Archives for posts with tag: adventures in moving

Boundaries are funny things. Relationships are fraught with things to do with boundaries: tested boundaries, inadvertently violated boundaries, well-intended willful transgressions of boundaries, and failures to set and manage boundaries with care (or skill). I have, more than once, been situations such that I’ve set a boundary, unsuccessfully reinforced that boundary, and later found myself in violation of my own boundary/limitations! I’ve received firm “push back” regarding a thing I did/said or did not do/say that seemed, in the moment, unreasonable to me, because I’d been letting that person “off the hook” on something very similar that mattered to me, and subsequently feeling a lot of resentment when they undertake to set that boundary, themselves. Instant drama. I mean, for real – this is a major shortcut to conflict, strife, and unhappy discourse. It can develop into a serious see-saw of repeatedly broken “rules” in a relationship, and result in resentment building up over time, even though in some cases it would certainly appear that all concerned want the same basic outcome, and are setting a same/similar boundary on a single clear concern. 0_o

…Humans being human…

I reminded myself, yesterday, to “get off the see-saw” when my partner approached me courteously and set a clear simple boundary (that I had, myself, set at some previous time, under other circumstances). I felt my annoyance flair up. Didn’t I say… I stop myself. Here’s the thing; my Traveling Partner was only asking of me something that I myself want to see be our shared routine. So… what’s with the aggravation? Isn’t a cheerful “sure thing!” more appropriate? If something matters to us both, enough to set boundaries to support it, aren’t we in agreement on the value/importance of that thing or practice? It would seem so. Do I really need to “have my moment” on it? Isn’t it enough to appreciate that we’ve had a meeting of the minds on the topic? Do I actually also need to have “credit” for “coming up with it”? For real?

…Why do I care who gets “credit” for a quality-of-life-improving idea, within the context of a healthy partnership?

Clinging to our righteous position on some detail or another (particularly something as facile who suggested what first) when all seem to be in agreement on the basics of what has value and what is to be done about that, well – it’s just stirring up drama. lol I don’t much care for pointless drama. I really don’t. So, I took a breath, offered my enthusiastic agreement to the requested boundary, and moved on with my day. Why would I choose any differently? πŸ™‚ In relationships in which people have shared values, similar (or the same) ideas, and yes, even boundaries, are highly likely. Staying focused on the outcome instead of the request (or suggestion) makes so much more sense than fussing over being asked to do what we, ourselves, would ideally like to see done. lol

I smile to myself over my coffee. Sure, sure, changing a habit, and building a new practice is a lot of repetition. Being responsible, accountable, and aware of my actions is routine stuff (and yeah, sometimes challenging) – ideally, I catch my own mistakes and correct those, and move on. No fuss, no bother, no nagging, no turmoil. πŸ™‚ Practices need practice. I’ve got time for practicing. The same is true of my Traveling Partner. We’re both equally human. My TBI doesn’t make me more (or less) human – it just requires me to be mindful, to need a few reminders, a bit of patience, and a lot of practice. πŸ™‚ We have time for that.

I listen to birds seeing beyond the window, and let my thoughts wander to mornings at the new address… what will those be like? What birds will be seeing? Will there be squirrels on the deck there? I was out there yesterday, briefly, tape measure in hand. The neighborhood is quiet. I could hear birdsong and breezes. It’s exciting to contemplate this move… another beginning. πŸ™‚

…I like beginnings…

 

This morning I had coffee with a dear friend. This is a friendship that has spanned decades of my life, and however long the time between conversations, there’s an enduring connection. I’ve seen this friend “grow up” from a young adult just out of high school, to a grown man of great intellect, wit, and heart. I respect his intelligence, and astute observations of the world. I miss hanging out together, but we’ve lived quite a distance from each other for many years. This pandemic doesn’t create that distance; life does.

I emailed him. He emailed me. I sat with my coffee this morning reading both missives; a conversation was created, in a sense. I sipped my coffee and replied. Funny that the result is a feeling of warmth, connection, and intimacy. Old friends chatting. It’s a lovely start to my day.

I’m suddenly “missing” my Traveling Partner (he’s only asleep in the other room). Warmth. Connection. Intimacy. The best parts of sharing part of life’s journey, for me. I allow myself room to also acknowledge that I need to give myself more time with me, too. This fucking pandemic messes with my routines, and makes it sort of hard to get that cognitive space I need to simply be still and silent for a while. That’s not a criticism of my partner. It’s more a stern observation to myself that it’s on me to make that room, make that time, and do those things. Inasmuch as this need is within the context of a cherished relationship, and a shared life journey, then I also want to find ways to make that time for myself that are kind, comfortable, and built on gentle expectation-setting and clear communication. So many verbs required! I’m totally bitching about it, although I also understand that it is what it is. Adulting is hard sometimes. lol

The move plans are a lot of what we talk about right now. Conversations are a mixture of unreserved eagerness and excitement, and “concerns”. Very human. It’s almost the weekend, though – a three day weekend. I hope we spend most of it just fucking relaxing together, and enjoying each other. πŸ™‚ That’s very much also worth doing, and worth making time for.

I sip my coffee, think about distant friends, and about my Traveling Partner, and love, generally. Nice morning for it. Almost time to begin again…

…I hear the traffic beyond the window on this busy street. “Quiet neighborhood”, my ass. LOL I hope the new place is quieter. I rather expect it will be… then remember that expectations don’t solve real-life concerns nearly as much as fact-checking, and practical realism tend to. I shift gears to wondering how quiet the new neighborhood will be. lol More useful. I remind myself to point out the “moving checklist” calendar event to my partner. I put it there for my own convenience and ease, and he may find it a handy reference for checking what’s gotten done, what is yet to do, or calling out things we may have overlooked, that could be added. πŸ™‚ That feels collaborative, participatory, and reciprocal. I like that. πŸ™‚

I check the time. One more work shift before the weekend, and it’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

 

Just three work days to go. It was my first thought as I woke. My second was “damn, morning already?” My enthusiasm balances against my obligations for the week. Eagerness balances against fatigue. I take a few deep breaths. I meditate before I write, enjoying the slow lightening of the pre-dawn sky.

I chuckle at my self for a moment and enjoy my self-directed merriment while it lasts; life has far too few such moments, and I find them well-suited to being savored. Every one of life’s destinations, goals, and benchmark moments, seem also to be beginnings. Endless beginnings, even though from the moment we are born, our clock is also winding down. It’s definitely felt more stressful to view life through a filter of being goal-focused and purposeful; the frustration that often results is an emotional kick in the groin every time things go a little sideways. Viewing life more as a journey, a solo hike through time, across experiences, with the “purpose” being to make that journey, nothing more, feels much less stressful (to me). Your results, of course, may vary.

My plans (and my alternate plans) are made with as much care as I can bring to that process. I’m eager to be able to take other actions. I am bored with packing things in boxes, perhaps. lol This morning, anxiety creeps in around the edges, and I second-guess myself over my morning coffee. I remind myself, for perspective, that getting the keys is not the end of the journey (by far). It’s a good idea to keep it in mind, to prevent ending up feeling frustrated and lost, or overwhelmed emotionally, by the very predictable challenges of moving to a new place. Some shit is going to go wrong. Definitely. No idea what, but this is still happening in the context of real life, so… it’s a given; something will go wrong. lol But… It isn’t necessary to deal with whatever that is in advance, because I won’t know what it is until it happens. πŸ™‚ I take a deep breath, sip my coffee, and let it go.

I look out over the meadow. 3 days until I have the keys, but there is another count down happening in the same head space… 7 days until this is simply no longer (ever) my morning view, as I sit and write, or while meditating on a cushion in front of the patio door. The short expanse of lawn, the summer-tall grasses of the meadow beyond, the park, the playground, the trees on the horizon… I pause to really soak it in. I listen to the red-wing blackbirds greeting the day, and the crows, ducks, geese, and doves, and the early morning commuter traffic on the not-so-distant freeway. I watch a neighbor’s cat stalking something along the edge of the meadow. I watch the sky change colors as dawn approaches. I breathe the breeze filling the room with the scent of meadow flowers. “More ‘and’ than ‘but’…” I hear myself think, rather oddly and apropos of nothing particular. I like the way the phrase sounds in my head.

I glance at the clock. Mornings are shorter on Sunday (from this address) due to the hours I work, and limitations of public transportation. I smile and remember that I have the car. I smile more thinking ahead to getting home earlier in the day; there are a few more things I can box up, a few more boxes…and all I need to get that done is a little more time. πŸ™‚

The sun begins to peak over the horizon. It seems a good time to begin again. πŸ™‚

 

It’s well before dawn. I woke early, feeling rested. I got up. It’s a work day. The bull frog chorus in the marsh seems almost to coax the thin band of color gradually developing on the horizon. The night was black and starless when I woke. The horizon is now a strange pale yellow-blue that seems more typical of a watercolor than of real life, and a single planet, or satellite, or some other typically bright celestial object shines brightly. The scraggly pine to the left of my view through the window of my studio is silhouetted against the lightening pre-dawn sky. It is the morning of a new day.

10 days left on this perspective…

I got a great start on packing up for the move, this weekend. The dining room space is filled with the boxes and items I intend to move on the very first day, and I’ve moved on to boxing up everything else. Finishing with the porcelain, I’ll move on to paperweights, then perhaps the pantry, then… well, it doesn’t much matter what order I do all that in, really, so long as it is completed before the movers come. πŸ™‚ They are an expensive service, and I am not a woman of great means; it is important to be well-prepared in order to keep costs low. I keep that in mind as much as I can, and work to stay mindful that the goal is to do as much myself and with friends as is practical, avoiding exhaustion, and being sure to take good care of myself, and try to limit the mover time to just those large or awkward items best handled by them.

There is so much more to do… and only 10 days to do it…

I enjoyed a lovely brunch with dear friends visiting from faraway, and one that lives quite close that I rather oddly rarely see; we all live busy lives, filled with details, and distance. It is a rare treat that circumstances brought us all close for a little while, to enjoy one another again. The distance falls away, and we are, for a time, as we were – changed only by the events that have shaped who we are now, and only subtly so in the context of enduring friendships such as these. It was fun. I miss them quite often, and it was a joyful moment of connection to not miss them, however briefly. πŸ™‚

However busy life seems, it is important to take time to connect, to share, to love, to play, to enjoy moments, and to take good care of this fragile vessel. πŸ™‚

I’m counting down the days now. In 10 days I get the keys to a new place, and begin a new journey. I build a new “drama free zone” in which to contentedly reside. I’m excited about that. I only barely recall the initial panic and anxiety of realizing I would need to move more or less immediately, when I had just made completely different plans than that, but it is a very abstract recollection of words that say something, without a visceral emotional connection to the experience. Β My memories of this move, so far, are infused with enthusiasm, although I am aware that developed well-after the decision to move was made. I feel more than usually aware of how much of my understanding of my experience is crafted in my thinking, and is very subjective narrative, rather than truly “factual” etic reality. I know I was panicked… I just can’t feel that any longer; I have built this experience differently than that. lol

10 days…

The time will pass whether I measure it or not.

…more than enough time to begin again. πŸ™‚

 

It’s a comfortably cool, somewhat humid morning. The red-wing blackbird outside the window is piercingly reminding me that the feeder is empty. Β It is, and that’s because it is fully summer, and there is no “food shortage” out there in the meadow and marsh this time of year, and I moving very soon. It’s time to prune back the roses for traveling – although this year a friend with a truck seems likely, and perhaps I won’t need to cut them back so much as the last two times I moved? I am now full of enthusiasm for this move, and I smile even thinking about my initial anxiety and frustration with having to, now that I’m past that.

…It’s still really hard to get started. It’s time to box up all the books and breakables. It’s time to take down all the paintings that are hanging. The more prepared I am, and the more small work I’ve done to be ready for the movers (and friends coming ’round to help out with moving), the less time I have to spend actually moving, and the less I have to pay the movers for fewer hours of their work. It’s still really really hard to do the first thing – whatever it ends up being. Beginning again, as often as I say the phrase, sounds so… easy. Just… do the thing, right? Yeah. That’s totally true, and also… totally not as easy as it sounds, often. lol Where to begin?

Any new journey begins somewhere. A moment, a location, an opportunity, a choice; a change-in-progress has to have begun with something. So, this morning I’m a bit hung up on that beginning, because this upcoming weekend kicks off the packing of things into boxes. πŸ™‚ When I go to get the keys, I’d ideally like to have a carload of stuff with me, to bring into the house – I mean, I’m making the trip there, the end result of which will be keys in hand, right? It just seems practical to take stuff over with me. What to bring in that first car load, though? I consider the most likely immediate needs at both ends of the move… a drink of water, a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, or a trip to the rest room… someplace to sit down… a plan begins to form.

I figure I can easily take over one or another of three coffee solutions at hand. I’d need to have at least one coffee mug, at least one drinking glass. Packing the pantry seems an easy step, too. A quantity of my breakables have never been unpacked here in this apartment, although I had the space for them – I never reached my “buy a new hutch or curio” goal, in my budget. Higher priorities cropped up more than once over the course of the year. Moving them over is easily done…and goes a long way toward making me feel at home in the new place, and also more relaxed about the move by getting them out of harm’s way early on.

So the morning over coffee goes… I make a list, think it over, shuffle it around, consider cubic footage of space in the car… pack it in my head, unpack it, re-pack it. By the time the day is here, this will feel planned and routine – and hopefully comfortable. I rely on that feeling of preparedness and ease to keep my anxiety at bay; every time I move seems to “change everything”, and getting settled can be a long process for me.

I’m pre-occupied with moving – fortunately, I find it also a great “living metaphor” and as the process unfolds, I am also considering the woman in the mirror and her journey. It’s time to set down some baggage, and get more comfortably moved into my life, and my experience. It may not be easy to get started, but it is time to “walk on” from one thing to the next, with a full tool box full of verbs, and a better idea of who I am – and who I want most to be. My results may vary, but I can begin again, and begin again, and begin again – and incremental change over time is unavoidable; we become what we practice. So.

Begin again? Sure. This path definitely leads somewhere