Thursday, January 24, 2013

Glass half-full (even if it's dirty, chipped, and cutting my lips)

In an effort to not become totally suicidal slightly forlorn, I have decided to focus on the good things about living in an apartment.

All three of them.  Because there are many.  Many, many good things.

For instance, I have firmly cemented the positive habit of making my bed every day.  Mostly because, if I don't, you physically cannot walk through my bedroom with one or two pillows on the floor.  There's just not room for the bed, the pillows, and me in this tiny space.  Gone are the luxuriously lazy days of not making the bed at all until the Husband came home at night.

(You know we only make it half the time because they're going to see it and think we're lazy bums if we don't, right?)

Another positive lifestyle change is the increase in efficiency in the kitchen.  I can literally stand in one spot, not have to lift my feet at all, and I can load the dishwasher, put away all the clean dishes, make dinner, and clean the kitchen.  Think about this.  From one spot, I can reach everything in my cupboards, drawers, and stove.  With all the free time this has afforded me (no more walking, hooray!), it is a wonder that I have not found the time to cure cancer.

Cancer cure:  Coming soon.

(Note to self:  Learn how to cure cancer.)

A special treat that we've also recently discovered is the burst of freezing-cold water in the shower that comes if anyone so much as thinks about touching a faucet anywhere else in the apartment.  It's like a wake-up call.  Hey, you!  You in the shower, enjoying yourself and relaxing.  Wake up!  You've got things to do!  No time for conditioning rinses!  Hurry up!

Loving that part.

Also of note are the new cultures my kids are being exposed to on a daily basis.  Like the next door neighbors, who seem to be home all day, every day, out on their back porch smoking weed hopefully just cigarettes.  Teaching us, once again, that age-old lesson:  Love thy neighbor anyway.  (Or at least ignore them and keep your windows and doors shut tight.)

My favorite thing (legitimately) is that we can clean the place, top-to-bottom in about 13 minutes.  That includes toilets, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and pick-up.  Sure, it still looks pretty crappy, what with all the piles of stuff we have no place for, but it's clean.  And I like that.

Also amazing is calling someone to come fix things and not having to pay a dime.  The drawer in the bathroom broke because I filled it too full of hair and make-up products?  Not my problem!  Come fix it for me now!  I love it.  (Though I do wish the maintenance man had teeth.)

But the one thing that gets me through it all is the multi-thousand dollar difference every month between what our mortgage was and our rent is now.  Seriously.  We are saving $2,000 every month by living here.  Multiply that by twelve months, and five-and-a-half years of living here.   (Insert me pulling out a calculator...)  By my calculations, we could have had $132,000 more in our pocket had we rented instead of bought a home.

I can promise you, we did not get that handed to us when we sold our house.

Maybe renting isn't so bad...

No, it is.  It really is.  And thank heavens it will end in four more months.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


When I last left you, I was:

-Selling a house
-Moving out of a house
-Moving into an apartment
-Buying a house
-Having Christmas
-Taking a vacation

All in the same seven-day period.

I would not recommend it.

At one point a few weeks ago, I sat down to have lunch with some friends.  One of them very sweetly looked me in the eye and said, "So, how are you?"

I immediately burst into tears and realized that I was NOT doing as well as I thought I was.  It was an epiphany for me because I am great at pretending life is perfect when it's not.

Later, on the phone with the ever-traveling Husband, I shared this epiphany with him and he hit the nail right on the tip of its pointy, stupid head.

What he said in much-nicer words than this was essentially that I am like a three-year-old thrown out of my routine.  And I really, really like my routine.  I need my routine.

I've felt a bit lost.  Like the ground underneath me is unsteady, with sharp, craggy rocks under my bare feet.  I've had to readjust everything.  How I lived.  How I cooked.  How I grocery shopped.  I was not sure what my new day-to-day schedule would be.  How I would manage a household with two-thirds less of a house to live in.  How I would get my kids to and from school, especially given the fact that two of the three had massive anxiety about riding a new bus.  Where would I, quite honestly, put all of the stuff I deemed necessity, even though it doesn't fit anywhere here in the apartment?  I tossed and turned with worry at night, and blinked back tears during the day.  

And slowly, oh, so very slowly, the hours have ticked by and I've found my tentative footing.  I've made trip after trip to the Container Store, finding ways to organize our life here that is manageable for me.  I've rearranged kitchen cupboards and made peace with the appliances that will sit on the counter for a few months.  I've worked out the school logistics, and helped my kids manage their stress.  I've even been able to fall asleep at night.

I feel safely sure that when someone asks me now how I am doing, the answer will not end in tears.

And that, my friends, is a pretty great place to be in.