We've been working on purging our house, making more room. We won't be getting a new au pair next year. Our current one departs in October. RocketMom is still working for my firm part-time, about 8-10 hours a week. She's getting a new laptop next week, to facilitate more working at home. We really don't need full-time childcare. Yes, we're home schooling, but the boys are mostly self-directed in that regard. We plan to hire some part-time help to cover the hours Rocket is in the office, some time for her to get away and be herself during the day, and some time at night or weekends to cover for both of us so we can have a date every so often.
We'll be reclaiming one small bedroom once M leaves. We've been listing things on Craigslist and Freecycle: a weight bench; a second mixer, a couple old kitchen cabinets. We're thinking of unloading our piano (the first piece of furniture we bought together), and getting a smaller electronic keyboard. In the dining room there are still two large bookcases covering an entire wall, that hadn't anywhere else to go. They cramp the space, and are less than half used at the moment. Over the years, we've discarded, sold, given away, or donated, on the order of 500-1000 books. One (even larger) bookcase remains upstairs in the hallway, packed to overflowing. I've got a full bookcase at my office with just about everything related to my present vocation. There are also several large filing cabinets with articles and documents, as well as personal materials.
So, I was revisiting a bottom shelf of one of the large dining room book cases, filled with music: scores, xeroxes, handwritten manuscripts. About 60% now rests in a pile a couple feet high or so, to be donated, discarded, sold, or given away. I . am. no. longer... I... I am... I am no longer a singer! at least not professionally, at least not for a career. There I said it. It's done.
That was... difficult! More difficult than what follows, which to you who have been reading is not news: I am no longer an academic... at least not for now... not for the foreseeable future. What need do I have for obscure bits of music, that I don't plan to sing, or write about? None is what I concluded... and so they stand in a stack two feet high, awaiting another residence.