People continue to ask me how life in my new home is going. I have routinely answered that with, "Christine is loving it and I am making the necessary adjustments." I realize that my sentiment is not a rousing endorsement. That’s the way it is.
It has a lot to do with me and my wiring. Change is not easily accommodated by my psyche. I became a home owner rather late in my adult life, at age 32 and over the past 38 years I have owned two private detached homes on large lots. While the decision to downsize was well considered and I acknowledge, is the right thing for Christine and I to have done, the change unsettled me. I knew it would. I didn’t think the unease would be as enduring. What am I talking about? It’s only been eight weeks. Did I think I would love this new place immediately and absolutely? Well Christine has. That is, except for the fact that a pleasant woman with a disgusting habit has moved into the unit beneath ours. She is a smoker. Second hand smoke is unpleasant and quite real whether outside or inside. It obsesses us to the point that neither Christine nor I are sure whether the hints of tobacco smoke we pick up in our place are authentic or imagined. That issue aside, Christine loves this space, its manageability, and the new furniture we are acquiring to fit the place. I have made the acquaintance of many neighbours, and I seek to greet them by name and carry on conversations and that works. Yet it is the proximity to people and the sheer numbers of people within our smallish complex that test my adaptability. Perhaps I have even surprised Christine with my networking and sociability and yet I am a private person who has always enjoyed assured solitude. I don’t have that here. I have two decks, one at the front and one at the rear and numerous windows and possibly peering eyes can watch all that I do. What a pompous expectation! Why would I think anyone cares what I am doing? I can do this. I can become adjusted to my new life and new home. It has ample space, a quiet bedroom, a large second room for my painting and computer and Christine’s sewing and computer. This room will soon have Murphy bed installed where I can crash if I choose to. Then there is a den for Christine’s baby grand piano. We have a living area with large TV over the fireplace and a dining area with new table and chairs on their way, and a kitchen island with stools still to be purchased. What’s not to like? There is no yard work. I can lock the door and go away and feel relatively care-free. I will learn to like this. And if am finding it to be a challenge, maybe I will leave the house more often to go plein air painting. That may even be a boost to my art avocation.