A big day

Today was a big day…. A really big day.
No, it wasn’t my birthday, my anniversary, or any specific rite of passage. I didn’t attend a wedding, or a communion, and I didn’t go to the beach or book a vacation.
The day started out as expected, tidying, putting away clean laundry, unloading the dishwasher, washing down surfaces, cleaning the bathrooms, mopping the floors, vacuuming, and removing the trash, as is my new normal every morning since our house has been on the market. Two showings were scheduled for today, but I was off from work, so I was able to bide my time, then shower, dress, and contemplate taking care of some things because I WANTED to, rather than being of necessity. (It helped that no doctors offices or medical insurance companies were reachable, so I wasn’t on hold or contacting them.)
I took my time in the shower; I conditioned my hair, lathered up to no end, shaved my legs, and just stood under the hot water, allowing it to cleanse my soul.
I didn’t dare eat breakfast, for fear of leaving a scent in the kitchen, other than the scent of clean, and then I actually scrapbooked a 12×12 two page layout. (I’m usually almost finished scrapbooking camp from the prior summer, but I’ve been so overwhelmed by life and all that has surrounded it, that I have only just begun this one.)
I then decided to leave just prior to the showings. I headed to Marshall’s, and browsed the store. I can’t remember the last time I even did this. True, I did not find what I was looking for (a rust proof toiletries holder for the shower) but, I did find a canvas print for my daughter and got to try on a few dresses for her graduation, none of which looked any good on me. I then headed over to home goods, with the same goal in mind (still no luck) but I did get to smell a bunch of scented candles, and look around. Everything featured in both stores was decor to furnish a new beach house…. like everyone has just purchased a new beach house?! And, apparently, everyone needs multi colored knives too. Is that a thing? I became a bit emotional perusing the refrigerator organizers, but purchased a small Tupperware with a snap closure lid for just over two dollars….big purchase. I then headed to the battery store, yup, that exists, and, with receipt in hand, returned the overpriced specialty battery that didn’t fit in the doorbell that we tried to repair last weekend, and, inevitably, replaced with a new doorbell and chime. (It was the principle of the whole thing having to be replaced; I wasn’t sucking this one up.) I then returned home to my immaculate home. I got on the Internet, booked a hotel for my daughters graduation, checked menus for restaurants nearby to go to after the ceremony, made a reservation by phone, and then left messages for all involved. I even wrote it all down in my datebook. Ha! I’ve now made plans for the future! That, and I have a new little Tupperware container! ┬áSuch possibilities!
You see, I’m a big believer in having a plan…a map, a course, an itinerary, and a path to follow.
It gives me great comfort to have an agenda, even if it changes a bit. I can’t bare to have no plan at all….it causes me great stress, and leaves me in turmoil. Now, I don’t find that I need it as Immediately or as specific as some of my extended family, but, a basic plan of action works for me.
It’s what I have been missing for many, many months now…no diagnosis or treatment for my daughter, the awaiting phone call to need to go to the ER at any time, not knowing where she will relocate to after graduation, not knowing my sons plans work-wise, for the summer, awaiting the hubbs being hired, awaiting income, not knowing when the house will sell, not knowing whether to rent or buy, or where, not knowing where any of us will be over the summer (though I will be at camp, whether I have a home to return to or not, which is going to be tricky on soooo many levels). I have been moving around the universe sans GPS, and it has been unnerving, tiring, and mentally draining. Uncertainty is certainly NOT my thing.
I decided to sit down and scrap a few more pages. I didn’t get a whole lot done, but I am making a little progress, and that’s the plan. Ironically, cupcake, who had also decided to flee prior to the showings, texted me that he was coming home with a pizza…dinner done! Maybe my adventurer needs a bit of a plan as well. Nonetheless, I was very grateful to not have to come up with a dinner plan too. Too much of a life plan just might’ve thrown me over the edge! As for me right now, I’m watching Mulan while I write, and am happily singing along!

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M.I.A.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, as I’m sure some of you may’ve noticed.
Things have been a little TOO real for me as of late; We’ve had to make some major life decisions, which I felt if I shared, that I might sound like I’m really bumming to my readers, who have commented on how they love how I find the humor in the reality.
And so, I waited…and waited some more, for the changes to start and for the reality to sink in, and then, finally, to put it all into perspective. And, you know what? I think it’s working!
So, let’s back up a bit here.
Let’s go back about a month or so.
For those of you that follow my blog, you know that the hubbs has been out of work for about 15 months, and that finances, which were a struggle prior, have been beyond difficult. I’ve been picking up hours in any way that I can, but it was never going to be enough. So, long story short, we decided it was time to sell our home…well, more than OVERtime, to sell our home. This house was a fallback many years ago, after our closing fell through on the house we were really buying; We had expected to stay here for 2 years at the most, and then sell it, or rent it out, but the price of homes kept increasing, and this is the town we wanted to reside in and have our kids continue to attend the fabulous schools here.
Fast forward 14 years, and we’re still here. Yes, 2 years turned into 14. It happens. The schools were truly great, and our kids benefitted from them and graduated from them. Home-wise, nothing better came along, and we could never agree at the same time where to go next. Our youngest is now a sophomore in college; We’re still paying ridiculous taxes, and we have more bedrooms than we need, not to mention four bathrooms, which I never wanted in the first place. (When you have multiple bathrooms, all of them are continuously used, and all of them need constant cleaning.) I’ve honestly wanted to move for 12 of the 14 years, but now, with the uncertainty of what to do next, or what direction to take, plus with this ongoing financial hardship, we couldn’t set the wheels into motion, and we remained frozen in time.
I knew we couldn’t go on this way, so I set up a meeting with a realtor, and got an assessment and an outside opinion. And, I found out exactly what I knew in my heart and my mind…it was time…more than time, to downsize.
With listing a house, comes a lot of preparation, repair, cleaning, purging, spackling, painting, organizing, displaying, accepting, and, finally, packing, made only worse by having no idea where you are moving to next. And, of course, with all that needing to be done by a listing date, the hubbs, of course, is finally offered a job with crazy hours and a long commute…naturally. It’s not really a good fit, but we need the income, and, it’s a job, so off to work he goes, while I begin to orchestrate everything else that needs to get done in addition to working both of my jobs.
It’s a lot for one person to do, but again, there is no choice, and I dive in…head first.
I take my list that I’ve compiled from the realtor’s walk through assessment, and purchase two new sinks, two new faucets, plumbing supplies, paint, tape, spackle, storage containers, cleaners and cleaning supplies, and get down to business.
I spend every chance that I can, making things look tidy and spacious, and along the way, throw out numerous trash bags full of stuff, and make constant stops at the drop boxes to donate items galore. I sort through things that are perfect for friends, and their kids of various ages and stages, and cousins, and nieces, and nephews, and get them, either directly to them, or box and ship them everywhere. I spend 14 hours one day in my son’s room, going through everything imaginable to clean out the room and make it more than presentable. It takes me 3 additional days to get that one room done, but I pace myself after that first day. I’m supposed to be off from work for 4.5 days out of the 10 days that I am doing all of this and become irritated that this is how I am spending it…my only break. And, of course, I come down with a cold…naturally. I decide that I need to change it up, and take myself to a free movie at the library, which does wonders for me, and I come back and spackle and paint. The following day, day four, I am beginning to see the fruits of my labor, and also receive some fabulous news…my daughter commits to law school in D.C. for the coming fall, after she is accepted into their honors program, and now, we at least know where SHE will relocate to…one down, with still needing her housing arrangements and the rest of us to be determined.
Now, I KNOW that I will be staying local, as this is where I work, and where I am licensed to practice, so it’s not like I am contemplating moving to a Caribbean island or something…I mean, I COULD sell bananas on the roadside somewhere, but that’s not realistic. Besides, if I did head to an island, I am in dire need of a new swimsuit, but hate shopping for that, so it’s not even a consideration. However, I really don’t know how long the house will take to sell, or what will be available when it does happen, so I can’t even picture an abode to be. Also, there’s never a good time to make big changes; change brings growth, but it also brings crisis, so I’ve been a bit freaked out about the whole thing. I’m a person who needs a considerable amount of closure, so this really isn’t working for me. Okay, so, now you get where I am at right now.
Yes, I know the flip side…this will all work out…things will be much more manageable in time…with less stress will come happiness…yada, yada, yada…blah, blah, blah…I mean,
I’m a therapist for Pete’s sake…but, in the meanwhile, there are not enough hours to sort, ditch, and pack, and clearly, my collection of boxes has just begun. We are just at the beginning of the “for sale” stage, and there is just sooo much to do., and I’m the one that will have to get it done. With 24 hours to go, the hubbs pitches in and paints a very dark wall white, which is no easy feat, and then replaces the doorbell, and a smoke detector, and does some assorted schlepping and arranging, which I truly appreciate. I know his hours aren’t conducive to the timing, but, it is, what it is.
It’s now 2 am, and I have fallen into bed with the hopes of passing out some time ago, but my mind continues to race. Maybe a tropical breeze is what I truly need…Well that, and several bushels of bananas and a decent swimsuit.