Really, I’m not. I consider myself a fairly pragmatic person, someone who takes life’s ups and downs as they come, with a certain equanimity. I don’t fly into a rage when I don’t get what I want (with the possible exception of Chunky Monkey ice cream). I don’t fall into the depths of despair when things go wrong. I don’t freak out (much) when unexpected events occur.
So when, a couple months ago, I was looking in the face of some major changes in my life – selling the home I loved, retiring from a job I loved and wasn’t sure I was ready to leave, and moving clear across the country from half of my family (my firstborn son, his wife, and my very first grandbaby) – I thought, okay, this will be perfect fodder for my blog.
I knew I’d be coming face to face with a lot of emotions, and I figured I’d take all of you, my faithful readers (maybe “all” is a little optimistic; maybe it’s just “both” of you? I’m not really sure) along for the ride. Maybe my experiences would resonate with you, help you someday when you’re facing similar feelings. Or maybe I would be able to portray it all with humor and wit and keep you laughing with tales of my antics as I tried to pack up a whole life’s accumulation by myself, deal with real estate agents, keep the house presentable for showing day in and day out, warn people of my uber-friendly (and shedding) cat, and try to get my desk at work organized so that someone other than I would be able to find things once I left, all at the same time.
I thought blogging about the whole experience would be fun. I thought sharing it would just come naturally. And then the experience actually began, and I discovered something.
I couldn’t write about it. I didn’t want to share it. It wasn’t funny. Oh, sure, a lot of things happened that could have been written as humorous anecdotes, like when I was carrying old cans of paint up from storage in plastic garbage bags and one bag ripped, and a gallon of paint landed square on the top of my foot. I could have written that humorously — because who’s stupid enough to do that kind of thing wearing flip flops? — but really it just hurt, and it made the task of loading the moving truck, already difficult on so many levels, that much harder.
These past couple months have thrown me more than I expected and more than I like to admit. Right now I’m sort of in between – my house is sold and I’m in a little apartment pending my move from California to Missouri. I’m four days into my actual retirement and I feel like I’m on a sort of non‑vacation vacation and should be going back to work any day now. My mind is full of work things – did this get done? Did my boss remember to do that? Did this go out on time? Did that come in on time? I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not my job anymore. Someone else is sitting at my desk. Someone else is answering my phone. Someone else is taking care of my justice and my attorneys and doing my work. Oh, and all those things? They’re not mine anymore.
So that’s why I haven’t been here, blogging, posting, sharing things. My mind and my life have been full to overflowing, but with things that I’ve felt compelled to pull close and hold in, because I haven’t known how to handle them myself, let alone share them with anyone. Maybe once I get on the other side of all this I’ll be able to let go a little and share some of the experiences with you. Or maybe I’ll just pack them away and start with that new life. Either way, I hope you’ll be there with me.