Learn to quietly (but firmly) close the doors to rooms that you aren't coming back to -- let the past stay where it belongs. You're on the brink of something new, and there's just no need to drag the carcasses of dead and buried situations into them. Let yourself start fresh, and try to see all the possibilities of this brand-new moment. If you're embarking on a new relationship, it's crucial to stay centered in the moment.
I'm back from a whirlwind and wonderful visit to my cousins in MD. I joked that I feel like I spent the entire time getting drunk and eating, but it really was a useful and productive visit. I found an apartment/location that is now my "gold standard" of where I'd like to be, if I find a job in that search radius. It's in a very nice planned community, with walking/biking trails galore, and easy walking/biking distance to a big community recreation center with a gym and indoor and outdoor pools, and walking distance to the supermarket. I can see myself living there, walking the dogs, riding my bike to pick up ingredients for dinner, biking to the gym, etc. Weather permitting, of course, but it's laid out for people to do exactly that. I was very impressed that the apartments are included in the community amenities - here that's often not the case, the apartments are treated like outparcels, not really fully part of the master community. Annual fee for the community center is part of the rent, which makes the rent look like a MUCH better deal. Pet friendly, plenty of cabinet and counter space, a pantry, a gas fireplace, full-sized washer and dryer, you name it. Excellently maintained, very popular, and I'll be lucky to get a place there if I need it. I was happy with the 2/1 I saw, but then made the "mistake" of taking Cousin C back with me when she wanted to see it - a different leasing agent took us to the 2/2 unit. C is now in love with THAT, and "It's only a hundred bucks more!" And she's absolutely right - it's a great floor plan, (much better than this house) and as she said, "feels like a real house!" and has more closet space and a true laundry room with storage as well as W/D. She loved it, and I agree, it's worth the extra bucks (which puts it at what I was paying to live here, not counting all the many thousands in maintenance costs I have to pour into this place, and without considering the higher salaries in the DC area, which do make up for 20%, at least). We drove through the neighborhood and I loved it - a nice mix of young joggers and dog walkers and gray haired folks walking the trails, etc., and I now have my "place" in mind if the job search leads toward that side of town. I'm utilizing the tools of positive psychology here. I'm planting my mental image of the life I want, and directing myself toward it.
The trip home today was a marathon slog - I left S&J's house with S leading me to the gas station at 7:30 this morning. I had to drop the rental car at 8 this morning, and as we flew out of Jax last week, that added 2.5 hours to my trip today. When I got to my car around 1 p.m. I found...a dead battery. The airport has a jump service, and within 15 minutes of my tired, sweaty "Haaallppp!" call to their staff, a very nice young woman came with one of those little magical battery packs. 2.5 hours later (longer than the flight) I rolled in to my own house. Along the way, I figured out that I accidentally caused my own dead battery - as I'm driving down 95, I noticed a map light switch was on. I don't recall turning it on intentionally, but may have swung my purse from the back and brushed it with my knuckle somehow, and Baby sat for nearly a week, and the battery died. It seems to be fine now.
Girl's text message yesterday was a piece of art. "Big storm came through your neighborhood. Trees are down and shit." There is a dead tree resting on my next door neighbor's roof (but doesn't look like any harm was done) after yesterday's storm. The shopping center's big sign is shattered. Trees and branches are hanging, and post-storm coleslaw litters the roads. That was just Tuesday. It's thundering like WWIII out there now, and this was just a normal afternoon storm. I miss MD already, but I cannot wait to fall into my own bed, with my dogs. It was a wonderful visit, and now I can really see myself living in MD again. With my own bed, and my dogs.