Present Tense


Change.  One of the foundational principles of this blog.  Embrace it.  It’s inevitable. It’s part of life.  It’s…completely kicked my ass for the last 6 months.

Change.  I craved it.  Wished for it. Set it in motion.  Did it.  Now, I’ve got a little buyer’s remorse.  I have to be honest and face it.

We sold our beautiful home in Fraser, CO last May and moved to a 10 acre farm in northern Michigan.  A place where neither one of us had spent all that much time.  Where we had only a few friends and no real social support structure.  We figured that we could build that out in time.

It’s not that easy.  The farm takes more time, money and sweat than we anticipated.  When you don’t have kids, meeting people in a new place is a bit more difficult.  Then, the dog got sick, really sick and died.  We didn’t know the vets very well; we didn’t have the help and support of our friends and neighbors, as we would have in our old life.  A very difficult transition.

So, I got my change alright.  Much more change that I had planned for.  There’s that planning thing again.  Seems like I’d get the message, but I don’t.  You probably have been whipsawed by the inevitable evolution of life, too.  We shake our fist at the universe and shout ‘this isn’t how it was supposed to be’.

We set things in motion and sometimes we can’t stop or control where we go.  It’s like putting a rowboat into a river and realizing you only brought one paddle.

So, you have to adapt and you have to let go.  Let go of a lot of stuff; mostly regrets and ‘what ifs’.  Our remaining dog Junior has been a little melancholy since he lost his dog buddy.  As I roused him out of bed this morning for his breakfast, I looked at my husband and said “Junior and I are in the same place.  We miss our old life”.

Our old life where we knew our neighbors.  When Chili was still with us.  When were in familiar surroundings with our social support group firmly in place.  Where we could call for help and see a friendly face.

We’re going through a form of grief.  Grieving what was and not embracing what is.  I know I’ve preached and written and nagged about this, but when the rubber hits the road, it’s freakin‘ hard to put into practice.

So, I must remind myself that this change was implemented for a reason.  We’re closer to family, close to the water, we can grow our own food, we’ve downsized, we have no mortgage, we have some new friends who have been wonderful and helpful and compassionate, we live in a beautiful place in a vibrant community.  More ‘saying my gratefuls’, less pining for our ‘old life’.

Change is hard.  Change is life.  Embrace life.  Even when it hurts.

November 23, 2013 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , ,


  1. Time. It heals so much but hurts so much to let it happen. And it can be so dang SLOW! Good luck, Jane. I know you’re an intelligent person and that’s good ammo for these battles we encounter in life. 🙂

    Comment by Karen | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Karen:
      Thanks for the comment. Sometimes intelligence makes it worse:) HA! I’m trying to be proactive, though. Appreciate that you took the time to write.

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  2. Yeah, sometimes life sucks.
    I know, I know, everything has it’s time and all things work together for good and it all ends up fine. Maybe even better.
    But at times it hurts and it’s hard and there are regrets.
    And that is when it sucks.
    Sometimes it feels good just to put it out there.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Love you.

    Comment by Erica | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Erica:
      Yes. Shooting it out into the world is my way of coping. I’m an ‘over-communicator’:). Thanks so much for the comment. What feels good is hearing from people who suffer and cope and encourage. We humans certainly have more in common, than not. Thanks for THAT reminder!

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  3. Having recently gone through a divorce and my life turning upside down, this post really brought it home. Most days i feel the change was good and necessary and others i just long to go back wondering what if…..thanks for putting it out there!

    Comment by Jennifer | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Jennifer,
      Good luck. As all of the wise people like to say, “it takes time”.

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  4. Change, whether we like it or not is part of our lives. It is in fact like you said, how we embrace that change that determines how our life plays out. Yes we can put that boat in the river realizing we only have one paddle and smile while we enjoy the beautiful scenery going with the river downstream or we can swear and be really upset with ourselves, our decisions and our life while we try in vain to paddle upstream with one paddle. Most of my life has seemed to be paddling upstream. Loss is the most difficult part of that river. Loss of my business, loss of dearly loves pet companions…
    As I write this I remind myself that I am waking up on the beautiful side of the grass, although it is covered in snow this morning, so things could be much worse. We all need a reminder occasionally to look at the scenery around us and take a deep breath. Those of us who share your life either here or on facebook or via the radio broadcasts are with you in spirit and know that even though we are a lot of miles apart, we are connected as your support structure through this modern technology and are going on this ride with you. Lets try the ride downstream for awhile… I bet it is pretty. Give that Junior a hug for us and remember how Chili would torture him. : )

    Comment by Mike | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Mike,
      Thanks. You brought little tear to my eye…Hugs to you, Darlene and your 4-legged crew.

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  5. Thanks, Jane, for your brilliant insight. As usual, it hits home! Change sucks until it doesn’t anymore. I think change was a whole lot easier when we were younger and we could leave the worrying to someone else. If only we could slow down the universe so we could deal with all this change in our own time! One day you’ll look back on all of this and realize it all happened for a very good reason. Thank you again for putting in words what most of us wish we could!

    Comment by Jane Johnson | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Jane,
      Thank you for the note. I know that I’m going through the same stuff that we all experience. It makes it easier to share and commiserate.

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  6. Jane,
    Thank you for sharing your honest and real feelings. Sometimes we put up a brave front to mask the fear and anxiety within. It’s our way of coping and moving forward through life. I love your writings and hope you will continue them for many years to come. And, if you ever decide to write a book I will be among the first to buy it. Wishing you all the best and I hope you will continue to look for the good in all things.

    Comment by Kaci | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Kaci,
      You’re very kind. Thanks so much.

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  7. Happiness involves risk, change is just that. If we always stay with what is, what’s comfortable, we may be stunting our growth, missing out on greater joy. Change is a test of our resiliency. You’ll bounce back…you’re Jane!!

    Comment by Lori W. | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Lori,
      Thanks for the vote of confidence:) I’m sure I’ll adapt and flourish…eventually:)

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  8. Thank you for this post Jane. It came at a time when I needed to read some words that I have been having a hard time expressing myself. Shaking my fist at the universe- done it, missing our old life, been there, am currently there! I too am trying to embrace the change that is going to happen to my family in the next few months. Your words were comforting- and I hope you know that you are cared for by many people you have never actually met. Peace to you!

    Comment by Heidi Bauer | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  9. Jane, I admire your ability to beautifully express your realities and share your pain. There are so many of us who feel we “know” you because of your willingness to reveal who you are, even if we have only met briefly.While you are right that everyone experiences these things, it does not diminish the particular difficulties and hurts you are living. Perhaps as you grieve, you can look to things that will be creating what you hope this phase of life to be — perhaps (all joking aside), another furry family member to fill the Chili-sized hole in your heart, perhaps inviting some friends out for a visit, maybe even a spring “farm work party” where a variety of friends come to MI to help on the farm . . . There are a lot of people rooting for you, praying for you, and thinking of you. We will also be cheering you on as you heal.

    Comment by Susan Herr | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  10. Thank you for a deep and thoughtful glimpse into you. I know what you mean. In May of 2011, my mother died of a sudden heart attack, my father made a drunken confession to a 35+ year affair, and my own wife filed for divorce. Two and a half years later, it still hurts but not as bad. Sometimes life is not what we pictured, even in our worst imaginings.

    Comment by Philip | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  11. Been there… Thanks for sharing. big hugs to you

    Comment by Eve | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  12. Ah yes. Change… the love/hate relationship of life. The rut is so comfy cozy and known. But we sure do like ‘good’ change. More money at work sounds like a nice change. Improving our love relationships that’s GREAT! Losing weight…..I would really love THIS change in particular. It’s the ‘bad’ change or the ‘unexpected’ change that seems to be the thing we don’t like… these also seems to be the ones that promote “personal growth” … if we’re lucky.. (we also have to define this for ourselves and that’s a different blog ).. if our ‘now sight’ can allow us to look to the moment and not backwards or even forward. I hate loss. It’s the yucky change we don’t care for.
    I feel like I’ve been through enough, but I know that more will eventually come. My parents will pass on … my daughter will move away. I’ll lose my cat to age… or fox. Life knocks our edges off so that we can get ready for the ‘big ones’ I guess. Like Philip I went through a great deal of loss all at once and I’ll be honest, it’s been a rough ride. BUT I survived thanks to friends like you who helped me through my change.
    Time doesn’t heal wounds. Time give us perspective. The haze of time gently covers our hurts with distance and the ability to process. I won’t quote ‘this too shall pass.’ because it doesn’t. And as you are wont to say… things don’t happen for a reason. We make reason out of the things that happen…. even if we are the catalyst for the ‘thing’ we will hopefully still seek to find purpose in what we have done to ourselves. What on earth were we thinking… maybe that’s the point.

    Comment by kandisnz | November 23, 2013 | Reply

    • K:
      Love this. Love you. Thanks:)

      Comment by janelondon | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  13. So true, the grass isnt always greener. Change is NEVER easy, but if u give it time, it usually turns out for the better. It builds lots of new memories, along with the old to look back on. How dull life would be without changes and new experiences!!

    Comment by Marsha | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  14. I can totally identity Jane. I wrote in one blog post about having lost the old life but still not having any real identity in the new lifestyle. It is hard. But we both know it gets easier with time and you find your place.

    But there is nothing wrong with missing the old life so let that happen too. Nice insightful honest post as usual. I look forward to these.

    Comment by Kelly@Try New Things | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  15. I meant that I can identify not identity….

    Comment by Kelly@Try New Things | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  16. My very best girlfriend and her husband just up and moved to Spain I have to admit I was a little angry at her. We laughed about this the other day on the pphone but she really now misses all of her friends and her old life. They are trying to come up with a plan to get back here but left without a plan B. This was actually music to my ears to hear she is coming back sometime next year. but I really think these feelings are normal whether you change plans or not. Hang in there you are right everything has a purpose. but I miss you too!

    Comment by Marge Beem | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  17. I recently went through a big change as well. I have looked forward to retirement as most do. Things got unbearable and thankfully we could make the decision that I would retire.

    I happily turned in my resignation and after 35 years, I walked away from the first job I started right after I graduated high school. I had missed so much while working and now it was time for me to start a new chapter.

    It has only been a couple weeks and I am not so sure about this…..the first time in my life I am not earning my own money. I clean, do laundry, cook and take care of my dog. Sounds good or at least it did until it actually became reality.

    Will I ever have anything in common with anyone since everyone works? Will I always feel like I am earning my keep? Will I meet new people? Will I always feel alone? So many people can’t do what I just did….so why am I bitching!

    I am the one that controls how this goes. So many people aren’t able to do what I just did and I know how fortunate I am.

    It’s tough to change everything I have known for so very long time but I need to suck it up and make it my own! I have always wanted to take a photography class….so no matter how uncomfortable meeting new people is for me, I am going to go for it!

    Great blog Jane….I felt like I was the only one! I can do this ‘June Cleaver’ thing and still be me but it takes time!

    Comment by Pat R. | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  18. Hey Jane, nicely put. In august I left a perfectly wonderful job because I was given an opportunity to increase my income by nearly 20k/yr. Oh what I could DO with that!  Vacations. Pay off stuff. Hire a housekeeper.  Yeah! So off I go. Cried over leaving the perfectly wonderful job. Fast forward 7 weeks. New job BAD. Dammit. Old job gone. Took 7 more weeks (unpaid) to find another one. New job ok but I WANT MY OLD LIFE BACK!!  Why is it we can’t just leave well enough alone? Enjoying your blog,  Gina

    Sent from my Cricket smartphone

    Comment by ginamossrn | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  19. Jane, as evidenced here, you touch so many of us,and so many have been (and are in) your shoes. I’ve had a really crappy weekend so far, but it’s almost Thanksgiving and my pregnant daughter and son-in-law will be here in a few short days. Perspective, patience, tears, and sometimes a good old belly laugh gets us through. Your laugh is contagious! Keep writing, talking and sharing. It’s good for your soul – and ours! Love to you.

    Comment by Pam O'Malley | November 23, 2013 | Reply

  20. Yep! What don’t kill you makes you stronger…words of wisdom from your Southern sister. I love you!!!

    Comment by Big Sis | November 24, 2013 | Reply

  21. Jane, as I read your post, tears welled up in my eyes because sooner than I know it I will be in your shoes. I dig my heels in and cringe when I hear hear the word “change”. My husband will be retiring soon and we have already bought the home we will be retiring to, but I love the job I have and all my friends, and current home! He can’t wait to retire and pack his bags and leave…. Oh my…

    Comment by Pat G. | November 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Pat,
      Best of luck. Maybe he could go on ahead to his retirement and you can visit:) Seriously, I feel for you. The whole marriage and compromise and being at two different stages in life is tough. Can’t sugarcoat it.
      Thanks for the note.

      Comment by janelondon | November 24, 2013 | Reply

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