Do you remember Helen McCarthy? In Diary of a Mad Black Woman, she kept a diary of her many emotional experiences. Now, I'm not sure if her madness was the "madness of anger" over her sorry unfaithful husband or the "madness of craziness" for all she went through (maybe some of both), but my madness involves myriad levels of the cray-cray kind. No anger involved whatsoever.
As I prepared to write this post, I must admit I procrastinated because I had so many things I wanted to talk about and was having a difficult time knowing where to start. But then I thought when in the passage of time has that ever stopped me before? Plus, I know that my friends enjoy hearing what's going on with me (haha) and that some might even benefit from hearing about the latest events in my less-than-perfect life! Like that, number one, you can survive the craziness life throws at you AND live to tell about it. The last month has been a flurry of activities as I've been traveling, preparing for and hosting family coming in, caring for my dad, preparing for the closing of my dad's house (finally!) AND... the closing of our house and looking for a new place to flip! It's all very exciting, but also very daunting at times. You know the old saying "When it rains, it pours"? Yup, that's my life right now. There's 52 weeks in a year, but it just so happens that we are closing on both houses within days of each other! Even though buying and fixing up houses for resale is what we do, every "time" the "time" comes and it's "time" to move forward and "time" to do it again, I can't deny that my stomach becomes inhabited by a million butterflies flitting around for the exciting possibilities, yes, but also for the unknown. It is truly a mixed bag of emotions.
My dad continues to have ongoing needs as he attempts to settle into the life he now has. I can only imagine how I will feel one day when my last few freedoms (i.e., my car and ultimate source of independence) have been jerked out from under me. He struggles to make sense of something he sees as unnecessary and the finality of the freedoms of a life he once knew. Aging adults have a hard time seeing themselves as the one who needs help and unable to do the things that came so completely natural when they were younger...like having control of certain bodily functions, preparing your own food, driving that car, and basically just becoming the cared for as opposed to the one who gives care. But my dad is resilient and he is adapting to his new normal. He recently rolled out of the bed and fell flat on his nose and had the most horrible black eyes I perhaps have ever seen, but did he let it get him down? Absolutely not! He's a trooper at 89. But most days are filled with -- if not actual decisions, thoughts on how to make his life safer and easier and give him the best days we can give him in these final years. My dad is an ongoing part of my life for which I am honored and gifted to be able to be a part.
The next couple of weeks will be what I consider utter chaos in the selling of a house you're living in, packing up everything you own in a week, and figuring out what to do with said stuff while figuring out where to land for awhile. You go from being very comfortably hunkered down in 2700 square feet to a tiny furnished apartment or extended stay or some other form of shelter containing the basic necessities until the plan has completely unfolded. Right now that plan consists mostly of just making do and hanging tight while you scramble every day to find the next "place" that will hopefully be a source of financial gain and which for me becomes my next project to morph from an ugly duckling into a pearl of great price. It is a job I thoroughly enjoy but is also quite scary at times. Today the hubster dumped a huge pile of boxes on the garage floor and within the next few days most of them will begin to fill with objects that I can't seem to let go of, but that I haven't used in awhile. Those are the first items to be rounded up and loaded into boxes, followed by the things we use most every day but can do without for a short period of "in between" time. The final objects lassoed into bags, and various containers and suitcases will be the items that are non-negotiable as we wander around like vagabonds for the next month. This nomadic lifestyle is not for everyone.
So why in the world do I continue to agree to this madness? Because, as much as I want to deny it, I must confess that I love it! My girlfriends tell me that after I've lived in a place for a year I begin to get restless. Are they right? Maybe so. Since I know when I move into a place I will not be there for long, I make haste to make it the way I want it sooner rather than later. I always have a vision for a place before even purchasing it, so "why wait?" is my mantra. By the time a year rolls around, everything has been updated and every last piece of furniture arranged just right. It is ready to reveal to the next crop of buyers. And that's when that little ol' decorating bug bites me clearly in the butt and my butt begins to get that restlessness. I start to become anxious and begin to have major fantasies about the next endeavor and what it will look like. I think of all the possibilities that might be in our next design challenge and I begin to get pumped for what is ahead. I have friends who have pretty much lived in the same house a good part of their adult lives and some maybe in the same house from childhood. Wow, I admire you and wonder how you do it. Because, to this drifter, that scenario sounds even more challenging than moving every year or two! But in case you think there will never come a day when I will once and for all settle down and plant roses and till a garden or paint walls a funky hue that no one else will want, think again.
This gypsy lifestyle is not for most and not even for me forever. One day I fully intend to have that little cottage that is everything my heart ever dreamed of with all my favorite colors and pared down with just the items I need for daily living. I plan to travel and see the world and visit my kids and make new friends and pick tomatoes and cucumbers for supper. I plan to have lots of time for hanging out with friends and reading and have considered even taking up painting (don't tell anyone that one, though). I plan to play with my grandchildren and let them take care of me...you know, bring me sweet tea as I sit on the porch on my glider, flipping through the latest design magazines and thinking about a life I once lived in a faraway time.
Just not at THIS moment in time. Right now I hear a sad little house calling my name...Help me...Help me...I need you! Deliver me from the neglect that has come upon me... And what do I say? I hear you, little house...I'm coming!
Like a dang fool.
Some cosmetic improvements made to our present (but not for long) house
Posted by CC
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