In all of the places I've lived, I can't recall ever having such a hard time really settling in and thinking of a place as home as I have since I bought and moved into Casa Meg.
Sure, I've been moved in since Labor Day weekend, and it didn't take too long for me to get everything out of all the boxes. I pretty much have a home for everything now, except a few framed pictures I'm still thinking about. I've been set up to do everything I need to do in my home life.
But it has still felt...temporary.
It's hard to explain, and I'm not even sure I want to try. I know it has something to do with anxiety, and perhaps being in denial that I'm really responsible for everything in this place. (I'm back on meds, about two weeks in, feeling a lot more even-keeled about everything, which is nice.)
If there's one thing I love, it's decorating for Christmas. For the last five Christmases, Mom let me take over the kitchen table with a four-foot pre-lit Christmas tree and my massive collection of Snoopy ornaments. If the rest of the house looked straight out of Better Homes and Gardens (Mom's got style), my kitchen corner looked like Santa Claus and Charles Schulz co-hosted a raver. Bless Mom for realizing I needed a few of my own special things each year.
This year, I have my own home to decorate, and a week off for Thanksgiving. My usual MO is to set everything up the day after Thanksgiving, but yesterday, I got a bee in my bonnet to at least dig everything out of my storage closet. When I moved in, I shoved a ton of stuff in there, slammed the door, and ignored it until now. With rain coming this week and the closet being on my balcony, I figured a sunny day was the day to wrestle everything out of there...and I ended up setting it up because once it's out, I might as well.
After five years stuffed in a storage unit, my cheap pre-lit Christmas tree still works, and looks really great by the sliding glass door. As I set it up and watched it light up, I realized that this is what I've really needed all along--Christmas in Casa Meg.
Somehow, the simple act of hanging my beloved holiday memories on a fake tree that sheds all over my living room is what I needed to feel like I'm really home.
Today I bought a couple strands of white lights and strung them around the railing on my balcony. I plugged in a giant light-up Santa Snoopy that Mom and Dad brought over for me (we've had him for years). There are plush toys by the fireplace and under the tree, and doo-dads and knick-knacks on the mantel. It's cheerful and homey.