Friday, February 8, 2013


Last weekend I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a memory foam mattress pad.  I have still been forgetting things these last few days. I don't think it's working.

It's just another rung in the ladder of extravagance I've been climbing lately. It started with the round rug. Then I bought some interesting museum posters that were a sweet deal, but having them framed negated the bargain.  Then the major spree in BB& B (although I'm happy to say they honored the 20% off coupon that came in my email five days later). All things for the yellow bungalow.

I may be obsessing over it. It is, after all, my dream house. Not because it will ever be featured in House Beautiful, but because it's all vision, my taste, my sanctuary.  It's a musty old book I chose because the words speak to my heart, and now I have the privilege of some editing and revising. Being single affords you the luxury of personal choice. When you mess up, you face the music on your own.  But you also get to have a lot of things your way, and that can feel pretty good. When I moved in just over a year ago, I focused on the big things: knocking down walls, refinishing floors, adding a bath, etc. That was normal, right?

I'm not so sure about now.  I find myself micromanaging the floor mats and taking things on and off the mantel. I think I dust too much. Productive people don't usually dust, do they? Yesterday I bought a house plant whose teal leaves with a streak of pink match the tiles in the guest bath.

Is this the way of retirement?  All that creative energy has to be channeled into something, doesn't it?  I'm not complaining! It's just that my new priorities are glaring at me against the backdrop of last month's teaching.  I do miss being in the trenches but like I said, I don't want to go back. But neither do I want to become shallow, and spend time on things that don't matter or, worse yet, convince myself they do matter.

It's not the moral dilemma I wrote about earlier, not all about what's right or what's wrong. It's about me being happy with me, being interesting to me, having worthwhile issues to contemplate and satisfying contributions to make.

I'm okay at the moment (still doing my music, volunteering, meeting new friends, etc.) But I see how this shopping thing could get way out of control. I see why homemakers have notoriously had to struggle with it. First a rug, then a poster.  What if I become a hoarder? How will I find Daffodil in the debris? Will she insist I go back to work? Nah, she likes this new gourmet cat food I bought her at the trendy pet store.


  1. Anyone that can hide a cat as well as you shouldn't worry.

  2. So funny, you are. (why did I just speak like Yoda?) I was a stay at home mom when the kids were kids. I loved it. I couldn't understand why some of my friends found it boring and always seemed to be looking for a way to get out of the house. I can still busy myself pretty well but I don't have every day to "schedule" myself. I wonder about it at times but I've convinced myself I'll do just fine, thank you. The way things have been in our department the past two years, I'd retire tomorrow if it were an option.

  3. The more time I spend with teachers, the more grateful I am to be part time.