Anyway, the visit to the museum was unbelievable. Probably one of the best museums I have ever visited. They have a huge modern art section, and I was dumbstruck by a large painting of the front door of an old victorian house, dilapidated, covered with vines, and a funeral wreath (with dead flowers) hanging on the door. The door was cracked open slightly, and cob webs hung around the corners. A skeletal hand reached for the door knob. The title of the painting was "That Which I Should Have Done, I Did Not do. The Life Unlived."
Several years ago, as my marriage started to crumble, and I set about dealing with what to do about it.... I decided that whatever happened in the end, I did not want to have any regrets about my words, actions, or the decisions I made. "No regrets" became a mantra of mine, and because it worked so well in that situation, I adopted it as one of my "Principles of Living". I have since used that principle in many decisions, actions, etc. When I saw the painting and the title, it reemphasized my "No regrets" policy on an entirely different level, because it added "The Life Unlived". I guess when I had thought about "no regrets", I was trying NOT to do things that I might be ashamed or have second thoughts about. This was the first time that it had dawned on me that I might have regrets about things that I did not do!
As the idea of moving to Florence started to formulate and develop, and as I was making my decision around what to do, I thought of that painting often, and as I get nearer to my trip, it is constantly on my mind. I am so happy with my decision to take the leave, and move to Florence. I feel so proud of myself right now as I am finally embarking on my adventure. It’s true that the past 2 months of preparation have been an adventure, but as I said previously, I underestimated the amount of work. So now, with all of that behind me, my "to do list" down to 7 items (and that is causing me anxiety!) I feel a real sense of pride on what I have accomplished....thinking long and hard about the impact on my family of my decision, examining my finances for the feasibility of taking a leave, trying to determine what I could offer Progressive in exchange for consideration of the leave, broaching the subject of the leave, succession planning my job, selling my house, all the contents, moving a few things to storage, giving some to charity, some to friends, selling my car, applying for a Visa, and arranging hundreds of details around an apartment, banking, getting medications, school applications, etc. Whew!
I feel good about the time I allotted to get all of this done, and now, as I am off to Italy, feel such a sense of freedom, relief, excitement, and wonder at what the coming months will bring. I really cannot begin to describe the feeling. It is like nothing I have even experienced! This decision and adventure will surely not be a part of "That Which I Should Have Done, I Did Not Do." I am doing it!