Sadly, you don’t get points just for showing up and trying your best. (I don’t know why, I would personally give them to us all.) Today should have been great by all estimations. My birthday is coming up next week – so if you tilt your head and squint a little this could likely be called my birthday weekend. My husband is home for five days straight, three of which the kids are in school. We should be living it up, shouldn’t we? But first, cutting the yard. Then, maybe a quick dip in the pool. Except the pool wall had a crack that turned into a gap that turned into what the hell are we still doing here? It’s funny how quickly things can go there.
I am wondering now if this whole writing experiment was meant for me as an exercise in goodbye. I love this house stubbornly but that doesn’t make it right, I guess. Maybe I couldn’t let it go quickly so I had to love it less in small increments. First I needed to acknowledge my own struggling with distance from the beach and a commute for my husband (the big drawbacks). Then the symbolism to our children’s infancy and my need to protect them (medium sized) – maybe that is the lesson in letting go of the playhouse and I am assuming at some point, the pool. The small things could be anything.
I only realized yesterday, last night in fact, that I don’t have a real plan for how I hope this year will work out. I thought I would just write. That is as far as I really got in the development. I would get a space to submit to, I would make the time to do it and then it would be done. But what happens next? Other than submitting articles (unrequested) I had nothing else in the works. No real time line and no beginning, middle or end goal. I think that parallels my part in the homeowner trajectory. I romanticized that we would build a home and live there. Forever. Yes, I thought we would grow with it and change it to accommodate our lives and interests and abilities, but I thought it would remain the constant. That it would always be ours and we would always be a family here in it and that would be enough for all of us.
It makes me sad to think that someone else would live here and repaint and redo the carpet or tear out the landscaping. Would they keep the built in’s or would they want their own stuff – I would imagine in their living room they might. I can keep myself busy and distracted by these questions but what if there is way more to it than that? Like who am I and who I will be if I am not here. This house has provided me with so much more than shelter. It taught me continuity and grit and how to believe in things. The twelve years I have lived here are the longest I have ever lived anywhere. Can I still be me if I don’t have a safety net just a few streets away in more than one direction? What if it makes us all miserable? But then again what if everyone is so much happier?
When you have the opportunity to make a decision then there is the possibility of screwing it up. When you have to move, or quit writing to get a full time steady paycheck it becomes out of your control. You are simply doing what you have to do, so no one can fault your decision to do it. But if it’s left up to you it can later be determined as a waste of time or money or effort and ultimately, you are the one that caused the deficit no matter which one it was.
The kids will be home from school soon and it’s unfair to spend the weekend so morose after a great first week of school for them. I am disappointed at how I feel like I am back to square one, day one of writing (and having a possible move weigh heavily on me too). I need to go forward in positivity and hope looking for guidance and strength as this year unfolds.
I left what I had written and came back to just now, five hours later and a lot has changed since then. There is a truth that emerged loud and clear, I want to stay here and grow here for as long as I possibly can. Things break, wood rots eventually and a new cycle begins; of needs and wants and hopes and frustrations. That is happening under our roof and countless others.
Tonight after dinner, tensions rose with the kids – they were worn out from the long week and what started as a simple argument between them over sleeping arrangements – they wanted to spend the night together – morphed into yelling and fighting then mutated to one alarming meltdown of epic proportion (we’ve survived two toddlerhood’s of meltdowns here so we aren’t easily alarmed, this one was grand). In the end apologies (of the real, unsolicited type) were given and peace settled down around us all once more.
All of today’s events lead to me wrapping this post up and ready to work harder in the direction of my dreams of tomorrow. I want to write and I am doing it. I am thankful to each person who invites me in to their day as they read the words I have written. It is a privilege to join you as we all collectively make our way. I need to assertively say here that I also want to be able to put this practice to work serving a greater purpose. I want this struggle to have a breakthrough, just like today. After the tears and teeth gnashing and discomfort, I want to be better. I want to write on a professional level. So I am stooping down and dusting off the stumbling blocks I hit so that I can use them to climb onward and upward.