green trees near body of water under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Alisa Matthews / Unsplash

I get to catch up on Penny's journey after she and her husband go through a huge life change

The above aren't from Penny's farm or where she is now, but let's say it's in the general geographic neighborhood. Somewhere in Texas, let's say.

I was delighted to get this very long comment from Saga Supporter Penny Nelson, whose life has been, like mine, completely upside-down for some time. Here's her story in response to the posts showing the colors on my newly-painted walls:

I'm tickled with your color choices. We have lived in our new house for 2.5 months now. We spent a huge amount of money, time and energy getting our old house, out in the country, ready to sell. So much time, energy and money that we have no intension (sic) of changing anything in our new house for the foreseeable future. What is so interesting is that one wall in each room of this house has been painted a soft but distinct slightly turquoise blue that looks a lot like the color family you have chosen for your home. It's not a color that I would have ever chosen on my own but it looks stunning with our furniture and more importantly, with our art work. It makes me happy every time I look up at the walls.

We sold our country property in just 2 weeks and while we didn't get quite as much for it as I had hoped, I'm happy with the negotiation and surprisingly happy with the pivot away from living in the country and delighted with now living in town. I miss the trees and the birds and the smell of living out in the country but it was a good move and the right time. I'm pleased I can get to my best friend's house in just 5 minutes rather than 40. My kids are also 40 minutes closer and we have seen both of them much more often than we did living out of town. It's been a great move all the way around.

The change to the new gym has been a bit more rocky. My old trainer was a 50 year old woman, a registered nurse with lots of additional education in physiology and kinesiology and a lifetime of bad decisions about food and drugs and exercise who did the work to make the changes required to become fit. My new trainer is a charming 28 year old young man who has none of that training or life experience. I like him but it's just not the same. Neither is the gym. The old gym was small and I knew everyone to speak to that showed up in the morning like I did. The new gym is three times as large, has a broader range of equipment but is always crowded. Everyone has been very nice but it is still intimidating for me to show up on my own. I'm still going three times a week so I haven't lost any ground there. The new gym always has someone at the front desk which is great but it also does not have 24/7 access for members - not that I ever went to my old gym earlier than 5 am or later than 10 pm. I am working at bonding with the gym, I'm just not quite there yet.

I'm back to working on reducing my sugar intake and loosing (sic) the weight I managed to gain back through all the turmoil of repairing, replacing, renovating, selling, packing, cleaning out, moving and learning a new schedule and new touchpoints like the grocery store and the gas station. It's all worked remarkably well but it was stressful. I'm glad the stress has been greatly reduced. We did have to do Christmas in two stages since half the family was sick with covid on Dec. 25th but even that was calmer and easier than any part of the move. Lots of changes, lots of pivots, lots of new things to learn but I'm happy to say we are past the worst of it and it's going better and better. (author bolded)

There's so much to love about this. Penny is in her mid-seventies, canting towards late seventies. She and her husband have moved plenty of times, but this one has huge implications as they released their land, and all that came with it, and the animals it supported. That was a dream of mine for years, one which I never realized. Now in so many ways I'm glad I didn't.

I get so terribly attached to animals and nature that in some ways it would have killed me to have to let it all go. The way I live allows that love to flow all over the place and not keep me in one spot. There's a price to be paid for that; Penny has family and is settled in so many ways, and is happily settling in her new spot.

Moving to a new gym for her is rough, and I can relate. I had the same gym for decades, and moving to a Planet Fitness where I knew no one was a shocker. You don't appreciate how much your gym fam is part of the experience until you lose it. It will come, the jokes about slacking off and the high fives for your progress. It's coming. Always does.

I just joined our brand-new local YMCA, and that will be another adventure in cluelessness until people and the facility feel familiar.

I also put on a few pounds after doing such a good job of losing a bunch, too. The trip I took in Arizona had me eating three times a day, which is WAY too much. So I backslid, and then the holidays are always a bit tough because that's when I indulge in prime rib. So it's back to the better habits, and I can relate there as well. The good news is that we've got the knowledge, know the habits, we can do this.

I'm so fascinated by the parallels I see in all our lives. Randy Roig and his wife are working on another big badass trip to Central Asia this summer, and I can't wait to see photos. I'm working on this house and a brand-new career. We are all making and remaking ourselves, dealing with what life and age and accident and opportunity hand us.

And the costs of all that.

Like LindaR wrote me, we get to watch ridiculous amounts of money head out the door as we do all these repairs, make these changes and updates. No truer words.

Thank all of you for including me in your journey.

woman sitting on grey cliff
Photo by Vlad Bagacian / Unsplash

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