Flux. That’s what my life is in….flux. I woke up yesterday morning all out of sorts but not quite able to put a finger on it. I’m not depressed, although my personal emotional rollercoaster is on the downswing rather than up. The season doesn’t give me the blues, although my excitement with it has changed dramatically over the years. But Christmas is but one small part of it.
Because: two years ago I moved into a rent house near my job. I chose to rent for several reasons: one, because I really don’t know where I want to live long-term; and two, because there really aren’t any homes in the school district in which I teach within the price range I want, or even where I want. Okay, those aren’t the only two reasons, but they are pretty high on the list. The owners of the rent house still had the garage full of boxes and belongings as well as a few things still randomly around inside the house. They contacted a local church to clear out the stuff, but in the process, the local church took all of the various Christmas Santas I had collected over my adult life, my full size-fully lighted Christmas tree, the ornaments I had collected for my children each year which I was going to give them when they got their own house, plus many more. When I contacted the church, someone assured me I would at least get my Santas and the ornaments I had collected for my offspring back. That was two years ago. And no, I didn’t; someone from that church had a windfall and knew it. Now, I know that they are material things, and I have to a great extent “let it go”. But this still plays a part in my “flux”.
Because: my youngest son is a senior in high school, and this is his last year at home. His last full Christmas with me. I know he will be back for Christmas next year. Already, because it is natural for children to leave home and create their own nuclear families and homes, my small family consisting of myself, three sons and a daughter (and now a grandson) are already on a holiday schedule which began a few years back. In even years my children (and spouses and now grandson) have Christmas morning with me and Thanksgiving with the “other side” of their family. In odd years, it is switched – Thanksgiving with me and Christmas morning with the “other side”. It is how it should be. But it isn’t just about Christmas. Flux.
Because: all of my adult life I have been raising children or “raising”/”dealing with” the bad decisions I’ve made in relationships. And, maaaaaaan!, have I made some doozies of decisions. Always there has been someone or something to take care of; some fire to put out. This year my three oldest are all out of the house and “adulting” on their own, and my youngest is 17 and well on his way to being an adult. He doesn’t need me like before. Oh yes I am proud! And full of gratitude to have my children turn out as well as they have. But already, even now before he has moved out, I am now just “one” – at loose ends. Some of my married friends are envious, as in “Oooh, all the freedom you have to do what you want when you want…” and other such nonsensical comments. Seriously? As it is, I am a single female, and those same married friends are uncomfortable inviting me to things that in their eyes require “couples”. I'm not uncomfortable with it…I’m actually very comfortable right now in my own skin, thank you very much. And going out to bars isn’t what I do because I’m not trying to get “picked up” or “find a date” or anything else ridiculously unfulfilling. (Okay, I do wish we had Irish pubs close to my house. As in I wish I had Ireland and its pubs, period.) I’m not going to lie; I am a little excited about finding out what I want to do socially concerning things I’m passionate about, or maybe not even passionately but slightly interested, but again, right now I am in flux there as well.
Because: I’m at a crossroads in my career. Do I stay in teaching public school? Do I begin my own studio complete with workshops and classes? Do I try to do both? It’s terrifying retiring from the one, watching my pay scale drop dramatically, and jumping off into the unknown hoping for the best. Flux.
Because: ….and this goes back to my reason for renting in the first place…where in the Hell do I want to live? I need a “nest”, a place to land, somewhere I can retreat. But do I want a full-blown house with yard and everything that comes with it? Do I want a townhome or condo which I can lock and leave for weeks on end without worrying about whether the grass needs mowing or the mail picked up or packages on the doorstep or, or, or…….. and WHERE? I’m tempted to get rid of all but the very basics, put it in storage and just float from pillar to post – live in Ireland for a month or two, maybe France, maybe Scotland, possibly Italy….