The Secret Works

the secret flashI remember the hullabaloo raised by exposing “the secret” on the Oprah show. I remember thinking— didn’t everyone already know this. It seemed so obvious that we may not always get what we want but the odds of getting it without wanting it (unless it’s an STD) are slim.

Hubby and I always dreamed of owning a house on or near the water and we got it or I should say that I got it. I found this incredible 200-year old house with double porches in a charming part of Old Town Alexandria. Bought it as a rental with a secret plan to convince my husband to move into it. house on waterUnfortunately, his forays into the leaky, water logged basement to affect multiple repairs foiled my plans. He discovered that people who buy into historic houses love them so much that they overlook the constant repairs. In fact, it provides common ground that neighbors build bonds around. They share the names of handymen, names of the best places to find replacement parts, and notes on how to get around the architectural police.

But I digress…. back to the secret. The point is that we got this charming house because “we wanted it”. It’s like placing an order. You decide what you want and then begin to make it happen by talking it up with friends and family who offer suggestions and sometimes point you in the direction of someone else who has “it” and how they got “it”. Then you begin to figure out how to make it happen. 

One of the other things we placed an order for was a warm climate, on or near the ocean, and an opportunity to travel.airplane window After a year of talking, planning, dreaming, and applying… we received an offer to work in the Middle East…. because we not only wanted “it”, but we worked it. So, next month we go to the UAE for 1 to 3 years. But we learned something else about the secret, like the “charming” leaking, damp house in Old Town Alexandria; we may not have been specific enough in placing our order. We got a warm climate (110 degrees 6 months of the year). We got near the ocean and we certainly will travel (14 hours by plane). The next time we’ll be more precise in our order.

The Secret works if you work it.

2 thoughts on “The Secret Works

  1. We love to travel. We love to work to fix up things like we want them to be – like digging all over to put in plants in the back yard, then moving each one every summer for 15 years until we found the spot where each one seemed happy – and now the yard is full of lush bushes and trees and flowers, and looks beautiful all year long. We also worked to get those PhDs – damned hardest thing I ever did in my life. Sometimes I feel like you and I are restless and compelled to make things happen. Life has been pretty good to us. Maybe a large part of it is a result of placing the order, like you say. But, hard work and determination together usually take you to where you want to go – including Dubai.

  2. I’m not sure how this blog thing works if that is what it is. I am in fact responding to both you and Eleta. She seemed rather shocked about the heat and the major change of venue and comforts. Tell her that it’s not half as bad as having to wear a 100 lbs of gear in the same heat, no running water, baths or air conditioning, beds or walls, dehydrated food and bombs going off. You are blessed! Trust me on this! You have the knowledge that your plight is temporary. You will truly be grateful for the little things when you get back home. Your view on life will be vastly different and if I must say for the better.

    With regard to the ‘Secret’, yes, I agree that one must be very careful what one asks for. I needed a vacation real bad in 1990. I just needed to get away from everything. God heard my frustration and sent me to Saudia Arabia and Kuwait for Desert Storm. I did love the adventure, but I have learned with the Lord that you don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you need. YOU MUST BE SPECIFIC! I learned that the hard way a couple of times in my life.

    Aleta will feel very differently about the whole experience once she gets back, but if she can relad and just remember if it doesn’t kill them it won’t kill her she’ll be just fine. Her shock reminded me when I stepped into 1970’s Midnight Express’ Istanbul in 1968 and again in 1970 when this movie was actually made. It smelled of sick people and olive oil.

    I thought I would die of asphysiation because I could not get any clean air into my lungs. There were lepers and maimed children everywhere. The poor would mame at least one of their children so that they could beg for food for the family. I just wanted to run and scream initially.

    To this day I must admit that Turkey has been the most foreign place I have lived in and I have been to at least 22 countries and live for extended periods in 10. Once I went to live with a Turkish family for a month in Izmir, traveled across Turkey via the East Orient Express and came back to Istanbul nearly 2 months later, Istanbul was no longer so foreign to me.

    I went back to Turkey to visit my Turkish family in 2007. It is not even recognizable. What was a filthy hovel is now an exquisite city. The people, however, have always been their main jewel and the history undescribable. Turkey is my favorite country with France following up a close second. It is a lot easier to be introduced into such drastic changes of venue when you are younger as I was at 18yrs.

    I was 40yrs old when I first went to war. I enjoyed the sense of adventure, but there are many things I wish I could forget, but to which I am not able. I am not sure I would be so flexible if I had tried what you two are now doing at this time of life to be in such strange surroundings. My hat is off to you! You’ve got guts, but living life as an adventure is what it is all about.

    I think men are better suited to such things than women at any age. That’s why they are better in war than we are. Yes, that is a sexist statement, but I stand by it. Clay sounds like he’s taking it in stride, but I’m with you Aleta!

    And the PH.D thing…Kudos! I went back to school, and all I can say isk, ‘….what was I thinking?!’
    Enjoy the adventure! I anxiously await all the wonderful stories and pictures that you will bring back with you. I will keep you both in prayer.

    Prayers and affection,


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