A perfect example of the unrealistic message of a photo is this image of Bob and I as happy couple looking as if life is so perfectly wonderful. Read on to know my life reality.

First off, I want to share with you all that my life after 2 months of a major transition involving both downsizing and relocating to another state is finally coming together to be all I had hoped it would be. Nevertheless, in this post I want to share with you all the untold additional pitfalls I have experienced and my unexpected challenges in this life transition.

Fatigue, Weight Gain, Interrupted Sleep Patterns, Unhealthy Eating, Not Exercising

Most of these pitfalls listed are directly related to eating poorly. I kept giving myself a pass saying “Mitzi, you deserve to eat fast food, have the ice cream, pastries, and etc. because you do not even know where all your pans and dishes are. What lies we can tell ourselves to justify our behavior? It becomes a self-defeating behavior of repeated lack of will power. Except when I was in the pit of confusion on who I was or what my role is now, it superficially appears as survival mode.

My reality is that I am back to eating healthy, to sleeping better, to my normal weight, and walking almost daily. As you would imagine, taking charge of my physical routine has affected my entire well-being big time. I have that bounce in my step and my smile now is a genuine smile that reflects my inner joy of my new life. And as my way cool late mom would say, I have my mojo back!

Emotional Roller Coaster

This one really threw me on how long it has taken me to get my act together and get out of that pit that often resembled depression. I knew logically that missing my friends, my design clients and my design business plus my home that I dearly loved kept me stuck.

However, the time length of my major brain fog threw me off my normal organized, make it happen motor butt self. You all would have laughed if it weren’t so pathetic in arresting my progress on a myriad of levels. Many of you know that I am a woman of faith which I never, ever wavered from believing that this move is exactly where we are supposed to be for our life stage. This realization eventually led me back to truly celebrating our life choice. If you read my book, you will glean the real reason of the why we made this decision to move to NE Ohio.

Now, here are the tangible realities I faced in our downsizing, relocating move that I hope will help any of you that are planning to downsize and or relocate.

1. Expect and accept that mistakes will happen in your calculation of what will work, space planning wise. Since space planning is one of my strengths as a designer, whoa, this really frustrated me that my plan didn’t work in our converting the dining room into a TV den. Enter plan B and we love it.

2. Expect to make changes in your original ideas of what you thought you would like. For instance, I thought we would have a TV in our bedroom and wired an outlet for it. However, I changed my mind on this decision after the fact. So what that extra expense happened, giving myself the grace to accept my miscalculation helped me let it go.

3. Accept the fact that you will bring to your downsizing home way more than you thought you wanted or could find places for it. We have estimated that we have probably a fourth of what we packed, moved, and unpacked will be given away or maybe sold.

4. Expect that the endless number of items needing decisions on what to do with them seems to multiply with each box unpacked. We had to just let go of all of this overwhelming and tiring unpacking for another day or time. This was our best decision to accept what so many others told us, it will take time! I am now good with this break from it all giving me new motivation and excitement to really organize our new beautiful home and life.

My hope writing this post is for any of you that will be experiencing these major challenges I listed to accept it all as part of your journey. It simply is that simple. I wish you all the very best in your futures. Regardless if you are staying in your home or making a major move as we did. Enjoy your journey with all the unexpected challenges and issues because in the end, it really will not matter.

Love to you all in all your life stages and life journeys.

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Mitzi Beach DesignSmarts Front Cover

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  1. Jean H

    Mitzi, Would love to hear in a future blog why the dining room conversion didn’t work and what your Plan B solution was! You are such an inspiration and I look forward to learning from you as we plan our own relocation.

    • mitzi beach

      Hi Jean and thank you for your encouraging comment.
      What I meant about my dining room conversion to our den mistake was my brand new chairs bought specifically as our go to chairs for TV viewing, relaxing, playing games, or whatever failed miserably to work out. I was pretty bummed about this financial mistake I made but then I had to do what I tell others, let it go and move on!

      Would you believe that my engineer husband figured out the real isssue which is a challenging bump out window that throws off all space planning. He found an inexpensive unfinished table that fits perfectly in this awkward space. Then we put his favorite pair of chairs from his former study and it is now fabulously our go to room. Your comment gives me reason to do a post on this very soon!

  2. Margo

    I can only say that I truly know and feel your pain. I am sorry to admit that I am not as self disciplined as you are and though we have been here going on 4 years now, I still carry the 50 pounds I regained in the process. It is not easy and you are absolutely right, our Facebook photos don’t show the pain. All that aside, we are extremely grateful for our home and the fact that we have each other. There are so many that are not as blessed and though I do complain a lot, I know deep inside just how lucky I am.

    I agree with Jean, I am anxious to see your solution to your dining room dilemma. We just ordered new sofas so I’m keepin my fingers crossed that I don’t end up with another problem. Have a great weekend.

    • mitzi beach

      Hello Margo, thank you for your honesty and understanding of what my post was attempting to convey. These are really big deals in our life journey and not to process it all will eventually surface in otherr unhealthy habits or emotional issues not even related to our moves. I encourage you to Margo to try and get your healthy lifestyle back becasue at over 50, too many health issues can compound or delay any progress we make
      Not to be a sales person on you but my book delves deeply into how to restore or regain our healthy lifestyle to not sabatoge our future years by not being proactive today.
      Your and Jean’s post have convinced me to show the dining room/TV den make over showing what worked and what did not.
      And finally, good for you to literally count your blessings! A grateful heart can go along way to our well-being too. xo Mitzi

  3. Sheri Bruneau

    Mitzi, thank you for being honest about your downsizing journey. You are so right – how pictures don’t really tell the whole story.

    Wishing you all the best with your continued journey.

    • mitzi beach

      Thanks so much Sheri for reinforcing my decision to be open and honest about where we are along with where we have journeyed in our big deal move and downsizing endeavor. I am learning that unless I am honestly open and real, my efforts will really not help others to know that they are not alone as well as to highlight the preparations necessary to get on the other side of whatever is going on life stage wise. xo Mitzi

  4. Linda Holt

    Oh my beautiful friend, I can so relate to your challenges. We had to accept the fact that none of our furniture from our previous home would work in our new downsized condo. It’s been a full year but it’s finally about to come together. Do I miss my big house? Not one tiny bit. I think it takes at least a year to really feel settled.

    • mitzi beach

      Oh Linda, I have so much respect for all that you have been through health wise and now are glowing again with your contageous gorgeous smile, rocking your photography goals and one room challenges. This is a whole lot to have achieved and yet like me, our moves kicked our designer butts!
      Fortunately, for us most of our furniture was able to be repurposed due to the fact that when I planned our former house, Cypress, I bought with versatility in sizes, fabric colors, and long wearing to boot. But even so, there where voids to fill, mistakes I made in miscalualtions that definitely hurt my designer pride.
      All that aside, the emotional and physical part of it all shook me and shocked me in its intensity and longevity. And I had even literally wrote a book on it!!
      But just like you, do I miss my large home and all that responsibility, not for a New York minute. I’m happy for you that you see the light at the end of your downsizing journey. xo Mitzi

  5. Barbara Hemphill

    I’m impressed that you have made such strides in two months — it took me a year when I moved from Washington DC to Raleigh! Recently I’ve had a new struggle related to diet! I apparently have a herniated disc (will know after I get results of MRI from yesterday) — probably the result of the thousands of pounds I lifted improperly during all my years of organizing homes and offices!

    I have been doing physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and several other things to get rid of the pain. As a result of all the time and energy it took me to do that, I “fell off the wagon” on eating healthy — plus we went on vacation which is synonymous with ice cream in my book — and now I feel lousy and depressed! Thanks for encouraging me to get back on! You always inspire me!

    • mitzi beach

      Oh my dear esteemed friend, thank you not only for commenting, but for sharing your reality of your move and the length of time it took on so many levels. I have just turned the corner on getting back to my “normal” routines but have a basement full of boxes yet to deal with using your genius expert teachings. Emotionally however, I believe I’ve come a long way to getting a grip on who I am in this totally new territory not geographically but life assignment. Accepting the fact that my designer business that I have had for over 30 years will now Lord willing may be only consulting. But who knows? I am in a waiting period of assessing and planning for 2020 which is so not like me wanting to make things happen right now!
      I am so very very sorry to hear about your health challenges! Barbara please do not think that I am only trying to sell my book but I truly believe the section on Routine or Life styles could help you immensely. This is my passion and my mission to help our O50s or over 50 enjoy their futures that they have worked so hard to achieve in their later years.Me too on ice cream and vacation! Take those baby steps which will make such a huge difference. I would love to know how you are progressing and am always here to empower you, always, since having a friend who understands can literally move a mountain. And BTW, you are the queen of encouraging so many of us. xoMitzi

  6. Janet Lorusso

    Such an honest and inspiring post, Mitzi! Thanks for taking us along on your journey

  7. mitzi beach

    Thank you Janet for reading my post and understanding my intentions for writing this one. Knowing that looking like I have it all together and that this was a walk in the park life transition would in the end ,not actually help anyone. I am delighted that we have connected! xo Mitzi

  8. Terri Cnudde

    Mitzi, thank you for the honest portrayal of your downsizing and moving adventure. We will be going through this phase shortly and I am already thinking about it and dreading it. I love your advice about knowing that you will make mistakes and miscalculations and forgiving yourself for those and moving on. And also that it will inevitably be different than you envisioned and that’s OK. What a great post! Your interior design is amazing!