Friday, January 22, 2010

home turf

Once again, I have generated a home full of rubble. I seem always to be mid-reno. Right now half the kitchen has spilled out into the dining area, while the insides of cupboards get painted by my sweetheart. Last coat tonight, with any luck. Then tomorrow the other half of the kitchen can be emptied out, and all this work will be repeated. Sanding, primer, paint, two coats. It's the inevitable result of upgrading. New counters, new stove, new sink, and the cupboards look shabby. The doors are fine, but the insides? Ick. It's not just the water damage that causes particleboard to bubble up, but the peculiarly drab and nasty colour inside the cupboards. Anyway, half have transformed to the same creamy colour that is on the walls in the kitchen, and it helps. Lighter, I'm going for lighter. This apartment is light-challenged.

I've done this before, not really that long ago; worked at upgrading a place so it can be 'staged' for selling. This time I'm doing it as a duo. Though the place belongs to me, I'm now part of a couple, and we're on the move this year. This apartment was transitional anyway, if I'd only realized it when I bought in here. Everything is transitional I suppose, change constant. It's funny that we ever think we've got it right when we buy a new place to live. But I have learned one thing by living here, and that's that I lived too many years in a house to transition easily to apartment living. I'm spoiled; no doubt. I miss the luxury of a house to myself, and some green around it. Doesn't have to be a lot, but stepping out the door onto the ground instead of onto concrete strikes me as very desireable, essential even. And anyway, I bought this place thinking of myself as solo, and now I'm not. It's become crowded, too much stuff again.

Ah yes, stuff. That's always an issue, and lightening the load is a goal too. But there are limits, and some cushioning that I'd like to keep around me, thus the impetus to move into somewhat roomier digs.

So, what's the plan? Well, I'm going to sell my place sometime this spring, if all goes well. Then we'll find a place to rent while we take our time about where next to put in roots. And there are roots to put in. We have a growing selection of plants that are waiting for some ground to sink their roots into. And I want to be in a place where I can watch them grow. They're having a hard time here—not enough light gets through to us on this patch of concrete. And it's high on my list, that sunlight will stream through windows in the next place I live. For me, and for the several house plants that D had to farm out when he moved in, till we have a proper window to put them near. I gave away a lot of plants too when I moved in here too. It's funny that I didn't put together that a shortage of direct light would trouble me as well.

Renting will be quite the change for me. It's been more than 35 years since I last rented a place to live; not so long for my partner. Will I feel free? Maybe. D liked the freedom from responsibility after being a homeowner (though he seems to have been roped into pseudo-homeownership here) and isn't troubled at all by the idea of renting. Of being transitional for awhile. I'm kind of intrigued myself. After so many years of being responsible for everything, it might just be a nice holiday. But I wouldn't bet on me staying a tenant for long. That plot of land, it draws me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It passes, doesn't it? Here I thought I was on top of things, and it's already January 12, with nary an entry in nearly two weeks. I'm trying to put some kind of schedule into my life, so that all things get attended to. But really, I seem to be a person who works at putting out fires. Deadline approaching? Douse it.

I haven't just been lying around eating leftover shortbread. There are signs of movement here. Mostly in my computer though. It's interesting how the advent of technology has changed the way life goes. Once upon a time, I wouldn't have had my nose in a computer for hours a day. But it's mesmerizing. I'm mesmerized right now! Oh, maybe that's my problem. Too much absorption in myself?

I did take a brief writing break. A friend was house-sitting on Bowen, and I packed up my papers and pens and went to join her. A good 48 hours away from computer, tv, newspapers. And city lights. I like sleeping in the dark, and that doesn't happen where I live. So quiet. Trees. Sound of rain. Wind. Wind chimes. We did write, and also walked in the woods, and poked around in shops, like any self-respecting tourist might do. I found I was irritated by the chatter from radios in some stores. It was a blissful break, and I will remember to do it from time to time, whether there's a friend conveniently house-sitting or not. Doesn't have to be Bowen, it's just the away-from-city-racket part that I liked. Also stepping out of usual setting, makes you think. It's all about perspective, I suppose. 

I have got one or two resolves I've made for this fresh new year. I decided that I would take a break from being a drinker of alcohol. I've had a one-night lapse, where the dinner I made cried out for wine accompanying, but oddly I didn't feel particularly great the next day, and so my resolve has been reaffirmed. I'm a bit on the fence as to whether I have a really great problem with the stuff, but I am certain that the habit has been getting a little too habitual. It's as if I fell into a holiday from being the responsible adult in everyone's life, but I've found I still need one in mine. No one's the boss of me!! except me of course, and so the resolve.

The other resolve is around writing, small steps to bring myself back into the habit. This is a habit that I would like to become habitual. My journal and my blog are babysteps forward toward some writing projects that have been slightly touched on, but mostly lie in (virtual) piles. Or maybe I'm taking tiny adult steps. The steps of a somewhat responsible adult. We'll see.