Thursday, December 27, 2012

Right to the heart of the matter, right to the beautiful part

Probably nobody but me has noticed this, but most of the post titles on this blog are song lyrics.  Because I wanted to remember what songs I'd quoted from, and not to repeat myself, and because I thought maybe somebody might be curious, I've built a page that lists the songs and bands the lyrics come from, and links to a video of the song.

The link to this page is also on the blog front page, in the upper right.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It runs in the family, this famine that carries me to such great lengths

Today is the 6th anniversary of my starting the Radiant Recovery addiction program.

It all started with my reading this (now badly-formatted) post on one of the many diet blogs I was reading at the time, which describes the sugar quiz in Potatoes Not Prozac (scroll down the page to "Diagnosing Sugar Sensitivity"), and realizing that *all* the items in that quiz described me.  It was a scary moment, realizing how much of an effect sugar was having in my life.

At the time, I was really just looking for yet another diet plan, another way to lose the weight that simply refused to come off.  What I got instead was life-changing.

As I wrote on my old, now-defunct blog back in June of 2009, these are the things I gave up when I gave up sugar:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PMS
  • Crazy thoughts
  • Self-loathing
  • Worry about my weight and how my body looks
  • Feeling done-to
  • Crying constantly out of sheer frustration at the perversity of the universe
  • Anger at the unfairness of the world
  • Feeling apart from the world
  • Not feeling totally human, feeling like The Other in every situation
  • Feeling isolated and inadequate
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Taking everything that happened personally
  • Cravings, especially for sugary and fatty things
  • Hiding my "special" foods, and feeling panicked if my chocolate supply dropped down too low
  • Bingeing on sugar and processed carbs
  • Being overwhelmed by other people's pain
  • Having an incredibly low pain threshold
  • Feeling the need for The Drama, and unconsciously looking for *any* way to create it
  • Always waiting for the other shoe to drop
  • Always expecting the worst
  • Being afraid of my emotions
  • Blurring my emotions with food
I have a good life today, and it's all because I started on this recovery path.  So happy anniversary to me, and many clean and sober returns.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Unwritten songs of another day

Feeling very tender emotionally this weekend.

We went to see The Hobbit yesterday; it was good to see Jay out and about, even though it was pretty difficult on him.  The movie was both a lot of fun and really irritating.  Being at the movie was difficult for me, off and on, entirely because of Jay's stated worries about not being alive to see all the Hobbit movies. That thought kept intruding on me as the movie unfolded, leaving me struggling not to cry.

There are other things feeding into this tenderness, but that's at the heart of it.

What do I do if the final movie comes out and he's not here to see it?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming

My mind is playing tricks on me today.  My previous post featured a title that came from lyrics from a Big Country song.  In looking for a YouTube video for that song, I ran across one that started with singer/songwriter Stuart Adamson speaking into a microphone.  The sound of his voice drove me to tears.

I thought I knew why: Adamson committed suicide 11 years ago around this time of year, and I miss him still as if I had known him, as if he had been my brother.  I always grieve for him as this part of the year rolls around, and clearly my mind thought I needed reminding.

The trick? Yesterday was in fact the 11th anniversary of that event, and tomorrow the anniversary of the police reporting he had killed himself, rather than having disappeared, as was originally thought.

Already morose and weepy from the Clackamas mall shootings and the Newtown, CT shootings, I am grieving more.

Too much pain in the world.  I breathe in pain and breathe out light and love for all who are suffering.

And one day I will lie down where the rose was flung

I've been feeling an sense of transience lately, which has been inflecting my mood oddly.  I am living with Jay, but I don't live with him.  I'm living out of a suitcase still, which is entirely my choice, as it still feels odd to take Jay up on his offer to hang my clothes in his closet.

I live here, but I don't.

I should emphasize that this sense of transience is entirely in my head.  I am welcome where I am, and I am loved, and I belong.  But lacking a permanent base, a permanent residence, is playing with my head.

But things have been happening lately that are making me feel more grounded and less at loose ends.  Going to the Portland Revels yesterday with Jay's mother and daughter and a whole bunch of their friends and being introduced as "Jay's current significant other, the one we hope will stay around" eased my heart greatly.

And my head is just going to have to live with the ambiguity of the situation.  Just deal with it, OK?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And your beautiful sky, the light you bring falls on me

So this is what my pre-chemo Thursday ritual looks like:

  • making sure all the laundry's done, so Jay has clean clothes come Sunday and so no-one has to fuss with it over the weekend
  • running the dishwasher so there's no shortage of dishes
  • getting out the sheet to cover the chemo chair over the weekend, to reduce Jay's contact with the velour of the chair and to keep his skin less irritated
  • taking Jay to the clinic to get his chest port accessed and his blood work done, so we know whether chemo will go on this weekend
  • doing grocery shopping for some basics to keep Jay fed over the weekend
This ritual is both soothing and anxious-making, the latter because I always fear I'm going to forget to do something important, that I'll overlook some critical detail.  That's my old tape about inadequacy playing there, and it gets ridiculously loud on these weekends.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Because maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me

Funny that this should get posted today, as I'm thinking about my anniversary-of-sorts with Jay, and the changes in my life that brought me here to care for him on this part of his cancer journey: Cancer. Canceling. Postponing. Waiting. Growing., in which Amanda Palmer talks about canceling her 2013 tour to take care of her friend Anthony, who is undergoing cancer treatment.

So many of the things she talks about in her post resonate deeply with me: the deconstruction of a life, walking away from things you value highly, walking toward things that mean more, the fear of the unknown.

So much of it resonates so deeply with me that it moved me to tears at the dining room table, with Jay sitting in the recliner in the living room, and me trying desperately not to let him know I was crying.

So now there are more people to keep in my thoughts, and to hope for good outcomes for.

Fuck cancer.

When you're learning to face the path at your pace, every choice is worth your while

Jay & I have known each other for six months as of today.

The changes I made in my life over those six months were crazy speedy for anyone who knows me well.  I'm not impulsive and I overthink everything, so to be where I am now, both emotionally and physically, feels somewhat shocking when I look back over it all.  It all feels right as I'm living it, but the momentum shift that it took me to get here, and that it all worked, never ceases to surprise me.

The name of this blog was chosen carefully to reflect that change in momentum, and to remind me not to lose that sense of forward motion.

I feel incredibly blessed that the man I fell in love with six months ago loves me, too, and that we can keep that love going in the circumstances we're in.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When you're all alone, what do you think about love?

Wanted to report in about last night's sleep, post-writing.

My dreams were varied and numerous and often downright weird, and I woke up utterly exhausted this morning.  But there was not anything even vaguely creepy or even close to nightmarish, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

Of course, what I'm writing is clearly a direct cut out of my subconscious, so I suppose it's not too surprising that it didn't trigger me.  This is catharsis in its purest form, the drawing out of poison from a wound, and all the parts of my brain and mind are aware of that.

I'm hoping this is a door opening, and not a door about to slam in my face again.  And yes, that's my fear talking, as it always does.

Monday, December 3, 2012

And all the preaching voices, empty vessels ring so loud

Huh, how did that happen?  I just did some writing, for the first time in over a year.

It may be an interesting night, if I start up with nightmares again ... But when my brain tosses out the first and last line of a story, and then pokes me til I get some of the rest of it out, what else can I do but give in?

Friday, November 30, 2012

So calm your waves and slow the churn

Yesterday was my two-month anniversary of moving to Portland.  Wow, has my life improved since I moved here.  I've talked a lot about the components of that improvement already, so I won't repeat myself here; suffice it to say that the life I have now is giving me more purpose and meaning than I ever expected to have.

It's good to take that energy into another chemo weekend.  So far this one has been pretty easy, with Jay being focused and alert and not having any obvious side effects or untoward misery.  His mother is doing primary caregiver duty this weekend, and we make a good care team.

It's good to be happy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And I think maybe we were lovers in a former life

Had two Thanksgivings since my last post: on Thanksgiving and on Saturday (both links to Jay's blog posts about the two feasts).  Both were lovely, with wonderful food and great company.

Thanksgiving day was my seven-week anniversary of arriving in Portland.  Things are going slow on the house-search front, this being an exceptionally difficult house rental market.

I'm in no great hurry to find a place, except that I'm starting to miss my stuff.  I'm getting tired of wearing the same clothes every week, which is mildly ridiculous, because chances are I'd be wearing the clothes I have with me anyway.  But not having the choice is beginning to wear, and I miss all the other clothes I have packed.

Things are bad enough that I wore a button-front shirt yesterday for the first time since I moved, and I've worn so many t-shirts and polos that Jay was actually surprised.

And if it gets cold, I'm really screwed, because I absolutely refuse to go buy a new winter coat when I already have multiple perfectly good ones.

So I'm missing my books, and my exercise equipment, and my crock pots, and my clothes.

But what I'm finding most interesting is that I really am doing OK without any of it.  Sure, I miss it all, but I'm living just fine without it.  It just makes me realize that so much of the stuff I brought with me I probably could have given away and I'd be OK.

It's an interesting thought.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No, I can't just relax, knowing that you're coming back

So the news from Jay's CT scan was good, as these things go.  I won't completely heave a sigh of relief until after his oncology appointment this afternoon, assuming nothing changes with his treatment plan, but I'm starting to let go of some of my fear of the worst.  For the moment, for this round, the worst isn't upon us.

Monday, November 19, 2012

You take it on faith, you take it to the heart

If only the waiting were the hardest part.  Waiting for Jay's scan results is hard enough, but knowing that something worse could be coming is even harder.  Harder for Jay than for me, but hard enough for both of us, for all of us, for everyone.

Just waiting ...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Great dominions, they don't come cheap

I've been thinking a lot lately about my new life, all good thoughts.  As I find a rhythm here, a solid routine, I'm realizing how empty my old life was.

This one has purpose, and meaning, and depth, and warmth, and well, life.  A lot of the old noise in my head has cleared away and I'm left with more of who I truly am and what I'm truly capable of.  I feel more present and more visible and more real than I can ever remember feeling.

Jay said something the other day that really got me thinking, about how I carry spoons for him, thus making day-to-day life easier for him.  I found this interesting, since I have some spoon issues of my own.  But I seem to be making it all work, balancing my needs and his needs and getting it all done, even if only eventually.

It's a good feeling to be useful, to have purpose, to finally get out of the awful noise in my head into real life.  I'm glad to be here, for all the values of here.

(And for those of you who don't know about spoon theory, here's what that is.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

To feel safe again look over your shoulder

A collection of disparate things makes a post:

  • I'm finally finding my way around Portland with a little more confidence.  Those who know me well know that I have nearly no sense of direction, so finding my way around somewhere new is always a challenge.
  • I apparently hit the flirtation sweet spot for a bunch of men here, all of whom are slightly older than me and quite charming.  Since I never, ever dress better than frumpily these days, I am somewhat baffled, but not displeased.
  • Feeling the need to start exercising again - I'm beginning to feel creaky and slow and things will only get worse as it gets colder (or as cold as it gets here), so I've got to get my wide white ass in motion again.
  • Oh, and the weather! Marylanders have a saying - if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change.   That is almost literally true here.  The weather turns on a dime here, from sunny to pouring rain in nearly the blink of an eye.  It's fascinating, but it can make driving a bit of a challenge.
  • Parts of Jay's neighborhood remind me so much of parts of Rehoboth Beach. There's something about the style of houses and the ubiquitous presence of evergreens that makes me keep looking for the ocean around every corner.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Well, the dream burned up like paper in fire

Still reeling from yesterday's news.  Trying to remind myself that everything is just speculation, right up to the point where we see the scan results.

My subconscious is playing some funny tricks on me right now.  I'm getting scene after scene in my head of things I loved in Baltimore, which is my brain's way of reminding me that I might be happier elsewhere.

Good shot, but a miss, nonetheless.

Sad as I am, scared as I am, angry as I am, I am right where I should be, and glad to be here.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other, just like every day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bride of all unquiet things

Another chemo weekend.  Jay's currently sleeping peacefully in the chemo chair, his primary caregiver is at the ready in case she's needed, and I'm in the bedroom writing this post and contemplating the day.

These chemo weekends are tough on everyone, obviously not the least on Jay.  But I'm discovering as time goes on and my experience with them grows just how difficult they are for me.

It is incredibly hard to watch the light go out in his eyes as the chemicals swim into his body, to watch him sleep in the chair in the infusion center, to watch him come back to himself, that light flickering and struggling back to full life for moments at a time, only to wane again as he's dragged back into chemo-induced unconsciousness.

My heart is always tender and fragile these weekends, tears always close to the surface and almost never expressed.  The grief is also close to the surface, floating there and intermingling with the love and the passion and the tenderness and the longing and the hope.

The worry and the love are exhausting, but there is no other path here.  There is no comfort but the comfort of the rituals of caring for Jay, of making sure he has whatever he needs in this moment, of bearing serene and loving witness to that which must be nearly unbearable for him.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's all in the dark, a walk through the fire

I've been in a weird emotional place for the last week or so, and while I figured out pretty quickly what was causing it, I'm still not sure what to do about it.

It was a year ago, last November, last NaNoWriMo, that I wrote myself into the most explicit and painful episode of PTSD I've ever experienced.  It was all the talk about NaNoWriMo in my Twitter feed that made me realize why I was feeling what I was feeling.

One of the major ways my PTSD expresses itself is as a desire to be invisible, to be quiet and small and thus safe.  Something in either the act of writing or in what I was writing triggered nightmares for weeks of being exposed, of being under attack, of being unsafe.

So I stopped writing.  And not just for that month, but forever.  This past spring, I consciously removed all the trappings of writing from my life, removed all the mentions of being a writer from my Twitter bio, from my other, now-defunct, blog, from everywhere I could think of.  It was a choice, designed to see if I cared about writing enough to get help to get over my brain's reaction to a threat that didn't actually exist.

And I realized in that process that I really didn't care, that I didn't miss it, that I was fine without any sort of creative outlet.

And yet, here I am a year later, going through what can only be described as mourning for something I still don't think I'm missing.

I have no answers here, but am rather just thinking out loud.

What's really going on with me? And what the hell do I do about it?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sometimes the need is just too great for the solace we seek

I've been in Portland for a month today.  Almost exactly a month as I type this.

It's been a rollercoaster ride, emotions up, emotions down.  Energy up, energy down.  But in all of it, I keep coming back to the realization that I'm happier now than I've ever been in my life.  So no matter the challenges, no matter the pain, no matter the grief, I'm in a better place.  This was a good move.

Sometimes you get lucky, even if those looking in from the outside would say you're not lucky at all.

I got lucky. I am blessed.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fallen leaves in the night, who can say where they're blowing

Chemo weekend again this weekend.  Quieter so far, but still with plenty of social activity around the house.

Jay seemed more focused today than during the last session, which has been good to see.


I'm learning a lot from watching Jay go through this treatment, from watching him live his life with this disease.

Mostly what I'm learning, what I'm gaining, is the need to and the skill to stay in the moment.

Grief lurks around every corner, and by staying right where I am, moment to moment, and not looking forward, I can feel the grief without it being overwhelming.

I'm also learning how to open my heart to whatever comes, to whatever this moment holds, good or bad or anything in between.

I've learned so much from Jay already about how I want to live my life, by watching him live his.  Even now, even on weekends like this, I'm learning.

I've learned more about love in the not-quite 5 months I've known him than I ever thought I would in my life.  I have loved more in the not-quite 5 months I've known him than I ever thought myself capable of.  And I have accepted more love than I ever thought possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Some days I just don't worry, I let it pour through me

Spent a quiet weekend with Jay watching The Lord of the Rings movies, then watching "Erik the Viking" today with Nancy and other friends.  This culminated in a lovely dinner at Delta Cafe - mmmm, southern food ...

Back to the work week ...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cracks in the ceiling, crooked pictures in the heart

Well, fuck.  Jay's chemo has been postponed for a week.  This is so not good.

Life is rough at the moment, on many fronts.  Doing my best to be supportive and present and thoughtful.  Being loving is easy.

But, still, sigh ...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions

Difficult day last Friday, as I took Ace to the airport, sending her off home.  Better day Saturday, when Jay came home from Omaha.  We spent Sunday with Nancy, and she & I went driving around neighborhoods looking unsuccessfully for houses to rent.

Monday brought Jay doing a reading. It was my first time seeing him read, which seems weird for someone who came to him as a fangirl.  West Coast writer, East Coast fangirl ...

Gearing up for another chemo weekend this weekend.

So it goes ...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

History recedes in my rear view mirror

So I had originally thought I would do some photoblogging of my road trip with Ken from Baltimore to Portland.  Yeah, well, that didn't happen, but I did put up the pics I took along the way:


Let's open our eyes to the brand new day

Feeling more balanced than I have the past couple of days.  The noise in my head is dying down, and I'm feeling more grounded.  All of my various practices are back in place, and I feel so much better for it.  It's only now that I'm realizing how far from my hard-won sanity this move and the logistics leading up to it and the emotions after it have pushed me.

But I'm more focused now, and more clear on what it is I need to be doing to keep myself steady, both in my recovery and in my spiritual practice.

Jay comes home from Omaha on Saturday.  That will be a very good thing.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I turn my back to the wind to catch my breath before I start off again

Long, tiring weekend.  Still recovering from bearing witness to this chemo session, from trying to support Jay and Ace, from trying not to melt down too hard in the face of it all.  There was a lovely birthday party on Saturday for the October birthdays in Jay's family, and Ace & I tried to do some shopping on Sunday, without much luck.  I did manage to introduce Ace to Five Guys, which she seemed to enjoy, and which marked my first Five Guys outside of the DC/MD/VA/DE area.

For the first part of the week, I have the house to myself.  Jay is in Omaha, Ace is off to the Oregon coast for some much-needed quiet and downtime.  I'm here working.  It's profoundly weird to be in this house alone, especially after all the noise and energy of the weekend.

I think I'm settling in OK, although I can already tell that living out of a suitcase is going to drive me nuts in short order.  I've collected a nice group of places to eat that are sufficiently program-friendly that I'm keeping that up to speed.

But I'm struggling with something that is making me laugh: I can never remember what car to look for when I come out into a parking lot.  I start out looking for the rental car I had when I was here in June, then I look for Jay's car, then I remember that all I have to do is to look for the car with the Maryland plates.  It's absurd, really.

It's also a measure of how exhausted I am.  I haven't had anything like a full night's sleep since my last night in Baltimore, which makes it just over a week now.  I keep napping, as if that's going to solve the problem.  It helps, but I'm beyond tired.

Tonight I'm planning to do my recovery chat for the first time in too long, then maybe go out and do some grocery shopping and then some light cooking for myself so I can stop eating out and start eating better program-friendly things.  My food journal is coming back to life, and that's always a good sign for my program.

Everyone keeps telling me I'm the sane one in this relationship, which both makes me laugh and scares me a little, but it just means I have to keep my meditation practice and my recovery practice strong and steady so I can be there when I'm needed.

For why else did I make this move?

Friday, October 5, 2012

There's a vulture perching right off screen, and it's bitter and whispers chaotic things

My first day with Jay's chemo.  This is the second session of this third round.  What a day.  Not as difficult as I thought it would be, not even emotionally.  Which is not to say it wasn't hard, just not as hard as I expected.

I'm assuming it will get harder as time passes and more and more of the Jay I know is masked by the effects of the chemo.

My job is primarily to be emotional support for Jay and to be logistical support as needed by the primary caregiver.  It's a job I'm happy to do, all the while of course wishing it didn't need to be done.

Right now he's sleeping peacefully in the chemo chair.  This is good.

It's almost impossible to describe the mix of feelings I have today, but love is still the strongest among them.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

All that I wanted was the freedom of a new life, so my burden I began to divest

I am home.  We reached Portland mid-morning this morning, when the house was empty.  Everyone was out doing cancer-related things, so I had a little while to catch up to being here and to get some sleep before my loved ones descended and greeted me with lots of love.

Huge props and enormous thanks to Ken Scholes for driving me clear across the country, and for the wonderful and enlightening talking we did on the drive.  It was wonderful to get to know him, and we've created a wonderful friendship that I'm looking forward to deepening.

Thanks, too, to all my friends across the country who have been so incredibly supportive of me as I made this transition.

I am home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Almost home

Stopping in Pendleton, OR tonight and will be home early tomorrow. I cannot wait to see my loved ones and sleep in my new bed. Glory hallelujah!

Crossing the Divide

Crossed the Continental Divide this morning, and aren't too far from Utah, another state I've never been to. Ken has been a driving god the past two days, and we should make Portland tomorrow morning.

1 day to Portland, and I'm so excited to be almost home that I can barely stand it. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Breakfast in America

Just finished breakfast in Omaha with some of Jay's friends - that was a lot of fun.

Hitting the road again soon, trying to get to Cheyenne today.

2 days to Portland ...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Early on the road

Got on the road a little after 2 this morning, since neither Ken nor I could sleep, and here it is 7:30 and we're having breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Twinsburg, OH.

3 days to Portland, and I'm so excited I can barely sit still. Which will make driving fun ... :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Like a million little doorways, all the choices we made

I'm now officially homeless.  I closed and locked the door of the house for the last time this evening, set the security system, got in the car, and drove away.

I drove back there from my ex's for the last time tonight, driving down Saint Paul St. and then up Charles St. for the last time.

I spent the evening in my ex's apartment for the last time, although we chose to say "see you soon" instead of goodbye, echoing my last Baltimore lunch with my friend Polly this afternoon.

I took my house keys off the ring tonight, adding them to the pile of keys I carry with me always, but will likely never use again.

I'm homeless, and feeling at sea.  The second hardest thing for me (after all the emotional things) is that my routine is completely shattered.  I'm trying to remember that even though it's difficult, it's a good thing.  The whole point of this exercise is to create a new life, and that means clearing out as much of my old life as I can, as I need to, so this new life can emerge and grow and thrive.  

The drive across the country is an important part of this, a literal transition to move me from the old to the new.  I have to remember to honor that process, and not try to short-circuit it, to let this rebirth happen, even through the pain of it.

5 days to Portland ...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Show me lonely and show me openings to lead me closer to you

Ways to tell I'm living in limbo and am essentially homeless, all of which are amusing the hell out of me:

  • I have to unpack and repack my toiletries every time I shower or brush my teeth or whatever.  A profoundly weird thing to be doing in a house I still own ...
  • The ringer on the remaining phone is unfamiliar.
  • Very soon, I will have no place to sit but the fireplace hearth. 
  • I keep forgetting that there are no trash cans anywhere, but only a trash bag in the kitchen.

And the bang-my-head-on-the-dining-room-chandelier count is currently at 2 ...

6 days to Portland ...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'll bring you when my lifeboat sails through the night

The POD is full, the house is pretty much empty.  The junk people come tomorrow, and the house will be emptier.

Tonight I'm sleeping on the mattress from the futon sofa that didn't fit into the POD, and which will be hauled away in the morning.

The floors are filthy, and one of my tasks for tomorrow is to vacuum every inch.  I also need to finish packing my suitcase and my overnight bag, and figure out how to get everything in the car for the long cross-country drive that starts on Monday.

I've reached new levels of exhaustion, yet I know I'll have trouble sleeping tonight.

7 days to Portland ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Spent the day sealing boxes and getting the last miscellaneous things dealt with, one way or another.

Right up until I tested the spare keys I had turned and the first one stuck in the lock.  After-hours, of course.

But a locksmith came out in less than an hour, and got the key out with no problem, and the lock still works just fine, so no harm, no foul.

The POD is here, and the movers are confirmed for tomorrow, so in the morning, I just need to pack up the car, seal the last boxes, get the trash and recycling out, and wait for the movers to arrive.

Now I'm off to bed early, to let the meds do their thing for this stress-induced migraine, and to let me get up early so I can finish up in plenty of time for tomorrow's festivities.

8 days to Portland ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Every morning I've got a new chance

Singing glory hallelujah - with the exception of my clothes and toiletries, I think I'm done packing. I suppose I could still trip over something I've missed, and I still need to take the drafting table apart, but I wandered through the house tonight and couldn't find anything big that I'd missed.


Off to shower and then fall asleep, and dream of my POD arriving tomorrow, and dream more of home and my loved ones waiting there for me.

9 days to Portland ...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Infiltrate the walls that are caving in

I have truly arrived at the point of tossing shit into boxes.

All my boxes tonight are labeled "misc" in my box content spreadsheet, with loving detail about what constitutes misc for that particular incarnation.

I did manage to find a hidden corner: in my early frenzy to pack winter stuff, I had completely forgotten to pack my winter coats, which were still lurking in one of the upstairs bedroom closets.

I still have some Freecycling to do, and I still need to clean off and extricate the drafting table from its spot in the basement, and I still need to put all the thawed-out blue ice into one of the coolers and decide if I want a cooler in the car to hold bottled water.

I still need to sort out and pack my clothes.  I also need to let go of having a printer and just pack the damned thing already.

But I'm feeling pretty good about it all.

10 days to Portland ...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wait for the sky to remind you these things are true...

Much progress made today.

Assuming I don't find any hidden corners of the house that I've just flat forgotten to pack, I'm thinking I'm about 98% done with packing.  Freecycling is still ongoing, but I'm less concerned about that now that I've got the junk pickup scheduled; the big stuff to Freecycle has pretty much already gone, so I'm in good shape.

But I'm now officially bedless.  I stripped the sheets off the mattress this morning, the bed having already been disassembled during Jay's visit (bless him for doing that).  The sheets have been washed and packed and the mattress is in its storage cover, standing up against one wall, making room for all the packing boxes needed for the rest of the bedroom stuff.

I'm feeling pretty good - I estimated I'd pack about 50 boxes, and am currently at 51 with just a few left to pack.

Not too bad.

Lots of positive news from home, including more pictures of the new bed that was delivered yesterday.

So everything is good.  Now if I could just find some more energy so I'm not dragging myself around for the rest of my time here ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Little sister can't you find another way, no more livin' life behind a shadow

Busy day, but productive.

It started out with me taking the car in for service, and ending up with new brakes.  Surprise!  But the surprise if they failed as we're cruising cross-country would have been a lot worse, so no complaints here.

Then out for brunch with my high-school sweetheart, which was a lot of fun.  It's been almost 2 years since I've seen him, after not seeing him for 30 years before that.

Then out for errands: gassing up the car, buying food for the road from Whole Foods, buying still more packing boxes.

And all the while getting updates from home.  Yes, I do mean Portland.

Counting down the days til I'm home.

Friday, September 21, 2012

All the people that you've loved, they're all bound to leave some keepsakes

Odd, disjointed day today.

I got a lot of Freecycling done, with more to go.  I set up a post-movers appointment with 1-800-GOT-JUNK so I can get rid of the remaining furniture and miscellaneous junk after everything else is gone.  Also managed to schedule the painters to come after I've moved out, which will work better from their point of view, since the rooms to be painted will be empty.

I watched from afar as Jay underwent his first chemo session of this round.  Everyone, Jay included, was wonderfully careful to keep me up-to-date.  It's weird to feel so loved in the midst of something like this, but it's a good-weird.

And I had dinner with my ex tonight, which went really well.  I'm grateful that he was willing to let me say goodbye, and that he seems genuinely happy with my situation.

So very tired right now, but not quite ready to sleep.  Not sure what I'm holding on to here,  in this moment, but I'm not ready to let it go quite yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Living in the future

On a more positive note, having given up on packing for the night, and having already packed up my entertainment center, and being in need of some diversion, I'm watching episodes of the TV show Life on my Kindle.  In the early episodes, the main character, who is a cop who has been in prison for 12 years and thus is wholly ignorant of the Internet and other technology, spends a lot of the time talking about living in the future as he learns about cell phones, IMs, and other things we take for granted.

This is my "living in the future" moment for the day ...

You've got nowhere to go but here

This is where it starts to get hard for me.

Jay's first chemo session is tomorrow, and I'm here instead of there.

I'm in the process of saying goodbye to all the people in my life here - lunch with my sister-in-law tomorrow (who I'll still call my sister-in-law a million years after I'm divorced from her brother); dinner with my ex; brunch with my high-school sweetheart; brunch with one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends, then dinner later next week with her and her husband.  The litany goes on.

My days here are quite literally numbered, and I'm having to let go of having any number of things done before I go.  All of them are things I can do from Portland, but all of them would have been easier to deal with from here, if I'd only had time.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time, one box at a time, one piece of the process at a time. One bite at a time, and I can eat the whole damned elephant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A brace of hope, a pride of innocence

Today we reach the first point where the packing process feels profoundly weird.

I've packed all the clocks.

I've packed my altar, even though I would have switched its contents for the fall contents on Saturday.

I've packed my poppets.

The bedding and pillows are starting to go into boxes.

It's all becoming real.  This isn't my house anymore, and my home isn't here.  The things that made this house my home are all in transition now, some to come with me on the road, some to be shipped and to wait for me to find a new, more permanent home.

I've known that Baltimore wasn't my home anymore from the moment the plane wheels hit the tarmac on my trip back to Portland in August.  But now I'm finally truly letting go of this house, of this identity, of this me.

Oh, glory, what a ride is ahead of me ...

Man, you people are picky

For all of you (and you know who you are) who reminded me about Blogger's Android app, here is proof that I both love you and am listening: my first post from my phone.

Are you happy now? Sheesh ... LOL

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Better make sure you're looking closely, before you fall into your swoon

Tonight is one of those nights when the universe laughs at my plans.

I had planned to come home, do some laundry, take up the rugs to give to my ex, pack the living room, and work some more on packing the kitchen and bedroom.

But the universe had other plans for me.

Instead, the commute that usually takes me 2 hours from door to door took me 4 hours, mostly because of signal outages due to the severe weather.  So instead of getting home at a reasonable hour with enough energy to do what I needed to do, I got home ridiculously late, with low blood sugar (even after eating a good dinner), and just enough energy to change clothes, talk to the people I love, and fall over into bed.

Well, and write this post, but that's negligible in the scheme of things ...

Tomorrow, I'm back at it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Camp Chaos

So my movers are coming on the 27th, which essentially gives me a hair more than a week to finish packing.


I'm about 85% done in the kitchen, which leaves the bedroom, bathroom, hall closet, living room (minor), and miscellaneous packing to do.

As you might imagine, my house is a flaming disaster area. I'm reduced to stepping over and around packed boxes, flat boxes, packing material, tape, blah blah blah.

Even though I weeded my belongings ruthlessly over the past year, knowing I was going to be moving somewhere at some point, I still feel like I've got way too much stuff. It's times like this I really want to get down to that Zen thing of my bowl and cushion. And a toothbrush. And a hair brush. And some soap. And ...

Clearly, this way lies madness ...

Starting again ...

I'm currently in the process of packing up my house in Baltimore and moving to Portland, OR.

Enough people have asked me to keep them up-to-date on my moving progress, my drive across the country, and my settling-in to Portland that I thought I would just bite the bullet and start blogging again.

Fair warning - I am an intermittent blogger at best. Maybe this series of events will be something that will motivate me to blog more regularly, but my record is against me.

But this is a grand adventure, with a new life at the other end. If that's not enough to get me writing, what am I waiting for?