I have moved into my space in my older sister’s house. She has a fully finished basement, and I have two rooms partitioned off from the main section. My space is smaller than I had at my previous residence, and so I keep some items in a rental shed.
My older sister and her husband wanted to help me with my efforts to change my life’s direction, and so they offered me a very low rent (even after I add the price of the shed). In return I care for their dogs. They are both so busy now that they cannot give the dogs as much attention as they would like, and so I have taken that responsibility. I feed the dogs, play with them, and walk them. I have been here for less than three weeks, but the dogs have already grown to love me. They follow me around and seem to enjoy just being with me. If I lie down, then the fox red lab Jenny will aggressively try to lick my face. The black lab Molly constantly wants belly rubs and looks at me with eyes that say, “Love me.” Sometimes when I sit on my recliner, they rest nearby on my couch. It has become one of their favorite nap spots.
My cat Arwen is adjusting. The first night she insisted on going outside. I was nervous, but I knew I needed to let her out eventually. That first night she walked around meowing for a long time (probably scared). When I brought her back in she insisted on going back out, and so I let her out and went to bed. The next morning she was ready to come in and have some breakfast.
She does not like the dogs, of course, and so when she is inside she spends most of her time either on or under my bed. At night she sleeps with me, unless she is prowling outside. Over the past week we have had cold temperatures and rain almost every day. She does not want to go outside in that weather, and I like to keep her inside at night if it drops below freezing. Unfortunately, if the dogs are out of their kennels, then I need to keep Arwen confined to my bedroom for her protection. She does not enjoy this, and so I am happy that the weather has been better today and yesterday. She can spend some time roaming freely outside. As a former stray, she has an yearning for adventure and a need to explore. When she does come inside, however, she takes full advantage of my bed and her favorite blanket.
Class begins on January 7. Until then I am making good use of my time. I am reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I am also studying some Python programming and working on my resume and LinkedIn profile. After I have adjusted to the demands of a full load in school, I will look for a part time job
My other sister recently participated in National Novel Writing Month and met her goal. She has wanted to write a novel for years but thought she could not do it, and yet she succeeded (you can read about it here). This brings back to mind my desire to write fiction. I have thought many times about a collection of loosely connected short stories. I have always struggled with writing fiction, but I feel like I have story ideas that want to come out. I have notes on some of the stories. When I sit down to make an attempt, however, nothing comes out. With school starting soon, I do not know when I will have the time to work on this. Right now I need to focus on getting a new career so that I can make a sustainable living, but someday I need to write this book. It will not leave me alone.
I am also thinking again about my desire to visit Iona and the surrounding islands. That yearning remains stuck in my head. Someday, I need to do it.
I expect my first semester to be intense, and so I do not know how often I will be able to write in this blog. Nonetheless, I will try to chronicle my journey. I am taking a risk by quitting my job and taking on student debt, but sometimes a person needs to take a risk to move forward. This endeavor can lead to a career which is better for me physically and financially and also more suited to my interests and abilities.