I grew up, I was a child, in one house in Limerick.
We never moved. That was a stability I took for granted, never thought there was anything privileged or unusual in it.
Grace, Violetta is two. She’s lived in three houses already, and we get ready to move her to another.
I’m hoping that she’ll grow up with an ability to take change in her stride, confident that she carries her stability (and security) around inside her - rather than depend unduely on externalities.
I’m getting used to house moves: 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 & 2007.
But I’ll not pretend it’s been easy making the transition to flexible living.
For one thing, running a business out of a nomadic, peripatetic office challenges me more than I welcome. Now I want to say I’ve done it; I have the teeshirt; I’m ready now for the fresh challenge of stability.
The move to Glanmire, Co Cork, is a move from a rented house to a new building. Into a shell (admittedly a fine shell) which doesn’t have a carpet, a tile or a plank of wood on the floor. There isn’t a stick of furniture, nor an appliance, in place. I don’t even know whether we’re going for long-life light bulbs, or water butts (with the capacity of two hogsheads) to catch precious rainwater.
The list of people on whom I, we, are dependent would bore the pants off you, dear reader.
If anyone knows of a checklist for moving into a new house in Ireland, please pass it on.
Timetabling all the people with their impressive skills, diverse methods of operation, and distinct styles of communication stretches me - and I don’t want to give the impression that I am masterminding the move. We have a committee of two that meets every evening to review progress, celebrate tiny victories and achievements, and recover from setbacks.
All this will continue for weeks. I can be sure of nothing until it is in place, and has been tested.
In the background is a deadline:
we have agreed with Landlord to be out of this house by September 30. One side of the sandwich is concrete.
Grace has been over to the new house. We’ve talked about it. I don’t know what she’s taken in. My hope is that she’ll move with the feeling that she’s simply shifting her security to a different place. I also hope she’ll continue to be interested in adventure and novelty.
At the same time, I have a big new piece of paid work starting.
A business that’s new to me, except that I’ve been a customer. New language, challenging expectations, shifting timescales. I’m asking myself how well I’ll be up for it? How I’ll cope with managing these two changes - these two sets of spinning plates?
I’ll be drawing on all my earlier experience of change management, and confidence building.
The only thing special about all this for me is that it is me who’s getting on with it, not another person. I think I’m better to admit to myself, and others too, that there will be times when I feel it’s all too much for me, and I will want to crawl back into my cave, as if I desired a return to some childhood security. And other times when I’ll feel a growing respect for my increasing ability to connect with the strength that I’ve built up, with the help of others.
WAAAH it’ll be fine…
(1) I got the man to agree to buy, and nail down, plywood in the attic by Monday.
(2) I finalised one lovely poem, and sent three off in the hope of publication in Revival 5.
(3) I turned down a piece of training work, because I was already booked that day, and built good rapport with that business with the prospect of work at another time.
That’s a bit of life.