Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Oh Hai

Do you know what month it is?

If you said "February", as in the shortest month, as in the month before we have to move out of our house, then you are correct!

But you don't get any bonus points.

No, sorry I am hoarding the bonus points, as I have apparently hoarded Every.Single.Thing. in my entire life.

In case you couldn't tell, the packing? It is not going well.

And by "not going well" I mean, I haven't even started.
I have done a lot of what I like to call 'pre-packing' and what you might instead call 'not packing at ALL', but we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

'Pre-packing' mostly consists of looking at my room, crammed full of books and art supplies and teaching supplies and paper products and electronic equipment that predates my life, and wondering "How the hell am I going to pack all of this crap?" Other questions that get asked during the 'pre-packing' stage include: "Do I really need four sets of headphones, especially since I detest the ear bud type of headphone and will not wear them (the noise is in my ear! Who likes that?)?"; "How can I possibly get rid of this vital memorabilia from my life/my sibling's life/my parent's life/my niece &/or nephew's life? (And why have I made myself the receptacle for all of this stuff???) And yet how can I possibly store it all?"; "Would this be worth anything on e-bay or should I just Freecycle it? Maybe I should try Craigslist first?"; "What is the point of packing everything up if I'm just going to have to try to maneuver around the boxes AND the furniture for the next 6 weeks?" and Oh Yeah: "How the hell do I know what to pack, what to toss, what to store, if I don't know where the hell we are going??? (After all, you do tend to keep much less of your possessions at hand if you are living in your van.)"

The open houses are not proving fruitful, just yet, as sellers are wary of selling right this minute, and also, their houses are in really awful shape (and not applicable for wheelchair users, in most cases).

I am still strangely not panicked, as I assume I will be living out of a home for quite a while anyways (and have spent zero non-essential dollars since the beginning of the year in hopes of being able to supplement this nomadic type living): No matter where we move, it will need repairs, updating, painting , cleaning, etc. All of those things are smelly - even though we're definitely aiming for as smell/chemical free as possible - and not just short-term smelly... they smell for a while. So I am going into this assuming that I will be living on my grandmother's couch for some time - which you all know I both love and loathe - and that, at some point, the pain of the springy mattress and cushionless couch, and the need for a shower, will necessitate (at least) intermediate stays in a hotel.

(I no longer have alternative housing options with friends or family - all the condos are rented out and siblings are living with their respective in-laws, most of my friends are pet owners, all of my other family & friends insist on living in places with stairs... Plus? How awkward a conversation is that: "Hi! Can I come take a shower at your house please? And then I need to have a coma for at least 3 hours, so I need somewhere quiet to lay down. Thanks!" ...)

So the packing thing is extra tough - What will I need at hand in the next three months? In the next 6? How do I best pack things so that, if there's something else I haven't thought of, I can easily send somebody to find it? How much of my craft or healthcare entourage can I reasonably expect my grandmother & uncle to accommodate in their den? My computer's a must have, but what about the printer? I need the box full of patches, but can I live without the just in case cough medicines and sinus pills? I can't lug my three bookcases full of books, so how do I decide what I might feel like reading on a spring day when I feel like crap or during a late winter snow?

I am, as usual, conflicted: feeling both energized and drained by the thought of being somewhere new, feeling both a longing to stay and a wanting to go. It's scary, this change: it is for us all. I'm worried about so much - how this is all going to effect me physically, how it'll impact our relationships, our dynamics (if we wind up moving further north, will SisterNc & Big Brother decide, for example, that the drive is too much so we won't get Lil Girl during the week anymore?), how much more of the year we'll be rootless, and a million other things - and I know that each member of our family has different concerns and so it feels like we're in a snow globe, with each of those worries floating around us, constantly churning.

And we just won't know until we know.

So, I'm trying to just go with it, to not be constantly focusing on all of those worries, to just let them be there until we have some answers. It's tough, but it seems like one of the skills I've picked up along the way: living with the questions because there's no other choice. You keep working towards the answers, keep plugging along, but you don't let them bury you.

Still, it certainly doesn't make the packing go any easier.

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