Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Visualize Clear Vision

We need a car and a place to live, my kids and I, and preferably not a car that's a place to live.

My magical mathematical friend, Bette, reminded me to visualize. She suggested I blog my vision, putting it out there to see if the right thing comes in response.

My problem is, I can't see clearly what it is we need.

Maybe we actually should nest two birds on one twig, as the kids' Daddyman nonviolently resets the metaphor. Maybe we should have a vehicle to live in. A good sized motorhome, with low gas mileage, could get us by until things improve.

Except that we are too ill to drive from campsite to campsite as we reach the limit in each. We are too ill to travel and actually enjoy a nomadic life. Besides, who knows when or even if our health and finances will improve?

A car and a home, then.

The car isn't too tough a vision. Low gas mileage, roomy for kids 6' tall and up, with a roof rack to transport a bike or kayak for the kid who is still well enough to peddle and paddle. In reasonably good shape, with okay tires and no major repairs expected any time soon. A stereo would be nice. AC optional. Must be automatic transmission because of my bad knee. Something decent, I'm wishing for: not rusty and ready to fall apart.

Our needs for living space are harder to define. With two teens, it would be good to have 3 bedrooms, but we could squeeze into two. With four cats and two dogs it would be best to have a house, not an apartment. But how can I make any stipulations beyond a prayer that the cockroaches not be piled above knee-high, with only $300 to budget for rent?

It's a ridiculous amount to offer anybody, but it's nearly half of my current income. Subsidized housing (site-specific section 8, for those with a handle on the jargon) would charge me one third of my monthly income. We'll need something left over to pay minimal bills and buy food and clothing.

How can I visualize an ideal situation, within such narrow restrictions? I know that I need to try, but so many variables just confuse me. In the country? That's good for our health. We get more ill if exposed to lots of noise and bad air. In the city? That's good for convenient access to doctors and shopping. Ride a country bus and carry heavy groceries up a country hill and you can find yourself idealizing a convenient life near a mall.

Can we be close to some of our old friends or new friends? Do we have to move to somewhere completely unfamiliar? What if we have to leave the state?

There's what we like, what we prefer, what we need, what makes sense, and they're not always the same.

Once we get a place, I'll confront the question of how to actually move there with no energy and no money, with nothing but aches and hopes. But the where is first. The how will have to wait.

I'll try again to do some visualizing when I'm a little less stressed. For now, I'm trying not to panic. I'm visualizing visualizing.

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