First days living in a new state have nothing to do with a new state of mind. That is, adjusting isn’t all about your attitude. Yes, people say that happiness parboils down to a positive outlook. That one can carp on the not’s, on the there but not here’s, and the yeah, but back home’s, hemming, or you can pay attention to the brighter spots…
Palm trees, sea mists and food, taking pleasure in the fact that Texas is not the only state to display GARDEN & GUN magazine in waiting rooms. But positive outlooks and bright spot searching don’t come into play until the honeymoon is over.
“Half-full Head” needs to kick in later, when the shine begins to dull and your grass turns brown. Take diets—easy to start, harder to stick with, because that initial excitement and determination wane. Once the novelty wears, once your closets are already organized and you’ve burned through your to-try list, when it’s harder to find the bright spots that’s exactly when it matters.
When you move you believe that you have the ability to create a completely different life. Matching no-slip Huggable Hangers, a sliding drawer of undergarments carefully displayed as if each were an index card of a rolodex rainbow, white lux bath towels and fresh cleaning supplies, a home for everything you’ve ever misplaced—these things, you believe, add up to a fresh start, a new lifestyle of your choosing. But I suspect it’s all fantasy. Because no matter where we move, we take ourselves with us.
When I lived in New York, I was convinced that I’d exercise more in Austin, embrace this outdoor living lifestyle. Dream to the dream. Never happened. Now, in Florida, the dream was to awake each day, drop the kids off at school, then onward ho to the fitness center, where I’d suddenly enjoy exercise. Then in the pool for a dip, a steam shower, a spot of tea as I sit to write and create, then pick up the kids and work on some planned Montessori activities I just so happened to have at the ready. Off to the market, where I’d have them smell and taste herbs one by one, as I grabbed ingredients for the gourmet dinner I’d have assembled on the already-set dinner table, wine chilled, ready to welcome Phil home.
Reality: never ever gonna happen. Except for the herbs part. That, I actually do regularly. But the rest of the items are parts of dreams that happen in just that: parts. Anything you want to do now but aren’t doing now won’t change with a change of address or attitude. It changes when you take the action. When you walk, not talk about the walk.