Since our move to this beautiful house last fall, I have been struggling with a lack of boundaries. I have always known I was fiercely devoted to my own home, but I hadn’t realized how much I depended on the ability to retreat to our family cave and close the door… until I couldn’t do it reliably any more.

This is a school-owned house on school-owned property. Our own things are in storage. Maintenance men let themselves in to work on projects. Heavy equipment clanged from 7:00 to 3 through Christmas vacation. Campers sleep on the front lawn. Overnight guests arrive with little warning, to stay a night or a week. Next week there will be three parties here for 65-200 people, and before that, three days of electricians in the house working on a water system.

I have no control over any of this. When I am not home, I keep our dogs in crates so they will not accidentally be let out by strangers. I am not sure what I will do with them next week with all the parties and the new overnight guests.

Yesterday it suddenly appeared as though the school “had to” rent my farm apartment for a staff member (and her golden retriever!) for the rest of July. I didn’t have a say in that either. I felt invaded.

It has been interesting to watch my own reactions. I am perfectly aware that I am privileged and that my emotional responses are primitive and illogical. It makes no sense that a relatively minor lack of control would blind me to the beauties and benefits of a home. However I have noticed that I rarely look out the window at the gorgeous lake view. Not my house, not my view. Very silly.

DH is under tremendous stress and an irritable wife is the last thing he needs. I am trying to cultivate an attitude of serenity and gratitude.



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