This month’s issue of the paper is done. Finally. I’ve sent the change-of-address email with the new address and phone number. Finally. And I’ve moved. Finally. I had started this blog post, finally, and walked away from my computer to get coffee. When I came back, the very blue screen announced my system had “recovered from a very serious error.” Of course, I thought—this is my life now. Completely ignoring all the warnings about rebooting in Safe Mode, I fired her up, but nowhere was my draft to be found.
This is par for the course I’ve been traveling for weeks now. When my feet were set on this moving course, I was elated, excited, joyful, and oh-so ready. If you’ve known me long and have an old-fashioned address book, you’ve probably cursed me for all the pages required to keep up with me. Folks, this ain’t my first rodeo. I know where and when to get boxes, I know how to pack, I know what and how much my car will take, I’ve got a couple of different plans for loading trucks, depending on who’s available to help. And I have back-up plans. A friend commented recently, “you probably have it down to a science by now.”
Yes, yes I do, or so I thought. The first hurdle popped up when I discovered my dependable source for boxes stopped giving away boxes. An inconvenience, but not a real problem—I know about the liquor store, which had previously been my dependable source for boxes. As a fairly publicly recovering alcoholic of twenty-five years, I admit to looking over my shoulder on my frequent trips to the package store to get the goods. Once I even hid from someone I knew, not wanting her to get the “wrong” idea, thinking I was there to purchase their product. I had to laugh; isn’t that what most people who hide from other people at the liquor store think?
I accumulated a fine stash of boxes and commenced my packing. I started making plans for moving, painting, and making a paper. It was an interlocking puzzle; first this, then that. It was a good plan, really. I’ve done it all before and enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction when the pieces fell into place, a flawless execution, perfect timing.
It did not happen that way. Virtually every plan I made, especially if it involved someone else, fell apart. Things didn’t fit into prescribed vehicles. Paint wasn’t available at the prescribed time. Helpers couldn’t help at the appointed time. Basements flooded, most notably the one in which my worldly possessions had been living. I had to sort through the soggy stuff, discerning what was salvageable, and either throw out or dry out everything I own.
Through it all, I endured a sinus infection and a level of fatigue heretofore unknown to me. It was not pretty. But I kept at it—not something I’ve always done in the past.
If you’ve picked up the November issue of Open Roads and read “Some Random Thoughts About Thanksgiving” you know I’ve been practicing the wisdom of “when the map and the terrain don’t match, tis wise to follow the terrain” (except when flying a plane in the fog, as pointed out by a smart-ass friend…) My terrain went from ludicrous to sublime, and so I laughed, which I found preferable to dissolving in a salty puddle of “why me” tears.
I was reminded repeatedly of something I heard a long time ago, if you’re driving cross-country at night, you don’t need for your headlights to light the whole way, just the stretch of road ahead. Only when I could let go of my idea of how/when/where/who should unfold, was there movement; otherwise, things stood stubbornly still. It was great practice for me to walk in faith without getting certain undergarments in a wad about it.
At different points folks would ask, “do you think maybe the Universe is trying to tell you something?” My response was, “if there’s one thing of which I’m certain, it’s that this move is the right thing—it’s the right time and the right place.” And that, of course, was the fuel for putting one foot in front of the other, even though it so often felt like walking in quicksand. I ramped up my meditation and found it easier and easier to accept what ever was happening in the moment. Each time I felt the quicksand relax, release a little.
I think of all the times in my life I’ve been unshakable in my belief that a certain turn on the path was the one I was meant to take. The results have varied; I’ve jumped into relationships, jobs, situations that couldn’t have been a worse fit nor more distressing—sometimes for years. Conversely, I’ve leaped and seen the whole world open up to unlimited possibilities and delicious freedom. I’ve also crept into both types of experiences and my conclusion is they’ve all been valid. Judging one as good and one as bad is really the source of my discomfort—not the actual circumstance, condition, or situation.
I’ve spent enormous amounts of time and energy in my life scouring my psyche, my soul, books, therapists, mystics, and every other place I could think of for The Lesson. What’s the lesson—why is this so difficult? What am I missing here? If I can just figure that out, I can escape this whole running-though-taffy thing. I realized pretty quickly I had to give that up if I had any hope of holding on to my sanity through this process. I decided that if there were a lesson, it would make itself known without my ego-powered snipe hunts. Guess what I found; peace. Is that the lesson? I don’t know, but I know I’m feeling really content here tapping away on my keyboard by my new window in my new home, where I’m settling in. Finally.