My last post, well, actually, the one before the last post, was on September 26, 2006. The subject matter and the time was the Jewish New Year. Much has happened in my life since that time and the present, and as time passed, it became increasingly more difficult to think about returning to the blog. With each passing day, it felt more and more overwhelming to try to catch up. It is almost 5 months later and this is my attempt to do just that.
I got married in 1979. I met my husband in Israel and brought him back with me to the US to get married. Since that time, I've had two children, a beagle, a career as a
Speech Pathologist working mostly in Early Intervention with children, birth to three, a great deal of travel, often to Israel, frequently to Paris, sometimes to Montreal, on occasion to New Orleans, San Francisco, LA, Cancun, and some Islands, including Aruba, and we have had a multitude of holiday observances, American and Jewish, birthday and milestone celebrations and most of the family events were centered around our house. Dinners, and family celebrations were common occurrences, mostly due to the abundant hospitality and excellent cooking of my husband. This is all to say that I can not complain about my life for the last 27 years. It has been rich and full and in many ways fulfilling..
Having said all that, during the days between the Jewish holidays of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, 5767/2006, I prepared for and on September 30th carried out a momentous decision, one that was the result of years of thoughts, feelings, tears, therapy, journaling and contemplation. I packed my bags and moved out of my house into my own apartment, thus officially separating from my husband. It was a most scary, hectic, exciting, bittersweet day. It took courage that up until that point, perhaps that very day, I had been unable to summon.
From October 1, until the present, I have spent many an hour and even more dollars, purchasing items for this new apartment, that would bring me not only a sense of accomplishment, but of well-being. My first big purchase (perhaps the first really "big" purchase I'd ever made with my own money), was an Italian leather loveseat, in a pretty sage-green color.
My next big purchase was the rug for the living room. As luck would have it, upon driving to my house one day, I passed a Persian rug store, Rugs of Eden, that was going out of business. Having some experience with the age old tradition of haggling for the best price (having been a frequent shopper in the Arab Market of the Old City of Jerusalem), Ramin Aziz, the proprietor, and I arrived at a price for a beautiful, modern designed, hand made in India, rug. It was smaller than I wanted, at 5'x8', but that, at least, made it possible for me to carry it home and shlep it up the stairs to my apartment by myself.
Meanwhile, I had been making frequent stops at a store, in our area, called, Homegoods, (perhaps this is a chain in other parts of the country, I'm not sure) to see what new things they'd gotten in. This is one of those stores that if you strike it right, you can find things for your home that are sometimes unique and often at very inexpensive prices. Well this one day I found something that was perhaps not all that unique and definitely not inexpensive, AND something that I didn't really need, but that I loved at first sight. After returning to it a number of times, I decided to buy it and buy it I did, as well as an iron and rattan table to put it on and a matching table to complement the first. The silk flowers were purchased at another time in another store.
The living room was shaping up beautifully and all I needed was a coffee table to put on my new rug, home office furniture and to bring my book cases here from the house to the apartment. With the help of Pier 1 (the coffee table and a wine holder ), my son and his girlfriends' father and truck (one of the book shelves and a few boxes of books) and a special friend and his truck (the second book shelf and some more books) I managed to put it all together.
My only problem was that during this mad and crazy buying frenzy, I was sleeping on a borrowed Aero-Bed (thank you, Lynne). Granted, it was a queen size aero-bed, raised well up off the floor and very nearly like a real bed, but it still was not the real thing and besides, it needed to be returned. So, out I went on my bedroom furniture search. Luckily I found it at the second store I went to and that was a good thing because as much fun as I was having furnishing my new abode, I was, at the same time, growing a little weary of it and my hours at work could not keep pace with the number of dollars it was costing. I decided to go with a whole different look than I'd had for the many years of my marriage and got a chest instead of a bureau and black instead of wood color. I was very happy with the results.
Fortunately I'd brought over a few snack tables and folding chairs from the house because I still didn't have a dining table and chairs. Craig's List took care of that (oh, the wonders of Craig's List!). I managed to find someone selling a nice wood table and 2 dining chairs for a hundred bucks and he also delivered it to my house....What more could I ask? I brought over some of the art work that I had at home and had a few other works framed and began the hanging process, at first with the help of my brother and his partner and later on my own.
I will post a short blog following this one that will give an example of one of my success stories. Here is a "teaser".
In any case, the apartment as a whole was comping together quite nicely and to my satisfaction. All I really needed now were more rugs, not only to warm the floors, but also because there is a condo associationrule that says that 80% of the floors are to be covered with rugs or carpets. I don't know that I have quite covered that much, but put down rugs, I have done.
As for the kitchen, I bought a microwave, toaster, red teapot, a kitchen cart and assundry smaller necessities of a kitchen. The fact is that I don't do much cooking that doesn't involve one of the pre-mentioned items, so the kitchen is pretty well set.
The only thing missing from it and all of the other rooms is what we "home decorators" call, window treatments, but they will either have to wait or more probably be missing in this otherwise most comfortable, self-styled abode, one which feels to be most authentically "me".
So, what does "What's Love Got To Do With It" got to do with it? I separated myself from life as I knew it for over 2 1/2 decades to a new life that I've wanted to try on for many, many years, a life on my own, as myself, one that would fit me as authentically as a life could fit. My new apartment has become a conceptualization, a representation, an embodiment of that new life. This, as I see it, was/is an act of SELF-LOVE. My husband, who was not at all in agreement with what I did, has so far, managed to rise above his first reaction and personal dissatisfaction, and help me in concrete ways with the move as well as helping me to continue our family traditions in terms of our children, our extended family on both sides and our "concept" of family. I believe this is his own brand of LOVE. And finally, moving out, living on my own in my own personalized apartment is giving me the opportunity to know what it is to live alone and to succeed on my own. It has given me the time to reflect on myself in regards to relationships with others and with myself. So, if this helps me to love myself better, I know I will be prepared to love another better.