Not all at once
Home at last, and it feels insane/great
At long last, we moved back home this past weekend. Our families came up to help, and we really and truly could not have done it without them. Despite the rain and the moving madness, the homecoming was a success. Now we’re digging out of the boxes and storage and the constant state of not-being-able-to-find-that-little-thing-you-need-which-you-know-is-around-here-somewhere, which makes me incredibly crabby. My boys have been quite sweet and patient with me lately.
I am not a hoarder, but I am positively appalled at how much stuff we have. Editing down our possessions to live in the apartment for six months was a great exercise in realizing how little we actually use and need on a daily basis.
I missed all of our art and books, which we did not bring with us and will surely keep, but I want to donate or sell the rest. As I keep playing house over the coming days and weeks, I’ll surely be giving lots of things away, so keep an eye out on our sidewalk.
I recently read and enjoyed Shira Gill’s book Minimalista. Despite the rather silly title, I found it to be so centering, practical, and applicable in terms of house management. Gill advises you to think about what you want each space in your home to do and feel like—and then to edit ruthlessly according to that vision. Reading it was a perfect exercise before moving back in. Already, I feel that she has given me permission to let go of so many things. I hope I will continue to keep her sage counsel top of mind as I set our house in order.
For the past six months, I’ve been living in my head about how I want our home to look and feel; I’ve been positively steeped in House & Garden; I watch antique shop listings feverishly but never buy anything; I pore over ludicrous design books from Rizzoli. But now that we’re actually back, I have to remind myself to stay calm, because it most certainly does not look like that vision right now. It is going to take time. I’m really pleased with how many things turned out (the paint scheme, the tile, the built-ins, the Roman shades that just arrived), but it’s also incredibly disorganized and scattered right now. The furniture we have probably hasn’t found its rightful home yet. The closets are a disaster. There are no books out, no art has been hung. The backyard still has piles of construction debris. It’ll take time. It always does. Home wasn’t built in a day (sorry, sorry, sorry, had to).
The greatest consequence of hearing loss, in my experience, is the separation it enforces between me and you (and everyone else). I’ve always been a too-much-up-in-my-head kinda girl, and losing half of my hearing has only deepened this tendency, which I have found to be a minor personal tragedy. I am now rather withdrawn socially, preferring to fade as much as possible in the background, so I won’t have to constantly ask everyone to repeat themselves or pretend like I know what’s going on. It’s just easier not to be around people at all. My tinnitus is so loud and roaring that I just live with that noise instead of the noise of the world and other human beings. It is, frankly, awful.
My surgeon has confirmed what I feared to be true, that my surgery was a failure. (The procedure works for 96% of people, and I happen to be the 4%. I guess some of us have to be the 4%.) A revision surgery is a possibility, but the risks double, so I am not feeling especially excited or gung-ho this time around. I’m not sure what to do.
I did order some hearing aids, to try them out, and see if I can live with them for the rest of my life. This is something I was really hoping to avoid. But we don’t get to choose how our bodies are broken, do we?
“It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards. And if one thinks over that proposition it becomes more and more evident that life can never really be understood in time because at no particular moment can I find the necessary resting-place from which to understand it.”
— Soren Kierkegaard