I have been housesitting since sometime around last July. It was a bit daunting, throwing caution to the wind and having no fixed abode. I was fortunate enough to have to amazing backup plans – my daughter and her family, in Brisbane, who I had, up until then been living with, and my awesome friend, Karen and her family, who lived on the Sunshine Coast, which was where Iwas heading.
There was also the fear of ‘going it alone’ again. After all, it hadn’t worked so well those first few years after Butch passed away. Would I end up ‘losing myself’ again, or struggling to look after and nurture me? So many questions and so many ‘I don’t know’ answers!
Having always been a ‘list’ person, who planned everything down to the last possible item, I hoped housesitting might encourage me to be a bit more spontaneous.
I had been wanting to do it for quite some time, but needed to make sure that I procured a job first, because, that’s how I roll… It seemed exciting and scary in alternate doses, especially staying with someone other than a family member. I had had a pretty daunting experience several years ago, while staying with a friend, and wasn’t sure if I wanted this friendship to end in a similar vein. There is nothing like projecting a past misfortune on a current one, even though so much of it was going to be entirely different…but hey, we all tend to do that.
My first night with Karen, Johno and their family, was nerve-racking…for about five minutes! They made me feel so welcome. I was made to feel like part of the family, right down to the teasing and ribbing that families do when you visit.
I had only been up on the Coast for five weeks, when I received an email to say the company I worked for could no longer afford to employ me. I must admit this was the first time I had ever lost a job I loved, so it was tempting to just pack it in and go back to the way it was. Tempting as it was, I persevered, telling myself that if things hadn’t improved by December, I would leave.
It has been four months, I don’t have a job, and I am trying to exist on a benefit. Not quite what I had in mind when I moved here…
The first housesit I did was perfect; they appreciated everything I did, their pet and I bonded to the point that I cried as I left after two weeks…
There have been quite a few since then, full of highs, lows, disasters, frustration, peace, relaxation, nature, stamina, energy….
I have adapted to the lifestyle quite well, and have quickly become ‘in demand’ as word of what I do spreads. However, there are always drawbacks. It can be quite lonely sometimes. Sure there is a pet to keep me company, but sometimes I crave a good chat…and dare I say it, even a hug…
I am fortunate that Karen and I spend time together, chatting, planning our classes and working with our pamper packages, but I don’t want her to feel she needs to boost me, or that she’s my only port of call. If there is a long break between housesits, I will go and visit my family in Brisbane, but there is this empty feeling that kinda settles on and around me sometimes.
I have always been the odd man out, even as a child. I was the weird, kooky, non conformist strange girl that never quite fit in. That didn’t change, even as a young adult. I met Butch and he accepted me as I was and helped me to embrace it, instead of rejecting who I really was. I didn’t have to try and fit in any more, after all Butch thought I was okay, and that was good enough for me. We weren’t the most sociable of couples, preferring to spend the majority of our time together at home.
After Butch passed, being a widow brought another aspect of ‘being an outsider’ into my life. Not only had I lost my main cheerleader, but I suddenly became the ‘Watch out, she’s a widow now. She’ll probably steal your husband’ variety of outcast. Firm friends became fast friends, as they sped out of my life. They weren’t the only ones to give me a wide berth, women would eye me suspiciously as I spoke to their men. *sigh* I understand that everyone wants to be in a couple (except me) and hold onto what they have…but it doesn’t mean I am interested in having what you’ve got.
We had an awesome relationship, so looking for someone else isn’t in my plan right now. I sometimes feel as if there is life after Butch, but it is such a slow and painful process, I wonder if I will actually survive it long enough to notice.
I embraced my psychic-ness not long after and oh boy!, I wasn’t prepared for the way people would view me from that perspective as well. However, there are just as many people out there who accept that side of me, and I am willing to share…
This morning as I was walking, I was pondering on life in general. I came to the conclusion that housesitting has actually compounded my loneliness. I’m not in one place long enough to make friends and socialise, to join a club, or even a yoga group.
I broke my little toe about a month ago – this is the third time in eight years that I have broken this same toe. I have knocked it continuously during this time, so it is still red, swollen and has a slight twist to it now.
My belief is that any injury or illness is a reflection of our emotions and energy. So, what does a small toe on a right foot mean to me. Well, the right side of our body is connected to our action/movement, so clearly I am not ‘stepping’ in the direction I want to.
A little toe, well, that is all about ‘connection’. I am feeling disconnected from the rest of the world, my old friends, a job, my family (by distance), myself, the ability to do what I truly want – thanks to a lack of funds.
To fix my issue with this toe, I don’t need to ‘make up’ with my old friends, but I do need to start looking at how I can connect, to make a bigger effort than I have done. I need to stop expecting things to change just because I’m not happy about them. I need to change my view on life, declutter what isn’t working for me and begin to see things with fresh eyes.
On the bright side, being unemployed and housesitting has enabled me to focus more on my writing. I have also learned I don’t need a lot of possessions to make me happy – everything I need, including a massage table and two cases of massage towels, doesn’t even fill my car to the brim.
What to do next? Hmm, I have no idea. However, I am going to say that being aware of the problem is a 'step' in the right direction