So we’re closing in on two weeks in the new house. And what have I learned?
- We’ve been entirely too passive with the previous owner. I still don’t have my pool key, the dryer is not set up properly (neither, if you’ll remember, was the washer. Also, he wasn’t supposed to take them in the first place so if he had done it the right way, we probably wouldn’t be facing this.) The guy he sent to fix the ceiling fan has been over four times including right now (he swears he’ll fix it this time), I’ve had his ladder in my bedroom and attic insulation knocked all over my bed and the floor next to it for a week. It’s completely ridiculous.
- Everything in one place. No seriously. As soon as you can. I started moving things out of my friend’s garage this weekend. My house is more cluttered for it, but it’s just better to have fewer nagging tasks hanging over my head. Things I’ve been looking for since the move, fearing they were lost, were in that garage. It’s easier to put everything away when you’re not mentally holding space for one thing and another. Even things as simple as my freezer— mom doesn’t keep the same things in her freezer as I do, so when I went to cook a meal I kept thinking “seriously? No chicken at all?!” Considering how much more stuff I moved into the house this weekend, the house is not proportionately more cluttered, and it’s letting me get rid of the things in the new house that haven’t been working the way I wanted them to. (There’s a whole shower caddy story here that I’ll spare you. You’re welcome.)
- Learning curves are a wonderful and terrible thing. My lawn-mowing experience took me an hour less than it took last week (that’s the learning curve at work— this week, I didn’t have to figure out where I was plugging in or whether I needed extension cords. I had to consult the instruction manual, but just to trouble-shoot, because I had problems when I moved from the front yard plug to the back yard.) I predict I’ll ultimately be able to knock almost another hour off my mowing time, bringing it to 75 to 90 minutes all-told. I’ve also figured out that the front yard takes about 15 or 20 minutes—in the back, I have to do more picking up dog poop and removing felled tree branches, etc. This means I could do the front yard after work one night, and save the back for the weekend, if I needed to. Flexibility is my friend.
- I need to be careful in how I word this, because I’m not saying that these things are the same, but I’m already noticing a difference in my life, from living alone. I went to lunch with some single-gal friends, and the way they talked about their lives was the way I felt about my life even a couple of weeks ago. But it’s not how I feel about things now. They talked about making dinner and cleaning up as if it were a huge production. I actually like cooking dinner and I don’t mind cleaning the kitchen afterward as much as I used to. It takes time and forethought, but basically everything takes time and forethought— at least at the end of dinner, I have something tangible to show for it. And I make sure to make enough so that dinner pays off for several meals thereafter. When I think about making plans with someone else, I think “okay, but if I do that then, when am I going to get the lawn mowed” (or the stuff out of my friend’s garage, or whatever.) I’m not sure if it’s the living with someone else (someone for whom you feel some level of responsibility), or the having a real house with land to maintain, but I kind of get, at a different level, why there’s this difference between singles and marrieds or between singles living alone in a condo and people with kids.
- I was lousy with ideas about writing, this weekend. Everywhere I turned, there were ideas. I don’t know if I’ve just been suppressing ideas, during the move, because my brain was busy with different things, or because I started reading again last week (even audiobooks count as reading, as far as I’m concerned, but I wasn’t doing even that, during the move, because there was so much to absorb my attention), or if I had just done something to win the muse’s favor. I suspect that moving from the all-encompassing focus of the move to a more diffuse focus helped stoke my creativity.