Turns out that the adventure of moving to a new house after living for what seemed like a lifetime in another place, isn’t the end of the adventure.
My new journey has begun and I expect that it will be one filled with unexpected revelations about how new experiences bring unexpected encounters. I find myself trying to focus on my new home and the pleasant environment that I’m trying to create, while unavoidably harkening back to my other life in that other place.
Deciding where stuff goes and what can stay and what has to be relegated to the basement wears hard on my sense of accomplishment. I have given up so many things that I held dear.
I want to feel as though I accomplished something important and necessary at this time in my life. After all, I left so many things behind that I really liked. In some cases, I underestimated my need, such as my gardening tools. Thinking that I would have no use for them, I gave everything away except for a small trowel and rake. Now I discover that I have a small but interesting back and side yard to plant, and I’ll be purchasing a few essential tools and spreading some mulch next spring.
Meanwhile, I am still being challenged to step up to face unplanned experiences.
For instance, I decided that I would have most of the rooms painted and freshened up. I didn’t think about decisions — such as color and finish. Throughout all of our home improvement experiences, it was always Angela who was in charge of color selection. She had a real knack for looking at a piece of fabric or a carpet and pick the best color combination for the walls in the room.
When I contacted the painter and we walked through the places that I wanted him to paint, he casually mentioned color.
“Just let me know the colors” he said, “and we’ll take it from there.”
I was immediately intimidated by that challenge which he had so nonchalantly passed on to me.
I immediately began to think of the paint colors that we used in our home. Frangelico was one, and Almond Brittle was the kitchen color I recalled. I settled on the color that we had in our living room, Antique White, as the choice. Using that familiar color would be a connection to our home and to Angela as well, after all she had selected it.
When I went to the paint store, I immediately looked for the Antique White paint chip, but the one I found was not the color I remembered. Fortunately, Joe, the paint store owner must have noticed the troubled look on my face and he came to my rescue. “You’re probably looking for this Antique White,” he announced, and I immediately recognized it. I was relieved and quietly pleased that Angela’s Antique White would be in my new house.
Now, I face similar challenges almost daily — having to make choices about things that we either choose together or over which I acquiesced to Angela. Buying a small table, or selecting some tile for a kitchen backsplash are not only difficult things to do alone, they are also not as enjoyable as when we did it together.
Sometimes when I make a purchase, I leave the tag on for a period of time, until I feel as though I’ve made the right choice. All this will change over time. I’m sure I’ll develop more self-confidence, but I know that it will never be as happy an experience as it was.