This week I took on the sad task of dismantling my studio space and moving it from the dining room back into the basement, where it first started about 12 years ago. I still have the show to finish pieces for, but fear that the basement will see me even less than the dining room space did. It feels like another step backward: from “real” studio, to dining room back to basement. And though I know where art is made is not as important as the making, it is hard to feel inspired in a basement. But, we are going to have new flooring put in as we prepare to sell, and it was a good time to start getting ready. Next April will be here so quickly, and why move things out, back and then to the cellar only to have to pack it up another time. The fact that the dining room will look like one, is nice and necessary, but not likely to inspire me to create. I’ll see how it goes.
All feels a-wiggle now. Spring is in and out of the air as we await some warmer weather and signs of blossoms. The turtles had clambered up on the logs to sun themselves, but now have returned to the mud with the colder weather. Yard work is beginning in small bits between snows. There is much to do. We are looking to move next spring/summer and have a list that seems to stay the same length regardless of how much gets crossed off. The first college graduation is next month, with all the change that will bring as dorm items come home to roost before moving on. My feelings swing from side to side in this time of change; excitement to worry, busy to idle thoughts. Breathe-breathe-breathe.
I am often out looking at architecture, old and new. If I can pull over or walk back safely to it I will do so to get the image even if I never use it. Just a historical record of sorts. Joe and I are preparing to pare down to a place with a much shorter driveway and smaller yard. To that end, I have been working on winnowing items for several years, and we now have started bigger tasks that we can breakdown into smaller ones. Mainly cutting back all the overgrowth that occurred since we did it last back in early 2015. Amazing how quickly it filled back in! The list seems endless, and many tasks are simply not DIY and will be on the slow to get done list for now. It is both exciting and a bit scary to start down this road after 25 years at the same address, but the house needs a young family in it. The girls will be finishing college soon and off on their own full time. the dorm days are nearly over, school breaks and childhood bedrooms will be a thing of the past. It is nearly time to leave this harbor and sail forth.
It took me almost 2 years, but today was the day that the boxes got packed. In hindsight I should have dealt with the items back in the fall of 2015, or any of the following months. But hope kept me from tackling the task. Now, after nearly 30 years of “Protecting and Serving” I have capitulated and packed up all my husband’s work and military uniforms for passing on. It has not been easy to come to this point for either of us, but work will not be something he is able to return to. And for anyone who has had a career identity that was a lifestyle, you know how hard it is to make the change. For someone who has a brain injury it is even tougher, as part of your mind still feels you can do the job, even as you know you can’t. Trying to adjust to this new life we have has been a varying challenge, but there you have it- life does that and the options are, stay locked in place or continue to move forward in a new direction. Accepting uncertainty, and going off script has never been easy for me, so this is a whole new terrain to navigate and one we both often resent having to navigate. It has brought restrictions to both our lives that we didn’t expect. It has also brought time to spend together that was missing when duty called. Light-dark. up-down, yin-yang all part of our new season.
I seem to be fighting the universe most days. I have so many directions I want to make progress in. And progress on all fronts is sporadic at best.
- streamlining my life, I have been working on this for a couple of years and have kicked it up a notch. Clearing, sorting, selling and removing items large and small that do little but take up space both real and mental. The paperwork piles are the worst: old forms, medical paperwork, letters, work paper etc.
- Joe’s recovery, which is top priority and yet leaves me wondering which things to really focus on. It is like choosing between the schoolwork or outdoor time. Which will prove the most beneficial in the long and short term.
- art and creativity, squeezing it in here and there doesn’t bring the results I would like. Goal setting at the start of each month ends up being too high for what the month bring. Which ends up leaving me feeling cranky for what I didn’t achieve instead of glad of what I did.
I need to accept what is achievable, let the time flow as it will and welcome the new pace of life as best I can. It has held many sweet surprises which I need to remember when I get a case of the crankies.
looking across a landscape both familiar and unknown. Metaphorically clambering over fences has become a much more regular thing in my life. Life moves at a steady pace in spite of how it sometimes seems to drag or speed by. But progress is being made as Joe recovers. And the more he does, the more frustrated the slow but steady pace is to him. He wants to be king of his own schedule again, to work, and come and go as he pleases. He wants the illusion of certainty that life used to have. And though I am one who prefers disillusionment (the facts) to being fooled by illusions, I know what he means. He wants back that carefree feel which was lost. The map that didn’t have this detour which took him someplace he had no interest in going. But there is no rewind, so the options are stand still or keep moving. And each are fraught with unknowns, but at least one is action.