To be honest, I don’t remember having a lot of “deep and meaningfuls” with my dad as a kid – he was the splinter getter-outerer, the teddy doctor, the constellation-explainer. The big life conversations? They were more mum’s department. I guess that now she’s gone, he’s taken on more of that role and a couple of weeks ago we had this big philosophical conversation about, of all things, checking out.
I’m not talking about when you leave a beautiful resort to head back to reality – that certainly brings another set of challenges! No, the kind of checking out when you’re halfway (or fully) out the door in your head, even while your body is still present.
We all know that person who has handed in their notice at work and is just going through the motions – in fact, I think that the workplace was the first place I heard the phrase. Suddenly everything that they’ve put up with so long is aggravating and they are looking forward to their new adventure. But I think it can apply to a whole bunch of situations. For me personally, I think I’ve checked out of my living situation.
I’m lucky to be in a position that I can afford to rent my childhood home post-separation. It’s in a relatively good area, it has a big back yard that CJ can hoon around in and its warmly insulated in a way that sadly a lot of Auckland properties aren’t over Winter. It’s in desperate need of renovation but that means the rent is cheap enough that I can save towards my big goals. In the weeks after my separation coming home to a place where I could still see my sister’s childhood scribbling on the wall was oddly comforting.
But I’ve checked out.
I guess, more accurately, I’ve set my goals and now I’m just ready to move on. I’m impatiently (and lord knows, impatience is probably my biggest flaw and a lesson I’m having to learn in multiple ways this year) waiting for all the pieces in the puzzle to fall into place and for CJ and I to start the next adventure. The flaws about this house are starting to drive me mad. Objectively, I can still see the benefits of living here but subjectively I don’t really want to be here anymore.
The interesting thing about this house (and for some people it might be their job, or their relationship) is that I could stay. Certainly no one is going to kick me out. I could make do. But having checked out in my head, having already moved on mentally to the next place I want to live, I don’t think I’d ever feel the same about living in this place again, even if I wanted to try. It’s filled with lovely memories but that’s not enough for me now.
It’s time to move on.