color choices and change it all to suit them!  I don’t want to know, if they do – it will make me sick to think the new owners may not love what I’ve done to the place!  But, that is life!  As perfect as my new home in Albion is, I still have some things I’m changing to suit my personal preferences.

So, there you have it — I’m sure I’m forgetting something major in both categories, but you get the picture!  I have a LOT that I’m so excited about and a LOT that I’m going to be so sad to leave behind and a LOT to be nervous about.  I’m totally reinventing myself and starting a whole new life for myself!  I’ll let you know when I finally pick a move date – I plan on one hell of a going away party in Sanford and one hell of a welcome home party in Albion!

2 Comments on “What I’m looking forward to…..and what I’ll miss…..

  1. I second all your “will miss” bullets. Also, I want to remind you that a community is made up of its people, and sometimes they need an opportunity to shine (no matter how unfortunate that opportunity is). I know you’ll help Albion reconnect with its inner light and shine all over that community, too.

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