My Home

I might be procrastinating, no, I AM procrastinating, I’m working from home today. But, working from home gives me ample time to contemplate my new digs. I wasn’t so sure what I thought of living in a tiny place and a garden unit though it is located exactly where I wanted to be.

There are and will continue to be surprises. I found out a couple weeks ago I pay for the gas for the entire building’s clothes dryer. Mmhmm. Surprise! I am waiting to hear if I also pay for the hot water for the washing machine. I have a feeling there will be a surprise with the heating too. I have 2 radiators but I also have these dial-able wall-mounted mini space heaters. If heat comes only from the mini units, I’m going to be cold this winter. If heat comes from the radiators, I’ll be moderately comfortable (no radiator in the bedroom) but I will have to move my artwork…it’s attached to the radiators.

Technically the management would prefer I call my apartment 1F which I am sure is beneficial to the property value or tax assessment or something I know nothing about, as well as allowing them to charge more for a 1F unit than a Garden unit. And, I pay more for a tiny space where I want to live than the massive previous apartment. That doesn’t seem quite right.

As long as I rent, I will always be the older stodgy tenant compared to the “kids” who live in the other units. I am past my partying years and I certainly don’t smoke on the porch stoop. I am awakened 3 times between 2 and 5 am every morning to occasionally the washer and dryer humming, the loud stumbling of the bar-closing youngsters or the rank odor of cigarette smoke wafting into my apartment from the porch. I would like to meet these people who need to do their laundry at 3 am?

I didn’t consider that I live on the same level as insects. Yep. Surprise again! I’ve done battle with ants and the ranks are dwindling! And the spiders have retreated as well. My latest tactic was the best. Let the ants roam the kitchen so they find there is nothing of interest and never send follow-up troops again. I think it worked.

I am also at potential flood level. During a couple torrential downpours last month, while watching trees uproot and gutters overflow on to the sidewalk, I wondered if one could apply for renters insurance online at midnight. And, since I live in the basement did I need to really go into the official basement behind my apartment during the tornado sirens.

My cat and I are still trying to adapt our playtime to a smaller area. It’s been very unsatisfying. She used to kick her ball full force a good 15 feet and I could kick it in return. Now, full force kicking causes a series of ricochets or, thanks to a sloped floor, me retrieving toys under furniture.

On the plus side

Being in the location I wanted, I am a block from my favorite inexpensive restaurants and affordable neighborly wine store, and much closer to Lula Café for brunch and Monday night Farm dinners if I ever don’t work on weekends and Monday nights. I have a park a block away, many massive old churches, and a school playground across the street. I like hearing the kids play basketball, the church bells on Sunday, and having a patch of grass to sit in.

It is definitely amusing to watch my cat stealthily and silently leap from couch to window sill to peer at the local squirrels that taunt her. And, we have a token black squirrel just like up north! People may have heard of my past experience with squirrels – one racing through my previous apartment tossing my bag of cayenne (my squirrel deterrent added to the bird feeder), one waiting at my back door occasionally looking for the economy size bag bird seed, or of the one squirrel that angrily tsk’d at me and followed me along the power line everyday as I walked down my alley to the L. Could have been the same squirrel, but, regardless, I have history with them so I watch my sidewalk level windows with caution.

I can (for the most part) see every room of my apartment from any room. I am now aware of my recurring color theme of turquoise and orange. Who knew? Not me.

My living room “art” is once again complete with a road bike hanging on the closet door. Seven weeks have passed since my racy road bike was stolen. A friend lent me her classic Raleigh Technium 420 to quicken my 45 minute/3.5 mile walk commute to 15 minutes and it completes my art collection when I’m not riding it.

My kitchen is the biggest room in the apartment. I feel the creative cooking coming on for this Fall, not this assembly of raw fruit, veggies and nuts or heating up of gluten-free waffles I am currently doing this Summer. And, I think the room will be ant-less when the cool weather hits. Though I haven’t been keeping much food in that room, my kitchen supplies do need ample space. My collection of work texts and paper files need the next largest space…and that space does NOT exist in this apartment. Please do NOT open my hall closet when you visit.

A tiny apartment has allowed me to downsize belongings and get back to what is really important. After 8 years in a massive apartment, I really spread out and collected “things”. I unloaded about 3 dumpsters full of belongings and donated several bags more. The ONE man that moved my boxes and furniture didn’t understand how a single woman could own so much stuff. What could one unmarried woman own? A few cups, some plates, a fork… Yes, he was surprised. I admit I still had more boxes than one woman should have, but come on over and see that there doesn’t seem to be much here.

A small apartment can be cleaned up in a jiffy unlike the previous place. I used to spend a few hours mopping, and now I can sweep and mop the entire apartment in what feels like minutes which makes me want to clean frequently.

A small apartment is easier to appropriately de-clutter (none of this hiding it in a room or an unseen corner like in the old apartment) which is really key for the feng shui I’ve done. Less rooms, less stagnant energy, less feng shui accessories and props, less feng shui to conduct.

I now see that less IS more. I am great at ranting about the negative, but all those things are minor. In this tiny apartment in the neighborhood I wanted to be, I see more. I know more certainly what I want and what I don’t want. I see more of me. I see my patterns, my abilities, my strengths.

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