Sometimes in your life you are confronted or presented with something that will forever change your view, your outlook, your life. Books and movies are likely places this can happen. I was presented with such a book just a month ago and it has forever changed the way I look at myself, my marriage, and my life.
It’s titled Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home by an amazing new author, Susan Pohlman. It’s the true story of Susan and her husband, along with their two children leaving the comfort of their home and friends in the United States to live for a year in a small rented apartment in Italy… all to save their marriage.
After falling absolutely in love with her book, I was honored to interview her for Real Women Scrap. Special thanks to Susan for taking the time to share with us. Here’s the interview…
An obvious question, how are things now? How did you adjust to getting back into “real” life?
It took us awhile to readjust to life in Southern California. We rented a house in an LA suburb close to where we had previously lived and enrolled the kids in new schools. Both Tim and I began to look for work, and we all supported each other through the ups and downs of settling into new routines. Eventually, Tim started his own business, and I was hired as a school administrator. Though it was a bumpy year, I felt very peaceful and centered.
Two years ago we relocated to Scottsdale for both business and family reasons. We are enjoying life in the desert and are happier than we have ever been.
Where do you think you got the courage to just go for it and make the leap? I think many of us get stopped somewhere between inspiration and perspiration. What made this time different?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it is hard to find the words to capture the feeling of that day. I knew that we were at a critical juncture in our lives, and when Tim posed this outrageous idea, we realized that the only thing holding us back was our own fear of the unknown. I was overcome with emotion and a very palpable sense of spirit guiding me toward this decision. It was the “perfect storm” of possibility and hope.
I had lost direction in my life and needed to know that my faith in God was real. That I had at least that. I decided that I could not live without knowing the answer to that great question, If I really put my life in God’s hands, will He carry me? Will He carry us?
Family, above all things, matters most to me. I was willing to risk it all for the sake of finding peace together.
Did you journal or keep track of what you were experiencing throughout the year?
This book started as a series of emails to family and friends. I promised to write them to tell people what it was really like to embark on such an adventure. I structured them as scenes so that I could relate the experience as best as I could. The emails were well received and enjoyed by many.
When did you get the idea about writing a book about your experience?
A friend of mine, John McCaslin, a columnist for The Washington Times, wrote one day and urged me to stop sending them out and to consider writing a book. The idea intrigued me so I decided to try it.
What are your 3 Top Tips for busy women based on your adventure and experience?
Simplify, simplify, simplify. I know this is not earth shattering news, but the only way to find peace in a busy life is to create the emotional space to interact in a meaningful (a.k.a. not exhausted) way with your loved ones. I found there was a direct correlation between the lack of the material and the abundance of the spiritual.
Our culture is rich and bountiful. The choices before us are tantalizing and wonderful. We must learn to
choose between ‚Äúgoods‚Äù and leave space in our day for the unexpected. A sense of light awakens the soul. You cannot schedule such joy.
Above all, grant yourself permission to enjoy the moments that matter.