Moving Forward Accompanied by Serendipity


“1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident”

“2. good fortune; luck:”

I struggled with telling a virtual audience about my new truth. I mean, does anyone really care? and do I want to be the recipient of mass sympathy, and words of encouragement? or worse, criticism? or shaming? ….  or unrelated details of strangers’ similar misfortunes?  


But I have been an active member on social media for at least ten years, and have forged several virtual relationships that actually merged into actual associations and friendships, and as a result, a few design/business opportunities. These followers/friends have seen and read my posts about my family, my husband, my children and grandchildren, #booboo and #puddin, our condo #chezcoatescondo and our cottage, #chezcoatescottage, #blogtour #designhounds and our stint in NYC, when I wrote posts about #canuckinnyc. 

I actively encouraged an online relationship with anyone who wanted to follow my hashtags. I’m not THAT popular on Social Media and the all important garnering of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ has never been my schtick, or my reason for posting, but I’m a social person by nature …. so here goes ….

I ended my 37 year marriage in June. 

BAM! ….I said it.

Now you know. 

Phew, what a relief. 

There was mutual understanding that our marriage had run it’s course and that we would both greatly benefit if we continued our 41 year relationship, as single individuals. Eight months later, our 3 adult daughters, and two young grandchildren have accepted our separation and the reality of our new familial status. We have endeavoured to celebrate special occasions together as a family and hope to do so for the foreseeable future. 

I realize this revelation may sound cavalier, as some marriages have bitter endings where families are destroyed as a result, but that is simply not MY reality.  


When major change occurs, doors close and doors open and the end result is no doubt, life altering, in fact devastating for some, or life affirming, as in my case. The past eight months of almost constant interaction with lawyers, real estate agents, bankers, accountants and one therapist, has resulted in my recently branded business, Luxury Transitions being jilted and ignored. At the beginning of the year, in a Social Media challenge, I chose the word FORWARD, as my ‘one word’ to describe 2019 for me. I knew I needed to give my business a jolt, a kick in the butt to get out of the slump. By mid-January, I began to open a few not locked, but what I had previously interpreted as closed doors. I started asking questions … “how can I get back on track?”, “who should I talk to?”,  “where can I find the help I need?”  My focus was to seek positive enabling business advice by connecting, connecting, connecting….

Then SERENDIPITY became a co-pilot, navigating and providing a kickstart on my new journey.

When I asked and listened, I started to receive responses and the synergy was amazing. After making the request several months ago, a former client finally submitted a wonderful google review, which in turn precipitated a thank you from me and a reconnection. A valued former supplier contacted me to introduce her new business which will ultimately benefit both of our businesses. Oddly, at the same time, solicited and unsolicited networking opportunities on Social Media, presented themselves and new associations were forged, advice given, questions answered. Fortuitous timing bolstered my resolve in moving forward not only with my business, but also my personal life.

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Prior to January I had very non-committal aspirations of reviving my blog, but … I would lie down and wait till the feeling passed. After a 2.5 year blog writing hiatus, I needed a reason to subject readers to yet another design blog. But in the new year I realized I had been presented with not one, but two excellent opportunities to enlighten and discuss design with the design blog loving audiences. 

This brings me to the bona fide reason for penning this initial (new) blog post. Due to our separation, the aforementioned #chezcoatescondo, in downtown Ottawa, is on the market, and I have bought a new build bungalow in a small community, south of Ottawa. My current million dollar view will simply not afford me the luxury of paying for little trips and bigger vacations. I’m 61, and although I actually still view myself as being in my mid forties, my arthritic big toe, cracking ankles and diminished hearing are daily reminders that I’m actually closer to being in my mid fifties, than anywhere in the neighbourhood of being in my forties. With that in mind, I’ll be surrendering my 15th floor condo amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown living, to firmly plant my feet on terra firma, in a golf course community, in a country setting.  

My business, Luxury Transitions, is focused on doing for clients, exactly what I am currently doing for myself. I’m changing floor plans, choosing finishes, drawing furniture layouts and editing and curating my belongings, and designing, at least in my head, how and what my new home will look like. My current social media hashtags … #downsizing #smallspacedesign #designer #interiordecor #ottawadesigner to name a few … will be joined by new hashtags…#bungalow, #newbuild and finally, #magnoliawaybungalow. 

I will also be posting weekly lessons on Instagram and Face Book ... in the form of highlighted lessons … #problemsolving, Did you know …?, and Transition Tips.  I view design and decor with a problem solving vision, but they are not exact sciences with one correct or perennial solution. With that in mind, I will be discussing the ever evolving, changing and fluid elements of design.  

Please follow along as I continue designing for clients, and move forward with my own transition from a downtown condo to a country bungalow.

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