Just back from looking at another house. Another long drive. Another wretched house, full of scented candles to boot, and I walked away feeling ill and discouraged. To get home we had to drive through one of the larger towns in our area. We don’t get out that way all that often (except for the express purpose of looking at houses, that is). I had this wild, mad urge to go shopping. To buy anything really. Anything that would be pleasant and make life prettier and nicer then it felt just then; anything that would feel home-like, warm and comforting. This town is home to my favorite yarn store, that lovely little Waldorf toy shop and the old fashioned office supply store where I was hoping to get some of our school supplies this year. I almost turned to Steve and told him to head to any one of these destinations. But I caught myself in time.

We spent a lot of money yesterday. A lot. There were lots of necessary things; food, a freezer for the half a cow we will be picking up soon, Iain’s glasses. We got some supplies for making Halloween costumes and a birthday gift for a little friend, and on a whim I picked up a couple of shirts for myself. I don’t feel badly for that at all. I very rarely buy any clothing for myself. I’ve been needing shirts for 9 months or so now. I was standing outside a store, baby sleeping on my back, waiting for Steve to come back from taking the boys to the bathroom. They were having a big sale and I was thinking how many of the things in there I liked. I had a now or never kind of feeling. Like there will never come a time when I manage a shopping trip with the sole purpose of buying clothing for me. I only made it about half way through the store. By the time everyone made it back I had a handful of shirts in my arm, in my best guess at a size that would fit. I handed them to Steve, asked him to pay, took over with the kids and we were on our way.

That was ok. That was self care and nourishing in it’s way. The feeling of today was different, it was the desire to escape, to distract myself. And that is not ok. The feeling is ok of course, but the acting on it is not.

A quick assessment of my life right now leaves me feeling alarmingly off keel. My home is full to bursting with stuff to be sorted, things to be finished, belongings in need of places to *be*. It feels scattered, frantic, desperate. I do not need to add to that at this point. I do not need to compound the chaos.

The funny thing is, we don’t even own a lot of stuff. But we also live in a house, in a place in between. A house that we are living in, but trying not to be. A house that we are in a frequently thwarted process of leaving. It’s an uncomfortable sort of place to be in. Add to that the practical facts of life for us these last several years…the lack of running water, the limited electricity, the single broken dresser for a family of 6, the complete and utter lack of cabinets or closets or anywhere designed to put anything, even the unfinished walls feel cluttered and unkempt and well, it’s over-whelming. When we were in a position of working to *improve* things, it was bearable. Things were always getting better, little, by slow and painful little, but there was a goal and there was progress to be seen. But now…since making the conscious decision to stop putting time and energy into the house, there is no forward momentum, there is no movement and the feeling in the house is stagnant. There is just this pitiful, difficult, messy existence.

I don’t ever want my home to feel like that. Ever. No matter what else is happening in life. My feelings of desperation in the car today were a panicked need for some sort of shift in my reality. I had a choice to make then and I have a choice to make now. I didn’t go shopping and try to fill the void with treats and distractions to smooth over my anxiety. I came home and took some time to regain my composure. And now I’m going to get up and start addressing one small area, one small project at a time. I know there are limits to what I can do, but I can try. And I feel like the trying right now is almost more important then the outcome. Just the intention of wanting to improve our quality life, closely followed by positive action, is bound to snowball and settle the uneasy feeling inside of me. And from there the feeling will spread to the rest of the family. And I feel certain that life will be just a little bit better for it.


9 thoughts on “decisions

  1. sarah haliwell

    I empathise with you in so many ways that I should probably not clog your comment space with. And I also am trying to make the same decision, from moment to moment, to take action towards positivity. I wish you all the best, especially in finding a safe home soon.

  2. Pampered Mom

    I can understand that feeling…I'm probably about as far away from a shopper as you can get. The purchasing of things and eventual storage of them doesn't really appeal to me, but there have been a few times that I've had that feeling recently.

    It's always a bit hard to admit that it won't fix the underlying issue (and that the feeling won't last all that long to boot). I'm hoping your family will be able to find a place to move into soon – I hate that middle ground, waiting room kind of feeling.

  3. Kimberley Lynch

    I'm so impressed with your selfawareness and selfcontrol! Kudos to you…thank you for your frank honesty that reminds us all that we are all human…all of us, even those who seem so darn superhuman sometimes. Love your blog!

  4. Kate

    I am so sorry that you all are having such a struggle! I have been reading you blog for a while now and I really can identify with some of what you are going thru with your house. If its allright with you I would love to pray for your family and housing situation. If thats not ok I wont but I will still keep you in my thoughts each day. Your blog inspires me so much and you have lovely children. Kate

  5. Melody

    Kate- prayers, thoughts and warm wishes of any sort are always most gratefully welcome around here. Thank you.

  6. Priscilla

    I hope you'll find a nice home soon. A warm place where you and your family will bloom and be happy.

  7. Lizz

    I know very much that of which you speak. Those feeling that threaten to overwhelm us. I find action soothing as well. Recently I have learned to allow those feelings to surface, to feel them, to sit with them and to not act. As you have done so yourself. To be non-reactive to those intense feelings of inadequacy or desperation. As one of our therapists put it recently, to love those feelings, to honor them and to know that they are part of us. As if nurturing them makes them less negative.

    We have been homeless as a family. It was very difficult, yet I came to an awareness then that serves me to this day.

    I'm sending love your way. Can I do anything else?


  8. taimarie

    Thank you for your frank honesty here. I can only imagine that this limbo must be so hard, and that the weight of trying to stay centred and positive for your family must be great. It is nice to see you making your space beautiful while you are in it, it must help a little.

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