Things I am learning:
I need a define-the-relationship discussion to understand neighbors. All of my previous relationships have been understood to be temporary, which didn't make me very eager to mentally commit. But this sure feels like a long-term deal. How committed are we to this relationship? What are your expectations? Are you going to compare me to your last relationship all the time, since she's the one who broke up with you?
When Toby chases squirrels, he hurls his body at the back fence like a hockey player crashing against the boards. That's exactly what it sounds like, too. Without pads or a helmet.
Pinterest makes me feel like interior decorating is an adventure waiting to be started, and then I realize Pinterest is no measure of time and expense and expertise and taste.
Our furniture is a wild mishmash of whatever would fit in our last apartment, hastily constructed Ikea storage, inherited antiques, and regrettable-first-year-of-
marriage selections. It does not harmonize. And now that my furniture choices will be sticking around, and can't be explained away by our nomadic history, the pressure to make GOOD choices is enormous.
Hand in hand with the pressure is the satisfying power to change what I don't like. Passive acceptance with a rental was the norm up until now, but I can paint over the ugly yellow room, I can tear up the ugly tile, I can redesign the landscaping. (That last one is a stretch, though. Previous owner puts me to shame with the landscaping. I will hide my tomato and basil plants around her curated perennials.)
Daily life now doesn't so much feel like, "what's next?"--more like, "what now?" And I suppose the answer is both "nothing, we're done" and "EVERYTHING."