Tag Archives: apartment

Life is good

20170507_103358

Life is good, folks.

Still counting down to 50.

42. I was downstairs talking to a now-former neighbor about a month ago, telling her about my pending move to a condo a little up the street. I’d been in the apartment above hers for seven years, and she and her extended family had just moved in within the last year.

My excitement about the new place was evident, and I’d invited her to stop in some time and sit out on my deck. Then she said something that caught me completely off-guard.

“Molly, I’m so envious of you. You really have it all together.”

Tears welled in my eyes almost instantly. I was touched by her honesty, but also by the fact that since my divorce 15 years prior, I’d hardly lived the life anyone would envy.

“It’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure,” I told her. “It hasn’t been easy.”

We talked a little more, then I retreated to my apartment and continued packing.

50 for molly3I’ve thought a lot about that conversation since. This woman isn’t much older than me, but lives with her 30-year-old son, his girlfriend and their two small children. The younger woman is expecting a third child in the fall. In the six or so months I’ve known them, the three adults have been in various stages of employment, sharing one car. I’ve given rides and been asked for small “loans” I know will never be repaid. They struggle, but they’re decent people (aside from the constant pot smoking by the son – which is only annoying because the smell is rank and filtered into my apartment).

I think that conversation best illustrates why I’m so looking forward to 50.

Life is good.

I’ve always tried to be positive and enjoy the life I have – no matter what the situation was at the time. But in the 15 years since my divorce, it’s been tough. I’ve filed for bankruptcy twice – the first time because my soon-to-be-ex-husband was going to file and my attorney said it would be in my best interest, the second because a new bank had taken over my mortgage and was threatening an impossible refinance and I had to walk away.

For the first 10 years post-divorce, the kids and I lived on what I made, day-to-day. No credit cards to help in a pinch, if we didn’t have the money we didn’t get whatever was wanted. It meant the kids were on reduced-price lunches for a couple years in elementary school. It meant our gas was shut off one summer because I fell behind in the payments – then earned a real estate commission check big enough to catch up, just in time for fall. It meant being upside-down in cars I didn’t like because my credit score was horrible and I allowed myself to be bullied by a salesperson who convinced me “this is the only car you qualify for.”

It meant we didn’t do vacations, seldom went out to eat or to the movies. New clothes were a luxury saved mostly for back-to-school, holidays and special occasions.

But it was still good. I said – often – that I loved my 40s, it was the best decade ever. And, really, it was. I had great people in my life, and things always seemed to work out – mostly because of the great people I had in my life. We were never homeless, there was always food to eat, my relationship with my kids has always been strong.

For the last three or four years, though, things have slowly started turning around. Life was still good, but life was getting good, too. My credit score was improving and I was able to get a credit card. My daughter and I went on a Colorado vacation with my then-boyfriend and some of his family. I could go out with friends more.

In the last year, things have really turned around. I was able to get rid of the car I didn’t like and get the car I really wanted. I went on vacation to Phoenix to visit a cousin/friend. I’ve realized what I really want in a relationship and have stopped accepting less – which led to my telling a man who’s been in and out of my life for several¬†years how I really felt about him (it didn’t end like it does in the movies – sigh).

And now the move. I have my first “me” place, a grown-up apartment/condo with all of the amenities I’d want.

This is why I’m looking forward to my 50s. I’m a more grounded “me” than I’ve ever been, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Life is good.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stairs, schmairs

long-staircase-700673

Part of a sporadic countdown to 50.

58. (OK, I don’t know why, exactly, but seeing that there are just 58 days left of my 40s just made my heart skip a beat. Fortunately, it was just one beat – or there might be a lot fewer days of my 40s.)

I’m moving.

I made a list of a lot of things I wanted to do this year, my “year of 50.” Take a vacation. Check. Spend more time with friends. Check (so far). Lose some weight. Check (so far). Do things I’ve always found excuses not to do in the past. In progress.

But moving? Moving wasn’t on my list.

50 for molly3It certainly could have been. The longest I’ve ever lived in any one residence is eight years, and that was the house I bought right after my divorce. Almost eight years to the day we moved in, the kids and I moved out and into what is my apartment now. On June 1, I’d have been there seven years – making it the second-longest address I’ve had in my lifetime.

So, really, moving could have been a possibility. It just wasn’t at the time of my list.

Sure, I’ve often looked to see what was available in the area. My current building isn’t secure, my mailbox is out in the open and I worry about freelance and royalties checks “disappearing.” There’s no garage, no deck, and I’m convinced one of my neighbors is dealing drugs.

But I have always decided to stay. It’s a nice enough apartment, and really, for the price and the location – you can’t get an apartment that big anywhere close.

But the first week of April I announced I was going to get serious about finding a new place, and less than two weeks later I had a place and had given notice to my landlord. The new apartment is in a secured building, with a locked mailbox, and there’s a garage, deck and fireplace. I’m excited.

Then yesterday it hit me: It’s on the third floor.

I knew it was on the third floor – I mean, I had to climb the stairs to see it, right? But it didn’t really hit me that it’s on the third floor.

 

Why does this matter? Because I’m almost 50. My knees and my ankles and my legs are Almost Fifty. Who gets older and thinks, “Wow, I should move somewhere that makes me climb even more stairs that I do right now.”

Who does it? Well, me, apparently. I do. Apparently the thought of lugging groceries up to the third floor didn’t cross my mind, or carrying the 20-pound bag of dog food – or being dragged by the leashed 45-pound Lab, for that matter.

I just did as I do – I fell in love with the apartment, the deck, the view, the garage, the fireplace … and signed on the dotted line.

I guess that’s one way to get my 10,000 steps in every day.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dear Father Time: Bite me

For the record, I love my 40s. I’ve been saying it for, well, five years now, and it’s still true. I was a little intimidated by them before they got here, but once I turned 40 I realized the number isn’t the same as it was – or how I thought it was – when my mother was 40.

That was, until recently. Suddenly I feel old. Not put-me-in-a-nursing-home-so-I-can-chase-birds-with-my-walker old, but old all the same.

It started in March and seems to have made a monthly progression to now.

March – My son, then 19, started looking at apartments and for a roommate, found one of each and made plans to move out the first of April. <ding>

April – I met a great guy on Match.com, we started talking and decided we should go out. I was 44, he was 49. Both in the same decade, I didn’t think anything of it. Two days before we went out, he went and had a birthday. Suddenly I was going out with a 50-year-old man. Am I old enough to date a 50-year-old man?? (For the record, I am – and he’s fabulous. Even if he is 50.) <ding>

Oh! And Man/Boy moved out as planned. <ding ding>

May – The then-19-year-old son turned 20. TWENTY. <ding>

June – The then-44-year-old turned 45. Any time there’s an age that ends with a “5” that means you’re halfway to the next decade. So there I am. Halfway through my 40s. <ding>

July – July almost went without a hitch. Usual summer activities, got with friends, hung out with the Manfriend (hey, he’s 50), lived life and enjoyed it. Then my then-16-year-old daughter and I went on a whirlwind trip to Chicago, where she met with several modeling agencies and had three express serious interest. Suddenly, I saw her as her 3-year-old self living in Chicago – and wondering if she’d know what to do. <ding>

August – Now we’re here. Tomorrow morning that same daughter starts her last first day of high school, her senior year. She’s giddy, has spent the last week wondering what to wear (she actually contemplated sweats so it wouldn’t look like she thought it was a big deal) and is ready to get the year over with and start her life. <ding>

I, on the other hand, am ready to go whimper in a corner and wish the clock back 12 years.

Or maybe just five. Because I really do love my 40s.

**Disclaimer: Because I have guilt (hey, I’m Irish. Guilt is what we do). I by no means think 50 is old. I have many, many friends who are 50 and older, a few who will hit that magic number this year, and well, it’s just not old. Thinking of myself dating someone who was 50, though – that just seemed odd. Because I am, after all, still in my 20s. And 30s. And … well, you get it. Don’t you?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The nest is thinning

It’s moving day.

I’m not the one moving, but I am, of course, the one packing. In just a few short hours Man/Boy – er, Justin – will be moving into his first apartment. We’ve worked on a budget, done a little pre-moving shopping (“Yes, I do think it’s a good idea to get a can opener … and hangers … and a garbage can.”) and have all the utilities switched over to either his name or his roommate’s.

Yet here we are, day of the Big Move, and there are still piles of dirty clothes, empty boxes and a countertop filled with things to be packed.

I interrupted a game of something-or-other on Xbox last night to ask Justin if it was time to pack.

“Eh,” he says.

“Should we get all of your clothes and towels and dishes and start putting them in these boxes, or are you going to just take things to the apartment by the armload?”

“That last one, that’s how I’m going to move.”

Of course it is.

Fortunately he’s not moving far. And by “not moving far” I mean he’s moving into the next apartment building. We could look out our respective living room windows and wave – or stick our heads out and have a conversation. Yeah. That close.

This morning, as he’s at a training conference for work, I’m packing. And doing laundry. And washing the new silverware and cooking utensils.

Given this somewhat disorganized method of moving, I can’t help but wonder – because I am a Mom, after all – how he’s going to do. Yes, he’ll be close, but that’s just geography and circumstance. It’s a decent apartment at a decent price – good enough for a first place. I have no doubts that this is just as much the “changing of an era” as it would be if he’d moved across town or even across the state. We’ll run into each other in the parking lot, he’ll occasionally come over to sit with the dogs – but for all intents and purposes, he’s moving out.

Will he know how to load the dishwasher or will he let a disgusting pile of dishes pile up? Will he remember to pay his bills on time? Will he and his roommate get along?

It’s a bittersweet day for me. I’ve been responsible for his care and well-being for more than 20 years if you count the time I was taking care of myself while he was waiting to be born. I’ve applied Band-aids, helped with homework, held his hand to cross the street and celebrated his victories.

But I’d be lying if I said there were a few things I won’t miss: the new roll of toilet paper put on top of the empty roll; the breakfast/lunch/dinner dishes sometimes rinsed out placed on the counter, even when the dishwasher is empty; the giant bags of cereal on the kitchen counter (because 2 minutes after getting it out he’s forgotten where it goes?); and the piles of dirty clothes and empty Diet Mountain Dew bottles on the living room floor.

He’ll be fine. And if he needs me, I’m just a sidewalk away.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized