February 10, 2015, there was a moving truck in my driveway. Oh yeah, we were leaving Tampa for new surroundings in Asheville, North Carolina. After having spent twelve years in Florida, it was a big move. One precipitated by my husband asking the question, “What would we do if we weren’t afraid?” We loved Florida, have basically raised our children there, as well as making deep-rooted and lifelong friendships. We thought we would never leave. But there was an unsettled spirit within each of us every time we visited Asheville.
We kind of loved Asheville and joked about moving there. When John finally asked that question, we both knew what the answer was. We would upset the apple cart, pull roots out from under us and leave. It was overwhelming, to the point of making me feel completely claustrophobic, unable to breathe. Moving can do that to you! But it was a challenge we knew we wanted to accept, face and execute with a full follow-through. We put a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard, laughed when we got an almost immediate good offer, and sold our house. The next thing you know, there was a moving truck in our driveway!
Since we arrived in Asheville, there have been many challenges we have had to face. On our moving day, there was an ice storm. We didn’t know if we would make it to the house to meet the movers or if the movers could even get there! Two days after we moved in, there were two big snowstorms. For these Floridians, we didn’t really understand building fires in wood stoves or stocking up on grocery essentials! But we survived and we learned some new things.
Now we are getting settled and Spring has sprung. We are getting outdoors and hiking on hills that my body is questioning. I have had to stretch more and wear better shoes. I have had to take it slow and condition myself, but I accept the challenge. And guess what? I am loving it!!
I think about this as a woman with an ostomy. So much of our journey is about challenge, about facing new situations and deciding what to do. I am sure you are like me, that when you have that specific challenge before you, it seems like a literal mountain. But when you place one foot in front of the other and take those first steps, soon you have traveled and perhaps even made it to the top. In any challenge in my life – be it ostomy related or just a general situation that might be throwing me for a loop – I don’t want to be afraid. I have to keep my fear in check. I want to conquer what’s before me and not let it overtake me. Some challenges are certainly harder than others and how they are mastered looks different for everyone. Truth be told, once conquered, a confidence develops and you know you can do it again. And this time, maybe with a higher degree of difficulty.
Thinking back to what my husband posed to me, I want to ask you the same question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Can I challenge you this Spring to face and embrace something new? To conquer whatever it is that might be keeping you from climbing that mountain? I have confidence in you finding your Spring Spirit as you face your challenges head on!