Before anything else, you should go visit Andrea Host’s blog and read about a new release from Intisar Khanani, Memories of Ash. I don’t remember whether I reviewed her first couple stories on Goodreads, but I read them and enjoyed them, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.* And at the moment, it sort of feels like I have plenty of time to read. Still no house sale so I feel like I’m living in limbo.
It’s a limbo that involves three main elements.
1) Continuing to clean and get rid of stuff. The cleaning is partly just that houses get dirty, especially when one has two dogs, and a house that’s maybe someday going to be shown to potential buyers (of whom there have been none — it’s not like people are seeing it and rejecting it, no one’s even seeing it) has to look good. So I’m keeping it cleaner than I normally would bother with and that’s annoying.
But I’m also still cleaning things out. I did the bathroom again over the weekend. I’d cleaned it out once already , getting rid of all the extra stuff on the back of the tub — bath salts that I didn’t really like, shampoos that weren’t quite right, moisturizer that wound up sitting there for months, that kind of stuff — and cleaning out the cabinet under the sink. I hauled a small trash can bag out that time. This weekend, I did it again. I tossed the makeup that I hardly ever use, some cleaning stuff that was almost gone, that kind of thing. It’s sort of amazing. I thought the bathroom got a lot nicer when I got rid of the first round of clutter, but it’s seriously nice now. The drawer has room in it for all my stuff, and the cabinet’s not crowded. I can find everything. But why did I need three hairbrushes? Why did I have EIGHT sets of toenail clippers?
I also did the last couple of drawers left in my bedroom and today I’m thinking about tackling the kitchen. My kitchen plan is to put everything that I think I don’t use into bins in the garage and see what I miss. Anything I miss, I’ll retrieve from the bins. Anything that I don’t miss, between now and whenever the house sells and closes, can go to goodwill. It’s going to be interesting to see how that works. I think I use my cutting boards, my knives, two different frying pans, two pots, my micro-grater, my garlic press, a ladle, two different spatulas, a wooden spoon, my oven thermometer, one cookie sheet, one pan, a rack, a round glass dish with a cover, a strainer, a vegetable peeler, and a can opener. I have a lot more stuff in my kitchen than that. Oh, I use my coffee pot and my electric kettle. And plates, bowls, silverware, glasses and mugs, of course. But seriously, I have drawers full of stuff. What is all that stuff? Why do I have it? I guess I’ll find out.
So, yeah, item one, cleaning and cleaning out. Item 2: daydreaming about my future. I actually set up a Scrivener file (more about Scrivener in a future post) titled Destinations, with forty-nine folders, one for each state an RV could reach. Each has three subfolders, Places to Stay, Things to Do, Food. I felt like maybe I should add a People to See folder, but that seemed a little… I don’t know, unrealistic? I’m pretty sure I can keep track of the people I know without needing to list them in a file. I’m planning to use it to track places that I read about, so that I don’t have that experience of thinking, wait, that great campground on the gulf coast that I read about, where was that again? I’ll be able to look it up, I hope. I’m also spending far too much time browsing and reading RV sites. I’m torn between trying to learn ALL the things now, and the practicality of how much easier it will be to figure out, for example, how to use the switches on a refrigerator when I’ve actually got the refrigerator in front of me. So yes, too much time spent doing that.
Thing 3: enjoying where I am. I am probably as tan as I’ve ever been in my life because Present Me has been being very careless about sunscreen, totally unsympathetic to Future Me’s cancer risk. But I’m so enjoying my pool and my neighborhood. This morning when I was walking Z, not quite 7AM, with the sun risen but the sky still holding traces of peach and pink and that blue edging into purple on the clouds, I was filled with joy. The birds were doing their bird thing, whistling away to one another, and the squirrels were running around — one jumped from a branch above my head, just a couple feet away — and the world felt glorious. I cannot say how many times I’ve spent that walk with my thoughts grinding away on worries — what to do about the wood rot in the front door, how to afford fixing the water heater, what sort of job would give me health insurance… the usual stuff. It’s not as if I don’t think I’ll have worries in an RV — what happens if it breaks down, what happens if a dog gets sick, what if I’m in a crash? I’m sure I’ll find plenty of things about which my anxious brain can ruminate. But none of that deterred me this morning from enjoying the moment that I was in.
I should probably add thing 4: writing and planning writing. I’m sort of wondering if the universe is insisting that I finish Grace before letting me sell the house? I did say that I was going to do that and I’m not really any closer than I ever have been. I just fiddle around with the same bits all the time. But I do work on every day and I do think about it a lot and someday, someday I am going to break through whatever has me stuck. Maybe even someday soon. Maybe even today! But not if I don’t get to it, so I guess that’s what I’ll do now.
May your day have joy!
*I am re-blogging in order to enter the giveaway, because I’d really love to win a Fire and those books, but I hope you know me well enough to know that I would never say I liked a book unless it was true!