Saturday, February 17, 2007

clarity at last?

In order to clear my mind about what it is that I DESIRE and wish to ATTRACT into my life, it seems to be necessary to spell out exactly what I do like about my current living situation.

Today it's snowing again. That's annoying as far as driving goes. (And driving is one of my ISSUES.) But the positive aspect of the snow in my current location is that I get to be a hero and offer peanuts to the waiting wildlife. The bird feeders are filled, of course, but peanuts are highly sought after by many birds and mammals. As soon as I took out a load of peanuts this morning, I saw blue jays dive bombing for them immediately. Then a red-bellied woodpecker, who had been observing from afar, began a full-fledged campaign to ward off all other birds. He swooped repeatedly in as menacing a fashion as he could. That particular woodpecker has struck up a deal with me. If he knows I'm home, he hammers on the gutters of my house to signal his desire for peanuts, and I rush outside to deliver. (If I could only learn about desire and its manifestation from the woodpecker...) And of course the squirrels and chipmunks here eat peanuts out of my hand. (As I write this, I wonder why it is that I think I want to move...)

Then there's the fox. One morning last week a dog was barking ferociously outside of my house as I was trying to usher the child into the car. (People constantly allow their dogs to run free here because my house is on a public park which allows unleashed dogs. I have reluctantly become accustomed to this.)

I asked the dog's owner to control her dog which was illegally on my property. As usual, she didn't have a clue how to go about doing that. But before I could get upset with her, a mad chase began. Her large retriever was chasing a thin red animal out from underneath my Amish shed. The child screamed, "IT'S A FOX!!!" (Had he not done that, it would not have registered in my shocked mind that this was indeed a fox. I have never before seen a fox in the wild, or in the urban, as the case may be.)

And one of my favorite visitors to this house has been a rather portly groundhog. He lumbers about in search of treats, seemingly oblivious to any and all threats to his well-being. Yet considering the high number of dogs running amok, he must have something figured out. As you can see, this setting lacks only hedgehogs to be the perfect location for a Beatrix Potter story.

The older I become, the more I look back to my childhood for clues as to who I really am. I was 8 when I chose (wisely) my career. At that age I saw the outrageous dishonesty and tragedy that pervaded my parents' marriage, and dismissed, possibly forever, the notion of marriage for myself. That's been an OK decision which has certainly taught me independence. And being a voracious reader, I was an incredibly idealistic child. That characteristic remains. And it's no surprise that I loved nature and animals.

There's something else which I just remembered. I have always been fascinated with houses and landscaping. At age 7, I relentlessly (and fruitlessly) begged my parents for a backyard pond which was advertised in the Sunday newspaper. I was always thrilled by the view of our backyard from my bedroom window. To this day, when I'm looking at houses, the one thing I must have is a good view of the backyard (which will feature a pond out of the Sunday paper).

I always wished my parents would move to a different house. I guess a new (to us) house offered infinite new possibilities. My much older sister sometimes took me on house searches when she and her husband were looking for one to buy. I loved looking at houses. Why? I don't know. Do we ever really know why we're drawn to the things we're drawn to? Maybe my active imagination simply enjoyed the various settings to play around in. And maybe it still does, to this day.

One more important feature of my young self is that I walked and biked everywhere, and cared nothing about the motor vehicle. I had no desire to learn to drive. (Do you think my parents realized how lucky they were?) My Irish grandmother was my hero, and she never drove a car!

So what I am is an unmarried, idealistic, house-obsessed nature lover who dislikes driving. My confusion over moving boils down to the fact that I want to live in nature (which, unfortunately, would be in the suburbs, where the car rules) AND I want to live close to downtown, where I work, so I can walk everywhere. And on top of all that, I derive pleasure from SEARCHING for houses- not from deciding on or settling into a house. How does a person like me go about sending a clear desire into the universe? No wonder I've been confused.


Lisa said...


If it makes you feel better, I just wanted you to know that you have my dream life and I'm so jealous!!

I LOVE "critters", and even though we have a few (emphasis on "few") here in my town, they don't usually come around the yard because we have dogs, and they seem to sense that. My friend two blocks away has a racoon that comes to her back door every night for food...he actually scratches the's so cute!! I had some bunnies living under my shed, but I haven't seen them since September ( my dogs have their own dog run on the other side of the yard, so I know they didn't eat them)!

I understand your confusion...I have felt that I've wanted to move so many times, but what I realized for me (emphasis on "me") is that I only wanted to move when I wasn't happy with the way my life was going. "Moving" would, in my mind, "fix" everything and let me start all over. I still dream of moving to the country eventually, when the kids are out of school...but I've learned, in the meantime, to accept where I'm at "now" and be appreciative of it! I wasn't really able to do that a few years ago. So I look at the positive (I just did this last night with a friend who can't wait to live full-time in her PA house): I'm happy that my kids can walk to McDonald's to hang out, or the 5&10, or the pizza place. I'm happy that they have close friendships and that they feel comfortable at my house and their friends' houses. I'm thankful that my house, although small, is really cute and not ugly (haha)!! These are the things I try to tell myself every day...and it works. I love my home right now. And I'll love any home I have in the future, too!

AGAIN...I'm so long-winded!! Sorry!!!

Sideways Chica said...

Dear Betty...I LOVE this post. Thank you for clearing that up for us chica...and yourself.

I wondered what piece of the puzzle I was missing. I know you hate driving, and sometimes those who drive. I also know that you love nature and natures little creatures. The house hunting hobby I did not know about. You have a hat trick - and a dilemma.

Now that you know, and we know, you should reach your "goal." Hopefully, you will keep us posted as you explore which of the three takes precedence. Or if you will be able to somehow balance and whirl all three. I'm betting the latter.

Ciao bella...really enjoyed the enlightenment. Your voice sounds clear and wonderful.

Desiree said...

Betty, It is confusing indeed. I've often found in life that I haven't gotten what I wanted because I was too confused to define it and this sounds like your case. I guess the only way you can define it is to think further and make clear decisions one way or the other. Perhaps flip a coin!

I really could relate to a lot of what you are saying. I too love nature and enjoy living with all the wonderful wildlife but I like to live in town where I can walk. What's more I love looking at different houses. The upside with that is at least you know that you will enjoy the search and can take your time about finding just the right house for you if you do decide to move.

Good luck Betty with your decision!

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

I'm glad you're "long-winded"- I always enjoy reading your take on things. And you helped me to realize that my situation really is a little unusual in that I am not unhappy with my current life or situation. And that is why motivation is sometimes lacking, too. My house is only a 15 or 20 minute drive from downtown, so it's certainly not out in the boonies. Because it's inside of the outerbelt freeway, many people consider this urban!!! (It's not.)

And wow, 5&10's don't even exist here, but I fondly recall the one in my hometown in Johnson City NY. (And yes, I walked to it!!!)

Here's to enjoying the confusion!


Betty said...

Dear Teri,

There's still a nagging question in my mind- I really want to know what my house search symbolizes, or what caused it. Is it really just an inborn desire? Could it be that simple? If it is, I guess I ought to be a realtor.

But there are so many houses that I strongly dislike- that's why I never considered becoming a realtor. I have a lot of emotion attached to these buildings! That's the difference between me and a realtor.

Right now I'm on top of the world, whirling all three, as you say. I live in nature, but I'm searching, and I'm picturing myself and the child in one particular urban house (not the original one!). If somebody makes an offer on my house, they'll be upsetting the apple cart!!!


Betty said...

Dear Desiree,

I like your coin flipping idea. You'd be surprised at how many times I've used that technique!

You also reminded me of something very important: I might as well enjoy the search! Perhaps instead of it being a problem, it can be re-framed into an adventure.


garnet david said...

Betty, you are on the journey of your life. Most people just wallow in their lives, permitting only enough self-exploration to justify keeping the status quo. For what it's worth, keep reminding yourself of the value of the journey itself, and perhaps the clarity will come in time.

I have a feeling you will someday be the hero to someone that your grandmother was to you!

Betty said...

Dear Garnet,

I like the thought of someday being a hero on par with my grandmother. Meanwhile, I'll remain focused on the journey.


Sideways Chica said...

An upset apple cart may not be such a bad thing chica. ;)

simply me said...

That was a great post...I love critters and such and long for a day when I could move to my rural PA home which sits empty most of the time. I love the smell of country air and summer mornings, watching to see where the groundhog is. My 14 y.o. is in H.S and out of great love for him I respect that he wants to finish school here on Long Island with his friends. Especially Lisa's son who is his best buddy since kindergarten. We all have longings...maybe one day soon.
Good luck and may the universe conspire to give you clearer answers.

Betty said...

Dear Teri,

You're right. An upset apple cart is probably exactly what I need. Today I almost bailed out of my adventure again until Garnet reminded me that yes, it's going to be expensive but so what? What's the money for if not adventuring?


Betty said...

Dear Simply Me,

Wow- if my son lived near a friend he'd been with since kindergarten, I wouldn't be moving, either. Not yet. Come to think of it, if I lived near Lisa I wouldn't be moving either. Not until she was moving, too!


Iris said...

You make a good point. When trying to make changes to make one happy, you have to first look at what doesn't need to be changed and be happy with that. And then, sometimes, what you think needs to change, ends up being the last thing that matters.

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