Today I started my “carpet” project. I have to say that all of of those people that told me to “just rip up that old carpet” are on my sh*t list. “Rip up the carpet” is a bold understatement. The “ripping up the carpet” took about 10 minutes. The job is more about pulling up carpet staples and those dang little boards with nails all over them around the walls. I started at 12:30 today, and I ended up at about 4. All I did was the hallway.
It got quicker as I got going. I was terribly afraid in the first half hour that I was going to spend the rest of my life “ripping up the carpet” in this house. But pretty soon I was clicking away at a snail’s pace instead of an ant’s pace, and I was making some progress. The staples were last, and I did exactly what this guy said most people do.
So, I went down in my new basement and looked to see if I had the right pliers. I didn’t, but I got my regular pliers, and I made much quicker progress. I will by buying some of those diagonal pliers this week. When I attack the dining room, I’ll do this a lot quicker. I just hope what I find is nice. There were a few bad spots in the hallway, so I’ll need to get them refinished, but it won’t be an emergency.
The rest of my weekend was spent visiting with my Louisiana gal pals and brother on Skype, hanging out with my girlfriends here and cooking up some very lovely local produce and Great Lakes fish. It was nice and cool, so I had the windows open all weekend, and I enjoyed being somewhat settled in my new place.
My friend Nancy who has been living in the Detroit area is moving to Chicago to start a new job tomorrow. We are so excited that just as I moved here, she has moved within a 90 minute drive from me. She stayed at her Mom’s in Benton Harbor last night, and I texted here and told her dinner was ready. “If you want to stop by, come on,” I said. She said it totally freaked her out that after all the years of us living across the country, she could pop by for dinner. It felt very cool. My friend Autumn and her dog Pumpkin were here as well, and Ashok and Pumpkin and Autumn and I took a stroll downtown after dinner for dessert.
Nancy and I met for breakfast this morning, and we took a chance to talk about the way our lives and our friendship has turned out. I met her at my yoga teacher training class in 2002. She and I were both married, and we became fast friends. We had lots in common and not always in the best of ways. But we supported each other and tried to manage a friendship with two rocky marriages falling apart behind the scenes. We eventually lost touch and caught up with each other right after I moved back to Louisiana. She was ending a relationship and living in Seoul. I was in a mess with a job that wasn’t working and trying desperately to get back on track.
Our friendship sort of blossomed during that time, and we held on to each other and kept each other from drowning for quite awhile. Eventually she came back to the states and got back on her feet in a traveling job, and I found some stability where I was. But, all of a sudden, we each had great new jobs fall into our laps out of the blue, and here we were eating eggs on a Sunday morning in Benton Harbor. It just seems crazy somehow. If you’d have told me this would happen 6 months ago, I would have told you to stop dreaming.
Nancy and I have always had drama with men. It has been the thread that has been woven throughout so many conversations and too many gallons of tears. After talking for about 30 minutes today, Nancy looked at me and said “Can you believe we’ve been talking this long, and the subject of men hasn’t even come up?” We both laughed at that and talked about how that is the furtherest thing from our minds at this moment. As they say, we have come a long way, baby.
I’ve read that women reach their peak professionally after menopause when our hormones aren’t driving our agendas, and our best interests start to dominate our plans for the future. I’m seeing it myself. I’d love to find a relationship that works, but I’m truly okay if I don’t. If I find one it would have to be really right for me. I’ve never before felt so clearheaded about the space a relationship should hold. And it allows me to make decisions based on my needs and my future which is very empowering. Like my “carpet” project, it hasn’t been easy. It’s all been much more complicated than I could have ever imagined.
So I just bought a 100-year-old bungalow in St. Joseph MI with proceeds from my new, fabulous job at an international company, and Nancy is about to take Chicago by storm in her suit and pumps. We both couldn’t stop smiling through our tears at the way this has all ended up. Of course it’s not over, but it’s sure looking good right now. We both have been blessed with good jobs that will help us pave the way to retirement and financial freedom without having to depend on somebody else. With our history, we would have both found this an unbelievable turn of events.
One of my favorite shows growing up drove my dreams of a professional life and what that might look like as a woman. I always thought I’d be married, but Mary Tyler Moore showed us all that a single woman could go after her dreams and make it in a man’s world. My childhood was deeply influenced by her charm and poise and talent, and I truly think it made me believe that I could make it on my own. Nancy posted the theme song on her timeline yesterday, and I have to concur. We are going to make it after all!
Good luck tomorrow, Nancy! You got this, girlfriend!!