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I have been living, with the unfinished business of finding a new home hanging over my head. I thought it was silly to try to find a place and move in the dead of winter so I wasn’t really procrastinating — well, probably just a little. I think the dead funk that that news dropped me into wouldn’t have allowed me to have a very positive, gung-ho approach to apartment hunting. I’m a true believer that the energy you put out will be the energy you get back. So if I had started home hunting in the pits of my depression I would have settled on something out of panic and just wanting it done and finished with. I know I would have ended up in a place where I was not meant to be. And, most importantly, the cats would have been miserable and shamed and blamed me forever thereafter. Never rush home hunting when cats are involved.

So it’s still there, if not physically definitely mentally, on the top of every To Do List I make. I’ve not been ignoring it. I have networked my socks off in this neighbourhood. If I talk to total strangers on the street, I’ll work the apartment hunt into the conversation.Then, as Strategy II, I, with the help of social media and all things technical guru, Sarah, made a sign to post around the neighbourhood.  It was a straight-to-the- point, no-pussyfooting-around-about-it declaration of what I need and the fabulous tenant they would get in return. As of now, I’ve only heard from my across-the-street neighbour who thinks I can spend a lot more money than I can and one real estate agent who just assumes that to be true being that I live in this neighbourhood already. So I haven’t been hiding my sweet, wrinkled face in the sand or anywhere else for that matter about the not-ideal situation I find myself in.

It’s just that a lot of un-invited medical things  pushed their way onto the list ahead of home hunting. I couldn’t put getting Hazel, the pacemaker, to the bottom of the list after home finding. She, and my two doctors, wouldn’t stand for that. So she took first place during the past six weeks — the amount of time it takes a pacemaker feel at home. Then, there was the high blood pressure alert caused by those same six weeks of not doing strenuous exercise because I couldn’t do strenuous exercise. Now, as Hazel moves off the stage, I start the seemingly, never-ending trips to dentists to give me a new bridge over my front teeth so I don’t walk around lisping my way through my world and freaking out everyone who looks at me. My theory is that when all this medical/dental stuff is crossed off my list, a new home will appear at the top. It better, since I have to move early spring.

In the meantime, I needed something on my list that I would have control over. Something that I could start and I could finish and do it at my own speed.  And, most importantly, that did not involve nervous fits and crying jags like the home hunt, or pain and six-weeks of healing like Hazel and the teeth. So, on Ash Wednesday, an auspicious date to start anything, I began to make a jig saw puzzle. I wasn’t in the mood to go off alcohol or limit my TV watching for Lent but thought this would give me quiet time to contemplate what’s going on in my life — and, actually, limit the wine and the watching.

I’ve never in my whole life started a jig saw puzzle let alone finish one. I don’t know why. Other people, like my sister, Susie, have been preaching the relaxation benefit of putting one together, piece by piece, for years. But there was something in my impatient personality that would not allow me to just sit and find this piece and then that one and find satisfaction in that process. Why is it different now? I spent hours today putting together one little section of the puzzle, feeling calm and happy whenever another jagged edge fit in the right little space. Maybe it’s a sign that I have moved into a calmer place in my life or that the meditation I’ve been doing is making a difference. Or maybe it’s just giving myself permission to not think about the heavy stuff happening in my life for a little bit and just enjoy this. It’s not a bad thing at all to do for Lent and it keeps the cats off the table — most of the time.

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