This is a sweet and inspiring letter from a successful, longtime SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive). It’s so well written, it deserves to be shared and she gave me permission.
Enjoy her humor and SHEness.
You and Peggy came into my life in the early eighties. I sat in the middle of a big, beautiful new house after our tenth corporate relocation, indulging in a well justified tantrum. (I sometimes fear this will be the episode my three now, adult daughters will bring up at my wake.) Not a pretty sight. I enrolled the girls in their new schools that day and took myself to a bookstore for purposes of covert procrastination. It was there where God lassoed me with a copy of [Sidetracked Home Executives: from] Pigpen to Paradise. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Through your words and your humor and your stories you mentored me, gave me sanity one 3 x 5 card at a time, and were, well…my friends. The two of you reflected the relationship I had with my sister, except for the fact that we lived 1500 miles from each other. And I’d found myself again a stranger in a new city. I read every book you published again and again and sometimes remember your stories as things that happened to me. (Not a good sign.)
I am currently sitting on 70. (No, not miles per hour, years) and living in my tiny scaled down house, retired from my work as a therapist (undergrad & grad degrees from 6 different universities attained one 3 x 5 card at a time…thank you very much), with the man who drug me through fifteen more homes (did I really say that?) after that tenth beauty where you found me. We will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in May. (What was I ever thinking?)
The beauty I discovered in moving every few years is that there is no spring housekeeping…ever…It is also a technique for consistent clearing of clutter. There can be challenges…as when the relocation is because of the promotion that did not go through, or the sale of the company, or the bottom drops out of the market…thank you 2008. So up and down the corporate ladder we’ve been, and you and Peggy have been with me all the way. There are many ways to live. It is just easier to manage a 3 x 5 card at a time.
We’ve also the blessing of enduring friendships and happy memories from every one of those cities and towns.
For a while, I gave in to the curse of the “corporate gods” who waited until you dressed your windows with shutters or shades, curtains or drapes. The curse? The minute the installers left the house, your husband would call and ask “so, what do you think about Dallas?” Better than looking out of one of those just dressed windows to see the Allied Moving Van pull up, I guess. (I’ve had it both ways.) However, I did learn that if I were to have magenta walls, or a gold ceiling in this life, I had to quit living for the buyer…personally I’ve been a crusader in the de-beiging of America…
In too many ways to count, you and Peggy have more influence in my life than anyone, ever. My own sister is also a huge beneficiary of your system, your plan and your humor. She still has the custom wooden box I gave her for her 3 x 5’s. Now that we both move a bit slower, and visit the doctor more frequently, take meds and have the administrative duties of living past 65, your system is a God-send. (It also helps us keep our vanity intact: makes us look like we remember a heck of a lot more than we do, we don’t have to keep asking our family computer geeks how to pull up the calendars on our computers, we don’t have to pull out our readers to see the screen on our phones.)
One bite at a time and you can eat an elephant.
(Sorry, I know they are an endangered species.) A box of 3 x 5 cards is a box filled with magic wands.
Sip your coffee and I’ll sip mine.
Let’s count the blessings of 3 x 5’s.
Thank you, Thank you. Thank you.
More sincerely than you could ever know,
Many thank yous to Judith for sharing her warm and friendly thoughts.