This week marks one whole year in our new flat. I guess that means its not really 'new' anymore.
There is much still to be done. The garden is just a tiny patch of mud. The front door is still to be painted (how I loathe the shabby faded purple it is at the moment); the stairs leading up from the front door need carpeting and the walls painting. In the flat proper there is still woodwork to be painted. Its been done once (we're not that lazy) but the chosen 'satin' finish looks worse than the undercoat did and needs to be re-done. The spare room and utility are devoted to our various crafts and with all the muck and mayhem that takes place in those rooms, decorating wasn't too high on our list of priorities but now I feel the need to get them finished. Actually, having written that it's not as bad as I thought, the list of jobs-to-do isn't really that long.
I had been feeling quite down just lately. I was feeling sorry for myself. Silly really, but I'd got it into my head that my life was one long struggle. Ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? Well that was my life! The wheel of fortune had got stuck in the mud. Or so I thought. But reaching that landmark of being here a year made me look back and take stock.
OK so we live our life with a permanent financial headache and health is an issue for us both. Between these two we're quite restricted in what we are able to do and yes, sometimes that gets me down. But a year ago we had no carpets. A year ago we were sitting on the floor in an empty flat because we had no chairs. A year ago we were living off salads and sandwiches because we couldn't afford to have the gas cooker connected. For the eight months before that we'd been living in a cold, damp flat and had a psycho neighbour who smashed windows for fun!
And before that, we were homeless. Everything we'd worked so hard for was gone.
We bounced about between various family members and as much as I was grateful for their hospitality and kindness there is only so long I can share a kitchen with another woman (no matter how much I love them) before I get the urge to run them through with a bread knife! Having a kitchen of my own was the thing I missed most and dreamed of constantly.
It has been a long, hard struggle. It has often felt like one step forward, two steps back. Reaching the age of 40 and realising you don't even own a teaspoon is hard to take! And yet here I am, writing this on my laptop in our lovely home. I have carpets and comfy chairs. I have a kitchen with a cooker that works (sort of). I have shelves and drawers and bottles and jars; all full off interesting things.
So do I still feel sorry for myself? No.
Do I feel a little bit embarrassed by my self pity? ummm yes. (blushes slightly)
Have I learnt from the whole experience? I did it the hard way but yes, I have.
Am I content with my life?
You know, all things considered, I really think I am.