Thursday, April 29, 2010


In case you were wondering how things are going...

Making plans for change is difficult when the plans require someone else to cooperate, and you don't even know who the someone is. My apartment has been for sale for a month now, and though there have been nibbles, no one has yet pulled out their chequebook and made an offer. Today I dropped the price (sigh) hoping that someone will get the hint. This is not a grocery store; the posted price is a suggestion.

Another plan I'd made required the library to hire me as an on-call book shelver. I'm stymied there too, because apparently, while my qualifications are interesting to them, they weren't quite interesting enough, because they didn't even bother to phone my references. I am puzzled as to what I said wrong at my interview. I know that in one sense I'm overqualified, but I haven't had a regular job in ten years or so, and really, at 58 I'm not looking to start a career. I just wanted a part-time job and I don't want one that sits me at a computer (do that enough as is). Maybe it's because I told them I'm a writer and they don't like writers to touch their books.

Or perhaps I looked too feeble for lifting books onto shelves, though honestly, I've been lifting books my whole life, it's my most consistent activity. Or they thought I'm not hungry enough (yet) though I don't think that the function of a human resources department is to emulate social services.

Grumble, grumble.

Anyway, I'm more bothered about the apartment not selling (it will, it will). I thought we had a taker yesterday, a young couple about to start a family. I liked the idea of this place having a baby in it. It could use that kind of life. (Maybe they'll respond to the dropped price, and come back with an offer. One can always hope.)

It's not that I really need to move, either. I just badly want to. I like the place I live, it's very nice, but I need somewhere looser, sprawlier. I feel constricted here. I'm not cut out for apartment living; it feels like being warehoused. I'm in storage, like my books, that are stashed away in a locker, waiting for me to get this sorted. I want a front porch again, and dirt outside my door, not concrete.  I'm ready for change. And I don't like being so tidy.

Grumble, grumble.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

fifty-eight tomorrow

Happy Birthday to me!

Birthdays are funny; just about made it another year, whew. But hey, it gets my kids to call. And if they forget, there's always Mother's Day just around the corner.

It's not a prime number, 58, but it's two times 29 which is the age of my oldest child, speaking of kids, which I was, obliquely. For the next two months anyway, I will be twice the age of the first one (then she starts catching up). 29 is prime (I mean really, she is so lovely, and yes, they all are). 58 is not a prime number but it is a prime age to be, because it's the age I am. Any age is prime, come to think of it, because it means I'm still alive. (I don't mean to seem morbid, but I have a cousin who died a couple weeks ago, and he was just four months younger than me. So for him, 58 will never be.)

It does bring it home, the clic that there are no guarantees, that life is fleeting, when somebody topples over, just like that. So what to do about it? I've been reading financial advice recently, and it's all about putting off, saving, so that I'll have something left over when I am old and grey (and, no, I haven't got any grey in my hair yet, and as you are asking, neither did my dad until his late 80s, so that's a prime indicator, if you ask me). Hmm, I'm getting mixed messages from the universe here. You know, assuming that the universe has any interest in my personal speck-of-dust in the whole picture. But saving till you are old and grey and then dying when you are youngish and seemingly hearty, well that's just not fair. My cousin was grey, mind you.

But speaking from a strictly biological viewpoint, I'm done; the universe if it's got a plan, got it's work out of me. It's those three kids, you see. I did my bit, and now as a post-menopausal woman, I'm free of obligation (or am, as long as I file my tax return by the end of the month, but then that's not universe, that's speck-of-dust bureaucracy).

Next year, 59, will be prime for numerical reasons. (Primes are of course all odd, as they're only divisible by themselves or by one. I'm already odd, so it should be a good fit.) I know I'm getting ahead of myself a bit here, but 59 is also the age my mother was diagnosed with cancer, so I'm a bit leery of that number too, even though I don't expect history to repeat itself. At 63 I will catch up with her, and after that it's uncharted territory. I'm looking forward to several more primes, 97 being a pretty good sounding one. (Better do some planning, eh, so I'm not sharing catfood with the current furball, should I last that long.)

Bear with me here. There is rust in my writing joints. I've been focused on detail and bureaucracy (estates, probate, final tax returns, trust tax returns, ye gods) so much in the last couple of years, that my journal has cobwebs, and so do my thought processes. But I've been dusting things off (well, that's also because my apartment is for sale, and I need it to sparkle, all the time).

But it's true my thinking about writing has focused more recently. Although I packed up all my writing books and put them in a storage locker along with a half dozen bookcases (oh, pain) for the time being, which illustrates my contention that this apartment is one room short of perfect, size-wise, it's all about marketing, so that we can move to a place that allows some sprawl, and not because I don't yearn for the scent of book.

I know, I know, you can write anywhere, and in fact I'm writing right now in a very pleasant room with two (holdout) bookcases warming the scene. It's a shared space though, which is why I want to move. I don't want to keel over with my books and journals all moldering in a storage locker. I want them spread out on my bookcases, in a room with windows looking out over greenery.

So, that brings me back to my birthday. I want a buyer for my apartment, for my birthday. Universe, are you listening? (Because tomorrow is all about me ;-)

Oh, and Leonardo da Vinci, too. He'd be 558, if the universe had allowed.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

life is change

Change can be repetitive. My apartment is for sale. I'm going through motions I went through five years ago, staging the place, though with less angst, as my heart isn't as attached here. The pictures of my extraordinarily beautiful children are all in the drawer, as are some of the more "hippie" of my dewdads. I'm trying to make the place look like somewhere someone else might imagine living. I think I've done a pretty good job; it's actually quite elegant. I look at it myself, and think, gee, what a nice place. I could live here. That is if there was another room for my office, so I could get my books out of storage. And if there was a garden outside, not just planters and concrete. And if there was room for my partner to get his tools out of storage...

I'm greedy, and I know it; I've a much easier life (now) than most of the world. Still, it's unsettling to plan to uproot myself. But uproot I will. The partner has agreed to come with me, so that's all good. (Not that he could stay once I've sold the place.)

Part of the plan is to pick a new place to live that is new for both of us. He moved in here with me, and while I'm sure I'm pretty saintly, there is still the overtone of 'my' place here, not least because I do in fact own it. So, we will move somewhere new for both of us, and pay rent for awhile, and see whether that shifts our dynamic a little.

This is not to suggest we're aren't dynamic already. Things are flowing pretty well in the relationship department (some bumps smoothing out) but after two years of living together, there are the inevitable signs that other life continues, and one needs that, too. 

In a sense, moving will help with that too, because changes necessarily shake you up. I'm curious to see what it'll be like to be a tenant again. Last time I had a rental agreement was 1972 I think. A while ago indeed. I wonder whether being ungrounded will unsettle me (easy punning, eh?) or set me free. There's a lot of security in having your feet firmly placed on ground you own. Mind you, I don't feel that same solidity here, sitting in an apartment that floats over a concrete garage. So I guess it's been a useful transition. Not sure I could have made the leap straight from the house my kids grew up in to one that I had no stake in. Ready now, though. I've noticed that they grew up (the youngest hit the quarter century mark last month, whew) so it's not like I need to make my decisions based on more than my own selfish needs. Right?

Isn't this an all-over-the-place ramble? Which is also fine. I do enough organizing into spreadsheets in my life to take the odd apparently aimless stroll down the word street.

Which reminds me, that I've signed up for a writing workshop next month, and if anyone wants to buy my place, we'll have to work around it. I've been missing the sound of pen on paper and that's one of the places I plan for my shakeup to land me more often. Wordsmithing; extracting words from my brain, and making them make sense. This may not have been the best example, but then I'm kind of rusty. I feel like I've been away a long while.

But I'll have to leave it again for a bit -- someone's coming to see my place today, and I have to get out of here in an hour. And there are crumbs on the floor, dust on the shelves! Yikes!