two more weeks

We fly north in two weeks. Two weeks from yesterday, actually. Our children will start at their new school on May 12… and if we’re lucky our moving truck with all our belongings (and second car) will arrive then, too. Or at least by the 15th. We’ll see.

Moving is one of life’s big stressors, right? All that change and upheaval. I have to admit, I like the change and upheaval. I like that professional movers come in and touch everything I own and transport it all for me. I like surrendering a bit. I even like the challenge of figuring out new systems and rules in cities and schools, all the hassle that is involved with setting up a new household. Maybe I’ve been watching the kids play Minecraft too much, but there’s something very rewarding about creating something new and figuring things out without any directions or expectations.

But the part that causes real stress, real anguish, is the actual leaving. The “good-bye.” I. Hate. It. So very, very much. It hurts, you see.

Last night my neighborhood friends threw me a little party. We hadn’t gotten together in a while and it was beyond lovely to reconnect and catch up. They gave me little gifts that represented each of them:  Homemade wind chimes, a plateful of cookies, a travel wine mug celebrating obsessive-compulsive tendencies, a toy frog, a coffee mug filled with a hot cocoa pack and marshmallows… and a doll with an injured and horribly askew leg holding a flag that reads “Man down!” — in six and a half years, a lot of funny and sweet stuff happens. It felt so good to remember. I haven’t laughed so hard or cried/laughed (craughed?) so hard in so long.

Then they gave me these.

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And then, THEN, they sang me a song. They got up in front of me and sang an adapted version of “Hey Soul Sister,” with lyrics re-written by my dear friend who has one of the busiest lives I know of.

Lyrics like “Your move-north pains are in our hearts and eyes and in our brains. We know we wouldn’t forget you, and so we went and let you move up north…. Now we’re few and blue, on the boulevard, in the yard, the way you move ain’t fair, it’s hard… We don’t wanna miss a single thing you do.” If this blog weren’t anonymous and if my friends would allow it I’d post the video. It is epic and bittersweet, like the finest bar of dark chocolate.

It was all too much for me to bear. I can’t even type these words without crying.

I’ve been so extraordinarily lucky, to have moved onto a street populated with great women and good neighbors who turned into true friends. I don’t know what I’m going to do in a couple weeks on a new street, in a new home… Will anybody bring me a plate of cookies? Will anybody run over and introduce themselves and give me everybody’s name and number, and then bring us dinner? Will I be invited to birthday parties, or to long-weekend girls’ getaways? Will I meet friends who can stop by on quiet weeknights when my husband is traveling, and enjoy a glass of wine, and talk and laugh for hours?

It has been idyllic, our life on this street. We’ve been safe and welcomed and happy and healthy.

It will hurt to leave. As excited as I am to start fresh, as thrilled as I am for new opportunities, for growth… It will hurt to leave. A lot.

 

Pinch me.

Updated: I panicked. I wrote this a few days ago (February 28), and then took it down. It had too many details that could, in the very worst-case scenario, compromise my husband’s reassignment. I’ve relaxed a bit. Here’s the deal: we are relocating eventually. We don’t *know* (as in it’s not in writing and everything could change and there are secrets to keep) if it’s in one, two, or three months. If you know me, you know that I hate all this cagey-ness. A lot. And you know that I appreciate your discretion. 

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I’m so tired, I feel like I’m actually asleep.

I started writing this week, daily, for an organization I worked with back about a dozen or 17 years ago, depending on how you count. It’s challenging, relatively fast-paced, relevant to you, me, governments, corporations and society. And it’s fun. FUN.

I started this work on Monday (2/24), and Tuesday at 3 am I woke up to get ready for our 6:25 am flight to a very cold midwestern city so that we could look for a house to move into at some point in the next several months. I had this target date of April 1 a bit ago, because I like things to work out when I want them to work out, but that’s rarely how things work out.

Certain things, though, work out more often than I think.

We got to our hotel at about 11 am on Tuesday, and by 12:30, after some lunch, we were looking at houses with our realtor. We looked at, if memory serves, five houses. Then on Wednesday, I toured a public school. I fell in love. (Can you fall in love with a school?) I love the school the kids currently attend, I do. But this new school? I had goosebumps. After that, we looked at three houses, including one that my husband–my husband!–said was “perfect.” Because it was. To live in, certainly, but it’s also zoned for that public school.

On Thursday, we looked at no houses, but drove through some other areas to see if we thought there would be any other place we wanted to live. Today, we made an offer on the perfect house. Wrote it up at about 11am. Might have reached the sellers and their agent at noon (by email). At 1pm, our realtor called to say the offer had been accepted. Papers get signed tomorrow. Inspection on Sunday. We do not mess around.

So here we are. It’s Friday night at 8pm, and the kids are with my husband in the hotel pool, and I’m sitting here, in utter disbelief. I’m not sure this blog should be called “Diary of a Corporate Wife.” It’s more like a “Dream Log.”

None of this can really be happening. None of it.

You know how when bad things happen, you might ask yourself, “what did I do to deserve this?” And always, the answer is “Nothing. It’s just the way it is… It’s luck.”

Well, when good things happen, I ask myself “what did we do to deserve this?” And the answer remains the same.

It’s just the way it is. We’re lucky. Right now.

Don’t pinch me.

everything could be worse

About 35 minutes ago, I was sitting in my car at a stop light. And BANG.

I was rear-ended.

I looked in my rear-view mirror, saw the driver of the car behind me, I put my car into park, turned on my hazards, turned off my car and got out. I don’t know what my face was doing, exactly, but I remember my hands being outstretched, as in, “What the f***?” I said nothing.

A guy gets out of the offending car. He’s an older guy, wearing a straw hat. He looked like he could have been one of Tony Soprano’s guys. He said to me, “Are you alright honey? My brakes failed, my car’s fine. No damage to your car?”

I got down, looked at my car, and there was a mark on the rubber/plastic bumper where his car had hit, a little scratch on the bumper… that was it.

“Yeah, I’m okay. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m sorry, honey.”

“Okay. Be careful.”

We sort of hugged.

And I got into my car, and he got into his. And that was that. (I moved out of his lane.)

I was about two miles from my house. And all the while, I thought, “I should have exchanged insurance information. I should have got a phone number, a name. Does my neck hurt?” Other thoughts like these went through my head at about a mile a minute.

The guy who hit me pulled alongside me, and then ahead at another red light. I couldn’t resist.

ImageI just needed to know I could track him down if I needed to. (And to folks out there who know where I live and drive on the same streets as me, take heed of this car.) But I won’t need to. I’m fine. Our cars are fine. My car in particular might be worth less than his. And most important: none of the $250+ worth of Costco merchandise, loaded carefully into the back of my nine-year-old Forester, was damaged.

A few minutes later, as I approached the entrance to my neighborhood, I saw three sheriff’s cars and three other cars and a tow truck. One of the three cars was on the grassy median–the one I pass every day as I turn out of our neighborhood. It was not a horrible accident, (everybody was standing) but it was a pretty expensive one, both in terms of money and stress.

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I’ve been feeling so unsettled. My husband is training for a half-marathon, to be run in February. He said, “yeah, it’ll be fun to do, if we’re still here.” I don’t know whether we’ll find out we have to move at year-end, or quarter-end. I don’t know if I’ll need to be an effectively single parent for the last couple months of the school year, or if we’ll have our kids start at a new school in April.

I. Know. Nothing. As always.

Except for one thing: I am a lucky, lucky girl.

And Tony Soprano’s guy? He is a lucky, lucky man. As long as he gets his brakes fixed.