My house, I think, knows that I do not love it. We have an uneasy relationship. It became mine in a hurry, at a time when I was not clearly focused yet had to make a decision. The house into which I had poured passion and hard work sold very quickly. It had become my prison and part of me was joyful for the liberation, part of me mourned its loss. I was defiant with friends and family stating that I would not miss an acre of gloriously cultivated gardens, colors that reflected light in the desert and the vibrancy of Mexico, courtyards and fountains that encouraged contemplation- fourteen months later and I do miss it. True, I have carved out a small walled in garden, refurbished a dismal pool and created a wonderful outdoor room in the back and, I do have spectacular views of the mountains, sunrise and sunset.
Yesterday I took advice from one of Connections For Womens' contributing writers and decided that my somewhat inelegant dumping of furniture into space did nothing to create a sense of home. I spent the day moving furniture, rearranging use of space and unpacking some accessories that had been banished to the garage storage room. I resolved to call a handyman Monday to fix some of the annoying things that, thanks to a botched and cleverly disguised re-model by the previous owner, I'd inherited. I resolved to start being more considerate of the house hoping in return that it will agree to a truce and allow me to feel at home. It does have good bones perhaps all it needs now is some love.
Sense of home is an extraordinary thing. I spent my childhood moving. My father was in the military and I was in boarding schools. Sometimes I'd start a semester from one house and head home for the holidays to a place I had yet to see. My mother had an ability to make any place feel familiar and home was a series of associations - things I knew. This house now is my very first totally 'own' house. When I purchased a house after divorce my children were still at home; when I re-married we searched and bought together; this house is just me and that may well be the cause for unease.
I don't think I'm meant to be solitary. I enjoy a sense of 'ours', of creating with another person. I'm beginning to think of this house as my transitional house, much like the transitional person you meet between relationships. The man you meet who helps restore spirits, sense of self; one you enjoy being with but know he's a passing event. I'm not at all sure what my transition is leading to - I've always been fiercely independent, too independent I've been told more than once; I don't need to be taken care of financially and yet I feel that I'm without anchor these days...drifting. I know I'm moving towards something special in my life but have yet to figure out what or who it is.
I'm coming up fast on a birthday and the anniversary of my husband's death...perhaps it's these events that are foremost in my mind of late and causing the questioning of purpose. I returned from Costa Rica two weeks ago but left my suitcase unpacked until yesterday and I'm beginning to think that I need to do more unpacking....figure out what's going on in my head, put away some old ghosts and make peace with my life as it is now.
Connections For Women has been and continues to be a source of joy, focus and discovery....I'm really not sure what I would have done without its presence and associations in my life these past 20 months.
The first steps in my Life Reimagined - When AARP approached me to do a trial of their Life Reimagined program, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to hear some fresh voices other than the ones ...