It was about 40 today… that crisp sunny winter day, when you can go outside in a t-shirt to shovel snow off the truck. There’s more snow coming tomorrow or next, so i filled the squirrel feeder and shoveled the edges of the driveway. While I was out there, that nagging thought came back that two years or ten years ago, i couldn’t have seen myself standing in my own yard in MAINE no less. I am not sure about one year ago…i think the visions of getting a new life were the only thing that kept me going last year. For 5 months now I keep expect to do a look back at last years posts and compare and contrast…i was going to do it on the day i closed on the house, then the day i moved in, then the day the porch was done…then my birthday etc… as it happens i can’t bear to scroll back and read last years posts…not yet… I’m doing extra good distancing myself from all that guff. if I dwell on who did what to whom and how I drifted through the 1st 50 years of life ‘waiting’, i will get all tangled up inside my head again. I really can’t say ‘I should have done this sooner.’ It’s quite frigging obvious. But so many things had to happen FIRST for me to let go. I had to be making just enough money to not be tied to a location, I had to be read to cut all ties to friends and organizations…yeah you can say, but your friends are still your friends, but you’d be surprised at how little anyone calls or emails me…just cause i moved an hour away. But my days are my own. after i take care of the cats, and the dog, and the goldfish and the squirrels and now the plants, and soon the garden, but they aren’t chores, these are things that bring me joy. Granted that one elderly cat who is mistaking his bed for a litter box is getting on my nerves. But if i don’t take care of him who will?
I have never been any good at guessing the future. I never thought i would own a chihuahua…but i do. Spider’s a very nice fella as dogs go. The cats..well the cats I could have predicted… And i have always WANTED to live in Maine since i was a kid reading Louise Dickinson Rich’s We took to the Woods and Robert McClosky’s Blueberries for Sal… and after trying and failing to alter my life course, I sort of gave up at about 30… I just figured I’d have died well before now.
For a long time I thought I would successful at something… and I tried many different things, many of them I was and AM very good at it. But nothing ever panned out into what one would call ‘success.’ For many years at a stretch I was depressed and very unhappy…two subtly different things, that can occur independently but once you have them together you are really fucked. As the years ground on, my ambitions got smaller and smaller, what I call successful now would be considered failure by others…hashtag firstworldproblems.
I was looking at all the detritus i have stacked up in the cellar…it’s nice having everything I own in ONE place, it makes it much easier to see what’s important and what can be discarded. I remember writing 2 or 3 years ago about trying to divest myself of most of my belongings…or at least half…well now i am down to less than half..MUCh less than what I started with all those years ago.. thank god I did that I’d have never fit it all in here. And now it is just a flick of the wrist to donate something or give it away, I don’t have three other ones stacked behind it.
One of the neighbors walking his dog asked me if I liked my house… yeah, I like it fine, I said. Why can’t i say ‘I love it’? what’s wrong with that? is it that I don’t love it YET? will I love it more when i finish all the things that I have in my minds eye? will that make a difference? What about that little red house with the view, that i STILL love, so much that i try not to think about it? it was truly fucked up inside..and would have cost me more than this one in the end. But why do i LOVE that one and not this one? Is that the romance of the hot guy who is nothing but trouble, and this house is the schlubby dependable guy you settle for and grow into a comfortable old age with? Is that what I am preparing for? my old age? did i move here to grow old? When I’m an old woman I will live in Maine and feed squirrels.
I don’t miss much about my old life… I do miss the view a little bit, but I didn’t appreciate it. It just kept me from feeling the claustrophobia I was actually suffering from. There were NINE mourning doves in my trees waiting out the snow yesterday. they don’t come by often, I don’t think they like the seeds in the feeder as much as the cardinals and the bluejays. I may set up a feeder for small birds next year after I get the garden going and figure out where to put it. Can’t let the squirrels empty that one… they are fat enough now.