Last Wednesday I dragged the last of the unwanted items and garbage out of my house, swept and mopped the floors, left my collection of owner’s manuals and appliance warranties on the kitchen counter and walked out of the front door for the last time. Thursday morning I signed the papers and handed over the keys to the new owner. My house is no longer my house. Patrick asked me if I were sad, and my reply was not exactly–more nostalgic, that mixture of pleasure and sadness that comes from remembering something you can no longer experience. I loved my house not for the floor plan or yard or even the furnishings, although I thought it all worked well for me and my family. I loved it not for the location, even though it was awesome. My neighbors were all friendly and helpful. I really only loved my house for what it represented: the time in my life where I stood on my own and became a better me. I’m not sure how else to describe it except to say that sometime in the two years I lived there, I accepted my life for what it is in the moment. I quit worrying so much about past mistakes or future desires. I stopped caring quite so much what others expected of me and became more conscious about what I wanted for myself. My journey over the last couple of years there propelled me down a path I didn’t anticipate, but one that feels comfortable and right. I loved my house for that.
Which is also why I have no regrets at selling it. I had some people ask me if I were sure I didn’t just want to rent it out. Leave it for a backup plan. After all, some indicated, moving in with Patrick is a risk. I can see their point. It’s not like I don’t have failed relationships in my past. It’s not like those relationships didn’t cost me a lot. But love is always a risk. And for me, it’s always worth taking because the alternative offers nothing. In the end, love is the only thing we get to take with us.
After the house closing, I joked to Patrick that he was now stuck with me. He very sweetly replied, no…not stuck. After a long pause, he said it was more like trapped. Ah, yes…he does share my sarcastic sense of humor. And he has been a good sport about the take over of his once solitary house. For a guy who’s lived alone for the past ten years, he’s adapted well to having the five of us (me, my two girls, my dog and cat) invade his space, quietly carving out a room for himself in the basement yet rarely escaping to it. I love him for the way he’s expanded his world to invite me in. And I’m thankful for this new chapter in my life that includes him.
I’ve been lazy. Well, lazy with writing and I can tell. Writing helps clear my mind and since I haven’t been faithful with it, I’ve been having vivid dreams. Weird stuff about my dad and tidal waves and talking to dogs who can speak. My kids left today for a mission’s trip and I always worry when they’re going to be traveling. As any mother, I have fleeting thoughts of car accidents or muggings or some other danger that could befall them while they’re away. I won’t dwell on it, but it will make me uneasy for a while. However, I’m always proud of them for going and thankful for their convictions.
While they are gone, I’m moving some of our stuff over to my boyfriend’s house. My house is up for sale, and my realtor thinks that moving items out will help it look bigger. I don’t mind since I’m tired of trying to keep it clean enough to show at a moment’s notice. It’s a pain selling a house while you’re living in it. And we’ve been over at Patrick’s more often than not; we’ve been painting the exterior which has needed a lot of work including replacing broken siding pieces and rotten trim. Nothing lets you know the truth of a person more than working on a time consuming and difficult house project together. So far, so good. We still like each other, which speaks volumes. If you can spend hours cutting (and re-cutting) and painting (and repainting) wood without wanting to kill each other, that’s some lasting love. He has no idea how much I’m grateful for the little things.
And these days I’ve been feeling a lot better. My new doctor did an ultrasound and discovered that my miscarriage wasn’t complete at all–the fetus was still there. So a few weeks ago I had a D&C and began to feel better almost immediately. It took four months to get to that point. I don’t even have words for how disappointed I am in my old doctor who let things drag on without checking anything more than my hormone levels, despite my repeated warning that something did not feel right. But instead of focusing on the lost time, I’m extremely grateful for being back to normal. We’re going to try again and keep our fingers crossed.
I had a lovely day. Not at all the day I expected, but then I started it with a spontaneous stop and just went with it from there. It’s strange for me how that has been working out lately. I don’t consider myself very spontaneous. Flexible, yes, but I usually feel more secure if I have something of a plan for my time. It’s a comfort thing. I need events to look forward to. Or people to look forward to seeing. It’s probably why working on a school schedule makes sense to me. I know how much time I have for certain tasks and I know how much time I have with certain people and I can adjust myself accordingly. It’s also why I like holidays. It helps divide my year. I can’t imagine not having Easter or Halloween or Christmas to look forward to or plan for. Or all the little ones in between. Maybe that means I’m too much of a time keeper.
I think it has something to do with moving so much in my lifetime. I counted once and it was a ridiculous number–like 19 times. Every four years when I was growing up. You’d think that it would make me more spontaneous, not less. However, there was always an end to things, so maybe I conditioned myself to prepare for it. Count the time left. Prepare for the changes, like packing up and saying goodbye. And try to get as much accomplished as soon as possible. It got progressively harder to believe in the status quo and harder to get attached to things or people. But now, the older I get the more I yearn for stability. Buying a house on my own was a big step toward that for me. Knowing I don’t have to leave it unless I want to gives me a sense of control that I’ve never felt before. I have a place I can settle in to. It’s a strange connection, but it allows me to relax just a little. It lets me feel ok with being a bit spontaneous with my time because I don’t have to go anywhere anytime soon. I’m not saying I won’t ever decide to move again, but if I do, it will be because I want to. I’m thankful for that. And I’m thankful my impulsive decision this morning turned into a pleasurable day.