What is it with the random stuff that we keep in our lives? My own personal cache of all things clutterific has of course come to the forefront during the move. Just how many boxes do I have that are filled with non-recyclable, non-regiftable, non-charitable, non-yard saleable flotsam and jetsam? Answer: TOO MANY!
At first while packing I was sorting. (In hindsight, I spent WAY too much time testing pens in the junk drawer.) Then I reached a higher level of panic and shifted from first gear sorting to fourth gear dumping. And now I have the boxes o' junk to prove it.
The blind installer is coming today and claimed he needed "only" two feet of room around every window to work. I again started out in sort mode and quickly realized I needed to take it up another level to 'just move it and sort it later' mode. The one plus is we have a huge, dry basement but we all know this is where boxes of clutter go to die. I want them out!
But the uber-sized, totally non-recyclable, shiny hair clip that only a little girl who didn't have enough hair for it would love... what about that? The collage style picture frame with the pictures cut to size that are the only pics from a GIANTS game with my Gram, the day we were engaged, my sister's college recital and that has the faded matting.... what about that? The giant GIANTS pillow... what about that? (okay, freecycle that one).
I am slightly tempted to hold a contest and mail out clutter boxes to the winners (losers?) with the caveat that they must email me to say, "it was all junk, nothing you wanted, I was able to recycle every last piece."
The good news is that the things that are random in my life right now are all just material junk and stuff. No longer are they painful random run-ins or comments, no more random tripping over a box of memories, no more random old house problems, no more random car in the parking lot causing me to wonder where the gas giftcards are or if I had forgotten a meeting.
This is a new life, new job, new space kind of random and I worked so hard for it and had so many folks pulling for me that it doesn't feel random at all.
I knew her before. Actually, I had warned him about her before. I always knew that the Lifetime television movie playing in her head had him leaving his family to be with her. Eventually through a series of events that just don't matter any more, it happened.
Since then I have not seen her except for a fleeting glimpse as I pulled up early to pick up The Boy and she ran into a back bedroom. Yes, you read that right. She is hiding from me. Seriously.
I am one that likes to open the wound wide open and let it breathe so I have offered that we should meet. These choices have been made and we need to own them. It is what it is. He mentioned that she was working on a letter to me to which I shook my head and rolled my eyes and said, "Please... no more letters." And that's where we left it.
But in mid-August he and she are taking our child down to Florida and I need to know. I only have his cell phone number and I need more than that. I only know that they are going down to Florida and I need more than that. And so, it is time.
I am about to leave for 2 weeks and before we go I am going to ask him to pick a place where the three of us can meet after I get back and before they leave the area. It will be awkward, but I am hoping the build-up before it will be the worst part. If we're going to present a united parenting front and make things easier for The Boy as he gets older and there are events all will be present for then we have to do this. And selfishly I would rather our first meeting be arranged and not a chance encounter at a local store (where you KNOW I would just be running in to get antibiotics for the strep throat and horrific rash I had at the time).
Now that I am out of the manse a lot of the baggage I had been carrying around is gone. I am in a better place and quite frankly, she can have him. And so it's time.
I just hate that once again I am the who has to take the lead on being a mature adult when on a primal level I just want to give her one. good. punch.
It is done now, or in my line of work we like to say: It is finished. As I mentioned in my previous post I had help breaking down the boxes and cleaning out the last remnants of our seven and a half years in the manse. I give thanks to God for the two women - one a friend from seminary, one the Clerk of Session at the new church - who both understood the magnitude but were not as burdened as I by the memories.
Seminary friend attacked the downstairs boxes with a vengeance and told me she was grateful for an opportunity to work through some of her disappointment in the ex and drive away from the manse for the last time. Both women worked hard as we stuffed every space in my car with pieces of cardboard so only one run to the recycling needed to be made. Then both vans were loaded with trash and taken to my Clerk's home where they have 'unlimited trash' (my new favorite phrase). And yes, the last church had a dumpster, but it had been full and basically unusable by me for the last month. Let's not go there.
It was good to sweat out the last hours there, making the break from then to now complete. My current clerk also gave me another gift. She asked me to show her around the manse which helped push away the more recent ghosts for some really fun memories. "This is where we slept on the floor the first night even though we had none of our stuff." "This is where we brought home our son on a strangely warm February day."
The next morning was the last one and it was the final exorcism. The short version is that three men from the church were in the manse already when I arrived. This combined with paint cans and full dumpsters and a furnace that had not worked since March even though I have been paying rent was the straw that broke the camel's back. And. I. lost. it.
It's done and so that is enough said, but in a way I am glad I got to unload that baggage too and totally get a fresh start here.
And so that is the last few remnants from Volume I. Volume II begins with a new job, a new house, a new understanding of who I am, a new appreciation for my friends and a new nephew.
I have to admit, part of me hopes it's not a page turner.
Nothing about this move has been the way I prefer things to be - a quick ripping off of the band-aid. This transition has been painstakingly slow, pulling up on each and every pain point and sometimes sticking for a bit. In some ways a slower transition has been good - The Boy has gotten acclimated easier because he has watched the house being built. But in a lot of ways it has been challenging.
Now I think I am finally beginning to be bathed in the light at the end of the tunnel. For awhile a couple of days ago I wasn't sure I would make it. I arrived back at the manse on a dead sprint in an attempt to clear out two van loads before stopping for the night. I backed in and noticed paint and painting supplies covering my porch blocking access to the door I needed to get in to remove our outdoor stuff. Then I looked down and realized I had stepped in paint. Whatever the word is for 'frustrated x 10' that was me.
The paint fiasco did keep me from getting the movers to get some of our bigger outdoor stuff, but tomorrow folks from the new church are driving over there with me to help me clear it out. And today as I was in the kitchen trying to figure out how I was going to finish up and pick up The Boy on time, my friend showed up. Good timing. Good friend.
Now there are three clear cut tasks - finish getting out of the main house (ie: pick up the cat). Clear out the outdoor stuff. Clean out the boxes in the basement (a symptom of the ex's illness was the fact that we kept every box that ever came into our home. Every. Box. And now they need to be broken down and recycled.)
On Tuesday our domestic goddess shows up to earn every penny and then some. After I walk around with her - I should be done. Done. And ready to live a life with wounds that have healed over with only small scars to show for the pain.
Hopefully I won't need any more band-aids for awhile.
Being handed the keys - priceless. Hearing your little boy exclaim, "Wow!" when he sees his room - priceless. Seeing the design you picked out from small squares of materials all come together and look wonderful - priceless. Sitting on the back porch enjoying coffee and the breeze - priceless. Sleeping on a mattress on a box spring on a bed frame instead of a mattress on a floor - priceless. Having a bathroom all to yourself - priceless. Not having to do everything all on your own any more - priceless. No longer on the grounds of the church, but less than 10 minutes away - priceless.
I guess it's all not really priceless. I handed over a pretty good check and from what I hear mortgage payments are expected monthly. Then there is the fact that for the next two years I might as well just have my paychecks deposited at Lowe's.
But then you can't put a price on freedom. You can't put a price on peace of mind. You can't put a price on coming out the other side of the tunnel.
Unpacking boxes and at the same time feeling the weight of the world come off your shoulders -