I got nothin’ man.
This was my analysis as I contemplated a post for today. I’m tired, and multi-tasking in too many directions, and my brain seems to have gone on holiday without me. (No loyalty.)
I have wrestled at length with two drafts, but neither has the slightest interest in shaping up into a full post.
I was wondering if the Gone Fishin’ sign might have to come out. But that baby is certain to get a workout while I’m in the midst of moving, so one doesn’t like to overuse.
Then to most interesting thing happened.
The words I got nothin’ fired up that one brain cell that seems still to have some juice, bringing back to me a favourite song, and wrapping it around the latest chaos in the most intriguing way!
I loved Plumb‘s I Have Nothing from the moment I first heard it.
It represented everything I valued.
Not everything I lived, mind you, but what I aspired to and felt comfortable with. When I bought my first house I intended to paint the chorus of this song around the front doorway, to remind me of how I want to live!
But I never did.
And you know why?
Not because I changed my mind, or changed my values …
Because I lost the plot.
Wanting so badly to hold everything loosely, to live serenely, to not get wrapped up in ‘things I’ll leave behind’, I never even had the time to paint a few words around my doorframe.
My house was 84 years old (very much my preference) with romantic plaster walls and built-ins.
And I could afford it only because it was victim of the housing crisis, and a DIY dream. But I wanted, truly wanted, to do as much of it myself as I was capable of.
And that house consumed me.
I worked most nights and weekends for over a year. And you know how a house is never ‘finished’?
Never more true than when it’s an 84 year old house!
And it turns out that my degree of DIY dreaming was more dream than DIY.
I was exhausted. ALL. THE. TIME.
And tense, and overwhelmed.
So I never got around to the little details.
And I sure didn’t hold that house loosely! That baby sat squarely in the middle of my chest every day. By the time I got to a place where I could even enjoy the house, I was nearly out of joy. And only a relatively short time later, I was moving!
THAT sure didn’t go right!
And since then? Well, it’s a funny thing.
Letting go of that house was hard. I had put so much effort into it, and I HAD made some neat little changes that I really treasured.
But I also felt some relief.
When the move that prompted me to leave my little house went horribly, horribly wrong, that made the mourning far more painful.
Yet I still didn’t want to go back.
And I still didn’t remember that I Have Nothing (song, not literal state) was the goal I was aiming for.
Then I learned that my job was going to end.
Then it DID end.
And I realised that if I still had my house I’d be desperately seeking a job in the area where my house was. An area I didn’t want to return to. And I was grateful that that one weight was off my chest.
Now I’m trying to build a business instead of going back to a job.
I know that success is not guaranteed to me in that. But I also know that having that house to maintain would have kept me from even exploring something this risky.
And I’m hoping I will get to leave California, finally, in just a few weeks.
That certainly would not be in my mind if I had a few hundred square feet of real estate firmly anchored here.
Interestingly, I have remarkably less than I did when I found I Have Nothing.
And I feel a little bit more free.
And I am beginning to really feel that lyrics like
‘Cause yesterday is gone now
And tomorrow isn’t sure,
Today is all I’m given
And what I have is yours.
are a teeny, tiny bit less aspirational, and infinitesimally more TRUE of me.
And that is the right direction.
I’m going to have to rent awhile now, what with building a business, and leaving behind the area I’ve worked in for a decade, and so on.
But I’m here to tell you, when I buy my next house, the chorus of I Have Nothing goes up on the door frame as soon as I have keys!
And if I have to, I’ll paint it in red, at least until it sticks!