Living a Life of My Choosing
I live on the beautiful Gaspe Coast of Quebec, Canada. My home is a cozy little place that I bought in 2000. Actually I tore down my father's barn and moved an old mobile home here on the property and started over again from scratch. It was a lot of hard physical work and I tried to do as much as possible by myself because my finances were stretched to the limit.
I had new doors, windows and exterior siding put on because it really needed a facelift. I laid new floors and built some of my own furniture. I picked rocks one at a time and poured bags of soil on top of the rough terrain that was a discouraging mix of gravel and stones. I raked and planted grass seed hoping that I would have a real lawn someday. I dug up small trees from my mother's property and planted them to create the feeling of a lived on landscape. I was determined to build a new life for myself and turn my property into a place called home. Believe me it was not easy but I had my daughter with me and I wanted to do everything possible to make her happy. She was and will always be the best thing that ever happened in my life. It took strength, time and tears but I lived through it and today I am still living here facing the next part of my journey.
I suppose you could call me a gentle rebel because I am really going against the normal route of a woman my age. At midlife (yes that means 60), I am alone, not because I chose to be, but life has brought me here through a series of unbelievable circumstances. It's okay; I am still standing and I thank God for my determination, (some might say contrariness) because without it, I would have given up a long time ago.
I intend to live the rest of my life doing things that are important to me. Ever since I was a child, I had a need to play with colours, which is why I have a large stash of wool and material just waiting for me to use in playful delight. I love to paint and play with wood and I always wanted to write. To live this life on my own terms, I know that I have to look after myself and remain healthy, physically strong and filled with some natural get-up-and-go. Yes I am into juicing my veggies and yes I have a Vitamix!
I love organic gardening and over the last few years I have been building raised bed gardens so that I can grow some of my own food. I built a small greenhouse by myself, which was a total challenge especially the roof, so that I can have a longer growing season. I have a great respect for the land that I grew up on and I want my small property to be filled with vegetable gardens, beautiful flowers, strawberries, blueberries and fruit trees. I find myself looking through gardening books and magazines throughout the year. To you it might seem like a lot of work and it is ... but to me this seems like the best life I could possibly imagine. Flowers, home grown organic food, birds, a dog and a cat, fresh air, sunshine and freedom ... what else is there except family, friends, laughter, good music and a lot of great books. Yes I am also a bookaholic and that means I have a serious addiction to books.
In 2011 on my way to do some Christmas shopping, I remember having a silent conversation with my mother who had died in 2006. I still missed her especially at that time of year, for she had been my best friend. Somehow I felt that she could still help me find my way towards living a life that reflected my values and my desire to do live a life of my choosing. Time was passing and I wasn't getting any younger. If I didn't take a chance to do what I wanted, I would end up an old woman with the regret that I had been too afraid to try. As I listened to the Christmas music playing, tears rolled down my cheeks and I asked Mom to not let me die with the stories still in me. There wasn't any real answer but I knew that if I wanted something different, I had to do something different.
The road to change is never easy, filled with unexpected happenings along the way, some that you could never imagine, nor think that you could get through. Change is a road that we all must take at different times in our lives and unfortunately there are no guarantees of what it will bring us. Our fear of the unknown is the reason why we avoid taking the first scary step towards bettering our lives. Fear holds us back and we spend our time focused on the worries instead of the possibilities. I have taken on many changes, faced the fear, dealt with the disappointments and was grateful for the good things I found along the way. I also know that there is still a long road ahead of me and I will make the best of each day that comes along for who knows what is waiting for me just up ahead of this journey called my life!
I hope that a small part of my adventure inspires you to think about what is really important in your own life. It is never too late for any of us to take that scary first step to wanting something better for the only life that we will get to live on this side.
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