Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I was two days in Santa Clara this week at a show. I drove down very early Tuesday morning and got back last night. Not enough time to unpack even in the sleekly remodeled Hyatt (Eames style recliner, square sink set atop the counter in the bath), which was fine with me. I was glad I went, gladder to be home. We've been having a heat wave and the roses are starting to burst. Mr. Lincoln is having his most prolific year yet.

Last weekend ended up being a milestone for M. I could no longer stand the trashed disarray of the garage, normally his domain, so I "made" him start to clean it up with me. While I reorganized the food storage area, camping gear, and Christmas stuff (we're going to have to have a tree one of these years soon, I've got some lovely ornaments!), he sorted and excavated the mighty pile of books and materials that represented four long years of law school. He had been wondering about what to keep, what to try to sell, what to give away…and it hit him that that part of his experience was all behind him now. His identity and mindset of being a struggling student didn't fit him anymore. The thousands of dollars spent on those books did not represent even a fraction of what anyone would now pay for them. He graduated, took and passed the Bar, and was sworn in as an officer of the court, but realized he didn't have enough of a demarcation between these phases of his life. He mentioned Iron John and understanding that idea more deeply of being treated in a certain way and the level of responsibility changing as one progresses through life.

We talked about it quite a bit and he seemed more relieved in a way. It's interesting how long it's taken for it to sink in that he won't ever have to study for classes or for the Bar again--but, it was a long ordeal, so maybe not so surprising that it takes some time to work through. Apparently that was part of why he didn't want to work on cleaning out the garage--an avoidance of that mental confrontation. I'm sure he must have some trepidation about leaving that student identity behind since he doesn't have a whole lot of professional experience yet, but that will come. And maybe I'm projecting, but maybe there's some "I'm getting older" in the mix too…He kept a few books, mostly just for show in his office, but took several boxes up to the college and put them out for students to take. He promised that his huge stack of Bar review materials would be next.

As we were pulling out the last of the boxes stored in an attic area (in preparation for poisoning the rats we have (sad and horrifying in so many ways), we did find the box that held most of my correspondence to him. He had thought that the vermin had nibbled their way through my passionate prose, but happily it survived. I read a few letters before storing it away again, from when he left NY to move back into his mom's place in Southern California for a while (thank goodness our plan for me to move there later didn't materialize!). A few of the missives contained my hopes for how our lives would be when we were reunited--nothing extraordinary, in fact I mostly just wanted the very ordinary with him. Creating a happy loving home, a base for creative outlets and small adventures. It's taken longer than I thought, but we're finally pulling up to that life I'd been dreaming of, lo this decade and more. I'm wondering now how my mindset needs shifting and cleaning out to adjust to this realization…but it's a very happy pondering.


At 4:25 PM, April 23, 2009, Blogger Nancy said...

Lovely post. I really enjoyed reading that. :-)

At 4:43 PM, April 23, 2009, Blogger Kamala! said...

Rats in your attic?!

At 5:37 PM, April 23, 2009, Blogger bren said...

I agree with Nancy, a very thoughtful post.


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