Sunday, November 25, 2012

The future

We have been living in our house for a dozen years now and we have changed little in the grand scheme of things. Our house is colorful, spontaneously adapting to continuously arising problems, typical of old, but not so charming homes. 
This house is filled with many makeshift fixes, waiting for the break through renovations, which might never happen. My desire to change clashes often hard with the necessities at hand and the limits in our budget. Which cannot be helped.  The hoped for changes at home reflect my personal, I have departed quite far from who I used to be, even four, five years ago. 

Departed from once so harmonious ideas of how to live in this space. Less is now more appealing. Different rooms and different colors, different pieces would reflect so much better my different needs and who I am today.... They should be the fitting background to my stage in life, on which I perform daily.

I do not want to change everything. But some essential things. I admit, much more essential to me.
I do not always see eye to eye with my husband. He is in no hurry, least need for any change. He is happy with most around him and tells me to get occupied with other things, so I will stop nagging. His preferences lay elsewhere to begin with. He does not see peeling wallpapers or mildew in the bathrooms, he is seemingly oblivious to many things in need of improvement. Oh, my happy man!

Repairs we have to defer to later, due to other pressing issues and needs. And my reading of design blogs does not help at all. On the contrary. Regularly I read about massive improvements. No blogs are written about the lack of it.  Oftentimes it leaves me drained lately. I have to remind myself that these renovating mavens are a minority among the many folks, just living their common lives...making ends meet.

The irony of being so interested in design, but being incapable of acting on it sooner then later, is not lost on me. I am a dreamer, but this often comes close to self inflicted torture. I am certainly in no need for extra motivation.
There are endless scenarios which play out in my head, from better bathrooms to a modern kitchen, finished guest quarters in the basement, which has been a stepchild to us, playing evil mental games of let's pretend. I am so tired of it. 

Shall I surrender to the facts of life and remain silent from now on? I have to pinch myself to stay focused on the things at hand... To take every day and make the best out of it....
Are these the rantings of a suburban housewife with no other problems? I can assure you, it is not. I am busy with many things, some even involve making money. 
Am I sure I am the same person talking of Thanksgiving only a few days ago? These reminders are not forgotten, but there is this, the darker side, something else which needs to be voiced as well. 

Clouds over the Green House

There is a new roof coming after all. Soon. And I try to make the best of it, hoping to sneak in some changes, hoping it will pass muster. And the budget, of course. Why does everything have to be so expensive? I am not talking about the fancy stuff anymore. Contractors take much more then I do per hour. There would be no chance for me at all, if I would insist on these charges.

At Perch, New Orleans

I have been thinking hard about all that, feeling partly guilty of being so difficult and partly virtuous about me and my, hopefully, more self-controlled complaining, bitchy self.   
Now I have concluded I should try a different route. I'll will begin with myself. Begin to change on my end, free of cost and with a little more hope of success. Not the bathrooms, for I am not capable of such handiwork, but with the closets, the clutter. The stuff. 

The endless magazines, which have held my dreams and for that reason I could never part with them. As if I would loose the actual things, I so desire, by parting with these pages. The hoarded bits and pieces, which will never make it into once dreamed up projects. Unfinished THINGS, resisting for years and years under the bed and in dark corners of the basement, waiting to be discovered. All which have filled me with restless desire and pain. Constant, highly unpleasant reminders of unfinished business. They have become memories of past yearnings, ideas, with which I should have parted long ago. They have become millstones, which drag me under water. I realize that so many THINGS are connected to our 'selves', our being us, which led me to believe they are me. I am thinking about these, who loose everything through terrible events, or the cards of life, dealt to them. These unfortunate ones, might they actually gain eventually some wisdom, which is still avoiding me? Or are they simply endlessly suffering and missing things? 
Perhaps I'll learn finally to look inside myself for those THINGS, I desire on the outside?
I have read many books, stories of mindfulness and the practical help books, the un-clutter your space books and the ones pertaining to the 'un-clutter your mind'.
Where is that knowledge in my head? It takes more then reading, experiencing it on my own has always been the best way for me. Unfortunately I seem not capable of changing by theories and thinking about it alone. Learning for me is by doing. I do not want to loose the peace in my four walls, and the fine balance with my husband, who lives rather happily in the house, which is our home. 

That sunny window

This will surely be a departure not free of pain and some doubts, perhaps some regrets of leaving something behind, which I might miss later? I am a little scared of the implied consequences. But there is no change without loss along the way. What I hope to find is better balance of wants and needs in the long run. And a more clutter free existence. I feel, I can do that, but I still need to convince myself of my capability to pull through. To come out the other end with a different feeling and state of mind.
I am sure, I am not the only one suffering from imbalanced and painful hopes and desires, from dreams, we should wake up from not depressed but actually strengthened.
And to be at peace. This is my desire now. And in the future.

Our trees in spring


Images byV. Zlotkowski


  1. Victoria,
    When we bought our home, I thought that it might be "our first" home and now looking back - the changes that we made along the way involved lots of decisions and hard work, but I am so happy with the end result. Many times if we just look at the big picture, those little things that nag away or taunt us command our a child until we nuture or parent, often demanding discipline in order to achieve the answer to make the grade. Or like a diet or regime, we simply stay the course and begin to see the benefits of one's own desire for change.

    If you need any help to sort, to purge, to lessen and lighten your load, I can certainly be a non judgmental friend. I think looking to the future is exciting and I know you - you will teach yourself, find the perfect solutions to solve your dilemma or desire for change.
    We began talking of our dream renovation in 2006 and here we are six years later and living in our realized dream. There were many sacrifices, choices but again, like raising a child, we must look ahead to the future and hope for the best outcome.

  2. At a newly minted 63, I am in the second year of a remodel~the kitchen and the entire back of the house. For 20 years, the garden was my focus, then education for our child, then the reality we were running out of time. This Thanksgiving, I cooked dinner in our basement! Most days work continues on in the space and I know that next year, I'll finally have prep space again. We are paying for this with cash and some of our retirement savings as we have decided after the big crash, we could not afford to retire somewhere else. It is bittersweet knowing I won't have a lifetime in my it's for ME kitchen, but my husband and I don't have big arguments about money/allocation or putting another year on this project so we could fund more out of our checkbook. It's all been about compromise in some places and hell no in others.

    Coming to peace is not always coming to acceptance that things will always be as they are now. Trust me on this. Enjoy each day as best you can. Fill at least one space that makes your heart sing. Try not to spend time on longing or regrets. Happiness is not for sale...or for remodel. Hugs your way.

  3. Dear Victoria you are not alone. When I purchased my condominium (after being widowed)I thought I would do many "upgrades" in the future. Now turning 60, with many serious health issues the past couple of years....many dreams are on hold.

    I do what I can. Paint is about the least expensive way to make a big change. Pillows again make a room look so new and fresh!

    Yes there are many bloggers who are blessed with so much; however I am trying to pay it forward and not worry so much about my material desires. Who knows what the future holds...

    2012 Artists Series & Giveaway from Pamela Terry

  4. You all said such wonderful things! Thank you so much! I agree and trust, life will guide me in the right direction.


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