In the rare circumstance that the temperature meanders below the degree of forty, my cute little town shuts down, its inhabitants rush to the store and buy all of the bread (because of course, bread is the one thing you need in the event of an apocalypse), school is cancelled, and everyone sits at home all day peeping out the window waiting for… Something… but at the end of the day the temperature rises back to a healthy forty-five degrees and life resumes without leaving so much as a fallen leaf to mark its absence.
This week, not only did the temperature drop below forty (the first sign of forthcoming doom) but there actually was a bit of ice and snow that found itself on top of my roof this morning. The spell cast, I now sit at home playing sonatas much too fast, reading Sherlock Holmes, and wondering why it is so difficult to relax.
Taking advantage of a moment with nothing to do, I seize the rarity of the circumstances to update you on my life.
I have been in my home now for nearly eight months. The honeymoon has not been concluded and I still wake up every day and wonder whose adorable dwelling I am in and what I did to get here. The stress of paying mortgages, energy bills and taxes is easily outweighed by the happiness of hosting and creating warmth that I hope characterizes The Gray Chalet. I have added a number of skill sets in my time here. Thus far I have fixed a leaky sink, installed a washer machine, become an expert trim-painter (no tape needed), door knob fixer, cabinet handle installer, and on top of it all, I have kept two fish alive for six months.
Being a creature of habit, I have locked into a rhythm of working, housekeeping, eating, repeat, that helps me to pass the days of winter plodding in relative happiness. Juggling my three different entrepreneurial pursuits and maintaining order in the house is still a work in progress.
But for the most part, I consider myself blessed to discounted from the multitudes in my generation who are desperately trying to find their place in the world by slogging through the baffling concoction of “pursuing dreams” and “moneymoneymoney” that our culture has peddled as an elixir. It saddens me to be an exception to the general confusion I encounter when meeting someone attempting to make the jump from childhood to adulthood and find themselves disillusioned by the difficulties of making a living in today’s age while striving to “be true to themselves”; I wish it had been as smooth a transition for everyone as it was for me. Did I follow my dreams? No… I can’t remember having any great desire to be a piano teacher. Did I find something that would make the most money? No… Just enough to live on. It is a quiet life I lead, but a happy one. I have a direction and purpose, at least through the next day, and I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labors. I am making an investment, not in a huge career that will rocket me into fame and money, but in a life filled with simple pleasures, different opportunities and the flexibility to take them, and an open mind regarding the future and the passing of time. Most of the time I just keep my head down and put one foot in front of the other.