November 28, 2012 by Kriscinda Lee Everitt
I am supposed to be writing—like, real writing—but I am blogging. I will use the excuse that I am “warming up.” Sure, that works.
We moved into this house early October—the fourth, I believe. For the first month, we had a lot going on, some of it unexpected, that really kept us from settling in (at all, really). This was hard to take at the time, because we’d been living in the cramped chaos of our apartment for two months prior to the move—most of our stuff packed, still packing to do, boxes everywhere, buying, closing, and then working on the house (dealing with our idiot contractor, who, make no mistake, was an idiot. I assume he still is), having everything be at least ten times harder than was absolutely necessary, arranging and re-arranging things with the movers (thank you, idiot contractor)—it was an unholy mess. All of this, mind you, as I’m coming off a year and a half of of med-taking for Grave’s Disease (the symptom’s of which when I was diagnosed had really, at the time, physically and mentally wrecked me); an anti-thyroid and a beta blocker for my rapid heartbeat. It was, everyone has presumed, brought on by stress. Unlucky for people with stress-induced illnesses, life never ceases to be stressful—it is only a variation of more or less stress, but there is always stress.
Once finally in the house there were a few false starts. We kept saying, okay, as soon as we get past this obligation, we will start really unpacking and settling in. And then new obligations would pop up. Thankfully, after one last particularly painful setback, we’ve been pretty obligation- and setback-free. Since about the fourth or so of this month, I’ve been able to spend the vast majority of my time at home, unpacking, cleaning, arranging, settling. I’ve even managed, yesterday, to start really writing again (after many months of inactivity). The house is coming together and we’re getting used to the new basic routine (stuff like, every single day, rain, snow, shine, we must walk up to the barn and give Murray his kibble—this is good practice, as we’re planning on chickens, eventually).
One thing I’ve been particularly happy about has been how lucky we are to have inherited so much crap. Granted, when we came to look at the house back in July, there was a lot more crap. Some cool crap, some junk crap. Lots of crap. Of course, the previous owners cleared out about 80% of the crap before closing, both cool and junk, but we were left with just enough crap to be able to take a good look at it and see how and where we can make it useful. Instead of running out and buying something we think we need, we go down into the basement for a look, we search the crawl spaces, we ransack the barn. Nine times out of ten, we don’t need to buy anything. It’s all part of our big plan.
A large part of the decision to but this house—not just any house, but this house, with all that comes with it, the barn, the silo, the land, etc.—was to be able to have the resources to construct a livable life. By ‘livable life,’ I mean a life that is closer to what keeps us sane. I needed quiet—I needed to get away from noisy, obnoxious neighbors and their yelling, blaring music, and cigarette smoke. I got that. I needed to be able to walk out of my house and be surrounded by nature, as opposed to concrete. I got that. I needed some me space, as opposed to cramped rooms that would be cluttered no matter how much stuff you got rid of. I got that. I needed control over my environment—how it looks, how it functions, how it serves me and how I serve it. I got that. The typical home-owning-related stresses, in my opinion, are dwarved in the face of these things we now have. Those things, we can work out. There used to be no escape from the seemingly petty things that were slowly killing my soul, and now those things no longer exist for me on a daily basis, and that peace alone has already made the risk worth it. Most importantly, I feel better already. And so far, my thyroid hasn’t exploded again (yet!), and that was not a guarantee; it is not something I expected nor take something I take for granted.
The next steps to take are to make ourselves a little more self-reliant and sustainable. We have big plans—or, for us (we, whom the neighbors would likely refer to as “City”), they are big plans. We want chickens for the eggs. The garden, when the season comes, will be huge and productive. I will learn to preserve in a number of ways. We will continue to re-purpose as much as we can. We will build things we need (chicken run, here we come). Even bigger projects: We yearn for solar panels. Lots of them. And we yearn to be our own bosses. Both of these things will take time and effort, but we’ll get there. We’ve got the tools and the drive. We just need to work the pedals and arrive.
Control Denied – The Fragile Art of Existence