Some steps are bigger than others

I’m in the process of finalizing a real estate listing for my condo. Somewhere in the middle of putting my initials on a bazillion pieces of paper, I fully internalized the idea that this is ME selling MY condo. I’m no longer the second person, signing the forms in the second position after Kurt. I’m the person who is empowered and in control of this decision.

The walls are no longer screaming at me. While I don’t believe in “signs” from the departed, I have become comfortable with the idea that Kurt would have wanted me to do the right thing for ME, and that even he would agree (albeit reluctantly) that selling the condo is the right thing to do. I kept my promise to him and gave this bi-platial thing a try. I’m now completely certain that it’s not working for me, and that it’s time to come home.

My agent (the same person who represented us when we bought this condo three years ago) is surprisingly optimistic even given the ongoing dismal market conditions. We’ll see. I’m confortable with the idea that it may take a little while.

DOUG: This paragraph is for you. Yes, I know you told me to wait for a year. As I’ve written here before, when you consider the full arc of my grief including pre-grief for my terminally ill husband, I’ve had considerably more than a year to think about this.

So tonight, I’m excited and optimistic about the future. I ran 5 miles this morning and it was as easy as breathing again. For the next week and a half, I plan on relaxing, letting go of stress, and storing up energy for what I hope will be a really fun half marathon romp past several world-reknowned icons of mid-century modern architecture. The other day I ran past Frank Sinatra’s old house, which is on the race route. There was a film crew there setting up or tearing down (I can never tell which), and they all smiled and waved at me as I went by. I won’t deny that this place has its charms…

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Architecture, grief, LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Hi Lori — My goodness, I can really feel your exhale to release stress and embark on the big steps you’ve taken into YOUR future. The words you are using suit the empowerment you have granted yourself…Kudos! Good luck as you run with the wind. ~ Ellen

  2. What a great relief this must be, Lori! Your realization that it is “all about you” at this time is pretty big! I have often thought about how much of my life is based on me being the “second signature”–from the mortgage and taxes to the cable bill! It sometimes really irritates me, but I found a little halt in my breath when you described your own realization and thought how if the time comes and it’s only me, that very little “signature requirement” change will be a significant hurdle. But once you got it, your breathing and freedom returned and you’re off and running! Enjoy the sights while you’re still in this iconic town! And now I can really smile, because I know the house you’re referring to…I’ll visualize a successful run with you! Debra

    • Debra,
      Yes, it is a great relief to have made this decision in full awareness of what doing so means in terms of going on with MY life. This is an exciting time for me as many things are changing, and the changes are all feeling good. I’ll wave at Frank’s house for you if I’m not completely dragging by then… it’s just before mile 12.

  3. Given all the things you did to upgrade the place, I’ll bet it goes fast.

    Want to build a treehouse in my back yard? (I’m sure Laura would help!)

  4. Hi Lori,

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and find it so inspirational. I wish I could show as much strength as you do.

    I started running a year ago to try and get me through my marriage breakdown; mentally and physically. But I’ve really struggled. I’m not fast, I’m very slow in fact. Despite completing two 10ks last year (more walking than jogging in 1hr 14m), I still struggle to push myself past 3 or 4k in training. I see other people take up running and do better than me in a matter of weeks and I struggle not to compare myself unfavourably to them and get totally demoralised.

    I guess my question to you is how do you remain focused on your own achievements, your own joy in running and not get lost in comparing yourself to others?

    Thanks, Lori.

    • Michelle,

      Thanks for following my blog!

      I guess my answer to your question is that given where I started (a physical therapist who told me I’d never walk without pain), every step I take is a victory! It also helps that I do see progress — slow but sure — in that I am gradually running longer distances without having to take walk breaks. Because I’m running more and walking less, I’m better able to maintain a steady and gradually faster pace. I know that a lot of training programs emphasize the run/walk thing, but I think once you build up to a certain level of general fitness (and I have no idea how to define that) the walk breaks act as an unnecessary “brake” on performance.

      I do get a lot of joy out of watching my times gradually improve (each of my four half marathons so far has been a PR for me), and I don’t really pay much attention to whether I’m improving relative to others in my age/gender group. I guess it really is all about me. I’m comfortable laughing about my own ineptitude and calling myself a slow happy runnner.

      In my first year of running I only managed to complete one 10k before injuring myself and needing a looooonnnnng slow recovery time. I didn’t run my first half marathon until I’d been running for about 15 months. So you are ahead of me! And I commend you for taking up running in response to your marriage breakdown. I know that it takes guts to decide to take good care of yourself and then go out there and actually do it.


  5. Thanks, Lori.

    I guess I need to just get out there and focus on how I’m improving rather than comparing myself to others. Not an easy thing to do, as it goes against my natural way of thinking… but it’s about time I pulled myself by the boot straps and just got on with improving my own life.

    I hope things continue to go well for you, Lori.


  6. Lori,
    I think you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Most people in your situation would not have made the trip down there and open yourself up to memories and more grief. You have expressed your feelings well and it is obvious that you are at peace with your decision. It is the right decision for you, and I know Kurt would be be proud that you are in control of your life and “moving on”.

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