Well, we didn't get the house. I really thought we would and at the open before the auction, I stood at the black marble kitchen bench and looked out over the dining area to the small backyard and thought, yes I really like this. Even if the backyard is really small and the ensuite bathroom has no towel rail and the door opens into the shower. I could live with all those things I thought. Anyway five minutes into the auction it had sailed right past my limit without me even putting in a bid. The sun came out and the park across the road had light shining through the trees, it was beautiful. And the bidding went on and on and on. In the end it went for $149,000 more than a similar, as in same design but slightly less prettified house, several doors down four weeks ago. A house that had been squarely in my price range. I had really come to see the location as a real plus and it irks me to think that that location might now be out of my price range. We shall see.
After the deflation of the auction we went for lunch at a local cafe that would have been our local, had we got the house. It was great. How bittersweet. Later at home, I felt the crush of defeat as I cuddled the dog, took a selfie, sent some texts. As you do. It really is a crush after falling in love with a house, decorating it and mentally living there. I don't know if I can keep doing it or whether I would be better to fix this place up. At least that would be in my control. To manage my disappointment, I set about learning a new WordPress theme and that was fun. Grace made nutella brownies and bought one into me on a plate. We also had one for dessert with ice cream. Eating your feelings, one could say. However I did remember to count my blessings, even though I would like to move, this house of mine is warm and dry and I am lucky to have it. So yeah, too bad, so sad.
Anyway about two weeks ago I was looking at real estate online, in an area close to ours but which I haven't really considered seriously before. And I found a house that met all my criteria for a price I think we can afford. Two big bedrooms, a smaller third bedroom, enough living space, an eating space adjacent to the kitchen, a garage, close to parks and creek walking trails, close to school and most importantly, not needing any renovation. And that night before I'd even seen the house I lay awake in bed, mentally arranging the furniture and decorating said house. And I realised how wonderful it would be to leave this house and all the work it needs, the unrealised dreams we had, the clutter, the sense that it would never be right and start again. To start afresh. It was like a giant boulder was lifted off me. However once I'd thought my thoughts, I couldn't stop thinking them and my mind raced and raced. It wasn't unpleasant, I was warm and cosy in bed but I couldn't sleep at all and that worried me. As dawn broke, I got up because I was really, really hungry and ate a ham wrap at the kitchen table, thinking maybe then I would go to sleep for a couple of hours. But no. I called my doctor and left a message and went back to bed, exhausted but fully wired.
I spent the day tired and wired. Worried that I was heading for a manic episode. Anyway it turned out I could take some medication leftover from ages ago and it would calm me down and help me sleep. Which it did. It turns out I am still needing to take this medication and have been advised by my doctor to take it for another couple of weeks. For the most part I love this medication, for the calm amongst the excitement and for the sleep at night. I don't love the major side effect though. It makes you really hungry and slows your metabolism. Bummer. So it will never be a long term treatment.
Anyway I had recovered enough by the next Wednesday to go and see the house that prompted all this. It was good but not great, it seemed a lot smaller without the wide angled lens. Grace didn't like it much. But I kept thinking about it. But when I went to look up the times for the next open, it had already sold! Before auction! But there was another one just listed. Almost identical! We've been to see it with Dad and Nina, who thought it would be great for us and we've been to see it on our own a couple of times just to check. It would be a big change, but I think it would be good. There are two things that might fall over, one the finance which has been approved in principle but not signed on the dotted line and two, of course we might lose at auction. It seems like a few people like this house. So we have the crassness of the auction on Saturday to see where the intersection of money and desire lies....
Or, wherever you travel, you can't escape yourself. Sigh. Despite having to take myself with me, craft weekend was pretty good. It is always pretty good because it is craft weekend. Especially that Friday night feeling; of having cleaned the house and escaped the city, once past the horrible merge on the freeway it is all beautiful light and country cloud views, arriving to a clean and familiar venue, of having greeted your sewing friends as you and they arrive, of having the whole weekend before you. We talked and sewed, ate well, drank a bit. A mouse ran over my foot at dinner one night* and we decided that it was probably a native marsupial mouse because it was so unafraid and so round and cute. One of our number was brave enough to pick it up in a plastic bag and release it at the far edge of the property.
Because my life is as it it is, I was in the midst of increasing my Latuda (sounds like a Latin American holiday with party drinks but is actually a new anti psychotic with fewer evil side effects than the others, that can be effective against bi-polar depression) every second day. So on Saturday morning I had a whole one. I thought I might be sleepy but I was not. Indeed I was quite focused on my sewing and had a pretty productive day for me and managed to cut out three items of clothing and sew nearly two. They were pretty simple items, but I'm reasonably pleased with how they turned out. However come about half past nine (early for me) I started to hit a wall and went to bed early and fell straight asleep followed by a period of restless awakeness and then a period of dreams so large and vivid that I was quite disorientated when I woke. Indeed I could imagine these dreams escaping the confines of my head on the pillow and bouncing around the room, around the house, disturbing others. In one part of the dream, I had awoken early about 6.00 am and it was just becoming light but there was also fog everywhere, the fog was white and tangible like cotton wool, cold and spider webby. I traveled through this fog on a bus down Johnston street and then caught a tram along Brunswick Street and another bus through Carlton, to be dropped off in a strange suburb of previous dreams. The other part of my dream was in Queensland but somewhere more rural than where my sister lives. There were lots of people from various parts of my life there and we were all going to go to a country fete and eat cake and slices. It had rained and I went out to take photos of denuded hills, that were sad, like the way Gerard spoke about the rural countryside when he was depressed. I got caught in some very sticky and stinky mud and went back to say it was impassable. However my brother in law bundled the children into the old Prado which went effortlessly through the mud, sucking it up and spitting it out through the snorkel. Everybody laughed. Ha ha.
* I don't think mice are an issue there, I think it was just the one cute marsupial. Very different from the mice we get here.
The Monday just gone was the third anniversary of Gerard's death. Predictably I was sad and forlorn but unexpectedly I was also a bit angry. It's hard to write about this. Yesterday I stopped at the end of the last sentence. Today Grace has given me 30 minutes before she wants to use the computer to play Sims so I am going to try and bash a bit out. The day before the anniversary, I posted a photo of Gerard on Facebook with the words, This is four years ago, almost a year before he died. It's a funny and kind of sadly prophetic photo. Gosh, I still miss Gerard but sometimes I hear him in my head telling me to pull my finger out.... Did I want sympathy? Maybe. Did I want people to know that I still feel stuck? That I feel a bit crap about that? Maybe. Maybe. To be honest I think three years means that I should have moved on a bit more than I have. That I should be right in the middle of the new life I am meant to have. The one I can see with a new or renovated house, more socialising, more work, more life. If I had been the one that died, I reckon Gerard would have re-partnered by now. He might have fixed the house a little too and I reckon he would be working more. It's not that he would have been any less devastated but I think he would have been more practical about getting his life back together. I know that's what he thought I should do. But I haven't. It took me until I was 35 to meet Gerard and settle down into a long term relationship. He had serial long term relationships right from when he was young. Although I had a serious relationship in my twenties, it ended badly and after that, for various reasons, I was somewhat unlucky in love. So now I think at 54, it's unlikely that I will re-partner. I feel that I had partnered and that we were going to get old together, that that was one thing I had sorted, after all.
Back to the anger. I have been pretty low for the last couple of weeks. Coming home, feeling isolated, missing my family in Queensland, the hot weather, anxiety about the changes I have made to try and build a new working life, walking, injuring myself by walking too far too soon, not walking, not sleeping well on hot nights, sleeping in, lethargy. Culminating in a feeling of quiet desperation. A feeling of wanting sleep all the time and not wake up. And then the anniversary. Always another fucking anniversary. I seem to get myself on track and then I am undone by yet another anniversary. If my life was a bit more developed perhaps I could just feel sweetly sad on the day and go about my business. But no, the anniversary pulls me under like a nasty wave in the surf and then dumps me before churning me under again. Maybe three years isn't that long in the scheme of things.
Anyway. The week has progressed and things are a bit more back on track. I had my volunteer shift at the neighbourhood house and it went well. Very well even. Well enough that I feel optimistic about the track I have placed myself on. I was skim reading something on the internet via Facebook about noticing happiness and joy and making a note of it. I think that's something I used to be good at, so now I'm trying to notice moments when I feel happy and content. It might be as simple as the moment I sit down to a nice dinner with Grace and there is a pretty sunset out the window. Or when Rupert snuggles up to me in bed and rests his snout on my belly. Or the feeling of a class well delivered. It sort of works.... I also tried another thing I skim read somewhere, about bounding out of bed by saying in your head, 5...4... 3...2...1 get up. Sadly that did not work. Look, I suppose I shouldn't grumble so much. Things are happening. Even during the low period, I was still doing things, still hanging out with people, procrastinating about stuff, getting on with my life. It was not as drear as it sounds. But I was kind of low inside.