We’re having a long, warm, sunny autumn here in St. Paul. I get outside as much as possible. I hike along the Mississippi River or go to a park and sit in my car with the sun on my face while I read or do a crossword puzzle. I even went camping in the middle of the week.
Well, it was cabin camping. A heated cabin with electricity. I went for a long hike along the St. Croix River then made a roaring fire outside the cabin. I drank some wine and read a book. It was soooo quiet. Lovely. It was just what I needed, but now it seems like a year ago.
I love being outdoors and I love to travel, but I am also a homebody. I’ve been trying to not be home as much as possible because things are tense. Sharing 800 square feet would be tough with anyone, but I am living with my grown son. No grown man wants to live with his parents.
And my grown son is newly released from prison and negotiating all sorts of challenges, like maintaining sobriety in the land of 10,000 liquor stores and bars. His time outside the condo is very limited and must be pre-approved. The probation agents have not come to the house lately, unless they’ve come in the middle of the night and I didn’t hear them. Apparently they are now showing up at his workplace and making him take urinalysis tests there.
He is working full time, volunteering, cooking, getting out into nature and exercising, and going to AA. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t ask me for much. I thought things were going relatively well.
When there is something I don’t like, I’ve been direct—asking him to take off his shoes when he comes home, for instance. He always says okay.
He’s been mostly silent for weeks. It’s uncomfortable, but I figured he was going through lots of changes and it wasn’t about me. I figured if he had something to say he would say it. Then I discovered that he had said it, just not to me. Ouch.
I want him to have his say. I want him to speak up. This morning he took me to task for making noise in the kitchen while he was sleeping. His bedroom is on the other side of the wall from the garbage disposal…I got defensive at first, then apologized. I’m glad he said it to me, not to the spectators in the arena that is the blogosphere.
I interviewed for a job in London three weeks ago. Typical for a nonprofit, they wanted someone who could do at least three jobs in one. They wanted a researcher, a relationship/sales manager, a writer/editor, a trainer, and a budget/finance person all in one. Ideally, there would be a division of labor by people who are suited to and strong in different skill sets.
It was 10 days until I found out I didn’t get it, but it was 10 days of daydreaming. It was like having a “Move to London” lottery ticket in my pocket. I researched where the office was and looked at flats on Craig’s List. I mentally packed two large suitcases with everything I would need. Vince would, of course, stay behind in the condo and have all 800 feet to himself. We would get along great again, once I was 4,000 miles away. I would use every vacation day to travel, travel, travel. London would be such a great base! It would be so much easier to get to my long-haul bucket list destinations, like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, and all of Southeast Asia. Oh yes, and the job…of course the people would be easy to get along with and they would love my work and it would be cosmically fulfilling. Then after 3-5 years I would come home and semi-retire, just as Vince was getting married and wanting to buy his own place.
Yep, I had it all figured out. I probably dodged a bullet. But now what?
Bummer, Anne. Twenty years ago I would have given just about anything to move to Europe to work and live, to do what you just described. I hope you find another opportunity and that it works out. Dreams are good! Sharing 800 sq ft with another person, I can’t even imagine it. Claustrophobic comes to mind.