I’ve never been the brightest string of lights on the tree. I’m not an over achiever in any endeavor. Often don’t even compete or complete. Shouldn’t complain. Mostly content with my fair-to-middling life. I have been very lucky and blessed. No serious illness, and have a wonderful family. So when something so foreign and alien nicked me with a good right hook, I felt 3 things all at once. 1. Wow, I sure didn’t see that coming. 2. I think I just got clipped along side the head with a Louisville Slugger. 3. You coulda’ knocked me over with a feather.
|Looks soft and delicate. Ha! Knocked me for a loop…|
I started writing my blog story a year ago. Since doing this, I have felt oh-so-much-better about life in general when I write. But I’ve recently experienced the strangest phenomenon. Causing me a real rough patch. Not about writing. About life. My life. This “feeling” is different. And not a good different. Makes me feel strange, and a little wacko. Uneasy, unsure, weak. Icky. It’s kind of hard to share these feelings and weaknesses. And I’m weak in so many ways. But I hope it will hasten the recovery.
Usually I’m pretty optimistic. The glass is definitely half full, and it’s also refillable. I am a fierce defender of all things negative. To a fault. When someone makes a derogatory statement about almost anything, I feel compelled to defend, protect, and advocate the other side. The under dog. The little guy. The runt. Give me your tired, your poor, yada, yada. But my own recent smack down has put me on some pretty rough terrain. I’ve been unsure of how to react or respond. It actually scares me a little.
Reflecting back, it started late this winter. Not unusual for me to have a mini case of the doldrums. The winter blahs. Frozen lake, 4 feet of snow during the shortest, most miserable month of the year. February. But I always eagerly anticipate the month of March. The weather gets better, lake ice melts, and it’s time to start my daily walks again. I used to walk during the winter too. But after a few falls, I’ve learned if it’s nasty out, just stay inside. Plus I’m part slug, part sloth. And then there’s the plain lazy part.
|In my opinion, there is no beauty here…|
But spring finally arrived. My life is immeasurably better when I walk. Everyday. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. (Besides having 3 pretty awesome kids). And have seriously kept it up for over 15 years, barring a variety of boo-boos. Donning headphones the size of M-I-C-K-E-Y’s ears. iTunes blasting out Pitbull, P!nk, Maroon 5 or an Enrique song. And I did start walking again in March. For a couple weeks. Nothing physically wrong with me, but one day I just didn’t go out for my walk. Or the next day, or the next. Sprucing the joint up for a house showing a couple weeks later, I gathered my folded walking clothes from our master bath’s usual perch and slid them on the shelf in my closet. Haven’t looked at them since. The sheer magnitude that this seemingly inconsequential event didn’t buckle my knees and commence me blubbering in a full blown panic attack is truly alarming. Just writing about it makes me cry. A good habit I’ve adopted and sincerely don’t want to give up. But for some reason, I no longer crave that awesome feeling I’ve grown accustomed to when I walk. I’m without an anchor, drifting, no sense of direction. I definitely should have seen this coming though. I’ve followed the Cubs for 30 years. I know all about slumps. I’m in the middle of a slump. I’ve lost my mojo. And I didn’t have that much to start with.
|I can almost hear them begging to worn with regularity…|
It’s mostly about the house. Our nice lake home. That I’m beginning to hate. With a deep passion and every fiber of my being. The place we’ve lived the longest since we got married. And it’s the only thing holding us here in west Michigan. I retired, anticipating a move closer to all the kids and grandkids over 2 years ago. No, nothing major physically or mentally wrong with either of us. (I sure hope this slump is temporary) We just want to be able to visit, babysit, pick up one of the grands from school, activities, or attend little events without driving 3 hours first. Getting antsy and twitchy about über-sports-jock, 14 year old grandson Landon. Sneaking suspicion he might be playing varsity basketball as a freshman this winter. I will not be driving 175 miles one way, twice a week to watch him play. And I am going to watch him play. Every game, unless slippery roads stop me.
|It’s a nice house. So why are we still here? It hasn’t sold…|
John and I were handed out different play books on issues surrounding our house. He seems unperturbed, unfazed and casually says, “oh Denise don’t worry, it will sell eventually.” But I am in a constant dither. Which really bugs me. It’s getting on my nerves. I want to be rid of the house. Now. It’s nearing the point where I would almost walk away. From this house. Today. (Hey, maybe that’s the incentive I need to start walking again. Win-win). My house is making me nuts.
Do I realistically think I’m going to be deliriously happy in a much smaller home? No I don’t. Do I think we’re going to be inundated with constant visits from the family? Heck no. They’re busy with their own lives. But I also wouldn’t have this too big, too expensive house weighing me down. Sucking us dry. Plus being 180 miles from everyone I hold dear. Ok, except Hubs. This house is now a virtual noose around my neck. I want out. I need out. It’s an albatross. A miserable, stupid cross to bear. And I’m tired of it. Limbo hell. I get up, drink coffee, read the paper, write for awhile, shower, read some more, cook supper, watch some TV with John and wait for the day to be over so I can go to bed. But I hate sleeping, so I’m up before the crack of dawn. A vicious cycle. And it never ends. It feels like my whole life is passing me by or on hold while I sit and wait. And wait. And wait. I should have kept on working. Hindsight.
I want to lower the selling price with regularity (or just drop it big-time right now) until someone buys it. John has a very hard time with this. Is the house worth what we’re asking? Yup, it is. But it hasn’t sold. In well over 2 years. Always ready at a moments notice to show it to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Who all seem to dislike something about the place. Honest, potential buyers these days want the house perfect. From wall colors to eliminating flotsam near the sea wall. Now I’ve got the added responsibility of dealing with an irate Mother Nature. Who doesn’t take criticism well. I fear John is going to resent me big time if I force him to accept a low offer. But if I stay much longer, I think I will go stark raving mad.
I told Hubs a couple weeks ago I’m not going to can much this summer. I’d like to think the idea comes from my ever-present optimistic outlook that we will be moving sometime soon in my lifetime. Why move hundreds of filled jars? But this “no canning” business doesn’t feel right. I love to can. Yet I have not gone to the Farmer’s Market once this summer. And it’s almost July. This makes me think something’s wrong in the world of Neese. Why am I not giddy with anticipation about going to my fabulous Farmer’s Market?
It kind of reminds me of a very unusual aspect of my hearing loss. I have the great advantage of remembering what something sounds like. Even if I can’t hear it anymore. As opposed to someone who has never been able to hear. Not long ago I was holding an ink pen. Making one of my ever present lists. (Why does everyone hate my lists except me? Especially John. How can the world work in any semblance of order without a “to do” list? My brain is much too inadequate to remember all the mundane crap in my life if it’s not written down). Anyway, it was early morning and I was not wearing my hearing aid. I was deep in thought when I noticed I was unconsciously tapping the ink pen against a button of my flannel shirt. I looked down thinking, I know that makes a sound. I know what that sounds like. Yet I am unable to hear the sound it makes. Fundamentally I realize what issues are bothering me. (Mostly house) But so far incapable of implementing a remedy.
|The original mute buttons are on my flannel shirts…|
What the heck is going on? Deep down I want to make apricot jam, bread and butter pickles and pickled beets. Really. I just don’t feel like it. At all. That’s such a strange, weird feeling. I don’t like it. Seems like all the normal things that fill my time and keep me content are leaving me high and dry. I’m tired. Tired of living in limbo. I’m so ready to move forward, but nothing else is ready or moving. Plus add one more quirky thing into my slump.. I find myself on the verge of tears. Often. Little inconsequential things, not worth a plug nickel now gnaw at me. Never have tears been so close to the surface frequently without cause or reason.
|Almost apricot season. Searching for my anticipation app…|
I’ve sunk into a hole. Not too deep, but it’s scary. It’s not all encompassing. That’s a good thing. Although I’m not mired in a pit of despair, I’m not in a happy place either. I’ve got a lot of good stuff in my life, and so much to be thankful for. But that hasn’t eliminated this sad, morose, overwhelming, can’t keep my shit together feeling that’s been plaguing me lately. I made a bold statement that may come back to haunt me. Told John, one way or another, I will not be living in this house on my 65th birthday. Five months away. We either lower the price until the house sells, we rent it, or he stays here by himself. I’m out. If he needs me to sign off on the house title, give me a pen. I’m done.
So now I have a goal, unrealistic as it may be. Moving forward. I will be setting up the Christmas tree somewhere else. New beginnings. I started purging again. Always makes me feel better. No, not the hurling kind. Hate that. Paring down all the cumbersome “stuff” that’s been weighing me and my life down. Went through a couple of closets. Now going through my kitchen cupboards.
|Same dishes, 20 years. Ugh…|
During our married life we’ve always used Corelle dishes. I think we’ve had at least 4 different patterns of Corelle since 1969. Well maybe one set of bendable Melmac before Corelle. Worse. My last Corelle pattern has delicate little flowers that make me want to hurl. Yes, the projectile vomiting kind. I’ve had these suckers for 20 years. They had to go. I needed something totally different. No more Corelle! I wasn’t ready to embrace the whole new wave of square plates. I’m square enough already. But I bought some dishes that chip if I’m not careful. I got this pretty set of Pfaltzgraff. Gave me new enthusiasm while I was cleaning out my cupboards. I got rid of my 20 year old, scratched Corelle dishes. Had to shake things up a bit. Now I’m going to my closet and get out my walking duds. Again. I’m eager and ready to put one foot on the bottom rung of the ladder out of this hole. Onward and upward…
|Yeah, I’m wild and crazy these days. New and chip-able…|