Bad Girl, Good Business

The 100 Years Club Installment #60: Gutted

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Those of you who know me also know that I often get my writing inspo from small everyday experiences.

This one is a doozy.

I drove to Tucson to see friends this weekend and took a spin past my parents’ old house. I never actually lived there.

My mom and dad moved in 1976 while I was finishing at the University of Michigan. When I graduated, I went back east to NYC and stayed there until 2017. My father died young and my mother wanted to age in place.

I visited often, but I didn’t move into my “old room.” I only slept there a few times since 1976.

I nicknamed that room “The Nancy Shrine.” My childhood and high school books were still on the shelves (see below), my typewritten memos from my stint working for a Congressman were in one of the dresser drawers, and my beloved wicker chair (from my groovy hippie era) sat in the corner.

With very few exceptions, all my “stuff” went to the estate sale or a dumpster. But…

My Google Photo album contains pix of me sitting in the living room with my college boyfriend, my parents and grandfather hanging out at the pool, and my visiting Tucson with my own kids and granddaughter.

The house is still on Redfin, so you can see what it looked like.

But, when I drove past the house this weekend, it was GUTTED! The brick outside was intact, but every room had been stripped to the studs and a total remodel was in progress. Even the backyard wall had been demolished, opening a huge piece of land.

So, what does that have to do with anything YOU might care about?

Sometimes we need to strip ourselves down to the studs at various stages of our own lives and decide what’s worth keeping and what needs to stay — especially as we age.

That old bathroom in our heads may feel familiar and although the towels are ratty and worn they give us a sense of comfort.

But what would our lives be like with a state-of-the-art jacuzzi tub and some plush absorbent Egyptian cotton?

You won’t know until you embark on the remodel.

I’m not saying that you need to demolish every aspect of your life and thinking, but saying goodbye to things from the past that are no longer serving you well can be liberating.

Fearing an arrest for trespassing, I was careful not to peep too closely at what remained of “my” house. But, the experience was evocative and inspiring.

As I enter 2Q 2024, I’m going to remodel myself (again). Like my parents’ home, my bones are solid and the location is in demand.



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