Wednesday, July 22, 2015
What's Down the Road?
It's happening again. It is still sinking in as I glance over at my newly installed stainless steel shelves that we bought a couple of weeks ago, a desperate attempt at adding much needed storage space in the kitchen. Note that I said "the" kitchen. Not "my" kitchen. Anything we have added to this house is really ours and anything that was here already is really theirs. The reality of renting. After many years of being a homeowner, it is difficult to hold back from making too many improvements. When you own your house, each improvement is justified with the notion you are adding value to your home. When you rent, it only adds temporary satisfaction and more nail holes to fill when you leave.
At the time you try not to think of that day. The day you will leave seems like some distant moment in time. It has been 18 months in this house now and we were looking forward to the next 6 month lease renewal when the curve ball hit two days ago. "Mrs. MacFarlane? VIP realty here, I have some bad news." Initially I thought maybe the rent was going up. I braced for the number. "The homeowner's circumstances have changed and they need to move back into the house." I felt my heart sink and my thoughts were swirling. No, I thought, not this. "You have two months notice." I stood at the window and looked at my paw paw plants that were growing nicely and the Clivia I planted a few months ago that would surely start to show me an emerging bud any day now, my herb garden that seemed to be flourishing since the last feeding and felt the simple joys of these things slipping away. The hope and anticipation draining from my body and landing on the floor beneath my feet. A puddle of sadness.
Two months. Where will we live? Will there be a garden? Will there be a pool? Will we have wonderful neighbours? Will kangaroos graze by my back fence? Will the kitchen be worse or better? How will I find the energy and enthusiasm to do this all over again? The 6th time since 2011. Whaaaaaaa! I need chocolate...and wine.
Now that it has sunk in, it has occurred to me that I have done it again. I have grown attached. Attached to this house, this neighbourhood, the birds, the sound of the kookaburras each morning in the bush across the road, the grey and white cat that hunts in my back yard, even the dated ugly kitchen (ok, so maybe not that). How do we avoid it? It is a well-known basic tenet of Buddhism. Attachment causes suffering. And what would it look like now if I was not attached to any of these things? Would I not feel defeated and sad or filled with sentimentality? Would I just accept this news without any pain or emotion and take the necessary steps to gather up my belongings (which have grown along with my attachment) and find a new place to live? That is what will happen. But before I go turning lemons into lemonade, I will linger a bit longer here in my puddle of sadness.
OK, that's done.
So, time to pull up my big girl panties and do what needs to be done. Search. View. Negotiate. Purge. Pack. Sprain my back. Sweat. Move. Rearrange. Spend. Resettle.
I must remember to leave my change of address for my birds.
And hope they find me.