I wrote a post with every intention of posting it Thursday morning, but then Thursday happened and nothing was posted. Completely my fault. When I look at the post now however, I want to save some of it, but it is out of step, and it feels weird to post it as is, so I am going to try something new, at least for me. The end result may or may not make sense. Anyway, what I am writing today is in italics, and the original post is not.
Let's see what happens:
Goodbyes are always hard. Even temporary ones, even when one is saying goodbye to a place not a person, even when I won't really be gone. After all we will still see each other, but the relationship will be changed, a trial separation of sorts, a bit of surgery, and then we will be reunited.
When I walked through the house yesterday, (Wednesday) after the movers had taken everything away, or at least had taken away everything that is going to storage, the house felt sad to me, like we were saying goodbye, and a part of the life of the place had already been stripped away.
And that is how it felt to me on Wednesday, and even Thursday morning before the movers returned. But late Thursday, after the house was mostly empty it did not feel so lonely at all, only paused, like a person holding their breath, as if waiting, waiting for the next stage to begin. Without all the distractions of stuff, I also saw the way the house needs to flow, and feel renewed confidence that everything is on the right track. I saw what I loved about the house and what needed improvement, and was able to see more clearly that the plan is good, for me and the house, for making it work without sacrificing too much of its character.
The art was mostly packed the first day. One person made crates for the larger pieces, while another boxed smaller items. Tikka and I enjoyed watching the work from the upstairs windows, although I think Tikka was mostly watching for people walking by. I had already pulled out a few smaller pieces, mostly sentimental in their appeal, to take to my temporary abode. Today, I miss my art. I am sure I will feel more settled when the smaller pieces are unboxed and hung, but at the moment I still feel like something important is missing. I feel at home in the apartment, even unpacked, but I walk into the house I AM home, even empty. It will be an interesting transition.
Yesterday was moving day, and today I have started the process of unpacking and putting away. I've already been to Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. I am certain there will be more of such excursions in my future. I had charts and drawings, showing where everything would go, and in that sense the move went well because everything fit where it was supposed to fit, but there are always a few things that don't work out. I intentionally brought most of my kitchen supplies to the apartment, not because I will need everything, but because we haven't yet finalized kitchen cabinetry and layout, and I am persnickety enough that I need to know exactly what goes where before I sign off on those plans, to check and double check, even as I accept that there will be missteps and failures. Plans on paper and reality rarely perfectly align. I've already discovered miscalculations however. I wasn't as thorough in sorting out what would go to storage as I should have been. Mostly I am unpacking things I should have stored. For example I forgot that a tall vaseline glass pitcher was stored with some tall pots, only because it was the only place it fit. I forgot how quirky my storage system was in the old kitchen. I wanted the pots, not the pitcher. I'm sure I will eventually find things I should have brought with me that got stored instead.
Oh jeez, I just deleted an entire paragraph. (I partially rewrote the one above). Basically I was sad on Wednesday night and wanted to binge on carbs and self-pity, but I managed to resist. Today, Friday, I am back on track. I also realizedthat I needed to take a walk today so I went for my once-standard 2 mile walk, except that I did it at mid-day rather than in the early morning. I survived. I had stopped walking during the 10 days I was moving little things, mostly because I was tired, but also because I was putting in 20,000 to 28,000 steps a day, roughly 10 to 14 miles, and felt I didn't need the extra steps. This week, where I had felt relatively sluggish all week, I haven't logged less than 10k steps, but they have mostly been back and forth, moving and unpacking steps, not unkinking steps. I needed that long stretch of the muscles, and I noted, after walking about 3/4 of a mile, that my back was seizing up, that my stride had become more like a martinet, and I was occasionally dragging my left foot. I had to slow down, concentrate on tightening abs and lower back muscles, concentrate on rotating my hips properly, and eventually my back felt better, and I had less pain. I did not have to cut the walk short; in fact, I felt much better afterward, even if a little overheated. I know I have been overdoing it when I have to start concentrating on basic movements, but at least I have become aware enough to catch myself when I start to fall in bad patterns, and take corrective measures. I suspect I will always have to do this occasionally. It doesn't mean I must do less, but sometimes I need to go more slowly.
I miss my house already, although I know that is mostly because I am still trapped in this space "in-between". I am not settled in the apartment, although i know that the settling-in can begin later today. (And has already begun) I know I will love the house when I return, and I look forward to both the process and the result, but the process hasn't started yet, and it looks like there is going to be a delay on the start date, which was scheduled for Monday, then delayed until August 20th. (I've just been told that it may be sooner, possibly even next week. I am not holding my breath). And perhaps this is what is sad, this period of indeterminancy. The die has been cast, and I just have to go wherever the process leads me; even through sad days in empty houses and unsettled apartments.
I am feeling better already, eager for the next stage, still sad to leave the house, but eager to see what develops, eager for our future return. And yet I still feel trapped in some kind of nether-space, a doorway I haven't yet gotten out of. And in many ways that is what transitional space is, a doorway. We can choose to enter, or we can stay behind, but once we walk through, as much as we may have planned, we still don't know what is on the other side.
One small calm space in my apartment, this tiny piece of counter next to the stove. This will probably not end up being the final layout. To begin with, that particular pepper grinder belongs on the table, but the table piled high with paper right now (still, two days later). This is my little oasis of calm, but also an oasis of potential. Something can be cooked here and so there is hope and creativity — the promise of nourishment. Yet the sense of calm is but an illusion, a necessary one if we are to maintain our sanity, but an illusion nonetheless. The trick is to hold on when necessary, but also to be willing to let go.