The First Step

So the dawn of a new era is at hand. What? No, not that presidential inauguration thingy. I’m talking about the next phase of the Crisis.

Milford - cute NE downtown and on the train line to NYC. And most likely too expensive for us.

Milford - cute NE downtown and on the train line to NYC. And most likely too expensive for us.

With the New Year, the Crisis upheaval starts to reach full gear. The first step: going to CT this past weekend to talk to a Realtor and look at neighborhoods. The immediate smack to the head from Mr. Reality – the ones we can afford, for the most part, are not ones we would ever want to call home or proudly show off to friends and family. The cute little downtowns that we love stir that same affection in others, making them out of our price range;  they don’t want nobody  that nobody respectable sent (a tweak of a Chicago colloquialism not totally apropos here, but I like how it sounds.) In any event, a disconnect quickly emerges between what we can spend and where we want to be. Made harder by the fact that we will be 900 miles away as we get this process underway, at least until Samantha starts her organic farming gig in April (more on that in a future post).

The Realtor was very nice, very experienced. She will be a plus, even as I got the sense that taking us on is something of a charity case for her – slumming, even. But hey, if she’s making money in this climate, god bless her, and she really seems to want to get us a house that works for us, and that’s good.

The rest of the weekend was the usual blur of non-stop lunches and dinners with friends and family, adding on more pounds than I will even begin to consider weighing. We feel the difference between Chicago and CT right away on these trips; we are tied to the car, and walking across parking lots or upstairs to use a bathroom is the most exercise you can expect.

The Connecticut River Valley - home for almost my whole life

The Connecticut River Valley - home for almost my whole life

And yet, on this trip, even as I lamented – still – all that I’ll be leaving behind in Chicago, the culture and excitement and ease of mobility, I realized I will like some things about being back in CT. When your plane touches down at Bradley, you know you are in New England, and New England is not, thankfully,  the prairies of Illinois. Hills everywhere, trees outside of parks and arboretums; even in areas I don’t know, I look around and see an environment that defined my physical space for most of my life. And it’s comforting.

Then, of course, there is seeing friends and family. Laughing and talking with them, for a few hours I was out of my head, away from the angst that defines so much of my obsession with the move and all the negatives around it. I see nieces and nephews grow (saw one for the first time), I hear family stories I never knew, I realize that kinship is a good thing. That said, there are people in the various units that comprise my extended family whom I can see on a much less frequent basis and be very content….The friends, though, I never tire of them and cherish their importance, as I have chronicled here before.

Of course, other moments of this preparatory trip were less pleasant. Hearing one couple who just bought a house reminded me how much it takes to buy one, move in, and then make it fit your needs and standards of comfort. Lots. With our last house, I did some handyman duties. I hated it. I swore never again. Well, guess what you lucky dog, you’ll get it whether you want it or not. Oh, and the shoveling, a relevant topic in this snowy winter. Get those creaky, aging bones ready for that. Then’s there the whole issue of having to buy a second car, eventually, and some financial uncertainty because of the move and the general economic crisis….

Yes, as much as I loved seeing friends and family and warming to the idea that on a geographic/ecological level, CT is home, I still went through parts of the weekend with alternating bouts of depression and rage. Depressed because I feel a train of events I didn’t want has begun, and  that  I have limited control over it. Rage because of – the same thing.  Both punctuated by waking up at 3:25 am on Monday with body pains and racing thoughts and the certainty that death was near, with only deep breathing and silent chanting able to nudge me back to sleep.

I’ll be talking to my therapist (one of my therapists) today.

Strangely enough, I feel a little better now about the situation. Maybe it’s because I’m home. Sleeping in my own bed, back to the usual routines, eating our healthy way, getting things in order after being away (work, though, has not cracked the starting lineup of today’s chores. Tomorrow, really). Maybe each little step toward that new life and creating a new routine will calm me. I hope so. I can’t spend too many weekends afraid I’m going to burst into tears or punch a wall with almost no notice. Not the prescription for a fun life. But then, nobody guaranteed this would be fun.

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~ by mburgan on January 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “The First Step”

  1. “That said, there are people in the various units that comprise my extended family whom I can see on a much less frequent basis and be very content”……have to wonder…..it will be nice to have you closer…

  2. It will, in some ways, be nice to be back. Assuming I stay sane…

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