SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BREAK THE MOLD
to get to a bigger, better place.
The mold is a comfortable place.
Okay, not so comfortable: it has flaws. You are just used to the flaws.
Until the day when the flaws add up to something so large it can’t be improved.
I’m trying to get settled in the new, larger mold.
It’s just taking a lot more work, and a lot more time, than I told myself before the move (if you don’t do that, minimize the cost of the change, you can never get unstuck from the mold).
If you focus too hard on the cost of change, you don’t change. You CAN’T change.
Because change is very expensive, and not just in money.
Everyone tells me to ‘give it time,’ and tells me how long it was before they were settled in our new community, before they had unpacked all their boxes, before they knew enough people, before they reconstructed their new life.
But after the change, the invoice shows up and demands to be paid.
As the pain of the move diminishes, and becomes, like all memories, a series of amusing vignettes you recount at the dinner table to people you hope will become new friends, and whom you are now entertaining so they will know you’re not just a complainer (deadly) or a bore (deadly), the pain of the new become more evident: you are not there yet.
For me, it has been the amount of time I am still not writing new fiction.
I’ve spent a decent proportion of time with the internet blocked off, NOT writing new fiction.
I sure hope it’s ‘yet.’
You see, I also moved to improve the body.
I have started the PT I so desperately wanted, and which was one of the main reasons for coming to this particular place. PT is downstairs. An elevator ride and a couple of corridors worth of distance.
And next to the pool, so I can just pop into the warm water afterward, and then take a nice shower, and then…
Go back to the temporary home and find myself completely ragged out for the day.
And the next day the sacroiliac joint has given me a day of intense deep aching. So I do the exercises for that…
It’s necessary. Now is the best time. And it has plopped the next barrier to writing right in front of me.
People recommend patience
and not being too hard on myself.
And not expecting too much, possibly even now, since we’re beginning the process of working with Facilities to fix our permanent abode in Independent Living from being gutted, to having a place for everything and everything in its place, a state we are NOT achieving here (doesn’t feel worth the work when you’re going to have to do it all again soon).
But they don’t have the itchy feeling of how much of my identity is tied up in being a writer – and actually writing.
So many accomplished folk here, with long resumes of happy productive lives, whether involved in work for pay or in bringing up happy and successful children, and it serves to emphasize the many things I could not do due to illness, the may experiences I will now never have.
I didn’t expect that part.
Many of them are still doing the wonderful trips and community service and voter registration and visiting schools…
The ones who are past that are often quite a bit older.
And even the ones who are now disabled who are living here often have not been that way for long.
Only now I meet more people than in my previous isolated state
and have had, metaphorically speaking (and without any ill intent on their part – this all comes out in conversations), my nose rubbed in it.
I used to be better at ignoring the fact that I was ill and isolated, and the rest of the world had lives. Problems, yes, but lives.
By a determined cheerfulness in my own life, so that I did not alienate those I still knew, I kept the worst of it under wraps most of the time. It gets very boring to listen to complaining, however justified. I preferred to spend my time with my husband, far-flung kids, and small coterie of friends enjoying their presence and company when I had it.
I made ignorance – avoidance – my bliss.
And I wrote. Things other people can’t. Don’t. Don’t even want to. But which make me unique.
And clamped down on envy as unproductive.
I’m confronting all this a third time.
Fourth? Fifth? All in a bunch, everything repressed comes back to be dealt with in a new stage of life.
I really hope it’s the last time. But it can’t be.
It gets boring, even to me.
The light will return. Proof of that is that I keep trying. If I’d stopped trying, I’d really worry.
This may be one of those raw adjustment times you put behind you once things are to a new normal. But it’s daunting to think it may total a year by the time we’re in the ‘forever home,’ and I get back to really working.
Another very good sign is that I’m aware of it. I’m not happy about the uncertain period, but I still crave writing something coherent, and even more, writing something I’m satisfied with. I know I’m not where I want to be, and that the steps we’re taking should, with a bit more of that patience stuff, put me in a better writing place.
Life moves on, inexorably
I’d just like to think that the effort for change results in a better working environment, and is a net gain.
Ask me in a couple of years.
Meanwhile, this is a recording of the current state of mind.
I have gone back into my own posts, that now number well over 500, to find things I almost don’t remember writing – and I only started blogging in 2012!
Nothing very new yet
except that I realized how sparse even the blogging has gotten, and feel compelled (by me, not my lovely readers and commenters) to put out at least an update+what I’ve been thinking post every once in a while, until I have more substantive ‘content.’
And, looked at in hindsight, there has been an awfully large amount of change survived.
Please pray for rain for California, and no rain in some other places – that has been, after the elections, another huge concern: we are right in the plume of the Camp Fire, and yesterday were in the ‘hazardous’ category. Worrying about the firefighters, and all those who have lost lives, family, and homes. And wildlife. And what happens after.
And, as usual, not being able to do a darned thing.
Be well. Write when you have a moment.