My cat appears to hate coffee. Hard to believe, I know, but I only recently started drinking it, so it's relatively new to our home. One morning I awoke to hear Milo scratching at papers on top of my printer that lives at the back of my tabletop desk. Milo! What the heck are you doing? I finally figured out he was trying to cover the offending empty mug I had left there the day before. Good grief! This pattern was to be repeated every day that I forget and left an empty mug on the desk. If Milo was lucky, he would also step on the power button and the printer would whir to life with a series of noises that only a warming up printer can deliver. His favorite time to do this is at about 5:30 in the morning. You would think I'd learn to clean up after myself a little better after being repeatedly woken up at that hour. I blame the MS brain fog.
Yesterday I made the mistake of not only leaving a mug on the desk, but one with coffee still in it. To make matters worse, I had also cleaned off all the papers that usually reside atop the printer. The result? A noisy wake up call as the mug was pushed over, and spilled everywhere. I had a few choice words as I realized what dear Milo had done. My satisfaction was seeing him run off as I waved the smelly, coffee soaked paper towels his direction. I still love that crazy cat. Thus began the realization that my next major transition may have some unexpected consequences.
Let me explain. I signed the papers last week to officially put my house on the market. The plan is to try to find a condo north of Boston where I am closer to activities, and PT and split my time between there and at my folks in northern NH. You might think it was a difficult decision. It actually wasn't hard. Spending an entire winter alone in a big old Victorian not able to do things for myself anymore was enough to make it an obvious choice. Especially as I realized my feet really don't like the super cold weather anymore. Not. At. All. If there is a factor I can control, I need to do so.
What was a bit harder was the realization that I had to let go of Purple Moose, at least as he lived at at the Discovery Center that had been my dream. That puts a lump or two or 100 in my throat. But it was easier to accept than you'd think, because I knew that I couldn't continue to do it. Maybe if it was all on one level, but it isn't. Running up and down the stairs and from room to room doesn't happen anymore. Not without the consequences that I am trying to minimize. Committing to energy on a regular basis doesn't happen either. I know I can't juggle all a school district demands anymore. I also know I can't run this business alone. It is a fact, regardless of my emotional attachment to it.
That's not to say the vision has ended, because it hasn't. I look forward to writing the Purple Moose Books that began the Purple Moose adventures. The books I always intended to write, but never did because all my time was spent on the center. I am kicking around some ideas that have the potential to actually grow the discovery center in a different form, if they pan out. I actually have a lot of ideas. Though the brain fog is a constant foe, as a whole my brain and my enthusiasm are still strong. It's my legs and stamina that consistently let me down.
The truth is, I already won. I had a dream. I pursued it. I created it. I may not have made a fortune doing so, but every child and adult that came through the door entered with huge smile. They left with joy and with all the benefits that play creates. That was my mission, and by that measure it was a HUGE success. And when my kiddos that put on our amazing shows grow and get their Emmy's, Tony's and Oscar's, I will smile, because I know I had a little part in it. Even if they never see a stage again, the confidence they gained creating their own sets and learning their parts and getting up to perform them despite the natural fears are life lessons I know they will carry with them. I hope I still have a few shows left in me, at least in the director's chair, because my love of theatre is unlikely to dissipate just because my ability to perform in them did. (And I am working on plans for a kids summer show, by special request... ;) ) I am proud of what I accomplished at Purple Moose. How many people can say they pursued and fulfilled their dreams, regardless of how long it lasted?
But even when accepted, or needed, change isn't always easy. After the run in with dear Milo that morning, I thought about my strong words of displeasure for him in the early hours. If I am in a condo, will I have to ALWAYS watch my language? And be quiet??? Ha! Like that is even possible... And singing? Is that forever relegated to only in the car? I'm already limited by needing to have pets, minimal stairs, and price, Is there a search criteria for music?
No, Change isn't easy. This whole process hasn't been easy. But I have to have hope that there is good to be found in it. The circumstances may suck, but life doesn't suck. Not all of it, just this portion. To be alive is still good. There is still good to be experienced. I just need to open my eyes to see it. I need to look for it in different ways. Recreate it. Life 3.0.
I left Life 1.0 to pursue 2.0 and Purple Moose in NH. If I could do that, I'm quite sure that 3.0 is equally attainable. It is just different. So don't give up on me or count me out. I may still whine and fuss a bit when I don't like something, but to be honest, I have been doing that since I was a kid, and at all stages of my life. What I complain about now is just a little different that it use to be. Perspective...
So, I apologize in advance if you are my future neighbor. I will try hard to keep Milo's curse worthy actions to a minimum. I will try to fill my need for loud music I can sing to in the car, and I will make sure to invite you to any noisy party I might have. I used to be a pretty good cook. I think I can still pull it off. I promise to try to earn your forgiveness and friendship with kindness and good food. And great margaritas. Perfect to toast Life 3.0. Cheers!
I'll let you know how it goes!
Kristen is a former kindergarten and special education teacher with two wonderful grown children, two precious fur-baby dogs and a mischievous cat. Diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in September of 2016 and Multiple Sclerosis in December of 2016, and Optic Neuritis in January 2017, life has changed in a big way in a short amount of time. But HOPE springs eternal as she rediscovers and reinvents life along the way.