Goodbye to Our Sandstone Home

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The Grand fort building that often took over this room!

Here I sit in my living room. The “Great Room,” actually…. Probably the only home I’ll ever live in that will be grand enough to have a room called a great room! And next week, another family will be here, sitting, looking around, enjoying the space—living their lives. Knowing nothing of the lives that have been lived within these walls for the past 15 years.

I want… and need to acknowledge this moment. While I have felt “ready” for way too long, I don’t want this opportunity for conscious closure to slip by without recognition. I want to be sure to feel the ending, to fully experience the transition of closing this chapter so that I can fully step into the next.

And what a chapter this has been…

So much about this home I have loved. First off, that it was the first place that my babies knew as home. It was the space I watched them explore the newness of life and love and relationship. It’s been the space that’s given them room to become who they are thus far. This has been a home that has captured so much laughter, so much play—the dancing and games and parties and shared time that this house has held—what memories!

The walls of my children’s rooms have held so many hours and hours of story telling, books, cuddle time, and long talks. The basement has been home to the kids learning about training our bodies—they’ve been immersed in it, with a huge home gym. They’ve had movie parties with friends in the theater, and slumber parties and sleepovers and play dates that will never be forgotten. We truly have been blessed to live in this amazing space.Papou

We’ve loved the beautiful, spacious kitchen where we’ve enjoyed cooking for friends and family—where my children have learned to bake and learned about their Greek origins, helping Mama, and

home4their Yia yia and Papou with all sorts of Greek dishes. We will miss the joy and love that has been shared in this kitchen, and look forward to bringing that same joy and love into the next.  cooking1

 

 

 

My garden has been my safe haven for the past four years.   It has been my place where nourishing my family through tending the soil has saved me at times—has given me a sense of calm in the storm, has connected me to my roots—particularly to my Dad, and has connected me to what sustains. I pray that the family who lives here will gain as much from digging their hands into the soil as I have. I hope that the children learn to love planting and harvesting and digging for worms.
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home3The friends who’ve shared in our lives here continue to share in the transition, and deepen my experience of holding all that blessed this space. Amazing people who are a part of each of us.

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And there has been a lot of sadness too. There has been heartache and suffering of people not knowing how to love well enough, and children yearning for a certain stability that never fully came—who saw too much anger and too many tears to feel completely safe.

That breaks my heart and is a truth I hold tenderly, and will consistently work to repair.

This is the only home we’ve known as a family. This space has become part of our identity, and much of it difficult to let go. And I pray that our memories will continue to be cherished—the lives we have lived thus far between these walls will forever be part of our foundation, part of who we are, and what we will bring to our new home.

The time of transition has finally come, too long after it was needed. I see the final pieces being moved out, furniture broken down and stored, walls and carpets bare, the space becoming emptier and emptier—there’s a quiet now that, honestly, seems louder than anything this space has ever held.

And finally the tears come. Now I can weep at all that is being lost and let go. Now that it is so real, that my body, even, is experiencing the stillness—the lack of “us” here, now I can say my final goodbye to all that was, and was not.N&L

My children feel this ending—are beginning to experience the poignancy of what it means. They are expressing the sadness that comes with awareness and truth. Their reality still not completely stable, and they desperately need to rest in the comfort of something known. “Not quite yet,” I say, “but so soon. And it will be so nice, the newness and freedom.” And I believe it will be. This is a welcome transition—and yet welcome does not negate pain.

And for now, we need to simply be with the ending. We need to share gratitude for all that we have experienced here and all of the memories we can continue to hold. We need to say goodbye—to bless these rooms, the memories we’ve made here, and bless the space that will become a safe haven for a new family to grow and become.

May this house—this home—inspire LOVE to flourish. May it provide safety and security and warmth. May it be a place where adventure and dreams are realized, and where relationships deepen. While we know that a house does not make a home—that our home will be where we share our lives together as a family—may this become a wonderful home for a new family.

So many blessings,

Angie, Nathaniel, and Lilly

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For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

 

 

The Gift of Forty

There is some magic about entering this new decade, I believe.  Or maybe it’s just the one I can identify as the most powerful for me thus far.  But I feel I’ve finally grasped a carnal truth in this transition and the relief I feel reverberating throughout my entire body is …exhilarating.

This truth, for me, is that finally, after a lifetime of being a people pleaser and wanting everyone to like me, I just don’t give a fuck what people think about me.

I know….  Ouch!  Guessing that got a few of you scrunching up your noses.  (I can think of family members doing the Orthodox cross right now).  And presumed reaction aside, this isn’t entirely true, so I promise to tease out the details of that sentiment later.

While it’s not my intention to put people off, I’m just beyond tired of trying to appease, please, comfort those around me and alter who I am in the process.  This is the gift of 40, for me.

I Like Myself!

And the real gift, actually, is that I’ve come to a place where I actually truly, thoroughly whole-heartedly like myself!  Not just think I have some good qualities but seriously really appreciate who I am—what I bring, who I’ve grown myself into being.  And that feels really good.  I don’t think it’s necessarily what I was “taught.”  No, I was taught… well, to be nice.  Nice is nice.  Thing is, I’m not always nice.  And I’m not entirely sure if nice people truly like themselves, or if they’re more concerned with getting others to like them.

A horrible-beautiful thing occurred in my life a few months ago—some of you (because I tend to process openly) are aware of some the story—many of you have likely imagined much more than I’ve shared. But suffice it to say, my world was rocked—multiple times in a matter of weeks.  And I’m talking, rocked to the core—shaking the fiber of my being.  And what became glaringly obvious to me was a certain internal “okay-ness” about not only how I’ve been managing myself throughout the journey but the person looking back at me from the mirror saying, “You’ve got this.  You’re good.”  I had a sense of peace—of knowing that the work I’ve done over the past 13+ years has set me up for this, right now.  And I’m in…  whatever this brings, my heart is open.

Now that’s not to say I don’t have my break down moments—or that I think I have “this” (or anything else for that matter) all figured out.  It just means that I’m getting clear on the fact that no one else’s ideas, thoughts, opinions, or ways of being in the world are better, more appropriate, more effective or tolerable than mine.  That “mine” work for me—it’s an ideal design really, that my own ideas are the ones that resonate in my heart as authentic, true and real.  Not the sage or the therapist or the friend or anyone else I might ask to help guide me.  This is a time for my own truth to emerge.

Love Me or Leave

One of the other gifts of this “rock my world” few months (those are the best opportunities aren’t they?) has been a series of “aha!” moments giving glimpses to me of why I “do relationship” as I do (and this from someone who’s been analyzing mine and others’ relationship styles for over a decade.)  And I’m talking all types of relationships; from love and intimacy to friendship, to professional, to parent/child, and so on.  And one of the gems I’ve realized is that I am absolutely not for everyone.  For many people, in fact, I’m horribly difficult to like.  And for others…  well, I’m the butter for their bread!

…And that’s what it’s about, right?  Because honestly, I don’t want to be someone about whom others say, “Oh yea, she’s nice.”  I want people to either passionately love me or just really not like me at all, or maybe not even care.

So this is where I’ll get back to that untruth from where I started:  Clearly, I don’t need the fish guy at Whole Foods or the woman who cleans my teeth passionately loving me, and I do want them to think I’m nice.  So don’t get caught in details.  I’m talking my clan—my group, the people with whom I share my time, my space and my heart.  ‘Nuff said.

Not For Everyone

I used to want everyone to like me.  But honestly, I’m too goddamn opinionated, too intense and too friggin’ analytical for a lot of folks—put another way, I can beat a dead horse till he whinneys and I tend to offend folks who are wired a bit more on the conservative side.  Especially when discussing topics such as pregnancy, childbirth, child-development, nutrition, health, relationships, conflict, sexuality …LIFE!  So when around conservative types, I’d gotten into a habit of dumbing myself down, fitting myself right into their little box of okay-ness, when I didn’t come close to having the right angles to fit.

A couple of months ago, when faced with the loss of part of my support network because, well, life just happens that way sometimes, a dear friend shared a quote with me that reads, “Howl ’til you find your pack.” – Clarissa Pinkola-Estes.

I even posted it on a few social networking sites, with the following:  I am not for everyone. I’m clear on that. And I finally don’t want to be “for everyone.” I am for me. I’m for my kids, my family and those I love dearly. I’m for honesty and challenge and taking a deeper look…. I’m for intimacy–“next level” intimacy–for moving my body, for looking fear in the face and saying, “whaddya got next?”

I Am…

What I have uncovered in my heart is that I really love to process life deeply—to a point that is uncomfortable for many.  And I’m okay with that—that looking at life that way, exploring the subtle intricacies of relationship and self are not for the majority.  I’ve also learned that I don’t have time to take care of the emotions of those who are uncomfortable because of how I exist in the world.  And while I’ve cognitively known this for quite some time, it finally sunk in.  To fully embody that knowing is like taking a deep breath of fresh air after being in a small, stuffy closet for far too long.

I think the beauty of relationships—all of them—is the opportunity to take them a little deeper, not to expect them to exist in a place where everything just feels good.  And I’m okay with a bit of battle here and there.  I am Greek!

I’m also into mistakes—big ones.  I have some doozies under my belt and most often, as long as a person can authentically get clear on how they’ve been out of integrity and find their way back in and beyond, I’ll most often stick it out.  I know that’s where my greatest learning has come and I’d like to provide the space for others to do their own work, with the safety and support of a committed, loving friend.

I’m not into judgment—I get a really bad taste in my mouth when I feel someone has laid their own story out on my lifeline, made up their mind about who I am, how I’ve failed and where I’ll end up, or what I should be doing to fix it all.  Yet I’m completely inspired by someone who will deeply listen to my rants, love me through my chaos and remain stable and present in their own skin with curiosity inviting me to delve in even more deeply.

I’d love to hear how YOU  show up in YOUR life, and what inspires you to show up more fully!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie