In many ways the mandate marking the halfway point of the Ascent is more like a peak. Most of the other gentle suggestions are in service to:
Not the struggling-to-be-relevant-shelter-magazine-before-shelter-magazines-existed-fourteen-deep-on-the-newsstand kind of Housekeeping. No, I'm talking about home: finding one, making one, keeping one, sharing one, being content in one. Readers who have stuck with me for any time at all know that my obsession compulsion interest in where I live, where other people live, how we dwell in a space, and what we surround ourselves with in said space borders on the ridiculous. I'm sure the deep-seated psychological reasons for this will be revealed by some shrink stumbling on Going40, but I've had more than one partner/friend/concerned citizen roll his eyes as I recite Benjamin Moore's color deck like a rosary. Huh—I just reread that bit. That such a treasure is single is maybe not so surprising?
Anyhoo. Given the little events of the last few months and the attendant group home experience (the licensing for which, by the by, must be incredibly lax), figuring out where to live next (and for some version of forever) has been my overarching concern. I'll spare you the legal considerations and the market and economic implications (here's a clue: we bought high and now we live in the U.S. in 2010). Beyond that, it has taken some months to figure out what I even wanted to come next: could I just keep living forever with loving, generous friends (that will be its very own blog post someday); would I rent for awhile, retreating from real life for a bit, to regroup and prepare to land somewhere down the road; would I find a little house to make my own as I aged into the 80-year-old lady I seem destined to become? All three options have some most attractive components. And, I suppose, some downsides. A responsible bloggist would have put the options to his readership for a vote; instead, I changed my mind each day, spent a staggering amount of time scouring MLS listings online, and wondered to myself (Self? I asked) if a commute to a farm in southwest Minnesota was practical.
In the end, I've come full circle, and am surprised (and so, so, so terrified) to find that the best new home for me is one I never really wanted to leave. Later this summer I'll be making what was once ours, mine. I'm thrilled to contemplate living in a space I love, with friends I adore, in a part of town that is deeply home. Can I afford it? No (that's why we'll have Mandate #6). But I also can't afford not to (again, see U.S. Market Conditions, 2010). And I'm ready: to be on my own, to create a spot that is just so (and to learn when to let go of that little tic), to have a place to be with friends old and new. Duh: to keep a home.
And in answer to the inevitable queries: Gray Clouds, Modern Gray, Spalding Gray*, Lemongrass, and Glowing Firelight.
*It's true that I had no choice but to choose this color when I saw the name. Fortunately, it's my favorite of the bunch.
- ▼ June (11)