I’ve been here in my “new” home for nearly four months. And, other than a few boxes in the garage that are still waiting to be unpacked, I’m mostly “here.” I’ve even had a dream or two located “here,” which is usually a sign for me that my Younger Self has really moved.
In some ways, this was a difficult move. I tend to travel rather lean (or, at least, well-organized), but, still, after a lifetime in the law, after decades of gardening, and after, mea culpa, having bought too many books just because I could, this move took a lot of work. Every single thing you’ve accumulated/been given has to be held, considered, and, then, in many cases, given away. Selling an old house, buying a new house, installing a water treatment system, finding new cleaning people, identifying a new place to service the car, reorganizing files, making new offerings, establishing new connections with the Powers, and Spirits, and Beings of This Place (especially when This Place includes a lake) — it’s a big job.
But now that I’m here, I’m loving it.
One of the things I promised myself was that I’d get out and walk a lot more. It’s easy to tell people that walking is good exercise and very easy. Sure. Just get up an hour or so earlier, get dressed, walk for 45 minutes, and then come home, cool off, shower, and get dressed to head off to work. Easy, peasey, and your exercise is done no matter what else the day throws at you.
And there were a few years when I managed that, until I broke my ankle and spent 4 months recuperating. But the real issue, for me, at least, was that I couldn’t regularly come home around 11:00 from an exhausting day, order out some dinner (because, really, who’s going to cook at that point?), eat it and have a few drinks to relax, collapse into bed around 1:30 and, then, sure, get up at 5:30 to walk and be ready to leave the house by 7:00 to head back into the office and do it again. I’m sure there are some people who manage that, but I don’t know them. What really happened was that I’d fall into bed around 1:30, wake up still exhausted at 7:00, gulp coffee, stand in misery in a shower, and then head, exhausted, back into the office to do it again.
But, now, here I am, retired, with not a care in the world and — more importantly — with the ability to manage my own time. And that means that I can get up, have coffee, meditate, and then go out for a walk. It’s very hilly here, which is good. It challenges me. But there are also all the other old, retired people out walking — with their dogs, with their partners, or alone with their hiking sticks, or bird binoculars, or native plant guides. And everyone wants to stop to chat, which does (thank the Goddess) give me a chance to catch my breath on these hills. I’ve never lived anywhere else where I knew the names (I’m bad at names, so I have to work at this) of so many of my neighbors (and their dogs, their grandkids, their adult children), which is likely the result of so many of us having just this year moved in. Eventually, I’m sure the difficult personalities will out themselves, but there’s a bit of self-selection going on. If you hate having neighbors, you probably wouldn’t move to a place like this. And for now, everyone is friendly.
And, INTJ that I am, I’m having to figure out where my boundaries are. Just now, all of my extra “interacting with others” time is given over to political work, but, after the election on Nov. 5th, I’m looking forward to more unstructured time. And then I’ll figure out whether I want to go to mixology classes, or history club meetings, or the book club, or the knitting club, or the water aerobics class, or the . . . .
Meanwhile, every morning, I put on my walking shoes, walk up to the end of the development where I can see the cows from the local farm, head back down the hill to run into others who want to talk about the new water tower, the local sheriff’s race, the way the leaves are turning, someone’s adult children kayaking across the lake, and then up the hill, and then down the hill, and then back up the hill to my little green cottage. . . .
May it be so for you.
Picture found here.