It’s all now you see: tomorrow began yesterday and yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow. – William Faulkner
It’s a quiet morning, and I’m in the house alone sitting in my room, sipping on a steaming cup of coffee, and cuddled under the covers in my robe. Mornings like this are a rarity, and I am fully enjoying the moment. Out there beyond my bedroom door are lists of things I need to buy and things I need to do. Kids and family will begin descending on our house either tonight or tomorrow. I haven’t really been able to clarify exactly who is being brought along to our house…or when. For now though, until my feet hit the floor with some kind of purpose, these morning moments belong to me.
While I’m not a huge fan of the holiday season, I am grateful to have some time away from work. I’m looking forward to spending some time together as a family. The other day someone who didn’t know me well expressed their concern about how I must be handling the holidays. For a moment, I was a bit shocked. I had no idea what they meant. It took me a second to understand that their concern was over the fact that this is my first holiday away from “home.” Of course, they had no way of knowing that my past holidays back home had become a series of losses or reminders of those losses. In fact, this is the first holiday in years that hasn’t been filled with horribly painful reminders of those losses. Yes, the pain rises to the surface from time to time, but the complete change in scenery has been a good thing for me. While this year we may be floundering to establish new traditions, there is some excitement in that. I would much rather be here, in this new place, looking toward the future than to be back home ruminating over the past.
We haven’t been back to our old home in several months. On the final weekend before the house closed, T and I along with one of our sons, did a final clean up and walk through of the house. It was a strange and emotionless day. The house without our stuff, and the trappings of our life, just looked like a house. The spirit was gone. Movers had boxed up everything that wasn’t already in place in our new house, and those boxes, for the most part, are still taped shut and stacked in our basement. After all, how much unpacking do we want to do in a house that we’re renting? Our lease is up in less than six months, and we don’t have a plan in place yet. We have toyed around with several options. Maybe we’ll buy this house. The owners have agreed to sell. But…maybe not. Maybe we’ll buy a different house, and we’ve looked at several. Maybe we’ll just rent for another year. That option, while more expensive, appeals to us both. We may have tapped into our vagabond side. We are reluctant to be tied down to one place EVER again. Strangely enough, I’ve had several job inquiries since I’ve been here. While I love my new job and have no intention of leaving this early in the game, the stress level is tremendous. I’m enjoying the challenge, but I’m well-aware that at some point I may need to explore other options in order to maintain good health…and sanity.
T is thriving in his new job. It has been an extremely rewarding thing to see him blossom….at 52 years of age. Whoa. It’s hard for me to even type out those numbers. It’s hard to imagine this person I’ve known my entire life is now over 50, and I’m soon to follow. What’s even more difficult to imagine is that the two of us have embarked on a major change at this point in our lives. No wonder our friends and family look so curiously at us. Needless to say, at this point in our lives, the changes have been exhausting. We often look at each other and say, “WTF are we doing?” and then we kind of giggle. We’re learning to go with the flow, and that has been kind of amazing. My only fear of growing older is that it feels like I have a more limited amount of time to accomplish the endless list of things I want to do.
This past month, I have been in contact with several fellow bloggers. The “old blog” is still set to private, but I visit it from time to time. It helps me to remember, and it helps me to relive for a moment the pain of mistakes I don’t want to repeat. The one good thing that grew out of a terrible, horrible, monstrous time in my life are the friendships with people who helped carry me over a rough patch on the journey of my life. I have lost touch with some of those wonderful people, a few of them have remained in my life, and I’m grateful for that. While we shared similar horror, losses, and pain in the dark winter of 2009, we have survived. Battered, changed, and still struggling, we have never lost the ability to care for each other, smile, make jokes, and understand each other. It is these wonderful “strangers” that taught me how to trust life again. For that I am grateful.