Saturday, September 25, 2010

On the Morning of Our Actual Move, For Real This Time

Well, we didn't move last week.  At the last minute on Friday, I called our realtor and he said it was looking less "100%."  And so we decided to stay for another week.  Our cats hadn't finished destroying the furniture anyway.

And now, we're finally, really moving in.  We have the keys.  Some of our stuff is even inside.  And I have to say, I've been worried that when we got inside I wouldn't still love it, but oh I do.  I walked from room to room, turning on lights, reminding myself, and it was seriously one of the most beautiful experiences to know we were buying it, that it was ours.  It felt, well, like home.  And thennnnn we bickered.  We are moving, after all.  Deciding where to put the cat litter will take a good two months of intense negociation.

But the reason why I gathered you all here wasn't really to tell you that.  I wanted to record my three part method of emotionally/mentally processing this moving mess.

Stage 1: Acceptance, sort of. 

I've been working hard on dealing with whatever comes up on its own terms, praying and asking God to help me.  So when we got the news about the hotel, when it became clear this was our only option, I tried hard to keep a stiff upper lip.  When people offered sympathy, I'd say, "Oh, well, you know, it's really a first world problem.  Poor us, we're buying a house and we have to wait, you know?"  I told myself we were okay in this place, that everything was fine, that I was grateful to have a place to go.  And all of that was true, in a way.  But I was also simply shoving away negative thoughts, pushing them down into some place inside, not acknowledging that first world problem or no, this was really not ideal, and I was sad and stressed and sorry.  This became crystal clear about a week after we moved in, when, as I mentioned in the last post, I went to pet Sam's cat, and he hissed at me, at which point I burst into heaving horrible sobs.  Commence stage two.

Stage 2: Bright Coins 

I think stage two is my default.  You saw evidence of it in the last post, although by that point I was less attached to the story.  But still, this one is rooted in story, in tragic story: I collect all of the bad things that happen, the stressy stuff, the absurd stuff, and whether or not they were a big deal or not, I keep them as a running tally in my brain; I hold onto them like bright coins; I save them for something special, as proof the world owes me a big treat.  I'll admit here that the treat used to be a cupcake.  I'd save up my sadness, in a way, and think that meant I really really deserved a cupcake to make myself feel better.  But see, I finally decided that cupcakes made me feel terrible, as does every other sweet treat, and they aren't worth it.  So now, in a cupcakeless (and much better, for me, I might add (I'm not saying everyone should give up their cupcakes, honest.)) world, I couldn't figure out what to "spend" my bright pity coins on.  I just kept adding to them, adding and adding.  Until we found out that we couldn't move last week.

Part 3: Hope, Without

When I talked to our realtor, when things became suddenly less 100%, I burst into tears, of course.  I lay down on the bed, crying, closing my eyes, and praying, "Okay, not cool.  So not cool.  I mean, I'll get up and be happy, but first you have to know that I'm not okay with this.  This is not okay."  And I felt like that honesty garnered an immediate answer: "I know you're disappointed.  It'll be fine.  Thanks for telling me.  Get up and get over it now."  So I did.  And I threw everything in my car and went to the Exponent retreat (an Mormon women's retreat) and had a really wonderful time.  And everything was fine.  I don't know how to explain this stage, because it's the only one I didn't try to manufacture myself, the one that came by grace.  When I woke up Monday morning, I was detached from the outcome.  It's not that I didn't still hope that we'd move in this weekend, I just didn't need that to happen.  It was hope without expectation, a brand of hope that didn't demand fulfillment.  Does that make sense?  Sam called me at work in the early part of the week, giving me updates, and I listened to them with that detachment, like they were about someone I really really loved and wanted the best for, but that they weren't about me.  By late in the week, when it looked like we really would move in, I lost that happy detachment, and when Sam talked to the realtor on Thursday I was standing by him saying, "Is he for SURE?  Is it REALLY going to happen?"  Charming, yes.  But at least I had the experience of feeling that other sort of hope, which felt like true acceptance, the real bright coin.

And now it's time to put some furry creatures in my car and take them to their new home.

12 comments:

k. double-u. said...

Yay! Happy moving.

Deborah said...

To be between homes or without a home is to feel yanked up, untethered, unmoored. I've done my share of moving in the last 10 years, and the process is always more traumatic than I feel it "should" be. So glad things are looking up!

David and Melanie said...

Glad you're finally in! Now I want to see photos, I don't care if its messy. I want to see what brings you, my friend, such giddy joy :)

Valerie Loveland said...

Congrats!

Do your cats walk around with their bellies low to the ground like mine do when I move them to a new place?

Genevieve Beck said...

I love this entry. I'm so happy you're in your home and I'm excited to see what you do with it!

Reba said...

another beautiful post. i love your stage three. I love your writing about prayer. and I'm so happy for you that you're in a house you love!

belann said...

I hope there are any more unhappy coins to collect for awhile. You are due a period of tranquility.

Elise said...

Congratulations. And your " Hope, Without" section is just my favorite. For those many jobless months I was devastated and hopeless and discouraged until I stopped hoping for a job. And I just hoped for happiness instead. Hard lesson.

Amara said...

Screwtape letters: "Whatever men expect they soon come to think they have a right to: the sense of disappointment can, with very little skill on our part, be turned into a sense of injury. It is after men have given in to the irremediable, after they have despaired of relief and ceased to think even a half-hour ahead, that the dangers of humbled and gentle weariness begin. To produce the best results from the patient's fatigue, therefore, you must feed him with false hopes. Put into his mind plausible reasons for believing that the air-raid [or other trials] will not be repeated. Keep him comforting himself with the thought of how much he will enjoy his bed next night. Exaggerate the weariness by making him think it will soon be over; for men usually feel that a strain could have been endured no longer at the very moment when it is ending, or when they think it is ending. In this,...the thing to avoid is the total commitment. Whatever he says, let his inner resolution be not to bear whatever comes to him, but to bear it "for a reasonable period"—and let the reasonable period be shorter than the trial is likely to last. It need not be much shorter; in attacks on patience, chastity, and fortitude, the fun is to make the man yield just when (had he but known it) relief was almost in sight."
I really think false hope is just a cruel torture disguised --but your description is better.

Bryson and Tara said...

So glad that nightmare is behind you. But it sounds like you really learned something from it, so good for you! Now, good luck with all the unpacking and decorating. Have fun!

Terry Earley said...

I see this was a maturing experience and that God continues to be merciful in sharing such important insights.

Sam Ruddick said...

i can't believe you were blogging the morning we moved. never again can you tell me to hurry, or act as though we are pressed for time, and a game of risk will not do...