Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Second Act

I'm excited to be "going public" with a lot of good news in this post!  I haven't been blogging about any of these things to date because I didn't want to get ahead of myself by counting my chickens before they hatched.  (Growing up in a farming community, that analogy has always stuck with me especially well.)  There really are a lot of exciting things coming up in my life, so I didn't want to jinx anything.

The biggest news is that "Antonio" and I are going to move in together!  I'll be moving to his house in San Antonio, and that's where I'll pursue my real estate career once I get settled in there.  I'm incredibly excited to share my life with him and to be starting the next chapter of my life.

Speaking of chapters, I've started working on a second book.  No, I haven't yet completed my book of life lessons taught by Professor Grief; that is still in the beginning stages as well.  However, I had a great idea for a new book right as I found myself having a hard time re-living the grief and writing about that all day, every day.  I decided that I should dive right into the second book, as I needed another writing project that was more fun, so I could temper the difficult and draining writing with something a bit more lively and mood-boosting.  My second book will be a coffee-table book about the city of Austin, featuring people from each of the 50 states who have chosen Austin as their home.

Speaking of Austin-related ventures, I've also started designing some tee shirts and stickers to sell at some of the city's eclectic souvenir shops and boutiques.  I've found a graphic designer to turn my visions into visuals, and am going to start shopping my designs around soon.

As I'm going to need to be in Austin a lot for the book and the merchandise, I decided to buy a condo in Austin to use for those purposes, and for "Antonio" and I to have for weekends in the city that is the capital of fun.  I'm really excited about the condo -- it's right on South Congress, near great shopping and restaurants, and with an incredible view of the capitol building and the downtown Austin skyline.  Sure, it's pretty small -- almost a glorified hotel room, really -- but tastefully designed and in the perfect location.  There's a pool, exercise facilities, and free laundry facilities about 100 feet from the front door.  I think it will be perfect for what we need, and easy to rent out later once I don't need to be in Austin so much.

I will take possession of the condo sometime early next month, and will have the condo and my apartment throughout the month of September.  I couldn't move all at once, as I have a ten-day trip to Europe planned with my in-laws next month too!  I'm really looking forward to that -- we are going to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.  Oktoberfest in Germany should be incredible!

There are many details to figure out -- what goes to the house, what goes to the condo, the closing date, which furnishings (if any) will come with the condo and for what price, when the cats will move, etc.  Chief among the things to figure out is finding someone to take over my lease.  My lease runs through early December, and I'd like to get out of the apartment at the end of September.  Luckily, my good friend Amy has been staying with me, helping out with some bills, and watching my place and cats for me for the last couple of months (which was really handy when I went on my two week, South Padre-to-Dominican Republic trip with both of our families).  She will be staying with me at the apartment through my vacation and while I'm moving, so that will be really nice to have her help with the cats and showing the apartment to prospective sub-lessees.

So there's the update!  I called this blog post "The Second Act" because of the way I heard Jane Fonda describe life in a lecture she gave in Des Moines once (regardless of anyone's opinion of this woman, she is an incredible speaker and moved me greatly).  She compared life to a three-act play, each act consisting of approximately 30 years.  She likened the First Act to setting the stage, the Second Act as introducing more plot and interesting twists, and the Third Act as wrapping things up.  This analogy really strikes a chord with me; I believe my life was in the First Act until the day Brian died.  The life I led to that date set the stage for what would transpire in Acts Two and Three.  At this point, I'm partially into Act Two, and looking forward to seeing what plot lines unfold before me.  I'm also very happy to have someone with whom to share the stage, whose life story is intertwined with mine.

There's been a lot going on in my life, to be sure, and a lot of this has happened very quickly.  It's a bit overwhelming to keep up with, but also incredibly exciting because I'm looking forward to the future.  As a widow, I've struggled to focus on enjoying the present, what life has had to offer each day.  Now, for the first time since Brian died, I'm planning for the future and working on the life I want to have.  This is a big step for me.  I hadn't been able (or maybe willing?) to think about the future or to look forward until now, partly because I was too afraid to count on anything, always waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me.  Now, I feel like I'm on solid ground and I'm able to take steps toward what I want in my life.  I'm ready to see what Acts Two and Three bring.




  1. Dear Wendy
    I think you are on a good way now for the next chapter of your life. And if your way leeds you to Switzerland next September, you'll be welcome to spend some days with us in our house...yeah!

  2. Wow, that's a lot of great stuff happening!! I'm so happy for you. I'm happy that you have found Antonio, happy that you know what you want in life and are going after it, and happy that you are taking all of these chances and opportunities to get as much fulfillment out of life as possible. Above all, though, I am happy you are putting the "pulling of the rug" fear behind you. It might creep up now and again, but now you have the tools and experience to fight it off successfully if it does. Reading this post just made me breathe a huge sigh of relief for you. I wish you all the best in ALL of these new ventures and am looking forward to reading about them.

    P.S. I like the 2nd act analogy as well!

  3. what a great perspective on life. lovely. your Austin book idea sounds pretty neat too - i can imagine the photography in that book could be amazing. Dan and I vacationed once to San Antonio/Austin and we both think it would be a fun place to live.

  4. congrats at all! my only advise is to go to zermatt no matter what you do (switzerland). i've spent a couple of months there, it is heaven on earth. i can give oktoberfest tips also if you'd like, but no matter what get a drindl and have antonio get lederhosen ... you will not regret this decision