Thursday, March 12, 2020

My Hamilton realities

Seven weeks ago this week, I moved into my new house in Hamilton. It’s been exactly as I expected (and that’s a good thing): I’ve had all the company, opportunity, and solitude I anticipated, and in roughly the right proportions.

I’ve had several (mostly) impromptu visitors in the time I’ve been here—more than we had in nearly three years at the old house (we got more at the house before that). That, by itself, makes this house far less lonely than the old one was, though it’s still lonely without Nigel, obviously. The important thing is that I have company that I don’t have to plan for, and I like that.

I’ve had three overnight guests since I’ve been here, which is also a greater frequency (so far) than at the old house, but I think that I’ll actually have fewer overnight guests here since so many of the folks who used to stay with us live in or not far from Hamilton. But it’s still early days (nights?).

I go out and about far more than I did at the old house, and, as I thought, it really does make a huge difference being so much closer to things. For example, there are two supermarkets less than ten minutes away from me, and a third is on the way. So far, I’ve only headed out to buy things or to visit family, but that’s not surprising: I’m still settling in, so I often need to go get something for the house (aside from groceries). I was looking forward to visiting family as much as having them visit me, so that’s been good, too.

However, I haven’t had a chance to explore much of Hamilton, apart from some stores. A “Natural Heritage Park” is close to my house, and I plan on exploring that at some point. There are also numerous walking trails all around Hamilton, and I’ve only been to one so far, and that was on Boxing Day, before I moved here. Now that autumn is here and the weather is cooling off, I think I’ll feel more like doing that sort of exploring. I didn’t properly anticipate how hot it would be in summer here. I didn’t want to leave the air conditioned house most days, and I was okay with that. So were the furbabies.

So, all of that is good, and it’s all stuff I was expecting, though I did think that by now I’d have explored more of Hamilton, outside of shops.

The counterweight to all this is my reality: As I’ve said several times, the only reason I’m here is because Nigel isn’t. That reality surrounds me every moment of every day, it still holds me tightly in its grip. That won’t end soon.

I have some bad days now and then. This past weekend, Sunday in particular, was truly awful. I had frequent bouts of crying—deep sobbing, really. It didn’t seem to be triggered by anything, apart maybe by some extra stress; I felt truly terrible, but it passed.

I also have okay days, too—and, as I often say, “okay” is good enough. I’m not happy, can’t pretend to be, and wouldn't even if I could. Most of the time, though, I’m not miserable, and I may not even be especially sad—except insofar sadness is always present, kind of like background radiation. I just feel kind of flat, as I said last month. But even so, it’s far easier to cope with than at the old house.

So, in the seven weeks since I moved into my new house in Hamilton, things have been exactly as I expected, with all the company, opportunity, and solitude I anticipated, and roughly in the right proportions. Despite the reason why all this is happening, I’m in a good place—literally, if not yet figuratively.

And okay is good enough.

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