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Thread: Update: Here It Is Finally, One Year Later!

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Update: Here It Is Finally, One Year Later!

    Hiya Folks, can you believe it's been a whole year since I rolled into Madrid? Wow, me either! So much has changed, yet I have never felt more grounded (most days anyway) in my life.

    So, a recap is in order ~ of course there were many, many adjustments to be made in the beginning from to all the practical stuff of moving 1500 miles to and setting up a new household (albeit tiny), to starting a new job two days after I got here, to getting to know people and creating a new life fro myself in a tiny tourist town.

    The first few weeks were a little rocky getting things set up and dealing with problems with the hot water tank, getting the propane tank replaced and filled, dealing with not having a kitchen for the first eight months, getting to know the owners of the gallery and dealing with the inventory system, dealing with the town's water supply going out for four days, dealing with a very different mind-set and way of life in the Land of Manana, etc. It didn't always go smoothly, but luckily I pretty much took things in stride for the most part without getting too bent out of shape. I learned pretty quickly that Michigan/Mid-West expectations in the timeliness of getting things fixed was a thing of the past.

    Anyway, I got up to speed pretty quickly at work and started turning things around and getting stuff ordered pretty quickly, finding new artists, rearranging, cleaning and organizing the gallery, basically doing what I do best for retail businesses. The owners pretty much let me have free rein to run the place on a day-to-day basis.

    So fall turned into winter, the holidays came and went and it got cold here in the high desert but not much snow. The gallery goes into limited hours during the dead of winter so I had a lot of free time to work in the studio and got started on a new line of sterling jewelry; I bought a lot of tools and silver and really got to work. I am now in three galleries; two in New Mexico and one back in Michigan and getting ready to approach galleries in Santa Fe.

    Along the way I found a boyfriend! All along I had been going to any parties and events I was invited to, and hung out at the local bar meeting people in town and trying to figure out where I was going to fit in. Back in January I met a very nice, handsome, taller-than-me guy who has a regular well-paying job (almost rare around here) and who is also an artist on the side. We have been together since! It has a big adjustment for me after being so independent for so long, but I really feel most of the time it is really working out very well. He lives down the road from me and we spend lots of time at each other's places but rarely spend the entire night together, as we both like our own space! We are very compatible is so many ways and completely opposite in others, yet we have never even had a fight in seven months!

    I went to Sanibel Island back in March and met up with my mom and sister and spent the week at the beach. It was so nice to have the money to be able to do that. Then my mom and daughter drove out here in June for a week long visit and as soon as they left, the rest of my family (my dad, his wife and my two siblings and their spouses) came out here for Father's day Weekend. It was really awesome that we were able to come together like that considering we all live in various parts of the country! And I just booked a flight to go back "home" to Michigan in mid-October for my first visit back. I can't wait to see all my friends. I find I have been a little homesick lately; I miss summertime in Michigan and my friends and Ann Arbor a little bit.

    Financially speaking, I am doing very, very well! It makes a HUGE difference not having to pay rent or utilities (part of my employment package). I have been able to save a tremendous amount of money and pay off the last of my debts recently. In addition to my salary, I am also getting commissions from gallery sales. When I think back to all of my financial worries about making this big move, I am glad to realize that all of my fears (at least for right now) were unfounded. That may change in the future if the ACA is repealed, but at that point I'll just have to deal with it. I have plenty of money in my emergency fund to keep me afloat for a bit should anything drastic happened. I don't miss my job at Wholefoods one bit but I do miss some of the people I used to work with. I can't imagine ever having to do that kind of work again but if I HAD to, I know I could get a job in any grocery store and retail establishment.

    Health-wise, I am doing great aside from all the various aches and pains that go along with being nearly 56. I am still having trouble with my knees and probably need to go in for an MRI to see what is going on. I fell when I was hiking last March and may have a torn meniscus. That has cramped my style this summer, as I was planning on doing a bunch of hiking around in here but right now it is really hard to go up and down hills; I have to use a walking stick if I walk longer than 50 yards on uneven terrain. I've gained almost ten pounds since I've been here that I am not happy about; too much beer and wine and not enough physical activity to off-set it. It is a little hard to be in such a drinking town and not participate too much. I am still working on finding a happy medium in order to save my waistline, liver and money! It helps that "K" doesn't drink at all.

    So to wrap it up, in retrospect this move was the best thing I could have done for myself! As scary as it was making the decision to do it, I have to laugh now at the abject terror I felt last summer for all the weeks I was considering doing this crazy thing of uprooting myself! It was exactly what I needed to do in order to shake myself out the funk I had been in while being a wage-slave for a major company. Not to say it hasn't had little bumps and aggravations here and there, but that's life and now I am really living it. And I get a bit of heart pounding excitment as I have learned to get good at pack rat trapping and killing, and ghastly centipede removal, and have learned to be on the look out for rattlesnakes whenever I go out walking!

    For a tour of my tiny house now, go to:
    https://youtu.be/jAh1dsE5p7A

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Wonderful update; so glad that you posted and kept us informed. Enjoy!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I am so, so happy to see this recap and update!! What a wonderful story! I was getting misty reading it, remembering your angst, not knowing which road to take. But the Universe invited you to "rock your world" a little, and you responded! So inspiring! All that news is great: your home updates (loved the video--it's adorable!), your social life, your new bf, your financial improvements...

    Thank you so much for sharing this! The only thing you have to share now is where we can find your jewelry!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting a video update! Looks great! Love the deck. That really adds a lot!
    I'm so glad that everything has turned out well for you.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm so pleased to read this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Oh, and to see my jewelry, go to: www.taliswomanshop.com

  7. #7
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    Great update! I am so glad to hear you are back to having more time to create. I think we started our "adventure" about the same time as yours last year of moving far away to a new place/life. We too had moments of fright imagining all the things that might go wrong but in the end it was so worth it. Highly recommend moving/starting over to others who feel stuck in life. You mention summer homesickness. I have just the opposite - for the first time in my life, I can be outside all day in August without having heat stroke. Just experiencing all the differences in a new place is pretty special but yes, the downside is homesickness at times.

  8. #8
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    20 years ago I interviewed for a job over the phone and moved to a place I had never been (NV). I love it here. I am so glad that everything has worked out so well for you too. Congrats!

  9. #9
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    I was thinking of you a few weeks ago! glad to hear of your wonderful year.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  10. #10
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    Oh wonderful to hear your update!

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