Last week, I was riding the high of having been laid off within days of having been offered my dream job. The beauty of that karma was stunning. "I'll have so much time to pack!" I thought. "I'll be able to relax, see friends, not stress out. This will be the best moving experience ever!"
I'm not saying that it's not the best moving experience ever. I am pretty relaxed. But I was more than a little INSANE to think that I'd have time to lie around and eat bon-bons between putting things in boxes. Oh, and yeah: I thought I'd be blogging every day. Ha! No! Instead, it's all moving, all the time. For example, who knew that getting a permit for my POD container would be a ten-step process involving three trips to Town Hall, numerous phone calls, and a visit to the police department? Not I! Who knows what my moving company means by "more furniture pads than you think you could possibly need?" Again: not I! (Seriously—anyone got a number for me?)
This week has been nonstop, but I'm starting to feel like it will all happen. My POD is booked and permited (pending the last stop for police sign-off). The movers are hired to load the POD. I've started looking for housing and child care in Portland, or at least putting out feelers. My (unsold, sigh) condo is 90% packed, and I'd say about 50% of my stuff has been moved from CV's back to the condo to be loaded into the POD. (About the POD: I really appreciated all the moving suggestions. I was very excited to use ABF U-Pack—so cheap!—but I couldn't get permission to have that huge truck parked on my busy, narrow residential street, alas. Seems like a great service, though.) I am making plans for going away parties on a kid-friendly and grown-up level.
And I have made plans to see some friends. The experience of seeing friends to say goodbye before I move reminds me of the intense weeks leading up to John's death. Once we knew that the end was near, we felt pressured to see everyone, do everything, be everywhere. At the same time, we felt like closing ourselves off and avoiding everyone and everything, because every goodbye was like opening the wound and facing the reality that John was really going to be gone, and soon. While not nearly so dramatic considering that I will still be alive and that I'm leaving Boston for a good reason and that my friends will visit and all that, there's still a painful element to these "final" meetings with friends. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm leaving a place that I lived for ten years, the place that I met John, the place that I built my career, the place my kids were born, a place that's filled with some of my best friends.
You'd think that bumbling through my days—dealing with logistics, putting things in boxes, making plans—would make the move seem very real. And they do. But they make the good things about the move seem real. While I pack, I think of living near my parents, of what I'll wear to my new job, of what our new house will be like. I'm excited about those things. But seeing friends and wondering when I'll get to see them again, that makes the move seem real on the flip side. That forces me to think of what I'm leaving behind, which is hard. This is what is known as bittersweet, right? I've always been a milk chocolate kind of girl.
Dealing with months of unsorted and unposted photos is on my to-do list, and when I get to that, I'll post some pics of Florida. But for now, I leave you with a funny quote from Riley, who said, upon seeing his reflection in the mirror of our Tampa hotel room: "HEY! I know that guy!"
Heh heh. You sure do!