Last weekend I took several days to house- and pet-sit for my mom, so she could visit with my brother (and go sailing with him on his boat in the beautiful weather, damn them both, but not really).
Mom lives in the mountains. Not where I grew up, although I grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains. And while I always claim Boston as my “home” – the first place I ever really felt at home and comfortable, something about those mountains always sings to me. And right now? Right now I’m in none of those places.
We live in the ‘burbs because it’s cheaper and more comfortable than living in a tiny place in the city. We also live in the ‘burbs because it’s evidently convenient to the city. And yet – we never actually go to the city to do much of anything.
I’m tired of the noise. I’m tired of the asshole drivers. I’m tired of the self-entitled jerks, be they trophy wives or soccer moms or lawyers or hipsters or whatever – for some reason, the rude and self-centered vibe spreads across all walks of life where I live.
Spending a long weekend in the mountains and rural areas, where valleys and fields and forests stretch and sprawl more sweetly than the suburban strip malls of where I live now – I don’t know, it just gave me that boost to set some long-term goals that I’ve been putting off for a while.
I hate it here. The one thing firmly holding me to this area went out of business a few years ago. Everything else is potentially mobile – dog, piano, husband, piano business, writing. I want out. And whether that means downgrading to some smaller suburb with less sprawl in a more rural and more beautiful area, or upgrading in geography (but downgrading in size) to the family digs in NYC (neither of us want that, though), I’m now looking ahead rather than trudging along with my head down, stuck firmly in a location I do not want. It’ll take a while (years), but I/we can do this. Especially after realizing, in the mad rush of tax-filing, I made about half what I should have made last year. Some of that’s on the economy. A lot of it is on me.
Being self-employed is a bitch. And if that wasn’t hard enough, I had to go and decide to build a “backup plan” out of writing – an even more dubious and fickle source of income. NOT that one should bet on writing for money. But it sure would be nice to have enough success to keep that ball rolling, to have it as a backup, so that when the time comes to relocate, I’m not biting my nails about starting over from square one as a piano technician with no other means of income.
And again, ALL of this is 100 percent on ME. Being self-employed *and* a disorganized, hedonistic, artistic-creative lazy fuck is a shitty combination, to be certain. My bed – it’s just so damned comfortable, you know? But something about setting that long-term goal, of saying, “my income last year was completely unacceptable, even in this shitty economy,” of realizing that I am no longer too mentally exhausted to even consider packing up, selling my house, and starting over again somewhere new – it’s the push I need.
It also helps to have friends who are setting good examples, btw. (On that note, my dear Rhys Astason has started her new series, The Ingenue over at the Asylum. She’s also gotten herself on an early wakeup schedule, which, silly as it might sound, is a huge inspiration to me as well, and I am trying to copy her now.)
And last but not least, it also helps to get a little impartial encouragement. Like this review of The Switch over at BDSM Book Reviews. My first ever blog-based review! And it was lovely! 🙂 Thanks, BDSMBR!
Also, since I mulligan’ed this week’s humpday toolbox hottie, have some serious-ass smolder: