This spring has been about change and preparing for change. I am lucky in that I have created a soft landing for myself. Self knowledge is priceless and I knew that this would be the easiest way for me to make this transition. I have rented my home to a beautiful family. They were seeking a furnished home. As much as I want to let go of the life I’ve lived here and move on that is often easier said than done. I can look at a candy dish of my mothers for 5 minutes deciding what to do with it. Should it stay or should it go? What is worth holding onto and what will I regret letting go of? You honestly never really know. So, this family wanting furniture is truly a match made in heaven. When they move out I can return and from that vantage point decide what is meaningful to me and take it with me before the next tenant arrives.
Over the last few months I’ve made dozens of trips to Goodwill. I walk in with boxes of things and try not to rescue anything. It took me hours to decide that as much as I loved something when it was acquired I do not use it and therefore do not need it any longer. Our local Goodwill is staffed by a group of young men in their early twenties. I walk in and with each box I unpack on the counter, say, “goodbye” and thank you to each thing that was once a part of my life. Good bye to Christmas decorations and Halloween costumes, goodbye to dishes, serving platters and food processors I never used. Goodbye to clothes, coats, sweaters and tennis rackets. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
However, there has been an enormous struggle over the toys. These are the artifacts of the childhood of my children and they are not amicably letting them go, so these are boxed and neatly placed in the attic, although I think it would be appropriate to give these things to real children who would enjoy them now, as opposed to waiting for the hypothetical children of my own children to use these things.
On the flip side of packing, clearing out cabinets and closets, is deciding where all of the things that I do value will be housed in the future. I spent at least a year deciding where to move once I decided it was time to give up this large creekside family home. I went to Portland and stayed with friends and wondered could I live here again? I went to Scottsdale and Newport Beach and wondered could I live here? I went to Tahoe and walked though the downtown and wondered could I live here full time? For a while I thought that would be a good idea as the house is so comfortable and I do love being there. Then, I felt adventurous and I thought about teaching business English in Spain or Japan. I thought about being crew on a sailboat that was traveling all around the world. I think that when we are younger all of the options that a person my age would have would be exciting. But, as I stand here alone making these decisions it feels like there are too many options, and all have their own charm and equal value.
To decide, I thought about my priorities. I made a list of what I love doing right now. I love working. Sharing my wisdom with my UC Berkeley students is my most favorite thing to do. I also love working with my interns and building my Ocean SF brand. I also love sailing and being near the water, but most of all I love being with my daughters. And, they both thankfully want to live in San Francisco.
Moving back to a big city is not what my peers are doing, but I am excited about new opportunities, meeting new people, sailing more and enjoying the things in the city that I love like; concerts, museums and ball games. I think it is a logical choice and inline with my priorities, working, the arts, and being with my family. I also know that my skills are valuable there and I hope to expand my leadership work and do more with corporations and do more executive leadership coaching. I will continue teaching and seeking investors for my sailing apparel brand. I also want to curl up on the sofa on a foggy San Francisco day and read like I did in my twenties. In the meantime we are cherishing our last days here and enjoying every moment.
Onward. Love and blessings to all.