For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Confession Time

We are sorting and dumping and freesharing and packing up.
We are getting ready to move.
So why haven’t I been blogging about our new house, why haven’t I been screaming from the rooftops about it?

No, I haven’t lost my faith. But after four months of riding an emotional storm, going from happy ups to depressive downs, series of disappointments about houses that seemed to be perfect but then just fell through for sometimes incomprehensible reasons, I have become rather cautious.
Yes, we do have a house. We think. The contract hasn’t been signed yet, they’re waiting for the bank references to come through. It’s just a formality, but still... I don’t know if I could bear to endure another major disappointment. So I thought if I don’t allow myself to feel elated and thrilled and it does go pear shaped, that at least I’ll survive... and I’ll be able to deal with the emotional fall out and disappointment from the other family members.
The other reason is the house itself.
It’s fabulous, it really is. It’s exactly right for us, too. It’s on the outskirts of the town where most of our activities, clubs etc are based, so we’ll be saving lots and lots of money and time on transport. It’s in a quiet cul-de-sac, with lovely views onto the Lake District, yet it’s close to amenities and there’s several bus routes nearby. The house itself is even detached! Having the feeling that you're still kind of free and not literally attached to someone else is a true blessing and it will make moving away from this wild and free place in the middle of nowhere easier.

It has the right amount of bedrooms and even a study, big enough for my desk and book cases! It’s the first house we’ve seen where we can move our - huge - four seater settee into, without even having to take doors or windows out. The kitchen is big enough, there’s a bathroom with both a bath AND a separate shower cubicle (!!) and it has a garage. And best of all, the pets were welcome!
So, why am I not jumping up and down with joy and why aren’t there a million photo’s of this new place on my blog?
Because, unfortunately, we can only rent it for eleven months, until 15 July 2008. Also, it's a fixed term contract, so we can't get out of it if we find something else before that date.
And that just sort of puts the dampers on my enthusiasm.

I am still endlessly happy that we will not end up having to go through the whole eviction process and becoming literally homeless, I am eternally grateful that we still have an actual choice about where we are going to live and that it's in a quiet neighbourhood, in a detached and well maintained house.
But the reality is of course that I know exactly how difficult it is to find suitable rented accommodation, where they’ll have both kids and pets.
I am determined to make the most of living there and I will do my utmost to see it as a kind of a holiday, but I haven’t been able to shake that dreaded knowing that we will have to start looking for a new home soon again...

I know it will be different, next time. We have learned so much and I think we are at the beginning of a whole new episode in our lives. Owen seems to be really on his feet and is endlessly happy about a possible career in the TA or the Army. Myrna has been investigating the possibility of going to school. She’s not sure about it yet, she might want to do part time schooling, but it’s obvious that she is going to go through major changes in the near future. AL hasn’t made a definite decision yet, but it looks like she’s staying in Holland if she can find a place to live there. And even if she is going to use her return ticket, I don't think she’ll want to live under the parental roof for very long.
Ken has applied for a job and he is seriously thinking about setting up his own business again if he can't find employment.
So, all in all, things are in full flow.

I suppose I am just very, very tired and it takes a lot of willpower to just hang on in there and not give in to that craving to just roll up and go to sleep in a quiet corner...
And it isn’t as if I can leave things to Ken, bless him.
He is of good intentions but in times like this his ADHD and Asperger Syndrome are all too obvious. The only way for me not to loose it completely with him is to be one hundred percent practical and structured about it. Make lists for him to work to. Try and avoid any situation that may cause arguments and discussions. Keep him as busy as possible, without loading too much responsibility onto him.
It sounds awful and unloving, but I know - after nearly thirty years - that this is the only way I can uphold my love and respect for him. And he knows it, too. We both have learned to accept that this is the way it is, this is the only way our relationship works and will stay intact. We are complementary, in a very extreme sense of the word. We are the ultimate challenge in each other’s life.
And after all this time, many many frustrating moments and much pain, we both know that it's absolutely worth every little shred of effort we've put into it. For ourselves and for our children.

I think it was Shukr who said on EF’s blog:
“Overcoming difficulties is one the best lessons we can teach.”
I agree with that, wholeheartedly.


Ruth said...

"But after four months of riding an emotional storm, going from happy ups to depressive downs, series of disappointments about houses that seemed to be perfect but then just fell through for sometimes incomprehensible reasons, I have become rather cautious."

I really understand how you feel. I feel the same way. I have seen, and fallen in love with, too many houses and had too many knock downs to get pleased about anything again. All I think now is what else can go wrong? I feel like we are on a roundabout and the spinning never stops. I get angry cos one persons lies has cos tus out dream home. I am just trying not to think about it too much and hope something better will turn up.

Mieke said...

((hugs)) Ruth. I know we're going through similar things, and not only with this whole thing of 'where to build a home'... Hope we both find what's best for us!

Gill said...

Here's hoping both of you find a perfect place to settle very soon xx

Mieke, the way you talk about your marriage is inspirational and instructional. I could have done with a long chat with you about 12 years ago, when mine was falling apart.

Mieke said...

*grin* Gill, I don't know if the outcome would have been any different :). Or if you'd be happier than you are right now...
Sometimes I'm reading your blog and thinking, hmmm, yeah, being a single parent certainly does have its advantages.
But there you go, we make choices every day and then we try and go with wherever they take us. It's not always easy, but then, what is?
I try and remain conscious about 'what's in it for me' and I know times like these - when I'm so worn out - are not a good time to make choices that are going to affect the rest of my life in a major way. I am just taking temporary measures now, like sending Ken camping with the kids for a few days. So that I only have to think about me and what I need/want to do... and I'll be able to make my lists and plans in peace, ready for Ken when he comes back. It'll also give me some time to catch up on (blog) writing and reading, in other words: feeding my soul :)

Dawny said...

thinking about you Mieke :) sending hugs and admiring your resiliance, you are so brave.

thenewstead5 said...

I have one like Ken ;0) and I know what you mean about having worked out (just about) the way to deal strongly with the aspects of their "aspieness" that can become particular issues at times in a marriage. We celebrate 14 yrs in a few weeks time! Feeling for you, with the move/house and everything, as we are currently putting off starting down that "homeless" route... sending love 'n' hugs, xx