Finding Happiness During Times Of Major Change

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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Finding Happiness During Times Of Major Change: Finding Happiness quote

Last week, I wrote about finding happiness even when a major dream (in this case, buying my dream home) does not map out. This week, I write about finding happiness in the midst of a major life change.

Moving shakes up your life, and by the time I am settled into my new apartment in a month, I will have moved three times in one summer! I am looking at this as a way to sort through possessions, get rid of what I do not need, and to just overall “lighten up.”

The good news is that while in the midst of a big change in my life, and while releasing the dream that didn’t happen, I am keeping my spirits up. I have learned that my foundations really are unshakeable, that stuff is just “stuff,” and that all of life can be viewed as a grand adventure, if we are open to embracing change.

On To the Next Adventure! 

Of course, when one has to move out of one home, one needs to find another place to live. While in the process of attempting to buy my dream home, I had rented out the other home I own – for two years. So I knew that for the next two years at the very least I’d need another beautiful place to live.

As soon as I found out that the sellers had accepted a cash offer on the dream home over my offer, and knowing I’d need to get my things out quickly, I went apartment hunting. I viewed several that did not appeal to me in the least, and then one right on the Hudson River that made me feel peaceful. It was bright with gleaming hardwood floors and a back porch that literally looked right over the river.

But it was small, and I needed to be sure I could fit my basic furniture in the space – bed, couches, desk. I asked the property manager if I could please measure the space and measure my furniture, so I could map it out.

She agreed, and told me that she understood that it was a big decision and that I should take my time. When I texted her a few hours later, she let me know that she had rented the apartment to someone else already, since they offered her immediate cash.

Easy come, easy go I guess. I was starting to feel a little bit panicky about not knowing where I was going after my move. In order to get my sense of peace back, I asked a dear friend locally if I could stay in her big home with her and her family until I moved into my new apartment, not knowing yet what my move-in date would be.

She is an angel and she agreed. Knowing that I have somewhere to stay immediately put me at ease.

I kept looking at apartments online, and I prayed that a miracle would happen. I felt sure that something needed to click into place soon for me.

Finding Happiness During Times Of Major Change: Happiness is not what happens to you quote

Miracle in the Cafe!

The next day, I was working in the front of a cafe that I frequent often with my laptop. I almost always sit tucked away in the back of the cafe, but the phone reception is better in the front, and I had a few calls to make, so I positioned myself at a table in the front.

As I sat there working, a neighbor of mine from Washington Park in Troy came walking in. I got up just to say hi and to talk to her about the downtown commercial property that I had purchased, since she’d stopped in to see it when I had my open house a month earlier.

We chatted about the downtown property for a while, then I told her the story about trying to buy the dream home and not having it map. I let her know I was looking for apartments in the area.

“I will have one soon,” she said. Turns out that her long-time tenants were buying a home and would be moving out in September.

I asked if I could see the apartment as soon as possible. She checked in with her tenants and then we set up an appointment for me to view it later that afternoon.

This apartment is located in one of Troy’s most magnificent mansions, and is a fourth-story walk-up apartment, which means great legs for me. As it turns out, it’s huge (about 2,000 square feet) and very affordable.

The apartment centerpiece is a dining room with a stained glass skylight – I have a feeling that this will be the room where I spend most of my time. There are also views of St. Mary’s Church nearby, and the hilltop of Prospect Park in Troy.

The bedrooms at palatial, and there is a huge amount of storage space. This, I decided, will definitely do.

And so in the 11th hour I found a beautiful place to call home. This is a relief of course.

Finding Happiness During Times Of Major Change: I'll have a pocket full of happiness quote

The Challenges of Moving

There was still the daunting task of moving out of the dream home, since I had already moved all of my things in. As explained in last week’s blog, friends of mine had promised me a rent-to-own agreement, changed their minds and asked me to buy the home outright, and then accepted a cash offer because I could complete financing on the house.

Not fun to say the least, and it meant packing up and moving all of my things again six weeks after I first finished moving them in. I’d already rented out the other home I own for two years, so I knew I’d need to find a new home for now too, which thank God I did.

Luckily, I hadn’t fully finished moving in the first time, so there were still boxes that could just be stored. I went through all of my books and clothes and papers one more time, getting rid of six bags of clothes, a box of books and tons of papers.

Lightening up is good for me. I am reminded that stuff is just stuff, I am not my things, and that all is well even during these challenging times. I am counting my blessings, including have a dozen dear friends who gathered to help me organize, pack and ultimately move my stuff.

I am really a very lucky woman, and know that somehow this too will become a blessing in time. Let’s see where life takes me next.

Since I have a gypsy soul, living out of bags is something I’m accustomed to. At the same time, I look forward to being able to hang my clothes up in the closet again, hang up my art, and settle into my new home.

Wish me luck with the adventures. I am rolling with it all. A lot of happiness is about finding peace with wherever we are, and rolling with the changes as they come.

I am surfing the waves of life!


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