The man and I had a deep, long, heartfelt conversation yesterday morning.
The man and I often have deep, long, heartfelt conversations. We don’t have much choice. We’re pretty much alone up here on this hill – and, while the fur babies are outstanding listeners and very supportive, their conversational skills are still in development – so it’s left to him and me. We don’t mind this. Since we began as us, we’ve been quite a tight twosome. And, for all my mouthy introversion, the man is truly a stand alone. So, we converse amongst ourselves and almost exclusively amongst ourselves.
But, yesterday, we had been snowed in for two days. It’s pretty – it’s oh, so pretty – but. . .well. . .I’m not going to go all Shining on you, but, after a day or two of white out, we can both start to feel a bit. . .contained. . . .
Yesterday’s discussion wasn’t entirely new.
It began with my (not new) statement that I struggle with the lack of structure in my life.
(It’s true. I do struggle with this. For my entire working life – intense, but, I admit, fairly short comparatively speaking – my entire aim, my end goal, was to not work. I hated most of my jobs. I hated the false environment of corporate culture. I hated the focus on money and acquisition and success as defined by consumerism. I hated being controlled. So, it was not entirely unselfishly that I agreed with the man that I would retire with him – at his ‘normal retirement age’, as they say. I didn’t want to work, and I did want to be with him. What I didn’t realise, though, was that there were things about work that I really did love. I loved the framework of the day. I loved the clear division between ‘work’ and ‘play’. I loved getting dressed – playing with fashion and trends and sticking two fingers up at the old fashioned control freaks who believed working women should conform to a certain look. I loved the sense of independence, of earning my own way and of earning it well. I loved – and this one, folks, this one really surprised me – I loved the people. So, it turns out that – surprise, surprise – I do struggle with ‘retirement’.)
And, from that discussion, we moved onto a topic we do hit with an increasing regularity – are we living in the right place for us?
And that, friends, is a question we do not have an answer to.
The man summed it up as ‘not wanting to go and not wanting to stay’.
And this is true.
I love where we live. Love it. Most people will never have an opportunity to actually live in a location as divinely spectacular as ours. Many people dream of living in a house as quirky and beautiful and downright romantic as ours. To be face to face with the extraordinary force of nature in the way we are is – and I use this phrase without irony – awesome.
But how do we strike the balance we need for our own content?
How do we find equilibrium?
How do we accept isolation without becoming invisible?
And, is that what we want? Is that who we are?
These discussions are, of course, luxury. They are evidence of our privilege. The choices we are able to make are available to a very limited number of people.
We know that. We want to respect the privilege we have. We wish to acknowledge it. We will not squander it. And we will do everything in our power to avoid allowing our position of privilege to deny another’s opportunity.
But, the question remains: what do we do?
Do we work within an environment that is relatively closed to us to create a microcosm to suit us? Or do we hand over our piece of paradise to another and head off in search of our (different) utopia?
These are our questions. These are our conversation topics of the day.
Perhaps I should have warned you at the start, this is not an essay with a conclusion, my friend.
This is what it is, a snapshot of chats on our little hill.