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(1) I Didn’t Die!

It’s been awhile since my last blog post, but I am still here. When my mother passed away in July 2014, I knew that I wanted to make many life changes. My daughter had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, one year prior. My wife and I wanted to move closer to her. Since that time, here’s a summary of what has transpired:

  • We took care of my mother’s affairs, which included selling her home, donating or selling her belongings, and handling the many financial matters associated with her estate.
  • I sold my pest control business. I had been self-employed for 35 years.
  • We made lots of updates to our home in New Jersey in order to get the best possible selling price. I had to oversee the work of many contractors, some of whom were difficult to deal with.
  • We sold our home in New Jersey, despite the lack of cooperation of the co-listing realtor that brought the eventual buyer to my home. As you can imagine, this was a very stressful experience!
  • Once the house sold, we had to put our belongings into storage, which ended up spanning several locations. We were still in the process of finding another house in Missouri…over 950 miles away.
  • Since our mover from New Jersey didn’t have a truck big enough for all of our stuff (a major mistake on their part!), I had to rent a cargo van and drive to St. Louis and back three times. Each trip was over 950 miles! Also, when the movers delivered our things, many items were broken! I had to deal with all of this stress!
  • We found a house in Missouri about two hours before we had to be at the airport to return to New Jersey. (Yikes!) We were really excited about this house, but unfortunately, the home inspection exposed too many problems. We canceled the deal.
  • We lived with our daughter in a one bedroom apartment for three months. Can you imagine three people and two cats in one small apartment?
  • We found a house that we loved! It was a relief because we had been living out of suitcases all of this time. We couldn’t wait to complete this transition and move into our new home!
  • On September 26, 2016, I went from being well to feeling sick most of the time. I had high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and lacked concentration. After going to many doctors and undergoing lots of medical tests, I was diagnosed with a severe case of sleep apnea. There were also issues with my blood pressure medication, so I had to switch to a different one.
  • It’s taken me almost two years to restore my health and concentration. I have no doubt that the prolonged, high stress that I had endured over this long transition period played a big factor in manifesting these physical problems.

I started this process when I was 64, and I’m 68 now.  I’m on the high side of being highly sensitive. It frustrates me when highly sensitive people use their sensitivity as an excuse for not doing things. Excuse my rant! I’m not better than anyone else. I was able to do these things because I had a burning desire to do whatever it took to reach my goal. Desire, perseverance, and focus were the ingredients that got the job done.

Beginning today, I will publish 23 posts on consecutive Mondays about what I’ve been doing the past four years. I should call the series “The Miracle of Doing The Impossible!” I’ll chronicle the steps (summarized above) that my wife and I took to move halfway across the country to be closer to our daughter. On Wednesdays, I’ll publish blog posts on other subjects. As always, I write from my perspective as a highly sensitive person, sharing the lessons I’ve learned.

My wife and I accomplished something that we didn’t think was possible. Despite many setbacks, we did it! I hope that this series of blog posts will motivate you, as a highly sensitive person, to take on something that’s truly important to you. Again, I want to emphasize that being highly sensitive isn’t a reason for not going after what you want!

Well that’s enough about me! What topics would you like me to write about?  I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have. I don’t want this to be a one-sided conversation. Please tell others about my blog, so that we can expand our HSP community and support each other!

The next post, (2) A Very Difficult Time, is about the difficult time that I had with my mother’s death.

About Cliff’s Big Move Series: In this series of blog posts, I chronicle a really “Big Move” that my wife and I made to move halfway across the country to be closer to our daughter. This was a HUGE change for us, as we had lived in our home in New Jersey for over 30 years! My mother had recently passed away, and our only daughter had moved to Missouri. It is my hope that this series will motivate you, as a highly sensitive person, to take on something that’s truly important to you. I tell the story sequentially in 23 posts, with each one numbered. It’s best to start at the beginning. You can access all the posts by clicking on the Cliff’s Big Move category in the sidebar.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Ginny

    Good to hear from you Cliff.

    1. Cliff Harwin

      Thank you Ginny! I hope things are well with you!

  2. Jan van Voorst

    Hi Cliff, I will read your blog and other posts. It interests me. I have one quite critical comment right off the bat. You say you reached all your goals. However, you were sick for 2 years! You could have been sick for “sickness” reasons but it could also be because you have run yourself ragged doing what you did. You should have slowed down a lot! I cannot get this mentality of wanting this and wanting that and killing yourself in the mean time. You say you are highly sensitive, then listen to that. That is part of your “diagnosis” so do less or do it differently, spend quiet time with yourself and family, etc. etc. All advice that can be taken of hsp forums.

    1. Cliff Harwin

      Hi Jan,

      You’re correct! My wife and I did run ourselves ragged that definitely contributed to my health problems. We made a decision to make major life changes when my mother passed away.

      As I mentioned previously, our daughter lived over 950 miles away and we wanted to live closer to her. We figured that if we were going to move, this was our only time to do it. It was more difficult than we could have imagined!

      Sometimes a strong desire to do something, pulls you in a direction that can sometimes be detrimental to your emotional and physical health.

      The purpose of my blog posts is to get highly sensitive people to think about their lives. I hope that my personal experience will be beneficial to help others think about what they can and shouldn’t do.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Keep reading, keep commenting, and please share my blog posts with others.

  3. Amy McNeil

    Hi Jan. I agree that Cliff did run himself ragged. I was in touch with him at the time, and I know he was concerned about getting everything done in short order, given their ages and the fact the he’d been wanting to move for so long. He felt that if they waited any longer, the move would never happen. That’s understandable and probably true, but nonetheless, I would have slowed things down a bit. It’s important to reach your goals, but not at the cost of your well being! I give kudos to Cliff for having the courage to make such a big change, coming up with a plan and seeing it through, but a slower approach would have been much easier on his HSP nervous system! You make an excellent point.

    1. Cliff Harwin

      Hi Amy, Thank you for your comments! About biting off more than I can chew….I never said that I was smart! LOL

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