Settling in

Just a quick blog-post to say I’m settling in and enjoying the new house. It still feels quite strange and I’m feeling guilty about not unpacking all the boxes and not doing this and that. I am pretty pleased with the Chagall though.

house dining room

I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed by this move. The strain is definitely showing since my anxiety is definitely worse than usual. It’s making me cranky and irritable and worried. I’m frustrated that I can’t just be done with the move already. Why do I need to keep on unpacking and organising and tidying and throwing away and making decisions?

If I wasn’t so tired I could go to gym and feel better but … well, I just need to take it easy.

Some good news on the book front is that my new books arrived. I’m loving The River Midnight (Lilian’s “stunning debut novel” from 1999) and I’m astonished at how well Lilian has realised the Polish shtetl. Great dialogue and I’m loving the vilda bayas, the four friends (wild creatures) who are now grown up. I’m a slow reader so it could take me a couple of weeks to finish this but I’ll post a review when I’m through.

Also very happy to have started Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I read about this on Charlotte’s blog (I think) and have wanted to read it ever since. That’s good advice for writing and life – just take things bird by bird.

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11 Responses to Settling in

  1. Love the flowers. And thanks! Bird by bird is very cool, too.

  2. litlove says:

    Moving IS unsettling and really tiring. Be gentle with yourself – a lot of decisions, big ones, were bound up in this change of place, and it will take a while to digest it all.

    Oh and by the way, love your analysis of Steppenwolf. I want to put a decent comment together which means reading some of my old essays to remember what I thought about it! And I’ve had parents visiting this weekend so not a chance. But I’m on it.

  3. Pete says:

    Lilian – I’m very impressed by the RM. Difficult to read during the week since I’m caught up in work mode but it was a perfect reading getaway on Sunday.

    Litlove – Thanks. I knew you would be a good person to ask about Steppenwolf (since you mentioned it a while back). And this tiredness I’ve been feeling after my move reminded me a bit of your CF, which actually helped since it encouraged me to slow down a bit and try and untangle the knot of things that are bound up there.

  4. sandy,phd says:

    Lots of deeeeep breaths. And remind yourself often that you will get it all done, in good time. Congratulate yourself that you are now on the other side, the better side, of the moving equation.

    Moving is such an epic struggle of stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

  5. seachanges says:

    Moving can be very upsetting even if you are thrilled and your adrenaline is rushing. It takes a while to settle down and get used to a different life (and routine). Enjoy the reading, the only constant in all changes!

  6. doctordi says:

    Now you’re going to go and beat me to RM – I am still reading The Book Thief! I love the fresh flowers – they’re so cheery. Sorry you are feeling cross and anxious, but that’s moving for you, and it will all be over soon. Hang in there, Pete.

  7. doctordi says:

    Oh! And just picked up a copy of Bird by Bird on Monday! We are parallel reading.

  8. Pete says:

    Sandy – Thanks for the kind advice. Very true. Already feeling a bit better but it’s one step at a time.

    seachanges – Thanks. I’m loving having my books again but now they’re piled up in a big stack on the bookshelf and need sorting, and another bookcase.

    doctordi – I love that we’re parallel reading. Makes me feel like I’m part of an online bookclub. I know that LL will write a superb review of RM when she gets there so perhaps I can just tack on my comments to hers! As for settling in, it’s time to try out one of the locals. That’s exciting.

  9. Bee says:

    Bird by bird is one of the BEST EVER books on writing — or life, for that matter. “Shitty first draft” is a phrase that always sticks with me and seems to apply to almost everything. Better to plunge in and have a go — then to hang back hoping for perfection.

    Good luck on your new home.

  10. doctordi says:

    I love parallel reading too, it’s very cool! And you know how I feel about trying out the local – an essential part of any new move. Full report, please.

  11. Pete says:

    Bee – I love that phrase, which is very apt. Here’s hoping for a lot of shitty first drafts then!

    Di – I got totally distracted by tidying up the house for our domestic and buying a new bookcase. Very happy with the bookcase and my books are now looking snug and inviting. Local will happen soon – the Village is down the road and I almost crashed my car when I saw a little “Hampstead Heath” complete with coffee shop and bookshop. The Heath (complete with a bit of graffiti) looks nothing like the original (does it ever) but I’m loving the neighbourhood.

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