I felt lonely, lost, unhappy, dissatisfied and I got angry. Uselessly I took it out on John. We have been away from home, in Christchurch for the last 6 weeks. Yesterday was our second day at home. In fact we have been away from home a total of 4 months this year. I work at being content in all things but this place rarely feels like my home.
Here at Matarangi we are semi-isolated. This up-market holiday village has a permanent population of around 350 souls. I never chose to live here. The house we are in was bought as an investment to hold onto our capital in a crazy Real Estate Market which has since become so stagnant there is no benefit in selling. This house was never intended to be our home. We bought it in December 2004 with the intention of renting it and selling it again in about 3-4 years. What actually happened is that it became impossible to sell without making a substantial loss and we lost our good tenants. We played a minor version of musical houses when our daughter returned from overseas. We moved into the investment house and she moved into Mum's beach house as Mum's carer because it meant less travelling to work. It all made sense.
We live in a modest 3 bedroom basic house, something we call a beach bach, (pronounce it batch, as in batch of cookies), in New Zealand. It is pleasant but the decor and style are not my choice, and if I'd known we would end up living here I would never have agreed to buying it. It's only 30 minutes drive into the nearest town, pop 6000, but we are caught between big hills, with winding narrow roads. As a temporary home I was content to wait out the years until I could have a home of my own choosing. I have compromised, as we all do, all of my life and I think it's time I had something I really want. Although I must admit in all honesty, I am not 100% sure what that is.
I like to live in connection with a community. For some reason we have not become part of the local community. My friends are far away. I cannot walk down the street and meet someone for coffee. Since I got Bells Palsy things have become tougher. I do not drive because my eye sight has become unreliable in spite of new glasses. Being dependent on John, who is very good about it, is not my idea of fun. My church is miles away. Too far to become part of the week-day activities. I have immersed myself in the internet, listening to podcasts, Blogging and watching church on line. I don't consider that a healthy way to live .... not for me at least.
Add to this the fact that we are paying a mortgage that was not meant to be. I take full responsibility for my spendthrift ways but my plan was always to have no mortgage at this time of our lives and I did have things in place for that. We have a motor-home, The Old Purple Bus. The plan was to have no responsibility for property until we came off the road. It hasn't worked out. The old bus needs maintenance and it has languished in our yard for all the years we have lived here. At present it's only use is to collect stuff and occasionally we use it as a sleep out. All these things and more get to me every now and then and I loose the plot Big Time.
John does not understand. He likes it here. He is not a particularly social creature. He is content as long as I don't bug him. He doesn't seem to need anyone except me. I don't find that particularly healthy. When I complained he was unable to offer comfort, in fact he aggravated how I felt until I went into what could have been a deep depression. I tried. I apoligised for being angry with him. I felt slightly better. I went to bed.
In the early hours I woke up more upset than ever. I know it's foolishness but my feelings are valid and justified. That doesn't make it right nor does it give me peace. After what seemed hours of sleeplesslness, tossing and turning, getting up and wandering around in the cold night, I tried the one thing I did not feel. I chose to put aside all the complaints I have and managed to whisper a word of thankfulness to God for the roof over our heads and the comfortable house we have.
I woke up several hours later at peace with my world again.
Why on earth have a written this in such detail?
I turned on my laptop and made my coffee and sorted out a few things before reading my emails and there was this Ted Talk.
Women in particular need to feel their attachment to the place they live. Having a transient lifestyle is not good for us. Listen as the reporter describes these dear women who chose to stay in their homeland close to the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.
Women need other women to chat with. We are not good in isolation. That leads to depression. It's something I heard a psychologist talk about years ago. Women thrive on the fellowship found in groups such as at church, quilting, gym classes, gardening groups, book clubs, PTA, coffee clubs and so on. The first thing I did when I moved into any community was join things. I didn't always stay with the group I first became involved with but I did work at finding my niche. That hasn't happened here. Between not feeling as though this is my home and not having successfully made it so, and not belonging to a local group, I'm not surprised I get depressed now and then.
Today is a new day. It's spring and the plants are growing even if the garden is full of weeds.