Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trying to Move On

"No one wants to hear you sing about tragedy"
- Fallout Boy
   Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes

"Came in from a rainy Thursday
On the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly

I turned on the lights, the TV
And the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some are saying
Where is the life that I recognize?
Gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive"
 - Duran Duran
Ordinary World

As I was trying to figure out iPhoto a couple of nights ago so I could get my Boss's Day gift finished and watch Fringe, Greg waited on me by watching an ESPN film about the Yugoslavian National basketball team in the late 80's and early 90's.  Vlade Divac narrates the story of the team that began in a unified Communist Yugoslavia, then splintered as the country did, ripped apart by a civil war most of us knew about but paid little attention to.  I tried to concentrate on what I was doing, but the story was compelling.  Former teammates and friends made into enemies by their sense of ethnic pride juxtaposed with scenes of war, bloodshed and suffering.  This was as violent as any footage of war torn Europe during WWII I had seen, and it happened not that long ago.  That gave me pause.  We think we live in a civilized time, yet uncivilized horrors take place everyday.  Sitting comfortably and relatively securely in my living room, I am sheltered from the kinds of dangers and suffering that millions of others are exposed to from the time they are born, some of them, until they die.  Some live far away from me, but there are people in our own country who live in unspeakable conditions.  Really, what it is that I have to complain about?

Well, a little voice inside my head replies, you've got a lot to complain about and then it usually breaks into a litany of the string of events that have transpired over the last two years.  In short, I've got a hard case of feeling sorry for myself.  I have this sense that the Fates, God, my Higher Power, whatever you want to call it, should cut me a break because I've done my time.  Every little set back hits me a little harder these days than I believe it would have two years ago, because my nerves are raw, I'm tired, and I just have had enough.  But, then I occasionally stop to counsel myself:  really, is this or that so bad?  You have a roof over your head - granted, not the one you want - you have food in your stomach, and you have the NFL package, and your team is 3-1 (the Penguins aren't doing that hot right out of the gate, but it's a long season...)

The latest affront to my calm is the house hunt in Pittsburgh.  Very long story short, I have another short list gathered and two of the top four went under contract while my Realtor was on bereavement leave due to the death of her mother-in-law.  A little panicked, I pushed her a bit to look at the other two houses still available with the idea if she liked one or the other of them, I was just going to pick one.  Greg was on board with it, he finally reasoned as I had all along that if we get there and the house doesn't work, we learn the area and buy another one.  Clearly houses do sell up there - at least the ones I want seem to.  So, she sweetly cooperated, the burden of picking a house for us clearly a little worrisome for her, and we settled on a sun drenched little house in Shaler.  Our Realtor is taking good care of us and did some digging because some things about it struck her as odd - like why had the house been vacant for so long and why, when there was an offer last spring, was it withdrawn after only three days?  Radon.  The house has high radon levels.  4.5 to be exact.  I had to research that, actually.  It's not an issue I've come across in Montana or semi-rural Texas.  Radon happens everywhere, my research indicated, but it suddenly struck me that, yeah, this is the fallout (if you will) of wanting to move to a city built by steel and mining.  There are remediation devices that can be installed, but they're expensive.  So, we've determined to make an offer on the house contingent upon the owners installing a remediation device.  My guess:  they won't go for it.  If they would, they likely would have done so already rather than let the house literally sit vacant for more than a year now.  While I am very grateful to my Realtor for her diligence which has caused us to dodge a deadly bullet, I'm highly frustrated and have to confess I had some emotional moments over the last couple of days.  The, "Oh, come on, all I want to do is buy a house." and "Why is this happening to me?" crept up, despite my best efforts to look at it from the other side, which is that it just means this probably isn't the house for us and Fate is nudging me on. 

In the meantime, the heating element in our old oven here went out.  That really made me mad.  Really?  You really had to crap out now?  I don't want to be buying stuff for this house!  And apparently it's not all that simple to pop one out and back in, according to my husband.  So, no oven for now.  Why can't Life cut me a break for once, I think to myself?

All of this got me thinking about a comment Marissa's nutritionist made that she shared on one of my blog posts.  The second year is harder than the first.  At the time, I thought it was an oddly blunt thing to say to my daughter, but I also discounted it.  How could it be worse than the year we just endured?  I put the statement away in the back of my brain.  But, as I tried to step back and look at the things that had happened in the last few months:  my break with my sister-in-law, the blow-up with my co-worker, my ups and downs in trying to move a crowded household across country, my generally crappy attitude about every little thing, I realized that it's true.  The second year completely sucks.

Why?  Well, I'll tell my next post.

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