Monday, July 30, 2012

Big Changes at Maison Cou Rouge

I said 2012 was going to be a year of change.

I didn’t know how MUCH change, though.

If you are standing up, I would advise you to sit down.

I am moving back to Louisiana.

I’ll give you a moment to recover.

I know, I know....I said I wouldn’t.  It was a gut-wrenching decision-a decision I never in my wildest imagination thought I’d ever have to make. I actually decided back in the spring, but have been waiting for the right moment...which is guess is NOW.

I love living here in Middle-of-Nowhere, which, for the record is Tennille, or more appropriately, the twin cities of Sandersville-Tennille, Washington County, Georgia.  It’s tiny, yes, and it has its drawbacks-like the never ending quest for fresh fish and basil, or dining out on something other than fast food. But it’s a wonderful place to raise kids- just look at my two (not that I’m proud or anything).

It’s time for me to realize that, after twenty plus years of being a mom, it’s time for what is sardonically referred to as an “encore career”.  One that puts cash in the bank.

It’s purely an economic decision. The money has run out.  For the past two years (actually probably the last five) I have been relying on the generosity of my mother to pay my (and my kids’) expenses.  Call it pride, or hitting rock bottom, but I just can’t keep asking her to do it. 

It’s time for me to take care of me.  No one else.

Back ten years ago, I imagined the day when Alix graduated from high school.  I imagined the things I’d finally be able to do- study subjects that had been pushed by the wayside, explore my creative side, have the time to write cookbooks, and make jewelry and design needlepoint. I always anticipated this time in my life where things would get easier, more fun.

Well, as I always say, we make plans and God laughs.

I also think maybe I was a little bit naive.  LITTLE BIT?

I stayed in a bad marriage for so long because I thought I had no option.  I had no way of earning a living.  I was a stay-at-home mom- which is not a skill set valued by many in our day and age. At least not in the business world.  Fast forward two years, and it’s status quo.  Nothing has changed.

And I am lonely.

I realized THAT back in April-  Easter afternoon to be precise.  I’d  had the most wonderful morning-my kids (all four of them, for I consider Anna-Grace and Wesley mine almost as much as AJ and Alix) gave me the first Easter basket I’d had in almost forty years. Then they went off to the other sets of parents, and when I talked to my brothers and my mother that afternoon, I realized I was lonely.  Here I was, sitting by myself in this ridiculously big house listening to everyone having a great time at my mom’s.

So maybe it’s not purely an economic decision.

Actually, this really isn’t the best time to pick up and move.  I would really have preferred to stay here another year, at least until AJ and Anna Grace get married, so I’d have a base of operations and  so Alix would have a home to “come home” to during her first year at college. 

Even if I won the lottery and could afford to stay here, it would just be postponing the inevitable.

I need a life.  I need to MAKE a life. 

An “Encore Career”.  

I am scared. No, not scared.  TERRIFIED.  There’s this great big “Unknown” out there and I am awfully old to be dealing with great big “Unknowns”. I vacillate between scared, terrified, useless, incompetent, hopeless, humiliated, afraid, pessimistic, and worthless.  Basically a total epic fail.

Words like “optimistic”, “excited”, “enthusiastic” haven’t been in my vocabulary for so long, I can barely spell them. 

My sense of humor?  What sense of humor....and if THAT’s gone.....

It’s time to change.

It’s time  to put on my big girl panties.  It’s time to take charge of my life.

It’s time for me to LIVE my life.

Stay tuned  here for updates and timeframes.  I’m selling just about everything I own and planning on traveling light from now on.  So if you’ve ever admired anything of mine, make me an offer............

Maison Cou Rouge won’t be a place....It’s now a state of mind.

Pray for me.


Bonnie said...

E - I applaud your courage!! You will find your place and your job and your support - be optimistic because you are creative and smart and determined!



Captain Jan-Olav said...

Dearest E... firstly, you are not THAT old... now, stop it! You are a yougn beautiful woman and I know you will find something that will carry you through these much harder days...

Remember what you have always told me: if it doesn't kill you, it'll always be making you stronger. You said it yourself, right?

You have a wonderful life ahead, just waiting to be explored. Along the road, you will be able to learn more and be more.

I'm always here... and if you ever need a cabana boy at your destination, I might find a nice looking Mexican one... 55555

Big hugs for you!

Seagull said...

Hey "sib-sister"! I wish for you all the successes and achievements and things I somehow did right …and none of those I did wrong. You’re age-perfect, and you ARE strong. You have everything it takes…

Ed said...

I adore you and of course, wish you well as you embark on this new and exciting adventure.

I don't think I need to point out to you that many lesser mortals have travelled similar paths before you and have succeeded. But none - that I can think of – have brought along with their luggage, the same exuberance, joie de vivre, "Auntie Mame" spirit and unbridled effervescence as you have simply as a part of your DNA. Grrl, you shine!

Georgia’s loss is Louisiana’s gain. And as your oldest friend, I will take the liberty of asking you to reconsider this as being your “encore.” Rather, might it be a glorious unfolding “next chapter?”

You gonna go home to a whole lotta love! And if all of those former SVA girls and Jesuit boys get too smothering . . . well then, come up here to me for a spell. We’ll welcome you gladly.

You are in my prayers. I love you.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth! Good for you! You have always been one of the most knowledgable, enthusiastic, eager, adventuresome women that I have ever known. I have no doubt that you will parlay all of those attributes into a very interesting new life.

That is great that you will be surrounded by family and old friends. Take all of those volunteer experiences that you have had over all these years and list all those jobs on your resume.

Believe in what you have to offer and you will shine as brightly as ever. I also love you, and am praying for you all!!! xoxo ~Joyce

Terri Oliver said...

You are one of the most wonderful spirits I know! This will be a great adventure and I know I will be bugging you to visit with me often.

I can't wait for your blessed return.