I forgot the downside of doing so much cleaning and ripping carpet out when I can’t sleep at 3 a.m: dust allergies out the wazoo.
That’s been me the past few days. There’s so much that needs to be done to get this house in order so that all the junk is gone, items are given out to those who want/need them most (or were promised them), and we lighten the load enough that we can put flooring in… whenever that will be.
At least it’s smelling cleaner. I ripped out the carpets in the rooms which had 20-year old chihuahua piss stains that I could never clean (and dad could never see or smell to take care of it himself…grr).
I’m already dreading the day I buckle down and work on my library here. This desk is a monster (definitely going to Goodwill…once I get it taken apart so I can get it out the door) and I’ve got a thousand more books that need to find temporary homes in boxes so we can move the shelves easier.
Only…where can I put the books so they don’t get ruined by humidity and whatnot? That’ll be the tough part…and I need more boxes. Hope that air conditioned “craft room” my dad has in the garage is big enough!
But with all this running around and trying to clean and make things easier, I’m hitting that rut where I just don’t have the energy to sort things out, even my own things (and there’s plenty of them that I don’t need anymore). I’m hankering to just throw every damned thing in the back yard and light a match at this point, just to get it over with.
But I can’t. My inner environmentalist would cringe and beat the crap out of me, but quite a few things can’t be burned. At least I’ve had the sense to label the things bagged up for Goodwill and the things that can’t be burned…but I’m tired because the elephant in the room has started to trip me as I pass it up.
I’m tired because when all is said and done, and I finally given the house the minimalist treatment, and finally gotten furniture I like and the things that make life comfortable all settled in…then what?
I’m still broke, still in two jobs that don’t pay me enough to keep things going. Probate’s going to take a while and I just had to fork over a good chunk of money because the A/C went out the day before and thankfully I could get it fixed yesterday.
I’m counting the pennies very carefully at this point. I already made the mother of all impulse buys (yeah, I couldn’t wait til income tax time–found a Squier (made by Fender) stratocaster for less than a hundred bucks and they chipped in new strings because it’d been in the store (and played off the wall) so damned long. Knew I couldn’t get a deal like that for a new guitar any time soon.
But that was a couple weeks ago, and the only reason I got the Strat was I felt it’d been a crappy month and my birthday’s coming up, so I used that to justify the expense. Still, Strat, case, and amp were all together half the price of what that Fender Stratocaster I had my eye on would’ve cost, so it worked out better than planned.
So in the back of my mind, when I wasn’t dreaming about practicing Pink Floyd tunes or thinking about how not to sneeze my brains out, this “before dad” question of doing better for myself never went away. If anything, it’s only started bubbling over.
I’ve had people ask me how I’m doing the past few weeks, and today I finally had a mini-breakdown over the phone with my Sister By Choice. I mean, I think it’s accurate to say I’ve been taking things five minutes or an hour at a time. Amazingly, some things are getting knocked off my to do lists, but it feels like I’m back to square one, even after implementing all these changes.
My dad did not do much to prepare me for the real world and home ownership responsibilities (beyond how many taxes he’s had to pay). But as far as how to look for a home and all the expenses to account for, apartment living vs. home rental vs. home owning, etc., he never even tried. He took it for granted that I wouldn’t leave, and since I was taking jobs that let me buy more stuff I liked, but didn’t give me enough to make future plans on…he just let that drift away.
He never once brought up the possibility of me living elsewhere, and maybe he didn’t want to be alone or was worried about me out in the Big Bad World… but the more I think about it, the more I feel like I was just supposed to be an overly-chatty, reads-too-much, book-smart five-year old forever.
I mentioned this bit of anger to my aunt yesterday when they came by to help load up the truck to take things to Goodwill. And I gave it some more of an outlet to my S.B.C.
This is where my worry comes in the most. I’m at the mercy of people who know a lot more than me. Even dad knew toward the end (I suppose) that he hadn’t prepared me enough to live on my own, hence the reason my aunt and uncle are watching out for me and going to live with me.
Dad asked them to look out for me, and they told me they weren’t going to count me as another daughter or anything, that I would be my own adult person (thank all the gods that ever existed in human history!) I think it’ll be a good stepping stone to learn how to get out on my own, from people who’ve been there and can help me learn how to be accountable.
It’s a time to learn, that’s for sure, but I can’t help feeling like a colossal failure in my life. I’m almost 35 and everybody’s holding my hand to make sure I don’t fuck up, or let my “too nice” nature placate others just to make them happy while I end up losing the house because of legal maneuvering…if that’s a possibility.
Boy, this’ll be a GREAT birthday…but then again, that’s par for the course the past decade (said with all due sarcasm).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely glad they’re going to be here in the foreseeable future, and my dog sure loves the idea of more people to pet her to death in the same house… I just worry about backsliding into old patterns, into keeping myself in debt and being resigned that nothing will change because I’m too scared to do so.
And then my aunt suggested something that made me think. She said that in a while, when they finally have to leave their apartment, it’ll take a while for all their stuff to get in the house and there won’t be much for me to do. If I can swing it, she figured maybe to get a breather, and get away for a bit, that I should go see my S.B.C. for a week, and have my first vacation.
I wondered about that, and then I thought about San Antonio, where we’d thought about going before. Well, I called up my S.B.C. and she thought it was great, but why not go up there where she is in Washington (and not just because she’s tried to get me to move up there with her the past five years and change)?
It’ll be a few months til that point, but I gotta admit…I’m thinking about it. Other than road trips to see family, or going with dad to the deer lease, or school road trips… I’ve never had a vacation before.
I wonder if I can afford it. I’ve also never flown before, so that’s obstacle one to get around. I think everybody around me would have a freaking heart attack if I just up and drove the whole way from Texas to Washington state instead of flying.
I was raised a “road-tripper,” but to do it justice, I’d have to take a month off, not a week. What’s the point of a road trip if you don’t stop off at parks and museums, eat local fare, and talk to locals once in a while?
Note to self: figure out how much space is in one of those old bookmobiles and figure how much of my stuff I can put in there, so I can carry my library around (and my guitars, art stuff, and some clothes) and drive all over the country. Win the lottery so I can become a full-time travel writer. Got it.
So, I suppose I have a few financial goals to figure out in the next few months, bills to pay, and legalese to straighten out…and start looking for that new job again. I’m getting tired of hanging by a thread, and getting tired of doing so for the benefit of other people.
I’ll be a tired wreck by the time we get this place put back together in the next 60-90 days, so a vacation will sound really good.
Now I really need a new job, because at this rate, a plane ticket and other expenses will suck up a month’s wages. I can’t keep this up, and need to stop.