Just checking in…this New Year is beginning – as most do – with ridiculously large amounts of hope and an almost equally impressive amount of anxiety. It’s all about balance…
They say that when one door closes, another opens. Whoever ‘they’ are, may I call ‘b.s’. When a door closes, it’s shut. There may not be another door, hell there may only be a window that’s been painted shut for years. That kind of closed that is going to take some muscle, intent and a few tools. And then prying it open can take some time.
No worries, I’m not going to suffocate. I’ve got the window wedged open a crack, and I can smell the freshness in the air. I check on that door every once in a while, but I’ve gotta tell you – the damn thing won’t give. It’s not supposed to.
We’re putting our house on the market sometime next month. And as every cliche attests – after twenty three years, it’s far more than a house – it is the keeper of secrets and memories, of hugs and arguments, firsts and lasts. My sneakers are in the garage, placed there when we moved in so I could be ready to run and it is here in the quiet of the morning where I also planted my roots. It’s where I checked on sleeping sons every night and/or waited in the family room for them to sneak in from wherever they weren’t supposed to be. It’s where we worked to blend a family and succeeded and failed and succeeded and failed.
It’s where I could hide or choose to be found.
We moved here when I was young. Now I’m not so young. I had a new husband who looked at me in that way I had always imagined. Somehow romance existed alongside emergency runs for Frosted Flakes. I knew that marriages morph and change – but I had no idea how malleable they have to be to survive. And we’re still here, shaped in no small part by the moments in this house.
I brought my boys here and even though I knew they would grow up and leave, I didn’t fully understand how the ground would shift when they did. Their lives and loves and futures so fantastic and I stand proudly on the periphery. As my sister reminds me – that’s the way it’s supposed to be. ‘Go find the balance, Grasshopper’. I’m on an emotional hover-board. And I’m clumsy.
So over these next few weeks, you will find me in the throes of purging and packing, preparing for a stager to come in and completely de-personalize what I’ve held so personally. It’s disorienting to pack up the pictures that crammed every mantel, use too much bubble-wrap to secure the art my mom created and/or the belongings that once were in my parents’ house which provide comfort and familiarity in mine.
And that window? Yeah, it’s there and I am sure that in time it will open wider and with greater ease. It looks like we’ll be building a new house – an experience I’ve never had – in a smaller city where there is family who are happily anticipating our arrival, and some understanding of its rhythms from visits there as well. It will be a new story line – Mimi & Andy’s Most Excellent Adventure – as soon as it begins. It’s this interim period where one is not yet saying good-bye or hello which is a little tricky for the heart. Where there are too many moments being packaged and memory-making days on hold. Can you imagine some of the stories I will get to tell though? The karma truck is going on the road – one of these days. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I figure out the right GPS coordinates.