Before I retired, besides swiveling in my big chair and sniffing the sharpies, I spent many years staring at a balance sheet.
Simply put, a balance sheet shows the assets and liabilities of your company.
In contemplating how to write about the changes we’ve gone through in the last few months, I kept coming back to the idea of the balance sheet.
I’ve had some losses or given up some things, but on the other side of the sheet, there are the assets or the things I’ve gained.
To grow, a company sometimes must assume a risk. It’s the same with our lives. I would have been comfortable and happy sitting on my screened porch in my private back yard for the next however many years, there would have been no risk.
But what would I have missed?
By turning our lives upside down, selling everything, moving into the RV full time and traveling the country, we took a risk. What if it didn’t work out the way we hoped?
I’ve lived most of my life on the safe side of things. In the last ten years, Dave has had a few health challenges that have set us both on the path of wanting just a little bit more out of our lives than the safe side offers.
I’ve talked before about my slow emotional processing speed. Things happen, and I go on auto-pilot. Months or even years down the road the feelings associated with that event will surface. Some of that slow processing has to do with being busy or staying busy. There is no time to process.
Since we arrived in California, we’ve been going at ludicrous speed. Each day filled with crazy traffic on our drive to and from Newport Beach and very people-y. Both of those things are major stressors to me. I haven’t been getting the daily quiet, private time that I need to recharge and I could feel the tension building in my introvert body and mind.
Yesterday, I took the day just to cocoon, not going anywhere or doing anything. In the quiet, the feelings of loss and change began to surface. I was a little bit weepy, and I knew I had a choice. I could slip and slide down the loss path and mourn, or I could feel the losses but balance them with the gains.
Balancing the losses doesn’t change them, but it does remind me that for each thing I gave up, I’ve gained something else. Balancing the losses helps make them not quite so “ouchy” .
So, yes, while I miss the family and things I left behind, I am grateful for the new experiences we are having and being able to see and spend precious time with family we haven’t seen as often as we would have liked.
The balance sheet of our lives is healthy and happy.
I just need to remember to read both sides to see it.