October 2010


I am living in a smaller space than I had lived in for the past several years. I sold or gave away furniture, jewelry, clothes, cleaning supplies, and various items I cannot categorize.

So am I down-sizing or am I right-sizing? “Down-sizing” sounds so…well, down! I’ve been down-sized at work, when the employer eliminated a department. That was depressing. I don’t feel depressed now. Actually, I feel lighter than I’ve felt in a long time.

When I decide I don’t need something (or my friends who help me sort decide I don’t need a certain item), I choose whether to sell the piece or give it away. And I end up with just the articles of clothing or pieces of furniture I can readily use. This process doesn’t sound so down.

Maybe I’m “right-sizing” my life. I have just the space I can use well. My favorite furniture, clothes, and pictures surround me. When I enter my home, I see the end table with the customized hand-painted beach scene (courtesy of Eileen in Burton, OH).

Or, I get to relax in my hand-painted rocking chair – and that perks me up! And I am happy to share my former possessions with others who could use them. This process sounds upbeat and…well, right.

Yep, I am gratefully right-sizing my life.

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Moving on…going forward…yet looking back. That seems to sum up where I am today. I moved on from Cleveland and the life I had there – albeit briefly. I’m going forward with my new life – reconnecting to long-time friends, building new relationships, spending time with family and acclimating to Sunny Southern CA. Yet, I’m looking back – at what was, where I was a year ago, what I had, and who I had in my life.

A mixture of emotions. I’m excited about moving forward. And yes, a bit nervous! Sad about what was. Tremendously grateful for the support. In a word, “Life” – a mixture of experiences and emotions.

How wonderful to fully live LIFE!

Fall even comes to sunny Southern California – complete with piles of dead leaves to crunch! I took a walk with one of my favorite 19 month old friends and we came upon piles of dead leaves on the side of the sidewalk. I was going to continue walking on the sidewalk when I realized that we’d miss out on some great fun. So I steered my walking partner over to the leaves. Then I started stomping on the brown, dried-out leaves. Crunch, crunch, crunch. What a delightful sound. This little guy looked up at me, saw my smile, and I said, “You try it.” I demonstrated the stomping action again. He’s a quick study – this walking partner. He hopped to the leaves and stomped as hard as his little feet could go. Delighted, he giggled and smiled…and kept up the crunching until we reached the end of the leaves.

Wow! I don’t recall seeing dried-out leaves in Southern CA during the last time I lived here! I thought leaf-crunching was only possible in cold climates. Did G-d just plant these trees recently? Doubt it. Just now I’m more sensitive to enjoying nature. Seeing the world through the eyes of a 19-month old sharpens my vision.

So go ahead – find some brown, dried-out leaves and start crunching!

Happy Fall!

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Some fall scenes from my sojourn in Northeast Ohio