Thursday, July 4, 2013

In dependence day

It had been quite a while since I last spent a 4th of July in the US.  Typically I would be in Venice at this time, until at least the Redentore, but -- as I said in a recent post -- I have been moving my stay back to May, and this year I only stayed until my mom's birthday on June 18th.
Although I would like to exclusively blame the tourist flood (or the muggy heat), I came back for a variety of other reasons as well.  One was: to get my house into selling shape, and I am getting there.  The wild castle is starting to look "civilized".  I even have light fixtures! and railings on my deck!
Today, was my neighbor's Mark's 50th birthday.  Quite a milestone.  We had a nice sunset swim to celebrate and I recommended that he consider a 10-project list like mine.
Later at night, I took advantage of the festive spirit to burn a whole lot of scrap wood produced by the contractors.   Had to stay up until dawn to keep an eye on it...  It was quite a bonfire.  I burnt a lot of my past tonight.
A transition is in the works.  Nick -- the other reason why I came back early -- has one more chance to "do the right thing", and he will soon be "homeless", like me, if we can sell the Castle over the summer.  July 22nd will be a major turning point in Nick's life, and mine too.  He is at a fork in the road and he needs to "take it".  He is going to have to work at his independence in the very near future.  I am not sure if he is ready, but the change is in motion right now.  Once the house is on the market, Jackie and I will be able to finalize our divorce on September 24th.  She will continue to depend on me for alimony, but her road to independence is also starting this summer.  And I will hopefully gain some of my own independence once we all get through these hurdles.
What next?  I don't know, really.  I will have to find a place to stay, for term A and term C, somewhere in New England, since I will be teaching the preparation courses for Venice and Santa Fe at WPI.  I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
For now, I am kind of enjoying my refurbished Castle.  Makes me almost want to stay a little while.  I am leaving the second floor master suite unfinished to see what prospective buyers may say about that.  I may be here through the winter or I may just find an eccentric couple who falls in love with it and buys it at the asking price. The market will decide what happens.
Meanwhile, I am gradually working my way through the "stuff" that we accumulated in our basement, closets and all around the home.  It's a bittersweet process but I am not dwelling on our family's past too much.  I am just being very practical and focused on the present task at hand.  My daily walks in the woods with Sirius have helped me stay on target.  I am plugging away at it every day, and soon we should see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We are not quite there yet.  None of us.  But we can smell that independence coming our way.
In reality, not many of us are really truly independent.  Only the independently wealthy may be. The remaining 99% of us really depend on something (exercise, substances, gambling...) or someone (family, spouse, friends, parents...).  I am personally still somewhat dependent on my dad, even though he will be turning 79 this year.  We are interdependent, and that is a good thing, I think. Many of us are unfortunately also co-dependent too. I am learning magical lessons from our dog Sirius, about the power of positive rewards and especially the non-rewarding of unacceptable behaviors.  I am only slowly beginning to use these simple "dog tricks" in my human life...
It's time for all of us to appreciate the web of dependencies that holds our life together, and embrace it, instead of making believe it is not there, or that it doesn't matter. If the asymmetry of a relationship feels awkward, we can either rebalance it or even drop the relationship altogether, and it's all doable with persistence and determination, and love.  Especially love.
Perhaps it is not by chance that I came back in time for the 4th of July this year...

Now, it's the 5th.  The sun is up.  The fire is dwindling.  It's a new day.  And the contractors are coming in one hour...  Carpe vitam!

Happy Independence Day!
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