Thursday, March 3, 2016

Seeing just where those chips fell...

Daring to let go – and letting go – creates a certain sense of free-fall.

For a limited amount of time.

We’ve moved. The old house is up for sale, the new house – well, the new house still has boxes stacked in corners; but, for the most part, it is a wonderful place to be.

But wonderful is quite relative. With the right amount of make-up, deflection and lighting – something can look quite beautiful but be rather ugly on the inside. Like plumbing that leaks and clogged drains. Hot and cold water reversed – only discovered when hot water finally works. Wood rot, mice, water six inches deep under the house when it rains. And ivy.

Who plants the pernicious weed known as ivy?

I’ll get back to the ivy in a minute. This new house, so beautiful with its seductive view, has a few problems. Actually, the “few problems” fill a 2-page spreadsheet.  And most of the problems are manageable – if we could clone Andy and hire a professional wrecking crew. Did I just say that? Yes I did. Perhaps what I mean is a contractor, landscaper, plumber, electrician, carpenter and erosion specialist.

Patience – as a state of being – has suddenly become my mantra. Free-fall is over and the landing was a little rougher than anticipated. Most of the time I can look around and feel the blessings that surround me but when one more small thing suddenly reveals a glaring problem, its hard to keep everything in perspective. Last Sunday all I felt was defeat. Because I decided to go start in on the ivy off of a small stone patio. Not a small project like, say, clean out all the gutters or install a sump pump. No, I picked the ivy. And, as you can imagine,  it was an overwhelming task – completely daunting with little to show for a good hour’s work. Frustrated, tired, and seeing just how deep the tangle of ivy was, I pulled viciously on a vine using the tried and true magical swear words that my father used to use and I wasn’t supposed to repeat … and that god damn sucker came up and viciously slapped me in the eye.

Stunned, in pain, my eyes now blurred with tears – and one eye that couldn’t open, I tackled that fucking vine until it lay limp on the pile of other torn out vines. Yes, the small pile. And then I stood there, trying to breathe past the pain in my eye, wondering if I had done any serious damage, wondering if I had to go wash it out, wondering what the hell I was doing knee deep in an ivy patch while the sounds of Andy tearing apart a wood rotted deck around the corner mixed in with the sounds of the surf right below me. The world continued to spin, the day was beautiful  - but I looked up at this house and felt the slap all over again. The woman who sold this house to us lied about so many things. It blows my mind. Our other house sits empty and staged waiting for someone to pay for the privilege of living in its well-constructed rooms.

And I asked myself – had this move really been worth it? Was this move up the coast, away from family, friends, community, work – worth it? How can I find the patience to let go of the “list” when I feel like I’m chained to its priorities?  Andy looks at the list and he sees doable action items that he, himself, can complete.  It might take awhile, but he has the confidence, skills and strength – god, the energy – to pretty much do whatever needs doing. He was practicing how to sweat copper pipes the other day. If anything, I need to be calm, patient and at peace – just so he doesn’t kill himself trying to take on more projects while also juggling a full time job, commuting, and managing the other house down south.

For the last twenty years, I’ve lived a life that has come with a lot of privilege. I still do but the financial faucet is closed down while we wait on the sale of the other house. I feel a little awkward saying this but my impatience stems as much from not being able to simply make a bunch of phone calls to get this house in working order as it does from my own inability to start in on some DIY projects that might challenge my inept skill set. I’ve spent the last twenty years developing my yard maintenance skills – and you already heard  what the ivy had to say about that.

So what to do?

It took a couple days. I didn’t sulk – too much. I studied the list. And realized that I was going to have to start at the beginning.

I was going to have to learn.

I was going to have to tackle learning a new skill so that I could tick something off that long list of projects. This would undoubtedly result in me driving Andy nuts with questions on how to use power tools -which actually sounds pretty amusing. This would also include making mistakes -okay, I could take some lumps - and getting frustrated which meant I would get to channel my dad when the nail doesn’t go in straight – but at least I would be doing something. I need to be part of the solution, not waiting for other people to make all of these problems go away.

I've got some ideas but I want to do my research to make sure that I'm perfectly capable of seeing whatever I pick through to the end.

With help of course.

Learning means I need to ask questions, teach myself and be taught.

I am going to find my string cutter for the ivy though - no more ms. nice...

Part 2 - here

No comments:

Post a Comment