Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Survival Mode

Moving isn't really my thing. My basic disposition is pretty uptight and I tend to overwhelm easily. Change makes me panic, and projects take me forever. For the last two weeks I have been sitting in our new house eating snap peas out of a bag and staring blankly at our mountains of belongings. Help?

We don't have a dishwasher, a commodity upon which I have grown dependent. In fact, I think I've completely forgotten how to live without one. For the last almost three week Ryan and I have subsisted on smoothies, canned soup, nuts and fruit. Oh, and the snap peas. Oh, and Thai food. I don't dare make a mess of the kitchen for fear I won't be able to clean it up. The recent demise of our microwave has made this packaged-food-lifestyle more of a challenge, but we press on.

The bedroom is the most put-together of all the rooms, except that nothing has been hung on the walls, including our only mirror. The resulting lack of feedback on my appearance has only caused minor trouble as far as I know. For example, last weekend, Ryan and I went to a wedding and I figured I would curl my hair for the event (I am convinced that curling my hair makes up for a pretty wide range of hair neglect consequences. I curl my hair less often than you might expect for someone whose hair looks like it was cut with a weed-wacker). I ended up scorching my neck pretty badly. Thankfully, since we have no mirror, I couldn't see the disgusting, leaky, dime-sized lesion that developed on a highly-visible spot on my neck. My heart goes out to those I've encountered during the healing process who felt like they should pretend they didn't notice. Sorry, guys. That must have been awkward.

The day after we moved Ryan and my brother spent all day tilling up a huge patch of the yard for a garden. Tragically, we discovered that most of the yard is shaded for much of the day. Anyone know a tree surgeon? Because we have a Box Elder that is getting offed. In general, Ryan has been taking great initiative with the yardwork which delights me to no end. As part of his initiative, he pruned the large rosebush in the front yard. Unfortunately, he was not aware that this bush, the most beautiful of all plants I have ever laid eyes on, brought me peace in my moving-trauma. I would stand outside and look at all the beautiful, fat, red roses and smell them and feel like we had bought the right house after all. When I came home after a long night at work to discover my precious roses had been, shall we say, aggressively pruned I had a meltdown. I have since recovered but I still wish I had at least gotten a picture of the thing in full resplendence to show you people. I have been assured repeatedly that it will be back, so I guess we shall all have to wait until then. With the exception of the Rose Incident, I am thrilled with the grounds and love them nearly as much as the groundskeeper. The garden, seems to be getting off to a reasonably good start and in the fall, with a little luck, we should have one of these to show you, also courtesy of Ryan's great enthusiasm. He's really, really excited about it.

Beyond the slow, painstaking process of finding places to stash all our stuff, and the general increased workload, home ownership is also downright scary. What if the grass dies? What if we get a termite infestation? Why does the dyer only work occasionally? How does one install a dishwasher? What about swamp coolers? What's up with those? What if the garden dies and we wasted our money? What if the whole thing burns down? Then what? Huh? Then what?

It is easy to believe that one can shop one's way out of one's misery. By some miracle of illogic, I am convinced that I can ameliorate the stress of owning more than I know what to do with only by purchasing MORE stuff. Here, for example, is the current object of my affections. But, Amy! You already own THIS bookshelf! But, you see, I need another. The larger one lives in the living room next to the reading chair. It is where I put books for reading. The new desk/shelf configuration would provide a place to put textbooks, file boxes, binders, photos, CDS, etc. Books NOT for reading. See? I need a new shelf. My hands are tied.

Moving is expensive and stressful. I'd love to have you all over for a barbeque, but for the time being all I can really offer is eating snap peas on the nearly-dead lawn. Any takers?


Jen said...

Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and repeat slowly: "Everything is going to be just fine."

Something that changed my life was the flylady's principle of just spending five or ten minutes de-cluttering per day. De-cluttering the whole house is too overwhelming. Everyone has five minutes. And then half of one shelf is clean, and you can do the other half tomorrow.

Also, if it makes you feel any better, at least you haven't been potty training a three-year-old today with two more days of the intensive three-day method ahead of you.

Good luck on the garden!!

missy. said...

mmm... a snap pea picnic. that sounds lovely. unfortunately i'm still a bit too far away...

perhaps in august, when it is my turn to be totally overwhelmed with home ownership and junk accumulation and that intense need to spend entire days browsing IKEA catalogs, i will have YOU over for a snap pea picnic.

Kate said...

Being able to have a garden does sound wonderful.
It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate even if you've only ever lived in crummy apartments.
I say, when in doubt, take a picture & give it to DI.

This method has worked for Neil & I and I rarely even remember the precious articles I have lost.... perhaps mostly because I have already filled its vacant spot with new STUFF!

Ann Marie said...

so, i'm laughing at your frustrations by the end of this that appropriate?

hope your garden turns out...i'm sure it will!