The moon is shining brightly, its light reflecting off the edges of the retreating rainclouds even though I can still hear the grumble of thunder to the north and west. It’s hard to believe that just a couple of hours ago I turned off the TV rather than persist in trying to watch the news between the emergency flash flood warnings that interrupted the programming. Only a few miles to the east a couple of thunderstorms raged and rested instead of moving on, pouring down more water in a matter of hours than sometimes comes in months here in the arid west. My friend posted on her Facebook page a picture of her patio covered in hail with the admonition that she was afraid the skylights would break from the pounding. Not so at my house.
This week I’ve cleaned the last remnants of my daughter’s stuff out of the basement bedroom and put the room back the way it was before she came to live with me. I scrubbed and cleaned the bathroom, too. Washing the floor thoroughly changed it back to a color I had forgotten. I also painted the walls and ceiling, transforming the bath into the room I had imagined but hadn’t gotten around to creating before my daughter came home from Australia. Now I find myself inspired to paint the whole family room, too. That will be some project.
It is as if, with her moving on, I have been released from some mental holding pattern I wasn’t even aware I was in. I put in process the first legal steps to finish my divorce process and sell my marital house after letting it hang for four years. I am inspired to clean and organize and paint my own house. I told myself I need to prepare to put it on the market, too. Even if I don’t sell it, the house needs some cosmetic attention. It is my psychological mirror and could use some sprucing up. I have made a commitment to be more devoted to going to the gym, especially to the part I hate, doing the cardio exercise. This is called, in the vernacular of a group to which I belong, “cleaning my side of the street.” There is something refreshing and exciting about this.
Somewhere along the way I realized I am also getting ready to “clean my side of the street” as it relates to my health and my weight. I went to the doctor not too long ago because I hurt my shoulder. He told me I have high blood pressure. He wanted to monitor it for a few weeks to see if it really is high. I recently went to another doctor to have a minor surgical procedure. He told me I had high blood pressure, too. I don’t want to take meds. Last year at this time I weighed a lot less. I had low normal blood pressure. What does that say but my ridiculous habits of eating to mask emotional turmoil is not a smart choice. I dreaded my daughter leaving. I thought I’d feel the same pain I felt when my marriage ended and my children flew the nest.
Instead this time is beginning to feel liberating. It is as if the walls of a cage have suddenly collapsed around me and there is nothing to do but flap my wings in hopes of taking off. Yesterday I finally made some phone calls and handled a financial problem that had been hanging over my head for quite some time. It had seemed as if I would never be able to fix it. It just took some perseverance, and things will move. More slowly than I might like, but move it will.
“I need to get my house ready to put on the market,” I’ve been saying to myself. Get it neat, clean, and in show condition is what I have been thinking. Do that for the sake of order itself, it seemed.
What I’ve realized is maybe, just maybe, I’m also preparing to put myself on the market. I might be interested in testing the waters of relationship again. I might be more serious about marketing what I write. I’m starting to feel more confident about the ideas of what to paint in terms of actual paintings, not just freshening up my actual house. Maybe I’ll hold a little drumming circle for my friends and refresh the energy of the house. It feels as if everything wants to change at once.
Unlike the last time that all-encompassing change happened to me, though, this time feels fresh, encouraging. This time I welcome what is coming, even if it is unknown.