Florida-Sunset.jpgFor the past month I’ve been travelling, not so much for pleasure but for my future.  I’ve decided to relocate to Florida.  This is the last thing I thought I’d ever do!

Moving will not be easy, either physically (one accumulates a lot of stuff in six decades, even after purging) or emotionally.  I’m not inclined toward change over which I don’t feel I have control.  I have lived, was educated, and worked in the Boston area for all my life.  Some of my dearest friends and family live there.  And I enjoy the climate most of the year and the architecture and history of the region.

Yet in Florida I can buy a home twice the size of my present dwelling for less money.  I can escape the unrelentingly and isolating cold of the winter.  The cost of living will be somewhat less and I’d still be able to work with my coaching clients by phone.

Checking out Florida for a month of “observation” has been a good idea which I pass along to anyone else who might be considering major change.  Try it on for size!  I’ve discovered how much I enjoy driving on wide, clean, smooth, modern roads.  It’s nice not having to encounter gridlock on almost every street in the metro-Boston area.  And not having to stop every 100 feet for a light or sign is a unique driving pleasure!  Imagine, the lights are timed to allow you passage through more than one intersection at a time!

I also will not miss the traffic din on my street which has kept me and my hearing problems locked in my home most of the year.  I’ll be able to enjoy the sounds of nature and a quiet neighborhood for the first time in my life.  And yes, I’ll have to endure the heat and humidity 6 or more months of the year, but there’s always the pool and air conditioning.

But these reasons to move away were not enough.  I had been trying to wrap my brain and heart around this idea for a year.  I am a “nester”, attached to my home and to familiar surroundings.  So what did I fear?  What has been sabotaging me from making this move?

Incendio53ebd53da5111.jpgI think it’s the fear of being forgotten.  And if I’m forgotten I feel I will not longer exist in some way.  I worry about being dropped from the minds and hearts of friends, swallowed up in the unknown, isolated and lonely.

I’ve been working on this inner critic that tells me that I’m not important enough to be remembered.  I began to focus on the gift of change.  It can be a portal to wonderful surprises such as new relationships, especially with a loving partner, a more fulfilling vocation, deeper peace of mind, and an overall easier existence.  These goals, hopes, and dreams are more than just turning a page in life.  They are part of a new volume of stories that will describe the last third of my life.

At almost 63 years of age I never thought I’d be shifting out of neutral into high gear.  It’s exhilarating, as long as I push my inner critics off to the side and realize how important it is to live fully in the “now”and to let go of judgments of what my life is “supposed” to be.

I’m reading a fascinating book, Living with Intensity.  It describes the way I approach life.  I automatically and unconsciously draw in a myriad of sensations, observation, thoughts, and feelings all at once.  They can overwhelm me and need to be managed lest they sabotage my intentions.  I’m keeping this in mind and taking one step at a time as I prepare for this move.

Moving away need not be a terrible defeat.  It is a victory over fear, “moving toward” a new life with new possibilities.  What is keeping you from making changes that, though scary, will take your life to the next phase?  What are you moving toward right now?  Can you let go of whatever it is you’re moving away from…and welcome the future with joy?

 All artwork is copyrighted by the artist Michael Parise