Friday, March 2, 2007

"That Which I Should Have Done, I Did Not Do. The Life Unlived"


This past summer, I visited Chicago, to go to the King Tut exhibit. I met the boys there, along with Paul and Kelly and their family. The day I arrived, I had to myself as the boys weren’t getting there until later, so I decided to visit the Chicago Art Institute. The trip was in June, and the idea of moving to Florence was only an embryo, if it existed at all....I can’t remember.

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!

1 comment:

Barney Coulter said...

Amen! BAC