Betwixt and Between

So here I am.

Sitting at my desk on the second floor at Brookwood Court, watching the leaves fluttering outside the window as dusk settles over the rose colored sky.

Magic has found his favorite spot to survey the new neighborhood

We’re slowly getting our bearings in this new space, working out the traffic patterns for getting dressed in the morning, exercising the gray matter every time we need a coffee cup, an aspirin, a pair of socks. (Which cupboard? What drawer?) Not only is our house different, but so is most of our furniture because we used the pieces that were in our home in Florida. And while we’re familiar with them, we didn’t live with them for long periods of time.

There is a difference.

One of the things I was hungry for when I moved was the opportunity to change my routine. I felt stagnant, so mired in the same way of doing things. When you live one place for 37 years, your patterns become like cement. I thought moving would be a good way to shake them up.

Boy, was I right about that. And it’s exciting to have this clean slate to work with.

I won’t kid you – I sometimes long for my other house, my old familiar life. Especially in the evening when darkness starts to fall and I start getting tired. Time to go home, I find myself thinking. Time to put the dogs out in the yard for one last potty stop, time to close the blinds in the living room. Time to pour a glass of wine and curl up in my reading chair. Time to  settle on the couch in the breezeway to watch TV.

It will take time before this really feels like home. I know that. Clearly I am still betwixt and between, my body learning to live in and love Brookwood Court, my heart still yearning a little for the familiarity of MacArthur Street and all the memories there.

So I shed a few tears and move on. Take the dogs for a walk around the block. Climb the stairs to my writing desk between the two corner windows. Retract the awning over the deck and lock up the doorwall. Pour a glass of wine and settle on the couch in the den to watch TV.

These are the things I do over and over until one day it will be home.


10 thoughts on “Betwixt and Between

  1. The title of Flannery O’Connor’s collected letters is “The Habit of Being”. She was a great fan of Thomas Aquinas, and it’s his thought behind the title. But she’s dead on – we spend much of our life getting habituated to one way of being, and then things change, and we move on to new habits and new ways of being in the world.

    It takes repetition to establish new habit, which means it takes time. And I’ve always found, in a new place, it takes a little extra time to figure out which habits will be best. But one day you’ll realize you haven’t thought at all about where this or that is, and the dogs will be settled in, and you’ll be – at home!

    • I read O’Connor’s collection of letters last summer, and she was quite a creature of habit. She had her sacred two hours of writing time in the morning, and nothing disturbed it. I thrive on predictable habits – boring, but true 🙂

  2. Hey Becca, I’m not sure if I’ve thanked you for placing the button on your sidebar. So, thank you. It means a lot. It’s funny how even though you lived on MacArthur Street as long as I’ve been alive (ah!) how we are able to have complementary experiences. Just a couple of days ago my husband and I were talking about how we still haven’t found “home”, the place that is truly “us.” I’ve learned that home is found within ourselves, but every physical space we have lived in has felt a bit too temporary. And here you are, moving from a home that definitely wasn’t temporary! Ah, the constant that is change. 🙂

    • I do feel like this place will be “us,” but I know what you mean about getting that sense of rightness about a house or neighborhood or city. Our old neighborhood was beginning to feel “not us” anymore, so I think that was part of our incentive to move.

  3. I felt heart pangs when we left our last home. It was the house in which I’d spent the longest time with my son. It was difficult to leave the memories. I think it must be good to force our – slightly past middle age – minds to learn new things. All those neurons bumping around and creating new paths must to be good. Having said that, I still occasionally reach for the light switch where it was in our former powder room, and we’ve been here ten years. I guess some brain patterns refuse to change.

    • I know this is good activity for my brain, as is trying to figure out the best way to organize and place things efficiently.

      As for light switches – there are so many of them in this house it probably looks like a disco in here every night as I keep turning them on and off trying to find the one I need!

    • Thanks Melissa! It’s quite an adventure. Every day feels a bit more comfortable. Today I got one of my little dogs to go up the stairs on her own – they’ve never done stairs before, so she’s afraid of heights! lol If I only have to carry one up and down, I’ll be happy 🙂

  4. You know, this sojourn in Texas reaches eight years next month. Well, technically we arrived here on Labor Day, 2004, but we didn’t move into the house til mid-October. This is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my entire life, and I’m feeling antsy, and even a little bit stagnant, but I know it will pass if I try hard.

    Sometimes I still think things are in the locations they were in other houses. Sometimes I feel like I’m still my ten-year-old self and am just playing house.

    One thing I’ve learned: it takes about three months to really re-home a dog. All of a sudden it will click and they’ll know where home is again. As for you…here’s hoping that it doesn’t take three months. Somehow, I doubt it will.

  5. I’m glad you are settling in and finding your house is on the way to becoming a home. I always grapple with new routines. I wonder if part of it isn’t age and “getting set in our ways.” Probably a good shake up would do a world of good! Well, I know soon you will know where everything is and feel like it was almost always home! You are on the way!

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