How are you starting this last month of 2012?
Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel…
… in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?
(I decided to join reverb12 and try to post everyday in December.)
How am I starting December 2012?
Gah. I’m evicting my house mate. In August 2012, I was recovering from a very major surgery. At a friend’s house, I heard the plight of an acquaintance (who happens to be a very close friend of the friend I was visiting). This acquaintance was way down on luck; separated without custody of her children, enrolled (at age 50!) in a full time undergraduate program, soon to be homeless. I told my friend, too bad I’m recovering from a major surgery and will soon be facing another one! I have so much space in my house, I could offer her a room…but this is NOT a good time.
A little while later, I received a phone call from the acquaintance (I had never given her my number, hmmmm….), “Thanks so much for your generous offer! I’d like to take you up on it!” My reaction, inside my head was, “WTF?” But my post surgery weakened/confused reaction was to play along. After all, she needs help, and I’m in a position to help her.
Whose advice was it, that when you are going through something uncomfortable you should lean into the discomfort? That’s what I am attempting.
This person whom I let into my home is a hoarder. I let her have two rooms, since she convinced me she needed the space to have her kids visit and to study. They are both jam packed with boxes, belongings, and garbage. She doesn’t respect my space or belongings; she uses my supplies and piles her things on top of mine. She leaves piles of things all over the house, in fact, I couldn’t see the top of the dining room table until recently. She picks things up from the side of the road and brings them into my home, even when she has no space for them. She doesn’t pay the paltry agreed upon rent. ($250/month, $8.00/day!)
Deep breath. How do I feel? Violated. Not just by the person who moved in, but also by the mutual friend who offered my place to her. The friend knew she is a hoarder. By leaning into this feeling I am gaining strength and courage for when I have the uncomfortable confrontation about eviction.
Breathe. How do I feel in my body? Stressed. And the last thing a recovering cancer patient needs is stress. I’ve been put in the middle of two kinds of crazy. (I’m not even going to tell the story of how her estranged husband came here to threaten me. “Get the f*ck out of my house and never come back.” was my reaction.)
Breathe. How do I feel in my mind? Invaded. I dislike disorder. I have no clutter. Knowing there is garbage piled up in two rooms of my house is robbing me of comfort and peace.
In my day job? That’s where I find peace. I love my job, it’s where I escape the crazy-crazy.
In my creative life? My creative life at home doesn’t exist right now. All my creativity is saved for work, where I am wildly creative.
Breath. How do I feel in my heart? Frozen. Torn. I should have compassion and loving kindness for this person in my home. But I feel numb.
I checked the academic calendar, her last day of classes is December 7. Her last day of finals is December 14. She and all her belongings must be gone by December 17.
Here is what my guest room should look like:
Here’s what it looks like today:
(This is after an entire day of cleaning. The pile at the end of the bed makes it impossible to open the door fully. She also occupies a big bedroom upstairs which is jammed to the ceiling with belongings.)