February 6, 2020

Be Careful What You Ask For

Early last week I commented to a friend that I thought the landlord (outside) had forgotten to pay the heating bill.  The was immediately followed by two days of 70 degree weather.  (Note to self:  be careful what you ask for.)

A year ago I was looking around my 4-bedroom house, bemoaning the fact that I had too much stuff, including too many bedrooms.  In July I moved - drastically reducing the available space for "stuff," and going from essentially eight rooms to 4.  The biggest challenge was the reduction in space, from close to 3000 square feet to 1000.  (Note to self:  be careful what you ask for.)

One of the interesting things about this new space, is that there are only 2 closets, each located in a bedroom.  And the bigger bathroom is attached to the bedroom with the smaller closet. This created a massive decision -- bigger bathroom, or bigger closet?  By the way, there is no hall closet for coats. (Note to self:  be careful what you ask for.  Second note to self:  you have to ask for what you want.)

If you're following along, you get the drift.  In order to get what you ask for, you have to know what you want.  Feel free to change the pronouns in the previous sentence.  One of the hardest things I have had to learn in this life-walk is to ask for what I want.  As a Baby Boomer and a female raised in the South, women were taught to be demure, quiet , and willing to put everyone else's wants and needs before their own.  And, coming from a long line of martyrs, this was not difficult.  I give a lot of credit to my mother, who entered nursing in the '30's as a necessity to support her family.  So growing up, I never had heavy expectations put on me regarding what I shouldn't do (art is a different topic), but there were no clear-cut guidelines as to what I could do.  I found myself directionless -- not knowing even what I wanted.

The good news in all of the ensuing confusion was that I was given the freedom to try many things.  The cultural expectations of  my parents' generation was that once you found a job, you stayed there.  Once you found a home, you stayed there, but you were permitted to move in you needed more room.  The changing of jobs, moving to different cities, even changes in life-style, were met with raised eyebrow and a question about the "stability" of the person moving.  WWII changed most of that, both form the new-found roles of women, to the ability to move and change.

All that we do in our lives is helped by standing on the shoulders of that who have gone before.  I confess, there are times I wish I were born later, that I could go back to college and major in what really excites me now, alter relationships, change my path.  But what comes to me at the close of the day is that I am right where I'm supposed to be, notes to self nothwithstanding.