The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by,  And that has made all the difference".  Robert Frost                                                                             

It's always interesting to look at your life in retrospect.  So many times, while life is happening quickly ... it's hard to understand exactly where life is taking you.  And, what that path will look like.  

 Moving truck in Barcelona, Spain 2009

Moving truck in Barcelona, Spain 2009

For me, our young family took a leap of faith and moved with our 6 and 10 year old daughters and wild Westie to a village outside of Barcelona, Spain ... Sant Cugat del Valles.  And, while I pride myself on being organized to the nth degree, I found myself turned upside-down with an unfamiliar land, layout, culture and language.  Nothing sounded like home.  No familiar faces.  Nothing smelled like our fresh cut lawns in Kentucky.  Nothing tasted the same.  Nothing was laid out like our sprawling strip malls and mega stores.  And, as beautiful as Barcelona appeared to be ... it didn't feel like home.  Not an ounce.

So, while I was trying to keep my "we-can-do-this" smile pasted on my face, I realized that our comfort would start at home.  That would be our "safe" place.  And, even though we were moving from a nice cape cod home in the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky to a nearly 1,400 sq. ft. apartment in Spain, I knew that this was the place to start.

After a long wait for our container of household goods; the day finally arrived when we were reunited with our belongings.  They were "jammed" into a local moving truck.  The movers didn't speak English and weren't able to read the labels on the boxes and I didn't know how to tell them where the boxes should go ... so we ended up with a traffic-jam of goods in our living room.  

I knew, from the outset, that we would only be able to take our favorite things.  And, that was eye-opening.  And, that applied to EVERY category in our house.  A closet full of sheets ... we could only take 4 sets plus a guest set.  Our dishes?  One set and not the complete set.  No china and nice serving pieces.  The girls' toys (this was the hard part), only a very small amount.  Our book collection?  Maybe just a shelf or two at most.  Decor and art ... only our most loved and valued.

The rest of our things went into two categories: donate or store.  We donated a ton.  And, then we put the remainder into storage.  

What surprised me, when I was setting up our new home in Spain, were two things.  First of all, I was thrilled to see only my favorite things.  Truly.  We brought the best of our best ... the most meaningful.  Things that we had accumulated over the years that were kind of tatty or old ... or were no longer our style ... we let these things go.  And, all that was left were things that brought us joy.  The second "Ah-Ha" moment (thank you Oprah), was that we didn't actually miss any of the things that we kept in storage.  Truly.  When we came back, we moved our big pieces of furniture that wouldn't fit in Spain, back into our house.  But, the rest of the stuff .... we got rid of. 

We were so accustomed to living with less, that we LOVED it.  We loved being surrounded by our favorite things.  We loved not having to dust around or care for things that overwhelmed us.  Let's face it, possessions can be overwhelming.  Possessions require care, maintenance, attention.

We learned to live with less.  And, the freedom that it gave our family was a blessing in itself.

Now, 6 years later (with one more move under my belt ... a 2 year tour of duty in San Diego), I have put the puzzle pieces together and realize that this is what I'm meant to do. (This, along with my mosaic art ... which is a passion). Over the years I have been doing it for our family.  And, now, I am ready to help others.

You don't have to move to use my services.  Although if you are moving, I can throw you a lifeline and help.  But, if you want to live a simplified and productive life, I can help you too.  Even if we start with a closet, rearrange a cluttered garage or find a solution for your in-home office, I can be the one to help.

Turns out that the road less traveled turned out to be where I needed to go.