It's a very appropriate title, Car on the Hill, because I've been in a state of waiting -- for a car, finally achieved -- since August. That was when I knew my move back to Missoula was coming within the year. In October I knew it was coming in a month. By the time I got here I was waiting to pay off debts, get said car (an `09 Ford Escape), settle into my social media work. Then I fell off my Prozac and went into a deep tearful frightened place and waited to get an appointment with a psychopharmicologist. Then I waited to see what the Effexor she weaned me onto would do. Now I'm waiting to move.
I've kept up with the social media accounts although one is winding down and I'm now on the hunt for two more (I have experience in weight loss, mind/body connection, military affairs, New Age stuff, addiction for authors but I'm a curious girl and could totally get into a Civil War book or thriving antique shop). I've put out the first feelers -- this is another but will stop here -- and am trying to get it together to put out more.
And there's the rub.
Let's talk about Effexor first.
It's gotten the Black Dog off of my chest. I'm on the starting dose and will probably add more as time goes on (we're seeing each other once a month, my new prescriber and I) and after some weeks of stabilizing I'm much more driven, more balanced when faced with implied criticism, more cheerful. I'm on the verge of wanting to do things I haven't wanted to do in a long, long time -- see friends from Missoula I've barely been in touch with, write, dig into research. I'm on the verge but not there.
This blog is an attempt to get there, to care about my own doing life rather than my paid passive life, to speak out about myself. I don't know if this push is something "I" am solely in charge of, or whether I need to increase the Effexor dose, or whether it's going to happen when I finally move in about two months.
I've done two Frances Has Entered the Building things so far -- bought furniture and do-dads for the little 1930s cottage I'm moving into, and begun to tweet and do Pinterest in the hopes of catching two new clients. But spending money is too easy and scary. While I've bought a great table, mismatched chairs, a sofa and love seat, a washer and dryer (!), and a hutch that will all honor the era of my coming cottage, I've also bought depression glass, odd dolls, and summer clothes because I have no idea where mine are in my storage unit that's bulging at the seams. Buying is fun and it's gotten me out of the house but it's not, in the end, active.
I've had to put the rosary book on hold because so many books are packed, although I have located the one church in Missoula that says a daily rosary. In the meantime, I've had an idea for a novel whose research I've mostly done -- it took a day -- and I could write quickly if I don't get neurotic about it.
Given that I haven't blogged since January, what are the chances I'll take this steady, sane approach to a comic, soft novel? But writing is the biggest doing-thing in my life and I want to be doing it. So far I have a vague idea of plot, 1 1/2 names. You see I couldn't do more because I had taxes to finish. Then I had a manuscript to finish editing. Then I had some ghost writing I'd put off. Then I had to take a short break from everybody else's business and ended up packing up stuff I don't need (cut glass and a rabbit doll) and then creating eBay listings for my family. I haven't bathed, I'm in the same pajamas I wore to bed on Thursday night, I don't remember if I brushed my teeth yesterday and suddenly it looks like a really good idea to reorganize my bookmarks.
Do men do this? finish some looming work projects and then look for other people's work to do instead of attending to some allowable selfishness?
The difference between now and a month ago is that I'd have been in bed burying my ennui instead of writing about it. I hope that in six weeks (I'm going to Oregon to take care of a niece after surgery in a month), I'll take a shower to curb my ennui and then call a friend. Or write two pages.
It's been a fascinating experience to live with my brother and sister-in-law for going on six months now while we've all waited for so many things to fall into place. I haven't been around people like this since spending a few weeks with my parents years ago -- and they didn't expect much of me. My brother and I have had a contentious relationship but I've come to realize, if not always calmly accept, that much of his critical and bossy attitude that we've fought over for 50 years is a kind of speed dial for him. He gets a thing in his mind and it joins the 44 other things on his mind and it all comes spewing out in one big sometimes repetitive rush. I felt nagged for a while then began to see that something like joining the Y had as much weight as how his hamstring is feeling. That's been an enlightenment.
Sometimes, too, I see him get an insight into me. We were watching a mama deer with her adolescent young-uns across the street. She was cudding away but the kids were playing -- none of us had ever seen deer play. They were jumping straight up and twirling in the air, charging at each other and otherwise acting very puppy-like. Once Mom looked up and joined in, then went back to her grass. I narrated her attitude: "Norman, behave yourself or there'll be no rosebush for dessert tonight. And Heidi, I want to see you acting more lady-like."
"'Heidi'??" Jim said, laughing. "Where do you get that stuff?"
I shrugged. It's that thing in my brain that I like quite a lot about myself -- verbal whimsy, I guess. When I meet someone with whimsy, I am besotted.
For the first time since I was in grade school, then, my brother and I are friends. And I've been friends with my sister-in-law for some time but we're now partners in crime, both of us ready to drive off to the Bitterroot and take pictures or pour over Craig's List.
It's also a busy way to live. There is always a birthday to celebrate, a play to go to, a family member needing attention. I've never seen so much cake.
My coming cottage is small. It has a largish living living room, a kitchen out of the `30s, and a tiny oblong bedroom that used to be a porch. There is a basement with one finished Bat Room and after struggling over it I decided it would be my office. I'll be too late to plant much from seed but it has a rock planter and I'll strip it and fill it with pansies.
I am waiting to give my first dinner party. It fills me like a craving for cake, this dinner party. It's months away -- months of finishing with furniture, painting, unpacking and more cut glass (two bids on eBay this morning).
And so I wait. I'm waiting for checks, one of them a big piece of change that would see me through lean times when I could come up with another half a name and a shower. I'm waiting for the lilacs to burst through their fat buds, for the river to be low enough for Daisy to swim in, for next March when I think I'll get a black Lab puppy; I'm waiting to be me while I'm entirely grateful not to be smothered under the Black Dog and to have ideas and ambitions rather than retreating to bed.
And writing this blog?
It didn't hurt a bit.
We supposedly don't negotiate with terrorists -- um...except on the local level...