Starting the Next Phase

I am in a tough spot, at least somewhat of my own making.

I realize that I cannot take care of a house. It is all beyond me. Mowing, raking, shoveling, Roto-Rooting, mopping, scrubbing, dusting, you name it. I can definitely do some of it, but not all of it, and not all by my myself.

When Barry and I got the house, we were both working and in much better health. I started back in school in 2004. In 2008, he retired and got cancer the next week. I was occupied with him, school, and trying to work so I would have something on my resume. His health slowly declined. He did less and less. I did not pick up the slack. The slack came about extremely gradually, so slowly it did not register on my radar.

Now it is 2015. There is a gaping chasm between what the house requires and my ability to handle it alone.

We went from being a dual-income, middle-class couple to neither of us working and now we live on a pension and disability.

If I have learned anything about change, it is this: if it happens slowly enough, even the most radical of changes can fly under the radar. No bells and whistles, just a substantially diminished existence.

Part of me feels like I am cruel to Barry because I want to move him away from his sponsors and support system. A growing part of me now feels like, “Just how long do you plan on waiting to move? How bad of shape does the house need to be in before you pack up and go to a warmer state with more resources?”

I’ve been waiting for a “clean break” to start the next phase of my life. I was waiting for him to die. This realization did not rise to the surface of my consciousness until the past year or two. Time went on. The winters kicked my butt. The default was that nothing got accomplished. My needs did not get met–at all. The only progress to the next phase will come solely from my initiative. I understand that now.

So I have started the next phase: a realtor has come out to my house. I cannot wait for something outside of my control to kick-start the next metamorphosis of my life. It is time to take responsibility. This is not how I would have preferred to have things unfold. I feel oddly empowered and ridiculously frustrated simultaneously. Honesty is like that.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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