Bravely, I waded into the surf, then dove in headfirst and was engulfed by the restorative salt waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Actually, I just stood on the shore watching the waves and wondering: why do I come down from the mountains to the edge of land to regroup? Is it the finish line at the end of a long race where I drop to my knees before sprawling across the sand in exhaustion? Or is it simply a refreshingly different environment?
Regardless of why, here I am in Long Beach, Washington. Refocusing. Regrouping. Repairing.
Why the need for this escape you ask? In a nutshell, we recently moved out of the home we lived in for 26 years and into a house a third of its size. In addition, we moved our business office and a shop during the busy season. Seems simple enough all typed out here in complete sentences which I can barely utter anymore because, my friends, this transition consumed me.
Like a slow moving lava flow, I’ve watched it creeping towards me for the last two years. I couldn’t get out of its way so I prepared the best I could by sorting through clothing from the 90s and kindergarten keepsakes. Stuffed animals, dolls and knickknacks were boxed and sent to new homes, but the drawers seemed bottomless and closets never-ending. Just when I thought I was done packing the kitchen, a box of my husband’s grandmother’s china was unearthed from a remote cabinet corner in outer Siberia. Layers of life kept coming (why do I have so many paper clips and push pins?) including five urns filled with cremated remains of beloved pets, Disney princess frocks and dozens of keys that unlock nothing. The towers of boxes teetered and my knees were growing tired from jumping in and out U-Hauls. My nerves frayed while maneuvering trucks through traffic and steering around tight corners to fast food drive-up windows.
Then there was the ever-present heartbreaking reminder that a developer would swoop in shortly to crush our house and cut down the immense walnut tree whose branches spread shade across the backyard that I looked out on every day while I stood washing dishes at my kitchen sink.
“Are there any appliances or fixtures you want to take with you?” asked a contractor friend of ours. “The fridge? The cabinets?”
“The sink. I want my kitchen sink.”
“Do you want the disposal and the faucet too?”
“I. Just. Want. My. Kitchen. Sink.” I said through clenched teeth.
And I got it! It’s mine. All mine!
Geez. I know, right? What a drama queen. But, we all have our limits and this move challenged mine much more than I had anticipated. I realized this one day while driving when I was moved to tears upon hearing Katy Perry on the radio singing, “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind. Wanting to start again.” I shook my head in agreement and exclaimed YES! I DO KATY. RIGHT NOW. I FEEL EXACTLY LIKE A PLASTIC BAG. And then, I saw one floating around on the freeway, getting smacked about and dragged around by cars and trucks…all lifeless and weak and out-of-control.
Phew! Well, now the move is over and done with. I think. Isn’t it? My pockets are still full of loose change, paperclips and push pins and I occasionally look over my shoulder for a stray couch to hoist on my back, but I’m starting to let the stress roll out to sea like waves across the beach. Here at the ocean I’m hoping the sea air will lower my blood pressure, soothe the bags under my eyes and bring the world back into focus (well, most of it anyhow).