February has become the CRAZY month in my SLSR schedule. I wasn’t planning to write another post until mid-March when I expect things to calm down a bit but then I read an email from my friend JC, a fiction writer who has encouraged my work on this blog from the beginning: “People want to hear how you get through the tough parts.”
“Well,” I thought, “I don’t know yet.”
So for now and for the record, let me tell you about February:
- #1 Priority: getting the condo ready for that For Sale sign in early March. Includes the to-do’s I procrastinate on, cleaning, packing, and donating more stuff.
- Arranging to rent a studio apartment from late February to late May. With a large rental corporation, this involves jumping through 10 fiery hoops and signing a 30+ page lease to curb litigation. Red tapey paperwork challenges my patience and I was surprised by feelings of entitlement.
- Choosing appliances, plumbing fixtures and lighting for my tiny house. I discovered how unprepared I was for some of the choices and costs. Even if I didn’t have the above going on at the same time, I doubt I would enjoy looking at 2000 bathroom sinks online. I’m thankful my builders are easy to work with and clarified priorities, because this month I got to that point in all builds where $ trade-offs need to be made.
- Let’s not forget working full-time.
- Researching renting an RV for the move across the continent because it would allow me to transport the cats and my stuff comfortably. When I learned I would need to book months in advance for a one-way rental, I was prepared to pay a non-refundable deposit but it turned out to be a no-go from the rental company so my extensive worrying about the details was unnecessary.
- As board secretary, preparing for the annual HOA meeting (my responsibilities end this month).
- Getting a cold. Feeling run down. Being very tired. Not sleeping well.
So, how have I been managing?
- #1 Therapy: kitty snuggling. During the winter, I created an oasis in the guest room, a small room that is easy to heat quickly. Most evenings, I take time to get cozy watching Netflix with both cats. I don’t take our time together for granted.
- Each day, acknowledging all the stuff I do get done.
- When I start to feel anxious, as appropriate: breathing exercises, permission to be distracted until I calm down, giving myself a pep-talk, reminding myself to stop worrying so much, remembering that my health is the most important thing.
- Asking friends for help.
- Being realistic when setting expectations with others.
- Hanging out and talking with friends.
- When I get close to tears, repeating “three more months. Just three more months.”
- Imagining how I will feel being retired and living in the tiny retreat.
And these days, I never forget how fortunate I am to have choices.
My next post will be written from the 400 square foot studio I’ll live in until May. Until then, over and out.
- SLSR: simpler living semi-retirement
- HOA: homeowners association
Disclaimer: some details above may be exaggerated.