On Friday I had a meeting with a realtor to talk about selling my house. One of my senior colleagues suggested this realtor and it was immediately apparent why he had recommended him. He had data and charts and graphs and numbers and approached everything scientifically. He also revealed his strategy. He told me that, in selling a home, we are really selling the “illusion of a lifestyle.” He told me that people are buying the illusion that they could live in my home and be clean and organized and peaceful. Then he asked, “tell me what your home conveys about your lifestyle right now. ” I replied,
Chaos and mayhem and cholera.
There are many different spheres of chaos in my life right now. Luckily, my professional life is not one of them. We had two more papers accepted last week, which was amazing. We’re likely to have at least one more accepted by the end of the month, and likely three more by the end of the year. I got to meet with the contractors last week about designing my new lab, which my new MRU has agreed to build from bare walls and floors. I’ve got blueprints and measurements and it is sexy, organized, perfection. My home though?
It is like the seven circles of pandemonium.
The steady state of mayhem is generally my own doing. Ish. There’s just a lot of stuff to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. Faithful readers of the blog will recall that I once hired someone to help us fight the mayhem and I adored her and she ripped out my heart and set it on fire with her thieving ways. So now, about 80% of the time, my house is covered in a find dusting of person sheddings. This is made worse by the presence of a brother who feels the need to pee all over everything. Literally.
This all surrounds the chaos that Tiny Diva brings to the yard. Tiny Diva is two years old and, by default, two year olds are assholes. They make no damned sense and they will stomp on your soul and laugh. Tiny Diva and I have had one problem in particular. I have a huge bathtub and I have frequently allowed the children to join me. Little Isis is respectful of the bathtub. Tiny Diva desecrates it every single time and *only* when I am in there with her. She could bathe alone a hundred times without incident, but add her mother to the equation and each time is the same. We discuss the rules and I am lulled into a false sense of security. She seems cute enough. Innocent enough. There are bubbles. Then, all of a sudden, she’s red in the face and you realize the big job has been undertaken.
Today was no different except, this time, she assured me she understood the rules and then started quietly humming the Jaws theme.
That is exactly what you think it is, I am afraid. In my bathtub.
I have to give her credit, though. The Jaws theme was a nice touch and reveals an advanced level of “fucked up in the head” that I had not previously recognized, but can admire.
That’s all the standard chaos. I can own that chaos and almost, sort of, tame that chaos. Yet, this week has added new, additive levels of mayhem that have amplified the steady state chaos. Earlier in the week my Aunt Mo called me. Aunt Mo had not previously had my phone number and I blame Aunt Isis for giving it to her. Aunt Mo’s mother-in-law has been in intensive care for treatment of pneumonia for a week and is apparently having a hard time coming off the ventilator. She called me for help interacting with the doctors, which would normally be fine except that Aunt Mo is…a challenge. She’s scrappy like Carl Lewis. She’s loud and has got a mouth that is orders of magnitude fouler than mine and getting the whole story out of her can sometimes be like trying to squeeze water out of desert sand. Eventually, it ended with discussions about “palliative care.”
But not before I’d had a lot of the energy sucked out.
At the same time, Grandma Isis-in-Law, who is 96 years old and had a stroke last month, started to develop pulmonary emboli. Her family and doctors decided that the risk of another stroke would be very high if they tried to treat them and opted to move her to hospice. Mr Isis flew home to the warmer part of the country to be with her, and I’ve had the Isis kids alone this weekend. I’m trying to get the house ready for the realtor to visit next week, I’m tending to these wackaloons and trying to seem chipper despite their tub pooping, and I’m also feeling sad about Grandma Isis-in-Law. She’s a great lady and I am struggling to figure out how to be a comfort to my family-in-law, but there’s also not anyone here to offer a hug. I’m not sure when I’ll get to feel these sads, or if they’ll have to be tucked away while we focus on selling the house.
So, this week is a blur of chaos of emotion and dirt and cleaning and chaos. Selling our house, closing the box on our life here, saying good-bye to people we love. There are a bunch of endings for us right now and I am thankful for what we’ve had. But, there are also new beginnings. A new home and a new place. A new lab. I’m thankful for those things too.
I know that it is all going to come together and we will return to a steady state of chaos, but right now I’m just having all the feels. Chaotic, mayhem-esque feels. And I am wondering if there is a vaccine for cholera. We kinda need it.