The home improvements are winding down, I'm amazed at how much J and I have gotten done. Not only is there fresh paint throughout, there is also a new sense of organization. Lots of clutter has been removed and it feels good. J likes to joke that he is a "collector of shit"... which is true! The basement was filled with useless odds and ends and broken things, which he thought might be of use someday. After years of just storing these treasures he has cleaned them out and tossed them into the trash. There's something cathartic about getting rid of old junk! I'm trying to do the same, going through closets and drawers and getting rid of things we haven't used in years.
There is also some mental housecleaning going on at the same time, my moods have been labile and I'm trying to figure out where I'm going from here. There have been numerous changes in the past year: Wilson's departure from home, J's leaving his job and being around the house full time, my mom's declining heath and the loss of a beloved pet. I'm not one to dwell on the glass being half-empty, but on the stress-o-meter all these things have added up. On top of all the aforementioned stressors our trip this summer further complicated matters. Clearly, there is more housecleaning to do!
In order to help figure out the direction of my life I made a list of the things that were most imp0rtant to me. My family, friends, community, home, garden, pets all came to mind immediately. So what makes me happy? I know I do well with routine, always have. A good balance between time alone and time with others. Feeling needed, useful, contributing in some way. Work is out of the question because of the time required to maintain my health. So how to contribute and maintain my self-esteem while still allowing enough time to take care of myself? I know the answer lies somewhere in the lists of what is important to me and what makes me happy. Obviously, Wlson and my marriage are priorities, but after that things get a bit fuzzy. I know there will be a bit of trial and error over the next few months, hopefully with introspection I'll be able to figure out a formula that will work for me and my family. Life is full of ups and downs, this happens to be a down time (or a "valley" as S and I like to say!) but I have no doubt that after the effort of climbing the hill the view from the next peak is going to be spectacular.