The single hardest thing I have dealt with since returning to the US is the sense that I am starting over. Not starting over in a spirtual, rejuvenating sense. That's the good part. I'm talking about starting over in a monetary sense. At 40. With a husband who is 45.
Our past fifteen years were spent in Italy renovating our home there. Here in America we are fiscal nobodies, if you don't include my A+ credit rating for having diligently used my American credit cards for the past 15 years. We are looking at the mirage of finding some way to buy a home here, and since we are both self employed a mortgage will most likely be hard to qualify for. I feel like I'm 21. I feel like I am so behind. This feeling will overtake me and transport to the land of doubt. There I wander like the town fool, the 40 year old with two children in tow who has worked her whole life and suddenly has nothing to show for it. Through the looking glass I see my contemporaries with their American homes and IRA's and college savings accounts, and I feel like a loser.
My husband and I regularly forget that we own a home in Italy, which we may or may not sell in the future. We hope not to, since selling a home in Italy is akin to bureaucratic ice capades, and also because we are attached to it. We forget that he is earning nearly 4 times what he did in Italy for the sheer fact of being in the US. We forget that we are not alone.
Then I remember to listen to the lute player. The lute player is always playing his lute. He is always playing just for you, if you will only stop meandering in the land of doubt and be still for a moment. The lute player plays for the joy of playing, as we all should remember to do. The rest of life is sometimes just there to fill our heads with noise. To block out the music.