Beginning a New Chapter of a New Story Later In Life
We just sold our second home. After moving in and getting to know her I named her, Shangrila, a name known only between us, until sharing it with you. Though she sits in the middle of a cactus-filled California desert, she is the epitome of a Shangrila. And, I will miss her four walls wrapped around me.
My husband and I built this home together 16-years-ago. There was not a blade of grass on the property but now Shangrila is surrounded with Palms, Ficus, Mango Trees, bright Bougainvillea winding up the trunks of the Palms, Hibiscus (the Hawaii state flower), and an especially loved dwarf Olive Tree, who sits off my little patio. I will miss her every day because her biology goes back to antiquity and I think of her as ‘holy.’
If you are a lover of nature consider purchasing the enlightening book or audible, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. How do trees live? Do they feel pain and have awareness of their surroundings? Do they talk and help their neighboring trees? After I read the book, I consider them to be social beings. And, I highly recommend this read for nature lovers and inquisitive women.
For the Last Two Years
We wanted to sell our home for the last two years. Out of the blue two weeks ago, we sold Shangrila in a record five days. It is two weeks later and our mover, Plycon, just carried off our possessions, minus one charming Olive Tree, to our beautiful Chicago. The delivery date is next Wednesday.
Am I sad to leave Rancho Mirage? No. I am sad that I am not sad. To have spent so many moons in Rancho Mirage, I should feel a close bond to the community, the little shops, the restaurants, the landscape, etc… I feel nothing because I knowingly made the wrong choice when I consented to live in a desert. When I left Honolulu, I cried. And, to this day, many moons ago, my heart belongs in Honolulu. This lets me know that I really am a warm-hearted and emotionally charged woman.
But nevertheless, oh how I will miss Shangrila, my Olive Tree, and my only housekeeper, Rosa who told me, “Suzi, when you go, I retire.” Rosa has been in my life for twenty plus years and I will miss her more than words can say.
I am worried and sad that no one will ever be as charmed by Shangrila as I have been; no one will love her like my Ultimate Concierge and I have loved her. And, no one will care for her as we have. I am worried about my Olive Tree not getting enough water and plant food. I am worried about Rosa who is going to miss me and needs me and my Ultimate Concierge in her life. There is nothing I can do.
I Ask Myself a Question
My Ultimate Concierge and I were having dinner outdoors at a charming favorite restaurant of ours when a thought came to my mind and I looked across the table at him and said, “I am thinking about what have I learned, what did I experience and how have I grown as a woman while residing in Rancho Mirage.” Truthfully, I had never thought about this before.
What I Accomplished and Learned in Rancho Mirage
I watched our contractor build Shangrila. I learned what types of plants live in the desert and in what directions they should face. And, I learned how much it costs to build, decorate, and landscape a home! I learned to play golf and cards. As well, I became a writer in Rancho Mirage and a hostess for as many as 50 friends at sit-down dinners.
Darling, I traveled from Rancho Mirage to Iran, Antarctica, Syria, Jordon, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Israel, London, Cuba, Russia, Greece, Peru, Galapagos Islands, etc, etc, etc… I recovered from Cancer and an auto accident and faced telling my Ultimate Concierge that his son committed suicide. And, I studied with a Rabbi and his wife for my Bat Mitzvah that I had in Chicago. My pooch Orchid came to live with us at Shangrila at 9 weeks and 11 1/2 years later we put her to rest at Shangrila. We carried her ashes to our apartment in the sky in Chicago.
Women Need Women!
As well, I made wonderful new friends, suffered my first real and permanent hurts from women, and learned from a sweet, kind, and loving close friend the following, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” I learned from the experience to be exceptionally selective in who I allow into my life while trying not to be fooled in the process. I started my first meetup group of women in Rancho Mirage at Shangrila because I still feel warm all over when I say and sincerely mean, “Women need Women.” And, this led to me starting a private Facebook group, GRANDwomen with Moxie – Where loneliness disappears. Come join. There is so much engagement and yakety-yak… I love it.
I also broke my ankle in my closet at Shangrila when I climbed up a ladder and reached to the right for something wearing high heels! Well, the ladder went over and so did I. But, I made the best of it. I wore a shocking pink cast to my knee and shocking pink toenail polish and had a smiley face painted on my big toe. Darling, I experienced total love from my husband while living within the four walls of Shangrila and happily returned my love. What more can I ask.
The Last Ten Years of Your Life
Why don’t you think about the last ten years of your life and buy a little journal? One for goals, one for gratitude, and one for your personal writing diary to record your thoughts and your dreams for the next ten years. Why do I use ten years as my guide? Because many years ago a friend much older than I told me, “Every ten years, I reinvent myself.” I liked her way of thinking.
A Wish That Cannot Come True
I wish I could pack up all of the minutes of the last sixteen years, then add them on to the minutes of our future life. Why? Because I have so loved sharing our life together and alone with my Ultimate Concierge in Rancho Mirage, CA. Just the two of us. There is no one we would rather be with than each other.
I wish I could carry my Olive Tree back to my beautiful Chicago and take Rosa, too. If I had a yard and Rosa did not have a special need’s son my Ultimate Concierge would make it possible. I know he would!
I have lived a dream life in Shangrila with my husband, Orchid, America, Rosa, and my special Olive tree. And, I am so very grateful and looking forward to exploring the next passage of our lives… together.
Have you had this experience of starting a new chapter later in life? Let me know in the comments at the bottom of this page. I want to hear from you!
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