The last time I wrote, our vagabond status was impending, and while we do have a safe and cozy, as well as super cute cottage to temporarily rest our heads, we are still in search of our longer term home.
It is at the same time exhausting, intimidating, and liberating to know that these decisions fall on me. I thought I found a place that could work, only to find out that it would require tens of thousands of dollars in hidden major structural work which was beyond my scope of things I’m willing to take on at this point in my life.
While I know it is better to have found out now than to have been stuck with such a project, I’m still a little bummed at the loss of time and money wasted on that hope.
It’s easy to get caught up in complaining, and I'm actually rather good at it, but it's really unpleasant and tends to suck all the joy out of the air, so I’m working hard to focus on hope and gratitude.
Right now, we are sharing a smaller space than we are used to, but it is cute and clean and safe and it is not a couch in someone else’s living room..
We have done small and cozy spaces before, but my offspring themselves were smaller and cozier and fairly attached to my presence at the time, which most likely made the whole thing easier for them.
Back when my kids were tiny, we lived in a little 24 X 24 cabin in the woods. We painted pictures and built fires to keep warm, read books for hours and baked homemade bread, played in the creek and built fairy houses in the forest. Life was simple and sharing space was easy.
Now, my Girl Child can wear my clothes, and my Boy Child towers over me. I think they could be cuddly, but they are not inclined. Their bodies sprawl out and take up a good deal of physical space, and their belongings, even the pared down amounts they have brought with them, sprawl as well. They are also, as you might expect, less attached to my physical proximity.
Learning to share is probably never easy, but re-learning to share space when at an age that is culturally, and possibly biologically designed for finding your way as an individual does come with its’ own challenges.
There have been bickers and snurgles here and there, but there are any place. For the most part, everyone is rolling well.
The Boy Child and I were home alone today and he was feeling a bit ill. Since he is studying world history this year, I suggested we watch a movie and gave some ideas. He chose Diary of Anne Frank, which he was well aware would not be cheery.
Once again, the timing was perfect.
I’ve been pressuring myself about finding the perfect long term solution for us. It’s a lot of pressure for one person, and even more so because it will most likely be the last childhood home my kids will ever have.
And home means a lot to me.
Anyhoo, the Boy Child and I had some good talks about Anne and her family spending 2 years in an even smaller space than we are in, and with strangers. Oh yeah, and they were in danger of being killed the whole time. And not to give spoilers, but I would guess that just about anyone reading this already knows that Anne’s story does not feature a happy ending.
Once again, a chance for some perspective...which is exactly what 4 pretty much full sized people and 2 dogs sharing a tiny space in the middle of American affluenza need.
As I look through another round of potential homes, I’ll do my best not to be disappointed, but to hang on to the hope that the right place and situation will come at the right time.
I will ignore the houses that look like they were used for the set of Breaking Bad, the neighbors yelling at their children, the Confederate flags and dead animal heads on the walls.
My home is out there, but it isn’t any of those.
And right now, we are fine. We are actually better than fine. We are healthy, happy, safe and free. We can go outside and breathe fresh air and pick flowers and apples and pears, walk our dogs, drive our car to town and fill it with gas and buy groceries.
Our current home may be smaller than we are used to, but it is also super cute and impeccably outfitted with brilliant storage (thanks Ikea!) We have gardens and chickens and fruit trees and friends next door. And we have each other.
There’s a reason the words “We’re moving” are almost universally greeted with sighs of condolence, looks of pity and / or a listing of upcoming busy events the person has scheduled in an attempt to avoid being wrangled into helping.
Because moving is a hideous pain in the arse, and everybody hates it, that’s why.
Did I mention that we're moving?
I feel like we have been packing for weeks, because we have, and there’s still more. It never freaking ends.
Despite the drawers, closets and cupboards I have emptied, despite the boxes and boxes and boxes I have packed, despite the carloads of castoffs I have taken to Goodwill and the cans I have filled with garbage and recyclables, there is still more.
Why do I have so much stuff?
I wonder just when and how I became a hoarder? Aren’t there reality shows about this kind of thing? I wonder if I qualify to be on one?
Well, I’ve never actually seen one of those shows, and I should clarify that I would only want to be a participant if they actually came and cleaned my junk up for me. If they just want to expose me for a sad junk collector who hangs onto things as a replacement for memories and love, well, then…. no thanks.
I already know I have issues.
My Partner says that in the single episode of a junk hoarder reality show he has watched, they did in fact help the people to clean up and get organized. Yayy! Maybe they can help me, I think.
But, apparently, there was also some focus on the psychology of what was behind all the hoarding.
Sheesh. I was afraid of that. I’m rethinking my interest in being involved now.
I really don’t want to get into the psychology of why I have this 35 year old crusty haired Big Bird doll with no eyeballs and distorted voice box that’s supposed to say “I love you very much” when you pull the string, but now sounds like “Ruh, wuh, wah, wahwaha wuh.”
I just want my stuff neatly moved into my new home, and I don’t want to talk or think about it, although technically, I don’t even have the new home to put it yet even if I had the hoarder helper crew to move it for me. That however, is another story.
My Partner tells me that in the particular episode he watched, the hoarding woman had grown children, yet under the mounds and mounds of stuff, they found brand new unopened boxes of baby diapers from the 70s.
Maybe she was subconsciously trying to hang on to that special time as a mother, or maybe she just forgot they were buried under there because they had 40 years of accumulated other stuff on the top of them. She might have some deep emotional baggage, but then again, she might just be forgetful and a bad housekeeper.
I realize that there is a lot tangled up in the various stuff we accrue and hang onto. There are emotions and memories, and even though most of us consciously know that some collection of dustables that we never really even liked does not equate or represent our love for our dead Grandmother, we still hang on to it.
I understand and respect the idea of consciously choosing each item in our homes, and the concept of only hanging on to things that are either beautiful, or useful or somehow bring us joy. I understand it in theory that is, but my reality isn’t there yet.
I have to be out in a day, and there’s not a lot of time left for thinking. My hope is to unpack with that mindset, because my crammed timeline for packing isn’t allowing such thought and pondering.
Mostly though, my heart and mind are just too full of the logistics of moving out of one home before your next one is ready. Between that, and my job, I think my decision making skills are being used at full capacity already.
So, I’m going to focus on what I need to focus on most~ one thing at a time. Usually, that one thing would be what’s right in front of my face and trying to deal with it completely, but in this case, those things are mostly just getting boxed, and will be dealt with later. A few things have been obvious choices to give or throw away, but if there is thought or hesitation on an item, I’m just putting it off and packing it up for now. I’ll have to deal with it later.
Some things I know will have to go, but just not today. Like I know it’s time for me to let go of that ratty old Big Bird, but I also know he deserves a proper burial, and not to be thrown in a garbage can. And I don’t have time to bury him here, so into a box he goes.
Hopefully, he will rest in peace for now, until I can find him a more permanent resting spot.
As my family says goodbye to this wonderful piece of land that has been our home and the place where so many dreams were hatched, and a few of our beloved pets were laid to rest, I hope the same for us.
We’ve had some pretty big clouds of uncertainty cast upon us, but they’re clearing now. We have good solid prospects for our next long term home, and safe places to explore, work and play and rest our heads in the interim. And thank the Good Lord, it feels pretty likely that we can do all of those things in peace.
PS. Since I failed to get any photos of my own piles of boxes and junk, I decided to do a quick Google search on hoarders, to see if I could find any usable pics.
This left me both relieved and slightly traumatized. Thankfully, I have not actually accumulated enough stuff to fall into that category, even if it feels that way when I'm trying to pack and move it all.
I'm also grateful for the fear based intervention, which will hopefully help me shed even more possessions when I unpack in a month or so.
Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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