Stop. Freeze. Don’t move.
Somewhere on your body, maybe someplace you cannot easily reach, you have an itch.
NO! Don’t scratch it. You can’t. You won’t. Because you promised that you wouldn’t until sometime in the future and you don’t know exactly when that might be. Ignore it. Try. Move on with all the things you need to do and don’t think about it, even though it’s all you can think about and want to talk about because it’s the primo event impacting your life at the moment and it is driving you batshit crazy. Someday soon you’ll get to scratch that itch and when you do just imagine how delicious it will feel.
That has been my last six months. Today I finally get to scratch that itch.
Last summer Tom and I looked around our house, looked at each other, ran some numbers, and jointly declared, “This just ain’t working.” The house we moved into in 2011 was far too small, needed far too many renovations for us to continue living there (including a full garage into living space renovation), and was far enough out of our financial comfort zone to be reasonable. If we’d made the necessary renovations we would have priced ourselves right on out of that house. Thanks, property taxes. When we moved there in 2011, we picked it for the school, in hopes it would be the right one for Andy, with his multitude of twice-exceptional issues. And we picked it because it was reasonably close to where Tom was working at the time. Inside of 10 months, however, I was homeschooling Andy and Tom was back working from home for a new company. Suddenly, a house that kinda worked for us was entirely too cramped, with no home office (Tom was in the corner of the den, I was in the corner of the living room), no space to spread out as homeschoolers, and nowhere to get away from anyone else. Yes. First World Problems. I’ll own that.
We weren’t just uncomfortable, we were painfully miserable. So much miserable. We liked the town, we did not like the house. It just wasn’t working for us, and we were tired of being miserable.
Last week we moved. After swearing up and down nearly four years ago that I would never, ever, EVER move again so help me every diety in the history of ever, we packed up everything we owned and moved. Not far, but to a nearby community with large, affordable homes and lowish property taxes and a good school system for J and easy access to nature. And for the first time in nearly four years, I’m calming the hell down (though my work in mindfulness is helping that process immensely). There’s room for us all. Tom has an office. The partial basement is now a maker space for the boys, and still has tons of storage for the flotsam and jetsam of modern life. The boys are no longer sharing a one-sink bathroom with us (and today had a lesson on How To Shower So As To Not Cause A Flood Down Through Two Levels And Into The Crawlspace, Flooding Your Father In The Process, Thank God The Plumber Thinks It Was A Random Occurrence And Boy, He’d Better Be Right Or I’ll Have His Balls In A Vice Because I’m Sick Of House Crap). I have an office in the loft; away from everyone and yet can still hear everything that needs to be heard. For the first time since moving back to Illinois, we have the space to have friends over. We’ve missed doing that.
So I’m not saying never again. That’s burned me too many times in the past. This time I’m saying that we would very much like to remain in this house until grandchildren are planning weddings. I just don’t want to deal with it again any time before general dementia takes over, please not for another 40 years or so. And then it’ll be the boys’ problem to deal with and I’m not likely to give a damn.
After this weekend, in which I will unpack every last thing so help me, I will get my feet back under me. I’ve missed that. I will write (because I miss doing that, and oh yeah, am under contract for another book), I will practice my flute (because I’m soloing with our wind ensemble this spring and I’m really not a fan of peeing down my leg on stage), and I will get my shit together. Mindfully.
My itch? Now blissfully scratched.