We had a long grown-up kind of weekend. I’m still working to shake the general Dread (with a capital D) I feel about life in general; perhaps posting about it will help.
(Does anyone else find blogging — with an audience in mind — to be a good way to work through things you haven’t figured out? I think this is why many of my blog posts sound like really great advice — because I’m trying to figure out what to tell myself. That said, it doesn’t mean I follow that advice!)
First, about the buying of baby things: it is not at all because I feel any sort of desire to shop, but rather because I’m being honest about the stress I feel when I have to buy things. I’d like to spread it out over time rather than try to do everything at once. For example, I think I know what kind of crib I’d like (well, maybe) after doing some web surfing while feeling yucky on Sunday (three beers, people, and I felt like crap all morning) but I’d rather buy one used or on sale. Plus, I want to paint it. So, theoretically, I could buy the thing and store it someplace, casually and slowly building up a stash o’ stuff without feeling all the stress at once. The theory is similar to furnishing your house slowly, over time, with only things you love.
My husband and I want to do everything we can to prevent this baby-making and baby-having thing from being stressful. For me, the triggers are money and pressure to do things all at once. For him, they are too much planning and me being stressed. So, perhaps buying things over time — and researching just a bit at a time rather than over time — will help us hit that goal.
Next, we continue to talk about selling our houses. Yes, both of them. Except we go in circles. Should we sell that one or this one? How long would we need to get this one marketable? How long will it take us to finish that one? Should we move into that one to sell this one? But then wouldn’t we be back in the situation we’re in now, except “this” and “that” are switched?
Thinking about moving out of this house is incredibly saddening for me. I have plans! And they’re unfinished! I mean, yes, we got married here, but I thought we’d have a bonfire at least once, and a summer party on the back deck, and host visitors in the (super cool and 100% not creepy) basement, and refinish that darned ugly kitchen. I feel like we haven’t even really started improving this place – and I’d be very sad to leave it until we finished. I thought I’d be here forever (no, seriously, I did). I thought I’d raise my kids here. I thought I was done with moving boxes! So we talk and then I withdraw into sadness while I work through it.
I keep waiting to get to there, the place where we can enjoy life and do fun things and really live, but instead I’m always here, still planning on how to get there. I once read a line about houses being indicative of the person within. We’re living in an unfinished house.
Also, I’m reminded that I really suck at transitions. While I was living in NYC, an executive at my company suggested I consider a job in Engineering – but I’d have to move to Chicago. I cried when I told my then-husband, who (despite being the one who really loved NYC) suggested we consider it. “But I thought I’d live here forever!” I wailed. Yea, that’s totally me, wanting to settle in for a good, long while. And that’s also me, moving every couple of years.
So this is a transition and (per my usual MO) I’m fighting it. I know it’s a total waste of time (“railing against the inevitable flux of life” I once read) but I still do it. I want to stay on this street with these neighbors and not ever have anyone go away, as they all seem to do.
At about five minutes to the end of this episode of “Fresh Air” on NPR, the guy talks about how perhaps the general feeling of malaise people feel is because they don’t have challenges and difficulties to give them a sense of purpose. (I think. I’m paraphrasing from memory, something I’m really bad at. Do listen to the episode if you want the real story.) That’s where we are, my husband and I, feeling a general sense of malaise because the challenges and difficulties we face feel like they have no purpose.
On the bright side, I married someone who has a much better work ethic than I, probably the only reason we’re not playing hooky today.