I was looking at my grandmother’s vanity the other day. I use it for a make-up table, because we never did get the bathroom set up with good lighting and a countertop, and then I put a little rocking chair that I got at the dump for $5 in front of it because I meant to get a real little vanity chair but couldn’t find one.
Next to the vanity is a big pink antique chair. I don’t like the pink, and we were going to reupholster it, but Ed has resisted taking up upholstery as a hobby. I would like him to learn upholstery and also auto mechanics, but he has steadfastly insisted on choosing his own hobbies. Go figure.
But the chair is looking better now, since my sister-in-law gave me a little lap quilt that has pink and black squares in it, and I hung that over the back of the chair. Then I found a little pillow that has pink and black in it that says, “Too Much of A Good Thing is Simply Wonderful,” and then my mom gave me a big wooden red elephant to use as a side table, and now the whole corner looks pretty good, even if it is by accident, so when we do reupholster the chair the whole effect will be spoiled.
And the vanity sits in front of the window because there’s a fake stained-glass window piece of plastic stuck to the window, which makes it so you can’t see into the neighbor’s bedroom, and I don’t like the plastic window covering so I put the vanity in front to hide it until I can peel it off or even replace the window. But then I put the bed in that part of the attic because now that corner looks pretty cool. So when I fix everything up the way I want it, I’ll have to put the bed back where it was, and I can’t really, because I have made a temporary walk-in closet with some IKEA cabinets and a laundry room clothes-hanger-upper-thingie where the bed used to be, until Ed can make a real walk-in closet.
And this all makes me think of the Accademia Bridge in Venice, also known as “The temporary bridge.” You see, the old bridge fell down about 80 years ago, so they put up a temporary wooden one, and then it got a little rickety over the next 50 years, so they put up a second temporary one to look like the old temporary one, and now they want to replace it with a real stone bridge but there’s a lot of controversy about it because, you see, somehow the temporary one became a historical structure and now some people can’t bear the thought of changing it. Kind of like my bedroom.
Anyway, this all has to do with preparing for the future. You know that I used to always have a 20 year plan, until I noticed that I had to revise my plans really often, so the 20-year-plans became five-year-plans, and then those never worked out either. Then I just came up with some general goals. My general goals last year were:
- Be a concert soprano again
- Start up a jazz singing career
- Become a writer
Then I left the singing stuff by the door (forever!! Back of the hand to the forehead), except that last week I bumped into one of the leading chanteuses in Portland and it turned out, in a conversation over a vintage tie I was buying because it made me think of a book I was going to write, that we knew a lot of the same people and would I like to come to one of her salons and sing with some friends? So then I started thinking about cabaret repertoire again.
And then I almost got a job in educational software sales, and that made me start to think about working as a grant writer or a sales person or maybe a project manager, but then I signed up to write a novel in a month for the National Write a Novel in November marathon, and then a writing friend of mine asked for all my essays so she could show them to her publisher. So by the end of November I will have written four books, if you count the children’s book and the fitness book. And I have three more ready to start.
This made me get serious about organizing my time. So now I've decided that I will write from eight in the morning to noon, then spend the afternoons teaching voice or doing informational interviews or learning music. That way, when the future gets here, I’ll be ready for it.
So maybe the vanity and the bathroom and the bedroom and the closet will have to stay the way they are, like the Accademia Bridge in Venice. Because preparing for the future is a full-time job. Even if you aren’t sure what the future’s going to be. Go figure.