Last Friday morning our toilet started emptying into our KITCHEN. We haven’t had a functioning toilet since then. (Bonus effect of using cloth diapers – poop doesn’t freak me out as much as it used to.)
We had to have our kitchen cabinets ripped out yesterday to give the plumbers access to the pipes (YAY renting!) and this morning they flushed the old pee in the toilet to see where the leak was, and so help me god, if I have to clean pee water off my kitchen counters one more time I may finally lose it for good.
Deep breaths. Pray this gets resolved TODAY.
I have tons that I want to write about but limited time/attention span at the moment. Jamie’s off for a random no-school day so I’ m working at the dining room table while he breaks in his b-day gift from us.
We’re 95% moved. The only big thing left at the old place is the swing set, which is pretty big but the turtles finally made the move this weekend so we’ve been making progress. We love this place and really don’t miss the house at all, although I hate going back there. It’s so depressing. All those hopes and dreams and frustrations and empty houses are sad anyway. However, I really need to take a load of empty boxes and get the last little odds and ends so we can finally be 100% done.
The other news is we’re filing bankruptcy. It was just going to be me. After years of trying to pay off our credit cards (all in my name) through various programs I’m being sued by 2 companies. Now our 2nd mortgage company is acting like they’re going to come after us as well so MD’s filing with me and quite frankly, I’m kind of excited. Talk about total fresh start.
Seriously, this is not what I pictured my life would be at (almost) 41 but I’m becoming ok with it.
You know how you anticipate something forEVER and then it finally happens and it’s a let down? This move has been the exact opposite of that. There are still loose ends to tie up and I’m going to spend more time at the old house this weekend than I’d like but one week in this little apartment feels like home.
And the summer WHOOSHED by. More soon, but just popping in to say we’re MOVING! Found an apartment, landlords are great, it’s small but I’m looking forward to living with less stuff.
Now the really hard part is here: packing. Movers come next sat. for the big stuff. I have a friend coming over this afternoon and tomorrow to pack pack pack. MD’s having some issues that are going to lay him up for the better part of today and he works tomorrow so I doubt any furniture will get moved like we had planned. But, there’s a plan B! (C or D or L, maybe?)
Right now I’m focusing on breathing and trying not to panic from…uncertainty? Certainty that this is it? This is the last week in this house? The overwhelming amount of work still left to be done to move us, not to mention that big moving sale we still need to have? The fact that we are making it out just in time – the sheriff’s sale is the week after we move?
I’d say all of the above.
A couple of decades ago I spent the summer in Urbino, Italy. I studied Italian, drank a lot of wine, made a lifelong friend (Jamie came back from our most recent visit calling her boys his cousins), and had a fabulous affair with a really cute Italian guy. I also learned about a different pace of life, a reordering of priorities, and that eating in the car? Not human (true quote!).
There’s a lot about small town Italy that I don’t agree with. Living with your parents until marriage, studying at the local university because it’s close by, even if it doesn’t offer the course of study you want, and women? Oi, they were several decades late on equal rights.
What I thought I had taken home with me was the idea that life is family, not work. Life is enjoyment, funded by work. While you should always enjoy your work, it should never come first. Family, good food, good wine, afternoon siestas, those are the priorities.
So I came home way back in 1993 and I kept these ideals close to my heart for a very long time. But then I landed my “dream” job. My natural ambition took over. My sense of self became intertwined with the job and my importance to a limited number of political players became everything. I lost sight of the important things in life until my priorities were once again reordered for me. Losing my job was an opportunity that I’ve tried to make the most of and letting go of the house is a manifestation of that.
I don’t want to be driven by yard work, by home repairs, by the need to keep up with the neighbors. Making our home “perfect” consumed me for years and we have nothing to show for it.
I don’t want to work full time in order to finance a lifestyle that causes more stress than happiness. MD’s health means that I am solely responsible for yard work and – more and more – cleaning and I don’t want those things to be my top priority.
This weekend we spent a good part of Saturday at Indian Lake. We came home late that evening smelling like lake water and campfire. So far this summer Jamie has ridden his first adult roller coaster, his first water rides, he’s spent every possible minute at the pool (not many of those yet, unfortunately), and this week he’ll get his first plane ride and his first ocean (Gulf of Mexico, technically). And I’m actually doing many of these things with him. This is the life I want him to have, not one with two stressed out parents who don’t have enough time in the day to get anything done.
I’ve felt guilty about the number of hours I’m working this summer and I’m trying to let that go. Letting go of the house, of the mortgage, of the maintenance and repair obligations is helping. We looked at a place yesterday that is not in our target neighborhood but is at least on the right side of the freeway. It’s small, it’s outdated but the price reflects this and we could make it work.
Letting go of expectations is like peeling an onion. Each time you think, ok, this is where it ends you realize no, there’s more that you can get rid of. And every layer lost can make you feel lighter or more bereft. It’s up to you to choose.
So, I was really optimistic when last I wrote, only to find out the place I thought was a done deal wasn’t and I spent about 32 hours being really, really, REALLY mad at the world.
We seem to be in a holding pattern in which we just miss the opportunity to see and/or sign the lease on places. Or, there are the places where we apply and never hear back on despite following up.
We’re all stressed about it, Jamie and I are having anxiety issues, and it’s getting old, old, old. But we keep on keepin’ on.
Jamie and I had a lovely afternoon at the park today. We picnicked and he played on the playground and we walked through the rose garden. He LOVES flowers. It’s so endearing and cracks me up at the same time. Sadly tree pollen is high so I’m suffering with oogey lungs tonight.
We looked at the place by school tonight. The first floor layout is very much like the place I looked at earlier this week, where our credit isn’t an issue. They even had the front room laid out exactly as I had pictured in the other house. Each has its pros and cons. The place by school has a bit of grass but no garage. The rent is more than the other place even including the extra rent for the 2 car garage. The basement is less usable and it has three bedrooms but the same square footage so they’re all small. But it has a tree in the front yard and the kitchen is bigger. We could be happy at either place and I hope that it comes down to one of the two. I’m so ready to move (although not to pack) and very much looking forward to a smaller house, no yard work, and the ability to walk and ride our bikes to the park. And to get ice cream! ;)