Z’s got to have a dream…

Weeza wanted to show me the new house of friends, who have just moved to a lovely riverside house in Norfolk’s Broadland.  It was still up on Rightmove and it is, indeed, lovely.  And it got me thinking about where I’d like to live.

We have been here for 28 years and, as you will know if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, the house was bought by R’s parents when they were newly married, back in 1928.  We moved here, on my suggestion, after his father died – the annexe was built for his mother, after she died my mother lived there and after she died, Alex (and later with his family) did.  So it’s very much a family home – but it was always clearly Russell’s.  His mother gave it to him by a Deed of Variation on his father’s will (we had to spend almost as much in repairs as we sold our house for)  and he never would add me to the deeds.  Our last house was in our joint names, but he considered this place his and his alone.

I’ve been happy here, on the whole, but I’m now overwhelmed by the chaos that Russell has left behind.  I’ve been begging him to get started on the sorting out for years, but he hasn’t addressed the real problems – that is, he’s done a bit, but he’s been buying as much as he’s been selling, never telling me about either, never sorting out the real mess either, though I and the children would have given him every support and help.  I feel a bit miffed.  Over three Saturdays, it’s cost me over £500 already to do what we have.  I am certainly putting aside anything that’s worth any money, with the aim of defraying the cost of clearing out his mess.

Even if I stay here, it needs to be done.  I don’t want to live like this any more.  But I can’t stay here in the long term.  I like a big house in its own grounds, but it’s fair to say that my affection for this place has been severely affected by my anxieties over the last few years and since his death.  In any case, it’s not practical.  I have to get in a house-sitter if I want to go away at all and it costs all I can throw at it to maintain the grounds.  I’m so sad about this, I used to love it here, even though I never felt it to be mine in any way.

I really have always been the devoted type.  As I said, I suggested we move here, though I loved our previous house dearly and was very happy there.  I spent decades supporting Russell in his business, unpaid and, until recently (when I didn’t want to do it any longer and he realised he couldn’t manage without me) unacknowledged.  The time will come, however, when I must put myself first.  And I’m already starting to think about how.  It feels a bit bleak at present, but it’ll get better in the end.

9 comments on “Z’s got to have a dream…

  1. tim

    When Viv died my immediate thought was ‘move’. I haven’t, after seven years – largely out of inertia, plus the fact that actually, I don’t dislike it here – but more importantly because of a thought she planted in my mind long before: move towards something, rather than away from something.
    Obviously your situation is totally different, but I just thought I’d share that for what it’s worth.

  2. kipper

    Tim gave excellent advice. I know you will be wise and not impulsively do anything. Having to deal with all of the clutter,and hoards etc . while going through the grieving process is very stressful. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. It will all get done,perhaps not as rapidly or cheaply as you wish., but be patient and just keep doing a bit every day.

  3. Blue Witch

    “Move towards something, rather than away from something.” I love that phrase of Tim’s.

    The trouble with clutter is that once it gets to a certain level, it’s impossible for the clutterer to actually see a way to doing anything about it, even if people offer to help. TV production companies make a fortune out of the issue these days…

    Similarly, if one suddenly finds oneself in a situation where one could do (almost anything) that can be just as overwhelming.

    As you wisely say, it will get better in the end. Hold onto that thought 🙂

  4. Z Post author

    Well, exactly. I’m now thinking about where I want to go to. I need to hold the thought that things will, in time, feel better than they do now, and it’s part of that.

  5. Mike Horner

    We have ‘downsized’ twice, and were given a piece of advice the first time, which we’ve both remembered. It went :-
    Don’t decide what you want to part with – decide what you want to keep, then get rid of the rest. I can’t say we’ve stuck rigidly to that advice, but it’s a pretty good starting point to downsizing (which I’d guess you have in mind ?)

  6. Rog

    Actually Tim’s and Mike’s wise words mean much the same thing. Don’t decide things you want to move away from but those you want to move towards.

    Just do what feels right. Let the force be with you Zoe!

  7. Z Post author

    Mike, my mother downsized twice. If asked what she wanted to keep, she’d have said ‘everything.’ I don’t want to make that mistake. And yes to the ps, this is already happening.

    I’m a positive person, not a negative one and I’m doing my best to remain so.

  8. janerowena

    I had a feeling that your situation was as it is, it’s not the first time I have seen someone sacrifice their joint stake in a home to someone else, and not be appreciated for their selflessness. The woman you are now is a very different person from the girl who married all those years ago, and maybe that too was never appreciated.


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