Thank You Thursday – My Downsized Lesson

The welcome mat to our home.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

A little over two years ago, my husband and I were doing pretty good.

We had just moved into a large, beautiful apartment (at least it was until our landlord lost her mind) and business – in our case the film industry, which has two settings: feast or famine – was bountiful.

Yes, Fam, our cup was flowing over.

Then, without warning, we – like the rest of the country – got pimp slapped by the recession. Work dried up. Bill collectors called non-stop. And we had to move.

We downsized.

And I was grateful. Relieved that we were living below our forced upon means, we were finally able to begin climbing out from under and reclaim control of our lives and finances.

Today, we’re doing so much better. Stability a constantly shifting means, Mr. Simms and I are now prepared to roll with the punches. Losing so much so quickly made us stronger.

So much so, that it wasn’t until about two months or ago, that I felt secure enough to allow myself to realize how unhappy I was.

Our apartment is small and the walls, because I write out of our home every day, were closing in on me. And our neighbors? Don’t get me started. Between the constant smoking next door and the Mariachi music blaring outside our window, it felt like I was living in Hell.  

I complained to my husband. We had to move. Now.

Was I being dramatic and illogical? Of course.  But I didn’t care. The apartment was trying to kill me, and it was either take a sledge-hammer to the walls or move.

Well, our lease wasn’t up, so I knew we couldn’t move and smashing the walls with a sledge-hammer, however cathartic, is illegal, so…I moved my desk off of the t.v. tray. Then, I went to Target and bought a bunch of stuff.

O.K., I jumped ahead. What had happened was, after I was done switching out pictures and feng shui-ing our apartment, I looked around and realized that when we downsized, all we did was move all of our big stuff into a smaller space. Living here for nearly two years, we had not bought one, single thing -  not a picture frame, a kitchen towel, bathroom mat, nothing – to celebrate our new home.

No wonder I was unhappy in our apartment. I hadn’t shown it any love or appreciation. In essence, I only considered the space a way station for us and our stuff. It was never intended to be our home.

After I bought a few affordable items – the welcome mat pictured above was the first thing in my cart  – and redecorated, the apartment felt lighter.

I was able to breathe again.

See, Fam, by being grateful for my cozy space and showing it love, it loved me back.   Do my husband and I still plan to move? Sure, when we’re ready. But for now, every day I wake up in my home, I’m grateful.

And that’s my downsized lesson. Fam, what’s yours?

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3 thoughts on “Thank You Thursday – My Downsized Lesson”

  1. Nichole Christian said:

    Lot of courage in your words, Monice. I never imagined that I could feel grateful for being essentially rejected ( aka laid off) but I swear my downsizing opened me up in ways that I still don’t have words for. I feel like somebody woke me up from a deep sleep. I’m scared to ever go back to the traditional concept of “work.” Are things perfect post safe career? Nah. But I am present and more aware of real joy, something many of my “job secure” friends can’t begin to understand.

    Keep sharing your story.

  2. @nichole, thanx, as always for seeing me. i’m glad you’re present and aware of real joy now. keep living your story.

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