I have a habit, or a gift I give to myself, that I have claimed since I left the nest. Whether I did it when I lived at home is a question for my mother. I go inside. Because… I am tired. My moods are switching. I am trying to settle myself down. Gather my strength. Remember how to love my kids. Or because the world is so big and so challenging that I need to nap, speak only to the dog, and clean.
I have not blogged in six weeks, and I attribute this to not wanting to be cyber-seen, because I do not have the answers and I’m not great.
It’s not bad, actually. Jake’s physical and emotional health is better and his grades have improved miraculously in the new year, which brings peace to our home. Landen is still learning his lessons the hard way, but the back-and-forth, push-and-pull are consistent, and we get a little better every week. We are crammed in this small condo and we hate it, but they have drawn closer to me. Like they see how hard I am working to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation and change things. And maybe they know I need the encouragement.
But y’all, this sucks. It’s dark. It smells of stale smoke that is stuck in the wallpaper. Which I am painting over. Murphy has nowhere to run and is getting depressed. The cat dish is in the boys' room; the litter box in the hall. We can hear each other using the bathroom and the only way to have a truly private conversation is to go outside. The neighbors are going to beat on my door about little boy noise or barking dog noise or yelling mother noise.
Landen turns eleven on Wednesday. Saturday night I took three of his friends with us to the movies and his favorite Mexican restaurant. He asked for three weeks to have them spend the night, and if not three, please just one. Son, there is no room at the inn. We literally sit on top of each other, with light popcorn-covered ceilings to offer the illusion of privacy. So what was once “not so bad” is now something he hates, and I only need the vehemence of one to get the other in line and then I’m on a full crusade.
And by the way, I’m not feeling so great. I thought when the house was sold and the divorce moved forward, that “moving on” thing that ex-wives wait for would happen. It has not. Because if you are a person who goes inside, you have to love where you are going in to. I need my boys and me planted firmly in the space that is ours, in the space from which we will move forward. Without that, I feel no less in limbo than I did waiting on my house to sell before I could file for divorce. I am still hovering. I am not my best me.
In sum, the year I thought we were going to make here is going to look more like six months. Which will cost me a little money in the fall, but I made my first coupon trip to the grocery yesterday and saved $6. We’ll eat more homemade crust and less pizza delivery. Because these boys have lost and gained and lost and lost. Enough feeling down. I’m ready to feel up.
In the meantime, I have made some attempts to give #homecraphome (its official name) something warm and cozy for the three of us. Plus dog. Plus cat.
|Big things look so small in tight spaces, but I actually prefer the close layout of the living room in the condo.|
|Like how the chairs face the couch so the people I never have over can visit with each other.|
|I do love sitting on my couch and looking at a concentration of blue and white. The picture over the bannister keeps the focus on the vignette and not the stairs.|
|Then I got a pouf, which Jake perches on to play Xbox, and calls his "foop."|
|I have been slowly de-striping the bathroom and bedroom since I got here.|
|It's a big improvement over hunter green and cream striped wallpaper.|
|The boys' headboards were covered in different outdoor fabrics and a different striped duvet was put on each bed. I made bed skirts with a thick white denim.|
|This corner is where my preteen spends most of his time, listening to his music and flipping through books.|
This makes me happy. To create spaces. Not in a professional-eye way, but in a somebody-lives-here way. Even if your space is a rest stop that you hate every inch of, there is a sense of home to be made in a corner or a wall. I think staging a home for sale is a sideline gig I’m going to get into this year.