Knowing When It's Time

Knowing When It’s Time

We’ve been making noises for over a year now about moving out of the city.   The desire is there, the vision is getting more concrete, and yet the ways and means aren’t visible yet.   It’s been long enough that when I run into friends I haven’t seen in awhile, they often ask “So how are the moving plans going?”   I find myself cringing internally, as I don’t really have a solid answer.   They feel like they’re going nowhere, at least in any ways I can talk about.   I don’t want to appear wishy-washy, but have to say something about “getting closer.”   We are closer to checking off our last major get-done-in-nyc dream, but it’s not quite that simple.

When is it time to leave that job?   To make that leap?   To get rid of that possession?   To take that chance?  Knowing when seems like such a stab-in-the-dark game.   I don’t think there’s any magic formula, but there certainly are signs to look for.   I’ll share a few of my favorite ones, as they apply to moves I’ve made, though they fit other scenarios.

It’s time to leave when what you’re leaving behind really hurts. Yes, I know.  Let me explain!  I’ve never moved from a place until I felt like I’d planted a piece of myself there, and would feel the pain of leaving it.   I don’t believe in regrets, and never want to leave a home without at least one good relationship or experience to look back on and enjoy.   I want to leave footprints, not ashes.   I want to move towards new things, not just walk away from miserable ones.  There will be situations where you can’t wait to get away, but bury a seed or two before you go.

It’s time to change when you’re too comfortable.  Complacency is pretty worthless, and often dangerous.   It’s easier not to move.   I’m not talking contentment, which is a beautiful thing, but the acceptance of things you can change, but are too {insert excuse here} to tackle.   Stalling may be easy, but it’s expensive to your heart and soul.   Beware.

It’s time to take a chance when you get a glimpse of something through a door, and suddenly have the urge to shove your foot in to keep it from closing.  You see in an instant what could be, and your heart leaps at the thought first, before you see the obstacles.   There may only be a millisecond between the two, but it’s long enough to shove your foot in the crack.   It’s a very good sign that it may just be time.

It’s time when you feel that click.  Some things can’t be planned, arranged, promised, or predicted.  Most things in fact.  Putting ducks in a row is tricky business, and while you may get the majority of them marshalled together, there will always be a maverick or two.   Watching, waiting, praying, listening, asking, and then doing it all over again.   And again.   Somewhere in there will be a quiet click, when the ducks suddenly align and the path unwinds in front of you, fully visible for the first time.   Then you know it’s time, and it will be so clearly so that you wonder that you didn’t see it coming from a mile away.   I never get tired of the sound of that click, though my heart isn’t always still enough to hear it.