Living the Dream in the Real World
I was so looking forward to the days when I could spend my time alternating between travelling and writing at home, free from all the petty annoyances that get in the way. I’ve dedicated the better part of the last two years to getting my parents’ Massachusetts home ready for market.
It’s been a nightmare. The main contractor I hired lied repeatedly and then finally just disappeared, leaving me to deal with a range of poorly done to bizarrely undone work. The new kitchen floor was buckling. Towel bars and drapery rods were removed and not replaced. The bases on only three of the four front pillars were covered; the fourth was left with wood exposed to rot in the winter. So I had to find reliable contractors to fix the mess. This is an extraordinary challenge. I realized that normal behavior is not to show up for an appointment to give an estimate, not to submit a promised estimate, not to show up when scheduled to do the work, not to finish the work within the area code of on-time. And all this while, home isn’t home; home is a work zone, and a messy one. Anyway, I finally managed to get all the work done, and done well, resolving never ever to hire another contractor.
And so I happily returned to my condo. To find that the air conditioner wasn’t working. In Virginia. In July. Fortunately, it only took about a day to fix.
In August, I was finally able to take a vacation; I jetted off to Las Vegas for a few days and then San Diego for a week. It was wonderful.
Then I came home from a fabulous trip, on a Saturday night, to discover that the refrigerator had quit, and had clearly done so several days earlier. That one took till Wednesday to fix.
My dream day of annoyance-free living isn’t coming. I’m never going to have everything so perfectly and permanently arranged that I can unworriedly float back and forth from interesting place to interesting project, never to be rudely jerked back into the prison of boring, bothersome drudgery. And waiting for that day to come will lead only further frustration.
Time to face it. Creating a pleasant lifestyle doesn’t mean setting everything up so there are never any unpleasant chores popping in. It means finding ways to coax the luxury, whatever that means to you, out of the messy and unreliable quotidian.
And right now I have an opportunity to practice, because my Mac is dying.
For two decades, I worked at political jobs. Then my parents got sick, and I went home to help care for them, and they died, fourteen weeks apart, in their late 60s. And I decided that life is too dear, and too uncertain, to fritter away in political offices. I fought back the sorrow with travel, and started this blog. I believe that passions are more fun when you share them with others, and my hope is to share my passions for travel and culture with you. Welcome! Read more …